Saturday, 1 November 2014

Lacemakers exhibition at Orleans House Gallery

This is a mixed exhibition of lace and work inspired by lace, at the Stables gallery at Orleans House, Twickenham. Although it includes a complete mixture of textiles, drawings, prints, ceramics, and jewellery, they are all linked by the thread of lace and come together to form a pleasing exhibition. I liked some of the contrasts created, such as the texture of Gail Baxter’s felt and bobbin lace ‘Cover cloth’ compared with the pristine lines of Teresa Whitfield’s ‘Charlotte Bronte’s shawl’ (both shown in the image above). It was interesting to see Hannah White’s light reflective collar ‘Lace tracks’ and Gill Bird’s ‘Raised and rolled’ black and white wired piece. Gill Smith’s cut paper giving the illusion of an open door and its shadow was both beautiful and clever, as was Dawn Cole’s printed collar incorporating text entitled ‘Men had eyes removed’.

Janice Webb’s collaged pieces also contrasted with Lizzie Lee’s conical lampshades made of recycled lace (pictured). I also liked Beth Walsh’s use of bobbin and needle lace in her hanging ‘Porta della carta’ and the more formal lines of Clare Sams’ filet lace ‘I loved you’ antimacassar. It was nice to see Tamara Goulding’s three dimensional needlelace ‘Floating’ and contrast it with Maggie Bonsey’s delicate, black, three dimensional geometric forms.

I thought Gil Dye’s tiny lace collars and Dorie Millerson’s small needle lace vehicles could have been displayed to greater effect. Gil’s work would have benefited from being seen from above and Dorie’s from better lighting and shadows. In contrast, Emma Tann’s black crochet and embroidery installation was beautifully and painstakingly displayed at one end of the gallery (image above). It is always difficult to hang a mixed exhibition and, on the whole, I thought the curators had done a great job and produced an interesting exhibition, expanding the theme of lace beyond the textile.


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