In preparation for a gig to launch Sydney Design 2011 I popped into the Powerhouse Museum to take a squizz at their contribution; ‘Love Lace’. Contrary to popular rumor this is not an exhibition about Linda Lovelace, star of that infamous porm flick ‘Deep Throat’, but a show about Lace Love. And we’re not talking doilies and wedding dresses here but a whole new interpretation of the craft.
There are 130 works by 134 artists from 20 countries, each one focusing on reinventing traditional notions of lace using both old and new technologies. It’s a knockout show with pieces ranging from a ‘Lacie Lorry’ cut out of metal to futuristic laser-cut fabrics. There’s even an ‘Untitled (Urinary Uterus)’ knitted together by Helen Pynor using human hair.
The display of these ingenious items was designed by Derebac Bloc Jaeger and is in itself something of a masterstroke. Who would’ve thought that lace could be so fascinating? Curator Lindie Ward defines lace as “any openwork structure whose pattern of spaces is as important as the solid areas”. So often the shadows cast by the negative spaces are as vital as the positive works.
There’s a digital image of a work by American artist Janet Echelman that will be woven from a material which is 15 times stronger than steel by weight. This ‘Tsunami’ sculpture is a 3D model of last year’s tsunami off Chile which was caused by an earthquake that shortened the actual day by 1.26 microseconds. It’s a monument to the forces of nature and it will be suspended mid air outside Sydney’s Town Hall next month for the annual ‘Art and About’ festival. One can only imagine the sort of shadows that it’s going to throw over that busy intersection. And what sort of responses it’s going to get. The street will be blocked off on Friday and Saturday nights giving city slickers a taste of what the proposed Sustainable Sydney might be like – a place where culture and community are prioritised ahead of cars and pollution.
On my way to the Powerhouse I walked along the Ultimo Pedestrian Network which is currently featuring a display by Concrete Jungle. One of the signs posted there reads; “Waste is a product of bad design”. Now there’s a good reason to back good design for the term of your natural life.