Susan E. Middleton’s Artist Statement
I recently had the privilege and opportunity to live for several months in a tiny village in France. As a Canadian with roots in Great Britain and France, it was very meaningful to experience the rhythms of nature and walk among ancient ruins and along paths my ancestors may have walked. I explored my impressions in these tapestries. The three tapestries shown here, explore my thoughts about the passing of this time away. In “Passages of Time”, it is an internal journey of time travel. The colours of the ancient stones and the pages from books that are a source of understanding times in history, are reflected by shapes. “The Journey of a Rose” is another kind of time travel. That of women rising and then fading in our memories. Their untold stories of joy and pain.” Reflections “ tries to capture the movement of light in a garden and the passing of time.
The slow pace of tapestry weaving goes very well with my personal approach to artistic expression, evolving slowly over time. I work in both wet and dry mediums: painting, drawing, printmaking and photography. I use my paintings and structured improvisations as a source for my tapestry designs. Since 2011, the language and structure of tapestry have become important aspects of my work. I continue to appreciate the processes of designing and weaving tapestries. I hand dye my own colours using natural dye sources.
Susan E. Middleton’s Biography
After completing studies in weaving and design at the Ontario College of Art and Design in the 1980’s and bachelor degrees in Literature and Education, Susan has taught art and design since 1987 in Toronto. In 2011 she completed studies in advanced tapestry weaving in Oudenaarde, Belgium at the VASSA Atellier, with Maria Almanza.
Susan’s work was selected to tour Ontario in a 30th Anniversary juried exhibition recognizing Visual Arts Ontario. She works from her studio in downtown Toronto and exhibits in Toronto and Montreal. She is invited to teach tapestry techniques and give talks about design and the creative process as a guest speaker at historic centres, weaving guilds and universities in France, Canada and the United States.