Lost in Lace: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Crafts Council in lace and space

By Ben Miller | 27 October 2011
A photo of dark blue and green curves of light against a dark background
Tamar Frank, Serena
© Tamar Frank
Exhibition: Lost in Lace, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, October 29 2011 – February 19 2012

In Fences, Lise Bjørne Linnert uses photographs to show bits of partitions she has embroidered in conflict zones.

A spate of red and black aluminium roundels, connected in their own constellation, are used to solidify Michael Brennan Wood’s anti-militarism views.

And French artist Annie Bascoul gets sensual with an intricate wire screen which casts shadows on a delicate bed of feathers above the text of an erotic poem.

The Crafts Council has been busy doing what it does best in its 40th year – changing the perceptions of those they represent by showing off some of the best contemporary practitioners in the world – and this exhibition running through the Gas Hall at BMAG continues their quest.

Lace takes centre stage for an analysis of the relationship between textiles and space, from Tamar Frank's grid of phosphorescent threads and parabolic curves to lace-like patterns stencilled onto Alessia Giardino's photo-catalytic concrete panels.

"I have asked an international group of artists, makers, and designers to move beyond their usual margins of practice," says curator Lesley Millar, a Professor of Textile Culture at the University for the Creative Arts.

She describes her challenge as one of shaping "the perception of the potentially radical relationship between the structure of lace networks and architectural space."

"Their responses have been to question the ways in which we move through space and the nature of boundaries and thresholds.

"With no defined narrative path through the exhibition, visitors will be encouraged to confront the same questions, as they are invited to move freely within, through and around the works."

The Council's Rosy Greenlees hopes the concept will turn a few heads.

"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," she says.

"We believe this will draw new audiences to see the sort of contemporary craft that they may have never seen before."

  • Open 10am-5pm (10.30am-5pm Friday, 12.30pm-5pm Sunday). Admission free.

More pictures from the exhibition:

A photo of a white lace carpet flighting above the floor of a room
Annie Bascoul, Moucharabieh and Jardin de lit, lit de Jardin© Annie Bascoul
A photo of lines of shimmering multicoloured lace hanging in a white gallery
Atelier Manferdini, Inverted Crystal Cathedral (digital rendering), bottom layers (600 crystals) donated by Swarovski© Atelier Manferdini
A photo of a mesh of black wires in a gallery
Chiharu Shiota, Untitled
© Chiharu Shiota
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