About Complexity

Complexity is a biennial, international, juried exhibition of works by members of Complex Weavers.

Complex weaving is defined by the cloth produced and the mind it took to create it, not by the equipment used.

There is no requirement that the work be woven on a minimum number of shafts or on a Jacquard loom. The shed must be opened by the weaver, with or without electronic lift assist. The shuttle must be thrown manually or by weaver-manipulated fly shuttle. Works with historic inspiration and interpretation, as well as non-loom interlacements such as ply-split braiding, kumihimo, and tablet weaving are welcome.

Jurors

Our jurors for Complexity 2022 were Julie Hedges, Robyn Spady, and Betty Vera.

Julie Hedges is a textile design graduate and experienced weaver, braid maker and teacher who worked in the Textiles Department at the Surrey Institute, Farnham, UK, until 2000. Since 1991, she has been researching the Indian technique of Ply-Split Braiding and has been developing it to make wearable and sculptural pieces in a variety of yarn. Julie has taught workshops in Ply-Splitting internationally and at Braiding Conferences in Manchester, England, in 2012, Seattle, U.S., in 2016 and Iga, Japan, in 2019. She has exhibited and sold her work in the UK, Europe & U.S. and also works to commission. Julie published Ply-Split Braiding, an Introduction in 2006, Ply-Split Braiding, Further Techniques in 2011, Ply-Splitting in 3 Dimensions in 2013 and Ply-Split Braided Jewelry in 2016. She is a founder member of The Braid Society, serving as chair, commissioning editor and technical editor for its journal Strands.

Robyn Spady was introduced to handweaving as a baby with her handwoven baby blanket woven by her great-grandmother.  Inspired by her blankie, she learned to weave at a young age and has been weaving for more than 50 years.  She completed HGA’s Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving (COE-W) in 2004 with the specialized study Loom-controlled Stitched Double Cloth. Robyn is fascinated by the infinite possibilities of crossing threads and loves coming up with new ideas to create fabric and transform it into something new and exciting. She is committed to turning the weaving world on to double-faced fabrics, four-shaft weaves, uncommon and advanced weave structures, and passementerie techniques.  Robyn is also the founder and editor of Heddlecraft® magazine.

Betty Vera creates tapestries with complex weave structures and rich color interactions. She received her BFA degree in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and brings a painterly approach to her handweaving with painted warps and surface design. Studying woven design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, she became fascinated by the way color behaves in weaving. She continued to study weaving while working as an editor of art and craft books at Watson-Guptill Publications and then became a weaver at Michelle Lester’s tapestry studio. She credits this experience with expanding her appreciation of artistry in weaving. Later, while pursuing an MFA degree in studio art at Montclair State University, she began exploring Jacquard weaving and then studied it at the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles. This was followed by training at the Jacquard Center in North Carolina, where she produced Jacquard tapestries at The Oriole Mill.  She has taught fiber art at Montclair State University and the Fashion Institute of Technology, as well as numerous intensive workshops around the country. She currently provides weaving instruction at The Studios at MASS MoCA, an artist residency program of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams. She exhibits widely and has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation, and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Sponsors

We are grateful to our sponsors who generously contributed awards to Complexity 2022.

The Complexity 2022 Team

Complexity 2022 has been brought to you by a team of volunteers chaired by Karen Donde.

  • Karen Donde, Chair
  • Margaret Dugger
  • Diane Smith
  • Sarah Fortin
  • Susan Bowman
  • Eileen Hallman
  • Pat Brown
  • Katie Doan
  • Geri Forkner
  • Cathy McCarthy
  • Ruth MacGregor
  • Cally Booker

Complex Weavers

Complex Weavers is an all-volunteer organisation dedicated to expanding the boundaries of handweaving. We encourage weavers to develop their own creative styles, to inspire through research, documentation, and the sharing of innovative ideas. We challenge our skills and imagination by sharing information and innovations with our fellow weavers – both directly and through our study groups, Seminars, Journal, and biennial exhibition, Complexity.

Support Complexity

Mounting an exhibit like Complexity is a major effort, both in terms of time and dollars. Click here to learn how to support future exhibits.

Previous Exhibits

View the work from previous exhibits on the Complex Weavers website.