Tapestry Topics Feature Article
A Quarterly Review of Tapestry Art Today
page 10
Spring 2004, Vol 30 No 1

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Contemporary art and art education, in response to contemporary paradigms, is often driven by innovation and the search for the new. In many ways this has served the field of textiles very well, opening up new possibilities, material extensions and clearer links between fine art and fine craft. The danger lies in going too far, of transgressing to the point of losing sight of who we are and what we value. Conceptual ideas can become hollow and self-conscious without reference to history, tradition and personal and social realities.

Exhibitions like ATB 4 are positioned very well to provide a balance to the detached and over-intellectualized stance of much of contemporary art. These tapestries represent an authenticity of practice that emulates the engagement of head, hand and material.12 There are works in ATB 4 that make me catch my breath, they are beautiful, provocative and deeply satisfying but I think we are being naive if we think it is enough to just display works of this caliber.

If we want to insure that tapestry survives and contributes to the broader art dialogue from a position of strength not subordination, and if we want students to respect and engage in tapestry making, then we must work to provide substantive writing and a clear and articulate voice that will uphold the characteristics and unique identity of tapestry, and that will recognize the intent of tapestry artists to reflect, confound and critique the changing contemporary world.

12 Twylene Moyer, "The Importance of Being Fiber," Surface Design Journal, Summer 2002, p8.
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