The ikat tapestry designs of Omaha artist Mary Zicafoose are on display Dec. 2 to Jan. 17 in the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery. The exhibit, “Mountains and Ghosts: New Ikat Tapestries and Prints,” is free and open to the public.
Ikat, or ikkat, is a technique which uses bindings and dyes to create patterns within threads. Alteration of the bindings and dyes produces elaborate, multicolored patterns. When dyeing is complete, the bindings are removed and threads are ready to be woven into textiles.
The word ikat comes from the Indonesian word “mengikat,” which means “to tie.”
Zicafoose used the technique to create large-scale tapestry diptychs, small format tapestry vignettes and framed collagraphic monoprints on paper. The designs explore the symbol of the trinity, expressed in the form of pyramid, triangle and temple.
“Since childhood, I have been a student of the horizon, always searching for the line where Earth meets sky, finding great excitement in reordering the classic and familiar dividing line of power in both my tapestries and works on paper,” Zicafoose said.
The artist will give a lecture, “Designing a Life: Weaving and Art,” at 6 p.m. Jan. 15 in the Home Economics Building, room 11. A reception outside the gallery follows the lecture. Both the lecture and reception are free and open to the public.
Zicafoose uses a bound resist technique called weft ikat to dye threads before she inserts them into her weaving.
Zicafoose will work with students in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design the last week of the exhibition and host a master class workshop.
The Hillestad Gallery is part of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays. Admission is free