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Thomas Cronenberg

Please, wait for the image to be loaded! Thomas Cronenberg
2. Thomas Cronenberg Germany

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I came to tapestry very early in life, as a boy, and it never left me. And though other media – collage, drawing, and writing – also play key roles in finding what I want to say and expressing it, tapestry remains my primary interest, obsession and the number one conduit for my creativity. I may paint or take photos or design on the computer, but it is only at the loom that I feel a mastery of technique and materials. Working with a pencil, a computer mouse or a paintbrush are all just warming-up exercises.

      I have found an unexpected freedom in the strict boundaries of tapestry technique and have learned to plan in the long time frames needed to conceptualise, design and weave a tapestry. Weaving is so much more than copying or executing a design – the tapestry has its own life, its own voice which requires attention. (…)

      Because a tapestry is a combination of the designer’s original vision and what happens at the loom, I believe that the same person should design and execute a contemporary tapestry. Only the artist can walk the tightrope between his/her inspiration and the possibilities thrown up in the process of weaving. Putting the work into the hands of studio weavers would rob it of this key extra component – one may as well go straight to a computer Jacquard process.

      For the revival of the genre, it is also important that tapestry artists see themselves as contemporary artists who have something to say. Tapestry for tapestry’s sake is not my vision. For me, content drives artwork. Tapestries can be used to make observations, consider hypotheses, or tell a story. And only the artist can really do this by keeping it all in one hand.

      I took on weaving my version of a small section of the classical Brussels tapestry Mercury hands over the infant Bacchus to the nymphs as a challenge: To see whether my segment would look more like a tapestry by Thomas Cronenberg or a museum piece. I am eager to see how each of the artists tackled this task, and see whether I recognize my colleagues’ “handwriting”. The project is a metaphor for something I think tapestry needs: pieces which respect the age-old technique but are at the same time contemporary works of art.