Michael Brennand-Wood – Lace the final frontier
Cutting, painting, aluminium, acrylic, wood
The large Gas Hall gallery provides the perfect setting for this exhibition, by 20 leading international artists, of large scale works honouring the tradition of lacemaking whilst pushing the boundaries of the textile. As you enter the gallery you are confronted by design firm Atelier Manferdini's 'Inverted Crystal Cathedral' created from 1000 steel cables and 1,000 kg of crystal, 600 strands of which have been donated by Swarovsky. Michael Brennand-Wood (an artist very familiar to a couple of jammers) has a striking red piece consisting of patterns developed from cutouts of planes, bombs and soldiers.
“My intention is to construct a’ military lace’ emblematic of conflict and the annexing of resources and territory. Imagery for the roundels is drawn from 3 sources; lace, weaponry, and the Rorschach (inkblot) test. The visual field of the work echoes the instructional, pricked, diagrammatic papers on which bobbin laces are constructed – in this case a fusion of Islamic and Western geometry” Brennand-Wood
Chiharu Shiota – After the dream
Site-sensitive installation – wool, cotton, paint
Another work which appealed to me was by Chiharu Shiota. The Japanese Berlin-based artist has ensnared everything from the wedding dresses seen in the 2009 Walking in My Mind exhibition at the Hayward gallery, to a grand piano and childhood toys. In one of her sleeping performances, you might even find Shiota herself ensconced beneath layers of mesh. Here, white dresses are encased in the random scrawl of the artist’s characteristic woven black strings.
“My installations with clothes always refer to the clothes as a second skin, which carry the memories of the people who wore those clothes” Shiota