Die Helianthen

Jane  Donlin wafta twenty five + image

Techniques: Weaving, Theo Moorman inlay technique
Materials: Linen, cotton yarns
Dimensions (cms): H – 90, W – 43
Photographer: David Chong @ Perth Photography

Sunflowers worldwide have become symbols of solidarity in support of Ukraine. Being of German descent, and having lived close to the border that once separated the West from the East, the cold war and the threat of Russian besiegement was always a reality.

My sunflowers are for Ukraine as well as a tribute to Theo Moorman (1907 - 1990). Moorman spent a life devoted to weaving. She designed her own hangings, during a time period when weaving was anything other than art, inventing an inlay technique using a fine tie down warp. The desire to develop this technique originated from her fascination with traditional tapestries. Alas, the traditional tapestry method was too slow for Moorman. She was looking for a less laborious method, as she writes, “a form of inlaid wefts introduced into an overall background fabric seemed the only possible solution.”1 Thus, the Theo Moorman inlay technique was born, propelling weaving into an art form, yet Moorman remains largely unknown in the world of art. Die Helianthen celebrates the work of Theo Moorman, and at the same time I am thinking about the significance of compassion, trust, connection and making as thoughtful qualities in a troubled world.

1. Moorman, Theo, 1980, Weaving as an Art Form, Personal Statement, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, p. 20.

Born in Kenya, East Africa, then growing up in Hamburg and in Braunschweig, when Germany was divided between East and West, Donlin is now based in Western Australia. She has a Master and a PhD in the arts from Edith Cowan University, Perth. She is a slow maker inspired by traditional textile craft techniques.

Wafta twentyFIVE + crossover
on-line catalogue

includes essay by Erin Coates, Wafta history, images and statements from artists on the 42 art-works exhibited

wafta exhibition catalogue