I have recently sent off my pieces for Lace is more: new ways of lacemaking, to be held at Whitchurch Silk Mill, Hampshire, October 2015 – January 2016. I am delighted to have been selected for this exhibition and was pleased to have been challenged to make pieces relating to silk. I chose to make two silk ‘cocoons’, the ground of which was open enough to show their contents.
The source material for the two contrasting but complementary pieces was based on the concepts of Bridal and Mourning. The original lace ‘wrapping’ the cocoons is based on mid-nineteenth century lace designs, when the Whitchurch Silk Mill was at the height of its production. I wanted to get a sense of the lace unwinding from the cocoon like the silk thread from which the pieces are formed. The scraps of silk, all produced at Whitchurch, represent by colour the memories of a wedding and of mourning the loss of a loved one – pastels for the wedding and the sombre colours of Victorian mourning dress. The pieces are enhanced by the use of perfume – rose oil for the Bridal and lavender for Mourning, both of which have personal impact. To me, textiles and smell are often very evocative of occasion and of emotions on that occasion and this is what I wanted to convey here.