Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic

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Time Out says

There’s something special about a tapestry, something traditional, a tangible aura of history. It’s as if the act of creating an image by slowly and meticulously weaving countless threads together is somehow more permanent, more holy, than just slapping a bunch of paint on a canvas. And that’s kind of true: tapestries have been used for centuries as ‘nomadic murals’ for royalty, movable canvases filled with symbolism and iconography. Now, Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili has gone the woven way, and is unveiling ‘The Caged Bird’s Song’ this week at the National Gallery – a huge, complex work, filled with nods to classical mythology. It Ofili first painted a watercolour image then worked closely with the Dovecot Tapestry Studio to create this vibrant, multi-layered wall rug (official art historical term for a tapestry, there), which will go on permanent display in Clothworkers’ Hall in the City once the National’s done with it. Apparently, it’s very tricky to turn a watercolour into a tapestry, but that’s not your problem, because it’s clearly much easier to look at than it was to make.


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