Textiles have been a source for reflecting news and delivering meaning and message through motif and design for centuries. My work usually starts from an autobiographical place. Stories are assimilated into the language of fashion and textiles through translation or technique used. I design with the form and counter-form of type and use fashion as a canvas to physically manifest emotion. Legibility is not the goal. The viewer is not meant to read but rather feel the pieces. The words reinforce the experience and imply the unconscious way we wear our emotions.
The 1st piece – “Worn well / Well worn” (title) references a necklace and the notion of adornment. There is beauty in pain and grief is a kind of pain. The shape and form of the necklace is meant to reference a stylized cruciform embellishment on a priest’s vestment. – A nod to the spiritual side of grief. It is made of laser cut acrylic, which is both noticeable and hard to view at the same time. It glistens like jewellery but is fragile creating a useless breastplate for protection. I used jewellery techniques of simple chaining to hold the story together. Small links, almost unnoticeable maintaining some rigidly organic structure.
The second piece, “Permanent Record” (Title) is very wearable and is meant to be a fashionable garment that one would wear to just go out on the street, something you might wear to go about your daily life. Photographed in the language of fashion communication, the garment has a page from the journal burned and scorched into its back panel. I used wool for the fabric, a material that has historically provided warmth and protection for its wearer. I then used a soldering iron to burn words into the design thereby permanently scarring the fabric. Echoing the emotional scarring that occurs from traumatic events, the soldering iron burned through the material in irregular ways. This created holes rather than just a surface scorched treatment. The iron altered the physical integrity of the fabric - A metaphor for the change in a person dealing with grief as if their emotional integrity were compromised.