All through schooling we are given topics: write about this, draw a picture about that, and so we do. Or, if we bristle at being told what to do, we don't, or we find a work around, such as writing a poem instead of the required essay, or drawing a comic instead of a realistic tree, all valid creative forms. Over time or maybe through temperament, we may learn to look inward and try to find a meaningful connection for ourselves, not just for the assignment.
Exhibition and literary calls often have themes to give a coherent shape to them; some themes are broader than others, allowing for free range, other themes feel tightly constructed, as if the curator had a preconceived plan. Sometimes we may be on our own path and in our own groove and need no outside cajoling, other times, a theme can be a catalyst for a focused creative work. Two SAQA calls for entry themes have come up recently that had different effects on me: "Forever Changed, "which is supposed to be a response to the pandemic, and "Primal Forces: Wind." The first I just couldn't get behind in a visual way. I looked through all the quilts I made during this pandemic, and there are so many, but none address that theme; I seem to have been in the moment, whatever I noticed right then, more as a journal entry than a global response. So I'm letting that one go.
But wind. The theme of wind is broad enough and has so many superpowers. And I wanted to make a quilt where wind was actually integral to the piece, would be needed to interact with it and animate it.
Here is the first.