My work is grounded in historic material practices, rituals of grief and mourning, and textile as an intimate form that wraps our bodies from birth to death. I work with donated repurposed lace and linens in site-responsive sculptures and installations.
The accumulated textiles reflect the hidden the economic labor, and the labor of care, in the domestic and work lives of women. Notions of mending, remembering, collecting and preserving are present in each action and each work. The lace is alternately hand-dyed and sewn into shroud-like tapestries and installations, and layered with books and objects of lamentation akin to ex-votos, reliquaries, and other ritualized forms traditionally offered to saints in request, gratitude, or devotion.
These projects began with family lace from my Italian and Irish grandmothers, Emenegilda and Rebecca, and grew during the pandemic to include an outpouring of donations of lace and linens sent from around the world. As the donations kept coming, I recognized these treasures as an ongoing historical community archive, and began to document each one. The Lace Archive, a library of thousands of pieces of donated lace and family histories, was born. The donations include antique, vintage, and machine-made lace in animal, vegetable and synthetic fibers, and accompanying stories of the family and the maker. Each piece is photographed, measured, and archived before being used in a work, alongside the notes sent with the textiles. The community is invited to participate in the ongoing dyeing and sewing of the works in workshops and sewing circles. The care and generosity shared through these donations is instrumental to the work, through intimate stories about the lace, the makers, the family who preserved it, and the desire for it to live on in the work and in the archive.
The repurposed bio-degradable materials allow for monumental site-responsive works with a small ecological footprint. I choose natural dyes for their long cultural history; ancient, native, and invasive colors that include oak gall wasp nests, cochineal insects, indigo, and clay. Dyestuff is left unfiltered in the vat and the works are over-dyed multiple times, leaving raw material on the surface. The femininity of the lace exerts a trace of domestic labor; the visceral dyes retain a stain of their environmental origins. These materials act as witness, carriers of historical, ecological, and cultural information as subtext in the work.
curatorial and consulting
I curate at MAPSpace and independently, and work with artists in critique and professional practice both privately and in the Crit Lab. With decades of experience in teaching professional practice to undergrad, grad and working artists, I have developed practical methods to support artists in in making visible their vision, through their writing, website, and in best representing their work in the digital space. I offer consulting for writing artist statements, preparing portfolios for grants and proposals, website analyses, and the many business skills of being an artist. Every consultation incorporates an ethical and socially conscious framework for building a sustainable practice suited to each artist's unique situation. Artist-run culture and community are fundamental to all of my work.
Patricia Miranda is an artist, curator, educator, and founder of the artist-run orgs The Crit Lab and MAPSpace, where she developed residencies in NY and in Italy. In 2021 she founded the Lace Archive, an historical community archive of thousands of donated lace works and family histories. She has been awarded residencies at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation, I-Park, Weir Farm, Vermont Studio Center, and Julio Valdez Printmaking Studio, and been Visiting Artist at Vermont Studio Center, the Heckscher Museum, and University of Utah. She received grants from Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (2021); two artist grants from ArtsWestchester/New York State Council on the Arts (2014/21); an Anonymous Was a Woman Covid19 Relief Grant (2021), and was part of a year-long NEA grant working with homeless youth (2004-5). Miranda has developed education programs for K-12, museums, and institutions, including Franklin Furnace, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian Institution. She is a noted expert on the history and use of natural dyes and pigments, and teaches about environmentally sustainable art practices. Miranda currently teaches studio art and professional practice in undergrad and grad programs at Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, and Massachusetts College of Art. As faculty at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (2005-19) she led the first study abroad program in Prato, Italy (2017). Her work has been exhibited at Jane Street Art Center, Garrison Art Center (Hudson Vallery, NY) ODETTA Gallery, Williamsburg Art+Historical Center, The Clemente Center, ABC No Rio, and Wave Hill (NYC); The Alexey von Schlippe Gallery at UConn Avery Point, (Groton, CT); the Cape Museum of Fine Art, (Cape Cod MA); and the Belvedere Museum, (Vienna Austria). Her solo exhibition at Garrison Art Center (2021) was featured in the Brooklyn Rail.