In 2012, an exhibition by Tamlin Blake, Altered Yarns, launched at Spier in the new wine tasting venue. In this exhibition, Blake presented a series of limited edition prints and tapestries woven from recycled, handspun newspaper. A new Spier publication Tamlin Blake was also launched. Blake’s tapestry artworks now form part of the Spier Collection, while the publication is available for purchase at Spier Wine Tastings.
Created by Blake over an extended and labour-intensive period of time, the collection of tapestry artworks are created from sheets of newspaper that are transformed into “… coloured ‘yarns’ by dying the paper, cutting it into narrow strips, joining the strips and spinning them on a homemade drop spindle to create a relatively strong, textured thread.”*
Mirroring this intricate process, Blake’s works explore concepts concerning the many ways in which our lives are shaped by the stories of others. Blake explains her practice, “I am interested in working, visually and conceptually, with how stories weave themselves around us, influencing what we do and how we think. Without us being aware, the news, gossip and other peoples’ successes and tragedies form the background fabric of our everyday lives. These stories filter through to us, affect our thinking and form the backbone of our society”.
“Tapestry itself is traditionally a form of story telling. Like the newspaper they are printed on, these used and discarded tales have been reinvented and recycled, woven back and forth in an intricate pattern to form images, which then in turn create a new contemporary narrative”.
* Jackie McInnes 2011 (author of the Tamlin Blake publication).
These artworks are on exhibition at Spier’s Eight Restaurant.