“Living in New Mexico I am influenced by the rich southwest weaving traditions and inspired by the high desert landscape. The beauty found in a desert mesa at sundown; a stretch of white desert sand against a dark sky; or an ancient image carved into the land touches me and moves me. It is these moments that I want to capture on my loom. Weaving for me is not only a journey through color and form, but also a journey of self-expression and self-discovery. Weaving helps me come to a deeper understanding of myself. My goal as a tapestry weaver is to capture the essence of nature in an abstract way and create movement through subtle blending of colors.
I learned to weave when I moved to the Magdalena Mountains of New Mexico in 2004. My first weaving teacher, Betty Campbell, not only taught me about weaving, but also, about sheep ranching, lambing, shearing and wool processing. I started out weaving rugs on a Rio Grande style “walking loom.” The weaving was enhanced by the time Betty and I spent at the wool processing mill experimenting with fibers to creating different yarns. I turned to tapestry weaving after taking a workshop from James Koehler. The five years I spent having James as teacher and mentor have shaped my weaving. I like weaving tapestries because of all the choices in design, color, and tapestry techniques that I need to make to bring the image alive on the loom. I currently live and weave in Las Cruces, New Mexico and spend summers in Minneapolis, Minnesota.”
No stranger to winning awards for her artistry, one of Giesen’s works, “White Sands”, was accepted into the American Tapestry Alliance 2014 Biennial 10 exhibit. This exhibit highlighted the best of international contemporary hand woven tapestries submitted from around the world. Tapestries accepted were chosen based on artistry and technical excellence. Quoting from the American Tapestry Alliance website, “From 118 artists who submitted 230 tapestries, Juror Jessica Hemmings, Professor of Visual Culture and Head of the Faculty of Visual Culture at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, chose 37 tapestries.” Giesen is shown here standing outside Visions Art Museum in San Diego, one of the three stops on the year-long tour, the next two being Kent State University Museum in Ohio and the Kaneko Open Space Museum in Nebraska.