Creativity in Tapestry Weaving

April 30, 2019

Creativity in Tapestry Weaving-Leafy Souls Vegan Blog Post

Talented artists taking art to a whole new level with their creativity and go beyondthe common applications of tapestry yarn. Galaxy printed tapestries and commissioned work on bringing a modern touch to traditional weaving are taking the world by storm bringing tapestries back in. We will go through major works including  Yale’s Climate Connection’s innovative work on yarn and temperatures. Read on!


Walsall Silver Thread Tapestries

They are a set of eleven artworks, in the form of tapestries, designed by the artist Hunt Emerson in conjunction with the various communities of Walsall, England and hand stitched by local people there during 2016. They depict the people, places, history and wildlife of the towns and districts that, since 1974, have formed the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall.

The works were commissioned with grant funding of £73,740 from Arts Council England, to commemorate the 25th (or silver) anniversary of Walsall Council's Creative Development Team.The team was disbanded before the project was completed

The tapestries are in three sizes; a large one for Walsall itself, six of medium size and four smaller pieces. In total they cover over 12 square metres (130 sq ft)] Work was carried out under the auspices of Creative Factory, a community interest company.

In January 2017, they were exhibited at The New Art Gallery Walsall, and afterwards at several venues around the borough, including St Matthew's Church, libraries, and Walsall Leather Museum.

The work is dedicated to Maxwell Bailey, manager of Creative Development Team, who secured the Arts Council grant, but died before work was completed

Tapestry Studio UK

Since 1976 the Tapestry Studio has worked with contemporary artists and designers to translate their images into woven tapestry. Since weaving 23 tapestries for The Henry Moore Foundation, 1976 - 1987, the Studio has worked with artists John Piper, Howard Hodgkin, Eileen Agar, Matty Grunberg, Philip Sutton, Bill Jacklin and Adrian Berg.

More recently the studio created five tapestries with Tracey Emin and worked with Martin Creed on, Work No.1683 for What's the point of it? at the Hayward Gallery. As well as artists, the Tapestry Studio has produced work for clients including the Houses of Parliament, The Mercers Company, The White Cube Gallery and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

It has extensive experience of heritage tapestry projects, including The Hunt of the Unicorn, a series of seven tapestries based on 15th century originals commissioned by Historic Scotland. It was the biggest weaving project undertaken in the UK for 100 years, involved 18 international weavers and took 13 years to complete in 2015.

Artist in residence, leading sculptor Eva Rothschild, collaborated with our tutor and master weaver Phil Sanderson at the West Dean Tapestry Studio. This follows our Open Call in 2016, possibly the first UK Tapestry Open Call. This collaboration will see a unique, hand woven tapestry produced at the West Dean Tapestry Studio.

The new tapestryThe Fallowfield from Eva Rothschild was on show at Collect 2018. Eva is primarily known as a sculptor, although she has always engaged with ways of making associated with textiles, most specifically weaving and rug making, and has a longstanding interest in the ways that artists have engaged with textile making.

This commission, coordinated by Master Weaver, Philip Sanderson, has given Rothschild the opportunity to learn the principles of tapestry weaving with expert tutelage in the professional studio. Learning these principles has informed the final design which has been woven by Master Weavers.

The Tempestry Collection

The tempestry collection represent temperature ranges from 1950-2016, produced by Emily McNeil, Marissa Connelly, and other local knitters. Two tempestries on the closer wall are for Pullman, Washington, representing 1946 and 2016 (both by Emily McNeil).

Temperature graphs are showing up on people’s living room walls, as knitters across the country transform climate data into textile art.

In a so-called “tempestry,” each color represents a temperature, and each line, the daily high in a specific location. Put together three-hundred-and sixty-five of these lines, and you get a thin, striped tapestry that shows a full year’s changing seasons.

Tempestry yarn colors represent hot-to-cold temperatures. Emily McNeil is co-founder of the Tempestry Project. She says knitters often create tempestries for personally meaningful locations and years, such as birth years.

But the goal of the project is not to look at each piece individually. It’s to see tempestries from the same place – but different years – side by side. If you see a lot of them together, it’s a very visually striking representation of changing temperature over time. Some of the reactions were surprisingly intense including one woman look at this exhibit and get a little teary eyed.

Whether shown in a gallery or hung at home, finished tempestries invite conversations about climate change.


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