‘Remember’ 2005

Technique: gobelin, turkish & persian knotting (wool, mohair, linen, cotton) 6ft 5in x 5ft

Lettering in the Tapestry: “Remember, in the mirror of memory, a sunburnt girl with daisies in her hair, under French skies, before the legions left for Africa.”

A high loom gobelin tapestry echoing some of my earliest work in the 1960s when I wove a series of large tapestries of abstracted tent forms, some in three-dimensions, some in relief but almost all incorporating lettering or poetry. These enfolded or enclosed panels were a metaphor for secrets, past and present but by trying to conjure up the memory or the secret with a few specific words it almost always gives the game away. This tapestry is a very simplified version with a counterpoint between the textured area and the flat lettering and flora. The lettering is almost a code but easily understood once deciphered, and yet its not about what is said but much more about the atmosphere created by the whole tapestry.

Tapestry has always had an atmospheric quality, magical even, whether it is the enigma of the Unicorn Tapestries or what Froissart describes in his journals, in the 14th century, when at night, by candle light, the figures in the huge Burgundian tapestries, hanging in the great Hall of the Savoy seemed to come alive, as the panels were moved either by the wind or as people passed behind them, along the corridor created with the walls.

Remember by Maureen Hodge

download essay here

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