Louise Halsey’s Statement
My first tapestry house was of the rented downtown Charleston home of my childhood with its distinctive architecture. This work and several that followed included references as well to paintings by Paul Klee, weavings from the Bauhaus and collages by Romare Bearden.
An evolution occurred as my depictions of houses began to display my concerns about the effects of both man-made and natural disasters (though at times the line between the two is not easy to distinguish). These three tapestries show my worry about McMansions, hydraulic fracturing and severe weather events. These works and others in the series show cracked facades as a reference to damage from earthquakes as well as to inner turmoil. My own home in the Ozarks, a place my husband and I built one board at a time, provides us with a stable place where we live and work. Even here the consequences of altering the earth’s processes are seen and felt. Although using yarn and traditional tapestry techniques my intention is to have my houses spark a conversation about environmental threats and the need for sustainable practices.
Louise Halsey’s Biography
My childhood gave me a rich inheritance that includes vivid images of a home filled with art, as my parents were both full-time visual artists. I was aware of the architecture of the past as I rode my bike through the streets of downtown Charleston SC. I have traveled widely and find those experiences enliven my understanding of others as well as provide me with new visual vocabulary.
I weave standing up at my Cranbrook floor loom having learned tapestry initially from Edwina Bringle. In 1971 I received my BA in Philosophy from Sarah Lawrence College. After graduating I studied weaving at Arrowmont School of Crafts, Penland School and the University of Georgia working with Glen Kaufman. I studied with Walter Nottingham at the University of Wisconsin in River Falls. In 2007 I completed my MFA-Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. Four of my house tapestries were shown in the exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in High Fiber: Women to Watch 2012.