I began this tapestry with a small snippet from a portion of a small painting I did while at Lillian E. Smith Center earlier in the fall. Now it's growing into a much larger image in the tapestry cartoon. The finished tapestry will be approximately 60" h x 28" w.
Here are a few details of the piece:
I wrote about the visual appeal of the strip I cut from the small painting as part of this post. I've tried several other ideas from the drawings I made while at LES Center--but I finally decided to work with this strip which, as it was cut apart from the whole, became an abstraction of density of leaf litter.
Here's the strip. I've turned it 90˚ as I'm weaving it. There is a portion being added to it of equal width that's not being shown here since it's still in the designing stages for color:
I set the loom up and began weaving early in November. Little did I know when I began working on the tapestry that it would offer a way to express some of my deep distress and sadness about the ravages of the wildfires throughout the southeast over the past months. The tragedy that's unfolding in the Great Smoky National Park and the communities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge from the wildfires compels me to make a visual statement of some kind. And now... just in the news, another terrible fire, the one in Oakland, California where many lives have been lost.
Fire is both a gift and a burden. Fire has been with humans for thousands of years, and many myths and legends involve fire. It isn't a simple gift, however. Responsibilities come with fire and there's the burden of learning to live with and manage fire as best we can. Use it for good and respect its power; these tragic events over the past few weeks remind us of the burden.