When We Were Queens - A Macrame Throne

October 2017

Rejecting the rectilinear loom that constrains contemporary weaving for a more intuitive approach to working in fiber has resulted in the creation of large-scale functional work of suspended rope forms predominantly constructed of knots, loops, braids, and twists.

Whilst not concerned with the pictorial aspects of weaving, the work in creating this Macramé Throne is interested in extending the formal possibilities of the craft by using conventional weaving free of the loom. The methods of construction as well as the materials chosen derive from their primary concern to extend the aesthetic graphic qualities inherent in the textures created.

Within Western Society craft is a term that most commonly implies ideas identified with domesticity and women's creativity; it is labour-intensive yet devalued. Fiber has always been associated with utility or ornament rather than fine art, and this freehand, three-dimensional handling of rope has been considered a revolutionary gesture that upsets the traditional hierarchy subordinating craft to art since the 1960s. This view stems from a deep interest in the process of making and the desire for an unmediated contact with everyday materials such as rope, string, cord and twine.

With no front and back hierarchy in the macramé, the weaving is constructed from both sides whereby the grain of each knot becomes two separate strokes or of texture as the front and back of each knot is on both sides. The binary opposition of density versus lightness and the precise perfection and uniformity of industrial materials such as steel versus manually crated fiber elements is narrative in nature and brings together a balance of loose tactility and math all the time fusing and engulfing the steel frame with finer.

Using techniques typically associated with the applied arts, this work draws from the folk art movement of the 1960s and 70s. There is a deep interest in these periods because they present junctures between the ancient and the modern, psychological and physical, exoticism and technology.