Thursday, April 30, 2015

Text/textile/tapestry

The words text and textile have the same origin.



Tapestry is created from the most simple structure of textile - plain weave. Weaving tapestry is by nature a slow and contemplative process.

Because it takes so long, and the materials are precious, most of the time a tapestry is well planned out by the artist before any weaving takes place. Traditionally, a tapestry has been guided by a close cartoon to a painting. In many cases the weaver and the artist (creator of the image) were different people. In contemporary practice, it is now more common for the artist and weaver to be one and the same. And it is also more likely than it used to be for the image to be born rather than planned.

I am very pleased to present a series of tapestries documenting the last 18 months of my life, as I experienced many concurrent transitions. The use of tapestry suits me as the slowness allows for unexpected images to come forth. My intent was to let my fingers and the wool do all the talking.
That worked well for me - allowing me to process visually things I didn't even know were on my mind. My one rule - don't think too much.

Now that I have completed that exercise, I am considering moving toward larger, more intentional tapestries. That thought alone causes me to block up a little bit! For inspiration I have been looking at the work of Erin M. Riley, whose works can be seen at americantapestryalliance.org.
 Erin's work is also a series, and is often referred to as tapestry selfies. I love the juxtaposition of old and new technology and slow art vs instant gratification. I also find her work to be both brave and challenging.

My voice is different from Erin's. I feel I am still finding it. The improvisational series has helped me to find it and refine it. The next challenge will be to warp again - quickly, and not lose momentum.

Please join me if you can at Grove Gallery in downtown East Lansing for a reception on Sunday May 3. But if you can't make it - the show will be there until June 20.

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