Sunday, September 5, 2010


The Creative Fibre Experience 2010 exhibition runs in conjunction with The Craft & Quilt Fair at the Claudlands Event Centre in Hamilton from the 9th-12th September.

This is a highly competitive, selected show of quality weavings and other fibre art works from members of The N.Z. Spinners, Weavers & Woolcraft Society.

To Glass or Not To Glass- That is the question.

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker - The Crown Wants a Piece Of it All
Tapestry weaving is arguably the most obvious technique that readily lends itself to being shown as fine art. I recently discussed exhibiting practices and the presentation of  tapestry weavings with another tapestry weaver. We queried whether our work should always be shown in a way that allowed the tactile element of the work to over-ride all other considerations. Does unprotected framing remain the best way to present contemporary, smaller, non-functional works?

Should the most important element of the work even be the weaving?

From a traditional and purists point of view, tapestry weavings should not be shown behind glass. In many circles and obviously at the judged national exhibition level,  there is a continued expectation that tapestry weavings should be presented in a manner that best connects veiwers to the the fibre/craft element of the work. 

I have always struggled with this as a hard and fast rule especially if conveying the message of the piece is more important to me than the fact that I happened to chose tapestry weaving as the medium to convey that message.

As a hand-woven tapestry work that is made special by "Please  Do Not Touch" signs, does the weaver take the initiative to present the work from behind glass, in a manner that  acheives the same result.
Is it a matter of educating veiwers/judges to accept the work as it is intended to be viewed as a whole by its creator or should the creators still be striving to educate viewers of their fibre art through the traditional and accepted manner of presenting the work open to the elements and inquisitive fingers?

At the end of our discussion we rightly or wrongly concluded that the craft artist would probably argue in favour of the status quo, i.e that to present a tapestry weaving behind glass deminishes the work. Whereas  the artist/weaver would probably be more inclined to want the piece protected and presented to the viewer framed behind glass if that was how the piece worked best in relation to their intended artistic statement or concept.

Tapestry Weavings By Stephenie Collin


I hope you find Warped Art & Design both interesting and inspiring, and that it will encourage anyone working with fibre to investigate and experiment further within their chosen field.

The basic loom, which is my tool of trade, has remained technologically unchanged. This aspect appeals to me as I weave contemporary images on a machine of such simple and ancient construction.

And if the loom be silenced,
then needles, threads and fingers
have plenty more to say.

About Me

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Waiuku, Auckland, New Zealand
I am an artist, weaver, gardener, mother and grandmother, home food gatherer, political sceptic, modest future eater, and much much more.