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. 

Details from a photograph by Andrew Meredith.


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Downtown Los Angeles
"Look, but don’t touch" — a universal directive aimed at both young and old, the phrase has the power to reduce curious souls and fledgling gallery-goers to puddles of anxiety when in the presence of fine art. Fabric artist, furniture maker and Los Angeles resident Tanya Aguiñiga, however, is having none of it.

To help tame rising decibels deflecting along the stone-heavy length of the rooftop bar at capacity, Tanya and her crew recently installed a 40-foot tapestry of composite fiber. In its full expanse, the installation folds in on itself non-directionally amidst braids of macramé shapes, descending downward with the weight of their knots, a play of fuzzy asymmetry that naturally absorbs the compounding frequencies of voices thickening as the night arcs toward its peak.

Downstairs, another one of Tanya’s creations is allowed a freer existence. Wild swirls of dun sheep wool climbs the hall behind the front desk, spreading out and ceasing unpredictably like ivy reaching for light — a pleasing sight made even more so when we discover that the animal from which the wool was sheared bears the charming name of Mary.

Many artists struggle with function’s push against the seductive pull of form. Tanya’s work is wholly other, eradicating the boundaries altogether in the simple and enthusiastic pursuit of the new, dismissing the old rules of polite appreciation in the process. Go ahead, it’s okay to touch it. Tanya said so.

Both works will be dedicated by the Public Works Improvements Arts Program of the City of Los Angeles.


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