I work with donated, repurposed, lace and linens in site-responsive sculptures and installations. Mending, remembering, collecting and preserving are present in each action and each work. The aggregation of tiny individual stitches of lace into monumental textiles makes visible the hidden economic labor, and labor of care, in the domestic and work lives of women. A sewn form has enormous structural integrity, while maintaining resilience, flexibility, and portability. Repurposed bio-degradable materials allow me to create monumental site-responsive works with a small ecological footprint. The work responds to the machismo of large installations through a soft object, one that collapses into parts, that can grow in scale without a corresponding destructive use of resources.
Textile is an intimate form that touches our bodies from birth to death, they protect and adorn, comfort and cover. They reference the presence of a body, recording this history in its fibers. As this work developed, many textiles arrived at my door; lace, linens, skirts, aprons, napkins, handkerchiefs, tablecloths and duvet covers, embroidered in colorful threads, crocheted in complex patterns, or with unfinished needle work, from a mother, grandmother or great-grandmother. The ties of aprons read as forlorn arms in search of a body to wrap around, an anthropomorphic reflection of domestic autonomy and strength. These intimate items have no commodity value, created for a home they might never leave. They are tangible acts of love, a labor of private care circulating inside the domestic sphere. The monumental sculptures reference female bodies as architecture, of the home, of the world, of the community, gathered within the voluminous petticoats. In their exaggerated scale and insistent tenderness, the objects are manifestos of strength and femininity. This seems urgent in a moment where women’s bodies continue to be in the particular peril of legal and social control by governmental and religious institutions and individuals.
Patricia Miranda is an artist, curator, educator, and founder of the artist-run orgs The Crit Lab and MAPSpace, where she developed residencies in Port Chester, Peekskill, and Italy. In 2021 she founded the Lace Archive, an historical community archive of thousands of donated lace works and family histories. She has been awarded residencies at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation, I-Park, Weir Farm, Vermont Studio Center, and Julio Valdez Printmaking Studio, and been Visiting Artist at Vermont Studio Center, the Heckscher Museum, and University of Utah. She has received grants from Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (2021); two artist grants from ArtsWestchester/New York State Council on the Arts (2014/21); an Anonymous Was a Woman Covid19 Relief Grant (2021), and was part of a year-long NEA grant working with homeless youth (2004-5). Miranda has developed education programs for K-12, museums, and institutions, including Franklin Furnace, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian Institution. She is a noted expert on the history and use of natural dyes and pigments, and teaches about environmentally sustainable art practices. As faculty at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (2005-19) she led the first study abroad program in Prato, Italy (2017). Her work has been exhibited at 3S Artspace (Portsmouth, NH), Jane Street Art Center, Garrison Art Center (Hudson Vallery, NY) ODETTA Gallery, Williamsburg Art+Historical Center, The Clemente Center, ABC No Rio, and Wave Hill (NYC); The Alexey von Schlippe Gallery at UConn Avery Point, (Groton, CT); the Cape Museum of Fine Art, (Cape Cod MA); and the Belvedere Museum, (Vienna Austria). Her solo exhibition at Garrison Art Center (2021) was featured in the Brooklyn Rail.