2019 Cordis Prize for Tapestry shortlist revealed
- Arabella Bradley
- 25 February 2019
Katharine Swailes – Le Bric et de Broc
World's biggest prize in tapestry to be announced on Sat 16 Mar at Inverleith House Gallery
The shortlist for the 2019 edition of the Cordis Prize, the world's biggest tapestry prize, has been announced. The prize was created to reward ambitious and skilled use of tapestry weaving techniques, to demonstrate how this traditional medium has been developed today. The shortlisted works for this year's prize range from explorations of colour, material and scale, to works which deal with issues of displacement from war, resistance to ethnic diversity, and Western appropriations of Eastern ideals.
Artists were selected by a judging panel convened by the prize's co-founder Miranda Harvey, which consists of: Fiona Mathison, former head of Tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art and former Artistic Director at Dovecot Studios; Jo Barker, the internationally renowned tapestry artist and winner of the 2017 Cordis Prize; David Eustace, acclaimed fashion and portrait photographer; Charlotte Higgins, chief culture writer for The Guardian; and Emma Nicolson, Head of Exhibitions at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.
This year's shortlist includes 16 artists, who will show their work at Inverleith House in Edinburgh from Sat 16 Mar, when the winner is announced, to Mon 27 May. Over 75 submissions from artists across the world have been whittled down to the following 16:
Anna Olsson (Sweden)
Before the Disaster – Dish Brush
For this piece, Anna chose imagery which acts to question what we value today, and what we take for granted.
Anna Ray (Hertfordshire, UK)
After discovering that some of her ancestors were French Huguenot silk weavers working in Spitalfields in the 1700s, Anna began to imagine the different textile forms her ancestors might have created in silk, linen, cotton and wool, and subsequently Tassel was born.
Anne Stabell (Norway)
Summer in the Woods and Symbiosis (Lichen)
Working with a series of tapestries titled Waldeinsamkeit, Anne takes the German term (meaning the feeling evoked by being alone in the woods) to create works which also evoke this calm, contemplative atmosphere for the viewer.
Birgitta Hallberg (Denmark)
Birgitta's work is inspired by her childhood garden in Skåne, and photos her mother took of her here.
Brita Been (Norway)
The handwoven work aims to express the humane in a world of rational thought and anonymity, and illustrates that style and tradition cannot be separated from meaning.
Emma Jo Webster (Glasgow, UK)
This work marks the beginning of a new body of work by Emma which explores the depths and luminosity of colour, which is something the artist says she has always been 'mesmerised' by.
Jessica Brouder (Canada)
Part of a series of tapestries inspired by the legend of Dido, Queen of Carthage, who claimed modern day Tunis.
Joanne Soroka (Edinburgh, UK)
For Irena Sendler
A tapestry dedicated to Irena Sendler, as Joanne felt she hadn't been given the recognition she deserved during her lifetime for successfully smuggling 2500 children out of Warsaw's ghettos and finding foster families to hide them during the war .
Katharine Swailes (Sussex, UK)
Le Bric et de Broc
The piece is 'an abstract innerlandscape' created from odds and ends chosen at random but placed mindfully within the piece to emphasise the physical activity of weaving.
Linda Green (Edinburgh, UK)
Up to and Over the Edge
The work uses the reinforcement of lines by repeatedly drawing over them to explore how boundaries are 'volatile areas which can spark reactions', sometimes resulting in conflict.
Lívia Pápai (Hungary)
Way to Light
Lívia presents the text found on a female epitaph at the City Museum of Nantong which records the details of the birth and death of the person, and her life story.
Louise Martin (Clackmannanshire, UK)
What is Green?
Using paper yarn and a continuous warp, Louise links together over two hundred elements informed by landscape and travel.
Philip Sanderson (West Sussex, UK)
A Million Billion
Part of a continuing body of work exploring how material and scale can be used within the medium of tapestry weaving. This work uses heavier materials which give the piece a larger physical presence, emphasising the quality of the woven surface.
Rachel Johnston (Portsmouth, UK)
The process of woven construction is at the heart of Rachel's work. Her large scale pieces like Subtle Increase embody a sense of place, conveying the 'experiential moment' in the woven structure of the object itself.
Susan Mowatt (Edinburgh, UK)
Red, White and Blue Streamers
The work consists of three parts, each constructed from paper streamers used for parties, which remind Susan of those that would hang from the windows of the bus to Sunday School picnics.
Yasuko Fujino (Japan)
A Blind Garden
Inspired by a line from Anthony Doerr's book All the Light We Cannot See which expresses how all light is invisible according to the laws of the electromagnetic spectrum, the work plays with ideas of what is visible, and colour.
To kick off the 2019 Cordis Prize Exhibition there will be a symposium, The Thread Runs Both Ways: Heritage and the Future of Tapestry Art, which brings together an international panel of speakers to discuss the wealth of talent and creativity in contemporary tapestry. The symposium takes place at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, Saturday 16 March, 10am–4pm.
The 2019 Cordis Prize for Tapestry Exhibition opens at Inverleith House Gallery, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, Sat 16 Mar to Mon 27 May. thetapestryprize.org