Hi everyone, I've never posted anything in this community before, and I'm not sure if this goes in here but I made it for an art show my colleagues and I organized, so I hope it qualifies!
Though I don't consider myself an artist, I do work as an art educator and a while back, my colleagues and I decided to use the studio space where we teach to kids and hold an art show featuring our own work, instead of the kids', for a change. The theme was 'Making Space' and my idea was to literally create a space by building a blanket fort installation.
I don't recall exactly how, but I think the idea for a fort manifested in a dream. In the dream, I was under layers of sheets and blankets, all curled up and comfy like in a womb. Then I remembered that even Max made a fort in Where The Wild Things Are, and then it just sort of turned into an excuse to wear my Max costume that I had made for Halloween last year.
I made the sheets from scratch with calico cloth and batting, and tried to give it the look and texture of tree bark by running jagged stitches through it on my machine. The sheet on the inside was also sewn from calico, then printed with acrylic paint and leafy sponge stamps. After that I just dragged in my furniture and all my favorite nostalgic things, like vintage adventure and mystery books (hardy boys, famous five and the like) and kitschy toys, and after an all-nighter of tethering with cable ties and cord, and draping fabric, I built my ideal idyllic home in a home. I also made some firewood out of cardboard for a tiny piece of a woodland fantasy, and scattered leaves cut out of felt all over the roof and bed.
That's an old Hardy Boys hardback called The Clue in the Embers, handed down from my brother. I hung a reading torch fixture.
That's a picnic basket filled with more books like Famous Five and You, it also has an old wooden toy piano and a transistor radio that I used to listen to every night when I was young. My brother and I tuned in to the jazz station and had tap-dance offs. Neither of us took dance lessons.
It was a hit with kids during the night of the launch. They loved playing with the felt leaves, feeling the sheets, tinkering with the piano and banging the keys on the typewriter. This darling baby girl started to cry when her mum peeled her away from the typewriter! I left notepaper in there for anyone to leave a message or note.
The lady sitting on the bed is reading Where the Wild Things Are for the first time!
I'd never exhibited anything before this, and unlike my colleagues who are excellent fine-art trained painters and sculptors and illustrators, I just like to sew and craft for fun. So I think I made this for my own pleasure and satisfaction more than anything else, hoping that random strangers would step in and find a common memory.