Ellen Athens’ Artist Statement

Portals 1 and Portals 2 are tapestries inspired by a trip to Morocco. Medinas are the old, historical core of a city; residential areas, often walled for fortification, and can date from the Middle Ages. Souks are colorful marketplaces or bazaars. Both have mazes of tiny alleyways that were in use in past centuries, and continue to be used today. Walking the narrow streets, one passes myriad entrances to passageways that wind out of sight, dark and mysterious. Peeking into the gloom, one wonders what might be around the bend.

“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.

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.

Ellen Athens
Portals I, 2023
23 in x 16.5 in

Ellen Athens
Portals 2, 2024
35.75 in x 28.5 in