Egyptian textiles from the Pharaonic, Coptic and Early Islamic centuries have been the focus of Nancy Arthur Hoskins’ research, writing and creative weaving since 1974.
Hoskins’ handwoven textiles range from ‘experimental replications’ of Tutankhamun weaves and ancient weaving techniques to fanciful interpretations of iconic figures encountered while on her quest. The Lincoln City Cultural Center Fiber Arts Studio Gallery presents a collection of these weavings December 5 through January 31, 2021.
Hoskins has examined the collections of Egyptian fabrics in over eighty museums in France, England, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Egypt, Canada, Australia, and the United States. Research indicates that her handwoven pieces are the first replicas of the ancient patterns to be woven in the technique used by the weavers for the Pharaohs.
The rare patterned weaves found in the tomb of Tutankhamun are especially intriguing. The palette used for her recreations, though slightly brighter than the ancient textiles, resembles the natural, woad, and madder linen patterns woven on the Tunic of Tutankhamun in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Other patterns have been woven with gilt threads and rich colors of garnet, lapis lazuli, and turquoise like the jeweled artifacts of Tutankhamun. Playing with color, pattern, and structure, Hoskins reinterpreted the four mummy case portraits of Tutankhamun with a weave structure (taqueté) borrowed from Coptic Egypt and patterns from the past – paradoxically, weaving some pieces on a complex, computer-assisted loom always remembering that the ancient artisans wove with a few sticks and string.
Tablet woven bands and tapestry portraits from Coptic Egypt and Byzantium were replicated or recreated. The recent discovery of the Oasis of the Gilded Mummies, a Roman necropolis, has inspired a new series of “his and her” portraits. The dark desert night and earthy mud-brick villages, haunting in their stark beauty, found expression in tapestry and simple twills.
Nancy Arthur Hoskins, a former college weaving instructor, is the author of The Coptic Tapestry Albums and the Archaeologist of Antinoé, Albert Gayet; Universal Stitches for Weaving, Embroidery, and Other Fiber Arts; Weft-Faced Pattern Weaves: Tabby to Taqueté; numerous articles; and has contributed chapters about Egyptian textiles to five other books.
Hoskins has presented lectures and workshops for national and international guilds, conferences, and universities. She has been honored as a presenter by the Hellenic Institute for Egyptology, Athens, Greece; Yale University’s Peabody Museum; the National Gallery of Australia, and many others worldwide. Hoskins’ art fabrics have been in solo, group, and invitational exhibits. In 2009, 2010, and 2019 she led The Textiles of Egypt Tours; and in 2015 took a Textile Tour of Peru; taught in England; and exhibited her art fabrics in Oregon. She is currently researching and publishing articles on Bronze Age Minoan and Egyptian textile patterns found in paintings with articles published in the Complex Weavers Journal.
The new Fiber Arts Studio Gallery is just opposite the main entrance from the Chessman Gallery inside the Lincoln City Cultural Center at 540 NE Hwy. 101, in Lincoln City. Lincoln City Cultural Center is open: 10 to 4, Thursday through Sunday. Masks and social distancing required in the building.