The fine art of tapestry is an age-old craft going back at least as far as the 3rd century B.C., with the Hellenistic Greeks, and on through history. These often luxurious textiles made for excellent portable art, they kept castles warm and, of course, served as striking decor bearing some of the most important scenes and symbols for those who commissioned them. With her beautiful tapestry “Gardiners Bay,” Greenport artist Sherry Schreiber continues this tradition and captures one of the East End’s most important and distinguishing natural resources—our bays.
Sherry Schreiber (Greenport, b. 1946)
Linen, metallic yarn
31 x 57 inches, 2008
While Schreiber’s composition is austere—depicting an orange sunset sky, shimmering water and a thin band of land on the horizon—it doesn’t lack intricacy. Within the thousands of threads comprising this seascape are countless shades of color, made from both the individual strands and the variations presented when they’re combined. “Gardiners Bay” comes further to life, taking on an expansive feel, by the many horizontal lines resulting from Schreiber’s technique.
The dark silhouette of distant land does just enough to suggest the sky and bay above and below it—and the artist has done wonderful job bringing the color of one into the other. Perhaps most magical is the fact that “Gardiners Bay,” and other tapestry work like it, is both the art and the object, rather than art on an object, as is the case with paintings. Instead of applying paint onto a canvas, this work is the art and the image down to, quite literally, its very fabric.
Work on Monday is a weekly look at one piece of art related to the East End, usually by a Hamptons or North Fork artist, living or dead, created in any kind of media. Join the conversation by posting your thoughts in the comments below and email suggestions for a future Work on Monday here.