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Lost in lace

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  • Design
  • Earth Science
  • Linguistics


Lost in Lace (exhibition and catalogue, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Oct. 2011–Feb. 2012) was the outcome of a three-year research project, extending my earlier inquiry for Textural Space (exhibition and catalogue, 2001). The project explores and develops the dialogue between contemporary cross-discipline approaches to lace, and current discourse concerning the divisions of space within the built environment – the role of the boundary/border in urban design (Sennett 2011; Lambertucci 2010). The research was placed within the context of Japanese notions of Ma and Hashi and the writings of Tschumi (1990), Rendell (2006), Ishigami (2010), Bachelard (1968) and Riley (1995). Within the UK, interest in lace as a vehicle for both art and design innovation is in the early stages (Bartlett, University College London 2005, Caruso St.John/Nottingham Contemporary 2009). Outside the UK there have been initiatives using the tradition and history of lace as a means of challenging and subverting preconceptions around function and use (Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting, USA, 2007, Kantlijnen, Belgium, 2008, Lace in Translation, USA, 2009, Love Lace, Australia, 2011). Lost in Lace brings together Eastern and Western understandings of the articulation of space, building upon the rich tradition of the relationship between lace and architecture. It aims to provide new insights into the ways in which we configure and negotiate the thresholds and boundaries we encounter as we move through space. The research investigates the material processes of making through interviews with artists, architects and relevant others. The exhibition and publication expanded the themes and ideas identified during the research through a series of architectonic installations developed in discussion between myself as curator, and each of the international cohort of exhibitors. Funding was provided by the Crafts Council, Arts Council England, Esmée Fairbairn, Culture Ireland, Embassy of Brazil, Japan Foundation, and Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

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