Social Media: Distracting Diversion or Useful Tool?
by CTN Member, Line Dufour
In the last six years, social media has served a vital role in enabling me to be a more publicly and community engaged artist. Not only has social media precipitated substantial and pervasive changes to communication, it has profoundly impacted the practice of tapestry weavers and textile artists from being a solitary, isolating practice to an interactive one. Social media has been instrumental in connecting tapestry and textile artists from all over the world, with varying degrees of experience, expertise and accomplishment. Because of it, it was possible to coordinate and create, “Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination: An International Tapestry installation” (FD&SD project) and could not have achieved the success it has without it. Real connection with others, however, comes in the physicality of doing, in materiality, in actions, interactions, and events shared by an assortment of individuals and groups.
Consequently, the “Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination” initiative has been and continues to be an international dynamic community building endeavour, an educational initiative and a creative and innovative one.
In 2012, I was reluctant to embrace social media, unable to discern its benefits. Eventually it dawned on me it would be a terrific way to connect with other tapestry and textile artists, as I didn’t encounter them frequently in my daily life, and even rarely at Weaving Guild meetings. I realized that social media could be used to propel an art project forward and that’s when I thought that I would use it to create a publicly formed
installation using social media, particularly Facebook, and later Instagram and Twitter.
Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination” is composed of three sections: first, a tapestry woven panel created by me, referencing the contemporary practice of tapestry where artist and weaver are one. A second, smaller panel was woven by the public, ranging from the inexperienced and amateur to the professional. This referenced traditional tapestry conventions in that many weavers worked on the tapestry at the same time or at various stages and did not contribute to creating the tapestry designs. The final and most important section is composed of irregular shapes positioned at varying heights, between the two main panels, floating freely in space, as though the tapestry is pulling apart or coming together.
Each submission is photographed and posted to the Facebook page for the project. I also include information about the participants such as their website if they have one, and other comments they have made about the project or about their work and/or. lives.
Thus far, 811 shapes have been received from 39 countries, and a total of about 484 people have participated. The installation continues to expand as it accepts submissions on an ongoing basis. Part of the exhibition is the list of all participant names. If a label cannot be displayed in the gallery, a QR code label is available so that the gallery viewer can access the web page with the names of all participants. This initiative introduced me to many textile and tapestry artists, opened the door to new
friendships and alliances, and created opportunities for engagement with them. It facilitated discussion between us and “live” encounters with these various artists at various places the installation was exhibited.
I enjoyed receiving these small packages in the mail and was often impressed with their efforts, as well as the stories that accompanied them. Prolific and well-known artists participated, giving the project credibility.
For further information:www.facebook.com/pages/Fate-Destiny-and-Self-Determination-An-international-tapestry-project/
as well as on Instagram @tapestryline
Twitter@tapestry_line and my websitehttps://www.linedufour.com/fate-destiny-self-determination.
Marcel Marois – Solo Exhibition, Galerie Roger Bellemare – Christian Lambert,
372 Sainte-Catherine Ouest, suite 501, Montreal
April 13 to May 18 2019
Great opportunity to be in the middle of a forest, by a river, staying at a lovely cottage by the Lake immersed in Nature from the Kawarthas Region in Ontario, AND learning about history, Natural Dyes and Tapestry!!
Workshop Instructor: Ixchel Suarez will take you throughout a full immersion workshop.
Limited space is available! Fills out really soon.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or call at 905 257 2446
| Venue I
2302 Bridge Rd, Oakville, Ontario L6L 2G6
Venue II Country Heritage Park
Creating Complexity: Strategies to Expand Your Approach to Designing and Weaving Tapestry
Taught by Jane Kidd
June 27-30, 2019
“Phenomena Series: Burn,” 91 x 122 cm, 2018
The International Tapestry Triennial, the oldest and the most important presentation of phenomena connected with the medium of textiles, in 2019 will take place for the 16th time. It’s a good moment to refresh the format and to give the forthcoming Triennial an open character. It will allow us to get a closer look at textiles in a broader context. The previous system, proven and fully functional in a period of lesser freedom of information flow, was fully justified. The principle assuming work of commissioners from different countries, who recommended artists fit to participate in the event, was dictated by the specifics of that time and significantly facilitated the accomplishment of subsequent editions of the Triennial. However, in the era of full freedom and ease of information circulation we want to get in touch directly with artists expressing the desire to take part in the feast of textiles, which will take part next year in Łódź.
In relation to that, we invite all the authors that every day express themselves by means of textiles or that would like to square off against this matter that is demanding, yet offers an incredibly broad alphabet of means of expression. Until now, the condition for the work to be allowed in the competition was to use the basic element of the structure of textiles, i.e. interlacing. We want to broaden that definition. We will also present works that allude to this medium in their layer of significance. In the broad formal spectrum, there will be place for photographs, videos and other forms of expression. All the terms and conditions of participation are included in the Regulations.
Another essential change is that for the first time we want to focus the whole presentation of the Triennial around the key topic; for the next Triennial this topic is “Breaching Borders.” This topic includes many problems of the modern world, which redefine the meaning of the identity of our civilization, ethnic groups, social groups or each of us individually. In the era of accumulation of ever-changing variables, almost all the time we are forced to move the borders of our understanding of reality or to delineate them, say, in the matter of dignity or the sense of personal security. Do we, as a civilization, aim at a world without borders? It seems that borders have a pejorative meaning and their crossing is an expression of freedom. They repeatedly proved to be the source of conflict between those who delineated and maintained them on the one hand, and those who wanted to cross them on the other. Therefore, maintaining the integrity of borders or bringing them down shows itself as an enormous civilizational problem, which is mirrored in political, social, cultural, scientific and religious matters, in problems that afflict each of us personally. Which finally finds its expression in art. Artistic textiles have experienced it in a notable way. Over half a century ago, authors had to break the rules that the centuries imposed on textiles in order to admit it as one of the liberated arts. Out of this conflict, outstanding works of art were born, works that shifted the borders of how we perceive art. Today, after many years of a peculiar crisis of textiles, it is being reborn, integrating itself even more closely with other fields, and thereby blurring the borders that divide them. We believe that the next International Tapestry Triennial will bring an interesting and important commentary to these phenomena, of which we are both witnesses and participants.
“I would like to thank the American Tapestry Alliance for being selected as a recipient for the Weaving The Future Grant.
This grant is designed to support weaving opportunities for children and to provide training in tapestry weaving to teachers and others who will, in turn, teach weaving to children.
As a weaver and an educator, I feel the responsibility to pass on and share my knowledge to other educators, in order to reach out Community at large of this wonderful, almost “lost” art: TAPESTRY.
Thank you ATA for this opportunity. Will share photos soon.”
Congratulations Ixchel Suarez and Canadian Tapestry Center in Oakville, Ontario!