Inside Out (Australia)
Textile artist Tammy Kanat weaves intricate, evocative artworks that meet with Miley Cyrus’s approval!
This Melbourne fibre artist is weaving an exciting new phase of her successful career
After working as a jewellery designer, what led you to working with woven textiles? After running my jewellery business for 12 years, I was looking for another creative outlet. In 2011 we were renovating our house, and I was trying to find the perfect artwork for our new home renovation. After struggling to find anything, I decided to visit Wondoflex Yarn Craft Centre in Melbourne and make my own piece. When I returned to show them what I had created, the staff confirmed I was doing “something special”. This gave me the confidence to continue my fibre-art journey. What roles do colour and texture play in your work? My work evolves organically and I like to follow my intuition. I have lots of wool in my studio and I make my selection of colours as the piece evolves. I find the best textures come about when I make a mistake. This is when I create and discover something unique and interesting. Some of your works are very large in scale. How long does each piece take? When I’m weaving, I lose track of time – I get in a weaving zone! I just start on a piece and let it take however long it needs, until I’m satisfied with the end result. What inspires you? Nature plays a huge role in my work. There’s a freedom about nature that I try to emulate in my art. How have your works evolved over time? When I started tapestry weaving, it was very traditional and I followed all the rules. I’ve since developed the confidence to push boundaries, which has allowed me to create my own unique style. What has been a career highlight for you? Receiving a direct message from Miley Cyrus, asking me to create a piece for her home in Tennessee – and more recently one for her home in Byron Bay – was very exciting. But the bottom line is that I Iove creating and weaving – that’s the most important and biggest highlight for me. What projects do you have coming up? I have developed a new collection with Creswick Woollen Mills in central Victoria that will be launching soon, as well as a collection with Cadrys rugs for Denfair [an upcoming design trade show in Melbourne and Sydney]. I will also keep busy with some large-scale commissioned pieces.