Photos and video recordings of various water environments, such as the Venice canals or the lake of Jels (Denmark), form the basis of Grethe Soerensen’s recent large wall tapestries Water Mirrors. In the words of the artist: In the early morning the surface of the water is like a mirror reflecting the light from the sky. It reveals vague movements of waves and streams drawing lines and patterns in different directions, Nature’s meditative images of universal shapes that associates to many other elements ».
By inventing, in 2005, a technique making it possible to work with the photographic medium on a Jacquard loom translating pixels into threads, Grethe Soerensen has radically innovated the field of textile art with her video-generated wall weavings. By combining high-tech medias and 40 years of experience with hand- woven textiles, Grethe Soerensen proves the undeniable fact that new tools create new possibilities of expression. The vibrating pixilated surface of the tapestries conveys a strong optical illusion of volume and movement. While at first glance quite similar to photos, these poetic tapestries are yet very different in texture and feeling by their sound absorbing quality and softness. Each work is unique and made by the artist at the Tilburg Textile Museum in Holland.
Born in Viborg, Denmark, in 1947 Grethe Sørensen is considered as an important pioneer in the field of contemporary textile art, and her works are part of important private and public collections.
Grethe Sørensen’s ability to see possibilities in new technologies is manifest in the video animations she creates together with film director Bo Hovgaard which she displays in the exhibitions next to her large scale wall tapestries. These video recordings of flickering city lights and water reflections play a double role, both as sketches for the unique tapestries, woven by the artist at the Tilburg Textile Museum, and as counterparts to the weavings, revealing within the same motif interesting variations on time and perception.
While, at distance, the tapestries may appear quite similar to photographs, they become significantly different at closer hold. The woven pixels provoke a vibrating illusion of three-dimensionality, in which the light reflections are modulated into soft and vaporous reliefs through the artist’s virtuous use of threads in cotton, wool and polyester. Time seems to gain a slow pace, while the beholder is gradually discovering the amazing detail richness of the weavings, in which each pixel is translated into threads. Yet, within this myriad of points, Grethe Sørensen demonstrates her great sense of composition and control, creating timeless images of ephemeral light, not unlike Georges Seurat’s quiet, yet majestic pointillist paintings.