Murray Gibson Tapestry > portfolio
This group of tapestries primarily date from the early years of Murray's career. Architectural forms are employed as metaphor to indicate a human presence in the natural environment. The surrounding environment is defined by textile references and patterns - particularly those of the kilims created by weavers of the Middle East, and of Kente Cloth produced by many cultures in western Africa.
These tapestries are inspired by the landscape that surrounds Calgary, Alberta - the wide open prairies to the east of the city and the rolling foothills and jagged Rocky Mountains rising in the west. A primary feature of the landscape is, in fact, the sky above: an endless span of blue, sometimes heavy with summer thunderclouds, sometimes spanning the iconic Chinook arch with its warm winter winds.
During 1990-91, Murray was Artist-in-Residence at the New York Center for Tapestry Arts (sadly now defunct). During the year of his residency Murray had the opportunity to work with many talented weavers. He produced 5 tapestries during the year, and 4 of them deal specifically with his reaction to living in the intense urban landscape of NYC.
While Murray lived in New York City he often visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters to view the museum's vast tapestry collection. He was especially intrigued by the tapestries of the 14th and 15th centuries. He found inspiration in the technical vocabulary of tapestry with which the woven narratives were told. This collection of tapestries are inspired by the aesthetics and techniques of the Medieval masterpieces.
This collection of tapestries is inspired by women of myth and legend, poetry and prose, who are textile practitioners. And, with their practice, they control the lives and deaths of others, and, at times, of themselves. These tapestries share a common aesthetic of an abstracted background overlaid by a delineated image. The abstracted background is derived from images of gowns these heroines wear in other, historical, artistic depictions.
The tapestries in this group are works that don't readily allow themselves to be grouped with the others. While they have been created within the continuum of Murray's tapestry production, each posseses a unique aesthetic that lets it stand alone.
This group of tapestries have been collected from the above thematic categories. Although each is unique, they share the common fact that each was the result of a commissioning process. Some of the commissions are private and residential, others belong to corporate collections, while others are commissions for public and civic buildings. Murray always enjoys working in partnership with his clients to create a unique and special work of art. Where possible an image of the tapestry in its location is provided.