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Tapestry spans two city blocks, nine years of one artist's life and several million years of oil

Tapestry spans two city blocks, nine years of one artist's life and several million years of oil
From CBC - September 12, 2017

When it comes to creating two-block-long pieces of art that takenine years to complete, medieval European craftsmenhave nothing on Calgary artist and filmmaker Sandra Sawatzky.

That's because Sawatzkyturned back the clock for her latest project, the Black Gold Tapestry, to around the 15th century, where she took inspiration from the BayeuxTapestry, a 67-metre (220-foot), hand-embroidered narrative of the Battle of Hastings in the 11th century.

For Sawatzky,the notion of using the format of the BayeuxTapestry to tell a Calgary story that's also a global onewas appealingeven if it was going to have to chew up a sizeable chunk of her life to get done.

"I thought would not it be neat to do something like a story a film on cloth? And so that's what I did," Sawatzky saidon theCalgary Eyeopeneron Monday.

Glenbowexhibit

The Black Gold tapestryis being installed at the Glenbow Museum, where it opens to the public Oct.7. It will be on display until May 21, 2018.

"This story affects everybody on earth in oneway or another," Sawatzky said."I live in Calgary ...and although I had some connection with [oil and gas] I had done training videos for the oilpatch I did not know very much about it.

"I really wanted to capture a story that would keep my interest, andthere would be lots to look at, and it would be worth spending one sixth of my life on making it," she said.

They say a journey of 10,000 miles starts with a single step.

For Sawatzky, a journey of nine years, creating a tapestry that's two city blocks long, started with a single panel.

Overcoming obstacles

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