19 April 2017, The Old Library, West Dean College, 11am
West Dean Tapestry Studio Symposium focuses on the relationship between art and craft, as well as questioning the role of making and the maker in contemporary practice.
Collaborations between artists and craftspeople have been seen throughout history, whether by means of painting, carving, casting, weaving, or construction of other types. The rapport between the artisan and artist is unique - it requires an understanding of the intention of the artist coupled with the skill of the maker. It is a partnership of which one is driven by their concept, idea, artistry, admiration for the maker's skill and the resulting artwork. The other is often quiet, understated and driven by their interest and love of their craft.
This symposium will explore how collaborations between artists and makers can inform each other's practice, through a number of speakers, including artists currently working with the Tapestry Studio. It will explore how tapestry can tap into a the current interest in skill-based making in contemporary art.
The symposium will coincide with a retrospective exhibition celebrating of the skill and imagination of West Dean Tapestry Studio's Master Weavers. Artists Meet Their Makers: Contemporary art re-interpreted by West Dean Tapestry Studio' will take place at The Craft Study Centre in Farnham from 1 April-17 July 2017, and will include works by Henry Moore, Basil Beattie, Michael Brennand-Wood and Tracey Emin.
The symposium will explore the status of hand woven tapestry within the context of contemporary art and craft practices. Focus will be placed on engaging with complex questions concerning the history and future of tapestry weaving in relation to technological advances, and a renewed interest in skill-based making in contemporary art.
It will bring together a number of speakers, including current practitioners, to contextualise and assess Tapestry weaving today and ask: