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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These artworks are for sale in my WAYofLACE shop on Etsy.

Offering: Moon Reflection

Handmade Bobbin Lace Wall Art

Material
steel wire, milky marble cabochons, glass seed beads, silk background
Techniques
handmade bobbin lace, beading
Size
75 x 27 cm

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Making of the Handmade Lace Art – Offering: Moon Reflection

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Memory of This World

memory of this world - triptych -980

Wall Art – Triptych

Material: stainless steel, gold-plated copper
Technique: point ground lace
Size: 36 x 108 cm (14 x 42 inch)  total or 36 x 36 (14 x 14 inch) each panel


Artist’s Statement

In the midst of confusion and dis-order, when old ways are forgotten, coherence lost and all threads tangled, an essence of existence persists that is unchanging and unmoving

It is the truth, the universal memory

From this original source new worlds emerge and grow, reflecting patterns of the primal creative energy. Their pure form reminds us, again and again, that…

… memory of this world is Beauty …

memory of this world - beauty

… memory of this world is Harmony …

memory of this world - harmony

… memory of this world is Love …

memory of this world - love


This wall piece was created in 2014 for an exhibition “Memory” curated by Dr. Joyce Taylor Dawson and Nancy Pye, as a part of an exhibit “Art of the Lacemaker (Revisited)” for the Guelph Civic Museum in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

I like to participate in events where contemporary lace is exhibited along and exquisite antique lace and viewers can see the ancient and modern works in one room. Historical artefacts help audience to understand the context of modern work and see it as a part of a continuous evolution of handmade lace.

Exhibitions like this inspire me to create work that will expand the boundaries of traditional craft to reflect our times, our thoughts, our existence. Theme of “Memory” suited me well, because being rather abstract, allowed freedom of interpretation.


The triptych is in private collection.




 


art of the lacemaker poster

THE ART OF THE LACEMAKER (Revisited)

An exhibition of the renowned Ruhland Collection of laces from the 17th to 20th centuries 

July 11th to Nov. 2nd 2014

Plus

MEMORY

 A small but exciting  selection of new works created for the exhibition by 

Contemporary Canadian Lacemaker/Artists

A special series of four lectures on lace entitled Sunday Matinée 

A unique programme of hands-on workshops related to facets of lacemaking and collecting

at

The Guelph Civic Museum

52 Norfolk Street 

Guelph Ontario N1H 4H8

July 11th to Nov 2nd 2014


 Copyright©2014 Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.

Venus Triptych

Venus Triptych

Venus Triptych

Venus Triptych attempts to portray manifestations of divine feminine love on Earth.

The work was inspired by Venus Passage, a rare celestial alignment that blissfully happened in this lifetime and allowed us to contemplate the vastness of the universal harmony. The central part, Venus with a Star, reflects divine love which permeates the whole cosmos. The second part, Venus with Water, realizes love in its nourishing aspect, which sustains life and maintains balance on our planet. The third part, Venus with Fire, focuses on the purifying power of love, which makes spirituality possible for each of us. Of course, the theme proved to be too big a task for my artistic as well as technical skill. I had been repeatedly humbled by my inability to recreate in lace the vivid images I saw in my mind’s eye. I turned for inspiration and strength to the art masterpieces of the past – renaissance, romanticism and classicism. I kept trying, stretching my existing skills and searching for new. Lace supported my efforts well, confirming that there are no limitations to the technique other than lacemaker’s own. I grew as I reworked the pieces again and again. Finally, I learned to accept this work as a process without a formal end, and I am presenting the triptych as such. I gave it my best, and I always will.

Love is the only miracle there is…


Venus with a Star

Venus with a Star

Venus with a Star (Variation on a Renaissance Theme)
Materials: copper – silver and gold plated, enamelled
Techniques: plaited renaissance lace
Size: H106.5cm x W46cm

Love was a central theme to the Renaissance art, and became enshrined in timeless masterpieces that have inspired lovers and guided spiritual seekers ever since. Designs of plaited renaissance lace are based on sacred geometry and still cradle the original idea, the beginning of all laces. These patterns represent the first form that originated from the formless creative energy. In Venus’s elaborate aura they affirm the presence of expansive cosmic consciousness. Outline of a female body invokes the feminine principle, which receives the energy and gives it life. Focal point of the picture is the four-pointed star positioned conspicuously on mons Venus, which places love firmly on earth and in women’s womb.


Venus with Water

Venus with Water

Venus with Water (Vltava/Moldau)
Materials: enamelled copper, czech glass beads
Techniques: half-stitch and free form lace
Size: H106.5cm x W46cm

Contemplating love that cares, nourishes and protects naturally brought memories of my childhood into the picture. I grew up with folks who were capable of loving each other and their children, who sang and danced in joy as well as sadness, who did not loose their sense of humour even in the most trying circumstances. Their roots deeply in the earth, they used to worship nature as manifestation of the divine – hills, forests, soil, and most of all – water. Water springs, ponds, brooks and rivers were celebrated in sacred rituals, and eternalized in myths, tales and songs. Those inspired many artists, and the resulting culture flows like a mighty Vltava river throughout the people’s history. Melodies of a beloved symphonic poem of the same name, composed by Bedřich Smetana, were leading the dance of the bobbins on my lacemaking pillow and the lace poured in. Like a life-giving water that springs from the mons Venus, to nourish generations to come, like yin that in constantly changes and therefore defeats all obstacles, like love that is here now and forever.


Venus with Fire

Venus with Fire

Venus with Fire (Brunhild)
Materials: enamelled copper, partially gold plated
Techniques: half-stitch and free form lace
Size: H106.5cm x W46cm

The most absorbing from the three, Venus with Fire, has taken me beyond all my limits. The fire captivated  my senses and burned and melted rigid patterns and ideas one after another. Intense heat of the raw energy alternated regularly with feelings of loss and confusion.  I was lucky to have a guide for the work right from its conception, and her help was vital. Brunhild, a valkyrie and a shieldmaiden, protected me and led me through. I have learned a lot about this goddess-warrior who, of her free will decided to save pure love in this world. Seeing that the strong rule of her father Wotan (Odin), and an innate wisdom of her mother Erda (Earth), were no longer in a harmonious relationship, Brunhild was intuitively drawn to love and its power to restore balance of the masculine and feminine elements. To understand human love she sacrificed her immortality and experienced the duality of life of as a mortal woman and lover. In an ultimate offering she united with her beloved eternally by jumping into his funeral pyre. Her sacrifice restored love on earth and in heavens. Remembered in the old myths, and illuminated in Richard Wagner’s musical drama The Ring of the Niebelung, Brunhild’s message today is as timely as it is timeless.

 

Copyright©2014 Lenka Suchanek. All rigths reserved.

Are We Made of Lace?

Lace Wall Art – 6 panels
Materials: Enamelled copper on acrylic background, metal frames
Handmade bobbin lace techniques: Panel I – braids and tallies, Panel II – tape lace, Panel III – tape lace with tallies, Panel IV – ground with gimp, Panel V – chantilly lace, Panel VI – tape with half stitch.
76cm x 114cm overall, 38cm x 38cm each panel

This piece was created for the International Lace Award Competition organized by Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia. It was selected as a finalist and was exhibited in the Powerhouse Museum “Love Lace” exhibition in 2012 – 2013.

Are We Made of Lace?

Are We Made of Lace?

Artist’s Statement

When I make lace, I am totally at peace and in sync with the inner rhythm. When I study lace, I feel like I am conversing with the lacemakers of the past. When I design lace, patterns are coming as I need them. I am in a special state of mind. I generally do not experience this type of deep connection in any other activity, and it makes me wonder what is so unique in lace.  In our modern time, there is no rational explanation for it, and I would consider it abnormal – if I had not met other lacemakers.  Beginners or advanced experts, they all share the primal attraction to the intricate lace structure or to the process of making it. As if there was something deeper meaning in it.

When I came across scanning electron microscope images, it felt like finding the missing piece of the puzzle.  The images of cells structures look exactly like lace. Plants, sea plankton, humans… all made from a primordial lace that cannot be seen with unaided eye, but it pervades everything.

I found the answer to my question:  We live in awesome lace world!

Photography by Peter Flynn Niznansky

Copyright © 2014 Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.

Divine Beauty

Divine Beauty

Divine Beauty

A Tribute to Sandro Botticelli
Materials: copper and bronze – enamelled, patinated or gold plated; amber, fresh water pearls and crystal beads
Techniques: free form bobbin lace, point ground, braiding, beading
81cm x 69cm

This work was created for the International Lace Competition of the 14th Edition of the Biennale Internazionale del Merletto in Sansepolcro, Italy, 2010. It is now in the Centro Culturale Sansepolcro’s International Lace Biennial Collection.

Artist’s  statement:

Sandro Botticelli’s art has significantly influenced my work.  He was one of the first artists to paint gold lace decoration on garments; therefore his paintings are invaluable for my research of early metal laces. Lace was painted in such exquisite technique, that it is possible to trace many original patterns of braided laces in a minute detail.  I haven’t found any written records about gold bobbin lace from that time, thus Botticelli’s work has remained the essential source for my lace work.

I fell in love with his paintings not only because of lace. I have also found great inspiration in the way Botticelli portrayed women in his paintings. His ability to capture female inner beauty and strength is awe-inspiring. Loving and compassionate gaze of his Madonnas and goddesses reveals deep spiritual dimension with radiance that has not been surpassed by any other painter.  Botticelli’s genius gave a visual form to Dante’s poetry – Beatrice became alive in his paintings and brought Divine Love to the Earth.

I have been inspired to create an original lace work that celebrate women in Botticelli’s paintings.  I borrowed a breast shield from Camilla (Minerva), wreath of flowers from Primavera, braids from Simonetta, pose from Venus and aura from Madonna – and interwove them in a lace picture. “Divine Beauty” is my tribute to the great master of the Italian Renaissance, Sandro Botticelli.”

Copyright © 2014 Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.

Centering

Centering

Materials: Bronze on encaustic background
Techniques: Handmade bobbin lace in wire – various techniques
Size: 50cm x 50cm (20″ x 20″)

Centering – detail

Copyright © 2014-17 Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.