Lost in Lace is the first exhibition programmed through the Craft Council‘s biennial Fifty:Fifty scheme, through which the Crafts Council co-funds and co-produces an exhibition with a partner organisation chosen by open selection. Speaking about the partnership, Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council: “We are thrilled to be working with the BMAG on this exciting inaugural Fifty:Fifty exhibition. Lost in Lace will encourage people to think about the fabric of the spaces we live in through extraordinary textile pieces created by prolific international artists. We believe this will draw new audiences to see the sort of contemporary craft that they may have never seen before.”
Organised by Professor of Textiles at University for the Creative Arts (UCA), Lesley Millar, this show features 20 leading international artists, and will explore the relationship between textiles – specifically lace – and space through a series of dramatic and ambitious new site-sensitive installations. The exhibition brings together both leading and emergent artists and makers – many of whom will be exhibiting in the UK for the first time. From the intricate to the monumental, these contemporary works will challenge the viewer’s existing notions of space, encouraging them to renegotiate the mysterious new environments and blurred and shifted boundaries that emerge.
The work exhibited spans a diverse range of materials, practices and inspirations. The work exhibited spans a diverse range of materials, practices and inspirations. Atelier Manferdini will present a stunning inverted crystal cathedral hanging from ceiling to floor. Other large-scale works include acclaimed Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota’s web of interlacing black thread, eerily entrapping a white staircase. French artist Annie Bascoul’s dual installation evokes a more sensual environment: an intricate cotton screen casts beautiful shadows across the floor as a delicate bed of feathers floats above the text of an erotic poem.
Leading British maker Michael Brennand Wood will explore his anti-militaristic sentiments in his series of red and black aluminium roundels, connected in a constellation-like pattern. Lise Bjørne Linnert’s Fences also raises political issues, as each photograph depicts an area of fence she has embroidered to highlight a hole. Often undertaken in conflict zones, her work investigates the notion of these contentious boundaries.
The exhibition will also see a number of artists that employ detailed scientific process and knowledge in their work. Tamar Frank’s grid of phosphorescent threads will glow to reveal complex 3D parabolic curves, whilst the lace-like pattern stencilled onto Alessia Giardino’s photo-catalytic concrete panels is developed through their exposure to airborne pollution, and Kathleen Rogers uses new microscopy equipment to expose thread structures.
These, alongside many other new and exciting works, will provide an immersive and multi-sensory experience for the viewer, and reveal the radical new approaches to textile and space made by artists and makers around the world.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue containing background information and interviews with the participants, edited by the exhibition curator Lesley Millar MBE. Parallel to Lost in Lace, BMAG presents an exhibition focussing on the research, reinterpretation and redisplay of their historic lace collection.
Lost in Lace is at the Gas Hall at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery from 29 October to 19 February 2012.
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Moucharabieh and Jardin de lit, lit de Jardin
© Annie Bascoul