Monday, 4 August 2014

Lace effects 2

I went to the Calais Lace Museum to see the Lace effects 2 exhibition, which includes one of my curtains entitled ‘Looking through’, which you can see in the image above, in the background on the right behind Ine van Son’s monumental ‘Earth flower’. All the work in the exhibition was based on lace in some way either by using lace techniques or taking its inspiration from lace. The bobbin lace techniques ranged from a twist on the traditional, in the form of To Bielieve’s beautiful floral lace worked in two variations with tiny porcelain bobbins (Ceci, c’est ton fil; detail below), to Jeanne Verlinden’s ‘Belle epoque’ a lovely 3D piece in subtle silks produced using her own open style technique. I also used contemporary bobbin lace in my work (I’ll explain more about that in another blog) as did several other artists including Sylvia Broeckx with her work based on butterfly wings, Stephanie Emond with her bird’s wing, and Trudi Meijer with her work inspired by cactus fragments.


Other techniques used were digital embroidery on net by Tessa Acti in her beautiful ‘Lace bird’ bodices hanging delicately on a thread to twist in the air, and hand embroidery on net by Gail Baxter in her series ‘Tracing the line’ to form rolls of fabric. Diana Harrison had distressed cloth to form a woven lace-like material, while other artists had used back-lit porcelain (Tina Roskruge) and incised silver (Sara Bran) to produce lace-like effects. Fine drawing techniques had been used by Teresa Whitfield to produce uncannily realistic images of Honiton lace, and by Dawn Cole to produce lace pieces composed of tiny words taken from the diaries of a nurse in the World War I. Several artists had used cut fabric to produce lace including Elsa Barbage who had cleverly incised layers of X-ray film to produce a composite 3D image, Martha Henton who had laser cut images of machine knitting to produce a backlit translucent image and Emma Gribble whose laser cut lampshade produced lace shadows on the adjacent wall.

Shadows were also used to great effect in displaying the work of several artists including Lydie Chamaret’s lace cube, Nicole Kockaerts’ spiral forms, and Karine Sterckx’s subtly coloured circular lace and metal construction (above). The exhibition includes a wide range of contemporary lace and lace techniques and the pieces have been thoughtfully put together to form an excellent and varied show, highlighting the work of contemporary European artists working with lace. The exhibition is part of the Crysalis programme, the aim of which is to bring together four European partners to promote textiles in various ways, and it runs until December at the Calais Lace Museum.

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