Sound and Weave
Integrating sound with tapestry weaving - this is an interest that developed from my work in field recording for my StillWalks® business and past experience of directing interactive digital media projects.
This approach to sound recording relates to my interest and enjoyment of the textural and rhythmic aspects of weaving. When listening to the sounds of an environment, or indeed music, I focus on the textures and patterns more than anything else. These aspects of weave and sound are becoming an increasingly important element of my work in both fields and the interconnection of the two areas feels almost inevitable. Therefore, finding practical means of integrating them through tapestry weaving and the materials and technology available is a primary consideration when developing design ideas.
The prompt to the audience to interact and engage creatively with the work is very important and has been successful with the small experimental tapestries I have exhibited. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my current work is developing solutions to encourage the audience to take part and physically engage with the work when they are so often asked (told) not to touch works of art.
In addition to developing new work with interactive audio I have been making creating audio accompany certain older tapestries. As I have not wanted to alter the visual appearance of these works, they are displayed on exhibition with a QR code that allows the audience to scan the code with a mobile phone camera and link through to the audio files on this website. You can listen to these tapestries by clicking below.
This tapestry was made for a British Tapestry Group (Solway Branch) exhibition at Gracefield Arts Centre from 11 September - 30 November 2021. The request for work was that it be made in response to a selected work from the Scottish Collection at Gracefield.
My tapestry is about illusion and memory and references the structure of Gordon Perfect’s painting Electric Brae. I perceive the painting not as a picture of the Electric Brae itself but rather as a view from the Electric Brae on the A719 to Ayr; a view looking west across the sea during a dramatic sunset. I have a strong childhood memory of this illusory phenomenon and it is this, mixed with other local memories, that prompted me to choose this picture, reference the image as I have, and develop an interactive audio element.
from the PUP
This tapestry, like the one above - "Illusion" - is also about illusion. This small version of the tapestry (35.5 x 44 cm) does not use interactive audio but my plan is to make a similar larger tapestry that will contain audio. This tapestry was made for the British Tapestry Group exhibition Threads in Sheds at Whitford Silk Mill and as such some of the weaving is in silk.
Metamorphosis and Heallreaf 3
Heallreaf 3 is an international tapestry weaving exhibition which showed at Surface Gallery, Nottingham and Espacio Gallery, London. The juried exhibition was set up and installed by Margaret Jones and featured 39 tapestries by 39 tapestry weavers from around the world - my audio interactive tapestry Metamorphosis was part of the exhibition.
The Making of INTERCONNECTION
The making of INTERCONNECTION, an audio interactive tapestry, follows the process of creation on the loom in Alastair's studio, with the integration of sensors in the weave which, when triggered, play selected sound clips over a looping background soundscape. The tapestry was originally woven for the British Tapestry Group touring exhibition Sound and Weave.