From the Bayeux Tapestry to the Unicorn Tapestries, tapestry art is usually characterized by its focus on epic and sweeping themes like war, love, religion, and even the changing of the seasons. Painting, on the other hand, seems more immediate; a canvas can be filled in a few hours, whereas a woven tapestry may take weeks to complete. 



The artist Cayce Zavaglia’s work brilliantly examines the intersections between painting and craft, for although her medium is crewel embroidery wool, she considers herself to be a painter. Her intricate portraits do indeed read more like impressionist and modern paintings than tapestries. In a moving yet subversive “nod […] to the tradition of tapestry,” Zavaglia subtly shifts the historical focus of tapestry from the epic to the personal. Instead of pivotal moments in great battles and biblical scenes, her thread tenderly centers on the lines of a woman’s face, the gaps between her teeth, the texture of her garments. 

The artist so expertly mimics the mixing of color and the freedom of brushstrokes found in paint work, you’ll hardly be able to tell her images are composed entirely of wool thread. Take a look. 





Thanks to Beautiful/Decay

Images via Beautiful/Decay

Tagged in: unicorn tapestries, tapestry, portraiture, painting, embroidery, cayce zavaglia, bayeaux tapestry, art   

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