Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weaving as Metaphor

'Piedras de lana' 1990

Sheila Hicks 'Eventail' (fan) 1989 Paris

Cour de Rohan, Pas de mule, Paris
“Wow Bush / Turmoil in Full Bloom” 1980
Collection: The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Text from the website:

Among world civilizations, those of ancient Peru were probably the only ones that availed themselves to full extent of the latencies in textile arts. Not only did they succeed like others in elaborating richly decorated surfaces, but also they were unique in making bas-relief and even sculpture out of threads. Overcoming the neglect and oblivion in which these incomparable works have fallen, Sheila Hicks has retrieved and assimilated their tradition while marrying it felicitously to others such as those of Persia and India. Far from copying them, she has renewed them by original discoveries that appropriate them to the raw materials, the techniques and the aspirations of our time.
Her wall hangings have the living warmth and the thickness of fleece; their complex structure and their shadows seem to chisel out perspectives attributable only to dream palaces; they offer the mellow depth, radiance and mystery of the starry sky. Nothing better than this art could provide altogether the adornment and the antidote for the functional, utilitarian architecture in which we are sentenced to dwell. It enlivens it with the dense, patient work of human hands, and the inventive charms of a creative mind constantly stimulated by experiencing the gamut of those new materials which modern industry supplies, while remaining faithful to the immemorial rules of the most ancient perhaps of all the arts of civilization.
Claude Lévi-Strauss, Paris

“Baby Time Again” 1978
cotton, 9 x 20 feet
exhitition: Galerie Suzy Langlois, Paris
Galerie Carmen Martinez, FIAC

I was intrigued to come across this artist's work this morning and appreciate how enduring they are. The artist on her work:

"I found my voice and my footing in my small work. It enabled me to build bridges between art, design, architecture, and decorative arts." - Sheila Hicks

I had been visiting the delightful blog  'AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS' when I came across artist Sheila Hicks at this post. I was attracted to the pages from her journal and then discovered a book on her work published in 2006. Not being at all familiar with her work it was a most fascinating introduction for me.

and pages from the book:




The Bard Graduate Center, Yale University Press
The designer of this book Irma Boom, won the gold medal for “Most Beautiful Book in the World” prize at theLeipzig Book Fair for this book.  (from Book by its Cover )

and finally....

    'May I have this dance'  - see website  here.








sonrie said...

I'm a huge fan of Sheila Hicks. I even have a blog post of several of her works on my blog a few years ago. I love the color and the texture most.

sophiemunns said...

Hi Sonrie,
I was fascinated to discover the artist's work on Friday.
We've become used to see work with these materials, such scale, diversity and such...but I was marvelling at the fact this seemed to be the work of a pioneer. The elements at play were more what I have been seeing at a later time.
The 'wow bush - turmoil in full bloom' is a good example of this. Interventions, public art and so on 30 years ago were not so common... how frequent in Paris I do not know...
And I loved the journals and the book!
Thanks for leaving your wonderful comments Sonrie.

blue china studio said...

I'll have to research Sheila Hicks more. What you show here is really quite stunning.

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Jaci,
I received an email from the artist herself this morning and she is having a retrospective exhibition at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts. So you could google that...
Im sorry i live SO far away!


layers said...

All these weavings are simply fabulous- so creative.

grrl + dog said...


Such freking beauty!

I cant digest all of it now, only 8am and not quite enough caffeine in the system.

I am lusting after this book, maybe santa will hear my wish?

Sophie Munns said...

Lovely to hear from you Donna!
Glad you enjoyed the work as I did!

Hi Grrl!
Mmm Im wondering if Santa will hear you...hope so... do tell .... 'twould be fabulous to have the chance to read this tome!
S x