Wednesday, August 24, 2016

More fiber innovations at Convergence

There was so much good fiber work on display at Convergence it was hard to fit it all into one post. Last week we looked at the exhibit of work by teachers at Convergence; this week we'll see work from ATA's unjuried small format show .  I'll look at  HGA's Small Expressions exhibit in the next post.  I was struck that in both shows, the small format, rather than limiting artists' creativity, seems to liberate them to experiment and innovate.

ATA's Tapestry Unlimited show was held at Milwaukee's gorgeous downtown public library.  What a grand setting!

Ruth Manning did a fabulous job of gathering the tapestries, mailed in from all over the world, mounting them with thought and care on black panels, and then installing them on the library's second floor.  You can read about her labor of love HERE.

This shot gives a sense of the variety of responses to the challenge to weave a tapestry under 10" in any direction.  Clockwise from upper left:  Maggie Clark, Golden Feather; Heather Myers, Turnip Crop; Karen Fowler Little, Cloud Big City; Suzette Taylor, Alexander 2014; Beverly Weaver, Kansas Series #2--Tallgrass; Alyssa Meredith, Metaweave #1:  Trellis; Linda Whiting, Poppy.

Many of us revel in the opportunity to explore color in weaving--but a number of weavers showed how powerful black, white and gray can be.  This weaver broke free of the standard rectangular format as well.

Nancy C. Crampton, Playing with Pattern
The group GobelArtki undertook a specific challenge to explore texture, shape, and line by avoiding color in their tapestries.  Again, four very different approaches show the versatility of the simple over-and-under of tapestry weaving, as well as the graphic power of black, white and gray.

Clockwise from left:  Ewa Elsner, Lady; Ewa Kaminska, Japanese Dance,
Ilona Wroblewski, Dance, and Dorota Wronska, Cat.
These pieces caught my eye for their sheer mastery of design and technique.   Graceful curves can be difficult to achieve in the standard grid of tapestry.

Top:  Patti Kirch, Tapestry Letter, Two Zines please;
Bottom:  Alex Friedman, Curlique
Landscape and nature motifs can be difficult to render with subtlety in tapestry  (at least for me so far) but these artists did so beautifully:

Joan Griffin, Keukenhof

Minna Rothman, Cape Cod Sandbars

D. Colette Wright, Autumn Beauty
Faces, especially selfies, were a popular subject.  This is part of a collection done by the Damascus Fiber Arts School to honor their mentor Audrey Moore on her 90th birthday.  

I love the way this face was abstracted and colored.  

Liz Pulos, Self
I love how Mariana Ortega left warp--and loom--visible in her piece.  It reinforces the sense of a person at wit's end, possibly unraveling.

Mariana Ortega, No Desesperes

Me with my tapestry Mother/Mary (red border).  That's Robbie LaFleur's Edwin, Home from the Great War at bottom.
Finally, I have to include the face that I brought home with me, Ruth Manning's Feather Hat.  I love this little piece!  I was disappointed that I couldn't take Ruth's Convergence workshop in weaving faces, but now I get to smile at this gal every morning.  I love how Ruth mounted her on a small painted canvas, and how she let the linen warps become an important part of the piece.  This lady reminds me not to take my hair too seriously.  

Ruth Manning, Feather Hat