Galaxy II (1995)
110 cm x 110 cm
Tapestry, wool, metallic yarn.
Based in Budapest, Ibolya Hegyi has been weaving tapestries for over thirty years. Her work explores different landscapes through her intricate weaving technique that on first impression often resembles a photograph it is so clear. A subtle colour palette makes each piece incredibly atmospheric and timeless.
Can you tell us about your background in textiles?
I studied tapestry art at the University of Arts and Crafts Budapest (today Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Crafts; MOME).
Did you always want to specialise in tapestry weaving or did you do other forms of textiles first?
Yes, I wanted to specialise in tapestry weaving, it was love at first sight. I chose tapestry art on the account of its complexity. For me tapestry is an interaction of concept and craft, the intellectual and physical part of art. It needs exact planning and at the same time it gives the delight of elaboration and creativity within the strict structure of weaving, whose boundaries [instead of limiting me] set me free.
How do you describe your work?
I like to show contemporary themes through the classical language of tapestry.
What themes do you explore through your art?
First of all the connection of the time and tapestry as an art form.
It isn’t easy to capture ‘space,’ what source material do you use for pieces such as Galaxy I and Galaxy II?
I use photos, which are manipulated by my drawing technique. and classical materials: wool, silk, cotton, flax metallic yarns and sometime the contemporary optical cable.
How do you work?
I work at home in my studio. At the beginning I waved a lot of mini” tapestries, which helped me to research my own technique and routine. Now I just plan the tapestries.
How long does a piece such as Galaxy II take?
Concerning that I am using a dense warping ( 8/cm). The weaving of the Galaxy II took more than half a year.
Many of your pieces use different shapes or a number of tapestries within the same series. Why is this?
The different forms depend on the concept or sometimes on the size of the loom. For example the triptych forms of the Anthem and Aquamarine resulted from the fact I was working on a smaller loom.
You use a beautiful muted colour palette, why do you choose such subtle colours?
I think that the colour palette is a very personal thing. I don’t like to use strong colours.
What is your career highlight to date?
I am very proud that many times I was among the participants of the American Tapestry Biennials, the European Artapestry Exhibitions and I received the special prize of the Karpit2 International Tapestry Exhibition in Budapest. Furthermore I am very happy that some of my tapestries are in prestigious collections.
Are you a full time tapestry artist?
First I was a full time tapestry artist. Around 15 years ago I went to study art theory in the Doctor School of MOME. Since I have finished I still weave and am also the curator and editor of the Ildikó Dobranyi Foundation. Furthermore, I wrote a book based on my dissertation.
Can you tell us more about the Ildikó Dobranyi Foundation?
I worked together with the famous Hungarian tapestry artist, Ildikó Dobranyi who was the first president of the Association of Hungarian Tapestry Artists (MKE). She organized the “Karpit” international tapestry exhibitions in the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest. When Ildikó died Ildikó’s son and collegues of Ildikó founded the Ildikó Dobranyi Foundation.