Category Archives: 2007 barns

Looking at Old Photos: Source and Inspiration for Weaving Tapestries

Recently, I had a fit of pique when going through my tapestry inventory.  I saw I had too much work around, and decided to have a flash online clearance sale. It was fast and furious, and I sold 14 out of 15 tapestries in 36 hours. It was so gratifying to send old work to appreciative new homes — particularly to those who had often expressed the desire for my work but felt they would have to win the lottery to be able to afford it.

Today, in response to a note from one of the happy purchasers, I was looking through my old source photos, and I thought it would be fun to pair the source up with the tapestries which resulted. I often work from photographs when the source is out there on the highway, and sometimes the relationship between the source and the resulting artwork is very obvious.

The tapestries shown here all date from between 2008-2010, and are based on the rural landscape near where I live in southern Indiana.

All tapestries are copyright Laura Foster Nicholson, and photos are either by myself or by Ben Nicholson.

Barns 2006 & 2007

When I began weaving these barns in the fall of 2006, I had just moved to the country after years in Chicago. I love it when a place is brand new to my eyes: I feel I can see with extraordinary clarity and know it won’t be to long before these sharp novel sights become everyday custom and I lose that x-ray vision. I set right to work and made these strong, modern tapestries. I say modern because they are certainly the simplest, most pared down work I have ever made, and they end up being all about the modern vision of agriculture. You can find the transition between the old, tumble down peeling barns such as Silver Arrow, and the new metal sheds such as Big Green Barn, which are replacing them. They are all surrounded by fields of modern monoculture, something of confounding beauty which suits our modern aesthetic while it ruins the land.

top to bottom:
Big Green Barn #2, 2006, 28″ x 29″
Silver Grain Bin, 2006, 33″ x 33″
Big Red Barn, 2007 , 23″ x 32″
Silver Arrow, 2007 26″ x 33″
Big Green Barn #2, 2007, 31″ x 33″

time to show the art

Having spent most of my web-identity energy on ribbons and ribbon-related projects for the last several years, it is time to show the artwork that comes out of my busy studio as well. I have multiple artistic identities which balance art, craft, and design; most are textile-oriented and drawing-based. So now, in no particular order, I will begin to catalogue the artwork that I make. This consists primarily of hand woven “tapestries”, actually made with a brocading technique. I call them tapestries because they hang on walls in the old tapestry tradition.

Today’s post is of recent work, tapestries which are based on the landscape and rural buildings in the vicinity of my new home in New Harmony, Indiana.

top to bottom:
Orange Slat Barn, 2007, 29” x 30”, wool cotton rayon

Corn Cribs & Pear Tree, 2007, 30” x 30”, wool cotton metallic rayon nylon

Cornflowers, 2007, wool & cotton 31” x 30.5”

Corn, 2007, wool, cotton, metallic, 33.5” x 30”