London, United Kingdom
Now warming our lobby wall in Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, the meticulous artist craftsmen at Dovecot Studios have custom-woven us a stately tapestry — its eight distinct panels fashioned from an array of materials, including wool, cotton, linen, camel, and mohair.
Founded in Edinburgh in 1912, Dovecot built its reputation as a leading contemporary fine art tapestry studio — collaborating over the years on works with Cecil Beaton, Peter Blake, Graham Sutherland, Peter Saville, David Hockney, and Frank Stella.
True to Dovecot’s century-old philosophy, the large-scale commission began as a hands-on dialog between Ace and Master Weaver Naomi Robertson — a series of conversations that lead us to a unique gestation process. Initially taking cues from the principles of Bauhaus and the textile work of Anni Albers, we set out to honor the art and aesthetics inherent in the weaving process — incorporating a number of specialized, experimental and traditional weaving techniques to celebrate these inner-workings as the objet d’art in and of itself.
The project also served as a christening of sorts for Dovecot’s new loom, with both it and their tried-and-true apparatus working in tandem with each other to develop our pieces. Along the way, action weaver Travis Meinolf added his own bits alongside: fabric off-cuts, hotel documents and even locks of hair.
Unusually, the suite was installed to reveal what is normally hidden — the reverse of the weavings — giving a unique insight into what lies behind the process.
Detail from a photograph by Andrew Meredith