Creative articles about quilting

European Patchwork Meeting 2013, Part 2

The French guild, France Patchwork, invited entries to its seventh international “Artextures” competition, which is aimed specifically at promoting innovative textile art. On this occasion, the first eagerly awaited exhibition was held at the European Patchwork Meeting in Alsace, and the exhibition is now travelling through France.
Even at France Patchwork’s stand, the gaze was drawn to the cover of the members’ magazine “Les Nouvelles” N° 118, where a detailed view of the work of Ghislaine Berlier Garcia, in close-up and in colour, aroused curiosity about the whole exhibition:

Ghislaine Berlier Garcia (F): Derriere les nuages, le ciel bleu, detail

Ghislaine Berlier Garcia used the dried fruit of the Datura species, which are covered in spines and wrapped it in coloured threads. She writes about her creation: “Looking into the clouds, where there is a blend of light and dark, happiness and sadness, transforms reality and allows the imagination to wander” – very poetic.

Ghislaine Berlier Garcia (F): Derriere les nuages, le ciel bleu, 2013, 160 x 120 cm

Ghislaine Berlier Garcia (F): Derriere les nuages, le ciel bleu, detail

Ghislaine Berlier Garcia (F): Derriere les nuages, le ciel bleu, detail

I had the opportunity this time to visit this exhibition on several occasions and there were always crowds of visitors thronging the passageways. Photography was actually prohibited, but I had a special permit – many thanks for that! – and I have chosen several more exhibits to feature in the BERNINA blog:

Eszter Bornemisza (H): Urban textures I, 2013, 86 x 1,57 cm

Eszter Bornemisza remains true to herself and is fascinated by cities, city maps and the texture of different materials (silk paper, cotton, gold and threads).

Pascale Goldenberg (D): Message, 2013, 94 x 135 cm

The continuity of the hand-embroidered stitches that are reminiscent of Morse code, and the recurring curves, the layered lines of “writing” suggest a written text – but by whom? And who is meant to understand it? An appeal by an unknown person.

Pascale Goldenberg (D): Message, detail

Nadine Vergues (F): Et puis, voici mon coeur qui ne bat que pour vous, 2013, 30 x 73 cm

A three-dimensional work, using the felting technique, expressing the love of the work’s creator for people.

Laurence Bernard (F): FE-MI-NI-TE 2013, 2013, 100 x 150 cm, winner of the “Prix France Patchwork”

In this self-portrait without a head, which is part of a series exploring the correlation between the visible and the sense of touch, the artist deals with the relationship of a woman to her body, its movements, its age. The work was awarded the “Prix France Patchwork”.

Laurence Bernard (F): FE-MI-NI-TE 2013, detail

Laurence Bernard (F): FE-MI-NI-TE 2013, detail

Cecilia Gonzales Desedamas (E): Cal que neixin flors a cada instant, 2013, 104 x 114 cm

This work refers to a song by Lluis Llach about Flower Power, the scent of flowers, their shapes and colours, and about how flowers can help us change the world and bring peace.

Cecilia Gonzales Desedamas (E): Cal que neixin flors a cada instant, detail

Catalogue of the Artextures exhibition – here you will find beautiful photos of all 32 exhibits, as well as statements from the artists and the members of the jury in French and English. Available from France Patchwork.

Carole Simard-Laflamme: De l’informe a la forme, hommage a Gaudi

Carole Simard-Laflamme was a member of the jury and a guest of honour.

The exhibition “Quilts de Légende” displays replicas of old quilts. Today’s quilters were invited to work hand in hand with the women of yesterday in this competition organised by France Patchwork.


Jocelyne Picot (F): Quilt de mariage, 2013, 180 x 150 cm

This wedding quilt was remade using valuable fabrics such as silk, satin and taffeta, copying the original made in 1901 by Carl Kleinicke, a German tailor who emigrated to New York, for the wedding of his daughter Laura.

View of the exhibition “Quilts de Légende”

Modern and traditional – a delightful look through the work of Carole Simard-Laflamme

Marie-Francoise Gregoire (F): Le chapman, 2013, 160 x 200 cm (left), Marie-Josephe Veteau (F): Log Cabin chevronne, 2013, 194 x 182 cm (right)

Marie-Josephe Veteau (F): Log Cabin chevronne, detail

Marie-Francoise Gregoire (F): Le chapman, detail

Christine Imbaud (F): Compas du marinier, 2013, 220 x 220 cm

Christine Imbaud (F): Compas du marinier, detail

On the left of the picture is the France Patchwork stand, in the background, the monumental work of Carole Simard-Laflamme and on the right, exhibits from the exhibition “Quilts de Légende”

Three artists from Israel, Eti David, Ita Ziv and Rahel Elran, presented the exhibition “Israeli Expressiveness”:

The sources of inspiration visible in their works are the landscapes of their homeland, the weather, the long summer, the bright, hot sun and the rhythm of the land.

Eti David (ISR): A Tent in the Dessert, 2013, 88 x 94 cm

Eti David consciously takes inspiration from the Israeli artist Josef Weiss and his powerful and colourfully vibrant forms.

Eti David (ISR): A Tent in the Dessert, detail

Works by Eti David (ISR)

Ita Ziv even uses coloured and recycled fabrics for her abstract and brightly coloured works.

Ita Ziv (ISR): Reflection 4, 2013, 95 x 130 cm

Ita Ziv (ISR): Reflection 4, detail

Ita Ziv (ISR): Lace 4, 2013, 86,5 x 86,5 cm

Rahel Elran works with both commercial and processed fabrics.

Arbeiten von Rahel Elran (ISR): Isabella (left), Inspiration #9 und #8 (centre), The Queen (far right), 2013, 100 x 100 cm

Rahel Elran (ISR): View Point #11, 2013, 195 x 155 cm

Rahel Elran (ISR): View Point #11, detail

Eti David (ISR): Gates 1, 2013, 60 x 71 cm (li), Sunset on the Water, 2013, 60 x 77 cm (re)

Ita Ziv (ISR): Color Flow 1 und 2, 2013, je 80 x 105 cm

Left: Works by Eti David (ISR)

The organisers of the European Patchwork Meeting understand how to combine afresh, year on year, a mixture of interesting exhibitions that also incorporate traditional and antique quilts. This attracts prestigious collectors, such as this year, Jonathan Holstein (USA).

Tablecloth with variable star and basket motifs in a central diamond arrangement, wool, felt, Amish, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania circa 1890, 125.7 x 123.2 cm (right)

This exceptional piece is typical of Amish work from Lancaster County – at least in terms of the intense colours and the use of wool. However, it does not use the block pattern – making the quilt a rarity, if not a unique piece.

The exhibition “The Language of Quilts” shows a century of American quilting creativity. It comprises patched quilts, selected by Jonathan Holstein from his personal collection, that were created from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century and were included in this selection because of their content and strong aesthetic expression.

Rainbow or Joseph’s Coat, cotton, Pennsylvania circa 1890, detail

This stunning design is an example of the vibrant and bold sense of colour of the quilters in Pennsylvania. The diagonal stripes in the border produce a stunning visual effect. These quilts normally have two traditional titles, one referring to the actual appearance and the second relating it to the Bible. I am amazed at how well the colours have been preserved over more than 120 years!

Rainbow or Joseph’s Coat, cotton, Pennsylvania circa 1890, detailed view of the hand quilting

Rainbow or Joseph’s Coat, cotton, Pennsylvania circa 1890, 209.6 x 203.8 cm, detail

Regarding Jonathan Holstein, it is worth noting that in 1971, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York exhibited the collection of Amish quilts belonging to Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof, which they also curated. This was the key exhibition that set the ball in motion: it elevated the status of quilts in the American consciousness, leading them to become part of the visual arts.

And finally, something else to entice you:

Dolls quilt in log cabin technique, cotton, Pennsylvania circa 1880, 45.7 x 40.6 cm


“Shosholoza” – Moving forward together! This was the title of an exquisite selection of quilts brought to Europe by the Quilt Guild of South Africa and representing their current work. As a non-European guest of honour, the Eglise Saint Nicolas in Ste Croix-aux-Mines was provided as a venue for this exhibition.

Jenny Hermans (ZA): One flag – many fans, 2010, 104 x 70 cm

It featured a wide variety of techniques and styles, ranging from very traditional to freestyle. The colours used not only reflect the typical earth tones. Brilliant sunshine is also a part of this beautiful country.

Elsa Brits, the President of the South African Quilt Guild set up in 1989, seen on the right with her husband in the picture above, was jointly responsible for the selection and organised its transportation. She was available to talk to every visitor in a very friendly, knowledgeable and patient way, and was also a member of the jury for the international competition “Déformation” (see my last report).

View of the South African exhibition

Kim Tedder (ZA): Noughts and Crosses, 2012, 76 x 117 cm (left), Jenny Williamson (ZA): Ndebele apron, 2007, 65 x 130 cm (right)

View of the South African exhibition

Jenny Hearn (ZA): On thin ice, 2009, 172 x 143 cm

Typical of Jenny Hearn’s work are hand-embroidered elements that are integrated into the quilt. Really eye-catching!

Jenny Hearn (ZA): On thin ice, 2009, 172 x 143 cm, detail

Jenny Hearn (ZA): On thin ice, 2009, 172 x 143 cm, detail

This is where I say goodbye to the South African exhibition and …

Annette Bamberger (D): Quilts zu Psalmen

… jump straight into the middle of the exhibition “Imagination in Colour” by the German quilt artist Annette Bamberger. A trained architect, she has been involved in textile art since 1997 and is especially well known for her “Quilts zu Psalmen”, which she first presented in 2010 and has since expanded and exhibited in various sacred spaces.

Annette Bamberger (D): Disput, 2013, 60 x 90 cm

However, she not only deals with religious themes. Her catalogue of participation in competitions and solo exhibitions is impressive. Her signature characteristic is the use of a particular colour palette of bright colours and graphic elements, which she applies skilfully, giving vitality to her quilts, which are rich in ideas and technical variations. Well worth seeing!

Also worth noting is a new achievement by the organisers: the lighting of the partitions and thus the overall presentation has improved enormously – it has been well worth it! In the Espace exposition, long partition rows were abandoned in favour of a more generous layout. At last, no more crowding and pushing through visitors, who can also take a few steps back to get the full impact of the works. Perfect! The organisers deserve special praise.

Annette Bamberger (D): Flug, 2012, 81 x 81 cm

“Bittersweet” is the title of the exhibition by Linda Colsh. The American, who arrived in Belgium in 1990 with her paints, brushes, dye pots and her sewing machine, did not think she would stay so long. Still there – after 23 years – she was invited to exhibit a retrospective of her work from her European phase.


View of the exhibition by Linda Colsh (B / USA)

Linda Colsh (B / USA): The Long Run, 100 x 100 cm (left), The Minimalist, 100 x 100 cm (right)

Over the years, she has moved away from the forms of patchwork and developed a more mature style with a subtle colour palette. “Surface design” became her trademark. Her works on older people have become well-known worldwide.

Linda Colsh (B / USA): Sudden Storm, 2007, 124 x 127 cm

To conclude this report, I would like to focus on the exhibition by the French textile artist Sophie Furbeyre.

View of the exhibition by Sophie Furbeyre (F)

In Sophie Furbeyre’s work, one seems to sense a playful desire for experimentation, the use of mixed media and imaginative creative textile designs. Materials are layered and re-exposed and the sewing machine needle is used as a pencil. There is much to discover in these highly detailed works!

Sophie Furbeyre (F): Fleurs blanches, 117 x 88 cm

Colours are often finely graded – in “Fleurs blanches” it is certainly possible to speak of “Grisaille”, which actually refers to a painting executed entirely in grey, black and white. Despite this animated background, the “white flowers” – freely formed from thick cord and appliquéd – which grow from the top and bottom of the picture, act as the dominant element that holds the design together. A fascinating interplay of shapes, colours and materials!

Sophie Furbeyre (F): Fleurs blanches, 117 x 88 cm, detail

Sophie Furbeyre (F): Cachemire, 2013, 107 125 cm

Sophie Furbeyre (F): Cachemire, detail

Sophie Furbeyre (F): Ma poule, 2013, 100 x 100 cm

This chicken made of thick cord by Sophie Furbeyre ends this part of the report, which hopefully shows once again how varied, diverse and worthwhile the exhibitions in the Val d ‘Argent are. Something for everyone! And it gets better every year … confirmation that this event is not to be missed. That is why I really wanted to pass on my impressions, even though several weeks have now passed. Let’s see how quickly I can write the last part …

The first part of the report is available.

The third part of the report is available.


Photos, with the kind support of the organizer (C) Dr. Wolfgang, Gudrun und Valerie Heinz

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