A Weave of Multi-Media and Bobbin Lace Making by Gertrud Riethmueller

Filament, Gertrud Riethmueller 2019

Gertrud Riethmueller conceptualizes bobbin lace making in a multi media installation where she weaves together narrative, historical home labor and audio-visual technology.

Riethmueller who herself learned traditional lace making in her formative years, filmed her hands shadow lacing with her muscle memory.

The idea being that in fact this intricate lace technique was made by women who relied on the mechanics of the bobbin lace making instead of their eye sight.

The delicate lace is hard to see as the thread is so thin and while it was produced, it happened under difficult conditions. In order to prevent this extremely thin flax thread from bursting, the lace was produced in damp and dark basements.

Gertrud Riethmueller fictionalized the lace makers’ thoughts in short texts she called “The Invisible Lace” as an homage to the women of 1847.

“Although only the beginning of April, the weather was mild. She pulled her calloused hands from her wool jacket and opened the basement hatch. Damp, moldy air wafted towards her.A good day.The aching finger joints would do their work today and the thread would not tear.”

Riethmueller displays the texts next to barely visible drawings of lace.

The texts are also interlaced with the sounds of church bells or laughter as an underscore to the stories intended to shed light on the everyday life of the lace workers. The sound is interwoven in an installation with laced audio-cables. The woven cables are a clever object, solid in its sculptural statement and with conceptual coherence as an agent of the narrative.

Geflecht, Gertrud Riethmueller, 2019

On view at Galerie im Alten Haus Seligenstadt until December 15th 2019.


Gertrud Riethmueller is a German performance and multi media artist. She studied under performance and video artist Ulrike Rosenbach at HBK Saar.She was the recipient of Kunstpreis Frankfurter Loewenhof. She created a public art project for the Clinic for Forensic Psychiatry in Merzig in 2016. The artist shows her work in solo shows throughout Germany and in group shows, i.e. at the Landeskunstausstellung des Saarlandes in 2017 and in Metz, France were she was considered for the Robert Schumann Prize 2018.


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