Painterly Tapestries: Betty Wood

These large scale tapestries are at Kikospace in Toronto in the debut solo show of Betty Wood, a design writer turned fibre artist whose Instagram handle is Betty the Yarnslayer. (Above: Longest Winter, 2022. Acrylic yarn, hand-dyed natural wools and recycled cotton on monks’ cloth. 48” x 48”)

Using primitive hand tools, Wood “wields yarn ike it is paint, creating tapestries that appear like dappled paintings at first glance,” information for the exhibition says. “Only when stepping closer to the ‘canvas’ do they reveal themselves as textiles, their tightly looped surfaces boasting tens of thousands of meticulous stitches created by hand using a hook, punch andtapestry needle.” (Above: Coffee at 180 , 2022. Acrylic yarn, hand-dyed natural wools, recycled fabrics, and recycled cotton threads on monks’ cloth. 48” x 48”)

Some of the larger pieces boast 85,000 individual stitches, created over several months using natural wools, recycled cotton, leather offcuts and recycled materials. (Above: Summer is Spent – and detail – Acrylic yarn, hand-dyed natural wools and recycled cotton on monks’ cloth. 41” x 21”.)

“There are a lot of snobberies around textile art, which, by and large, has been denigrated as ‘women’s hobby craft’. But this attitude is starting to shift, I think.”

Betty Wood

Betty Wood (b. Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1986) is a queer, Toronto-based design writer and artist. She is known as the editor-in-chief of digital platform, The Spaces, which has grown into an international lifestyle brand. Wood’s unique ‘slow art’ focuses on the experience of making, drawing on her role observing and commenting on the world of art and design to create comforting textiles that have a painterly feel.

Betty Wood Instagram, here.

Exhibition info, here.

Betty Wood website, here.

Some very interesting context and info in this article in The Maker’s Story, here.

Photo credit: All images, Photography by Trina Turl

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