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Friday, August 12, 2011

Love Lace Review | Sydney Powerhouse Museum

Festival Girl Rates: 7.5/10

On my day off, I decided to visit the 'Love Lace' exhibition at the Sydney Powerhouse Museum. Featuring 130 lace works by 134 international and Australian artists. 

A whole exhibition on lace I hear you say? Well, why not. Lace is much more than the traditional delicate doilies that you might see your grandma fawning over. But in this exhibition, lace design is being explored in new by a broad range of contemporary artists using unconventional materials such as human hair, titanium, mulberry paper and optical fibres, manipulating these materials in innovative ways through traditional techniques.

Although the powerhouse is currently under some renovations, this won't impact on Love Lace. The exhibition is split into two sections, part one and part two and the premise is to challenge the traditional concepts of lace, with artists pushing lace techniques in surprising new directions. Love Lace finalists have employed an impressive range of over 60 techniques and 100 different materials to create their extraordinary work.

As well as this, works include wide range of two and three dimensional interpretations of openwork structures, digital multi media processes and works, large-scale installations, screens and sculptures; textiles, wall hangings and lighting; to fashion, accessories and jewellery.

The Love Lace slogan: Make Lace, Not War!

Andrea Eimke - Third Space II. The panels of lace have a profound effect when you walk into the dimly lit room. The presence of these tall lace panels from the ceiling to the floor, make you feel as if you have wondered into a lace Forest. They beckon you to investigate, see whats between them and see through to the other side of the room. Using different designs and textures, each panel is intrinsically different from the other and I found to be very engaging.

Elise Benjamin - Cheongsam and Marion Graham- Tight Laced, I really like how these two separate works have been grouped together. Not only as there are obvious similarities in type of garment, but both works complement each other in shape, colour and location. The dark iron ‘busk' makes reference to women in sixteenth century who commonly wore similar devices to dictate the female form. The bronze coloured Cheongsam, is an ode to the artist's desire to rebel against the conservative Chinese upbringing and create a work that integrates an iconic Chinese icon into a medium that is more experimental.

Tanya Alexandra Richards - Caress With Eyes Only. The hollow lace tube decorated with lace rosette shaped appliques.

This funky lace webs by Shane Waltener - Another World Wide Web (2011) employs traditional Shetland lace technique to interacts with the building's architecture. A really subtle approach integrates the art into the visitor walking around space, where they might not necessarily expect a work of art to be.

Stepping into part two of the exhibition, Bernabeifreeman - Garden Party is at the entrance is truly delightful. This work uses digital media textures and pixelation and old fashion doily-crochet holes to create textured shadows around the room.

These delicate lace works sat behind glass that has been curved, thick glass which actually distorts images like a fish eye lens. This creates a reflection of all the objects around the room and enhances the lace imagery where holes and shadows are leering at every corner and surface.

 I love this work by Marian Smit- Italian Bobbin. Although delicate paper is so fragile, I love how the structured shapes create such complex design and shadows. 

Tomy Ka Chun Leung- The Moving Pattern. This texture reminds me of woven chairs or match sticks. You can really see the labour intensive work and appreciate the unique dexterous qualities. 

Fashion in lace through the ages.

I adore the knotted back feature, it almost seems like her heart decorates it. I could definitely see the modern bride wearing this kind of gown.

Look at the angry faces on these guys

Some traditional lace nighties by Noelle Hamlyn - Ceremony. Made using cotton and silk embroidery and smocking on Japanese gampi tissue. Although these look like relics, the new lace works really do it justice and evoke memories of childhood and the using of gowns for significant events in life.

Make sure you drop by the Lace Study Centre - it provides access to about 300 of the most significant examples of handmade lace in the Powerhouse Museum’s collection. Ranging from fine handmade lace from the late 1500s to more recent machine-made pieces.

Open: 10.30 am -1.30 pm Monday to Saturday
Also, the Sydney Design 2011 will be on until 14 August.  
Love Lace exhibition details:

However Love Lace will be showing until April 2012
Price: $10 for powerhouse museum entry which allows entry into the Love Lace show
Where: 500 Harris Street Ultimo
Time:  10:00am - 5:00pm

Don't miss it

xox Love, 

Festival Girl


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