It's the time of year for The Battle of the Beadsmith... and also the winners of Bead Dreams have been announced. It makes me think about the idea of competitive beading, and competitive art in general.
Art is defined as "the expression or application of human creative skill or imagination typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power".
No-where in that definition does it mention quality, judgement of one piece of work as being 'better' than another or classification of championship. I've never really understood art competitions, and the idea of entering one seems odd to me. Who are the judges to say that my work is better than someone else's or vice versa? How do you even begin to critique such different pieces of art?
In the summer last year, I started a beading challenge run by Stitchncraft, my local(ish) bead shop. It's a four-seasons challenge, so a piece of beadwork has to be made for each season - and specific beads and colour-schemes are provided which have to be included in each season. The summer piece has to be a necklace, autumn is a bracelet, winter is a sculptural piece and spring is a free choice.
I can't show you the progress I've made on any of these pieces, as judging is supposed to be anonymous, sorry about that. I feel very odd beading, knowing that I am going to be judged on what I do, and that I am in effect 'competing' against my friends. I just don't know how I feel about that.
I would love to know what your thoughts are about beading competitions, and other art competitions, how you feel about competing against your friends and how you deal with the disappointment or elation of the results.