Larry Weyand is an artist and Assistant Professor at Grenfell, Memorial University, Newfoundland. In conversations around the dinner table, Larry noticed that little moments of stress, anxiety, panic, abuse, disagreement and anger can all take place within the context of a good meal. In order to better understand how these behaviours occur Larry’s practice as an artist records domestic moments through the making of textiles, translating stories into sculptural fibre works, creating meaning out of yarn and fabric. Their curiosity lies in the space where narrative, psychological resilience, textile art and food intersect.
While on Fogo Island last summer Larry’s mother visited them and they were reminded of their mother’s paper napkin collection (collected over many years, on every special occasion, and from every place visited), which is somewhat of an obsession for Larry’s mother.
The paper napkin is a delicate way of sopping up mess, cleaning spilled milk, wiping tears, or preventing the embarrassment of stains. It is also a symbol of politeness, etiquette, poise and cleanliness.
To Larry, this napkin collection provides a sense of stability, comfort and warmth, and inspired a new departure in their work. This new body of work uses traditional quilting techniques to recreate bed-sized quilts inspired by the patterns on the napkins, exploring themes of envelopment, safety and stability.
Without this moment on Fogo, Larry is sure that they would not have shifted their practice and would not have been influenced by the quilted wonders meticulously fabricated by artists that they encountered on the island. The community and conversations, the lifestyle and landscape, enabled Larry to slow down and find the space to contemplate their work.
View/download Larry’s Cross Currents poster here.