Journeys in Art and Tapestry

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by Linda Wallace

Long before I became an artist, a feminist, or a health care practitioner, I developed a passionate interest in textiles. Their colour, pattern and texture delighted my senses. This enjoyment was deepened as I learned about their pan-global, historical significance. Like painting and sculpture, fibre and cloth embody particular historical and cultural references. They participate as active components in our social interactions. Yet the hierarchies of the “fine art” world have systematically undervalued textiles’ significance.

The medium of woven tapestry marries the world of traditional, image-based fine art with the tactile world of cloth to create a complex and multi-layered voice difficult to achieve in other media. Additionally, the technical realities of the loom and weaving, the binary combinations of warp and weft, over and under, have served as a model for the language of computers, the “1s” and “0s”. Hand-woven equals digital. By creating my imagery within the structural grid of a woven tapestry, I strive to blend the cultural potency of cloth with its power to represent visually the complex issues of contemporary critical theory. Within this context, I strive to communicate my own, feminist response to patriarchy.

1. Small scale design drawing ready to be enlarged to create the cartoon. “For the Tears of Queen Anne” 1996

3. Detail, “For the Tears of Queen Anne” 1996

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