It was interesting to hear Michael Brennand-Wood in conversation with Liz Cooper at the Crafts Study Centre talking about his work in the current exhibition entitled ‘Artists meet their makers’. The exhibition, curated by Liz, celebrates recent collaborations between Master Weavers from the West Dean Tapestry Studios and well known artists. Michael talked about his collaboration with Master Weaver Phil Sanderson to produce ‘Transformer’ a tapestry formed from a fusion of images taken from international lace and textile traditions to assemble the shape of a transformer. Rather than Michael giving Phil a completed artwork to reproduce, the two men worked together to produce the final piece.
Michael sent Phil images, from which he produced samples, and together by remixing the images the final work was produced. Asked about the collaborative process Michael said he knew Phil well and trusted his judgement and praised his skill at mixing subtle colours to interpret the design. Liz commented on the care taken to dye the range of colours required. Michael’s only criticism was that he would have liked the piece to have been larger. Phil agreed and said he too would have preferred a larger piece. Phil also noted that the aim of tapestry weaving is not to copy the artist’s design blindly but to retain the essence of the artist’s work within a tapestry framework - something beautifully achieved in this case. If you want to see the piece for yourself the exhibition is at the Crafts Study Centre, Farnham until 1 July.