Olivia Valentine is a lacework artist from Chicago, Illinois.
“The correlations between textiles, architecture, and their construction processes are central to my practice as an artist. My recent studio work and research have focused on the historical development of textile constructions and their relationship to architectural and social structures. My research into the historical development of lace structures has made it clear that the seemingly disparate fields of architecture and textile construction are actually complimentary, and my recent projects attempt to connect the two.
“Shifts in scale and the inversion of tectonic forces perform a central role in my work. By aligning the distinct histories of lacemaking and building construction, I am collapsing the space between interior and exterior, both of the self and of the constructed world. This sense of interior and exterior is grounded in the gendered history of making, at varied scales. By shifting and inverting this history, I am creating a new dialog between the disparate disciplines of lacemaking and building construction.
“Lace is often used as an edging, defining the boundaries between the private body and the public world. Windows similarly mediate between the private interior space and the exterior public world. My recent projects, including Punto in Aria (Powerhouse Window Construction), and Guest Room at the Drake connect these two structures by addressing the threshold space of the window. In these projects I am constructing full-scale drawings of existing windows in lace structures for interior installations. By creating windows that exist in interior spaces, I am negotiating and reconsidering this threshold between interior and exterior spaces.”
I really like Olivia’s work, in particular her use of the helium ballooms to lift the work and create the architectural illusions. I’d love to wander through an empty space filled with lacework walls and doorways, floating like dimensional portals.
There are some clever pieces in Olivia’s portfolio and I love the interplay between small pieces of detail and larger scale installations. Reminiscent of the stitched illustrations of Peter Crawley, this work brings together the hard and soft with elegance and confidence, and takes lace to another level.
Find out more about Olivia at her website where you can enjoy her installations in greater detail.