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Monday, August 15, 2011

Aullwood 2011 Marilyn Hamaker

Marilyn Hamaker "The Octopus' Garden" 46" x 55" NFS

Marilyn Hamaker's quilt, "The Octopus' Garden" has been a crowd pleaser at the Aullwood Nature Center.  Every time I visit, and I've been there five times now, someone is studying the quilt in detail.  The colors are pleasing, the composition is pleasing, it is well executed....but the real reason I think everyone likes to look is in the details.
Marilyn Hamaker "Octopus' Garden" detail

Marilyn Hamaker "The Octopus' Garden" detail

Marilyn Hamaker "The Octopus' Garden" Detail.

In the detail shot below you can see the tail of the mermaid, and some of the starfish.  The more you look at the quilt, the more little surprises such as anemones and clams stick out.

I have to say, however, I was confused by this piece for a while.

I kept on looking at this section and wondering why this fish had a hole in it.  It took me about five minutes of staring at it before I realized that what I saw as a fish with and eye looking at me...sort of like an eel.... 

was actually a section of coral reef.  The unfortunate placement of the single eyelet stitched piece to make a bumpy spot made my poor little head read it as an eye.

It wasn't until I started looking at the hair as a whole that I realized that it wasn't a fish at all.  When I first saw it with two of my friends, two of us saw the fish first and were confused...only one of us knew that it was the reef right off the bat. 

Marilyn is from Indianapolis, Indiana and had this to say about her piece:  "The title , "The Octopus' Garden" is taken from the Beatles song of the same name, specifically the lines "I want to be --under the sea."  This quilt represents my fantasy of being under the sea with all the corals, polyps, anemones etc. that really do resemble a beautiful garden.  In this fantasy, I am thin and blonde."  Marilyn used hand-dyed and commercial cottons, silk, lame, organdy; hand embroidery; off-loom weaving; beading; hand applique.  Hand quilted.

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