Silent witness is the third part of my research into the domestic veil. In this section the net curtain traps not only light but also the secrets, whispers and memories of the home in its role as silent witness. It also records the domestic decay of the home as it accumulates the dust and dirt of dysfunctional domesticity.
The net curtain sifts and sorts phrases it has overheard in the home, many of which are ambiguous and speak of hidden agendas, obfuscation, evasion and veiled aggression, leaving an echo of forgotten conversations, unfulfilled hopes, and shattered dreams. Examples of this include ‘Whisperings’ which shows a traditional style bobbin lace trim on the curtain unravelling to reveal the trapped whispers it has overheard and the series of curtains with trapped whispers in tambour lace, both shown above.
The net curtain also traps dust, which, as well as being a repository of memories, is a physical manifestation of the decay of the home and its inhabitants. Here, in a series of three hangings, the dust is silting up the curtains and their lace trim, turning the fluid fabric into thin brittle paper, representing the disintegration of the home. The final blog about the exhibition, later this week, will reveal the curtain expanding and overwhelming the dysfunctional home.