Punto in Aria
Sculpture and Installation by Patricia Miranda
September 18 - November 7, 2021
Punto in Aria (“point in air”) is an exhibition that includes monumental textile sculpture and installations created by artist Patricia Miranda especially for this exhibition. Also included are panels and glass gilded with vintage and inherited gold leaf depicting lace patterns from the artist’s collection. Miranda will also create a site-specific lace installation on the venerable tree on the patio outside the gallery. Miranda’s work is grounded in deep research into historic material practices, rituals of grief and mourning, women’s labor, and the violence of environmental and gendered commodification. These site-responsive works speak to the history of domestic and environmental labor through the femininity of the lace and the use of natural dyes.
During the pandemic, Miranda posted studio images on social media of dyeing family lace from the artist’s Italian and Irish grandmothers with natural cochineal insect dye. Unsolicited donations of lace and linens from friends and strangers began to arrive in her studio, resulting in an ongoing lace archive and research project, currently comprising over 1500 pieces of lace. Before being incorporated into a work, each piece is photographed, measured, and collected into the archive. The offerings of lace from family, friends, and strangers from around the world are integral to the content of the work. The Lace Archive will be on view in the gallery in digital form as well as incorporated into the installation.
The donated and found lace is repurposed as received or hand-dyed with natural dyes and pigments before being sewn into shroud-like tapestries and installations. The works are layered with objects of lamentation akin to ex-votos, reliquaries, and other ritualized forms traditionally offered to saints in request, gratitude, or devotion, which are often handmade using plaster, metal, hair and beads. The dyes are chosen for their long cultural history of use, and are foraged directly from sources such as oak gall wasp nests and clay, or through suppliers for cochineal insects and indigo. The works are over-dyed multiple times, leaving raw material on the surface. Materials become witnesses, carriers of historical, ecological, and cultural information as subtext in the work.
The Lace Archive is now a collaborative art and research project supported by an individual artist grant received by the artist from ArtsWestchester. The project brings people together to create monumental lace tapestries and to contribute to a historical textile archive.
The public is invited to add to the collection by bringing lace to the galleries throughout the exhibition. There will be free community workshops for families and adults on Saturday, October 23. Family workshop will be from 10:30 - 12:30, Adult workshop will be from 1:30 - 4:30. An in-gallery artist talk will follow on Saturday, October 23 at 5:30pm.
Patricia Miranda is an artist, educator, independent curator, and founder of the artist projects The Crit Lab and MAPSpace. She has been Visiting Artist at Vermont Studio Center, the Heckscher Museum, and University of Utah; and been awarded residencies at I-Park, Weir Farm, Vermont Studio Center, and Julio Valdez Printmaking Studio. She has received artist grants from Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Anonymous Was a Woman Covid19 Relief Grant, and two individual artist grants from ArtsWestchester/New York State Council on the Arts. She was part of a year-long NEA grant working with homeless youth in Westchester County, and was a finalist for an MTA Arts in Transit project in Brooklyn. Miranda has developed education programs for K-12, museums, and institutions, including Franklin Furnace, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian Institution. Her work has been exhibited at ODETTA Gallery, ABC No Rio, Wave Hill, in NYC; The Newport Art Museum, Newport RI; The Alexey von Schlippe Gallery at UConn Avery Point, Groton, CT; The Cape Museum of Fine Art, Cape Cod MA; and The Belvedere Museum, Vienna Austria.