(l) “Down the Arroyo” (2018) 22″ x 30″
(r) “Prayers & Charms …lV” (2016) 33″ x 38″
Donna Foley’s Statement
After more than 30 years at the loom, I am still utterly fascinated with the interlacement of threads, colors and textures of handwoven textiles. The main focus of my work involves weaving tapestries from lustrous wool and silk yarns. I weave my tapestries as maps of my spiritual journey. The topography is both an external terrain of the mountains & wilderness where I live as well as an internal landscape of meditations & dreams. The natural dyes I use for my colors are the springboard for each of the pieces I weave. The collecting of local plants as well as the use of the traditional natural dyes of antiquity inspire me and ground me in an ancient art form. The wool from rare breeds of sheep and the added elements of beads, stones, feathers and sticks are important components to my work. Symbols from ancient runes, Celtic stonework, the I Ching and southwest petroglyphs often find their way into my work.
Donna Foley’s Biography
I learned weaving more than thirty year ago at a small college in upstate New York. For many years I raised Lincoln sheep and I still use their lustrous yarn, which I naturally dye with both local plants and traditional dyes which include indigo, madder root and cochineal. In 2013 I moved to New Mexico where I live on the edge of the Gila National Wilderness. The desert and mountains continually inspire and motivate me to weave contemporary Southwest-style tapestries.
I sell my tapestries at galleries in Silver City, NM and at art shows throughout the Southwest. I have been awarded prizes at the New Mexico Art & Craft Show, Las Cruces Fine Art show and I received first place in technique for my piece “Stories In the Stones” in the ‘Fiber Rocks!’ exhibit at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe in Santa Fe, NM. I recently authored a booklet on natural dyes titled “Local Color- Dyeplants of the Gila Region of New Mexico”.