The Lace Archive
The Lace Archive is an historical community archive that grew out of the many donations sent to me for recent projects.
Thank you to all those generous folks who continue to send lace. I am awed by the generosity and thoughtfulness of artists, friends and strangers. These donations, along with the contributors and their stories, have become integral to my work. Their names and narrative are included in exhibitions of the work.
Recent textile projects began with family lace from my Italian and Irish grandmothers, Ermenegilda and Rebecca, and grew during the pandemic to an outpouring of initially unsolicited donations from around the world. These donations often arrived with letters, stories, and pictures of the family and maker. Recognizing this as an historical community archive, I founded The Lace Archive, a record of thousands of pieces of donated lace and family histories. Each textile and document is photographed and measured before being used in a work. Donors are acknowledged and the community invited to participate in ongoing dyeing and sewing of the works, in workshops and sewing circles at exhibitions and in the studio. The care and generosity shared through these donations is instrumental to the work, through intimate stories about the lace, the makers, the family who preserved it, and the desire for it to live on in the work and in the archive.
The lace is alternately hand-dyed with natural dyes chosen for their long cultural history; including cochineal insects, oak gall wasp nests, indigo, and clay, and sewn into tapestries, sculptures, and installations. The works are layered with aprons, handkerchiefs, doilies, as well as books and objects of lamentation akin to ex-votos, reliquaries, and other ritualized forms traditionally offered to saints in request, gratitude, or devotion.
The Lace Archive is currently on view in digital form at my solo exhibition at 3S Artspace through November 13, 2022, and formerly at my shows at Jane St. Art Center spring 2022, Garrison Art Center in September 2021. The Archive is an ongoing project, only a small portion is up on the site, as I continue to document all the amazing donations and stories.
If you have lace and would like to donate (or sell) for the project, please contact me. I cover shipping! I am eternally grateful for the thousands of pieces of lace sent up to now.