Weave and Web

Terra, Sue Lawty, 2004, linen, hemp, silk, width 200 cm x height 70 cm Artists: Many of us – most of the time ‐ work alone. We follow our own self-directed paths and, trying not to get stuck in the inevitable ruts, pursue an isolated single-minded vision. More often than not the picture is fuzzy … sometimes it’s clear. For me anyway, it’s always a bit scary. One of the unexpected privileges of being involved in a developing project with an institution of this size is the opportunity to touch with different kinds of minds now and again. Casual conversations with professionals from other disciplines can both highlight shared ground and stimulate thought in new directions. Before I started this blog, I would confess to being a complete Luddite. I found the whole IT thing a frustrating nightmare. I would say I actively hated it. But I also knew that I very much desired not to be like that! Very slowly and carefully I have been lead out of the wilderness. I wouldn’t say that I am anywhere near being able to read the map unaided but I can follow directions without flipping (mostly). But best of all (helped hugely by switching to Mac), I am now loving it. I have totally surprised myself. I guess I clicked on the rotate arrow. This blog is very much a collaborative operation and through the tussle of presenting thousands of bits of inanimate information as creatively as we can manage, my eyes are being opened to the potential of this ephemeral communication magic. We were discussing last week the way that the most recent posting always seems to assume greater importance than previous ones. Blog structure dictates that it sits prominently in pole position at the top (not comfortably at the end/side as in a normal book journal). I certainly feel the exposure of what I have just written most keenly at this point. Its not until a sense of positioning and proportion envelopes it as it gradually beds down into the context of the whole that you can fully assess the tone of what you have written. And it suddenly struck me at this point, that this EXACTLY mirrors the building structure of tapestry; the discipline of working from the bottom up. How many times have I felt that the last shape or section woven is too bold / too light / too dark / too big? It’s only through years of doing that I have gradually learnt to trust my judgement – to know that when seen within the context of the whole piece it will hit the right note. Near the bottom edge of ‘Terra’ is a blue denim coloured mark. Immediately it was woven, its prominence leapt from the cloth. It shouted, “That was a bit of a bold move Lawty!” I took it out and re-wove it twice before I felt brave and convinced enough to leave it in. Now, I suspect, you hardly notice it’s there. 'Terra' (detail), Sue Lawty, 2004 - Click to enlarge. 'Terra' (detail), Sue Lawty, 2004 - Click to enlarge. 'Terra' (detail), Sue Lawty, 2004 - Click to enlarge. 'Terra' (detail), Sue Lawty, 2004 - Click to enlarge. 'Terra' tapestry on loom, detail- Click to enlarge. 'Terra' (detail), Sue Lawty, 2004 - Click to enlarge.

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