Lace in Place

Year: 2012

Medium: Site-specific Installation. Nylon rope.

Dimensions: Variable

Location: 1St Paul’s Square. Bedford. UK. From May 2012 – February 2013. Commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts.

Photo Credit: Richard Davies

Deborah Dean’s text about this work HERE

See the making of Lace in Place HERE

Lace in Place is a set of handmade lace panels made of nylon rope, cladded on 14 windows of an unoccupied Georgian building at No1 St Paul’s Square in Bedford. The crisp lace windows are appropriated from a traditional Bedford pattern: the central spider, with a branch of the river flowing around it on either side (reference to the river Great Ouse nearby Bedford), held together by a network of connected leaves. 

There is a subtle difference in tension across each lace panel hinting at its handmade nature by Lebrusan and the help of 28 local people, many with no prior experience in lacemaking. This collaboration not only boosted people’s confidence in art making and creative activities in Bedford, it also fostered a narrative of union and togetherness – just as the place’s history is constructed of different realities and lives.

Concealing only parts of the windows, Lace in Place warmly invites viewers to peer through them and visualise its architectural history. Reanimating the neglected architecture and Bedfordshire lace with a contemporary flair, Lace in Place raises awareness of the town’s heritage and the importance of cultural preservation. What happened before us and how can we respect those who lived in different times and societies? How can we cultivate pride in our past and heritage towards the future?