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©2005 American Tapestry Alliance

          A Quarterly Review of Tapestry Art Today

Summer 2005 Vol 31 No 2

Page > 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Note: This latest version of Tapestry Topics Online has been revised to present color images with selected excerpts from Tapestry Topics, newsletter of the American Tapestry Alliance, Guest Editor for this edition, Micala Sidore. For the full article refer to the printed Summer 2005 issue.
Index of Content

Aesthetic Influences

Guest Editor, Micala Sidore

– TT p.2-3
Many of you responded to my challenge to write something about the tapestries that have inspired you. The essays in this issue range from the highly personal to the highly theoretical; you speak in your very individual and personal voices. The group whose essays you will read range from tapestry weavers traditional (Jean Pierre Larochette), to the unconventional (Silvia Heyden, Judy Fawkes), at work in studios (Caron Penney), teaching at university (Susan Iverson), non-Americans (Mieko Konako, Barbara Heller, Ibolya Hegyi, Peter Horn – and others), and so on. The group represents several countries as well as various ages. – TT p.2

Silvia Heyden

San Nazarro, Switzerland and Durham, NC

– TT p.4

When I saw “L'Offrande du Coeur,” a 15th century tapestry in Paris at the Cluny Museum, I discovered the relation of tapestry to music. I had always admired the Gothic tapestries where design and weaving were still beautifully balanced. Ancient tapestry elements, such as the triangle or semicircle, were used as patterns of the background or combined in figures and scenes. From my violin playing, I was aware of the importance of the motif, a term . . . which means movement. . . the woven motifs sing and swing around the melody of the two figures in love. The lady almost disappears in the undulating drapery of her robe. Her hat and her curly hair contain smaller weaving elements like shorter notes, to reflect her anxious state of mind. The gentleman approaches her with a more explicit gesture, a heart in hand. – TT p.4

above, L'Offrande du Coeur
can be seen in the following books:
Joseph Jobé, Great Tapestries - The Web of History from the 12th to the 20th Century. (Lausanne, Switzerland: Edita S.A.), 1965, p.54
Michel Thomas, Christine Mainguy and Sophie Pommier, Textile Art. (New York: Rizzoli), 1985, p.127

With that tapestry in my mind and in my ear, I try to express in my own work what it and modern tapestry have in common: motifs disappearing and reappearing; motifs intensifying toward a crescendo; sequences of consonant and dissonant harmonies, creating tension and release; and last, but not least, rhythm as the life-giving ingredient. – TT p.4

Caron Penny

Chichester, England

– TT p.5

Three years ago the [West Dean Tapestry] Studio started a project to recreate the “Hunt of the Unicorn” series. This commission came about after the Studio made a proposal for the work along side five other major studios. The prospect of recreating a set of tapestries rather than from the work of a painter was a unique challenge. – TT p.5

below, West Dean Studio, The Hunt of the Unicorn (detail), ca. 2005
based on the original "The Hunt of the Unicorn" series exhibited at the Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, also in
Margaret Freeman, The Unicorn Tapestries, (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art), 1976.
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