Last week to see Lucy Browns’ ‘the secrets we keep from ourselves…’ in Romantic Poet Lord Bryon’s Dressing Room at Newstead Abbey, the ancestral home of the Lord Byron. The display is part of the Lace Unveiled Exhibition until 22 April 2018.
My work ‘the secrets we keep from ourselves….’ (2012-2015) is currently part the ‘Lace Unveiled’ exhibition at Newstead Abbey 10 March – 22 April 2018.
Lace Unveiled includes work by contemporary artists inspired by lace displayed within the rooms of Newstead Abbey, the ancestral home of the Romantic Poet Lord Byron. Which are on shown alongside objects from the world-class Nottingham City Museums & Galleries Lace Collection. This is the first time ‘the secrets we keep from ourselves….’ will be installed solely byThe Nottingham Museums Team since the work was acquisition into Nottingham’s Textile Art Collection in 2016. I am very excited to see if my 218 page document of Installation Guidelines has worked ! ‘the secrets we keep from ourselves…’ is installed in Byron’s Dressing Room, which is next to his bedroom. Other Artists included in the Exhibition are Joana Vasconcelos, Joy Buttress, Manolis Papastavrou and Shane Waltener.
Lace Unveiled is part of Nottingham Museums’ Lace Unravelled public programme, which includes a symposium, which I am going to this week (15th and 16th March) and Lace Walks. Please follow link for further details.
I am very delighted that my work ‘Wedding Cage’ has a new home within the Crafts Council Collection, London. Other supporting work, Ring-a-ring-a-roses – and Wedding Cages’ Cast-offs (in four parts) have also been housed there.
Wedding Cage is woven from two polyester, nylon hand/home-made 1970’s Wedding Dresses. The work was originally commissioned and made for the ‘Lookout’ 1998 exhibition programme, supported by Waterstones Bookshop, Brighton and Thames & Hudson publishers. The exhibition space was Waterstones shop window, formally in North Street Brighton.
Following the works’ debut ‘Lookout’ exhibition Wedding Cage has been exhibited extensively in a range of solo and group exhibitions, nationally and internationally, including ‘Out of the Closet’, Sotheby’s London UK. ‘The Unexpected’, Sotheby’s New York, USA (both curated by Janice Blackburn). ‘The Absent Wearer’, University of Essex Gallery, UK. ‘Intimate Foundations’ (My first major touring Solo Exhibition) UK venues, ‘Brighton Fringe Festival 1999’, ‘Talente 2000’. Handwerkskammer; Munchen. ‘Woken with a Kiss’. Hastings Museum and Art Gallery UK and ‘Merging Cultures, Merging Arts’, National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.
Images – top left; Wedding Cage. (photo credit Bob Curtis)
A sad time for England’s’ high street – BHS’s closure takes with it many jobs, a brand identity and an archive of a British retail business dating back to 1928. When I was little, I remember being taken on shopping trips on the bus along the sea front into Worthing with my Nan, ‘Nanny Brown’ (my Dads Mum). We would go into BHS and my Nanny Brown would buy me matching vest and knickers which would have an animal on the front…. the kitten ones seem to have stuck in my head.
I have quite a few pieces of second hand BHS clothing in my own archives of raw materials. Some of these clothes I have used in past works and some I may keep as part of my own archive collection.
The work ‘S-t-r-e-t-c-h’ which I made in 1999 was woven from a size 12 British Home Stores (BHS) Polyester full petticoat, which I bought in a Brighton charity shop and had been hand dyed. Acting as a vertebra, the black lace running the full length of the petticoat became the focus of the work.
‘S-t-r-e-t-c-h’ was exhibited in group and solo exhibitions including ‘Out of the Closet’ 2000 Sothebys London and ‘Intimate Foundations’, 2000-01, first touring solo exhibition. The work was purchased back in 2001 by the former South East Art Collection, now Brighton & Hove Museums Collection.
I am really so pleased to announce that ‘the secrets we keep from ourselves…’ (tswkfo) is now all safely in the store of Nottingham City Museums Art Textile Collection. This is to be the works’ new home. It has taken me a while to stabilize and prepare the work ready for its departure and to complete a 200 plus page document of installment guidelines and image library to support future installs of the work.
‘the secrets we keep from ourselves’ joins The Brides Clothes, The Brides Clothes Underwear, The Brides Clothes Wedding Album (2000-01), Squeeze (1999), Petti-fur-coat (1999) and Odd one out (2000), all part of Nottingham City Museums Contemporary Art Textile Collection.
My thanks to the team at Nottingham Museums for all their continued support, patience and assistance getting the tswkfo to it new home.
On Wednesday 13th July (2016), my works ‘Disembodied’ and ‘Bodiless’ were re-untied after 16 years! Both works were selected and first shown together in ‘The Border Land of Tapestry’, a three venue exhibition which toured Poland 1998-99. The exhibition was organised and opened at Biuro Wystaw Aetyscznych, Jeleniej Gorze, Poland in October 1998.
After their debut in ‘The Border Land of Tapestry’ Disembodied’ and ‘Bodiless’ went on to be part of ‘Craftscape; Contemporary British Crafts; Alive and kicking’ in 2000. This was the Launch and European Touring Exhibition of the then new Yorkshire Craft Centre (now renamed The Dye House Galley) at Bradford College. Disembodied was purchase by the ‘Yorkshire Craft Centre Collection’. Bodiless went on to be exhibited in many other exhibitions.
Bodiless is now also part of the ‘Yorkshire Craft Centre Collection’ and therefore re-untied with Disembodied. Two framed works on paper; ‘Scaling’ and ‘Shall we dance’ have also been added into the collection. These works on paper indicate future installations using Bodiless and Disembodied.
Top left; Disembodied Date made: 1998. Materials used; Polyester size 18 ‘C & A’ nightdress. Polyester boning. Wire. Polyester ribbon. Cotton. Covered Clothes hanger. 80 x 40 x 26cm – main body area: Installed height: 178cm, depending on installation
top right; Bodiless Date made: 1998 Materials used; St Michael Size 18 100% Nylon/Polyamide nightdress.Polyester boning. Wire. Polyester ribbon. Cotton. Covered Clothes hanger. 72 x 40 x 18cm – main body area: Installed height: 178cm, depending on installation.
bottom left; Scaling Date; 1999 Works on paper. Framed: 32 W x 71 L x 2 D cm
bottom right; Shall We Dance Date; 1999 Works on paper. Framed: 63W x 37L x 2Dcm
I am delighted to announce that The Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester have accepted my ‘Shrinking Violets’ into their permanent Textile Collection. http://www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk/
The Shrinking Violets are a series of five works, woven from polyester, bri-nylon petticoats and a quilted nylon dressing gown. The series plays on the perceptions of Shrinking Violet. Instead of being shy and modest the ‘wearers’ have shed their shrinking violet
skins and become revealed and liberated. The original petticoat straps are still adjustable. Focused around underwear fastenings; a point of entry and exit; Unlaced Violet, Unhooked Violet, Unzipped Violet, and Unbuttoned Violet came through the transformation but Shrunken Violet has been left by the way side.
The Shrinking Violets made their debut in 2000 in the Crafts Council Shop at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and went on to show at other London and UK galleries including Fabrications Gallery London http://www.fabrications1.co.uk/ and Arts Council England’s Offices, Brighton, South East.
Lucy Browns’ Unhooked Violet Photo Credit: Tony May. Crafts Council Shop at the V&A
Left Lucy Browns’ Unhooked Violet Right Lucy Browns’ Unlaced Violet
Lucy Browns’ Unbutton Violet Installed at Fabrications Gallery, London
Lucy Browns’ Shrinking Violets Installed at Arts Council England’s offices South East, Brighton