CODA - American Tapestry Alliance

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CODATh e N e w N o w n e s s o f Ta p es tryCODA: Celebrating the work of artists whodesign & weave contemporary tapestryEMILY ZAIDENSHELLEY SOCOLOFSKYFIONA HUTCHISONPAT TAYLORDANCE DOYLE

Contents2Feature ArticleThe New Nowness of Tapestry: Weaving the Current American NarrativesEmily Zaiden, Director and Curator, Craft in America8Notes on Feeding, Nurturing and Sustaining an Art PracticeShelley Socolofsky13 A Conversation with Fiona HutchisonInterview by Jenny Ross-Nevin19Engaging with Society through Tapestry: Pat TaylorInterview by Cande Walsworth23Weaving on the Wild Side: Dance DoyleInterview by Deborah Corsini27Gallery33American Tapestry AllianceCODA is a biennial publication by the American Tapestry Alliance that celebratesthe work of artists who design and weave contemporary tapestry.Ellen Ramsey, Editor, CODASara Figal and Nicki Bair, Design and LayoutCopyright 2020 American Tapestry Alliance, with permission from all contributing authors. All rights reserved.Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission. Requests to reproduce material in thispublication may be forwarded to the American Tapestry Alliance.Credits: Cover image: Fiona Hutchinson, “A Line of Water (detail),” 6ft 2ins x 1ft 2ins (186 x 36cm), cottonweft, linen warp, 2015. Photo: Norman McBeath. Image top right: Pat Taylor, “6704-13 (detail),” 133 cm x 112 cm x 2cm, cotton warp, linen, silk, wool weft, 2017. Photo: Peter Jones.

C E L E B R AT I N G C O N T E M P O R A RY TA P E S T RY TO DAYWe proudly welcome you to the fourth volumeof CODA published by the American TapestryAlliance (ATA). This issue of CODA highlightsa selection of articles from the previous twoyears of ATA’s quarterly, Tapestry Topics, alongwith a commissioned article by Emily Zaiden,Director and Curator for the Craft in AmericaCenter in Los Angeles. This compelling articleexplores some of the directions currentlybeing pursued by artists in the tapestry field.While stressing the experimental, expressive,spiritual and political nature of tapestries,she focuses on seven artists whose workdisplays deep passion. We thank Zaiden forher insights.We thank guest editor Ellen Ramsey for allof her work on this project. She carefullycurated this selection of articles for inclusionto demonstrate the variety of ways artistsare approaching the tapestry makingprocess: Shelley Socolofsky, chosen forher diverse, experimental approach; PatTaylor, representing a more academic style,with a timely theme of identity politics;Fiona Hutchison, for her process driven,deconstructive approach to tapestry whichRamsey sees as a dominant trend; and DanceDoyle, who represents emerging artists andnew mythologies. The content of this issueis enhanced by the beautiful layout done byvolunteers Sara Figal and Nicki Bair.a glossy print edition to a select audience, inaddition to a widely distributed full-color PDFversion of CODA. Our membership will enjoyrevisiting the articles from Tapestry Topicsin a new context, and be offered a thoughtprovoking look at tapestry by our guest author.In print, online, or in person, seeing tapestriesthat speak to us with a passionate voice isemotionally moving. Viewing the work by theartists in this issue of CODA will let you entertheir world for a few moments, appreciatetheir visual voices and be enriched by theexperience. We know that tapestry is aviable art form and will continue to thrive ascommitted artists discover the intimate andexpressive nature of weaving through whichthey can share their worlds.On behalf of the Board of Directors,Susan Iverson, PresidentAmerican Tapestry AllianceATA, devoted to the promotion of contemporarywork in the field of tapestry, developedthis publication to partially fulfill that goal.A generous donation, by Christine Laffer,supports this effort and allows us to distribute1

Christina Forrer, “Untitled (green background),” 119 x 80 inches, cotton, wool, linen, silk, and watercolor, 2018. Christina Forrer; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.2

The New Nowness of Tapestry:Weaving Current American NarrativesEmily ZaidenDirector and Curator, Craft in AmericaThere is no such thing as rigidly defined art-- in its tendencies, its impulsions, itsforms and its means. There can only be living art. Living.-Jean-Pascal Delamuraz, President of International Centre of Ancientand Modern Tapestry in the catalog for the 8th International Biennial ofTapestry, 1977Outside of the dedicated circuit of practitionersand supporters who have made tapestry alifelong pursuit, tapestry is very much aliveright now in art and design in a bigger waythan in the past forty years. There has beena steady increase of fiber-based exhibitionsat major museums and respected art galleriesfrom the Tate to the Hammer with catalogsto boot. Tapestry is luring artists from variousdisciplines and backgrounds who are imbuingtheir weavings with political messages and newperspectives. In the broadest sense, tapestryis also popping up in interior design magazinesand shops with regularity. As perhaps theultimate sign of the tapestry-trending times,the Irish tourism board in 2017 helped initiate ahand-embroidered Game of Thrones Tapestrythat outsizes the Bayeux tapestry, and it hassuccessfully bumped up tourism in NorthernIreland. Beyond its reverberations in popularculture, the renewed interest in tapestry isindicative of a larger shift in focus of the artworld towards fiber as a whole. It has crept intothe canon of contemporary American art withvigor and heft.Tapestry has always been a political mediumin Europe, historically reflecting the viewsof those commissioning the works, i.e. thenobility or the church. In the late 19th century,design reformers and leaders of the Arts andCrafts movement recognized the potentialfor articulating ethical and democratic valuesthrough the making of tapestry and clothoverall. This demarcated a new incarnation oftapestry that shifted from reinforcing ideologyof an elite power to openly advocating formore democratic social aspirations, at least intheory. Morris and his peers expounded on theways that textiles could serve a social purposeof rebelling against history, the damages ofthe industrial revolution on workers, and thesuperficial, inferior quality of the material world.This progressive outlook provides a foundationfor the political work of many recent Americantapestry weavers.The mid-20th century was another fertile erafor textile experimentation and expression.Artists used fiber to construct strong,independent environments and monumental,multidimensional, self-supporting structures.These fiber forms were unprecedented,yet tied to historic tapestry through theirmassive scale and formality. Nourishing thismovement, UCLA held a landmark exhibition ofvisionary, tapestry-based art in 1971. Curatorand professor Bernard Kester wrote in his3

introduction to Deliberate Entanglements several tenetsof contemporary work that remain guiding elementstoday. These include: the limitless employment oftraditional and invented constructions within the samework, structure and process as content, visual and tactilesensory appeal, and textural contrasts along with reliefsurfaces. These elements infuse fiber production todayand they have taken root in recent tapestry specifically.Kester also noted that the act or reclamation of authorshipbrought about heightened understanding and therefore,more inspired and meaningful results. In the artists henoted that, “their intimate involvement at every stageof the process has brought about a unity of materials,concept, and form absent from tapestry history perhapssince the Gothic period.” This revolutionary spiritcontinues through recent works by artists from variousbackgrounds across the US who use tapestry to form anew social discourse.One new common point of departure is the infusionof cartoonish color. Christina Forrer is one suchartist who creates traditional, weft-faced weavingsof expressionistic caricatures interlocked by intenseconflict. Dance Doyle also uses a depth of color andshock of synthetic colors to amplify the effect of herpieces. Doyle originally worked with ceramics but shiftedgears in 2005 while taking a class at San Francisco StateUniversity. She makes tapestries that are revealing, freeform readings of the urban condition. Forrer and Doyleboth adapt the pictorial and figurative-friendly nature ofEuropean tapestry, in addition to the monumentality ofscale, which lured artists to depict epic scenes of struggle,redemption, and valor. Their tapestries instead express acritical sense of disorder, depravity and disruption. TerriFriedman, who made a mid-career switch to tapestryin 2014, similarly refers to her palette as “radioactive.”Friedman uses the transcendent power of color to “mirrorthe unraveling.” Friedman’s colorful, agitated panels are“protest banners” in the vein of Sister Corita Kent meldedwith the formal innovations of Magdalena Abakanowicz,Lenore Tawney, Hannah Ryggen, or Sheila Hicks.She sees the metaphorical aspects of her weavings-order, continuity, strength and connectivity-- asaspirational values for these uncertain times. Scale isimportant because she seeks immersive experiences thatmake the words, narratives, and colors more visceral.Friedman’s gestural construction choices of loose endsand imperfections mirror the destructive impulses of oursociety as it comes “unhinged.” “The threads are like chinhairs as we age or after you give birth. They just show upat inconvenient times in inconvenient places.”4Dance Doyle, “3 AM (detail),” 90 in x 36 in, handdyed wool, wool, cotton, silk, linen and mixedmedia, 2019.Photo: Dance Doyle.Terri Friedman, “Eudaimonia,” wool, acrylic, cotton,metallic fibers, stained glass, 2018.Photo: Josef Jacques

Friedman deliberately weaves holes and gaps inher work to highlight the unstable and uncertain.To her, these openings represent that, as LeonardCohen wrote, “there is a crack in everything,that’s how the light gets in”. Personally andspiritually they signify eyes, mouths, vaginasor other body parts. In addition, she frequentlyincorporates glass elements that provide atextural juxtaposition, inspired by etherealstained glass windows of iconic churches.In her 2015 curatorial project, From Back toFront, textile scholar Jessica Hemmings wroteabout international artists who “expose theconstruction of weaving” and “deconstruct theweave to communicate.” In American tapestry,these formal choices resonate in the context ofthe fractured national and social atmosphere.Artists including Friedman are now revealing thewarp more than ever and using these deviationsto imply decay, unfinished business, gapsin communication, and lapses in values andsystems. In Friedman’s works, the warp and wefthave equal weight as realms for interpretation.Diedrick Brackens engages European tapestry,West African weaving, and American quilting inhis large wall hangings. Drawing on the narrativenature of tapestry, Brackens weaves stories thathave not been represented in prior chapters oftapestry history, and these allegories relate tohis identity as a black queer American. Brackens’creates triptychs and diptychs with sparse, highcontrast figures and silhouettes that are rich withsymbolism. Threads of his woven imagery are lefthanging, seeping down the surface like drippingpaint. These panels are conjoined imperfectly atmismatched seams to form a whole, and the ideaof the difficulties that lie in blending togetherseparated elements is evident. Brackens leavesknotted warp ends hanging in asymmetricalportions of each composition, which call furtherattention to the isolated segments of each piece.Artists have used tapestry to record socialhistory, religion, and morality since its origins.Many new pictorial woven mythologies magnifyindividual or untold stories rather than addressingcollective allegory or documenting epic momentsin time. Erin Riley creates outspoken worksabout subjects so deeply personal that they havenever been directly, nor explicitly, portrayed intapestry. Riley flips the heroic, historic tradition bymonumentalizing private glimpses into intimatemoments that reveal addiction, violence, shame,and pain through a feminist filter.As a testament to the vitality and constantevolution of this artistic medium, Americanartists are challenging the status quo throughinnovation in content and technique. They drawfrom a range of worldwide weaving practicesspanning beyond Europe to Central and SouthAmerica to Africa, melding together to reflect thediverse strands that form our composite Americanculture. In some cases, their reinvention oftapestry narration takes the form of pictorialimagery, and messages are also conveyed moremetaphorically through structural choices, color,and symbolism. These artists are broadeningthe definition of tapestry and its currency as anartistic and expressive medium.Erin Riley, “A Night,” 63 in x 48 in. wool, cotton, 2019.Photo: Erin RileySimultaneously, as some artists deconstructand disavow formal perfection, others strivefor flawlessness. Their work attests to theconstructive power of art. Porfirio Guttierez,a native of Teotitlán del Valle who splits histime between Ventura, California and Oaxaca,is dedicated to the totality of every aspect oftapestry creation.5

Guttierez weaves Zapotec cultural myths thathave passed between generations. He viewsthis ancient history and his spiritual practicethrough an American lens and he seeks tocontinue the traditions of Teotitlán throughhis work in the U.S. During this era of climatecrisis, he spotlights the Zapotec perception ofthe natural world as a sacred, living being thatproduces wool and natural dyes, is incrediblycurrent and resonant.“My weaving is an expression of the two worldsthat I live in.” One of his worlds has endured formillennia and his second is modern America,which is in need of a “tactical sense of order”that he feels can be imparted through thenatural fiber and clear imagery of Zapotectapestry. For Guttierez, the inspiration fornavigating life in the complex modern worldcomes from within indigenous culture.Biculturalism is also central to the weavingsof Wence Martinez, who is shaped by hisindigenous cultural heritage and academicfoundation in Mexico City, although he livesin the Midwest. His work over the yearsdraws equally from Gobelin weaving, Navajobeadwork patterns, and Bauhaus. Working incollaboration with his U.S.-born wife Sandra,he uses pattern-driven design with symbolismthat departs from Zapotec tradition throughnuanced color, tone, composition and pattern.Porfirio Gutierrez, “Storm,” 120 x 120 cm, undyed wool.Photo: Javier Lazo GutierrezAlthough his techniques, story, and spiritualityhave been categorized as folk art in thepast, this is shifting as contemporary artboundaries blur. Gutierrez asserts the comfortand strength that exists in materials that aretraditional, pure, and honest. He correlatesthe meditative simplicity and geometry of bothmid-century modern Californian architecturewith the ancient Zapotec temples and sitessuch as Mitla and Monte Albán, all of which arepresented as patterns in his pieces.6Martinez’s amalgamation of diverse sourcesparallels the multicultural, multiracial world welive in today. As he assimilated into Americanlife, Martinez began to develop his own weavingdesigns and distinct voice. As an example, Ojode Agua reflects his normally straight stripepatterns bending to represent his Americanhome, surrounded by Lake Michigan on theDoor County peninsula. In his words, “Ripplesof water are all around us.” The effect ofhis subtle, symbolic weavings, like those ofthese other visionary artists, is to carry themost ancient of artforms into the present andtowards the future. Tapestry has waxed andwaned over the centuries, and we are in a waveof resurgence, reinvestigation, expansion andrenewed appreciation.“Does this not say that one of the oldestof arts has become the newest?”-Frederick S. WightDirector, UCLA Art GalleriesDeliberate Entanglements catalog, 1971

NOTES1. ICA Boston 2014-2015 Fiber: Sculpture 1960–present; Leap Before You Look: Hammer BlackMountain College 1933–1957 Oct 10, 2015 – Jan24, 2016, and countless galleries from Hauser andWirth to Spruth Magers are examples.2. h t t p s : / / w w w. a rc h i t e c t u r a l d i g e s t . c o m / g a l l e r y /timeless-tapestries-wall-decor-ideas,https://w w w. v o g u e . c o m / a r t i c l e / g a m e - o f - t h r o n e s try-wall-hangings-woven-wallhangings, and more.3. BernardKester,DeliberateEntanglementsexhibition catalog, organized by the UCLA ArtGalleries, 1971-1972.4. h t t p s : / / w w w. e l l e n r a m s e y t a p e s t r y. a r t / b l o g /tapestry-in-the-galleries-christina-forrer5. Terri Friedman email interview 6/20/19 andstatement from January 2017 “Unraveling”.6. Susan Iverson, Erin Riley- Public/Private Momentsexhibition text, ex ata/erin-riley/7. Brackens had a recent solo exhibition in LosAngeles: Unholy Ghosts at Various Small Fires, LosAngeles, March 16 - May 11, 2019.Wence Martinez, “Ojo de Agua,” 44 x 41 inches,hand spun churro wool, un-dyed and aniline dye,2018. Photo: Wence Martinez.Emily Zaiden is Director and curator of the Craft in AmericaCenter in Los Angeles, where she has curated more than fortyexhibitions focused on contemporary craft, art, and designfor the Center and outside venues. Zaiden has publishedexhibition catalogues and written articles and reviewsfor journals including Archives of American Art Journal,Metalsmith, and Antiques and Fine Art. After completing anM.A. at the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture,Zaiden served as Research Associate to the DecorativeArts department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.Prior to becoming Craft in America Center Director in 2010,she was a research editor for Architectural Digest and sheconsulted for private collections and institutions focusing onhistoric American and European decorative arts, materialculture, architecture and design.7

Notes o n F eeding, Nu rtu ri n g a n d S u s ta i n i n g a n A rtPracti ceShelley Socolofskyword bank/ My Studio Practice:an evolution, a path, a journey,unexpected turns, a dance, adialogue, dead ends, flowingrivers, a relationship, a love affair,calls and responses, a black hole,mountain tops, snares,a wide listening sky with thousandsof candlesShelley Socolofsky in her studio, 2019.Photo by Joaquin SocolofskyIn 1979, as a nineteen-year old music majorstudying abroad, my life changed course.During a weekend escapade to Paris, Iventured into the Cluny Museum and wasconfronted by the magnificent La Dame à laLicorne tapestries. Stunned by their dauntingphysical presence, their beauty, and theirgrace, I was overtaken with a feeling ofdeja-vu and an all encompassing clarity or“knowing.” It was as if I had entered a portalboth with views into the past and crystalline8visibility into my future all at once. From thatmoment forward my life was forever altered.The years that followed were consumed withgoals and aspirations involving the honing oftapestry-weaving skills in the effort to craftsomething beautiful and precise. This journeyled me through an academic textile program,a Gobelins apprenticeship abroad, andendless hours of practice in pursuit of weavingperfected graduating hachures, a flawlesssurface, immaculate turns, clever technical

devices, and clean edges. Narratives wereimportant and reflected, inspired by thoseworks that initially impressed me.I reached a fork in the path, years in,fueled by those common yet un-educatedspectator remarks “that’s an expensivebeach towel,” and also by boredom, havingfinally accomplished those initial technicalgoals. This fork presented a choice: continueweaving technically centric, narrative work ordig more deeply into what it was I was doing.Questions had arisen: Am I making a picture?Is it a cloth? Is it dimensional? then whyis it flat? does its history attach unintendedmeaning to the work? is this important? whatam I trying to say through the investment oftime and hand labor? does any of this matter?is it culturally relevant? aesthetically relevant?Gunta Stozl, one of the leading figuresof the Bauhaus weaving workshop duringthe 20th century, described her early workin tapestry as Bild aus Wolle or “picturesmade of wool.” She concluded that tapestrywas fundamentally problematic in that itwas easily misunderstood and dismissedby critics as stilted copycat versions of themore direct and immediate image makingprocesses of painting or photography. I foundmyself wrestling with similar demons and,not particularly interested in dimensional orconstruction possibilities within weft-facedweave structures (the Bauhaus solution tothis problem), I began stretching to find othersolutions.As a lover of documentaries and biographies,I posited these questions alongside ongoinginvestigations into histories of weavingproduction, the Feminist Art Movement ofthe 1970’s, and various other art historicalreadings of personal interest. Admittedly, whatI was attempting to do in my studio practicewas not painting, not photography, notsculpture, and not architecture; I challengedmyself to find other strategies that mighthelp me address this conundrum. As an aid,I revisited Rosalind Krauss’ groundbreakingShelley Socolofsky, “Cornucopian Broadcloth,” Gobelinstapestry, 7 ft x 3.5 ft, 10 epi, wool, silk, cotton, 1998. Handcollaged maquette, private collection. Photo by the artist.1979 essay “Sculpture in the Expanded Field”in which Krauss tracks the evolution of earlysite-specific monuments to the expandedversions of sculpture produced as Earthworksduring the mid-20th century. Using hermodel of diagram and inversion, I began todeconstruct the process and object-ness ofTapestry. During this exercise, words beganto appear in my brainstorming suggesting newpossibilities and direction: blueprint, ritual,mapping, manuscript, rhythm, analogue,gesture.9

I decided it necessary to take a hiatus fromtapestry weaving and presume a playful andexperimental approach to making. This selfimposed celibacy proved useful in that ithelped me to disentangle from any reliance ontechnique as a main focus, a problem deeplyrooted within the art vs. craft discourse.Rather than approaching “making” from atechnically centered position (tapestry), I wasnow able to focus solely on concepts, distillingthe most important points, then working tofind affective ways to communicate them. If,for example, I wished to speak about “ritual”(a crucial component within the weaving ofa tapestry, at least for me, yet one that getsburied within the final woven object), I soughtto find a more direct way to articulate it. Theseexperimental exercises set up surprisinglyopen-ended lines of thought that allowedmultiple avenues worth exploring. The resultbecame a “call and response” format of projectmaking where projects themselves began tohave conversations with each other. In otherwords, one project presents thoughts andquestions that subsequent projects followedup on with answers and more questions.These conversations always involved projectsnot worked in tapestry, with follow-up projectsoften being answered in tapestry, but onlyif I had discerned that the best responsewarranted being woven.word bank/ Stretching the definition of tapestryluxury item, one off, pattern, information,coding, systems, control/chaos, mundane,memorial, inequity, mass production, labor,exploitation, value, worth, commodity, text,notation, trade, ancient universal craftOne such “conversation” began with a wordbank surrounding issues of ritual, value,labor, and worth within an economy ofproduction. “Piecework”, 2008, (an installationperformance made of decomposed silk, threadShelley Socolofsky, “Fata Morgana (detail),” 5 ft x 6 ft, 10 epi, wool. silk, cotton, rayon,2008. Digitally designed maquette, private collection. Photo by the artist.10

Shelley Socolofsky, “Piecework” detail 1, MM installation, dimensions variable, decomposed silk, thread, wire, dulcimer tuningpegs, shellac, ink, wine, reclaimed lumber, metal, paper, 2008. Photo by the artist.wire, wine, shellac, ink, reclaimed lumber,dulcimer tuning pegs, paper) involved aspectsof tapestry making (repetitive hand labor, theframework equipment, threading) as a meansto examine histories of art, craft, labor, andthe objectification of goods and their relativeposition within a spectrum of value. This projectShelley Socolofsky, “Paper Towel,” Gobelins tapestry,66 in x 89 in, 10 epi/ wool, cotton, horsehair,correction fluid, 2014. Photo by the artist.enabled me to think through the conceptualideas I was working to locate without gettingbogged down in technical prowess andpreoccupations inherent in weaving a tapestry.This exercise also intensified my desire toreturn to tapestry weaving afterwards withrenewed intentionality. The tapestry projectdeveloped in response was “Paper Towel.”2015; a work also inspired by the use of asimilar word bank.Another example of this type of projectconversation stemmed from the word analogue.Understanding that to know somethingrequires that we get to know its opposite, Ibegan to investigate the digital image. Initiallyexploring the digital realm as a design tool,I sought information through digital imagingworkshops followed by lots of experimentation,eventually discovering useful strategies forproducing layered-like tapestry maquettes.Much later, this line of inquiry demanded that Iconfront tapestry’s nemesis: the woven image11

produced through digital Jacquard. Returningto graduate school, I reacquainted myselfwith complex weave structures, took someJacquard workshops domestically and abroad,and felt both excitement and guilty. as if Iwere engaging in some sort of an extramaritalaffair. Colleagues wondered if I were intenton abandoning the labor-intensive tapestryweaving in favor of a more time efficientprocess to create image-based cloth. WhatI discovered, however, was that the intuitivelanguage that digital hand Jacquard weavingprovided was quite distinct from the word banklanguage that occurred when brainstormingconcepts suitable for tapestry. This reinforcedthe differing potentials between the two imagemaking systems.word bank/ Scroll, 2017, digital Jacquardlandscape, landscape as lived experience,landscape as surveillance, voyeurism, warningflag, prayer flag, digital, material meaning: lightreflective and metal thread, contemporary,futuristicCurrently I am working with the polarities ofmatter and the immaterial. Ghosts, energeticpoles, magnetic fields, sound waves and virtualrealities are some of the ideas circulating arecent digital project. In response, I am leftwith feelings of loss and the need to findmeaning in the material, inspired to reinforcethe necessity of Matter.Tapestry, with its density and weight, seemsthe perfect answer.Shelley Socolofsky, “Scroll,” digital handwoven Jacquard, 29 in x 79 in, 30 epi, cotton, glass, resin, aluminum, metalthread, daylight (unlit) view, 2017. Photo by Guy L. Heureux. Photos under two light conditions.Shelley Socolofsky is an artist/educator living and working in Portland, Oregon. Informed by longhistories of textile production with its orientations to pattern and decoration, her work explores thematerial, conceptual, and poetic nuances of ‘craft’ through a hybrid practice incorporating bothdigital technology and analogue hand processes. Currently on the faculty at Oregon College ofArt & Craft, Shelley received her MFA in textiles jointly from the University of Oregon, JacqCadCenter (North Carolina), and the Fondazione Arte Della Seta Lisio in Florence, Italy (Jacquardhand weaving.) She held apprenticeships in Gobelin Tapestry weaving at Les Manufactures desGobelins in Paris and Uzes, France. Exhibiting in numerous museums and galleries including thede Young Museum, San Francisco; Bellevue Arts Museum, Seattle; and the Farrell Collection,New York City, Shelley is a recipient of several artist fellowships including grants from the OregonArts Commission and Ruth & Harold Chenven Foundation of New York. Her work is in severalpublic collections and in print in FiberArts, Artist magazine of Taiwan, and Interior Design.12

Continuing Thread:A Conversation with Fiona HutchisonInterview by Jenny Ross-NevinFiona Hutchison in her studio, 2017. Photo: Norman McBeathTapestry artist Fiona Hutchison has been designing and weaving tapestry in her Edinburgh studiofor over 30 years, dividing her time between developing her own work, working to commission andteaching.13

Where do you see yourself in terms of yourcareer?I consider myself a mid-career artist, simply becausemy learning process is still very much ongoing.Although I have been weaving for thirty years, I stillfeel excited to learn about new materials, facingchallenges and finding new techniques to use in mywork.What has been the greatest influence on yourwork?My most enduring inspiration is my love of the seaand sailing. I go sailing on the water three timesa week, for nine months of each year. I sail onboth east and west Scottish coasts, which havevery different characters. The Forth is an industrialestuary, whereas the west coast is more rural. I rarelyget the opportunity to take photographs becausewe are racing, but I am always looking, thinking andremembering.What has influenced the evolution of your workand kept it fresh?It is networking with other artists from all disciplines,travel, residencies and studio visits. I have travelledwidely within Europe as part of the steering committeeof the European Tapestry Forum. My residency inNorway in 2008, for instance, challenged me toexplore and play with new materials and techniqueswithin textiles, paper and stitch. One of the mostexciting experiences, both culturally and creatively

1 We proudly welcome you to the fourth volume of CODA published by the American Tapestry Alliance (ATA). This issue of CODA