Tapestry Topics Online
A Quarterly Review of Tapestry Art Today

page 7
Winter 2005, Vol 31 No 4

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Search for New Directions in Tapestry

by Ann Schumacher

– TT p.12

Call it a mid-career crisis or an artistic block, several years ago I sensed an inner resistance to the style and type of tapestry I had been weaving for the previous ten years.  I felt a break was needed so that I could find an empty space of time and energy to explore new directions with different materials. . . I completed a MA degree in Conflict Resolution at Wayne State University, began mediating in my community, and began campaigning for the establishment of a Department of Peace. 

above: Ann Schumacher, Reconciliaton, 16" x 14", 2005
below: detail of Reconciliation

The result of this two-year artistic turmoil is now a new surface texture created by weaving with paper and linen rather than with wool, embellishing the surface with a variety of embroidery threads and beads, embroidering human figures within the tapestry landscape, and focusing on narrative themes such as Reconciliation and Healing.  Tapestry making has always been a significant part of my spiritual growth but when it no longer brought joy, I knew that either it was time to set it aside after thirty years or to persevere on a different path.  I do not know whether this new path has a long duration, but I do know that, once again, I look forward to going to my studio while still working for the cause of peace in our divided world.

Exhibition Review:
Robin Reider's "One World"

by Lany Eila

– TT p.13

“One World”, a recent exhibit at Weaving Southwest in Taos, New Mexico, reflects a personal philosophy that Robin Reider expresses through her life as well as through her art. . . . Reider is a world traveler who prefers to live in, rather than just visit, a place because it requires one to “form oneself to the other culture.”

Robin Reider, One World Revisited

Reider learned to weave in 1978, in the Rio Grande style.  While she has evolved into a style of her own, her work has maintained Rio Grande practices such as the use of a thicker, single thread rather than multiple strands in each bobbin; doubled warp threads at each selvage; weaving from the bottom up; and a medium sett of about 8 epi and 11-12 ppi . . .

Robin Reider, Seascape

The “One World” exhibit continues two long-standing themes in Reider’s work: landscapes and bold abstractions. So consistent are these themes that she frequently alternates between the two, or has one of each on her two looms.

Robin Reider, Autumn Harvest

Reider’s abstractions are bold, asymmetric, geometric, and enlivened with painterly shading.  They have frequently included zigzags, reflecting a Rio Grande influence, and/or black outlines around more organic elements, reflecting an African influence.

Robin Reider, Out of the Box

When we saw the show, it had been rearranged from its original hanging to allow rotation of unsold tapestries into the window.  The rearrangement served to intensify the occasionally discordant differences in color and style in the various works.  It was hard to find a common thread.  Yet it is perhaps appropriate that a show reflecting on this one world would consist of many parts, each with a unique strength and beauty, which do not always hang comfortably with one another within the same sphere.

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