Weaving Australia Brenda Goggs

The Tapestries



Weaving has a long history, as Elizabeth Wayland Barber, in her book Women's Work: the first 20,000 years, points out. It is founded on the simplest technique and transcends its simple technology. Later, in Europe, Tapestry was only woven by male weavers. It was Frenchman Joseph Jacquard who created an automated loom that could weave complex designs into cloth - the precursor of the computer. Now New Scientist (24/1/2004) suggests that weaving may inspire the quantum computer...It is the power of the metaphor combined with physical practicalities that enlarges life. This is the power of weaving. The woven tapestry is merely a wall hanging, a fabric, but it is also is a window which promises both a view beyond and a reflection of ourselves. My work plays in this space between metaphor and the literal.
"Mind" 2.50m x 2m
I am concerned with ideas and questions relating to the landscape and our place in it. I find myself in the 'guilty' position of thinking of an 'occupied' land as 'home' and at the same time not able to relate to the withering vastness of much of Australia's countryside. I am a white coastal dweller when the Australian 'mythology' claims that the desert is the source of spiritual enlightenment, and that the Aboriginal Dreaming holds a special truth which eludes us. My understanding of the landscape has often been mediated by the experience of others expressed primarily in history and literature. This is seen by some as a 'second-hand' experience rather than the 'real thing'. To explore this idea further, I have been looking at the landscape through connections between visual art representation and other forms of cultural expression in my work over the last few years.
It is hard for us to envisage a world without language. The power of the word, arising in the West from the Christian logos is paramount. Also, the Western tradition suggests to us that there are pure forms of cultural expression.
Intensely visual images emanate from all kinds of situations: memories, dreams, fantasies, fleeting glimpses, imaginings. While many of these are not in fact actual, they nevertheless represent a form of 'truth' and / or 'reality' in that our eyes have 'seen' them. And it is a short step to apply powers of persuasion based on these supposed truths. This is the space occupied by the Explorer who finds only what he can recognise from his previous experience.
It is this in-between-ness in all its ordinariness and mystery which is our human position. We live at the intersections of places, between the past and the future, the earth and the sky, and this is not a no-man's land, but a means of connection. Meaning is found in many ways - where one perceives a connection, a possible connection, a lack of connection, or even the ghost of a former connection.
Brenda weaving a tapestry
The physical process of weaving the discontinuous weft which eventually makes a Tapestry, where each piece is warped up out of an empty space, creates a thinking space. Whether this is viewed as a process of competition or cooperation, dialogue or rivalry, it can nevertheless be a basis for a vivid and enduring experience and a space from which to view things in a different way.

Brenda Goggs - Tapestry Artist | WEAVING AUSTRALIA