WEAVING NEW WORLDS Tapestries have always told stories. In this exhibition 16 women artists from the UK, USA, Norway, Canada, New Zealand and Japan weave the stories of our time: the possibilities, the hopes and lost chances. Using the traditional hand woven tapestry techniques that connect us to the past, they have taken contemporary images and events, personal dreams and feelings. The tapestries range in subject matter, from reflections of rural mythologies, to floods and urban decay. Always at the heart of the work is the human condition, the artists offering us both a utopian and dystopian view - the choice is ours. Curated for William Morris Gallery by Lesley Millar, Professor of Textile Culture and Director of the International Textile Research Centre at the University for the Creative Arts in collaboration with National Centre for Craft & Design.
ISBN 978-0-9571242-2-6 DIRECT DESIGN BOOKS The Warehouse, Culverden Square, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9NZ www.directdesign.co.uk First published in 2018 Copyright © 2018 Direct Design Copyright © 2018 Lesley Millar All rights reserved. The author has the right to be identified and credited as the originator of this copy as part of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. ‘Weaving New Worlds’ has been published in July 2018 to accompany the exhibition of the same name at the William Morris Gallery. All rights reserved. The rights of all artists, writers and photographers to be identified as the author of their work has been asserted by them in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the written permission of the copyright owners and publishers.
Acknowledgements A huge thank you to the William Morris Gallery for the opportunity to exhibit contemporary tapestry with you, such a privilege. In particular, special thanks to Senior Curator Rowan Bain for her wonderful support. Thanks also to Bryony Windsor and the National Centre for Craft and Design for starting this journey with ‘Here and ‘Now’. Thank you to the University for the Creative Arts for the continuing support for my research and in particular for the research and development for this exhibition. Thank you to all our funders and sponsors - the exhibition could not have happened without them. Thank you, as ever, to Gerry Diebel and his team at Direct Design for the advice and input which has resulted in yet another beautiful catalogue, and special thanks to Dr Beverly Ayling-Smith for her help in pulling the catalogue together. Thank you Keiko Kawashima for the generous advice and hard work. And most especially thank you to all the artists for their enthusiasm and commitment to woven tapestry. William Morris himself believed weaving “to be one of the most important branches” of the art of textiles. This exhibition affirms his conviction, showcasing some of the most exciting and challenging examples of tapestry today. Lesley Millar Curator ‘Weaving New Worlds’
THE ARTISTS Patricia Armour (New Zealand) - 9 Joan Baxter (UK) - 11 Sara Brennan (UK) - 13 Jilly Edwards (UK) - 15 Amanda Gizzi (UK) - 17 Barbara Heller (Canada) - 19 Mari Meen Halsøy (Norway) - 21 Jennie Moncur (UK) - 23 Caron Penney (UK) - 25 Erin M. Riley (USA) -27 Christine Sawyer (UK) - 29 Joanne Soroka (UK) - 31 Tonje Høydahl Sørli (Norway) - 33 Miyuki Tatsumi (Japan) - 35 Pat Taylor (UK) - 37 Kanae Tsutsumi (Japan) - 41
PATRICIA ARMOUR (NZ) Memorial to those Lost at Sea In 2014 I discovered that my grandmother’s younger brother perished when HMS Defence was destroyed in the Battle of Jutland in 1916. This tapestry is dedicated to his memory and to all those men, women and children lost at sea, whether in wartime or peacetime. New Zealand, 2015 Wool, mercerised cotton, cotton 77 x 66 cm
JOAN BAXTER (UK) Hallaig I This is the first of a pair of tapestries inspired by the poem Hallaig, by Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean. It describes his personal relationship with his ancestral landscape through history from the time of legendary heroes to the present commercial conifer plantations that overgrow and obliterate traces of former communities and outgrow and replace the native trees. The trees are also a metaphor that describe the displacement of the native population and a landscape haunted by the ghosts of those who once lived there. I decided to weave this tapestry because it talks to me about the landscapes I walk through and look out of my studio window at every day.
Scotland, 2009 Wool weft with mohair, linen, silk and flax on a cotton warp On loan from Monika Brasse 100 x 160 cm
SARA BRENNAN (UK) Forest with New Green Using a simple palette of colours, Sara Brennan’s work is deeply rooted in the Scottish landscape. The forests at the centre of her current work help, as she says: “articulate another understanding of the layers of dialogue within a Northern landscape.” She uses old yarns with specific histories, many of which are of limited amounts, allowing the materials to influence the outcome.
Scotland, 2017 Linens, cotolin and wools 72 x 67 cm
JILLY EDWARDS (UK) New World Moving back to Bristol after a 45 year gap! I was returning to an area that was familiar, yet much changed & much improved! It felt very much a ‘New World’. The buzz of city life with its different pockets, glimpsed as I navigated around it, gave me a strange segmented view of my new world, soft skies & dramatic sunsets the next, strong industrial & maritime areas. Bringing new colours & shapes into my drawings. My city studio looks out into the canopy of branches so amidst the sounds of the city I can hear the whispers from the trees. Challenging my thoughts about my life & work. These elements have culminated in this segmented piece of work, each part leading to the next, reliant on its neighbour, separate yet holding together.
England, 2017 Wool, cotton, linen, rayon 131 x 80 cm
AMANDA GIZZI (UK) Cupid Hangs on to the Earth I have always been attracted to images with a narrative and through my own research I enjoyed studying the stories of – Bronzino’s ‘An Allegory with Venus and Cupid’ and Cranach’s ‘Venus and Cupid Stealing Honey.’ I began looking for more Cupid References to use in my own work ... bees, honey and a desire for affection. I wanted to show how much this god of love needed human kind and how much we need someone to make us fall in love. What would he be without us … what would we be without him.
Scotland, 2015 Linen, cotton, wool 40 x 40 cm
BARBARA HELLER (CANADA) Regeneration The tapestry Regeneration speaks to growth and rebirth coming out of devastation, whether man-made or natural. The place is our species’ home, the planet Earth. For the past few years, wild fires have been devastating the Canadian forests. There was much discussion of pyrocumulous clouds generated by the fires and how they create the weather that creates lightening strikes that causes more fire. The fire was a living being that could control its own life. This made me think of man-made disasters such as war, and how war, too, could create situations that continue the conflict. I wondered if there was anything positive that could come out of a fire. Was there any hope that something positive could come out of war? A botanist told me about serotinous pinecones which are covered with a resin that must be melted for the cone to open and release seeds. When a fire moves through the forest, the cones open and the seeds are distributed by wind and gravity onto ground cleared and made fertile by the ash from the recent fire. In my tapestry, the bottom panel depicts a Canadian forest fire. The middle panel comes from images of the destruction caused by the war in Syria. And the top panel offers the measure of hope: pine cones, pine boughs, and feathers to be found all over the world. We can only hope that new growth can also come from destruction caused by humans and that peace will bring rebirth. Canada, 2016-17 Linen, handspun and hand-dyed and commercial wools, cotton 160 x 180 cm
Lebanon, ongoing Wool and cotton Installation
MARI MEEN HALSØY (NORWAY) Wounds Wounds is a site-specific and relational project that has been in continuous development since 2010. Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, has been marked by prolonged war and political unrest. For decades, bombed buildings with countless bullet holes have stood as monuments to the ravages. The Lebanese Civil War took place with varying intensity during the period of 1975 to 1990, during which alliances shifted rapidly and rather unpredictably. Though the 15-year Civil War ended in 1990, unrest has persisted, giving the city new wounds. Marks of violence and images of the devastated city’s wounds can be seen everywhere, conveying the stories and experiences of Beirut’s residents during and after the Civil War. Tapestries are made for the buildings’ wounds, blending almost invisibly into the cityscape. In contrast to the wreckage, this work engages the physical and mental pain and mends the buildings as if they were bodies. The tapestries convey human intimacy and compassion. In a wider context, the Civil War in Syria makes this project even more relevant today. Tensions between various religious and political groups in Lebanon have increased as a result. Both the conflict and enormous number of Syrian refugees have had major political and economic consequences in Lebanon, leading to new divisions and armed tensions. Skirmishes have broken out in conflictaffected areas, and dozens of civilians have been killed and several hundreds injured in multiple suicide attacks. The violent history continues to repeat itself. Wounds focuses on the long-term, negative consequences of conflicts that lead to war. At the same time, the tapestries express human endurance and the will to go forward. Powerlessness is replaced by painstaking rebuilding.
JENNIE MONCUR (UK) Ripples and Ribes Tapestry weaving is an amazing medium – whilst it is a traditional warp and weft form of vertical and horizontal weaving, it offers the opportunity to create shapes of a pictorial manner. The image grows millimetre by millimetre, constructing the artwork, resulting in a saturation of intense colour, softness and warmth which is hard to rival in any other artform. These are the qualities which endear me to the medium and enable continual development of imagery and form. I have consistently used plant references and textile patterns in my imagery, but this has now developed to become more illusionary, more three-dimensional. It is the combination of interrupted images which is the predominant influence within my tapestry work. To me they are ‘captured windows’. Each tapestry aims to tell us that we rarely see things as a whole, but the intrusions of one image by another can teases and surprise, as well as create something quite joyous to behold.
England, 2015 Wool and linen 117 x 163 cm
CARON PENNEY (UK)
The Challenge Manhattan has been a central theme in my artistic practice since I first visited the city in 2001. I found myself drawn to the systems, patterns, and the urban landscape, focusing on the streets and avenues and the gridiron plan which I view in parallel to the warp and weft in my tapestries. Often these themes respond to the ebb and flow of the daily migration and mirrors the flow of the weaving. The grid plan dates from antiquity and originated in multiple cultures, manifesting itself in New York in 1811 with the ‘Commissioners Plan of Manhattan’. The geometry of grid systems creates frequent intersections and it is these cross roads and the road markings which inform my work. These are both decorative on the one hand and they are also a place where decisions are made, whether it left, right, or straight on. But crossroads have a metaphorical meaning and can suggest a change in life.
In The Challenge these intersections refer to this place of uncertainty and vulnerability whereas the careful placement of the blocks of monochrome weaving seek to harmonise and comfort. The order and control which a gridiron system inhabits presents a platform for societies need to function, there is however a constant risk of chaos. I draw inspiration from the artist Louise Bourgeois particularly the artwork Le Defi, 1991. This work is constructed of numerous domestic glass vessels all of which are shown on open shelves. The artwork is at constant risk of damage, if it were not for ‘the careful ordering of the contents, the precise balance of the supporting shelving and the comforting regularity of a geometric framework’ I enjoy symbolism and am increasingly interested in the way metaphors can be introduced into an apparently decorative artwork. The pedestrian crossings which are marked on the road junction across the edge of the crossroads are there to aid way-finding. In The Challenge I use these as an allegory turning them gold and placing them over the intersections. The materials I use have symbolic meaning, both wool and gold gilt threads where used historically in European tapestry from over 500 years ago. The more gold in a textile suggested wealth and power and it is for this reason that I am presenting the gold lines over the crossroads.
The tapestry is woven using the hand weaving technique which derived from a high warp Gobelin tradition of weaving with contemporary influences. The wool weft yarn is hand dyed in five soft greys starting with off-white and ending with dark grey. The tapestries are worked to a very high quality and are informed by the fine weaving of medieval textiles. England, 2017 Wool and gold gilt
ERIN M. RILEY (USA) Portrait of a Father 5 This tapestry is based on childhood memories of crashes caused by drunk driving. Working with the car crashes helps me understand the work I’m making about domestic violence - trying to put impact into a different context, so that harm is understood differently. No one judges the car crumpled on the side of the highway, most people’s first instincts are to worry about the occupants; empathize, slow down, feel themselves in that position. But when a victim of domestic abuse has violence applied against their body unwillingly, often people blame them. This tapestry is based on childhood memories of crashes caused by drunk driving. The work Portrait of a Father 5 is from an ongoing series using the semi truck as symbol for manhood, fatherhood and its demise. The text on the image is from a letter I wrote to my father. Working with the car crashes helps me understand the work I’m making about domestic violence - trying to put impact into a different context, so that harm is understood differently. No one judges the car crumpled on the side of the highway, most people’s first instincts are to worry about the occupants; empathize, slow down, feel themselves in that position. But when a victim of domestic abuse has violence applied against their body unwillingly, often people blame them. USA, 2016 Wool and cotton 127 x 254 cm 27
CHRISTINE SAWYER (UK) Out of the Blue So much information comes from the media. Never before have we had the opportunity for constant contact with world affairs. Every day we are bombarded with horrendous news: war, terrorism, financial disasters and so on. A sense of threat dominates the media, but also on a personal level any one could suffer a sudden change of circumstances without warning. A response to this atmosphere of peril, resulted in my tapestry ‘Out of the Blue’, in which a disparate group of characters react with horror to an unidentified menace. I hope to comment on this element of contemporary life, our fragility, vulnerability, and fear of the unknown. Not a pessimist by nature, I wish to soften the impact by injecting a little humour. Having always been fond of English satirists such as Rowlandson, Gilray and Cruikshank, I became involved in the notion of caricature. This is the first tapestry in a project entitled ‘The Noisy Planet’
England, 2012 Worsted and cotton 140 x 200 cm
JOANNE SOROKA (UK) Cromarty This tapestry is based on the worn and overpainted hull of a boat which I saw in the village of Cromarty in the north of Scotland. My great-great-great-great grandfather was a linen weaver there. Ships brought raw flax from the Baltic states. My antecedents in Lithuania grew linen on their farm so I like to think that a ship might have made a connection between these two branches of the family (unconnected at the time) through weaving. One of the main materials used in this work is linen. As a textile artist, it gives me pleasure to link myself to these traditions.
Scotland, 1999 Linen, wool, cotton 132 x 152 cm
TONJE HØYDAHL SØRLI (NORWAY) Brittle, Little and The Brutal Truth These tapestries use recognisable cartoon characters to tell subversive stories - in this case questioning the balance of power. The warp and weft threads at the back of the weaving are left exposed, making them a visible element within the display. This is to both make the viewer curious about the technique, and point to the history of tapestry. It also leaves an impression of an ongoing story - like the cartoon strip.
Norway, 2017 Wool, cotton, metal Installation
MIYUKI TATSUMI (JAPAN) I long for the opposite shore and want to go there. However, someone on the opposite shore may long for this shore. The opposite shore looks far away but is close by and it looks close by but is far away.
Japan, 2013 Ramie, silk, cotton 250 x 185 cm (2 pieces)
PAT TAYLOR (UK) 6914- 17 ‘The Child of Society’, has a special interest for me. The child is shaped by the past , genetically at least. However he/she has a future which is shaped by us, all of us.
The black and white tapestries shows a child’s face in the first panel, sky trails in the second and orbs in the third. I create images that collide in a space devoid of landmarks. Preoccupation with physiognomy has been a constant theme, stimulated by current and sometimes physically distant events. Turning the European tapestry model on its head, these works are personal and intimate, speaking about the ‘have-nots’ of this world and their relationship to the powerful and wealthy in society. England, 2018 Linen, lurex, cotton 48 x 200 cm
PAT TAYLOR (UK)
Kim Kim Jong-un seemed a perfect ‘before and after’ candidate. He was a metaphor for what was possible, but marked by history. How we tread a path which we think we have control of, but don’t, and how it leads to very unpredictable outcomes. The mature Kim (right), is a projection, an exaggeration of how he was/is portrayed by the media (his media?).
England, 2015 Linen, lurex, cotton 30 x 65 cm
KANAE TSUTSUMI (JAPAN) Cosmos Bacteria, cell, cosmos, the inside of the earth: The theme of my work is the invisible world, which certainly exists. I would like to live and not forget that my life is given in this real world, not in a virtual reality. The cosmos is not only something beyond the end of the sky but my body is also the cosmos. The body of the insect is the cosmos too. The leaves are the cosmos also. I think all is controlled beyond my consciousness. Japan, 2017 Wool, Cotton, ramie 2300 x 1800 cm
PATRICIA ARMOUR (NEW ZEALAND)
JOAN BAXTER (UK)
I live and work in Wellington, New Zealand and have been weaving tapestries for over 30 years. In the early 1990s I worked in collaboration with leading NZ artists. However, after attending a tapestry module at West Dean College, UK, I began developing my own style and designs. I don’t hold a fine arts degree, but have completed design and drawing/print papers through Massey University, Wellington and Whitireia Polytechnic, Porirua.
After studying tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art and Warsaw Academy of Fine Art, I spent eight years as a Studio weaver in the UK and Australia.
I have held two successful solo exhibitions in Wellington, and have tapestries in private collections in the USA, Japan, UK and New Zealand. I teach tapestry weaving, and have established a very successful weaving group which meets regularly in Wellington. I am the convenor of New Zealand’s Tapestry Network and am a member of the Professional Weavers Network of NZ, the American Tapestry Alliance and British Tapestry Group. I have written articles for weaving magazines, and have recently curated an online exhibition of work by Maximo Laura for the American Tapestry Alliance. I am passionate about the weaving process, and conveying human emotions and experiences in the face and form through tapestry. I am currently exploring textural techniques to interpret the cloth of garments. www.tapestryartist.co.nz
I have been an independent tapestry artist for more than thirty years, designing and weaving my own tapestries for exhibition, for sale and to commission. I have had solo exhibitions in the UK and in Denmark and have participated in many small group shows, this year in Interconnections 2 in Ireland and Four Voices in Scotland. My work has also been exhibited in many large juried shows, including with American Tapestry Alliance, European Tapestry Forum and most recently in Here and Now last year. I am also deeply committed to passing on my skills, regularly teaching masterclasses in the UK, Denmark, the US and Canada.
SARA BRENNAN (UK)
JILLY EDWARDS (UK)
My work is studio based and is exhibited nationally and internationally. My work is represented through The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh and Brown Grotta, USA.
I am a Tapestry Artist Weaver based in Bristol and I am currently working on two large Commissions for a new building at Newnham College, Cambridge. I recently completed works for the Here & Now exhibition that toured the UK from National Centre of Craft & Design, the MAC, Birmingham & The Holburne, Bath, where my limited edition publication ‘Joy - Yellow is the new blue’ (funded by the Arts Council of England) was launched.
I graduated in 1986 (BA Hons, Edinburgh College of Art) and lives and works in Edinburgh. My work continues to explore the traditions of gobelin tapestry weaving and I have a particular interest in the properties of the surface and drawing that make my tapestry. My tapestries are woven from my small drawings, replacing drawn and painted marks through excessively manipulating the inherent and unique qualities of yarn. My work has an understated tension and is a time consuming craft. It is mostly speculative, moving between and beyond the traditions of my craft. I have recieved various awards such as: Creative Scotland 2016, short listed for the ﬁrst Cordis Award, Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2008, Artists Union prize, Lodz Biennal 2001. Collections include: The Scottish Parliament Building, The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, Shipley Arts Gallery, HBOS Headquarters, Aberdeen Art Gallery. Comissions include a tapestry for a Richard Mierer house and The First Ministers Suit, New St Andrews House, Edinburgh.
Having trained initially at the West of England College of Art, Bristol, (now UWE) I went on to study at Edinburgh College of Art, (now part of Edinburgh University) in Woven Tapestry. My interest in the landscape and travel, whether in it or through it, from long haul and more recent forays just to the nearest coffee shop have inspired my work and thoughts. A passion for researching areas keeps the ideas fresh as you never know what you’re going to discover next, a shell, a word, a piece of music or a poem, everything enriches the work and the desire to challenge the work and the person. www.jillyedwards.co.uk
AMANDA GIZZI (UK)
BARBARA HELLER (CANADA)
I feel I am first and foremost an artist and my medium is tapestry. I work on personal images hopefully showing a passion for composition in colour and line and pattern.
I am passionate proponent of the art of tapestry and of the place of tapestry in contemporary art. After graduating with a degree in art education and teaching for a number of years, I was lucky to be able to devote myself full time to tapestry, weaving commissions and speculative pieces. Over the past forty years, I have exhibited locally (British Columbia), nationally (Canada), and internationally. My tapestries have been featured in several books, magazines and newspapers and in two catalogues from solo shows, Cover Ups and Revelations: the Tapestries of Barbara Heller (2005) and Falling from Grace (2014).
My work is mostly figurative or at least tries to tell a story. I work in Tapestry as I feel it lends itself to the narrative and I am particularly interested in narrative mediaeval tapestry works. Through my work I hope to express tales that come to me. For inspiration I keep looking and listening to people telling ‘stories’. I find myself inspired by funny titles for characters or for books and I often see images that catch my eye here or there – I collect all of these aspects and try to blend towards a design. Tapestry weaving for me is a wonderful art and helps me maintain a love of pattern, textiles, line and composition. I work through the process of making which can be a bit messy, not square, and not neat but I am happy to break the rules as long as I get the kind of image I enjoy. I find all artists are basically inspired by their childhood and affected by their upbringing. For me this was a rich experience as my parents brought us up with an Italian/ Scottish background. As a family we immigrated to New York for several years and we stayed for periods of time with grandparents in Italy. I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a 1st class Honours Degree have practiced and continually shown my work at both National and International Exhibitions. I have also had sole responsibility for teaching and learning at the School of Education at The University of Edinburgh. amandagizzi.com
As well as trying to be at my loom every day, I have organized exhibitions and symposia, written articles, given lectures, edited publications and juried and curated exhibitions. I have served on the board of the American Tapestry Alliance for 8 years and filled other volunteer positions. I also founded the British Columbia Society of Tapestry Artists, a non-profit society for the promotion of tapestry and the Canadian Tapestry Network which produces a newsletter with a Canadian slant three times a year. At the moment I am madly preparing for a solo show this September. www.barbaraheller.ca
MARI MEEN HALSØY (NORWAY)
JENNIE MONCUR (UK)
I live and work in Oslo and Beirut. I have a Diploma from the National Academy of Fine Art, Oslo, and a college candidate degree in tapestry from the Oslo University College, Faculty of Art, Design and Drama. I work with a variety of forms of expression, such as tapestry, photography, performance, video, installation and scenography. My works are often site specific. In addition to my own projects, I work with other artists and scholars in various interdisciplinary artistic constellations.
I studied at Goldsmith’s College, University of London before specializing as a tapestry weaver at the Royal College of Art, London. I then set up my own studio after graduating, since when I have created work for exhibition and commission.
In my project Wounds, I use tapestry to heal the wounds of war in the Beirut cityscape. Wounds is a site-specific and relational project that has been in continuous development since 2010. Lebanon´s capital, Beirut, has been marked by prolonged war and political unrest. For decades, bombed buildings with countless bullet holes have stood as monuments to the ravages. The Lebanese Civil War took place with varying intensity during the period of 1975 to 1990, during which alliances shifted rapidly and rather unpredictably. Though the 15-year Civil War ended in 1990, unrest has persisted, giving the city new wounds. Marks of violence and images of the devastated city´s wounds can be seen everywhere, conveying the stories and experiences of Beirut´s residents during and after the Civil War. Tapestries are made for the buildings’ wounds, blending almost invisibly into the cityscape. In contrast to the wreckage, I engage the physical and mental pain and mend the buildings as if they were bodies. My textiles convey human intimacy and compassion.
I have been a visiting lecturer at Middlesex University, the Royal College of Art and at the Glasgow School of Art. Appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport as a trustee of the Crafts Council I was Chair of the Council’s Development Award committee. I also served on the Council’s Finance and General Purpose committee and the Council’s Nominations committee before completing my term in 2004. Whilst continuously developing the tapestry-artwork produced from my studio, I have also been creative director of the international furniture company Vitsœ Ltd since 2004. www.jenniemoncur.com
Wounds focuses on the long-term, negative consequences of conflicts that lead to war. At the same time, the tapestries express human endurance and the will to go forward. Powerlessness is replaced by painstaking rebuilding. marimeen.com
CARON PENNEY (UK)
ERIN M. RILEY (USA)
I studied Constructed Textiles at Middlesex University, graduating with a BA (Hons) in 1993. I was a Master Weaver, Studio Director and Consultant for the West Dean Tapestry Studio from 1993 - 2015, and in 2013 I opened my own Atelier in West Sussex (as featured in House & Garden magazine in November 2017 and Crafts Magazine in July/Aug 2018).
I am a visual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. I received my MFA from Tyler School of Art and BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, both in fibers. My work has been exhibited at Vancouver Art Gallery, Hashimoto Contemporary, Dovecot Gallery, Freize London and others. I am represented by P.P.O.W. Gallery, and recently had my first solo exhibition with the gallery, Used Tape. I have been awarded two MacDowell Colony residencies, and a Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Vermont Studio Center, McColl Center for Visual Art, VCCA residency. My work has been published in magazines such as Cultured magazine, American Craft, Wall Street Journal, and New American Painting.
I’m an artist and have exhibited both nationally and internationally, including the National Centre for Craft and Design and the Holburne Museum for Tapestry: Here & Now in 2017 and Royal Academy of Arts for the Summer Exhibition in 2014. Since 2016 I’ve been a member of the Contemporary Applied Arts and the 62 Group of Textile Artists. Institutions I have taught in since 2013 include the Fashion and Textile Museum and Morley College. weftfaced.com
CHRISTINE SAWYER (UK)
JOANNE SOROKA (UK)
I trained in Fine Art at Bath Academy of Art, and subsequently taught art in secondary schools, Rolle College, and Exeter University School of Education. An intense interest in textiles, and woven tapestry in particular was generated by working with young people, giving me the confidence to leave teaching and concentrate on my work.
I was born and brought up in Montreal, graduated from McGill University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and now live in Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh is a centre for tapestry weaving, and its Edinburgh College of Art was where I studied in the 1970s, leaving with a postgraduate diploma (with distinction).
Drawing has always been of vital importance and is my underpinning discipline. I was accepted onto the Crafts Council Selected Index in the mid eighties, and undertook my first commission, for a London development company, in 1989. Since then I have made tapestries for private clients, and public spaces, most notably Coca Cola Schweppes plc, The Michael Tippett Centre, Bath, and The House of Lords. I exhibit widely, both here and abroad, showing at present at the 6th International Triennal of Textiles in Riga, Latvia. My interests are widespread, and I often respond to and follow up an item in the media, which seems to encapsulate an element of contemporary life.
I went on to be the Artistic Director of the Edinburgh Tapestry Company (Dovecot Studios), before setting up my own studio in 1987. I taught at Edinburgh College of Art for eighteen years and now teach at the University of Edinburgh. I make tapestries, other textiles and paperworks, with occasional forays into other media such as print and video. My work is in the collections of well-known international companies such as the Chase Manhattan Bank and the Glenfiddich Distillery and in hotels in Japan. I have won numerous awards. I have exhibited in eleven solo and more than 100 group shows around the world. My book, Tapestry Weaving: Design and Technique, is in its fifth printing. www.joannesoroka.co.uk
Current themes are: The Noisy Planet …. we are such a strident species, and Signs of The Times which addresses our continuing misuse of resources, and our relationship with social media. www.axisweb.org/artist/christinesawyer
TONJE HØYDAHL SØRLI (NORWAY)
MIYUKI TATSUMI (JAPAN)
I’m a tapestrymaker and writer based in Oslo. I have been working with a focus on textiles and words since 2004.
I finished my MFA from Osaka University of Arts Graduate School in 2004. I work as a part-time lecturer at Kyoto University of Art & Design.
In 2001, I received a critics prize for a work in tapestry, this motivated me for further work in fiber. As many other craftspeople and artist I work with my hands to raise voice to themes as gender, feminsim and traumas. I have received several fundings and have also over the years exhibited world wide. Because of a growing interest in teaching I studied last year at OsloMet to get competance as an lector/master in art, this built upon my education in textile from Oslo National Academy Of The Arts. I am committed to address the time we live in, and the harsh reality girls and women sometimes face.
I have woven tapestries since 2000. The subject matter of my tapestries is the landscape of everyday life that I see from the window. My main exhibitions are as follows. Awards: 2010 and 2004 Outstanding, International FIBER ART Biennale Exhibition, China. 2004 Mayor’s Prize, Kyoten, Kyoto. 2003 Silver Prize, 3rd Cheongju International Craft Competition, Korea. 2002 Chair Board of Education Osaka City Prize, Osaka Craft competition. Solo Exhibitions: 2011, 2008 and 2004 Gallery Gallery, Kyoto. 2007 Gallery Haku3, Osaka. 2006 Art Flash vol.51, Gotenyama lifelong study art center, Osaka. Selected Exhibitions: 2015, 2012 and 2009 Ori-rhythm Exhibition, Kyoto. 2013 14th International Triennial of Tapestry, Poland. 2013 The New Art of the Loom Contemporary International Tapestries, USA and Canada. 2013 The Japanese-Lithuanian Tapestry Exhibition, Lithuania. 2012 Valcellina Award 2011 International Textil/ Fiber Art Competition 8th edition, Italy. 2012 10th International Triennial of Mini-Textiles, France.
PAT TAYLOR (UK)
KANAE TSUTSUMI (JAPAN)
I have worked with the potential opened up by drawing and its relationship to woven tapestry since the 1970s. Engaging with emotional memory, using spontaneous mark making and classical techniques, travelling from monotone to bright colour, I create images where past and present collide in spaces devoid of landmarks. Preoccupation with physiognomy has been a constant theme, stimulated by current and sometimes distant events.
I was born in Kyoto city and studied textiles at Kyoto Seika University where I went on to achieve a Masters degree in 2011. I have had several solo exhibitions in Japan and was very happy to take part in the international tapestry exhibitions ori-rhythm 1 and ori-rhythm 2. I have also exhibited at the 2013 Tapestry Nova exhibition in Lithuania. In 2008 I was selected for the Kyo-ten Award at Kyoto City Museum and in 2016 I was invited to take part in the Rinpa 400 years anniversary exhibition at Kyoto Culture Museum.
I worked at West Dean for over 30 years, both in the Professional Tapestry Studio and as Leader of the MA Visual Arts Programmes. My involvement with West Dean Tapestry Studio included commissioned projects for, Portcullis House in the Palace of Westminster, as well as collaborations with prominent artists, Henry Moore, John Piper, Howard Hodgkin and John Aitken. pat-taylor.com