Tuesday 22 April 2014

In fine style

I had another opportunity to see ‘In fine style’ last week at the Queens’s Gallery in Edinburgh. It was interesting seeing it in a different, more intimate, venue (I saw it at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace originally) and also with fewer people around as we had a private view of the exhibition in Scotland. As before, the lace and costumes were stunning and it was nice to have the time and space to examine them closely. The focus in this Scottish setting was on the Stuart dynasty. Among many things, I admired the lace cloak band adjacent to the famous van Dyck portrait of Charles I showing the king from three angles and tried to decide whether it was the same one as depicted in the portrait; it is certainly very similar. I was also intrigued by the fashion for ladies at Charles II’s court to dress as men – very confusing for later historians.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

National Museum of Scotland

I spent a fascinating few days in Edinburgh last week as a guest of the National Museum of Scotland. On the first day we went to the Museum’s lace and dress archive and were shown flat lace in the morning and lace on dress in the afternoon. Some of the pieces were beautiful and others unusual and we spent time discussing the types and ages of the lace and how they were constructed. The second day was spent at the Museum where several of the participants gave presentations. Jamie Mulherron, who had organised the event, opened the day, then Melinda Watt from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York spoke about lace collecting at the Met. Bruno Ythier described lace in French public collections and Gail Baxter talked about the gaps and absences in museum collections. In the afternoon, Margo Graham from the lace manufacturers MYB discussed over 100 years of lace production at the company. I then described my research into net curtains and showed how I use them in a contemporary fine art setting, and finally Judy Clark talked about her modern fashions that include lace. It was very interesting discussing lace from so many viewpoints with experts in the field both in the scheduled events and over supper, so many thanks to Jamie for organising the event.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Edging out exhibition at the Harrogate Lace Event

Edging out was the title of my contemporary lace exhibition at the Harrogate Lace Event at the weekend. I showed some of my contemporary lace including the ‘Cloths of heaven’ trilogy based on the W B Yeats poem of the same name, from which the detail in the image comes. As well as some of my free lace hangings and necklaces, I also showed some of my Bedfordshire style bags. Several people were interested in the design ideas behind the work and also in the silk paper used in the Cloths of heaven. Others were just impressed by what could be done with lace techniques. My favourite comment came from an art student who said ‘I’ve never seen lace like this before, it’s amazing’.