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West Dean Tapestry Studio and Tracey Emin Collaborate on Tapestry to Be Unveiled at Saatchi Gallery
Close up of Caron Penney, West Dean Tapestry Studio weaver at work on tapestry for Tracey Emin. Photo: Steve Speller. © the artist.

LONDON.- Tracey Emin has commissioned the West Dean Tapestry Studio to translate one of her paintings, Black Cat, into tapestry. This is Tracey’s first venture into this medium. The tapestry will be unveiled at COLLECT 2011, Saatchi Gallery on the 6 May.

Tracey Emin says: “The Black Cat is one of my favourite paintings. It took me over seven years to complete, not because I was hesitant, but because it’s two completely different paintings. It has bold strong shapes as well as subtle washes of colour. I thought this would be perfect for a tapestry, and I am delighted with the work Caron and Philip have done in translating my work to the woven form.” Emin adds: “Black Cat has many layers, emotionally as well as literally. The painting underneath is landscape, and is of a figure crouching down with the words ‘Things I say NO to’. I then turned the painting so it was portrait, and with the inspiration of the Edgar Allan Poe story, The Black Cat, I proceeded to paint what appears to be a rather demonic self-portrait in my long black dress.”

Caron Penney, Studio Director who is weaving the tapestry alongside Philip Sanderson said “The Black Cat painting is an absolute pleasure to weave; it contains the most delicate subtleties within its many layers which are translating beautifully into tapestry. It is wonderful to be working with Tracey, as it is a life-time ambition fulfilled. I hope many people will come to COLLECT to see this exciting work.”

The Black Cat tapestry will be unveiled at COLLECT which is being held at the Saatchi Gallery, 6 – 9 May 2011. COLLECT is one of the Crafts Council’s flagship events and over the last eight years has built up an outstanding reputation as the premiere fair in Europe for contemporary craft.

The West Dean Tapestry Studio has a long history of collaborating with contemporary artists. The studio was founded in 1976 when the daughter of artist Henry Moore approached the workshop and asked if the professional weavers could translate one of Moore’s drawings into tapestry. So delighted were Henry and his daughter with the resulting sample that 23 Moore tapestries were commissioned and the Tapestry Studio was born.

Over the years the Studio has worked with many artists including John Piper, Philip Sutton, Howard Hodgkin, Bill Jacklin, Adrian Berg and many of its own Studio designers.

The Studio works to commission for private and corporate clients. Commissions range from small-scale domestic pieces to large public works. Working with architects and a wide range of public and private institutions to the designs of well-known artists or our award-winning in-house designers, the West Dean weavers employ the traditional Gobelin techniques to create each unique tapestry.

COLLECT 2011 is being held at the Saatchi Gallery.

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