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A House Divided – Tapestry by Betty Hilton-Nash

Betty Hilton Nash


This piece is part of Stellar Objectives, the current exhibit in the Folk Art Center’s Main Gallery. Stellar Objectives features the work of the newest members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild creating work in fiber, clay, glass, metal and wood.

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Stellar Objectives is on display until January 19, 2020 during regular open hours of the Folk Art Center.

  • Approximately 18″ x 56″
  • Cotton warp, wool weft; tapestry weaving
  • This piece will be shipped after the close of the exhibition on January 19th, 2020
  • Shipping cost will be determined and billed at that time
  • Made in 2017

“I am a tapestry weaver.  I create art for the wall using yarn as my medium.  I first design my work, using as a start, either photography, painting, drawing or collage.  I continue working with the image until I reach a weavable cartoon.  I leave many decisions of what the final image will look like until I am at the loom, employing weaving techniques to produce shading, movement and the forms that make up the image.  I build my tapestry line by line, shape by shape, until I have a finished piece.

The germination of the idea for this tapestry started with the Black Lives Matter movement.  The central motif of respect in black and white speaks to this.  As the 2016 election season continued with its inflammatory rhetoric, it became necessary to add other motifs such as the LGBT flag colors, the Mexican flag colors and the women’s suffragette colors.  Perhaps if we could just respect each other we could begin to bridge the divide that is now reality in our country.  I always look to historical tapestries for inspiration when I am designing.  I added the flower border to honor the verdure and millefleurs traditions, as well as the scroll motif at the bottom.

All of the flowers in this piece were taken from the Language of the Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  The flowers have the following meanings – chamomile represents energy in adversity, dogwood is love undiminished by adversity, hawthorn is hope, mullein represents courage, olive leaves symbolize peace, the rose is love, snowdrops offer consolation and hope , and the aster is for patience.

The weaving of this piece has been a great solace to me during the last few months.  My hope is that people viewing the piece will take away a positive feeling of hope and a more compassionate feeling towards their fellow human beings.”

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