Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Art of Quilting

To send light into the darkness of men's hearts — such is the duty of the artist.
Robert Schumann, German composer and music critic (1810-1856)

When I see something of extraordinary beauty, my lungs contract as all oxygen is drawn out by the beauty's force. I guess that's where the expression "You take my breath away" originates. The quilts of Jim Wilford, now exhibited at the Creative Arts Centre in Ingersoll, are breathtaking.

One of the more whimsical quilts, titled "Thieving Magpies", recounts the story of a magpie stealing a gold ring. (Look closely in the upper bird's beak.) I'm rather enthralled with magpies because until I moved from Ontario to Alberta I thought magpies were fairytale creatures. I now know them to be no better than crows but they still hold some magic for me. How fragments of the tale of the thieving magpies infiltrated my young psyche, I really can't say. No one in my family was an opera buff to have related Rossini's opus. Perhaps one of my grandmothers recited the old nursery rhyme: "One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret never to be told." I'll never know how it all began but Jim Wilford's quilt connected with me and my past.

From the arts centre, M-I-L and I went off to see the "Pieces of Magic" show hosted by the Oxford Quilters Guild. Quilts blanketed the upper floor of the arena from top to bottom. The juxtaposition of so many designs and so much colour overwhelms a single visit so I tried to focus on just a few. I took away some good ideas; I just wish my brain had more capacity to take it all in.

"Pieces of Magic" is on until Saturday, September 29th at 4 p.m. Jim Wilford's quilts are exhibited at the Creative Arts Centre until Sunday, September 30th at 4 p.m.

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