For approximately 4 years, I worked on a series of tapestries and mixed media weavings that I have named: “Woven Portals”.
As I worked on the tapestries, I found myself being more and more fascinated by the compelling imagery of either a single eye or both eyes. When I finished the last piece in the series in the beginning of March 2020, within days, the world shut down because of the pandemic.
And, we all masked up…. and suddenly…. all we could see of other people’s faces were their eyes. I was gobsmacked by how I had been obsessed with making images that just showed the eyes surrounded by ‘soul imagery’ or blessing imagery, and now, that was what I was seeing in the world. Truly fascinating!
To see images of all of the tapestries in the series, click on WOVEN PORTALS
The pieces are woven on looms that I either modified to be able to weave the pieces or that I built myself or with my husband and son.
I will post images of the tapestries and mixed media weavings in separate blog posts to follow.
Here is the artist statement that I wrote for the show:
NOREEN CRONE-FINDLAY ARTIST STATEMENT: “Woven Portals”
How on earth do we navigate our way through the upheaval and chaos that have unfolded in the last few years?
Noreen Crone-Findlay draws upon systems like Sacred Geometry and the slow, meticulous process of weaving
tapestry and making lace to create beauty as an antidote to suffering, using the process of enquiry through art
making in the voyage of discovery at the heart of the creation of images of compassion, courage, community,
integrity, resiliency, hope and connection.
Metaphor is one of the main themes in this collection of mixed media tapestry/woven works. One of the first
steps in creating these tapestries required building and altering looms to be strong enough to stand up to the
rigours of weaving with wire, which is a relentlessly difficult medium to wrestle into a congruent form. This process
is a powerful metaphor of weaving the web of a new way of being in the world.
Why combine wire with the more normal fibres of tapestry construction? Wire is ubiquitous in our world, but
almost invisible in it’s ‘every-day-ness’. Wire is sturdy, flexible and strong, while having a definite breaking point,
much like humanity. Its reflective quality offers a moment of light at play while acting as the foundation for the
softer fibres. It has the ability to hold its ground, so it frames the Woven Portals into the Sacred Geometrical
shapes of equilateral triangle, square, circle and hexagon. It can be folded and manipulated to lift off the wall once
it has been woven. It’s magical. Difficult, beautiful, sometimes even painful to work with, but magical.
The mixed media woven works/tapestries that are the Woven Portals are a way of capturing glimpses of what is,
and what possibly can unfold by using Sacred Geometry as the leaping off point for each piece, while each tapestry
is asking questions that reach down into the depths of our souls.
How is it possible that children are held captive in cages while parents seek refuge? What do we carry forward as
a beacon of hope in creating healing and justice? What aspects and elements of the previously created systems
and structures will act as foundations for creating new healed and whole ways of being? How do we create
communities of resiliency in the face of a pandemic that has brought the world to its knees? How do we connect
with Nature and end the cycles of destruction that humanity has unleashed? These are difficult, painful questions
that need countless acts of small and great commitment and action.
Because the questions are so vast, great focus is required, and so some of the tapestries are very small, as they
are meant to be viewed as a cluster, with the narrative flowing from one piece to the next. Other tapestries are
meant to be seen as mandalas, offering an invitation to pause, sink in, and gaze into the eyes that look out at the
viewer. They are a moment of respite, of sanctuary, truly a portal that invites a visionary, new way of seeing and
being. As we navigate this great mystery, we need new ways of seeing and being. New portals. New hope.