Laura Splan: Microbial Doilies

I never considered myself much of a doily person until I stumbled upon this series.

Doilies is a series of computerized machine embroidered doilies. The design of each doily is based on a different viral structure.

The lace doily has traditionally referenced designs and motifs from nature. Furthermore, these decorative objects would be heirlooms, handed down from one generation to the next.

The work explores the “domestication” of microbial and biomedical imagery. Many recent events, epidemics, and commercial products have brought this imagery into our living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Bio-terrorism, SARS, and antibacterial soaps alike have all heightened our awareness of the microbial world. Doilies serve as a metaphor for the way we have adapted our everyday lives to these now everyday concerns. Here domestic artifacts and heirlooms manifest the psychological heredity of our cultural anxieties.

This is exactly the kind of veiled piece I love having in my home. Beauty to the untrained eye…worlds beneath to the knowing observer.

Another wonderful piece is the Brain Doily, of course.

Laura Splan


4 Responses to “Laura Splan: Microbial Doilies”

  1. These are so you! What pretty pieces to display in frames on that perfect wall or under vintage beakers full of flowers from your evil garden.

  2. That is so cool! I’ve never quite understood doileys. Even the word “doiley” sounds like something in a 70s sitcom, getting laughed at because society was suddenly realising how strange doileys were.

    I guess once you add bio-terrorism it quickly becomes a little more interesting!

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