Monday, July 14, 2014

Artist in Residency Four Sisters Tapestry is complete

So today, as part of the summer program at the library, I took the finished tapestry off the loom, 

did the finishing top and bottom, inserted dowels, and temporarily hung it back on the loom pending a more permanent location. 

There was a small but mesmerized audience for this process, and plenty of help from library staffers, Director Carol and gallery manager Donna. Donna obligingly stood by the downed tapestry to give you a notion of its dimensions against a human figure.  And friend Ruth Levy stopped by to admire the tapestry lying on the floor, after the dowels were inserted, and before it was hung.

Once off the loom, the tension needed to be adjusted, in the places where the inclusions had been put in, the sisters' faces, to be exact.  so I did a capital crime -- I CUT the warp at the back in just those areas, and tied it off in several places to release the work while not letting it unravel.  And it worked out just fine. Quite exciting, since nobody but me knew this was a form of emergency surgery.


We also set up a display table with two previous works created on the Earthloom, and I brought in two small weavings I'd done, one on a cardboard loom I created, one on an empty picture frame. And there were some very good reference books.

I will be letting the library have Four Sisters on loan as long as they'd like to, once they can hit on a place to hang it.  This is not an easy task in a library with massive glass walls, and open spaces, and very few solid walls on which art can be hung!  but the ingenuity of curator Donna is inexhaustible.

Here's the flyer of acknowledgment, which we had on display for people to pick up as they watched:

The Four Sisters tapestry weaving, created and worked on to completion this year on the Earthloom, by artist Liz Adams, is the first Artist in Residence project of the Library.
The theme of the intertwining and interweaving of the lives of four sisters, is a lifelong recurring meme of the artist, herself the youngest of four sisters.  The work itself, from conception, drawing of the cartoon design, warping and working, took approximately 60 hours, many of them on public view at the library, as a way to show the visiting patrons how a tapestry is created and the steps it takes to complete it.  The material preparation, from fleece to dyed yarn, much of which constitutes the work you see, took an entire summer several years ago!
Since Liz documented the work's progress on her blog, Art, the Beautiful Metaphor, as well as on her page on Stitchinfingers, an international website owned by Mary Corbet, a leading embroiderer, the piece has been seen at all stages by followers in many countries, some of whom wanted to take part, even at a distance. 
So it's appropriate to thank, first of all, all the blogistas, many, who commented and emailed with helpful comments and observations, much appreciated, since they are all textile artists in some form.
Then there are individuals to whom Liz owes a debt of thanks:

Maggi Johnson, who spent an afternoon observing the solo exhibit Liz had while the tapestry was in process, and who gave very helpful critique, Asha Francis, weaver and knitter, who donated beautiful silk and bamboo handspun yarn which is used in the detailed work, Judy Thompson, who gave beads from her basketmaking stash, for decorative additions, Paula Levy, who gave the original fleece from which much of the yarn was combed, carded, spun and dyed, then woven into this artwork, Girija Jain, who set relatives shopping in Mumbai for gold and glass beads which you see in this piece, and which were delivered by hand to the artist via Rajiv Jain.  Then there are the Ravelry website friends who donated the KoolAid in colors not obtainable in this region, when the dyeing was in process!
This has been a community piece, though it's the work of a single artist,  created by the community of artists.
And, since art needs an audience in order to complete the experience, thanks are due to the patrons who came to watch as the work progressed in the library. 
Donna Senopoulos, the gallery director,  has done a lot of unseen work to keep this work on track, and is much appreciated.
July 14 2014

And now I'm home, ahead of a big thunderstorm, yet another, with a nice glass of sangria and a Poirot to watch this evening, if the power stays on.


  1. im flattered to be included in such a lovely piece, and just reading about this after having seen it grow for quite some time, was incredibly inspiring. Time I got off my duff and started doing my own things.

    thank you, Liz, for letting us in on this. Its been a joy.

  2. When I saw this piece in progress during your residency, an embroiderer there commented to me: "Each and every stitch takes a lot of time." As a writer I replied, "That reminds me of how every single word in fine writing takes a good deal of time too."
    Congrats on finishing this eye-pleaser! (Did I just invent a new word?)

  3. How good it is coming to be on permanent display, you put so much hard work into this piece which is wonderful and I so enjoyed following your progress

  4. Congratulations! How I wish I could see this in person, but I'll just have to content myself with the pictures. Very happy to hear that the library will be keeping it on permanent display too.

  5. It warms my heart to be able to part of such an inspiring work of art. I am blessed. Thank you for sharing your talent and allowing others to be part of the process.

  6. This is a fantastic piece of artwork, I want to try it.


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