We are delighted to present and celebrate the fourth European Tapestry show ARTAPESTRY4 – a contemporary showcase of tapestries from 12 European countries in ATA’s online exhibition program, TEx@ATA.
European Tapestry Forum (ETF) has come to inhabit a very important and influential position on the international tapestry scene. In 2001 a score of visionary tapestry weavers had a dream to promote and improve visibility of tapestry art in Europe, and reclaim its position as a challenging art form. ETF has gained valuable experience in the past nearly 15 years by working together with artists, curators and experts. We opened ARTAPESTRY4 at the Rovaniemi Art Museum in Finland on January 22 2015. It continued to the Textil Museum in Lüneburg Germany, Textile Kultur Haslach, in Austria and finally at the ArtCenter Silkeborg in Bad, Denmark.
Each ARTAPESTRY exhibition is based on a careful selection of artworks, chosen by an international committee of jurors which includes experts from various fields of art. This time the group consisted of: tapestry weaver Ingunn Skogholt from Norway; textile artist Anna Ray from the UK; artist and textile designer Gilber Bretterbauer from Austria; Richard Drury, chief curator at the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region from Czech Republic; and Françoise de Loisy, Conservateur en chef aux Musées d’Angers from France.
We received submissions from 89 artists from 19 countries. The Jury had to choose from more than 180 individual tapestries during their deliberations. The Jurors were impressed with the quality of submissions and their diversity. They were gathered at the Danish Art Workshop “Gammel Dok,” a converted old dock-storehouse in Copenhagen, in a passionate and valuable three-day discussion about contemporary tapestry. The result was 33 tapestries from 31 artists who came from 12 different European countries. Their works represent not only traditional hand-woven tapestries but also the new trend towards digital Jacquard tapestry, which is still worked by hand.
The ETF is run on a daily basis by the secretariat in Copenhagen and its 10 Steering committee members – voluntarily and with great enthusiasm. The Steering committee meets four times a year discussing not only issues like the budget, organizing the next ARTAPESTRY tour around Europe, the catalogue, new exhibition venues, how to reach out to Southern European countries, but also more sensitive and delicate discussions about issues like digital tapestries. What constitutes a digital tapestry, to which category does it belong and is it acceptable for ARTAPESTRY? Generally speaking, tapestry is a wall-hanging to which is added decorations, such as narrations, stories, political comments, colors, figures, texture or ornamentations, with which the artist wants to express something particular.
The ETF wants to thank the artists for their participation and ATA for inviting us to show ARTAPESTRY in the TEx@ATA gallery.