Reframed: Lost Art I & II

 

Reframed: Lost Art I
Material: Bronze  wire   Technique: Milanese tape lace
Size: 56 x 56 cm (22 x 22 in)

Reframed: Lost Art II
Material: Bronze  wire   Technique: Concentric continuous lace
Size: 56 x 56 cm (22 x 22 in)

In North America, handmade bobbin lace has been often called “a lost art”. I could not agree, because the lace I have known was very much alive – present, vibrant, breathing and growing. I followed her intricate patterns and looked for materials and forms that could carry the lace forward. In one of my many projects I explored pattern connections between various craft disciplines – wood work, stone carving, tile work and lace work – and set out a testing ground for new connections. Two pieces that remained from the project were put away, and literally, lost in my studio storage.

When I found them this summer I realized how much has changed in the last 15 years. The lace craft as I knew has been almost lost. The gossamer lace weave is getting weaker as the threads are ageing. Traditional schools closed, lace museums activities were reduced, and major international events abandoned because of lack of funds. At the same time, more and more independent artists started to use lace techniques in their work, creating imaginative lace art. As if lace had left the past and entered the future…

I decided to re-frame these two works to reflect the change. I covered painting canvas with silk fabric and cut the centre out to expose black background. As the lace stretches over the opening, it casts shadows, and the illusive pattern is dissipating into the black hole of the passing time. Lace remains, but only very few people can connect it to the history.

Can lace live detached from her own history? Can we?

Only time will tell…

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