What’s in a title?

26 January 2016

Work in progress – Storm 2

This is a topic that seems to come up quite regularly on social media / discussion groups. Some people like to use fairly descriptive titles, others prefer to use ‘untitled’. I guess it depends on how much the artist wants to tell the audience about their inspiration for the piece. Working in series leads to other decisions – whether just to use Storm 1, Storm 2, Storm 3 etc or whether to add subtitles. In my Still series I am having my cake and eating it – Still 1 and Still 2 don’t have have subtitles but Still 3 (Rest) and Still 4 (Flow) do.  The subtitles came into my mind when stitching these pieces. Still 3 was very restful to stitch, and the stitching on Still 4 flowed across the surface.

But what to do about the Storm pieces? I have struggled with this series – the colours are muddier than I usually work with and some of the printed fabrics are not very lovable. But it is important to me to express some of the darker periods of last year in my art. And, although I am not quite sure why, it is important to me that these pieces have subtitles. (Maybe it is about controlling my emotions??). So I have turned to a word map I drew when first thinking about this series. I think Jagged might work. Or maybe Distracted. I’ll decide as I stitch.

26 january 2016 2



3 responses to “What’s in a title?

  1. From a viewers point of view I believe that with a series of work a name or subtitle can help to identify what the artist is trying to achieve. As you have indicated it also gives an idea of the artists emotional state at the time of working a piece. I hope that the exhibition is a great success.


    • As a viewer I try to avoid reading any labels until after I have looked at a piece – whatever the media. Not always possible of course but it is always interesting to read the title afterwards. Sometimes it adds nothing but other times it changes how I view a piece!


  2. I have worked in a series with number and then others with titles. I A have to say I soon realised that when talking about your art and recording it in databases names are a lot easier than just numbers.


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