In an ongoing series by Joana Vasconcelos, the Portuguese artist has been wrapping various animals—wasps, lizards, snakes, crabs, lobsters, frogs, bull-heads, donkey heads, horse heads, wolves and even cats—in five-needle lace, handmade cotton crochet. But these aren’t any old animals. Vasconcelos has appropriated the ceramic artwork of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1846-1905), one of the most renowned Portuguese artists of the 19th century.
Each of the pieces “are ambiguously imprisoned/protected by a second-skin in crochet-work,” says Vasconcelos. At once both beautiful and strange, the work stands as a testament to the extraordinary craftsmanship of the artist but also as a one-upmanship of maternal femininity and domesticity. The use of crochet to mummify the ceramic animals “opens up a vast and rich field of interpretation” that challenges our preconceptions of femininity, as well as our notions of tradition and modernity. (via Trendland, Ghost in the Machine)