Second Large-Scale Wall Hanging, "Fast Fashion: The Color Purple," Completed
Weaving on the larger loom (48 inches) has been a surprising experience so far. Having worked since 2014 on a 27-inch-wide loom, I more or less approached each new piece with the attitude that it was a "product" rather than an expression. Each piece represented something -- sometimes in complexity, sometimes in shape, but always in miniature. Weaving a scarf in the colors of the high desert didn't transform that scarf into the high desert; at the end of the warp, it was still simply a scarf. While I definitely experimented with color and texture on the 27-inch loom, and I cherished each finished piece for its uniqueness, I didn't have the same sense of awe about those experiments that I now have with the larger loom.
Sitting at the larger loom has made me more aware of the impact of size on visual interpretation of a piece: If the thing I'm weaving is closer to life-size, maybe the viewer will have a different reaction or response because the hanging's components will be more familiar. That is particularly true with "Fast Fashion," where I wanted an assortment of life-size clothing parts to represent our contemporary culture's tendency to value quantity over quality. On the loom, where I work on a horizontal plane, the piece looked like a heap of laundry. Standing in front of the piece as it hangs on the wall, the viewer is confronted with a new view, a vertical view -- one that looks a lot like the large congested closet of a person whose favorite color is purple. Had this been woven in a narrower width, maybe its nature as a pile of laundry wouldn't have been so obvious. Or maybe its impact would have been lessened. Or so I want to imagine as I look at it hanging on the studio wall.