Threads, words, beauty

Threads, words, beauty.jpg

The Grand Opening of ASI's new wing last weekend was concurrent with the opening of a new exhibit, the first exhibit in ASI's new gallery, although the exhibit overflowed the gallery to fill much of the Institute's wallspace in both the new and old wings. 

"In Our Nature" was a showing of textile artist Helena Hernmarck's woven tapestries. Huge tapestries. Gorgeous tapestries. All handwoven on a loom. 

Most are commissioned landscape designs. Her first commission came at the age 29 years from the Weyerhauser Corporation: "Rainforest," 9 feet by 14 feet. A team of textile artists have learned her techniques and also have pieces on display with the theme "Nordic Forest" as part of this exhibit. 

These tapestries, all of them, not just the ones by the master Hernmarck were so beautiful that people were standing in front of them literally wide-eyed and with mouths gaping open. Then there was laughter, smiles. The beauty produced joy in room after room.

I want to go back and look at each more closely, not because I'm a weaver and will try to imitate the technique (although weaving is one of the many things I dream of trying someday), but because it does my heart and mind good to stand in the presence of beauty. And also, importantly, looking at this kind of art, pieces in which you can see every thread placement, which is similar to the kind of painting where you can see every brush stroke, teaches me something I can't articulate about choosing and laying down one word and then another and another to create something bigger than the sum of its parts.