September 2009:  I took this photo with a borrowed automatic camera: view from the highway turn-out, Kneeling Nun Mountain at Chino (Chinaman) Mine, southern New Mexico. A sight both amazing and devastating. One of the world’s largest copper mines. The scratches across the image are power lines in the foreground, recalling to mind marks in a copper intaglio printing plate. The date in florescent orange numbers becomes part of the recorded image; we have gotten used to seeing these elements as integral to our visual experience.

Kneeling Nun at Chino Mine, NM. Margaret Sunday. photo. 2009

Spring 2016: the finished tapestry.

Kneeling Nun at Chino Mine,NM - jpg

I hoped to convey the awe of this site and the awful… the panoramic scale of its disruption, the palette of acids flowing in water at the base of the mountain and into the desert air—looking beautiful. I wove dyed fibers to make this picture, this picture which is also an object—an object of delicacy, of intimate and sensitive size, of hand and eye. It is perishable like the world as it was, before mining began eating away at this landmark, like the town twice crushed when the mountain collapsed, like the view with a name that remains of an image we do not see, like the thing we believe today.     —mls


Summer 2015:  The hand shape is a structurally separate weaving that is integrated into my self-portrait, penelope dissembling in frackutopia. About 40″ wide, the design developed downward as a strip-weaving, made of  joined horizontal strata, plus this hand. The idea evolved from an intersection of concerns: my own physiognomy in middle-age; the rage and current of deep-shale fracking that quakes the earth under my town, and weaving, which is a metaphor for both, through its surface sensitivity (like skin) and its structures, which are inherently responsive to our assumptions about the stability of matrixes.   

I drew my right hand with my right hand, and seeing it taped onto my weaving, I thought to weave a hand on a shaped cardboard loom—like overlaying thin cut-out copper plates onto my larger ‘key’, or matrix, intaglio plates in printmaking. Near completion, the “woven loom” actually looks like a collograph print plate. I find I like working around the edges of this firm, but pliant shape, honing the warps that loop around its 1/8″ tabs into a binding, working many thread weights against physical contours that articulate bones, tendons, muscle pads—the tender resilience of my materials mimicking the body part itself.         

HPIM1658Some of  these photos recall anatomical drawings—for suturing practice.  —mls






See —artists’ galleries/ margaret sunday— for other photos of this tapestry in progress.