Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Ebb’n’flow lace exhibition

I enjoyed Jane Atkinson’s exhibition Ebb’n’flow at Walford Mill this week. It’s a contemporary bobbin lace response to the effects of climate change on an area of the country that Jane studies daily. There are several large hangings in subtle colours inspired by plants such as teasel, fennel, thistle, willow (detail above) and silver birch, these are beautifully hung to allow movement, while other pieces such as timber and mudlark are displayed draped as scarves showing the versatility of lace as fabric and canvas. One of my favourite pieces was ‘Oystercatchers on the trawl’, a panel of black lace that beautifully depicts the birds’ flight. In the accompanying book Jane describes how this work was designed on a log grid and required the addition of extra pairs of bobbins to produce the dense figures against the light open grid background. 
The book also includes some lovely close up images of ‘Oxygen’ a beautiful depiction of transitory bubble formations in Stanpit Marsh, rendered in four oblong panels that hang alongside one another to make the complete image (there's one panel in image above). As well as the main exhibition of Jane’s work there are showcases with pieces by other well known lacemakers, including jewellery by Denise Watts, Lauran Sundin and Hanne Behrens, sculptural pieces by Ann Alison, Sylvia Piddington and Anne Dyer, wearable lace by Sue McLaggan, figurative work by Pierre Fouche and dolls by Denise Watts reflecting women’s lives. The exhibition runs in two venues in Wimborne until 28 October and is definitely worth a visit.

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