I expect you might know by now, that here at Adventures In Time & Lace, I love to celebrate a lace artist who takes traditional lace making techniques and does something with them to subverts the stereotypes we might have around what lacemaking is and represents. Belgian artist Elodie Antoine does exactly this.
Elodie Antoine’s interest in textiles and using them in her art work stems from her own family background. It was her father that taught her to knit. She fell in love with lacemaking as a craft and wanted to use it in her work. Antoine says I thought about subjects that might work with that technique and I chose elements of the industrial world that are very finely wrought and could have something in common with lace, visually. What interested me was the clash, the contradiction between a technique that is seen as feminine, fragile, and miniature and a gigantic, solid subject in a rather masculine world.
Antoine rejects the traditional white lace romantic floral patterns and instead creates beautiful industrial landscapes. Although the handwork of lacemaking has largely been done and used by women over history, Elodie makes sure that her visual opposes this through its masculine subject. Industrial buildings, transmission towers or fence wires replace the traditional lace image… An interview and tour of her artists studio on Bruzz.be describes how Antoine works. Scattered on the table, beside a box of bobbins, are drawings of oil rigs, dotted at regular intervals with the needle holes that served as the basis for her pieces of lace. On the walls, you can see the results: a series of nuclear power plant cooling towers, patiently created using black threads, which are densely interwoven at the top, like smoke. Or pubic hair.
To see more of Antoine’s lace artwork and a wide range of her work in other mediums do check out her website.