Love Lace Exhibition Sydney Powerhouse Museum | Review

Festival Girl Rates: 7.5/10

On my day off, I decided to visit the ‘Love Lace’ exhibition at the Sydney Powerhouse Museum. Featuring 130 lace works by 134 international and Australian artists. 

A whole exhibition on lace I hear you say? Well, why not. Lace is much more than the traditional delicate doilies that you might see your grandma fawning over. But in this exhibition, lace design is being explored in new by a broad range of contemporary artists using unconventional materials such as human hair, titanium, mulberry paper and optical fibres, manipulating these materials in innovative ways through traditional techniques.
Although the powerhouse is currently under some renovations, this won’t impact on Love Lace. The exhibition is split into two sections, part one and part two and the premise is to challenge the traditional concepts of lace, with artists pushing lace techniques in surprising new directions. Love Lace finalists have employed an impressive range of over 60 techniques and 100 different materials to create their extraordinary work.
As well as this, works include wide range of two and three dimensional interpretations of openwork structures, digital multi media processes and works, large-scale installations, screens and sculptures; textiles, wall hangings and lighting; to fashion, accessories and jewellery.

The Love Lace slogan: Make Lace, Not War!

Andrea Eimke – Third Space II. The panels of lace have a profound effect when you walk into the dimly lit room. The presence of these tall lace panels from the ceiling to the floor, make you feel as if you have wondered into a lace Forest. They beckon you to investigate, see whats between them and see through to the other side of the room. Using different designs and textures, each panel is intrinsically different from the other and I found to be very engaging.

Elise Benjamin – Cheongsam and Marion Graham- Tight Laced, I really like how these two separate works have been grouped together. Not only as there are obvious similarities in type of garment, but both works complement each other in shape, colour and location. The dark iron ‘busk’ makes reference to women in sixteenth century who commonly wore similar devices to dictate the female form. The bronze coloured Cheongsam, is an ode to the artist’s desire to rebel against the conservative Chinese upbringing and create a work that integrates an iconic Chinese icon into a medium that is more experimental.

Tanya Alexandra Richards – Caress With Eyes Only. The hollow lace tube decorated with lace rosette shaped appliques.

This funky lace webs by Shane Waltener – Another World Wide Web (2011) employs traditional Shetland lace technique to interacts with the building’s architecture. A really subtle approach integrates the art into the visitor walking around space, where they might not necessarily expect a work of art to be.

Stepping into part two of the exhibition, Bernabeifreeman – Garden Party is at the entrance is truly delightful. This work uses digital media textures and pixelation and old fashion doily-crochet holes to create textured shadows around the room.

These delicate lace works sat behind glass that has been curved, thick glass which actually distorts images like a fish eye lens. This creates a reflection of all the objects around the room and enhances the lace imagery where holes and shadows are leering at every corner and surface.

 I love this work by Marian Smit- Italian Bobbin. Although delicate paper is so fragile, I love how the structured shapes create such complex design and shadows. 

Tomy Ka Chun Leung- The Moving Pattern. This texture reminds me of woven chairs or match sticks. You can really see the labour intensive work and appreciate the unique dexterous qualities. 
Fashion in lace through the ages.

I adore the knotted back feature, it almost seems like her heart decorates it. I could definitely see the modern bride wearing this kind of gown.

Look at the angry faces on these guys

Some traditional lace nighties by Noelle Hamlyn – Ceremony. Made using cotton and silk embroidery and smocking on Japanese gampi tissue. Although these look like relics, the new lace works really do it justice and evoke memories of childhood and the using of gowns for significant events in life.

Make sure you drop by the Lace Study Centre – it provides access to about 300 of the most significant examples of handmade lace in the Powerhouse Museum’s collection. Ranging from fine handmade lace from the late 1500s to more recent machine-made pieces.

Open: 10.30 am -1.30 pm Monday to Saturday
Also, the Sydney Design 2011 will be on until 14 August.  
Love Lace exhibition details:
However Love Lace will be showing until April 2012
Price: $10 for powerhouse museum entry which allows entry into the Love Lace show
Where: 500 Harris Street Ultimo
Time:  10:00am – 5:00pm
Don’t miss it

xox Love, 

Festival Girl

Festival of India Review | Parramatta

Festival Girl Rates: 6/10

This is the first time I have attended this event. I initially thought that this event would be similar to Parramasala but noticeably, there were a few differences. The Festival of India celebrates Krishna Janmastami – the divine appearance of Lord Krishna in the world 5,000 years ago. 

The Festival of India organised by ISKCON, aims to preserve the spiritual values, culture and to help devotees to recharge themselves with Krishna consciousness – a peaceful state of being. I must admit, I have a very basic understanding of the religious practice and culture, so if I do get anything wrong, just let me know. As usual, I am always willing to experience something new and learn more about different cultures, and show you all some of the highlights of the day.
Free samples of sweet dessert Suji Halva, the Indian dessert is made of semolina, saffron and ground cardamom and the taste is very refreshing. With Middle Eastern origins, this dessert has numerous known recipes with other versions popular in Greece and Turkey.


Families enjoying the event on a warm winter’s day

Stalls selling unique Indian accessories, bags, jewellery and henna tattoos

Bollywood is the new Hollywood!
Instead of your regular food stalls, two tables were taking payments and in turn you would receive your food tokens.
Once you had your token, you take it up to stall to collect your food. I must admit, I really didn’t know what most of the dishes were, but after a quick chat with the friendly staff, me and my boy decided on Rajma Chawal at $6 a plate and Pav Bhaji with salad at $8 a plate. I was really surprised to find out both our dishes were vegetarian and were so good they almost fooled my carnivore boy. We also tried Badam Milk which is so yummy. It’s basically an almond milk with sliced almonds with a refreshing cardamom taste. Yum!
I love the decorative lanterns
Hooray for the kids corner with lots of arts and crafts for the children…
…or giant slippery-slide or bouncing castle…
…or yummy fairy floss…
This foyer lead to a performance hall at the back where children and performers were singing and playing instruments. To the left hand side was the sacred area for prayer, where you needed to take off your shoes.
Some performers slipping past
 Here is a gorgeous little girl who looks like she was involved in the festivities. I love the use of textile, colour and textures that is involved in the Indian culture.
This was the sacred area where a priest held out a plate of burning flames and people would pass, put their hands quickly through the fire and quickly brush their hands over their heads. 
A beautifully decorated shrine of flower strings, flowers and other offerings while chanting and prayers were occurring.

The activities room to learn more about Krishna
This area showed displays of beautiful paintings for sale depicting Krishna god in different interpretations. These paintings are so delightful and colourful up-close. 

Some deity sculpture and adornments for sale
Krishna and Balarama Steal Butter from the Gopis

So colourful – here is their lordship Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha

Gopala Krishna
I love this image – It is so powerful and inspiring.

Krishna and Mother Yashoda. If you want to see more beautiful depictions, they can be found here

On a low note, I don’t think an $8 all-day parking charge that was not stated on the website is a good way to motivate attendance. I understand the venue needs to generate some revenue from the event, but with most people staying 1-2 hours, it doesn’t really seem fair that an all day charge is imposed. I think people would be more than happy to pay a few dollars for the time they stay, but a full day charge seems a little steep. 

All in all, it was an enjoyable afternoon out. I think the event has great potential to become a well rounded event and I think it is on its way. It’s great to see that the event is organised all by volunteers and devotees, but I would love to see it continue to grow with more entertainment, or stalls that the public can learn a little more about the celebration. Perhaps a few more interactive activities like a yoga display, mini fashion parade or ‘how to’ segment on how to make some delicious vegetarian treats. 

I hope to see you there next year.

xox Love, 

Festival Girl