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Tamara Jaworska

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Region:
Russia
Date(s):
1926- 2015



Biography

Tamara Jaworska was born in Archangielsk, Russia and immigrated to Canada in 1969. She graduated with a BFA Honours from the State Academy of Fine Arts in Poland (1950) and a Master of Fine Art from...

Tamara Jaworska was born in Archangielsk, Russia and immigrated to Canada in 1969. She graduated with a BFA Honours from the State Academy of Fine Arts in Poland (1950) and a Master of Fine Art from the Faculty of Design and Weaving, State Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Poland (1952). She is known for her contemporary designs using the Medieval French weaving gobelin technique. Her tapestry work was both designed by her and completed on the looms in her studio. Her designs are both realistic and abstract. In 1993, she was given the Governor General’s commemorative medal and elected a member of the Order of Canada. Jaworska was a gold medallist at the triennial of Milan, International Exhibition of Interior Design and Architecture in Italy and a Gold medallist and first prize winner at the International Art Competition in New York. Often referred to as a Canadian treasure, her work has been exhibited across Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Great Britain, Switzerland, Russia and the United States. Her works are permanently held at the National Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Russia, the Central Museum of Textile Arts in Lodz, Poland, the Scottish Art Institute in Galashiels, Scotland and other private and public collections.

Tamara Jaworska's style of work has been called "woven painting." She began her work with a long process of thought and planning. She painted a design, a work of art in itself in watercolours, pastels or collage, often no larger than 10" x 12." A full sized black and white line drawing of the pattern of the finished tapestry would be placed behind the taut linen warp. Weaving began at the bottom edge, proceeding across the width and upward. A section, once completed  and rolled up on the breast beam was lost to sight until the piece was completed. Each day of work produced about one or two feet of the total composition. Speaking of the process of discovery once the weaving was done, the artist said "This is a thrill: it's like a newborn child. You must wash a newborn child before it looks like a human being. It has wrinkles; it's raw and I clean it. And caress it and keep it flat on the floor for at least a week. After a few days the wool settles by itself and all of a sudden you see the real tapestry."




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