‘Colours of Peru 2018’

Helen Munday

Those of you who know me know that I do like a bit of colour in my Sketchbook and weavings. When I read in ‘The Journal’ earlier in the year that there was going to be an exhibition called ‘Colours of Peru 2018’ showing Maximo Laura’s tapestries in June I immediately put the date in my diary so that I would not miss this opportunity to indulge my love of colour. The exhibition was held at Denbies Gallery on the Denbies wine estate in Dorking for a week in June.

We arrived at lunch time and took full advantage of the lovely restaurant to have lunch before we embarked on looking at the exhibition, although we had a brief glance up at the gallery as we entered the building and could see that we were in for a real treat. Suitably sustained we made for the gallery. Well the designs and colours were amazing!  Maximo Laura in an internationally recognised Peruvian tapestry weaver who uses modern designs based on contemporary designs with links to his cultural back- ground using the most amazing colours.

Maximo Laura starts each design as a painting in the most vivid and interesting colours. Then the painting is turned into a line drawing cartoon to the full size of the finished tapestry. (They are all large and make a big statement.) From there the warp threads of the tapestry are painstakingly marked, thread by thread, to outline the design ready for weaving. Maxi- mo is an accomplished weaver, learning his trade as a small boy from his father and grandfather, and has trained a group of weavers in his tech- nique to actually weave the tapestries.

Well we spent the next hour and a half looking at these wonderful tapestries. The gallery was a big square walk way around the building which meant you could view the tapestries close up, where you see all sorts of details, textures and colour grading, or they could be viewed across the gallery for the full impact of the designs, a real feast for the eyes.

Well we have been redesigning our house and decided that we would like something dramatic to make a statement on the wall so here was our opportunity. After much deliberation we decided on the one we wanted so off we went to make our purchase only to find another couple had just bought the one we were after. We thought we would have to go for our second choice but were told that they can all be repeated the only difference may be a slight change in the size as the weaver may be different to the original one. Well I could live with that and that was good news as we could order the tapestry and it would be ready in three months. That was even better for us as the wall that we intend it to be hung on wasn’t even built at that stage so, hopefully, when the tapestry is ready in September our house will either be complete or near completion.

I am not the only one to fall in love with these tapestries as Pete and Della Storr, who organised the exhibition, loved them and are really enthusiastic about getting them seen that they promote them in the UK on behalf of Maximo Laura.

Do go and look at them online at wovencolour.co.uk but take in to account that the pictures are very small in scale to the real thing, which can be in the region of 120cms by 130cms, and don’t give you the full impact of the real thing.

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