Title: Port San Aer (Irish for ‘tune in the air’) is an installation artwork examining the space between my new-found skills in lacemaking and the community where these skills once thrived.
In bobbin lacemaking, the lacemaker begins with a pattern, known as a ‘pricking’. The pricking can sometimes look like a ‘stave’, the five lines and four spaces used to write music. So I began to wonder…what tune could my lace compose?
I provided members of my community with blank staves, where they punched a hole for each note. I used the stave as a pricking to create a simple linen-stitch strip of lace, where a bead for each note forms a pattern. The lace rises into the air from my lacemaking pillow. The pricking becomes a stave again as it passes through a music box, to create a tune. The stave winds onto an antique bobbin, from a long-forgotten textile mill, honouring the lacemaking heritage of Headford, Co. Galway.
An Italian lacemaking term ‘Punto in Aria’ (which literally translates as ‘stitches in the air’) reminded me that ‘Aria’ is also a musical term for melody or tune. The Irish title of my piece ‘Port san Aer’ plays in the space where these ideas meet.
Use the QR code provided (or click here: Ester Kiely: Port San Aer: An installation for The Space Between, October 2020) to listen to the tune created by the lace. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contribute some notes yourself!