First Hand Experience

There’s nothing quite like it. Tapestry Course students in room 94, September 2007                         Tapestry Course students in room 94, September 2007 When Room 94 closed a while ago, many of us who visited it regularly for our ‘fix’ of the fabulous tapestries that hung there, feared it may be lost forever as a textile gallery. No mention of it in the V&A’s Future Plan (in fact Textiles as a dedicated subject does not appear to feature at all! ‐ read what is written about plans for ceramics and jewellery to start to feel a little uneasy about textiles). Room 94 is now newly painted and thankfully, open again so the re-hung tapestries are accessible to be studied and enjoyed once more. For the Tapestry Course held at the beginning of this month, we were very fortunate to be allowed a short private view of room 94 before everything was completely finished for public access (packaging ephemera of installation visible in pic). As the high doors swung open into the darkened interior, the particular and evocative ‘old’ smell of these ancient works enveloped and I for one could feel the creative juices bubbling up. Studying detail of The Deer Hunt Tapestry             Studying detail of The Deer Hunt Tapestry (T.205-1957), height 13ft 4ins.; width 28ft 5ins. Room 94 As students and artists we seek knowledge and understanding in many forms and contexts: libraries, books, specialist magazines, through our own life’s experiences and practice. In all this, nothing is quite as potent as being inspired by the actual stuff, whether it be the subject of our investigation or the subject of our medium. I cannot think of a better environment in which to hold a specialist course; surrounded by the fabulous stimulus of this invaluable resource. The opportunity to see and scrutinise directly gives a real buzz and helps place our research.  Esther and Ahasuerus, about 1510-20, wool and silk, Museum no. 338-1886   - Click to enlarge Detail from Falconry, one of The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries. Museum no. T.202 ‐ 1957 - Click to enlarge Small selection of students samples from the V&A Tapestry Course September 2007. - Click to enlarge Detail from Millefleurs with a Unicorn, Museum no. 232.1894 - Click to enlarge Tapestry sample and detail from Tapestry Course, September 2007 - Click to enlarge Pull-out frame and tapestry woven Peruvian figure, Textile Study Room, Room 100. - Click to enlarge Click thumbnails for larger versions.


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