2014 Christine Thomson

2014 International Student Award Winner

The American Tapestry Alliance is pleased to announce that the 2014 International Student Award has been presented to Christine Thomson, who is currently completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) in Calgary, Alberta. Christine came to the ACAD after a twenty-five year career in costume design for theatre and film. Having worked with textiles and their three dimensional form in a design context, she wanted to further explore the medium of fibre within a conceptual and artistic framework.

Christine enrolled in her first tapestry course in the fall of 2012, and was seduced by the art form of the medium. She is now in her graduating term in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program. She states:

“My schooling here has been rigorous and intense, and has informed my practice. I view my immediate surroundings and the larger global picture through the eyes of the medium; how one could interpret and comment on the state of food production, a pattern in nature, or a remnant of war: all abstractions or stark narratives to be employed and interpreted.

In my art practice, I explore and embed social meaning, investigating topics of social and political interest through the medium of tapestry. It is my intent to illustrate a discourse on current and historical social conditions, and realize the relationship between a vision, a haptic process, and an expression of empathy.

My tapestry series, entitled “In Memoria,” embodies imagery of detritus that remains after traumatic events. The shoe is a symbol of the individual who wore it, and is a human referent to anthropogenic acts; a consequence of religious bombings, genocide, or nuclear catastrophes.”

Christine Thompson

Christine Thompson

“In Memoria: Pripyat” (Detail). Christine Thomson. 2013. Wool, cotton tapestry. 14” x 18” (framed). Photo: Elisa Sereno-Janz

The “MRI:BSE:vCJD” tapestry triptych was inspired by the mad cow crisis (or bovine spongiform encephalopathy), which destroyed the herds and livelihoods of many ranchers and the health of consumers internationally. The three tapestries are a combination of images: the MRI from an unhealthy brain scan, the image of the burning carcasses which was the tragic sight for many in the agrarian community, and the strange beauty of a dysfunctional PET scan from the variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease.

Christine Thompson

Christine Thompson

“MRI” (Detail). Christine Thomson. 2013. Wool, cotton, equine and bovine hair, tapestry Photo credit: Elisa Sereno-Janz