"Pope Joan is the mythical female pope who may or may not have reigned in the middle ages. It's difficult to prove that she existed and yet her story has persisted despite allegations that the Catholic Church and its historians demolished artefacts attributed to her, they argue that the whole tale is a fantasy, cooked up by scheming Protestants. But proponents of the story point out that papal records are almost non-existent in the 10th and 11th centuries and that even male popes are barely documented. The Catholic Church has historically been a huge patron of the lace industry which provided it with a steady stream of ornate clothes and adornments. I drew this trompe l’oeil of a lace collar for a future female pope, if indeed there ever is one. The collar compares historical and highly contrasting images of Pope Joan, one of which is a self portrait as the female pope. In taking the time to draw this meticulous lace design for a collar I have been thinking about the forgotten work of Joan, presumably a learned individual who would have gone to immense effort of concealing themselves in order to attain the position of pope."