The following article is reprinted with permission from Fiberarts Magazine (Asheville, NC), Nov, Dec ’93.

From the earliest records of civilization, the Central Andes have hosted a rich textile heritage. The people of the now desolate Paracas Peninsula produced embroideries remarkable for their brilliant, bold stitching and angular shapes, also characteristics of Rowen Schussheim-Andersons’s bold, bright forms and diagonally woven wefts. In the “Peruvian Impressions” series, the artist filtered and processed through the woven for the harmony and dichotomy of the land and the people. From the earliest tapestries that focused on the indigenous warmth of the landscape itself, to the final melding of people within their environment, a unique synthesis of the topography and ethnography of the area results.

 A weaving family of Chincheros, Peru. The loom is warped to weave a poncho.

A weaving family of Chincheros, Peru. The loom is warped to weave a poncho.

Market Day picks up the excitement of the village. In the interwoven contrast of pink, red, and orange, one senses the jostling of villagers wearing their brightest and best outfits. A diagonal section echoes a hanging rack of garments for sale in the market.

In Peruvian Canvas, experimentation with woven and dyed sisal reaches an exuberant peak. The land and the people are woven into one, and across the face of the canvas are stretched artifacts of the ’90s–folded pieces of shimmering lame and a shiny purple twisted reed.

Hemingway referred to his Parisian sojourn as a “moveable feast.” For artists encountering the energy and beauty of a site, the splendor remains in tapping into this “feast” as they continue their work.

– Janet Seiz

Janet Seiz is an assistant professor at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

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