I’m looking forward to travelling to Limerick this week for the Hybrid lace conference and associated exhibition. The series of events are designed to celebrate Irish laces and in particular Limerick lace. Looking at the conference programme suggests that the history of Limerick lace will be investigated and celebrated but new developments and ways of using lace will also be considered, so it looks like a very interesting programme. I’ll be talking about my ‘Whispering’ series of net curtains, in which I use tambour lace (one aspect of Limerick lace) to tell a tale and consider the position of women, filtered through the lens of Victorian gothic literature. Two of my lace hanging series will also be shown in the exhibition. One is linked to my research on net curtains and the dysfunctional domestic, and the other on memories and how they deteriorate with age. The work of many other excellent lace artists is also being shown and I’m looking forward to seeing their work and the exhibition as a whole. It should be an interesting few days.
Thursday, 20 October 2016
The next time Gail and I will exhibit the work from ‘Lace at the edge’ is at Harrogate, still as part of the Knitting and Stitching Show. Our stand at Alexandra Palace was rectangular but the one at Harrogate is much more square so we are having to rethink our display. When we started planning the exhibition, the aim was to intermingle our work, but when we actually came to set up that just didn’t seem to work effectively, so we ended up with my work at one end and Gail’s at the other. I think now we’ve seen the work on display we have a much better idea of which pieces work well together which we’re bearing in mind as we redesign the stand for its new shape. Other factors we will have to consider are the placing of the stand. At Alexandra Palace we were quite well inside the gallery block, but at Harrogate we are right near the opening so we’ll have to consider air draughts blowing the work and of course the temperature if it’s cold. We had a few draughts in London when the ceiling vents were opened and they wafted my black veils about in a suitably languid and sinister manner, so let’s hope we achieve that effect!
Thursday, 13 October 2016
The book we had out for the audience to write in at ‘Lace at the edge’, our exhibition at the Knitting and Stitching Show last week, is full of interesting comments. Many say they thought the work was stunning, fascinating, inspiring or beautiful, which is always encouraging to hear. Others are more informative and comment on the ideas behind the work, the textures and techniques. But I think my favourite is ‘Wonderful exhibition – I’m glad that I took the time to read the labels, it made all the difference’, mainly because that was how I approached the exhibition. I wanted to make work that would look beautiful from a distance, so would be interesting to those passing by, but would have a deeper message for those who took the time to engage with it and find the stories hidden within the folds of the veils. Another aim was to show people that lace can be used as textile art and carry a deeper message - it isn’t just a decorative technique. I know I achieved that with many people who spoke to me about the work and I lost count of those who stopped to say how nice it was to see lace being displayed at the Knitting and Stitching Show.
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
Our exhibition at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace is now up and running. Its title is ‘Lace at the edge’ and it features work by me and Gail Baxter. Although we are both lacemakers our work is quite different but it is linked by a common theme of netting. In Gail’s case fishing nets and traditional netting techniques and in mine the fine nets used in veiling. It is great to see all the pieces displayed as a body of work, hanging them in the studio just doesn’t give you the same effect. I was especially pleased to see that my three black veils worked well together pinned to the wall like bats in flight. Also the group of white veils linked to literary themes show up well on the circular plinths they are displayed on. It’s always good to see the work in situ, as however many plans you make it’s not until everything is hung that you can see the overall effect. The exhibition is on until Sunday 9 October and the gallery number is TG21 so do come and visit us. However if you can’t make it we are exhibiting the work again in Harrogate at the end of November.