I came across these video's today on You Tube while searching for something completely different. One of the great things about You Tube is that there are a lot of uploads of old programs that would otherwise be lost somewhere in archives, never to be seen again. These documentaries featuring Archie Brennan were filmed in New Zealand in 1992.
The first video begins with that wonderful sound of the tap tap tapping of the bobbin, beating down the weft. A sound so familiar to the solitary tapestry weaver. It is interesting watching Archie weave, sometimes from the front and other times from the back. There are several tapestries that I had not seen before and I particularly like the ones that feature fabrics and windows. I enjoyed Archie's thoughts on the process of weaving and the attraction of working in such a slow medium.
Archie talks of tapestries past and its use as a social commentary of the times. I like the cartoons and the way the women's dresses are woven. Listing to Archie, it reminds me of Grayson Perry's documentary 'In the Best Possible Taste' that was screened here earlier in the year. Archie seems to be attracted to weaving text, something many of us avoid. When commenting on the weaving the Sue Arnold tapestry it gives a lot to think about in terms of beginning a tapestry, as Archie comments that it would have been better woven upside down.
There is something really attractive about making tapestries about textiles. If the tapestries of the shirts and ties were paintings they would not have the warmth they do woven in wool. Don't be fooled by how simple the hounds tooth looks, it was woven by a master!
I won't say anymore about the programs, but see if you can pick out the tapestry in the third video that is woven on the bias?
Many thanks to the up loader for making these video's available again, so many years after they were filmed. They are just as relevant today as they were over 20 years ago. Enjoy!