My work is grounded in deep research into historic material practices, rituals of grief and mourning, women’s labor, and the violence of environmental and gendered commodification. I work primarily with textile in site-responsive installations, and with deaccessioned religious books. I consider materials as witness, carriers of historical, ecological, and cultural information that become subtext in the work.
I am interested in textile as a form that wraps our bodies from cradle to grave, and in the role of lacemaking in the lives of women historically. Recent projects began with family lace from my Italian and Irish grandmothers, Emenegilda and Rebecca, and grew to include donations of lace and linens from around the world. Donations include antique, vintage, and machine-made lace in animal, vegetable and synthetic fibers, which I hand-dye and sew into shroud-like tapestries and installations. They are layered with objects of lamentation akin to ex-votos, reliquaries, and other ritualized forms traditionally offered to saints in request, gratitude, or devotion. These forms are handmade using plaster, metal, hair and beads.
The repurposed bio-degradable materials allow for monumental site-responsive works with a small ecological footprint. The dye colors are chosen for their long cultural history; ancient, native, and invasive colors that include oak gall wasp nests, cochineal insects, indigo, and clay. The dyes are foraged directly or sourced through dye suppliers. 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 the history of domestic labor; the visceral dyes retain a stain of their environmental origins.
During the pandemic I began to receive unsolicited donations of lace from friends and strangers after posting images of the lace work on social media. This has grown into an ongoing archive and research project on lace patterns and histories. Every piece is photographed, measured, and collected into an archive before being incorporated into a work. The offerings of lace are integral to the content of the work, tangible participation from my growing physically distanced community.
curatorial and consulting
I curate at MAPSpace and independently, and work with artists in critique both privately and in the Crit Lab. I offer professional development 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 my work with artists.
Patricia Miranda is an artist, curator, and educator. She is founder and director of MAPSpace and The Crit Lab. She has been Visiting Artist at Vermont Studio Center, the Heckscher Museum, and University of Utah; and been awarded residencies at I-Park, Weir Farm, Vermont Studio Center, and Julio Valdez Printmaking Studio. She received an Anonymous Was a Woman Covid19 Relief Grant, an artist grant from ArtsWestchester/New York State Council on the Arts, and was part of a year-long NEA grant working with homeless youth. In 2010 she was a finalist for an MTA Arts in Transit project in Brooklyn. Miranda was core faculty at New Hampshire Institute of Art's low-residency MFA program from 2016-20, and teaches curatorial studies in the grad program at Western Colorado University. She was Practitioner-in-Residence at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven from 2005-19, and led the first Lyme study abroad program at the university's campus in Prato, Italy, in spring 2017. She served as director and curator of the Gallery at Concordia College-NY from 2008-12. 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. Her work has been exhibited at ODETTA Gallery, ABC No Rio, Wave Hill, and Rio II Gallery, in 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. She has a solo exhibition upcoming at Garrison Art Center in Garrison NY in fall 2021.