Designer and weaver of tapestries, Pat Williams, has a sign on her loom that reads: “Color, Contrast, Movement.”
“Color choices” she says “are intuitive, and if intuitive doesn’t quite work I call on Van Gogh’s (among other artists’) successful use of complementary colors as a guide. I want my work to have a presence up close as well as from way across the room, therefore an emphasis on contrast is crucial. I want vivid, so I work to define the shapes in their space. Movement can make a piece thrilling and certainly help with the story line.”
The images that follow are examples of wit combined with sensitivity and accomplished technique.
“Orion” (above): “…dreamed feeling of wonderful purpose and goals, of being on a quest; pleasure in living and existence. The constellation of Orion depicted here is fairly accurate, and Orion-the-hunter relates to the woman’s purposeful stride towards her goal. No other constellation contains so many bright stars. People ask what is in the box she carries–they could be tools, could be secrets.”
“Kairos” (above) “…an ancient Greek word meaning the “right or opportune moment,” or “God’s time.” The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies “a time in between”, a moment of undetermined period of time in which “something” special happens. What the special something is depends on who is using the word. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative nature.”
“Chicken In A Storm II” (above) “…incorporates metallics with standard (wool) materials. It explores the possibility of choice on a late summer day and finds that in the face of the storm’s fury response is different if you are a chicken or a tree.”
Some of the most intriguing images are her portraits—inner portraits. She has embellished her portraits of the women below (left, Meditation; right, Patterns of Thinking) with emotion and depth. She has woven the eyes in these portraits using threads of perception and compassion.
And one of her loveliest portraits is that of “A Good Marriage” (below). “This tapestry” Pat says, was a gift to her husband. “The little squares and rectangles are our atmospheres commingling.
While weaving and tapestries as wall art comprise a majority of Pat’s work, the commission of communion cushions at the altar of Grace Calvary Episcopal Church (installed in February 2010) contribute a new and local focus to a richly spiritual environment. The cushions (seen below) are a series of landscapes set in Northeast Georgia. She writes: “The reason for placing the story locally, rather than the mideast, is that the spirit of Jesus pervades any place where Christians live, and His spirit lives in the hearts of Christians in Habersham County in Grace Calvary Episcopal Church. The series is based on the liturgical year, beginning with Advent.”
Pat considers weaving an anomaly in our culture. She loves the “slowness of the process because it is in direct contrast to our instant everything culture. Slow and lovely involvement. Weaving offers the incredible effect of the textures, depth of surface, the malleability of color combinations, the symbolism of intertwining, and the inevitability of the process. One starts at the bottom and works to the top.”
Seen above, all images as named by Pat Williams. On the front-page mastheads are “Chicken In A Storm II” (main); detail from “A Good Marriage” (Daily Episcopalian); and detail from “Homunculus” (Speaking to the Soul).