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Gabriela Cristu Sgarbura
Please, wait for the image to be loaded! Work of Gabriela Cristu Sgarbura
6. Gabriela Cristu Sgarbura Romania

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I chose the tapestry genre long before I began making tapestries. When I was studying at the Academy of Arts in Bucharest, next to our study workshop was another workshop with many looms. This workshop, used by those making tapestries, I would pass through every day. I can still see it in my mind’s eye. ‘Daring’ and ‘monumental’ were the words that best described that space. ‘How would I make a tapestry?’ and then ‘How would I make this as a tapestry?’ were the questions that took shape in my mind. But for me the time for tapestry did not yet arrive. (…) It was a prolific period of searching, of understanding my own artistic personality, a time of meticulous inner preparation for a new form of expression, tapestry. And during this time, too, my drawing became more suggestive and my use of tempera more accurate. In the meanwhile, the paper was continuously changing its dimensions and it seemed as though I did not have enough space. This was how I discovered that not everything I was imagining in painting or drawing I could execute in tapestry as well. And vice versa. I was thinking and imagining them differently.

      So it was until one day I decided to approach a tapestry loom, without hesitation. The feeling of provisionality disappeared. Since then, I have never ceased to discover more and more about this wonderful form of expression: tapestry. In my opinion, it is comparable with mural painting, because it has a consistency and timbre different to those of canvas painting or cardboard drawing. It is entirely special. By way of tapestry, I am perfecting the art of drawing on paper.

      Tapestry never ceases to surprise us. I have the feeling that there is still is something mysterious in it waiting to be discovered (or rediscovered), precisely because it offers such a large array of opportunities for expression technically speaking. It is inexhaustible. Yes, I do consider that it is very important for an artist to weave his or her tapestries in person. These works become autographs. They resemble codices, and are thus very valuable. But, for me, it is not something new to weave my tapestries myself. An entirely new experience would be to have someone else perform the weaving according to my drawings. Then I would have something more to say, being able to take into consideration this perspective as well.

      (…) This series of events produced a dual change in my professional life: the connection over the centuries between the tapestry of the Middle Ages and contemporary tapestry plus the passing from a solitary life in my studio to working in a team, albeit a widely dispersed one, with the pleasant feeling of belonging to a professional community which is overcoming borders and within which each of us can maintain his or her own spirit and cultural identity.