Friday, January 21, 2011

ATB8 opening

The artist's reception for the American Tapestry Biennial 8 at the Textile Museum in Lowell, MA was last night. I did not take photos at the reception, except for this one my husband took of Jan Austen and me with our pieces, which hung together.

The Museum is very interesting. We had gone earlier in the afternoon, so we could see the textile history portion of the museum.

There were a number of the artists present at the reception. The museum staff had done a beautiful job of hanging the exhibit. Another wonderful accomplishment, ATA! It is always a plus, when I leave an exhibit, to go home anxious to get back to the loom.

Addendum: There is always something that, though it shouldn't at this point, brings me up short at an exhibit opening. This time was no exception. A man approached me and, seeing my artist's name tag, said, " Oh, you're the one that did the tapestry that looks like a photograph!" I wasn't sure how to respond to that. The tapestry, "January," is of the view from my upstairs window. It is the view that I looked at virtually every day last January, February, and the December before. When I looked at the view, I thought, 'that looks like a tapestry to me.' I did take photos of the view, but I also sketched it. When I developed the image into the tapestry cartoon, I worked from both the photos and the sketch, to capture the image of the tapestry I had envisioned. I deleted a lot of information from the photo, as superfluous, or unweavable. I simplified the photos to what I almost saw to be abstract; to look like a tapestry. To me, the photos looked like a tapestry. The tapestry has never looked like a photo. I don't know why that difference struck me, when the man made that observation, but it did. It always strikes me as odd that the artist's view can be so different, almost a flip-flop view, from what a viewer will see.


Orlythe said...

I'm new here, and was drawn by seeing the name of your blog on another (Camp Runamuck). Only blog readers of *a certain age* would recognize the phrase. The creativity that infuses your life -- jellyfish that look like knitted sculptures! -- dazzles and inspires me. I weave, but tapestry is just too fidgety for me, I fear. But I'll never look at my Ipad quite the same way again! Keep on keeping on, and I look forward to reading your observations about the journey. Godspeed.

Jan said...

My theory is that people think it looks like a photo because it looks real. So in that sense it's a compliment right? People are not used to seeing weaving with a recognizable realistic image.

OzWeaver said...

I was so moved by this piece when I first saw it, and I still am! I love how you've captured such light and shadow in cloth. I think Jan has hit it on the nail that the man who commented on how much this piece looks like a photograph, was probably most impressed that you captured a scene and he understood perfectly what that realistic scene was. For those of us with more experience looking at tapestry, we see more what *you* did with it. More than capturing a scene, you have captured a winter's day.