Tapestry Topics Feature Article
A Quarterly Review of Tapestry Art Today

page 13
Summer 2004, Vol 30 No 2


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      I can list here some examples that may further help express this point of view: I do admire, in a detached way, the refined elegant presence of The Lady and the Unicorn in the Cluny Museum, but I continually delight in examining the direct, raw exuberance of the Egyptian Children’s tapestries from Harrania. I respect the incredible skill and virtuosity of a Faberge egg, but I am simply overwhelmed by the endless and seemingly simple qualities inherent in the form of the potter’s humble vessel. I am in awe of weavers who can employ simple bands of color to such power and presence by just deciding the next color as the previous band is completed.

      It intrigues me that photographic reproduction techniques can have so much in common with tapestry techniques – and such potential for exploration in tapestry, when these mediums were established some 3000 years apart. I indulge endlessly in the reality that my five minute charcoal sketch can provide me with hours, days, even weeks of further exploration at the loom – with full knowledge that this drawing series is only one of seemingly endless choices.

above: Archie Brennan, Drawing Series LIII, 26" x 18"
below: Archie Brennan, Head x Four - Gold, 37" x 24"
      The work illustrated shows one direction that I adapt to “find” my tapestry design and in this series it is the process of weaving that becomes the real design development. But I am just as ready to take an existing press picture, an image from a coptic strip or, as currently, a detail from a medieval tapestry and dismantle, reconsider and reconstruct it.
Archie Brennan, Red Nude/Blue Grid, 40" x 29", 1999
right: Archie Brennan, Marc 11, 17" x 12"
below left: Archie Brennan, 2nd drawing, Drawing Series XXIII
below center: Archie Brennan, 4th drawing,
Drawing Series XXIII
below right: original drawing, Marc, 26" x 18", 2002
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