Featured Tapestries

It was not I that looked

The enigmatic title of this tapestry by Angela Brennan is taken from the 20th-century modernist painter Paul Klee who wrote in his journals, 'it was not I who looked at the trees, the trees were looking at me'. Brennan exercises a textual slippage by swapping the word 'trees' for 'forests' and turns the whole wry phrase into an extroverted and playful painting. The glowing colours and faux childlike script accentuate the whimsy of the work. The eccentric letters in unmatched fonts and cursive scripts march across the canvas in an almost musical fashion. The letters are no longer simply part of a lifeless alphabet, but seem to wobble and gyrate as if they themselves are animate beings.

Brennan was intrigued by the translation of the painting into tapestry, visiting the Workshop several times during the weaving to see the preliminary samples, adjustment of scale and colour strips. For Brennan, the developing tapestry took on the sense of a new life, as she notes, 'I was fascinated to see thework unfurl before my eyes, emerging independently from its original source'.

Brennan's work has featured in numerous exhibitions over the last 20 years: she has had 27 solo exhibitions and in 2006 was the subject of a major retrospective at Monash University Museum of Art, titles 'Every Morning I Wake Up On The Wrong Side Of Capitalism'. Her work is held in many public and private collections including: the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, The University of Melbourne, National Australia Bank, ANZ Bank, The Vizard Foundation and the World Bank, New York, USA.