V&A Contemporary Tapestry Collection and Lynne Curran

August 26, 2008

I am in the middle of weaving my tapestry for the V&A’s Collection. It’s taking a long time! The piece will be around five feet in height. Frustratingly, there’s been very little that is easily photographable as it’s very pale and quite minimal – the first half, particularly so. I will publish images of the progressing subtleties in future posts. A few weeks ago I was in the textile galleries with V&A photographer Peter Kelleher. We were photographing some of the exquisitely fine Coptic and Peruvian fragments for the artist’s book which I’m also making for the collection. Approached by a visitor who asked where she could see some of the V&A’s contemporary textiles, I felt ashamed at how little was on display. To redress this, I want to highlight here Lynne Curran’s superb tapestry, La Dame Aux Belles Plumes, Museum no. T. 324-1987. Lynne Curran, La Dame Aux Belles Plumes. Museum no. T324-1987 detailLynne Curran, La Dame Aux Belles Plumes. Museum no. T324-1987 detail The tapestry is 3 feet square and woven at 20 ends per inch. In an article for the Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers in 1995 Lynne wrote: “It depicts a lady feeding chickens with one hand and a cat being thrown out of the hen-run with the other. Her dress is translucent, her ‘fine feathers’ hinting at something deeper. No one is exactly what you see at your first meeting. There are layers to be peeled away and, given time, they might reveal another facet. When I first got my chickens it took a while before I could tell them apart and gradually they were all named after people with whom they had a common trait” Along with chickens, cats, singing and life drawing, Lynne has always had a passion for Italy. She now lives there, in a beautiful hill top village in Tuscany (below right) in a 900 year old house overlooking the Tiber and Arno valleys from where she runs tapestry courses. As I write this, students are enjoying the sun, the view, the food and her excellent teaching in the August course. The last two of the summer will be 4-5 September (beginners) and 8-9-10 September (more advanced). I think it will be a very special experience. Contact email: swiftcurran@hotmail.com Lynne Curran in studio. Tuscan landscape where Lynne livesLa Dame aux Belles Plumes (detail), Lynne Curran, Contemporary Textile Collection, V&A, Museum number T324-1987 - Click to enlarge L’Offrande du Coeur, Lynne Curran - Click to enlarge The Hidden Heart (detail), Lynne Curran, 95 x 88 cm, 2000  - Click to enlarge The Hidden Heart (detail), Lynne Curran, 95 x 88 cm, 2000 - Click to enlarge The Hen Party, Lynne Curran, 1994 - Click to enlarge Is Melon good for Meloncholia?, Lynne Curran, 2000  - Click to enlarge Click thumbnails for larger versions and further details.

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