Chaco Canyon

Emergence V: The Center Place

Emergence V: The Center Place, 44 x 44 inches, hand-dyed wool tapestry
photo: James Hart

This is the fifth piece in my Emergence series.
Here are links to the others (or you could just look at my website HERE to see them all):

Emergence I --the first of the series, helped along by some good solid design advice from James Koehler and woven while apprenticing with him in 2008-2009. It was in American Tapestry Biennial 8 as well as the Bauhaus show in Albuquerque in 2010. This tapestry is now at Weaving Southwest in Taos, NM

Emergence II --This piece was in the Bauhaus project (Interwoven Traditions: New Mexico and Bauhaus) show at Michaeliskirche in Erfurt, Germany. From there it went to Weaving Southwest in Taos where it was bought by a college in Colorado for their permanent collection.

Emergence III --This piece was in Fiber Celebrated 2011 at the Intermountain Weaver's Conference in Durango, CO in July 2011 and is now hanging at Weaving Southwest in Taos waiting for someone to take it home.

Emergence IV --This piece is at Weaving Southwest also.

This piece started coalescing in my mind when I was at Chaco Canyon the day James Koehler died. You can see what I wrote about that time HERE.
The feeling of expanding horizon in the desert southwest is important to me. Chaco Canyon is a place where the sky is huge and I am but a small observer of the shifting universe.
The questions about ancient people and the artifacts and unanswered stories they left behind are also endlessly intriguing to me. This piece is full of questions.

Chaco Canyon

I found out James Koehler died not many hours after he passed.  I was on my way to Chaco Canyon March 4th, 2011 with Emily and some good friends and I got a phone message somewhere between Regina and Cuba.  

Chaco Canyon is a place of stillness.  It has a long history which is much debated--and is one of those places I like to go to because there aren't any answers to why it exists or what really happened there during its centuries of occupation.  

Chaco is a place that can push you.  Camping the first weekend in March was cold and the wind and blowing sand can needle you incessantly.  There is little shelter out on the desert and you are forced to take what comes at you when walking out on the mesas.  But I find that the discomfort that first appears at Chaco quickly disappears as I am forced to let go of noise and electronics and remember to look at the vastness of the sky and appreciate the brightness of the stars.
The great houses and kivas are a marvel and a mystery.  I love to trace the patterns of the rock walls with my eyes.  It is a place of repetition.  It feels old and unchanging, but even when it was being built it changed all the time.  We like to think of the Anasazi as a particular group of people in one time and place, but they were much like us—building and changing and creating and destroying their society all the time.

Chaco is a place to go when questioning.  It was a good place to be when I found out my tapestry teacher had died... a good place to wonder what that meant for me personally and in a more general sense.

Chaco is about doors and passageways and empty questions.  It is also about sand and sky and stars.  It pushes my boundaries and I will return.

All content copyrighted Rebecca Mezoff, 2011.