Ever seen a spider spin its web from close quarters? If you’ve, you’re sure to draw parallels with the works of Tammy Kanat, who creates large-scale colorful circular tapestries using her deft fingers, much like a spider uses its legs to spin its web! Well, the comparison ends here, for she has much more to offer.
This Australian weaver, who was born in Melbourne, worked as a jewelry designer for 12 years, before she switched to textiles. Here she created her unique style of weaving. For one, she started using a circle frame, rather than the traditional rectangular or square frame and experimented with various looms. She also enhanced her knowledge by enrolling for a short course in the highly reputed Australian Tapestry Workshop. This helped her learn the traditional techniques of tapestry and acted as a launchpad for her large-scale creations.
Today, Kanat uses wool, silk, and other fibers to create her circular tapestries, woven around gold-colored copper frames. What makes her works so dynamic and contemporary is her combination of bold colors and fibers of various densities, textures, and hues. Material dictates her works and encourages her to keep experimenting beyond the realm of the traditional tapestry.
To make weaving easy, Kanat’s husband devised a steel-framed loom with a circular copper frame. This offers versatility and potential for further experimentation. The best part is it’s portable and she’s able to take it with her, wherever she goes, and work on it. Working in new locales ignites her imagination to create something new.
Nature inspires Kanat’s choice of colors. She’s also inspired by other creative sources, such as German-American abstractionist Josef Albers, fashion icon Diana Vreeland, Bauhaus icon Gunta Stölzl, and architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Patricia Urquiola. She explains on www.ngv.vic.gov.au, thus, “The color I work with usually reflects my mood. I utilize bright colors when I’m feeling upbeat, earth tones are when I’m feeling melancholy and calm, and strong and bold color when I’m feeling passionate and empowered by the process.”
Kanat has showcased her creations in many exhibitions and has earned international recognition. Little wonder she has a viewership of over 164,000 fans on Instagram alone.