Conversations From The Past is an artwork that lived in my head conceptually for a number of years. I was looking for the right opportunity to exhibit it. Festival of Lace at Gallery 76 held by the Embroiderer’s Guild of NSW from Jan 30 – March 4 2021 was the perfect space. The exhibition honoured the history of lace making and its evolution through time to present day contemporary works. This piece has allowed me to explore new ground in my practice in bobbin lace.
I have always been drawn to creating lace in wire as it really captures the sculptural capacity of off loom weaving. I love working in copper wire. It has a suppleness to it. For years I have used the wire sourced from old phones in my creations. I love the thought that this copper was essential in allowing stories to be shared. Those stories hold memory within the wire. Time and creativity allow this wire to be transformed again in a way that somehow imbues both past and present.
It was only a matter of time until I created a sculptural work that honoured the phone itself. My teen years were spent with evenings tied to the phone as I discussed copious life events with friends and family, the spiral cord of the receiver looped around my fingers as I chatted.
Conversations Of The Past is a reflective installation on what a phone conversation might have looked like in bobbin lace during my teen years. A time when I had to stop what I was doing when the phone rang and ground myself fully in the conversation rather than multitasking, phone in hand, amid modern-day life. A time when the conversation of two people would weave between speaker and listener. Moments of pause, listening, speaking, patterns of discussion and reflection. A time of uninterrupted, deep immersion and connection.
This piece was created in 2020 – a year where the world was forced to slow down and face very uncomfortable and confronting realities In amongst it I rediscovered the treasure of deep conversation and the soothing and comforting nature slow textile arts such as bobbin lace provide. Communication, creativity and time……..such simple ingredients to weave into life. Sometimes only by looking back we can look forward with clarity.