PRESS RELEASE: 'Altered Yarns' by Tamlin Blake at Spier Wine Estate - March 2012
SA stories weave through recycled tapestries
On 08 March 2012, an exhibition by Tamlin Blake, ‘Altered Yarns’ will launch at Spier in the new wine tasting venue. In this exhibition Blake will present a series of limited edition prints and tapestries woven from recycled, handspun newspaper. A new Spier publication ‘Tamlin Blake’ will also be launched. Blake’s tapestry artworks will form part of the Spier Collection, while the prints and publication will be available for purchase.
While many venues at Spier continue to exhibit art from the estate’s expansive permanent collection, this dedicated exhibition will offer visitors the opportunity to a view the latest art acquisition and experience Spier’s award-winning wine paired with innovative food offerings. The new venue, on the banks of the Spier dam, has beautiful views of the Helderberg mountains.
Created by Blake over an extended and labour-intensive period of time, the collection of tapestry artworks are created from sheets of newspaper that are transformed into “… coloured ‘yarns’ by dying the paper, cutting it into narrow strips, joining the strips and spinning them on a homemade drop spindle to create a relatively strong, textured thread.”*
Mirroring this intricate process, Blake’s works explore concepts concerning the many ways in which our lives are shaped by the stories of others. Blake explains her practice, 'I am interested in working, visually and conceptually, with how stories weave themselves around us, influencing what we do and how we think. Without us being aware, the news, gossip and other peoples’ successes and tragedies form the background fabric of our everyday lives. These stories filter through to us, affect our thinking and form the backbone of our society.
‘Tapestry itself is traditionally a form of story telling. Like the newspaper they are printed on, these used and discarded tales have been reinvented and recycled, woven back and forth in an intricate pattern to form images, which then in turn create a new contemporary narrative.'
The exhibition will run at the Spier wine tasting venue from 08 March 2012 – 31 May 2012. Open to the public, the launch on 08 March 2012 at 18h30 will offer guests the opportunity to view these artworks for the first time, speak to the artist about her work and purchase the new ‘Tamlin Blake’ Spier publication.
* Jackie McInnes 2011 (author of the ‘Tamlin Blake’ publication).