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Textured Translations (March 2015)


The Stephens Tapestry Studio

14 March - 11 April 2015

Opening Saturday 14 March at 14:00

Preview by appointment

Exhibition catalogue: printed copies available at the gallery or scroll down for the digital version


This exhibition pays tribute to the extraordinary talent of Marguerite Stephens, founder and owner of the Stephens Tapestry Studio in Diepsloot, Johannesburg and the contribution that she has made to art in South Africa through her tapestry collaborations with artists.

The very first tapestry that Marguerite Stephens - or Mags, as she is affectionately known - wove, was based on an artwork by Cecil Skotnes. Her mother, Coral Stephens, a well-known South African weaver in her own right, saw the incised wood block work on display at an exhibition at the Egon Guenther Gallery, Johannesburg in 1963 and told Skotnes that the image would make a wonderful design for a tapestry. “Well, you weave it then,’’ he responded. “No I won’t”, she replied, “but my daughter will!” And the rest, they say, is history. Skotnes made the cartoon, nothing more than a blown-up photo of the block, and Mags wove the tapestry on a high warped loom built by her mother specifically for the task. Skotnes exchanged his wood block for Mags’ tapestry, and her career was launched! The Skotnes wood block which started the whole story still hangs in Mags’ house today.

Since then, Mags has become a legend in her own time through her tapestry collaborations with many South African artists, such as Walter Battiss, Norman Catherine, Robert Hodgins, William Kentridge, Judith Mason, Karel Nel, Sam Nhlengethwa, and Penny Siopis.




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Click the image for a view of: Robert Hodgins. New Orleans Dandy. 2013 designed 2009. Mohair tapestry. 1/3. 2800X2310mm
Robert Hodgins. New Orleans Dandy. 2013 designed 2009. Mohair tapestry. 1/3. 2800X2310mm
Click the image for a view of: Robert Hodgins. New Orleans Dandy. 2013 designed 2009. Mohair tapestry. 1/3. 2800X2310mm
Robert Hodgins. New Orleans Dandy. 2013 designed 2009. Mohair tapestry. 1/3. 2800X2310mm
Click the image for a view of: Installation view 6
Installation view 6
Click the image for a view of: Installation view 8
Installation view 8
Click the image for a view of: Installation view 1
Installation view 1
Click the image for a view of: Tapestries installation 7
Tapestries installation 7
Click the image for a view of: Installation view 9
Installation view 9
Click the image for a view of: Installation view 2
Installation view 2
Click the image for a view of: Installation view 3
Installation view 3
Click the image for a view of: Installation view 4
Installation view 4
Posted: 3/9/2015 (6:02:18 AM)


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