Artist weaving web in Limerick

  • NeSpoon Hybrid Lace
Street artist Nespoon's lace installation at Merchants Quay Limerick which will feature as part of the lace exhibition HYBRID. Picture: Alan Place

Polish artist NeSpoon has created a stunning weblike artwork in the public plaza in Merchant’s Quay. Framed by St Mary’s Cathedral, Council Offices and Limerick Courthouse the intricate work of public art is inspired by the structure and delicacy of lace.

Polish artist NeSpoon has created a stunning weblike artwork in the public plaza in Merchant’s Quay. Framed by St Mary’s Cathedral, Council Offices and Limerick Courthouse the intricate work of public art is inspired by the structure and delicacy of lace.

The lace artwork is part of an upcoming multi-site exhibition celebrating Limerick’s history of lacemaking and contemporary lace forms.

The projects is the first part of the Hybrid: Limerick Lace Liminal Identity exhibition and conference taking place in Limerick from the 24 October to 4 November and is a partnership project between Limerick Museum and Archives and Limerick School of Art and Design.

The installation is temporary – constructed of lace and rubber.

Giordana Giache, Lecturer in Limerick School of Art and Design commented: “It’s like urban jewellery. Enhancing what’s already there in a way that is very immediate. People can easily relate to this artform- it’s almost like a delicate and intricate spider’s web – all inspired by lace.”

“It’s great to see people walking through the installation, touching it and taking selfies. We were thrilled that NeSpoon accepted our invitation to bring her celebration of lace to Limerick, where we are reconnecting with a long tradition. The skills of Limerick lace are acquired slowly and the skill level to achieve the quality required of Limerick Lace takes many years to acquire.”

“It’s wonderful to see lace brought into the public area- into open spaces decorating the city. Limerick Lace is one of the worlds’ most famous laces and this artwork allows us to remember this great tradition and to enjoy it,” she added.

NeSpoon is a street artist using lace patterns to create delicate and visually unique artwork on walls, ceramics work is unique and is all inspired by lace. In her native Poland and throughout Europe she has created stunning artwork on walls, bridges and beaches which all evoke a positive beauty.

NeSpoon is from Warsaw and was taught how to make lace as a child by her grandmother but only became interested in it again as an artist about seven years ago.

"Its important to me to give lace a second life. Through my work I have noticed a great deal of similarity in pattern showing the very close connection between cultures and between the nations. This installation can be a metaphor for the close relations between our nations and about the similarity, because basically we do the same laces, maybe we are very close to each other," she said.

Jacqui Hayes, Archivist with Limerick City and County Council said: "The skills of lacemaking almost died out and it is so important to preserve a tradition that Limerick can be very proud of. Bringing lace to the street adds energy and excitement to this tradition. There are lots of possibilities with lace. Even if you have no interest in lace or craft, this work illustrates the power of pattern – it’s fun and beautiful and uplifting.”

“The Limerick Lace industry was founded in 1829 when an Englishman Charles Walker established a factory at Mount Kennett Limerick and began training the first recruits. At its height the industry provided work for 1800 women. Limerick lace was prized for its quality and design and was worn by royalty and exported throughout the world,” she said.

“Lace making provided a small independent income to thousands of women. In 1851, it was estimated that each lace worker maintained two or three other family members. Limerick Lace is a form of hand embroidery on machine-made net. The net is stretched on a large frame and the lace maker uses either a needle or small hook to make the two forms of Limerick Lace- Needlerun and Tambour,” she added.

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