Connection 2 was a site specific installation made for Cultural Threads 2019.  Cultural Threads was an exciting month-long celebration of textile art presented by the City of Greater Dandenong over August 2019. From knitting to crocheting, dyeing to weaving, needlepoint to urban fashion – and everything in between – people from all ages and backgrounds were invited to explore and discover textile art, learn new crafts, trade skills, create works with textile artists and share stories.

Connection 2 was the second incarnation of a site-specific rope lace installation, the first being Connection, made for Bundoora Homestead in 2018 for their event Craft Lab +.  Connection 2 responded to the Heritage Hill Museum and Historic Garden Site and used the architectural feature of the balcony of Laurel Lodge as the inspiration for the design.

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Three versions of the design were made in large scale lace and installed by council arborists in the 150 year old heritage listed Morten Bay fig tree on site.  The form in the tree echoing the form of the balcony behind.

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The lace was made using traditional bobbin lace techniques on a large scale where pins are replaced with nails, a pillow with a wooden board and thread and bobbins with rope coils.

The lace formed an open web like structure within the tree for the public to discover as part of the festival.  The smallest piece was 800mm x 400mm, the middle 1200mm x 1800mm and the largest 2500mm x 2500mm.  Around 900 metres of rope was used to complete the project.  Entwined in the Morten Bay Fig at the entrance of the property, Connection 2 invited viewers to consider the relationship between architecture, history and the community today.

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Cultural Threads also featured the installation  Leaves of Lace. This was modified and installed in the Old Coach House on site.  Three new branches were added for this incarnation with groups from Springvale Neighborhood House, Well Springs for Women and The Open Door  contributing to the piece by creating leaves in workshops.  Each participants leaf was returned to them at the conclusion of the festival.

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Many thanks to City of Greater Dandenong, The Victorian Branch of the Australian Lace Guild,  Heritage Hill Museum and Gardens,   Springvale Neighborhood House,  Wellsprings for Women, and the Open Door for their support in making this project possible and for embracing it so warmly.

Photographs by Lindy de Wijn