Review :: Love Lace

August 8th 2011

It has been a while since I walked through the halls of the Powerhouse Museum. Maybe because I attach it with a stigma of Year 6 excursions and making foam sculptures. But after the newest exhibition, Love Lace, all of my preconceptions were pushed aside.

The international exhibit features 134 finalists and, yes, all of the artworks are made of lace. If you’re like me, maybe you thought lace was only for doilies or delightful summer attire, but your definition will without doubt be broadened by this awe-inspiring exhibition.

One of the first works I see is the Cook Islands’ Andrea Eimke’s ‘Third Space III’, a sculptural piece that is kind of like a rainforest of floating lengths of lace. They sway majestically in the middle of the room, kind of like ghosts. All of the artworks had this knack of drawing me in to see the detail of the embroidery, the incredible skill behind these works. At one point the alarm might have gone off informing me I might have been a little too close.

But that’s the great thing about this exhibit; it explores the give and take of the positive and negative spaces that lace creates. The patterns are just as important as the detail of the design, if not more so. Take Jane Theau of Sydney’s work ‘Marriane’s Memories’, which explores the idea of the brain. Quite a complex subject you might think for lace, but once you see these neuron-style shapes that seem to dart around the head of Marriane, you’d think they were moving. The intricacy of the lace only adds to the complexity of what you’re viewing – I can only describe it as this literal whirlpool of ideas and thoughts.

I could honestly describe so many works enticing you to go see the exhibit, like Helen Pynor’s incredible organ pieces or Noelle Hamlyn’s family of children’s clothes, but really definitely just go check it out for yourself. The level of skill from each finalist is astounding. You don’t have to be a connoisseur of art to appreciate this exhibit.

What: Love Lace

Where: Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris St, Ultimo

When: Until April 2012

How Much: Free


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