“dream Weaver” – An exhibition of weaving
– Marie Gnanaraj-

Imagine wooden tools firmly embedded in a woven cloth. Imagine a burst of colourful knots stemming out from a wall hanging. Imagine a trophy perched in the centre of an extravagant hand woven wall mount. Imagine.

Marie Gnanaraj’s latest exhibition is all about stretching the boundaries of contemporary weaving techniques in to the realm of 3D imagery. Marie sees the woven cloth as not just cloth, but as one of the most powerful forms of artistic expression. She believes that the versatility of weaving, in being able to manipulate the colour, the texture and the design to create a myriad of striking images is what makes the woven cloth unique.

Marie’s exhibition is centred around two powerful themes; the tools of weaving and the weaver’s knot. Each element is subtlely incorporated in to the body of her work.

“I see the shape and structure of simple weaving tools such as bobbins, perns and stick shuttles in itself as works of art. I wanted to incorporate these tools in to my weaving. At the same time I had to devise a way of holding these objects in place, which was quite a challenge. In this process, I discovered the weaver’s knot.”

Marie believes that when weaving, one constantly needs to keep joining the threads to continue the weaving process, and hence, the knot becomes the solution for broken threads. She notes that this fundamental principal of the knot inspired her to bring colour, texture and volume to her work.

Marie has used a range of striking red, Gold and earthen shades in her work, which accentuate her desire to give the canvas greater texture and volume.

As a result of living and working among the looms for over two decades, Marie has also had the opportunity to experiment with different materials such as coir, wire and newspaper in her weaving, which she has used in some of her famous installations at Kandalama Hotel and Amanwella Resort, Tangalle.

Marie’s exposure to the world of fabric design dates back to 1980, where she apprenticed with renowned artist Barbara Sansoni, who taught her the techniques of colour and design. She now serves as a senior designer at Barefoot (Pvt) Ltd.

Marie’s exhibition of colourful expressions of weaving will be on from the 27th of November to the 13th of December 2009 at the Barefoot Gallery, 704 Galle Road, Colombo 03.


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