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Grace Jo DeMatteis

Artist statement:

My show ended being about self-improvement through a very difficult and interesting time in our lives. Collectively, we have all had to adjust to what has happened in this past year. For me, that meant I was forced to do my Senior Inquiry Project on my own, states away from any professor who could readily help with any issues, mechanical or artistic, that I encountered throughout my SI construction. What I ended up with is something completely different to what I started with but I think that just goes to show how I have had to learn and adjust to this time.

Grace DeMatteis

I made my tapestries to explore different colors and techniques of blending those chosen colors. Instead of using traditional techniques to blend colors, I decided to experiment on my own using paired sets to show improvement. The earlier tapestries exploring this idea such as Orange are not as neatly or concisely done as on the last few I wove, such as Yellow and Pink. With each tapestry I wove, I started using more precise measurements and cartoons which taught me the importance of prior planning versus free experimentation. Every tapestry taught me something new about how to make a cleaner and more concise finished tapestry. 

The other ways I improved were color choices and color pairing. The idea to make paired tapestries came when I made the Orange tapestry then used it as my example for my second Green tapestry. From there, I chose colors that I liked or that represented something I found interesting, such as Seasons, which are colors I picture when I think of the four seasons. 

Examples of my improved process is the paired set, Seasons and Black and White. Seasons is paired with Black and White to create an interesting comparison of color versus no color. The cartoons were made very similarly because I created two mirrored halves. Spring and Summer are compared to Fall and Winter in Seasons while black gives way to white then white darkens back to black in Black and White. They were technically challenging pieces because my measurements and cartoons had to be as exact as I could make them so the tapestries did not end up looking lopsided. 

My whole series is meant to take the viewer through the process of my improvement while also being visually interesting and exciting. I picked colors that talked to each other and were pleasing to the eye so as not to compete too much but just enough to draw attention to slight improvements in my weaving techniques and color choices. 

Not one of my tapestries is perfect except to me, that’s what makes the laborious and time consuming process of handweaving unique and fun. As hard as it was to weave on my own, the more I did it, the more I grew as an artist making independent choices. As I continue to weave, I will continue to improve and experiment. This is just an introduction where I can and will go moving forward. This idea is something I will stick with for a while to see how much I can blend colors and what other ideas I can come up with relating to this idea.