Hand-woven tapestries are quite an intrinsic art form and, just like paintings, have the possibility of being perfect for decorations and exhibitions around the world. Dorothea Van De Winkel can tell you all about it, given her penchant for woven art pieces that are made in her studio in the Belgian village of Kwaremont. With Galerij Theaxus, the textile artist is one of Belgian’s leading tapestry designers, putting a modern spin on true craftsmanship.
Van De Winkel’s love for tapestries happened at an early age when she was growing up in the town of Oudenaarde, where its many ancient churches are decorated with world-renowned hand-woven tapestries. Van De Winkel: “I never saw myself becoming a textile designer making tapestries, but somehow, the fascination for the woven art pieces stuck. I’ve followed several courses in Belgium and abroad, wanting to discover everything there is to know about designing and creating tapestries, learning the necessary modern technical skills that nowadays aren’t as labour intensive as they used to be.”
Galerij Theaxus

There’s certainly a sense of passion when Van De Winkel describes her tapestries, having made large pieces that can go up to 240 by 185 centimetres on her loom. “Those tapestries are incredibly delightful to make, but it is certainly time consuming. The largest ones take four to five months of eight hours a day to complete.” As for her inspiration? “I start my drawings often from my surroundings or from what happens in the world. Kwaremont is quite a picturesque village, with splendid nature all around. It’s also why I enjoy making tapestries that start out as pencil drawings, making abstract shapes and finally adding colour.”

Galerij Theaxus

Blue Landscape II, Dorothea Van De Winkel, 2018

Another way the artist gets her dose of inspiration is by travelling on the occasions of the international exhibitions she takes part of with her pieces. The United States, China, Japan and Uruguay are among the countries she has visited. Van De Winkel:

“It’s an amazing way of encountering people and cultures that can make lasting impressions that give rise to the designs I use for my tapestries. It’s also fun to meet like-minded people to discuss and perfect techniques that I can use for my art. My creations are all on display in my gallery. Anybody with just the slightest knack for tapestries and creating art with the use of textile is more than welcome to come and visit me.”


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