Saturday, 3 November 2012




at Compton Verney.

Lots of tapestries in the exhibition: I have chosen a few from the Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism sections.

Archie Brennan, 1964.

This key tapestry was commissioned by Aberdeen Art Gallery to express the light and character of the city and to act as a keynote for its modern art collection. It was one of the first to be woven with weavers facing the front of the tapestry and using different types of yarn to vary surface textures.  As such, it pointed forward to modern, expressive ways of working.

Hans Tisdal, Armada, 1962.

Hans Tisdal's abstracted style suited tapestry commissions for the new buildings of the 1960s. This was one of the last pieces in which the weavers worked the back, not front of the tapestry. The design is based on a 16th century print of the ships of the Spanish Armada.

Eduardo Paolozzi, Whitworth Tapestry, 1967-68.

In total, ten tapestries were woven. During its production Archie Brennan wrote that 'it was proven great fun to weave, particularly as each changing panel is like a new panel'.

Tom Phillips, After Benches, 1973

The design was taken from a postcard of Phillips' painting Benches in the Tate collection. Woven on its side by four weavers in succession, it grew by approximately a square metre per week.

David Hockney, A tapestry made from a Painting, made from a Painting of a Tapestry, made from a Painting (Play Within a Play), 1969.

This is the first of five collaborations between David Hockney and the Edinburgh Tapestry Company. It was woven from a painting of a tapestry.

Fiona Mathison, A clean Sheet, 1980

Paul Furneaux, Inner Landscape, 2003

Peter Blake, Rainbow, Star, Target, Heart, 2012

Barbara Rae, Fishpool, Lacken, 2010

Rae has described the image as containing what fascinates her - 'the symbols, mythology and history of rural windswept county Mayo, its leaping salmon the marker of the Moy River'.

Looking out

being out.

Before leaving we went to see the Ice House. After months of restoration, the work is finally complete.

The Ice House was built on the new drive in 1772, and was almost certainly designed by Lancelot Capability Brown who designed the gardens and bridge.

During the winter servants would cut blocks of ice from the lake and store them below ground in the Ice House, between insulating layers of straw. Ice would then be removed when needed for cooking and entertaining during the summer months.

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