New Exhibition at Gas Hall

A major contemporary craft exhibition opened in Birmingham at the weekend.

Serena © Tamar Frank

Lost in Lace sees 20 leading international artists take over the Gas Hall at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallerythis Winter. Running from now until 19th February, 2012 the exhibition explores the relationship between textiles – specifically lace – and space through a series of dramatic and ambitious new site-sensitive installations.

Produced in partnership by BMAG and the Crafts Council, the exhibition brings together both leading and emergent artists and makers – many of whom will be exhibiting in the UK for the first time. From the intricate to the monumental, these contemporary works challenge the viewer’s existing notions of space, encouraging them to renegotiate the mysterious new environments and blurred and shifted boundaries that emerge.

The work exhibited spans a diverse range of materials, practices and inspirations. Atelier Manferdini will present a stunning inverted crystal cathedral hanging from ceiling to floor. Other large-scale works include acclaimed Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota’s web of interlacing black thread, eerily entrapping a white staircase. French artist Annie Bascoul’s dual installation evokes a more sensual environment: an intricate wire screen casts beautiful shadows across the floor as a delicate bed of feathers floats above the text of an erotic poem.

Untitled, © Chiharu Shiota

Leading British maker Michael Brennan Wood will explore his anti-militaristic sentiments in his series of red and black aluminium roundels, connected in a constellation-like pattern. Lise Bjørne Linnert’s Fences also raises political issues, as each photograph depicts an area of fence she has embroidered to highlight a hole. Often undertaken in conflict zones, her work investigates the notion of these contentious boundaries.

Tamar Frank’s grid of phosphorescent threads will glow to reveal complex 3D parabolic curves, whilst the lace-like pattern stencilled onto Alessia Giardino’s photo-catalytic concrete panels is developed through their exposure to airborne pollution, and Kathleen Rogers uses new microscopy equipment to expose thread structures.

These, alongside many other new and exciting works, will provide an immersive and multi-sensory experience for the viewer, and reveal the radical new approaches to textile and space made by artists and makers around the world.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue containing background information and

interviews with the participants, edited by the exhibition curator Lesley Millar MBE. Parallel to Lost in Lace, BMAG presents an exhibition focussing on the research, reinterpretation and redisplay of their historic lace collection.

Lost in Lace is the first exhibition programmed through the Crafts Council’s biennial Fifty:Fifty scheme, through which the Crafts Council co-funds and co-produces an exhibition with a partner organisation chosen by open selection. Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Crafts Council said of the partnership: “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. We believe this will draw new audiences to see the sort of contemporary craft that they may have never seen before.”

Rita McLean, Head of BMAG’s Museums & Heritage Services, added: “We hope Lost In Lace will increase public awareness of contemporary craft, regionally and nationally, through the exciting world-class work it will present.”

Visit the Lost in Lace website for more information.