REFLECTIONS OF THE CONQUEST - Art and Object, New Works Inspired by the BAYEUX TAPESTRY
The original Bayeux Tapestry was created in the 11th century and tells the story of the Norman Conquest of Britain. The 70 metre long tapestry was stitched in wool on linen and has resided for the past 900 years in Bayeux, France. These current works were made for an exhibition of art work at the Woodstock Museum (Ontario) in February, 2002. The theme was to create art, in various media, which drew its inspiration from this remarkable artifact.
I first encountered the Bayeux Tapestry at an exhibition of the re-created tapestry, worked by J. Raymond Dugan, at the Southhampton Museum, ON. a few years ago. On that occasion I was fortunate enough to hear Mr. Dugan speak, which helped greatly to put the tapestry into its historical context. It is interesting to note that the time period in which the original tapestry was created is roughly contemporary with the dawn of stained glass in Europe. The tapestry commemorates the Norman conquest of Britain in 1066. The oldest complete stained glass windows still extant in Europe today are in Augsburg, Germany and were created in the late 11th century.
In these works, I have used techniques which, with minor variations, would have been familiar to craftsmen of the Middle Ages. I have used lead came in the construction, rather than the more modern copper foil and solder technique which was first used in the 19th century. Many of the pieces are also pained and kiln fired with glass enamels, again a technique already in general use in early stained glass windows.
My general approach in creating these works has been to select strong visual elements from the tapestry and to slightly abstract them. The images are not in a literal context, rather they are like found fragments.
REFLECTIONS OF THE CONQUEST - New Works inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry
The photos here are from the opening of REFLECTIONS OF THE CONQUEST and show a very small sampling of the creativity on display at the exhibition.