Barbara’s work has long been some of my favorite work in tapestry. Take a look at some current and past work in the photos below and then check out her website linked at the end of the post. Her work often deals with issues of humanity’s relationship to the environment but her work is extensive and varied and well worth study.
While we were looking at the show, I asked Barbara some about her practice and if she had any advice for younger artists. She said that she had had a teacher early on who told her to weave every day. She replied that often she didn’t know what was next. She didn’t have an idea for a new piece yet, so she was waiting for that to happen. The teacher replied that it didn’t matter. She should weave every day. If she didn’t have a new idea, she should weave her sketches or anything else she could think of. Just weave.
As someone who often finds herself in that place of “I don’t have the next idea worked out,” I found this to be exceptional advice. I think that the practice brings you through the times where you don’t feel an idea bursting out. The weaving itself will result in new experiences and the next piece will come quicker this way.
Barbara took that advice. She weaves every day and her vast body of work is testament to that.