Not every artist masters the large format as well as the miniature. For the weaver Charlotte Schrøder it makes no difference. Schrøder reached a culmination point in the large format with her work “The World of Music” from 1998, a decoration piece for Meany Hall in Seattle. “The World of Music” was on exhibition for a short period of time at the Danish Museum of Decorative Art in Copenhagen, Denmark. This work is an eminently unerring composition, carried by an enormous waving rhythm from violinist to conductor; two focused people who are literally being swallowed by the music in an abstract space of drifting string instruments. The music experience as motif has become Charlotte Schrøder’s hallmark. She is familiar with the world of music, and music constantly provides her with images that find their way to her sketchbook. Recognisable motifs like music players or instruments are but one way she communicates her intense identification with music. She manages to interpret the abstract presence of the tones by making surroundings resonate. This is where the loom is superior to the drawing. Like the musician interprets the music in his score, so does Charlotte Schrøder transform her black/white sketches into compositions of coloured yarns in wool, silk, linen and flax. The wefts are resting in the warp of the upright loom, a personal technique that invests her pieces with a characteristic delicate texture. In the large formats, the coloured spaces are broken into an abundance of shades; simultaneously, the motifs are partly being dissolved and abstracted while the crisp lightness is preserved. Charlotte Schrøder’s miniature tapestries, viewable at the exhibition at the Danish Museum of Decorative Art, tell a different story. Here we are invited into her private sphere, where memories need to be preserved and experiences remembered. Images from numerous trips near and far are absorbed and fixed in her memory. Quick sketches seize the moment; the light over the Mediterranean as seen from San Cataldo, cyclists in Hanoi, the mirages of Venice. A prolonged stay provides opportunity to transform the various impressions directly on a small portable loom. The miniature dictates a more naturalistic expression than the large format. At home in the weaving workshop, she focuses on the motif. With a delicate woven thread, the sketch is “developed” until what was seen and what was remembered emerge clearly. One must surrender unconditionally to these small sensuous images that are life distilled, and that invite us, accompanied by the artist’s own brief notes, to peer into Charlotte Schrøder’s private family album.

Vibeke Woldbye

Translated by Charlotte Toksvig