Tammy Kanat is a Melbourne-based weaver and fibre artist who has gained international recognition for her large-scale tapestries that are a celebration of colour, pattern, textile, and the creative process. Taught at the highly reputed Australian Tapestry Workshop, Kanat learnt to adopt and refine the complex skill of tapestry weaving. Inspired by a range of artistic precedents such as Josef and Anni Albers, Hilma af Klimt, Gunta Stolzl, Agnes Martin and Mark Rothko, Kanat gravitates towards artists who use colour and materiality in abstracted ways to create visceral evocations.
Drawing on her experience as a jewellery designer, she works in a highly innovative manner, creating organic and intuitive configurations. Resisting the tendency to plan and engineer the compositions, Kanat’s pieces are guided through a response to materiality. Working with mostly discarded yarn from Australian textile factories, Kanat works in a spontaneous manner, responding directly to the different colours of the dead stock she receives, breathing new life into the wool. Evolving through the experimentation of individual knots and twists of fibres of various densities and colours, her process embraces the gradual unfolding of her creative instinct upon the tapestry. Kanat’s practice invites time for stillness and contemplation, and fosters an appreciation for slowness amidst the unrelenting pace of the present.
Kanat’s solo exhibitions include The Spirit, Melbourne in 2014 and Milan in 2017. In 2019, the NGV acquired four works from Circles of Life by Kanat. At the same time, she was commissioned by Mecca as part of their Mecca M-POWER initiative that promotes women in the arts. Kanat’s work is included in important private collections in Australia, USA, UK, Europe, Ireland, Hong Kong, Canada, and New Zealand.