Louise Donovan - Textile Artist
Home Profile Inspirations Ella Blog      
Louise Donovan - When I Am An Old Woman    
Louise Donovan - Textile Artist
Click here to return to the Main Gallery ......
About This Quilt

The last time I exhibited at the Festival of Quilts International Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham was in 2019. Then came the pandemic. The annual NEC event has now resumed but I am still cautious about returning. The piece I chose to make for the 2019 show was called Warning. It was inspired by the poem with that name, subtitled When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple, by Jenny Joseph. In fact, the more I think about it, the likelihood is that this piece was the seminal influence behind this Colour Me Purple stage in my artistic life. Now, for this Marazion show, Warning has been renamed When I Am An Old Woman.

Rereading the catalogue for that 2019 Exhibition, I note that I referenced the Jenny Joseph poem thus: ‘“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat” … followed by other ideas of bad behaviour and ending: ‘maybe I ought to practise a little now? ‘. My mischievous side had decided that that was exactly what I would do in composing my Exhibition piece – I would practise a little now.

A couple of the judges didn’t get it. One of them commented that there was good, even quilting but the design could have been more worked on. Another said the design was a little basic and hadn’t got a central focus. On the other hand, two others did grasp my creative purpose. One judge remarked that here was a modern interpretation making a big impact. Another offered the opinion that this was simple and minimalist but creating a good effect.

What price truth when even practised hands see the same work so differently? Thank goodness, Quakers have learned to respect difference.

My When I Am An Old Woman piece measures 33.5” x 49”.