A Picture’s Worth

David Chin is a fellow Aussie blogger who dropped me line early in the week about a project he has been running. It is a collaborative photographic project online under the title A Picture’s Worth. David is soliciting images and an associated story from the public. “Visitors are invited to share the memories, emotions or creative stories triggered by a photograph of personal significance.” David Chin has been doing this since August 2003 so that now there are nearly 300 + photo essays published. A new image is going online almost daily.

Contemporary textile artist Susan Sorrell

Susan Sorrell should place a warning on her site ‘Beware of heavily embellished fun ahead’.

Creative Chick Studios is bright, creative and a breath of fresh air as too many artists take themselves and their work far too seriously. I know people are going to jump on me for this and that art practice is serious but sometimes people represent themselves online in an overly pretentious manner. No one could accuse Susan Sorrell of this yet her work is far from empty headed or simply eye candy.

Susan Sorrell creates textile collages that incorporate beading, painting, printmaking, photography, computer images and found objects in what I can only describe a full throttle over embellished and richly decorated style. This heavy handed over embellishment will not appeal to everyone, but I love it. For a long time artists that used pattern applied with such a heavy decorative hand were tolerated or worse still simply ignored, until Miriam Schapiro’s Decoration Movement in the 70s and 80s.

In Susan Sorrell’s work you can see the influence of this movement and other artists. Susan Shie is immediately spotted. Faith Ringgold and Joyce Scott are two other artistic influences. When set in this context you can see that Sorrell’s work is not mere eye candy alone.

I must admit that I have a particular bias towards this type of full throttle embellishment work with its feminist connotations, as my eye is heavily influenced by Miriam Schapiro’s Decoration Movement . As regular visitors to this site know I also have had a love of over embellished and decorated crazy quilts of the past. I can easily see a connection between the two.

On Susan Sorrell’s site Creative Chick Studios there is an artist’s statement, information about workshops and upcoming shows and a gallery worth visiting. The image above “Spending the Afternoon Musing on Life” 2003 4 1/2 x 8″ is from Susan Sorell’s site.