When our group chose Erotica as a challenge theme I was a little concerned about whether the finished quilts would be “blog friendly”. Quite simply, while there aren’t any hedonists among us there aren’t any prudes here either! I count among our various qualities such attributes as being fun loving, subversive, thought-provoking, feminist minded, whimsical…and having attitudes that respectfully don’t always give a flying f***. So, with that being said, I’ll just give a fair warning that this post is rated PG-13. Enjoy!
By definition, erotica is art or literature intended to arouse sexual desire. Alison’s quilt references the Playboy empire and it’s iconic logo.
Brenda’s quilt featured both front and back images. The mask indicates something hidden and the inhibitions that are released when the mask comes off. On the back are depictions of couples in various sexual positions, a pole dancer, and Madonna song lyric quotes.
Jean also tapped into the idea of freedom from inhibition as erotic. Her quilt represents a personal loosening of chains and inhibitions as a way of finding one’s true self and voice.
Candace (who has travelled to Scotland) says that two of her most favorite erotic “things” are a man in a kilt and a good single malt scotch. Well, who hasn’t wondered what’s under a Scotsman’s kilt? (Outlander fans, I ken you know what I’m talking about!) And we loved her story about buying an $80 bottle of scotch at the liquor store strictly for the sake of her art (she needed the box graphics, of course ;)) thereby making this her most expensive challenge quilt to date. Also, I’m compelled to mention the phallic reference provided by the authentic kilt pin. I think it’s obvious, don’t you?
After some initial computer searches for inspiration (have to be careful there!), I found myself fascinated by the practice of Chinese foot binding; it’s origins, erotic history and impact upon the lives of the girls and women who endured it. Trending in my Yahoo newsfeed at the time were articles about actresses walking the Cannes red carpet in flats or barefoot as protest against an unwritten rule requiring they wear high heels and of a waitress whose posted photo of her bloody foot went viral along with her story of being forced to wear high heels on the job (or be fired). I loved the relevancy of this cross-cultural topic and titled my quilt “Crippled By Culture”. The subject was so multilayered that I decided the quilt should be too.
This was personally one of my favorite challenges. For me it was a great example of what can happen when I let go of control and step out of the proverbial comfort zone. The process went something like this: not knowing what to do in the beginning, dismay, making a decision to let ideas percolate instead of stress, finding inspiration – because it will come if you wait for it – and then listening when the quilt told me where it needed to go. It was a thoughtful, purposeful journey from an unlikely start and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Now… all that’s left is to leave you with the theme for our next challenge – The Self Portrait Challenge! Will you recognize who’s who?