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Contemporary Flatweave Rooted in Legacy

Contemporary Flatweave Rooted in Legacy

By Wence & Sandra Martinez | September, 2015

Wence and Sandra Martinez practice the tribal weaving tradition of Wence's home village, Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. After completing extended studies at the renowned Taller Nacional de Tapiz (National Tapestry School) in Mexico City and working with a series of strong mentors, Wence Martinez was driven to master more elaborate dyeing and weaving techniques while maintaining traditional hand-spun wools and looms to produce contemporary works that celebrate the art form’s history. Inspired by Haitian metal work and automatic writing, Sandra's primitive drawing practice engages nature and spirit. When woven, her work references the use of textiles to carry myth and story. Sandra has been focused on her primitive drawing style for three decades, seeing her work as a way to engage both nature and spirit. The simple and graphic nature of her work lends itself to a variety of projects, from tapestries woven by her husband, Wence, to small collections of wearable- and functional-art accessories. Sandra produces her drawings on thin paper, worked with layers of washes and finally floated in shadow-box format so the paper becomes a fragment, an object itself. Wence and Sandra opened the Martinez Studio in 1994 and say their greatest pleasure comes from working and creating, side by side, in their beloved Wisconsin studio and gallery.