We've been in Birmingham, to hear the CBSO, but went early so we could take a look at Lost in Lace, the new exhibition in the Gas Hall of the Birmingham Museum.
What a terrific show! Fairly small but in both our opinions, perfectly formed. The definition of lace is stretched, for sure and in the Gas Hall gallery there isn't really anything at all conventional - but there's structure and holes and in most – but not all - cases, thread.
How’s this for starters? Michael Brennand-Wood’s “Lace, the Final Frontier”
Or this, “juxtaposition” by Suzumi Noda, created from the cards used on a Jacquard loom.
We were so lucky to have the gallery almost to ourselves, so could stand back and admire this beautiful panel by Piper Shepard, made using hand tools and created especially for this space, I learned from the catalogue. Breathtakingly beautiful and a stunning creative response to one of the exhibits in “the other” exhibition, over in the main part of the Museum.
This piece of point de gaze lace from the permanent collection here in Birmingham was once owned by Mrs W A Cadbury and it’s clear to see how it could inspire – well, anything!
We’d just walked past the new library construction and had commented on the decorative finish already in place on the lower floors,so seeing the display here in the exhibition brought the lace connection home.
We especially enjoyed reading the background notes, which were concise and explained the artist’s thinking so clearly, in terms that we could understand and appreciate – no PCT here! In particular, we liked the notes which accompanied the piece above by Katharina Hinsberg
(we loved the work, too!)
An afternoon well spent, we both felt (because although my Hero doesn’t normally go in for lace, he enjoyed the exhibition as much as I did. His favourite was Nils Voelker’s “Forty Eight”, and if we install a living, breathing wall in our house, you’ll know where the inspiration came from!
Of course, we had to go and look at the original lace too, where beautiful pieces of exquisite hand-made lace from Mrs Cadbury’s collection were displayed alongside other treasures of similarly breathtaking quality.
This exhibition has been so carefully thought through and so cleverly put together, that it’s hard to see how anyone couldn’t find something of interest. There are lace trails for families to follow through the picture galleries and a space at the rear of the Gas Hall with resources and things to do. Best of all, there’s an iphone app!
No, best of all, the exhibition is totally free of charge. How lucky are we?
(the concert was pretty good, too)