Teresa Whitfield’s highly detailed lace drawings occupy an unusual space between reality and fiction. Characterised by a close resemblance to real fabric, the work references a time before the industrial revolution, when hand-made textiles were part of everyday domestic life for women.
Using white ink on paper, the painstaking drawing process she uses bears a striking resemblance to the process of using thread so that the drawings are more like a re-enactment of lace-making than simply a likeness of the object itself. By employing a low-tech labour-intensive process such as drawing, Whitfield’s work prompts discussion about the loss of craft skills in a digital age and provides audiences with a visual understanding of the impact of these changes.
Drawing Museum Lace is the outcome of two years research by Whitfield into the Downton Lace collection at The Salisbury Museum. The collection represents a once-thriving industry that has now all but vanished in the face of modern invention. The drawings will be displayed alongside the lace patterns that inspired them, and a video showing the intricate drawing process employed by Whitfield.
This exhibition is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.