Thursday, January 30, 2014

Simplified shapes of colour as design feature in tapestry

Joan Griffin
Artist Statement: The landscape is the primary influence on my tapestries. I enjoy  taking a detail element of a  landscape and translating it into my own imagery. It may be near  the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where I live or other places I travel. Along the Blue Ridge Parkway was a wonderful collection of pink branches without their leaves in the fall and the contrast of the dark green evergreens behind. I simplified the shapes and work with the colors for my own interpretation.
Village Path was a path I saw in a small village in France with an old gate at the end but I felt as though a sunset at the end of the path was what I wanted.  Forest Edge is a  landscape that I did as a  painting before weaving. I wanted to convey that feeling of when you walk out of the darker forest and into the light and all the colors that meet your eyes especially with the sun shining.
The relationship between color and form is the most important consideration, with combinations of fine wool, silk and metallic yarns because of the different way that they react to light. As each  tapestry develops I have a conversation  with the  shapes and memories  from the landscape and find it a never ending source of inspiration.
Joan Griffin’s BiographyI began my art career as a watercolor painter and art teacher  but became a weaver about 40 years ago concentrating on tapestry for the last 30+ years.  I have been working on pieces from 2 inches sq. for my mixed media pieces to large 8 ft wide pieces. The scale is always a challenge and I like to switch back and forth. My work  has been shown both regionally and throughout the country as well as completing commissions for hospitals, churches, residences and libraries.  I have also participated in the Art In Embassy program sponsored by the US State Dept.  Several times a year, I teach small groups of tapestry students  in my Charlottesville, VA studio. (taken from the ATA website)

Rebecca Mezoff let us know about this: 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is having a show of 20 rarely seen royal tapestries from the early 1500s in October, 2014. In preparation for that, they have launched"Tapestry Tuesdays" on their social media sites. The show which is scheduled to open October 7th, is titled Pieter Coecke van Aelst: Tapestry and Design in Renaissance Europe. Between now and then the MET is going to have tapestry tuesdays which highlight tapestry from their collection.

This week's offering can be seen at THIS link.

Screen shot from the MET's website. See further photos HERE.

Dame Elisabeth Murdock
I came across this tapestry quite by accident. I was looking for a tapestry artist Elizabeth Murdock who lives in BC Canada and submitted a shape for the international tapestry project, Fate, Destiny and Self Determination. I came across this instead:
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch
The tapestry of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop marked not only the first portrait tapestry for the National Portrait Gallery's collection but was a unique collaborative process and fitting tribute to a remarkable Australian.
Dame Elisabeth is a Founding Member of the Board of Management of the Victorian Tapestry Workshop and has served on committees and boards of many public institutions including the Royal Children's Hospital, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and the National Gallery of Victoria. She is also the widow of Sir Keith Murdoch and mother of the publisher, Rupert Murdoch.
The tapestry was the first portrait commission for the Victorian Tapestry Workshop. The image is appropriately set in Cruden Farm, Langwarrin where Dame Elisabeth has lovingly tendered the garden for over 65 years. The image was composed by painter Christopher Pyett, adapted on computer by printmaker, Normana Wight and brought alive on the loom by Merrill Dumbrell. Funds were provided by Marilyn Darling for the commission to entry the Portrait Gallery's collection.
Simon Elliott

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