With a new commission to be revealed in exhibition showcasing the career of Michael Brennand-Wood
‘The Encirclement Of Space’, at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum between 18 January – 18 March 2023, charts the influence of lace on Michael Brennand-Wood’s work from the earliest examples made as a student in the 1970s to his most recent commission. The exhibition contains the largest collection of his lace works ever shown together, representing all stages of his lace research.
Many of the works are of a very large scale, in a wide range of media: paper, fabric, thread, metal, mosaic, wood, slate, wax and resin. The works are monumental, exploratory and designed to challenge our perception of what we understand and associate with lace.
As part of the exhibition a brand-new commission specifically for the Williamson will be unveiled. ‘Return to Origin-Musical Chairs’ is based on the Williamson’s archive of designs and fabric samples from the Arthur H. Lee & Sons fabrics company. The commission was supported by The Contemporary Art Society.
Other works will include the six-metre wide ‘Field of Centres’ and five pieces from Brennand-Wood’s 1996 exhibition ‘Material Evidence – Improvisations on a Historical Theme’ referencing The Whitworth’s lace collection. In addition to finished work the exhibition will include notebooks, samples and catalogues.
“Continually revising and reinventing himself (surprisingly few artist-craftspeople do this) Michael Brennand-Wood remains true to his first impulse as an art student: ‘I want to take my subject as far as it will go’.”
– Peter Dormer, Sources of Inspiration, Crafts Magazine, No. 130 (September/October 1994), pp. 38-41
“By changing the scale usually associated with lace work, Brennand-Wood encourages the viewer to reconsider the richness of its visual language… this lace is no longer a flimsy fabric on the forgotten borders of a petticoat, but rather a solid structure that evokes images of high art’s fascination with painterly abstract expression.”
– Ann Schilo, ‘LACE – Contemporary Perspectives’, CRAFTWEST Gallery Perth, Australia, 2001 Catalogue introduction.