Elizabeth Radcliffe’s Statement
Inspired especially by the patterns of nature and the textures and fall of clothing about the human body, I have developed the classical techniques of hand weaving in some new and original ways. These allow me, for example, to weave life-size two-dimensional portraits and groups with complex outlines, and to create ‘trompe l’oeil’ three-dimensional effects in two dimensions.
I have recently become fascinated by the eyes of animals, viewed in close-up as if through a letterbox. Some are wild animals such as tigers, leopards and wolves taken from photographs, while others are the cats of friends. Another series of tapestries consists of small-sized woven sculptures in the form of knots, which create interesting shadows.
Elizabeth Radcliffe’s Biography
My first experience of tapestry weaving was in an evening class soon after I left school, and a lifelong love was born. A little later I took a job (as a screen printer) at the Dovecot Studio in Edinburgh, Scotland and was able to observe professional weavers at their work. I then studied for three years at Edinburgh College of Art and chose weaving as my final-year specialty. In 1980 I was invited by the Victoria Tapestry Workshop in Melbourne, Australia to assist them in completing a large-scale tapestry for the High Court in Canberra.
For the next twenty years while bringing up my children I worked as an art teacher at James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh, which allowed very limited time for weaving. But since retiring from teaching I have been able to devote myself to weaving full-time and have taken part in seven exhibitions in the last few years.