I once sold a large, very traditional-looking wall hanging in the Norwegian Vestfold technique. A year later I learned that the woman who purchased it displayed it at the end of a hall, framed and under glass. I thought it was so odd – it would make much more sense on the wall of a cabin than treated as a precious object. Display can make such a difference.
I had the interesting opportunity to see one of Pam Davis‘ tapestries, “Connect the Dots #4: Celts, Runes, Tree Rings & Chocolate,” displayed in two shows this year. It was one of two pieces included in the Minnesota Weavers Guild Scandinavian Weavers show, “Symbols, Myths, and Fairy Tales,” in the Community Gallery at the Textile Center in Minneapolis. Then in July it was a ribbon winner at the 2008 National Exhibition of Folk-Art in the Norwegian Tradition at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa.
It’s a very interesting and complex image, and the way it was highlighted with another of her pieces in the Textile Center show was great. But when I saw it again at Vesterheim, I was struck by how dramatic it looked against a brick wall. It hung a short distance from the wall, adding just a bit of shadow. I wouldn’t have guessed that the detailed images in the tapestry would benefit from the rough texture behind it, but the brick enhanced the tapestry as a textile. I hope it never gets sold to someone who wants to take it to a framing shop and shut it behind glass!