Thursday, 9 February 2012
Guided tour of Lost in Lace with Lesley Millar
It was interesting to hear Lesley Millar (the curator of Lost in Lace) talking about the exhibition during a guided tour last week. She explained that the unifying thread running through the exhibition was that the works were all inspired by lace even though they did not all culminate in a lace outcome. In particular ‘Forty eight’ by Nils Volker, which is not obviously related to lace, was linked to the strong contrasts found between positives and negatives in lace. Another theme that drew many of the pieces together was their use of shadows and how these produced boundaries, thresholds, enclosed areas and new spaces. Among various snippets of information it was interesting to discover that Chiharu Shiota does not try to disguise the lights and other fittings in the spaces for her installations because in that way each installation becomes part of its new environment and some of the bleak fittings suggest the emptiness of institutions. As a lacemaker, I was amused by the gasp from the audience when Lesley said that Piper Shepard’s work was not lace but painstakingly hand cut work. I admire Piper’s work and think her piece is beautiful but if the audience think that is painstaking let them try the point de gaze needlelace from which her inspiration came, that truly is making lace from air. Lesley was an enthusiastic and fascinating guide and it was enlightening to discover the background to the exhibition.