Aubusson Tapestries

Breaking Through Tradition – Curator’s Essay

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Tapestries are listed by title, as the work is primarily the product of weavers from an artist’s design, hence the atelier, or weaver’s name, is first. All photography and accompanying text are provided by Cresside Collette unless otherwise credited. All Aubusson tapestries are part of the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie collection, Aubusson. These pieces are woven with cotton warp and wool weft unless specified otherwise. Sizes are not mentioned if unavailable.


Atelier Patrick Guillot – designer Nicolas Buffe

“Peau de Licorne,” Atelier Patrick Guillot, designer Nicolas Buffe, first prize, 2010.

In appropriating the unicorn image, this tapestry references historical subject matter in a totally contemporary form. Woven as the flayed skin of a beast, the idea of the trophy floor rug is also present. Buffe’s complex Manga-style illustration also holds contemporary symbols in its iconography. The unicorn is completed by hoofs, head and horn made of Limoges porcelain.

Atelier Bernard Battu – designer Olivier Nottelet

“La rivière au bord de l’eau,” Atelier Bernard Battu, designer Olivier Nottelet, third prize, 2010.

Nottelet’s fluid drawing in Chinese ink suggests graphic play between natural elemental forms of earth and water. Limited to three colours, this work is an essay in ambiguity, in which figuration can be found within abstraction.

Atelier A2 – designer Cécile de Talec

“Panoramique Polyphonique,” Atelier A2, weavers France-Odile Crinière and Martine Stamm, designer Cécile de Talec, 1st prize 2011.

Cécile de Talec has designed a light and sound environment in the form of a circular tent. This architectural design presented huge challenges for weavers due to its sheer size and double-sided requirement. Light reflective yarns were used so that viewers enter a shimmering blue universe within which sounds of nature can be heard upon entry.


Atelier Legoueix – designer Mathieu Mercier

“Sans Titre,” Atelier Legoueix, Weavers Daniel Bayle and Agnès-Marie Durieux for Atelier Legoueix, designer Mathieu Mercier, third prize 2011.

Mathieu Mercier’s art is characterised by placement of everyday industrial objects into the frame of fine art, liberating them from the ordinary and presenting them in a new light. Three studios submitted their individual tapestry interpretations of this rope coil, but this ingenious and complex pixel formula that utilises just seven colours was chosen. The result is brilliant; a triumph of the materiality of both represented object and woven form. The illusory space is an equal fascination, as viewers perceive the tapestry at varying optical depths. This work measures 3.20 x 3.20 m. and was finished in 2014.

Atelier Catherine Bernet – designers Vincent Bécheau and Marie Laure Bourgeois

“Tapis-Porte,” Atelier Catherine Bernet, designers Vincent Bécheau and Marie Laure Bourgeois, third prize 2012.

This three-dimensional tapestry doorway (8m. long x 2 m. wide, with door height of 2.80 m.) was woven in one continuous piece, with slits left in its formation to allow the door to be raised vertically from the horizontal floor path. Imagery is comprised of a complex calligraphic collage of all the world’s languages, symbolising the search for unity and peace amongst nations through constructive dialogue. This weaving feat took more than two years to complete.

Atelier de la Lune – weaver Nadia Petkovic, designers Goliath Dyèvre and Quentin Vaulot

“Nouvelles Verdures d’Aubusson,”Atelier de la Lune, Weaver Nadia Petkovic, designers Goliath Dyèvre and Quentin Vaulot, first prize 2013.

This exquisitely woven suite of five tapestries measuring 180 x 72 cm each, is a commentary upon genetic modification reflecting a mutating environment. Each plant selected corresponds to five greening protocols that enable more resistance to climate change. Genetic manipulation is highlighted by use of ceramic forms that overlay tapestries and imply disruption to the verdure’s intrinsic serenity, questioning our contemporary relationship to nature.

Nadia Petkovic (left above) in her studio talks about her next project – Infinite Flowers by designer Maroussia Rebecq, third prize in Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie’s Aubusson weaves Fashion, 2016.  Detail of Infinite Flowers (right below), 135 x 95 cm. Banana fibre, nylon, lurex, cotton, silk, linen, wool.Artist/Weaver Tapestries


Ateliers Patrick and Marie Guillot with C.C. Brindelaine  designer Patrick Haudressy

“If,” Ateliers Patrick and Marie Guillot with C.c. Brindelaine, designer Patrick Haudressy, first prize, 2014.

This multidisciplinary work incorporates a tapestry, resin sculpture and video projection in creating a theatre-sized piece. Referencing the history of nature in tapestry design, this combination of mediums plays out in kinetic force, with swiftly moving clouds and birds in interplay with woven branches. The tapestry’s structure absorbs the image and provides support for other design elements.

Artist/Weaver Tapestries

Christine Pradel-Lien

“I was inspired to weave Perles de Rosée when I observed, while on my morning walk, dew drops on the leaves of Euphorbia in the Jardin des Plantes, a public garden in Angers, France. The dew drops were like miniature magnifying glasses with which I could see the intricate vein structures of the leaves. The twinkling jewels of the Euphorbia remind me of one of my favorite books from childhood, Perlette, goutte d’eau by Marie Colmont. Perlette, a water droplet with a delicate pink face, goes on a voyage on land and encounters many adventures. Today, I am reading the book that was Mrs. Colmont’s inspiration, Histoire d’un Ruisseau, a poetic story about a stream by Elisee Reclus, the famous French poet and geographer.” Christine Pradel Lien.

“The School of Beaux Arts in Angers, France, my hometown, is where I learned to weave. One reason I chose weaving is that it has been a part of the artistic tradition in Angers since the 14th century. A particular influence was the Apocalypse de Saint Jean tapestry, on permanent exhibition in the castle of Angers.

I have been commissioned to create tapestries for public places as well as for private residences in France and the United States. I have shown my work in galleries in France and England, and in America, in New Mexico, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Nebraska.”




Marie-Thumette Brichard

“These tapestries are based upon sailing memories, landing by night.”
Marie Thumette-Brichard.

Martine Plait

Marie-José Chéret