Lace is the result of a collaboration between poet Susan Wicks and artist Elizabeth Clayman. The 13 images here are from a series of charcoal drawings on gessoed wood panels and are a response to a collection of antique lace housed within the ‘hidden’ collections in the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery store-rooms, opened up as part of the museum’s Re:Collections project.
The meditation of Wick’s poem is an imaginative journey directly provoked by the frayed shapes and often defective patterns of the lace itself, as translated by Clayman’s drawings. At its centre is a ‘she’ – at times the imagined maker of the original fabric, at times the artist, and at times simply a woman looking out at a strange world through the complex grey curtain the lace provides. The poem invites a study of, and eventual escape from, depression, but also reads as a study of the creative process itself, and the restraints female creators, particularly, have traditionally suffered from and overcome.