Elizabeth Radcliffe began her working life as a screen printer at the famous tapestry studio, The Dovecot, in Edinburgh. Elizabeth was inspired by the tapestry weavers working in the same building and she went on to study at Edinburgh College of Art in the Tapestry Department.
Elizabeth did very little weaving until retiring. Since then, Elizabeth has produced large life sized pieces which proved challenging, but interesting to work on, along with some unusual smaller detailed work.
In response to 2020 being the “Year of Scottish Coastal Waters” Elizabeth and three others have been working on this theme and have two exhibitions in Ireland next year along with four Irish weavers. It will be called “Interconnections 3” and can be seen in Roscommon and Galway.
A seascape seemed to a good subject to give Elizabeth scope for experimenting. Elizabeth breath taking and complicated work ‘The Wave’ captures a wave coming into Dalmore Bay on the Isle of Lewis. It is woven almost exclusively of Appleton’s wools. ‘The Wave’ measures (30cm x 30cm) and is on its way back from Melbourne after being a finalist in the Kate Derum Award in the Australian Tapestry Workshop.
The piece was very well received by the public and weavers alike when it was at Hopetoun House, near the Forth Bridges and the McLaurin Gallery, Ayr this past year, where Elizabeth exhibited with Joan Baxter, John Brennan and Amanda Gizzi, all well known tapestry weavers.
It is about to go to the British Tapestry Group Exhibition at Farfield Mill, Sedbergh, Cumbria until January 2020.
Elizabeth is very close to completing a larger tapestry (130cm x 130cm) of ‘The Wave’. The marks made to represent moving water and spindrift on waves have been a learning experience again. Elizabeth beautifully describes Tapestry as ‘not a copy of a photograph or painting, but an inspiration and interpretation of an image’ and believes that ‘there must be a good reason for weaving an image. Tapestry must bring something special to the work that only tapestry can.’ Elizabeth has certainly created something very special with ‘The Wave’.