Tanya Marcuse – ‘Woven’

Tanya Marcuse’s series ‘Woven’ – weaving, allegorically and aesthetically, lush flora and fauna, both living and dead, in large scale photographs like medieval millefleurs* tapestries, to introduce time, decay and beauty of life and death.

Tanya Marcuse - Woven

Tanya Marcuse – Woven


“The 5 x 10 foot photographs sometimes take weeks to compose, and during this process of composition, of collecting, arranging, burning, painting, and transplanting, there is change. Flowers wither, spiders build webs, new shoots emerge, and corpses decay. Influenced both by the Dutch vanitas tradition and the allover graphic compositions of Jackson Pollock, I intend the photographs to be experienced as exquisitely detailed still lives when viewed from up close, but to hold together as an immersive, more abstract composition from further away.”

Inspired by the ancient Greek myth that lives of human beings were threads in the hands of three weaving women, the Fates (the Moirai), the artist elaborately assembled tableaux of creatures and plants, and stitched approximately 30 frames together to make a single image.

*Literally ‘thousand flowers’. Refers to a background style of many different small flowers and plants. It differs from many other styles of floral decoration in that many different sorts of individual plants are shown, and there is no regular pattern. The plants fill the field without connecting or significantly overlapping.


Tanya Marcuse – Woven


Watch a short video of the working process.

Source – artist statement.