Molly Elkind’s tapestry work was exhibited in a solo show in 2018 in Atlanta, just before she relocated to New Mexico. She has focused on weaving for 13 years, but Molly is also fluent in papermaking, mixed media collage, and embroidery. Molly earned an M.A. in Studio Art from the Hite Art Institute at the University of Louisville in 2002. Exhibition highlights include a solo show at Mercer University in Atlanta (2009) and numerous juried and invitational shows nationwide. Molly has been published in a number of fiber art-related publications, and her work is in several private collections. Molly recently served a three-year term on the board of the American Tapestry Alliance as the Director of Volunteers.
Besides making art, Molly is passionate about teaching it, with a particular focus on design principles and processes. She is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and teaches both online and nationwide for guilds and conferences.”
This piece is a departure from strictly traditional tapestry practice in several ways. Ashes are mixed with matte medium and used to print figures on the surface of the weaving, which is woven of paper wefts. Stitches in bright colors suggest the individuality of each figure, still vital but marked by eventual mortality. The ashes are left over from a religious service I attended years ago in which I saw many friends filing back down the aisle of the church with the ashen cross, a sign of mortality, on their foreheads, a reminder that all whom we love will eventually die. In the tapestry, warp threads hang from each edge, suggesting the open-endededness of the procession; this line of people is just a fragment of the whole. “”Ash Wednesday”” is an elegy for our nation’s immense losses during the pandemic, and more specifically for the losses in New Mexico due to wildfires in spring 2022. As individuals and as a community, we are all transformed by the past few years.
Techniques Used: tapestry weaving, stitching, printing
Materials: hemp and linen warp, paper wefts, palm ashes mixed with matte medium, cotton floss
Measurements: 24" x 24" x .5"