Thursday, April 24, 2014

Poetry in Motion tapestry commemorating Seamus Heaney

 Houses tapestry woven by Carla Duncan. 
"Seamus Justin Heaney was an Irish poet, playwright, translator and lecturer, and the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. In the early 1960s he became a lecturer in Belfast after attending university there, and began to publish poetry. He lived in Sandymount, Dublin from 1972 until his death.
Heaney was a professor at Harvard from 1981 to 1997 and its Poet in Residence from 1988 to 2006. From 1989 to 1994 he was also the Professor of Poetry at Oxford and in 1996 was made a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres. Other awards that Heaney received include the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (1968), the E. M. Forster Award (1975), the PEN Translation Prize (1985), the Golden Wreath of Poetry (2001), T. S. Eliot Prize (2006) and two Whitbread Prizes (1996 and 1999). In 2012, he was awarded the Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry. Heaney's literary papers are held by the National Library of Ireland.

Agota Dolinay made up this sampler  based on Maximo Laura's techniques.

Robert Lowell called him "the most important Irish poet since Yeats" and many others, including the academic John Sutherland, have echoed the sentiment that he was "the greatest poet of our age". Robert Pinsky has stated that "with his wonderful gift of eye and ear Heaney has the gift of the story-teller". Upon his death in 2013, The Independent described him as "probably the best-known poet in the world". 

Poetry in Motion tapestry commemorating the memory of the world reknown Irish poet, Seamus Heaney. 

The tapestry measures 4.65m high by 4m wide and was crafted by weavers from Atelier Pinton in the French town of Felletin, near Aubusson, over the course of three months. It cost €60,000, donated in six equal amounts by Paul Simon (one of the great poets of modern America, some of us would argue); Bono, Edge, Paul McGuinness and Kathy Gilfillan, Marie and Joe Donnelly, and American couple Kathy and Ed Ludwig, summertime Martha’s Vineyard neighbours of Bill Shipsey, the idea’s begetter and co-ordinator.
Peter Sís, the Czech-born, world-renowned illustrator, author and film-maker, who conceived the image after innumerable exchanges with Heaney’s family and friends, says he tried to convey something “about the power of books and words, about the writer floating and fighting to keep some control of where he is going . . . He’s not really in charge of the vessel . . . He’s flying on an open book, on his words, through these vast, changing skies and there is that little island, a place that loves him and waits for him and embraces him.” Below the link from which I extracted the above information if you want to read more than what is here eg. location of the airport!

Other Links, Resources, Exhibitions
Some of my tapestry students were inspired by Maryanne Moodie's tapestry work. She works out of New York and is originally from Melbourne. They tell me her work is quite trendy in the US. 

Barbara Heller is having an exhibition entitled Falling from Grace  in British Columbia. Go to for the most current exhibition that will feature her extraordinary tapestries. 

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