Agam-o-weave; in motion, 2016


The making of ...

something completely different! A 3D work of art, woven in one piece, 110 x 130 cm.


Op Art and Kinetic Art influences

The idea for this work comes from Eye Attack, an exhibition about Op Art and Kinetic Art at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark, I visited in the spring of 2016.

 

A number of my heroes were exhibited there, such as Bridget Riley, Victor Vasarely, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Yaacov Agam.

 

I was especially impressed with two works of art:

Physichromie 497 by Carlos Cruz-Diez, a threedimensional acrylic painting on plywood from 1970 using cardboard and transparant PVC slats. When you walk past the painting, the colour and the shape of the rectangles change continuously. See the photo on the right.

 

The other one was Structural Painting by Yaacov Agam from 1964, oil on wood. This looks completely different from the left than from the right or from the front. See the three photos below.


Challenge

I wanted to do a 3D piece myself with texture, depth and different images from different angles. I approached this challenge from two sides, from the technical side and from the artistic side of the design.

The artistic side of the design

I often start a new design on paper, or by painting, or by cutting and pasting coloured cardboard.

For this design it took a lot of colouring squares on grid paper and folding paper before it started to amount to something.


The technical side of the design

At the same time, I started to work out the technical challenge on my small sample loom and visited the DIY shop. I wanted to weave a fabric in one piece but consisting of three layers; one seen from the left, one with other colours seen from the right and one  for the 3D construction at the back.

Because my little testloom only has 8 shafts, I tried a Summer and Winter weave on 6 shafts for just one front layer and kept 2 shafts for the back layer. 

Plastic corner guards created the 3D construction.


The final design

The final design is, as is usual in my case, a struggle between my wish for more variation and the limited number of 32 shafts my loom has.

 

In this case I choose mirroring in stead of faster repetitions of patterns to get the design fitting.

Both these designs are rotated 90 degrees compared to the final workpiece for better fitting the screen
Both these designs are rotated 90 degrees compared to the final workpiece for better fitting the screen

Warping and weaving

So I decided on a white warp on shaft 1 to 18, a multi coloured warp on shaft 19 to 30 and the last 2 shafts where for a purple invisible warp on the backside to form the 3D construction.

 

The white warp is composed of 3 types and qualities white yarn; cotton, silk and synthetic yarn, because I did not have enough stock from each of them. The weft consists of 2 types of black wool. The weaving technique used is Summer and Winter with a tabby of white sewing thread. The white warp is only seen from the left.

 

The coloured warp is composed of 7 colours very thin Mora wool, double thread, with gradual colour transitions from light orange to dark orange, to fuchsia, to purple, dark purple and dark blue. This coloured warp can in the final workpiece only be seen from the right and has an extra double woven rectangle in the middle. The weaving technique used is Summer and Winter with a tabby of coloured sewing thread matching the wool every 3 wefts.

 

The entire workpiece is woven crosswise in strips of 3 cm per warp.

Backside construction

The backside purple warp is made of strong cotton. This warp is only woven once every 6 cm to create a tunnel for the plastic corner guards.

After the fabric was taken from the loom, the corner guards were slided between the purple warp threads and the woven fabric. By firmly pulling the purple threads the front of the fabric is folded around the corner guards.


Finishing

Finally I stretched the work around a wooden framework on which a painter fastens a piece of canvas. Since the whole construction weighs no less than 8 kg, it needed a firm hanging device. The size of the work is 110 x 130 cm.

First prize

On the National Weaving Day of 4 November 2016 the works were exhibited from the contest "From idea to 3D" as organised by the Dutch Weaving Association  "Weefnetwerk". I won first prize!


Photo from the left; black and white. Photo from the right; dazzling colours.