Thursday, 12 June 2014

Whisperings at Waddesdon

My curtain entitled Whisperings is currently being exhibited at Waddesdon Manor as part of the ‘Imagine … lace at Waddesdon Manor’ exhibition. The theme of the exhibition is ‘house party’ and the lace design had to be based on an artefact in the Manor. I chose to design a piece of Bedfordshire style lace based on a bundle of lace trimmings in the Waddesdon lace collection. The idea is that the lace pattern is quite formal and represents a very polite and conventional house party which might begin with formal introductions and polite conversation but then degenerates into a babble of voices, confidences and gossip. The formal lace pattern is then subverted to become a tangle of whispers, innuendo and hidden conversations. There are nine ‘whispers’ altogether including ‘Have you heard what she did?’, ‘Keep out it’s not your business’, ‘He says she’s not herself today’, and ‘He frightens the life out of me’. So all is not the comfortable veneer we assumed to start with; there are some hidden whispers and cries for help under that formal pattern.

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