Sarah Lee is visual artist who primarily works in sculpture and installation. Born in the countryside of Cork, her work is mainly concerned with generational ties and country cottage aesthetics. Inspired by her grandmother, who taught her many crafts, she is concerned with the materialisation of female crafts, particularly in Ireland. The work produced is often delicate reiterations of contemporary clothing using traditional methodologies of making. Lee seeks to engage the relationship between the traditional and the contemporary and personal relationships. Sentimentality, emotion and femininity are themes in which inspire her practice.
Loose ends explores the evolution of crochet lace in Ireland through the language of sculpture and installation. The work engages with the production and adoption of contemporary lace in comparison to the historical methodologies. Antique lace thongs suspended in frames and hung by lines of single crocheted fine cotton wool offers an encounter with both the past and present. Pendant from above, delicate handmade crochet motifs, stitched apart, alongside fragile mesh make up the essence of antique lace lingerie. The work aims to narrate a conversation around the function of lace in today’s society and also the generational ties with respect to the acquisition of crafts in Ireland. Decisively, the work also desires to aesthesis old Irish country cottage interiors.
Loose ends is expressed through contemporary sculptural practices, which integrate forms of crochet, sewing and manipulated found objects. The eye level suspended installs provoke a confrontational visual experience for the viewer. The works aim to fuse tradition with sexualisation, it does this by using the crochet thong as a symbol to represent the sexualisation of women. By reintroducing the delicacy of lace, it creates tensions, which stretch over wooden frames by a single crochet stitch. Loose ends is not only thread that is weaved together but a restoration of emotions and memories.
The work is a response to personal experiences of growing up in the countryside of Ireland. The garments seek to intimately unravel pieces of Irish history. Stitches reveal the tension of Ireland under English rule. Antique frames suggest the past functions for handmade delicate lace and holds it in a domestic hierarchy. Generational relationships offer emotion and sentimental attachment. Loose ends engages with the relationship between a recognisable nostalgia and the materialisation of lace in Ireland.