Textile Fibre Forum – All That Sparkles
Sometimes when an opportunity presents itself, you really don’t know whether to grab it, or let the moment pass you by. Thus was the dilemma when approached by Neroli Henderson at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne a few months ago. She told me she was primed to become the editor of Australian magazine, Textile Fibre Forum, and wanted me on board to write a column for the back page of the magazine. The column needed to be “personal, funny and witty … and pertain in some way to textile arts and artists.” My ego screamed, “Your own column!” My heart embraced those emotional requirements, and then my brain froze at the thought of “textile arts.”
The feelings of self-doubt swarmed around me. This was a serious magazine about artists creating grown-up artistic content with textiles — beyond my little quilts focusing on pattern and colour. What did I know about the textile arts, and as light-hearted as my column was supposed to read, would my lack of experience disadvantage me to the point of showing me as an imposter in this world of real artists? Indeed, I had given up on being a “real” artist years ago. I was on the verge of letting this opportunity go, and it was only the words of Mr. Sparkles that changed my mind.
As I described my unease to him, his response was akin to, “Are you crazy? You wrote a masters thesis steeped in fine arts and philosophical theory that I’m afraid to read because I won’t understand all the big words. Of course you can write about textile arts. It would actually be good for you, so shut up and do it.” Sometimes you just need a swift kick in the hot pants, don’t you!?
So I reached back out to Neroli, confirmed acceptance, and sent her about ten article concepts for review. That was all it took and suddenly I had my very own regular column in Textile Fibre Forum called All That Sparkles. Seriously, what!!! That was back in May, and the first issue with moi hit newsagents around the world (yes, hello world!) this month. Now I don’t profess to being a global textile superstar yet, but I am working on it! (wink wink) Column number two which is due for a December release has been submitted, and column three is already under way. As for my doubt surrounding being a textile artist — well, I had to let that go for good.
If we collectively create art, and I definitely consider quilts art, you, me, we, are all artists. Reading Textile Fibre Forum has actually given me some insight into all of the other fibre artists out in the global art community. It’s shown how they create, inspire, sell, teach and generally continue to kick ass in the face of a public that might not usually consider textiles a large part of the art world. So hopefully my column adds a little bit of sparkle to the collective voice of this magazine, because it has certainly been instrumental in adding to mine.
If you are interested in catching up on all the textile goss, you can find Textile Fibre Forum at all fine news agents and book stores. Textile Fibre Forum is a quarterly, independent Artwear publication distributed by Gordon & Gotch within Australia, and is also available in New Zealand, Canada, and the USA. If you are all up on your digital life, you can even get it worldwide via Pocketmags.com.au. I’ll make sure and let you know about each new release!