Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lace in Translation

Lace in Translation is showing until April 3rd at The Design Centre, Philadelphia University. Three contemporary art/design studios have drawn inspiration from the Quaker Lace Company collection, held at the Design Centre.
Demakersvan, the Dutch design studio have created a lace fence for the drive at the Centre. It is one of their classical lace designs that owes much to the floral tradition of European bobbin lace, most notably Brussels and Chantilly. Seen here against a backdrop of trees the flowing nature of the pattern stands out particularly well.
Cal Lane is an internationally know sculptor who uses her welding torch to challenge the traditional male/female conventions. Here she uses it to cut lace patterns from oil tanks, contrasting the femininity of the lace with the masculinity of the industrial, metal, containers.
She has also employed her welding torch to burn doilies into the grass. Reminiscent of the lace doilies spray painted onto the grass for Kantlijnen in Brugges Lane's burning takes the process one stage further with the removal of sections of the turf to provide a strong positive/negative contrast.
Tord Boontje has returned to the traditional methods of lacemakeing for some of his pieces, taking a traditional pattern and reinterpreting it on a larger scale and in unusual materials - grass and raffia. This hair piece, in grass, is part of an ensemble that can be seen in a video of a girl walking in the woods.
Raffia has been used to create this curtain for one of the windows in the Centre. Like much traditional lace it has been fabricated in section by different people and then assembled to create a larger whole. I was lucky enough to hear Tord Boontje talking about the work for this exhibition and see the video at a talk accompanying the Telling Tales exhibition at the V&A.
The piece from this exhibition that I would most like to see is his Lace Sofa, a wondrous web indeed. My interest in this piece is partially due to my desire to work in fully three dimensional bobbin lace and partially my love for truly 'Wild lace'.

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