2013 Awardee-Sabrina Niebler

Sabrina Niebler
Medieval Redux: Hoof, 2012
12 in x 12 in
Wool and assorted yarns

Artist Statement

My choice to go into art has been an incredible experience and has been the root of much growth. During my past four years in college, I have experimented with many mediums and been faced with new challenges that have created huge developments in my practice. I came to fall in love with the process and aesthetics of tapestry in my fourth year at the college. I am particularly intrigued with the potential for tapestry to relay narrative through the choice of color, material, and concept, which then becomes embedded in the fabric. Tapestry as a process is quite meditative and I enjoy the repetitive motions that become second nature to the hand.

These tapestries explore storytelling and also celebrate hand-making. Working with traditional and nontraditional techniques and materials, these works explore the medium of tapestry and also its possibilities. Medieval Redux: Hoof,” looks back at a portion of a 1480-90 tapestry, Two Scenes from the Poem Der Busant (The Buzzard). In this tapestry, I seek to execute a recreation of this tapestry, mimicking techniques, and reconstructing forms. 

Nobuko” is a piece that celebrates and honors the life of my grandmother. Faces hold many stories, written in the lines of the face, even though we may not know their details. With this work, I have printed the rich history of my grandmother onto rice paper, spun it into yarn, and then wove it into the background of the tapestry. Her story becomes embedded into the fabric of the tapestry, honoring her memory.

The sculptural tapestry “Rooted in the Hand” engages in ideas of the handmade and the hand as a keeper of knowledge. This work too uses rice paper. Text has been silkscreened onto rice paper and spun into yarn which creates the flesh of the tapestry. Once woven into specific shapes, the warp threads were pulled and the pieces sewn together to bring the different parts into one form. It makes a life-size hand form with textual knowledge embedded into its fabric.

Sabrina Niebler
Nobuko, 2012
15.5 in x 13.5 in
Wool and rice paper (printed with text
and hand-spun into yarn)


Sabrina Niebler is currently completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary.

Sabrina Niebler
Rooted in the Hand, 2013
6 in x 3.5 in x 2.5 in
Rice paper (silk screened with text and hand-spun into yarn)
and cotton warp, pulled warp, and pieced