Contemporary Art on the Loom
Christabel Balfour is an artist and tapestry weaver, living and working in south east London. She studied at Camberwell College of Art and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. Since graduating in 2013, she has developed a practice as a tapestry weaver, and set up her studio in 2015. She specializes in rugs and woven wall-hangings.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know her through Instagram @christabelbalfour. From the moment I became familiar with her work, I have been a avid follower of her process and an admirer of her steadfast commitment to weaving as her contemporary art practice.
“I have been weaving, in some form or another, for the last eight years. Beginning with sculptural, amorphous pieces designed to cluster on the floor or hang from the ceiling, I progressed slowly into classical tapestry weaving and eventually to rug weaving.
A concern with simplicity and form pervades all my woven work, as well as a strong sense of place. How my work functions in the space around it is key, as well as the arrangement of space within it.
The time consuming nature of weaving necessitates brevity. I am always seeking to communicate as much as possible with the simplest of forms; it is a continual process of to stripping things down to their essence.”
Tapestry Weaving: An Illustrated Guide
She has written a beautiful book called, “Tapestry Weaving: An Illustrated Guide”
This booklet covers basic and advanced techniques, breaking them down into simple, easy-to-understand instructions, accompanied by detailed illustrations.
Each technique is beautifully illustrated with hand-drawn diagrams. She explores the techniques and processes she uses in her own work.
Works of Art
Each tapestry she creates is a one-of-a-kind piece, never to be repeated. Theses are the first pieces from an ongoing series, translating freehand drawing into woven tapestry.