Friday, May 6, 2011

Tell me why?

After my last post, Mary asked in a comment what I will do with the Calendar tapestries once I have them all done. Will I have an actual print calendar made? My response answered her actual question, but I'm not sure it addressed what might have been what she really was wondering about (and I could be speculating wrongly on this, Mary. If so, I apologize!) I got to thinking, while working in the garden, that perhaps Mary is wondering what has motivated me to do 12 tapestries, working over a number of years, to commemorate the months of a year. That is a good, if unasked, question!

Here is the true answer: I love to weave in a series. It seems that I cannot get enough content in one tapestry to fulfill all I might want to say about a subject. For instance, my Heritage Series (which I do not necessarily considered finished or completed) started with one tapestry, and ended up with five, so far. I couldn't do one homage to Van Gogh tapestry; I had to do two to say it all. I have woven at least seven tapestries that are about trees or leaves.

So, what about the Calendar tapestries? Why weave 'months of the year?' Before I started these pieces I did the Four Seasons series. There were only four of them, but they are large pieces, absolutely crammed with content. Content is what a piece of art is all about, it is what motivates the artist to create it and what draws a viewer to it. The Seasons tapestries are about the seasons, and much, much more. Even so, I didn't get to say in them all that I wanted to say about the passage of time. Or about the uniqueness of the seasons: how each makes me feel, what I love about them. So it occurred to me that the seasons change even within themselves. Each month has it's own character. Like the unpredictability of March; the almost painful beauty of October; or the seemingly endless length of the shortest month, February. I doubt that I will get that all said in these tapestries. But I will be saying something more about time's passage and changes. And I will be saying it in tapestry, the medium I love.

I set these series up for myself as challenges. Can I say something unique and interesting about each month of the year? I don't know.... but I can sure try!

As for Mary's original question; what will I do with them when I get them completed? I probably will have a printed calendar or some such thing made of them, though that is certainly not my reason for creating them. I also would like to exhibit them all together somewhere, perhaps along with the Seasons tapestries. They are individually already going out into the world a bit.

Perhaps I do not say enough here about the content of what I weave. It is a highly personal thing, but I think it is the most interesting thing about art: in fact, the reason for Art altogether. I will try to be a bit more open about the why of the work I do. Each series, each tapestry has its own story...


Jan said...

Congrats on making it halfway through the calendar! I agree about working in series....I guess I think of it more as ideas than as content but whatever we call it, there's way too much to fit in one tapestry. In the design phase I end up with lots of possible cartoons, way too many to ever weave them all.

Mary said...

Thanks for this in-depth response Kaye, I suppose I was asking that. I was also admiring your long-term view, the fact that you do work in series. I am a beginner with tapestry and am inspired by the many variations one person can put into their work, whether it be one piece or several or a series.
What also inspires me is that you seem to have a series, such as this, going at the same time at the church work you are doing. I suppose I was wondering about the tension between work that is commissioned and work you do for your own reasons. Thank you.