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Ulrika Leander / Contemporary Tapestry Weaving

”Downtown” by Ulrika Leander
58” x 128”

Contemporary Tapestry Weaving specializes in large-scale hand-woven tapestries in a contemporary European style and weight with a strong Scandinavian flair. Primarily my work is for site-specific commissions for corporate offices, public buildings, religious environments, health care facilities and private homes. However, I also weave some tapestries that are available for sale and are exhibited in my studio and on my web site.

After receiving a MA in fiber art and design in Stockholm, Sweden, I taught weaving and design at the course Center at the University of Lund before moving to the USA. My present studio located in Bellevue, MD opened in 2000 and my largest hand-weaving loom has the capacity to produce tapestries up to 12ft. in one direction and over 30 in the other.

In addition to designing and weaving tapestries, in the summer I convert part of my large studio into an art gallery showing work in a wide range of media including textile, glass, ceramic, precious metals and wood. I find my artists at major art and craft shows and by travelling in Scandinavia visiting studios during the annual art tours. Located an hour and a half from Washington DC and Baltimore, The Gallery By The River is a popular attraction for visitors crossing the Tred Avon River using the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, the oldest operating ferry in the country.

Artist's Statement:  I grew up in South Eastern Sweden where to this day textile art is one of the most frequent forms of artistic expression found in public buildings and in private homes. The rich history and tradition of textile art and design became part of my consciousness at a very early stage of my life and the Scandinavian design aesthetic is a strong influence to this day. Most of my tapestries are woven for clients who have formed, to varying degrees, their own concepts of theme, space and color, and I find this confluence of ideas and personal interaction both artistically challenging and very rewarding.

For me, painting is the gateway to tapestry and as I create my water color images, I am thinking of the fiber experience to come, the range of colors and fiber characteristics that will be needed, the intensification of colors that comes with the scale-up to a very large surface and the technical challenges of faithfully weaving the details of the design. I believe that I am drawn to weaving tapestries by the endless fascination of watching the gradual unfolding of the chrysalis that is my design into a mural-scale tapestry that will uplift the spirit and bring new life to an architectural space in a way that fulfills my client’s expectations for a work of enduring beauty and worth. From my personal point of view, weaving a tapestry draws on many parts of my being, the artist’s imagination, the weaver’s skill and the human ability to create.

Location: Royal Oak, Maryland, USA
Membership: The American Tapestry Alliance
Brick and Mortar: The Gallery By The River
Languages spoken: English and Swedish

”Lovers” by Ulrika Leander
72” x 45”

Performance at Ulrika's The Gallery By The River:

Tags: Tapestry, weaving, wall-hanging, gobelin, textile art, art, contemporary tapestry, studio, gallery, hand-woven, art gallery


  1. "Creativity takes courage".
    (Henri Matisse)

  2. Dear Ulrika,
    Beautiful, beautiful work!
    I am requesting permission to use the images of you with the yarns and your "Lovers" tapestry from your website in a book that I am writing entitled Peace Fibres: Stitching a Soulful World. In it, I enlist fibre work as metaphor and manifestation of harmonious relationship to self, others, and the larger world. I would use these photographs in a chapter on tapestries as integration.

    May I use the images? I would need a high resolution version. Please advise of any fees involved. I would, of course, cite you as artist and your website as source.

    Peace Fibres will be self published through Integral Press. I anticipate printing in early 2011, with an initial run of 1200.

    Thanks for considering my request. I look forward to your response.

    Karen Lohn

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever has..." - Margaret Mead


“Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction,- a work at which you would not be ashamed to invoke the Muse”
-Henry David Thoreau

In our case, it would be the needle or other fiber tool. Drive it home! And, we all thank you for your words, left here to these good folks. Invoke your Muse!


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