Saturday 24 May 2014

Piper Shepard’s lace at the Crafts Study Centre

Today is the last day to see Piper Shepard’s cut works at the Crafts Study Centre in Farnham.  As well as the ‘pillar’ in the atrium, shown here, which was originally made for Lost in Lace exhibition at Birmingham in 2011, you can see more of Piper’s cutworks in the upper gallery. In that space she is exhibiting two pieces entitled ‘Lace like’ that showcase her beautiful, black, filigree cut work as well as ‘Granulated diamond’ a large, black, square (96 x 96 inches) cut with a lace like border and a diamond ground centre. She is also showing three new pieces. These are entitled ‘Radial 1, 2 and 3’ and are based on prints with some hand cutting but not as much as in the ‘Lace like’ pieces. An extra dimension to the exhibition is brought about by the shadows the pieces cast on to the wall behind them accentuating their lace like quality and adding layers of hidden lace behind them.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Lace: the transgressive thread

The conference ‘Lace: the transgressive thread’ was attended by about 60 people on Friday. It marked the inauguration of the Lace Research Network a centre for lace research at UCA Farnham. There were 9 speakers talking about different aspects of lace. The first keynote speaker was the American textile artist Piper Shepard whose exhibition of cutworks accompanied the conference and illustrates this blog. The second keynote speaker was Lesley Millar, curator of the Lost in lace exhibition at Birmingham in 2011 who spoke about lace in cinema as mise en scene. Carol Quarini talked about contemporary uses of the doily and the net curtain in fine art and Angela Davies described her Golau light project. Dorie Millerson spoke about her needlelace practice and Joy Buttress discussed her work with gloves and underwear linked to lace. After these papers on contemporary practice, the afternoon was given over to talks on lace as historical artefact. Gail Baxter spoke about the hidden hand in the archive and in the story of lace. Beth Walsh discussed the role of lace in the 17th century and Emma Ferry’s paper concentrated on the political lace designs of WH Pegg.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Setting up ‘In air: the cutworks of Piper Shepard’

Gail Baxter and I spent last week hanging the Piper Shepard lace exhibition at the Crafts Study Centre and the Foyer Gallery at Farnham. They both look stunning with the 3D chambers in the Foyer and the 15 foot long ‘pillar’ in the Crafts Study Centre as well as seven other large pieces of Piper’s hand cut lace on muslin. The first visitor wrote ‘wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, well worth the trip’ in the visitors’ book and she had had a 2 hour rail journey. I will blog more and add more pictures later. Gail and I are now both working on the conference ‘Lace: the transgressive thread’ which will be held at Farnham on Friday 16 May. There are a few places left if you would like to come. Piper will be talking about her work and there are also talks on lace history, contemporary lace and lace archives. It promises to be an interesting day.