To me weaverly is totally tactile, between my hands and my eyes and my feelings – Silvia Heyden
A Weaverly Path offers an intimate, visually stunning portrait of Swiss-born tapestry weaver Silvia Heyden and captures the inner dialogue and meditations of an extraordinary artist in the moments of creation. The film follows Heyden during a year of weaving and reflection. Heyden creates works inspired by the Eno River in Durham, North Carolina and shares how nature, music, her Bauhaus influences, and her life experiences anchor and inform her weaving.
Born in Basel, Switzerland in 1927 and trained at the School of the Arts in Zurich, Heyden was a fixture of the Durham and North Carolina art communities for many years and was well known and respected in the network of tapestry weavers across the US and around the world. Her tapestries hang on the walls of collectors and institutions throughout the world, yet few have had an opportunity to witness the physical intimacy between Silvia and her loom.
Heyden died peacefully at sunset on Monday, March 2, 2015 at age 88 and continued to weave each day at her loom up until her death. After producing more than 800 tapestries, she was always passionate about sharing her philosophy and approach to her creative process and passing on this knowledge to the next generation of tapestry weavers. Heyden traveled her own unique path as an artist, and in an age when many textile artists incorporate computers and digital technologies into their work flow, she used only her hands, a loom, and the many colors and textures of thread in her weaving. Heyden was a 20th century modernist whose body of work redefines the art of modern tapestry.