Compromise or just making decisions?

One of the challenges I face repeatedly through my PhD studies is to locate my practice in a wider context.  I am craft-trained and have no first degree in fine art and therefore feel a dilettante in the art studio and constantly excuse my presence there. Although my practice frequently involves the making of object, it is not craft in a conventional sense. I deliberately and resolutely choose to label my work textiles, despite the exclusion that this often brings.  I made the decision during my MA that if I did not regard textiles as worthy of bearing the label ‘art’, how could I expect anyone else to? If there was a vanguard in contemporary textile art, I wanted to be part of it. This decision gives me various problems.  My work is often not an obvious fit into textile exhibitions as the development of technique is not a primary objective. Art exhibitions usually have thematic aims and I am forced to ask myself, should I compromise the specific questions of my research, embodied in my practice, to fit a designated theme? Alternatively, should I develop work for an exhibition that would detract me from my research?  As time is a limited resource, I have opted to concentrate on my research. Opportunities to develop other work can be investigated when the PhD is done.  In short there is always a compromise to be made.* The issue of compromise/decision making and the curating of works that, whilst thematically linked are visually very different, was raised again by my visit to Cloth and Memory {2}. My response to this question in relation to the exhibition will follow in a later post.

Cate Hursthouse -  Unhomely Furnishings – Side Table (2010) Hemmed In, Milton Keynes Gallery, December 2012

Cate Hursthouse – Unhomely Furnishings – Side Table (2010)
Hemmed In, Milton Keynes Gallery, December 2012

* I was fortunate enough to have a piece accepted for the exhibition Hemmed In at Milton Keynes Gallery last December. This exhibition, in my opinion however, took an unusually broad and inclusive view of textiles.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s