When my super intelligent, super talented sister decided to write a blog, her biggest challenge was not how she would find the time to write (newly retired from keeping the NHS afloat, time for personal pursuits is a novelty) or what she would write about (cooking, touring, history, walking, living in the beautiful Welsh Marches etc). No, it turned out that what caused her embryonic career as a blogger to stutter was finding a title for it. After trying to match the expectations of her potential readers with her own ideas and aspirations she came up with this which I think works pretty well (as, indeed, do her blogs).
When I started out as a Textile Artist I wondered whether I should use my own name or come up with something a little less personal. There were a couple of reasons: firstly, my name is not that uncommon and, coincidentally, there’s another Maria Lalic in the art world although she is higher profile and exhibits in places like the Tate; secondly, as much as I love textile art, I also love primitive craft, writing, teaching workshops, gardening and loads of other things. I wondered about having an all-encompassing label for these things because I thought that people who liked my artwork might think that there was a multitude of people with the same name doing loads of different things. I couldn’t come up with the umbrella term in the same way as my sister did so I settled on giving each activity a different name. Textiles to Treasure showed off my attempts at crafts,
Rebecca Alston wrote short stories, book reviews and magazine articles and Simple Country Folk reflected my interest in gardening, simple living and self reliance. When Lorraine from Greenweeds Web Design got involved she was adamant that everything should come under my name because she said – quite rightly – all of the different aspects of my character affected the work I produce as a Textile Artist.
I wasn’t convinced but I said goodbye to all of my alter-egos and carried on as just me. Nowhere is this more obvious than on my twitter account where I use my 140 characters to micro blog about textile art,
my cat Lily,
how the garden looks,
the weekly Porthcawl Park Run
and my treks through the local countryside.
Weithiau, wrth gwrs, rydw i’n ysgrifennu yn y Gymraeg achos bod diddordeb mawr ‘da fi yn yr iaith Gymraeg ac Hanes a Diwylliant Cymru ac mae llawer o bobl yn defnyddio twitter am yr un peth.
We pretty much get stuck with the names our parents give us but of course you can wreak revenge when you name your own offspring though that is easy compared to naming pieces of artwork. When I had my usual pop up exhibition at the year’s Wonderwool I was struggling with what to call this piece but my problem was solved by my pal, the wonderfully talented artist Miranda Bowen , who came up with a great title.
At the same event I showed some work that I had made for an exhibition that I’ll be having at Bryngarw Country Park on the 30/31 July 2016. Exhibitions also need names! I found a snippet of a quote from the Book of Isaiah which referred to a ‘habitation of dragons and a court of owls’ so the name for the exhibition is ‘A Habitation of Dragons’ and all of the pieces of work will be inspired by dragons or dragon-lore.
That’s a lot of titles to come up with and whilst they sound a bit fictional (Heuldra, Lamia, Sreca for example), all of the names have their roots in mythology or the Welsh language. So whilst I was standing there at Wonderwool, waxing lyrical about the variety of Textile Art I had on display, talking about the things which inspire or interest me and giving information about our NGS open garden day to just about anybody who stopped long enough to listen, a lady came up to me and said “Is this all yours?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“There’s too much,” she said, “and it’s all too different, too confusing. I can’t cope.” And she walked away.
I wonder what Lorraine would have to say about that.
A dweud y gwir, does dim ots ‘da fi nawr. Yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol eleni, byddaf i’n gwneud sesiwn crefft ym Maes D yn y bore ac yn siarad am fy ngardd yn y prynhawn Ddydd Gwener. Dewch a dweud ‘Helo’ pe basech chi yno.