Robin, age 17

Mohair wool, cotton yarn, lace (cotton and polyester), natural dye (beetroot), glass beads, sequins

For my project, I have recreated the flowers from the painting using hand-crocheted and second hand lace. The use of lace is inspired by the 1880s fashion trends seen in the painting. Lace shows the effects of industrialisation on society and art; its earlier handmade process, itself an art form, was devalued by mechanisation. I have chosen to use a combination of handmade and machine-produced lace to show the juxtaposition of the natural world and modern society portrayed in Manet’s painting. The flowers in the painting can be seen as symbolising femininity, youth, beauty and objectification, embodying the female experience in 19th-century Europe. By recreating the flowers using ‘feminine’ craft
techniques, I wanted to explore the role of women today and in Manet’s era.