Sheila A. Held
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Tantra means "the weaving." Tapestry is a form of tantra, a construction built up thread by thread to form a physical presence that points beyond physical presence, its structure a metaphor for the structure of reality: vertical warp threads, unchanging and unseen, Purusha, the ground of being; horizontal weft threads, ever-varied and visible, Maya, the outward manifestation. Their union forms an image that, like matter itself, appears to be continuous but is in actuality composed of quantified units: materially-speaking fibers; conceptually-speaking pixels. Tapestry is never free of the underlying grid, but with the help of creative consciousness is able to sabotage it from within.
In my imagery, I attempt to access the point where magic, science, religion and nature intersect, and a conjunction of opposites is achieved. Through a density of information, I strive to set up a dialogue with my audience and to speak to a variety of interpretations.
I have had two solo exhibitions to date, and have exhibited my work in group shows all over the country, winning many awards and, in 1995, winning a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship. I have tapestries in several corporate and public settings, and recently have done commissions for the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marian College in Fond du lac.