Exhibition: Powerhouse Museum - Love Lace

The Powerhouse Museum's  Love Lace exhibition is one that I have been looking forward to for some time. Fingers crossed that the next trip north allows enough time to contemplate the work in this thoroughly. From the Powerhouse statement:

Lace offers the mystery of concealment and the subtle interplay of space, light and shadows. Its layering can enhance the human body and create alluring effects in interior design and architecture. Though lace is usually associated with textiles, curator Lindie Ward broadened the definition of lace to include any ‘openwork structure whose pattern of spaces is as important as the solid areas’.

Below the break are my picks.*

Joy Buttress. Skin Reveals Skin. 430 x 150 x 100 mm, Pair of opera gloves: laser cut and machine-stitched kid leather.

‘Nottingham played a central role in the world lace trade from 1760 onwards... I have been inspired by a particular portfolio in the school’s archive that was produced in Plauen, Germany, and shown at the Great Exhibition in Brussels 1910. It contains 24 plates of designs inspired by organic forms found in flora and fauna. The complex and sophisticated construction of lace creates a transparency, offering a relationship with both skin (the body) and pattern, my work aims to explore the interaction of lace with the body... Each glove explores the sensitivity and sensuous nature of the gloved hand through historical motifs, digital laser technology and hand stitch.’

Marita MacklinAspergillus. 450 x 1450 (diam) mm, Installation: free-motion machine embroidery, bush dye and hand embroidery on a variety of materials including muslin, organza and netting      

‘We live in a world that has a hidden world within it. A world that is so small it cannot be seen with the naked eye. Only through advanced technology can we see the tiny, fragile forms of the microscopic organisms that inhabit this miniature world. I have created sculptural forms with repetitive textures and motifs based on the most common elements shared by microbes, in particular, those that inhabit and infect the human body.’

Helen Pynor. Untitled (uterus urinary). 290 x 360 X 200, Knitted human hair.
‘In my work I explore the complex dialogues between biological and cultural processes. I’m interested in the registration and transmission of personal and cultural experience in the biological body, and importantly, in the active collaboration and participation of the biological in this process at cellular and physiological levels. In my hair works I’ve knitted together single strands of human hair to form large and small-scale sculptures. These strands were grown by women in a distant country and are now twisted into complex forms by me, entangling bodies, time, memory and place... seen from a distance the works become transparent and ghost-like, entering other in-between spaces of past and present, flesh and memory, beauty and repulsion, living and dead.’

Anneliese Vobis. Patterns of Frost. 250 x 250 x 250 mm, Soft sculpture: heat-treated felt and thread.

'I am concerned with the concepts of change and transience. As Hegel said, ‘it is the process of change which makes evolution possible’.The interrelation of organisms in ecosystems serves as a starting point for intense scientific-related research. My biomorphic-shaped projects explore the metamorphic cycles that organisms undergo in nature. My work reflects natural processes like melting, crystallisation and growth.’

Lenka Suchanek.  Are We Made of Lace? 380 x 380 mm (each), Panels (6): bobbin lace using enamelled copper wire on acrylic panels.

‘Recently, I came across electron microscope images and it felt like finding the missing piece of a puzzle. The images of cell structures looked exactly like lace. Plants, sea plankton, humans … all made from a primordial lace that cannot be seen with unaided eye, but it pervades everything. We live in an awesome lace world.'

* Picks are completely based on a bias relating to the microscopic, intimately worn articles of clothing, disgust surrounding shed body particles like skin and hair, and tenuous forms.  

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