Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Lace Unveiled at Newstead Abbey, Nottingham

This exhibition of contemporary art presented throughout the Abbey was part of the Lace Unravelled programme. It included two new works by Shane Waltener. A canopy of threads woven between a row of yew trees alongside the medieval fishpond, which framed the view along the walk and invited contemplation (see pic below); and a tangled web of threads across the centre of a four poster bed in the house, reminiscent of fairy tales and mysteries.
Another interesting work was ‘Boom’ by Joy Buttress and Manolis Papastavrou which visually expressed the rise and fall of the lace factories in Nottingham, based on information from Sheila Mason’s book. It includes a drawing of part of a lace parasol cover and a film of it being made (see pic at top). Lucy Brown’s ‘The secrets we keep from ourselves’, an installation of deconstructed second hand clothes and lace, filled Lord Byron’s dressing room and explored her interest in the revealing and concealing qualities of lace. In another bedroom, Joana Vasconcelos used crochet lace to challenge ideas about femininity, tradition and modernity, by using this ‘feminine’ product to mummify two ferocious ceramic wolves. It was interesting to see lace inspiring such different projects and also to see the works exhibited in the house rather than in a white cube space.

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