Archie Brennan is a well known artist of the ?op?genre of the 20th century and early 21st century who worked in handwoven tapestry. His tapestries are marked by a sense of humor that involves word play and commentary on popular culture, by a reverence for historical tapestries grounded in the technical givens of tapestry weaving, and by an insatiable curiosity expressed by his use of the phrase ?hat if??Born in Roslyn, Scotland, he lived near the Edinburgh College of Art and the Dovecot Tapestry Studio, which was the only working tapestry studio in the United Kingdom at that time. He became an apprentice weaver at the Dovecot at the age of 16, and went on to study art at the Edinburgh College of Art (now the University of Edinburgh) while he continued his apprenticeship in tapestry. He eventually developed and directed the tapestry department at the College, while also becoming the director of the Dovecot Studio. He served on several arts committees in the UK and was instrumental in the establishment of the Victorian Tapestry Workshop in Australia, now the Australian Tapestry Workshop. In recognition of his work promoting British art, he was knighted as an Officer of the British Empire in 1981. Brennan also participated in the design and building of a new parliament building in Papua New Guinea in the 1980s. He was head of the project to design and build the impressive sixty-foot-tall mosaic at the entrance to the building, and he designed and oversaw the creation of textiles that hang in several of the chambers within the building. Throughout his career, he wove over 500 tapestries. By the mid-1980s Archie began to focus solely on creating pieces for his own exploration, which he continued to the end of his life. He had a wonderful gift for teaching and has mentored many of today? well established tapestry weavers.
Brenda Osborn began weaving four and a half decades ago. She has studied with Soyoo Park, and was in the Wednesday Group of tapestry weavers who met regularly at the studio of Archie Brennan and Susan Martin Maffei. It was during her tenure in the Wednesday Group that a few members suggested that Archie write a memoir. Brenda offered to help, and now you hold that book in your hands.
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