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  • Gallery at 3S Artspace - Punto in Aria: A Repairing Mend

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    PORTSMOUTH—Opening Friday, Oct. 7, from 5-8pm, in the Gallery at 3S Artspace: Punto in Aria: A Repairing Mend, featuring large-scale, textile-based installation sculptures by Patricia Miranda. The artist will be in attendance and give a brief talk at 7pm.

    My work is grounded in historic material practices, rituals of grief and mourning, and the intimacy of textile in women’s lives. I work with donated, repurposed lace and linens in site responsive installations,” said Patricia Miranda.

    Recent projects, including a lace wall piece dyed with cochineal featured in the exhibit, began with family lace from Miranda’s grandmothers, Ermenegilda and Rebecca, passed down through Miranda’s mother who had kept them for many years.

    The lace is alternately hand-dyed with natural dyes and sewn into shroud-like tapestries, layered with objects traditionally offered to saints in request, gratitude, or devotion.

    “When I initially started making the large wall pieces, I thought of them as akin to mourning cloths: pieces that felt as though they might comfort, wrap, or cover in times of grief,” said Miranda. “The act of dyeing and sewing is also restorative. Slow and meditative, it focuses attention to the intimate details and labor of the lace. This attention feels like an act of care, one that is not always visible, enacted primarily by women, especially in times of loss.”

    In recent work, Miranda has most frequently used cochineal insect dye on the lace.

    “Its red earthiness is reminiscent of a body, as is the lace– textile is close to our bodies from birth through death. Cochineal also has an incredibly complex cultural and political history from the ancient americas to Spain to today, how it transformed the dye trade, as well as the environmental and scientific story of the insect itself. The material histories of the lace and dyes are important to me. They become part of the story of the work,” she said.

    An ongoing research project also emerged alongside her artworks: The Lace Archive, founded during the pandemic, is an historical community archive of thousands of donated lace works and family histories. Each piece of lace is photographed, measured, and alongside the notes and letters, collected in the archive before being used by Miranda in a work. 


    “These materials so often contain treasured memories,” said Miranda. “One is a 6 page handwritten letter telling the story of a woman’s grandmother and her memory of her making the lace. Another is a small piece of lace that the family hid in a cave during WWII in the Czech Republic. I’ve been told by people who’ve donated lace that turning it into an artwork felt like the best way they could honor these treasures.”


    Miranda invites visitors to bring lace at any point during the exhibition at 3S Artspace, and to share their stories of the lace maker, the family who preserved it, and their own memories and connections to the lace.

    “Part archive, part installation, and part storytelling, this exhibit is deeply engaging and invites the viewer not only to stay a while, but to return and to witness changes throughout the duration of the exhibit,” said Beth Falconer, Executive Director of 3S Artspace.


    The artist will return to 3S Artspace for several community workshop opportunities over the duration of the exhibition including a fabric dyeing workshop on October 30, and a sewing circle on November 6. More information on the events associated with the exhibit will be available in the coming weeks at 3sarts.org.

    Miranda said, “Grief becomes mourning when it’s given a visible shape. The shape brings grief outside the body and into the world in tangible form through ritual and through object. To discover this connection with others who see the work in a similar way is very moving for me.”

    Exhibits at 3S are always free and open to the public, and can also be viewed virtually at galleryat3s.org. Through the unique lens of contemporary arts experiences, 3S Artspace invites divergent perspectives and encourages lively discourse centered around issues of today.



    • Health & Safety information for visitors: www.3sarts.org/health-and-safety

    • Generously supported by:
      Keane and Macdonald PC, ListingTunnel.com, Mezzanine Catering, Water Street Inn, and The Sailmakers’s House.

      3S Artspace is supported in part by a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

      3S Artspace is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan from the National Endowment for the Arts.


    About 3S Artspace:
    Curiosity.  Creativity.  Community.


    Through the unique lens of contemporary arts experiences, 3S Artspace invites divergent perspectives and encourages lively discourse centered around issues of today.

    The Gallery at 3S Artspace is an incubator of ideas, facilitator of original content, and is committed to presenting a diverse representation of contemporary visual artists. Each year the gallery presents exhibitions that highlight unprecedented innovation across disciplines, celebrate artistic excellence, encourage lively discourse, and foster an unwavering appreciation for the vital role that art plays in our community. 3sarts.org