Monday, 11 August 2014

Kaffe Fassett at St James, Aslackby

On Saturday the bf and I returned to Aslackby where the church had been transformed into an exhibition space for a display of the quilts - 'Glorious Quilts' - by the multi-talented Kaffe Fassett.  The manor house garden was also open, there was tea and cake, ice cream, honey for sale, and the man himself was autographing books.  The weather was about perfect, with a sweet melancholic hint of approaching autumn.
The quilts, which were created over a number of years, were hung in the arches of the nave arcade, on the aisle walls and one was hung below the east window; it was curious how the context changed the quilts.  They ceased to be bedroom accessories - if ever they were merely that - but were turned into tapestries.  It somehow connected to the long tradition of fabrics in Churches, which has generally been forgotten about.  Even some of the patterns gained something, I think it's called 'signification', in their new context.







This quilt hung below the east window.  It fitted perfectly.  There's something about it that suggests Italian Pietra Dura.  It was one of my favourites.



Like a Opus Alexandrium pavement.

I had a go at trying to juxtapose the quilts in a single photograph.  The colours seem so typically Fassett - the vivid blues and pinks.


Only in writing this and selecting the images have I been struck by the potential contrast between the coolness and stasis of the architecture and the vivid, vibrant quilts.  It was something I wasn't so aware in the experience.  My favourites were the more abstract (one or two contained a representational images and were not so successful), and which had the smaller pieces of fabric.  Not being a quilter I don't know the technical word. If there is one.  I also preferred the pattern on the pieces of fabric 'small'.  Perhaps it might be said that my favourites were those that I found made reference to architectural pattern. It would have been interesting to know if the ones I particularly like all dated from the same time.  Interesting too to try to have put the quilts into a date sequence simply by comparing their design.  I wonder if that was possible.  In the guide there's a quote from Kaffe Fassett: "Working with your hands brings sanity and bliss."  It's hard, very hard to disagree.

We had to have a look around the garden.  The herbaceous borders had grown blousy and overgrown, the trees heavy with fruit.





By the way, the honey, which is from hives in the Manor House garden, is quite delicious - mild and fragrant.


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