Ellen Athens
Windows of Time, 1993
42 in x 37 in

Ellen Athens
Night Fall, 1990
27 in x 32 in

Ellen Athens’ Artist Statement

I grew up in a city, but have spent my adult life living in the country. I find nature to be the prime inspiration for my tapestries. I am also drawn to strong geometric forms. Many of my designs combine imagery from nature with bold shapes and patterns. I find the contrast of intricate details and strong lines to be intriguing and allow me to focus on various aspects of my subject. A Moment’s Rest honors the hummingbirds that occasionally find their way into my studio through an open door. In the tapestry, they fly so quickly that the landscape below changes while their wings don’t appear to move. Living near the coast, I see stunning sunsets over the ocean. Combining wedge weave borders with traditional tapestry weave gives Nightfall dynamic contours for the phases of the setting sun. Windows of Time is a composite of impressions from a visit to New Mexico. The stone ruins and touches of wedge weave are glimpses of those who came before.

Ellen Athens
A Moment’s Rest, 2021
24.75 in x 24.25 in

Ellen Athens’ Biography

In 1979 I moved to Mendocino, California, to attend the Mendocino Art Center’s Textile Apprenticeship Program. While there, Jean Pierre Larochette and Ernestine Bianchi from the San Francisco Tapestry Workshop came and taught a month-long tapestry intensive. After completing the 3 year program I continued to weave tapestries for about 15 years. Then, I followed another interest for about 20 years, creating mixed-media jewelry. In 2020 I began to weave again. It feels like I’ve returned home.