This year the BP Travel Award has been awarded to Bristol-based Dutch Artist Sophie Ploeg. Having studied Art & Architectural History at universities in The Netherlands Ploeg, 39, won for her proposal to explore how fashion and lace was represented in 17th century art, as well as in modern applications. She will visit famous lace-making centres such as Bruges in Belgium and Honiton in Devon, modern lace makers and artists, antique lace collections and 17th century art collections, as well as undertake literary research. Sophie's final work will be inspired by her findings and will be displayed in the BP Portrait Award 2014 exhibition.
Of course I have already been working within my theme of lace and textiles extensively, but this award will give me the opportunity to move things into the fast lane and dig deeper.
I will be doing a lot of literary research (since I am no fashion historian - yet) and will visit art collections with a particular emphasis on early 17th Century portraiture. I will spend plenty of time at the National Portrait Gallery itself, the Tate Britain, the newly opened Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem but will also explore lace centres such as Bruges and Honiton. I will study current lace makers, textile artists and other people inspired by antique lace to help me fire my imagination and work towards my own interpretation of fabrics and lace within 17th century portraiture. An interpretation that, I hope, will have meaning for us today and touch upon topics of theatricality, womanhood, femininity and childhood. Those are big topics and I don't want to get expectations up too high, but they are topics that feature in my life and in my work already, or so I believe.
|detail of a painting by Johannes Verspronck, Dutch 17th Century|
|Inspiring artist Belinda Durrant, Goldcrest Corset, made from papercut, |
ribbon and gorgeous little pastel drawing at the bottom of the corset/cage.
|Detail of a work in progress with Valenciennes Lace and a (Larkin-esque) rug|
|Snow Flake Children, Sophie Ploeg, oil.|