ArAchne’s tapestry II 1995



This early Greek period interests me for the ways it reflects changing attitudes towards women through stories about of their work as weavers, from primordial Goddesses, who as spinners create life, to the Fates, feared for their powers to spin, measure and cut the 'thread of life', to Penelope, who has to lie about her task. Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' is my source for these stories from Greek mythology and I like his accounts that describe them clearly as acts of deceptions and cheating.

The human Arachne challenged the goddess Athena to a weaving competition and they each completed a tapestry with specific narratives. Athena, as a warning, depicted the power of Gods and Goddesses over humans and showed how humans were punished for forgetting this. Arachne depicted 21 instances of 'deceptive seductions' or rapes, deeds done by the olympian gods to mortal and immortal women.

When Athena saw this, she was so angry that she tore the tapestry apart. Arachne, in her sorrow, tried to hang herself and Athena, now regretting her rash act changed her into a spider, an older and self-generating weaver, but silencing the woman

This 'Arachne's Tapestry' is a reweaving of the original work. It is part of a continuous series of works, which started with Penelope.

 Special thanks to Mark Patch, for producing the soundtrack, the Banff Centre and to the Canada Council for financial support

Hand-woven computer assisted weaving, cotton, weaving 18" x 31' + a sound track produced with composer Marc Patch at the Banff Centre with voices of Janis Bowley and Sandy Vida, based on Arachne's story and played on a tape player with 30' head phones

- printed brochures in English and Polish; 1995