Recently I have been employing garments and fragments of cloth as designs for tapestry. I was trained in classical French tapestry techniques and the systematic and stylized methods used to represent folds in fabric has always fit my way of seeing the world. However, re-presenting cloth in cloth also involves a meta level of cognition that satisfies my intellectual and emotional interest in issues of representation, gender, family and personal identity.
I have used my own drawings of both historical garments and of utilitarian cloth as models for the tapestries. In both cases the cloth has the ability to suggest, or embody its former owner and uses. Cloth surrounds us and is usually taken for granted - yet its presence in our lives and rituals suggests a significance that transcends a particular historical situation. It is rich with symbolic potential, with both presence and absence. It is beautiful and melancholy.
Mary Lane's Biography
Mary Lane is an artist and art historian. She began weaving tapestry in 1976 and in 1982 became a founding member of the Scheuer Tapestry Studio in New York City. Her tapestries have been published and exhibited internationally and have been collected by both private and corporate art collections, including the IBM Corporation, the State of Maine and Northland Investment Corporation. Her teaching experience includes Parsons School of Design, the University of Maine and The Evergreen State College. Lane's writing on contemporary textiles has been published widely. Speaking of her work she says, "My work in tapestry is both large and small scale. I enjoy the monumental work for its historical reference and its embracing warmth. Miniature work attracts me with its intimacy and relative freedom. Both kinds of work offer an expressive medium to develop my ideas."