Image: Paula Hart, Jacaranda, 2019 (Installation View - Mount Pleasant Woolworths. SS316 steel wire, 240 metres. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo by Dan McBride.
Delicate, sensual and precious, handmade lace is unique among textiles due to its undeniable allure, stealing the hearts of the fashion conscious ever since it first rose to prominence in the 16th Century. But what does lace mean today and how is it evolving in the 21st Century?
Since 2013, Doily Free Zone has been showcasing excellence in handmade lace in art & design. Usually a live event held in Italy, the 2021 edition will be held online due to the coronavirus pandemic, broadcasting a virtual global conversation about the future of lace on the weekend of 12–13 June.
Image: Pierre Fouché, Lebenslänglichen Explosionsglück (Lifelong Explosive Happiness), 2020, silk cords from a WWII parachute. Image courtesy of the artist.
An artist or designer’s choice to work in handmade lace is quite an unusual one. As South African artist Pierre Fouché famously said “handmade lace is to textiles what poetry is to writing”. There are myriad quicker, simpler, less labor intensive and more commercial ways to make art and yet all the presenters in the symposium choose to work in lace; a choice which will be explored in depth through the presentations and panel discussions. The 2021 edition will showcase the work of 16 artists from 10 countries who are forging a way forward giving new life to these old-fashioned techniques.
Image: Fiona Harrington, Fragile Economies, 2020, cotton and egg shells. Image courtesy of the artist.
DFZ 2021 aims to connect people who love lace from all around the globe in a constructive and stimulating conversation about the role of handmade lace as a form of artistic expression. To accompany this discussion there is also a programme of 11 online workshops taught by a selection of the presenting artists to inspire experienced lace makers while supporting those who are new to the craft on their journeys. The new digital format will expand this vibrant community and open up new ways of thinking about the most fascinating textile of all. Lace.