The history of Lace is a fascinating story and one which is full of contradictions.
The Space Between is a Headford Lace Project and part of the Galway 2020 Small Towns Big Ideas Programme. Curated by Fiona Harrington the exhibition explores the ambiguities in the history of Lace Making. Works are exhibited in the form of an art trail in various locations throughout Headford Co Galway. Invited Artists: Tarmo Thorström, Selma Makela
Artists/Designers/Makers were invited to submit work for exhibition responding to the question: In what way is Lace meaningful for you? What truth does it hold? What is hidden within the stitches? This international exhibition of lace comprises of artwork selected from 34 artists, from 11 countries across 4 different continents, all unified by one common interest – Lace!
The exhibition opening coincides with the launch of two public art commissions by artists Selma Makela (Ireland) and Tarmo Thorstrom (Finland).
Lace was and still is used to make christening gowns to welcome newborn babies and at the same time used to make coffin cloths and mourning veils at the end of life.
Making Lace was considered an appropriate pastime for ladies of high moral stature and also used to ‘reform’ women of low moral values.
From a visual perspective, Lace is made up of both open and solid spaces where equal importance is placed on that which does not exist, as is placed on the threads that holds it all together.
Lace provided a sense of independence as women could earn a living from selling their work. However, lace is also associated with the forced labour of women living in state-run institutions who worked without remuneration.
Lacemaking is a traditional practice embedded in the social and economic history of countries worldwide for generations. Yet Lace is still used as a source of inspiration by contemporary makers who continue to innovate and progress our understanding of what lace is and what lace is considered to be.