Monday, March 30, 2009

Cranberry Bog Flew to Australia

Last year I participated in a non-juried show in Canberra, Australia, in conjunction with the Tapestry 2008 Conference, hosted by the Textiles Department of the Australian National University School of Art. The exhibit title was LAND, and the tapestries had to be exactly 10 cm (4 in) high and could be however wide you wanted. I was tempted to weave something really really wide; that would have been fun.

I looked through some aerial photos I had taken from my husband's small plane, on a short flight to Cape Cod, and finally decided to go with an image of a cranberry bog.

I figured it would be a bit different.

I love these images; they were taken in late winter, and the cranberry plants were a very vivid red, but in the image on the right, one of the sections of the bog was full of water so it was bright blue, reflecting the sky that day. It got me wondering, so I looked it up and learned that during harvest time, the bogs are filled with water so that the berries will float. The blue section must have been the reservoir.

I wove this tapestry sideways, with the warp at about 12 ends per inch. It was a challenge to weave all those tiny trees, but after a while I got the hang of it, and it got easier. The very thin vertical lines were a pain, but I used my own special interlock method and it seems to have worked out OK.

So my tapestry travelled all the way to Australia, and then came back to me.

The exhibition is now available online on the American Tapestry Alliance's website, with images of all the tapestries, and essays by curator Valerie Kirk and juror Wendy Teakel.


K Spoering said...

One of those things I've always thought I would love to do is to wade through a cranberry bog at harvest time. Don't know why, as I've only seen them in pictures. That process, though, makes cranberries seem so unique. I like the tapestry, and thanks for reminding me to go see the exhibit online!

Jennifer said...

I did notice this piece in the Land Exhibit on the ATA website. It really stood out with the bright yarns for the cranberrys. I think it's great to now attribute it to you!

Jan said...

There's a great story about the Cape Verdean immigrants who built most of the bogs.

Sounds like you would have enjoyed it! And by the way, it's the plants not the berries that are red in this image, since it was taken in March. The photos was kind of washed out, but the tapestry is perhaps a bit brighter than reality. I do like strong colors!

Jennifer said...

I've just nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award. I enjoy seeing your tapestries and wanted to sent others your way!

LFN Textiles said...

Beautiful little tapestry! I remember years ago toying with the idea of doing a very narrow, long warp that would make a ribbon like tapestry, and finally broke through with a number of pieces, in my English garden series, my Monticello series, and in my Villa Farsetti Series. And then it occurred to me that ribbon would be a fine medium to be working in - hence my line of artists' ribbons (LFN Textiles). That is one of the lovely things about weaving -- the endless nature of warp length in relation to the very finite width.