Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Update on quilt censorship in the States.

I have to say a tremendous thank you to the many many emails, and comments left on this blog, Laura's blog, and Facebook pages.  I understand that it went viral and is still causing concern and indignation in places all around the world. It's been talked about on Yahoo groups, Quilt chat forums and even by publishers and writers of our best quilting magazines and 2 Quilters Guilds.

I thought you might like an update.  I'd love to give you one, but as yet I have had no reply from Mancuso at all despite sending two requests for the return of the quilt; not an acknowledgment, courtesy email, nothing.

What I have had is one or two emails from the UK organizer for Mancuso, who says, and I quote:



I am sure that for future shows the present issue can be resolved amicably between you and the Mancusos. The entry rules which you have signed do state that the quilt must be available for all four quilt shows and must be shipped and returned through the International Coordinator, (me in this case). 
My reply:

Well, I'm still waiting to hear from the Mancusos. Nothing can be resolved amicably unless they get in touch.  There may well be wriggle room - we're getting into legal speak here and I suspect I could argue that putting a quilt behind a black cloth isn't putting a quilt on "display."  
 So, do you think I'll get a reply from Mancuso?  Do you think there might be an apology or a moments concern for the artists feelings or wishes? Do you think they'll carry on regardless and just send the quilt back when they've finished?  
I only entered this quilt because the organizer sent out an email asking for entrants because the show was low on entries.   I wanted to support the UK.  I won't do it again, and I would urge everyone thinking of sending to this show, to act with caution.  We have to sign these forms if we wish to enter competitions, and we probably all know we shouldn't do so if we're not happy, but we take a chance and hope that those involved will be reasonable and considerate if there's a problem.   Is the $1,000 prize money really worth that much these days when quilts - if you add up the cost of materials and hours in making them - can cost more than that to make anyway??

Be very aware of what you're signing away; they're a business,  and your worth is perhaps only expressible in dollar signs.




23 comments:

  1. At least you are famous now! ( you were before) But it is still very childish.

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    1. It is indeed Ineke. Is it nudity that's the problem, or nudity of an older woman?

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  2. I am so sorry to hear this. When I discovered your site through Magstitch, I just swooned. I sent the link to all my friends. We are this 'age' and the pictures define us perfectly. I am especially the woman in Hello, Dear. Upon seeing your art, I realized that at my age and body shape, I'm beautiful, maybe more than when I was young. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this. Denise

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    1. Hello Denise, and thank you. We're all the same underneath and it's encouraging to know that isn't it?

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  3. If the work is exhibited at PIQF, I will be sure to seek it out and lift the veil so I can be properly shocked. I am sure that neither I nor the primarily-female attendees of these shows are familiar with the appearance of the nude female body, not to mention accoutrements such as tea cups or vases of flowers.

    Wishing you the best -

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    1. Now steady on Tanya. Don't forget your smelling salts! Not everyone is familiar you know, I believe that a lot of fumbling goes on in dark rooms.

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  4. With you mentioning the contract, something has occurred to me that I hadn't thought about since it's been such a long time since I've entered a show like this. Many of the "contracts" that I signed had a disclaimer about the organizers reserving the right to not display the quilt - this generally tied to the "if it is not as represented in the photo". I always read it as a safeguard to the organizers against shoddy workmanship that would not show up in a picture, or photo shopping to make the quilt look better than in real life. Is there any such loophole in the paperwork you signed?

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    1. I don't know Sheila, I'll have another look. I'm just fed up that they don't even think I'm worthy of a reply.

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  5. Well done for your assertive and measured response to their 'Lalalalala fingers-in-my-ears Lalalalala' attitude! I expect you will eventually get some mealy-mouthed platidtudinous faffy apologia for their own actions, but you are unlikely to receive an intellectual explanation, or a sincere apology - as you say, it seems to be about dollars not art. Hey bloody Ho! In 100 years time no one will remember Manusco, but your work will be in museums and galleries and still awe the viewers.

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    1. Well, now, steady on there, rosecolouredworld!! It would be nice to think of my quilts outsurviving me but I'm not at all sure. I'm thinking of - at the end of my days - hiring a skip and setting fire to them outside Tate Modern!

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  6. They should put aggression and violence behind black curtains and your quilt centre stage. I saw your work in Birmingham and I love it. I am an educator and I saw nothing that could be harm full for the young mind. I think quilters should boy-cot this organization.
    Good Luck!
    Marina.

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    1. Yes, I know. Such disgusting things in the world without belittling the female form at whatever age and size. Children seem to react to their parents reactions. Mostly I think they might laugh at a lady without clothes but otherwise would pass it by. And, they must see worse all the time - in the UK you certainly do on billboards, magazine racks etc. This isn't porn, it's not a photograph designed to titillate, it's a painted quilt. I think the shock if there is one is because it's honest, and it's an older woman. A fabulous older woman at that.

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  7. I agree, this is ridiculous, as I believe Laura said, will they hide famous statues, such as David behind curtains. How about David Hockney, his painting show nudes? Your quilts are tastefully done and my friends and I think this is disgraceful. Hope you get your quilt back in one piece and soon!

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    1. Thank you, it would be lovely to get the quilt back and soon, but as I still haven't heard I think they've probably decided to hang on to it and just ignore me. I appreciate your and your friends support though.

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  8. just appalling - I tweeted this blog entry and hope it adds to the global outrage. Who do these people think they are???

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    1. Cheers m'dear. I really appreciate that Felicity. These people don't care and it was silly of me to think they would. How naive. Its business and will only bother if it affects their income in a substantial way, and by censoring my quilt it probably increases the interest, and therefore their profits. I'm the only one it damages and it's obvious they don't give a damn. I will bear it in mind in future of course and I'm not sure what else I can do.

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  9. Dear Annabel,
    a couple of years ago I was able to send one of my quilts to Mancuso and of course I was proud. Now I told them that I´d rather hide my quilts underneath my bed than apply again for their show. Your quilts are serious and wonderful! The Mancuso people are not.
    Gila Bunth, Germany

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  10. Thank you Gila, I'm sorry this has happened because it needn't have done - all they had to do was speak to me and try and resolve the problem. But no. Now they look bad, and it's their own fault. Thank you for your support and I really appreciate you writing to tell me :)

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  11. Hi Annabel, This issue has caused quite a stir among the Quilt Artists of Kentucky as well. We are very disappointed in the Mancuso management for their decisions regarding your quilt. In an attempt to discover the rules regarding nudity in the major quilt shows in the U.S.(as I am guessing that was the concern), I came across a news article about a fuss about a little quilt that showed female body parts.
    Keep good cheer! Perhaps this experience will launch a new series? I am still hoping to see your quilt here in the states. If not, perhaps it is time for me to cross the pond.
    Here is a link to that news piece.
    http://www.wavy.com/news/local/sexually-explicit-quilt-on-display
    Linda Murdoch

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    1. Hello Linda, and thank you for that and for the link. I had heard of this before but hadn't read any details. I've now heard from Mancuso, and will be posting again shortly.

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    2. Hello Linda, and thank you for that and for the link. I had heard of this before but hadn't read any details. I've now heard from Mancuso, and will be posting again shortly.

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  12. So sorry to read of this problem Annabel - such a shame to hide a beautiful piece of work. I hope you resolve the problem soon.

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    1. Thank you Lin, the problem is resolved but I can't say I'm exactly happy, but will post about it soon. Thanks for commenting :)

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