10 pieces completed
Starting the 11th tapestry piece

Last year I wrote about creating small, intimate tapestries. My last tapestry at the Tapestry Weavers South Exhibit was 6″ x 61/2.”

My latest tapestries are 12″ x 12″ ( double the size!) Each tapestry is one part of a much larger tapestry that will be 4′ x 4′.

This is quite a shift in scale from my previous tapestries. So what happened?

It is a direct response to the events that are playing out in 2020. Personal health problems; a pandemic; political turmoil.

Yet I am working from the same impulse as my previous tapestries.

This impulse is one that is described in Jane Kidd’s talk from Tapestry 2008, “To Practice in the Middle: A Craft/Art dialogue”

I refer to her description of the ‘reparative gesture’ which she believe is particularly applicable to tapestry.

” The concept of the ‘reparative gesture’ derives from psychoanalyst Melanie Klein and has been used in contemporary art discourse art theorist Jean Randolph who writes:

” The reparative gesture is altruistic, generous and synthetic. It does not cast out what is impure or ruined. It reconstructs, reinterprets, and illuminates the potential of the impure subject, object, idea or form. The reparative impulse attempts an integration of grief for the lost ideal with the desire to make good for injury done. Reparative action is the endeavor to restore. Rather than hiding traces of damage, it integrates them with grief of the lost ideal and the remaining qualities of value.”

My tapestry is “in pieces” and I am working to bring the pieces together to make a complete whole. But the pieces do not “match” each other- there are no perfect seams or edges, and each piece has very different yarns and colors, stripes and textures. They are all slightly different sizes. My goal is to combine the pieces, accept the differences and present an image that is integrated, beautiful in itself as itself, and whole.

The tapestry image of the day lily will not match the perfect proportions or colors of the day lily that blooms so beautifully in nature. However, my tapestry day lily is not ephemeral.

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