Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Just before Christmas I popped into town to endure the obligatory walk around the German Market and happened to walk past this exhibition while it was open and what a piece of cultural relief it was!

Lost In Lace is an exhibition designed to challenge the traditional view of lace, both lace making and it’s uses.

The way that constructions are used to barrier, screen or shape a space is both amazingly done and beautiful.

The Gas Hall is a huge, quiet, polished room that is exceedingly quiet and all that lent it’s self to making the exhibits feel more magistic.

Piper Shepard Lacing Space

This is the most amazing laser-punched lace made of some kind of silicone which looked just like fabric. I wanted to touch it to find out. In fact I said (too loudly) to my husband just that and the steward came running over to stop me!

Piper Shepard Lacing Space

But what a beautiful piece of hanging art.

Reiko Sudo Tanabata Lace

There was such ingenuity to the construction of these textiles. The definition of lace is “A delicate fabric made of yarn or thread in an open web like pattern.” This is more like origami meets lace.

Michael Brennand Wood Lace the final frontier

This was the piece that had the most impact on me because as I stood admiring its colour and pattern I realised there were readable motif’s in it.

Michael Brennand Wood Lace the final frontier

On  closer inspection you could see army figures, bombs, helicopters, tanks etc all laid out in repeat, snowflake-like patterns.

Michael Brennand Wood Lace the final frontier

I was really struck with the association of thought between fine, gentle, fragile lace and the rough, devastation of war and military life. Clever, very clever.

Suzumi Noda

This screen or curtain looked like a night-time city scape.

Suzumi Noda

But for me this piece was the jaw dropper. You can watch a time release video of the artists constructing this over many days, simply by pinning black wool from floor to ceiling making it denser and denser.

Chiharu Shiota After The Dream

The ethereal dresses hung in the middle of this huge web created a ghostly narrative. It was quite chilling to be near; the web did make me feel like I was going to get caught up too. It was an emotionally evocative installation.

Chiharu Shiota After The Dream

It’s on until February 19th and is well worth a visit. Oh and don’t forget to go into the museum itself and enjoy some tea and cake in the Edwardian Tearoom.

Chiharu Shiota After The Dream

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