What words come to mind when you think about lace? I bet it is not words like ‘basket’, ‘rope’, ‘branches’, ‘hair’ or ‘seaweed’. But that is exactly what you will see when you visit Sylvia’s exhibition at the Hughes Gallery in Fullarton – many different forms of plant material, combined with thread, yarn, recycled plastic and more.
Sylvia combines basketry and lace-making to create truly unique artworks that are robust and fragile at the same time. The contrast between delicate bobbin lace and earthy palm frond basket weaving is obvious, but somehow they draw each other in, feed off each other, enhance each other… maybe because both techniques are tactile, inviting touch and physical contact.
Bobbin lace is a very intricate form of weaving that is both exact and free form. I watched Sylvia work on a scarf and it is obvious that the pattern on which she works functions as a guide only. The ultimate design happens in her head and in her hands as she works.
The exhibition is on until 27 July 2014 and forms part of the OIDFA 16th World Lace Congress which is currently in progress in the city.