Engelhardt describes how she was ‘set free’ by discovering Sheila Hicks’ ‘minimes’, and learnt to sketch and paint with yarns. She has been working on 8 and 16 inch shaft looms since 2013, creating poetic pieces - ‘weavescapes’. The yarns and fibres are for Engelhardt lines of paint, each with its own colour as well as textural characteristics.
“I often leave the materials I use hanging off the sides as I think it is interesting for people to see what they are and how each one ‘behaves’ when unconstrained.”
“As an artist I am exploring the painterly and sculptural qualities of yarns and fibres within the relatively constraining context of a shaft loom [...] Above all, I am preoccupied with bringing movement to the rigid angular grid set by the shaft loom, often sacrificing the traditional stability of cloth for maximum expressiveness, giving yarns the space to ‘breathe’.”
The inherent contradiction between the solid form of the weaving loom and organic, unruly yarns and fibres is mediated by Engelhardt’s acute understanding of her medium.
Come and view this fascinating exhibition until 30th April at Blenheim Palace. Visit Zuleika Gallery's website.