Yesterday I finished the last piece for my exhibition…a little background for you, written as I worked.
Here I am….on the day of the photo shoot of my most recent work. One day before the installation, and two days before the big opening and fashion show.
And I’m taking a slow day to finish the last dress. This dress was actually the first one I started as I prepared for this exhibition. I got it all laid up on my table and then realized it was going to take me weeks to make all the parts. I needed my work table in that time, so the first dress was carefully rolled up and set aside…until now.
I like the way this dress has been in process throughout the creation of all of the pieces for this exhibition. It is the dress that is the most time intensive, with lots of handfelting and slow plant dyeing.
Each “wishbone” takes about 15 minutes to make and there about 60 of them on the dress. Each of the three ends needs to be carefully hand worked to attach it to the body.
Once fully felted the surface result is a little wild, very sculptural. Interlaced and overlapping, crawling, leaping, edging their way up and around the dress surface. In my mind these are wishbones, and they are also tracks. They cast shadows, changing with the angle of the viewers perception. They’re a little ugly…and also beautiful.
This dress was dyed with iron and tansy that I collected this morning while walking up the hill and looking out over a gorgeous sea, with mountains beyond. I am so happy to have the time to work through this slow completion process today, at the end of a long journey of thinking, and planning and felting.
And this evening, a group of beautiful women joined me and brilliant photographer Amy Melious, for a photo shoot of the finished pieces. It was wonderful to see these brought to life, so very different from standing on mannequins in my studio. I very much appreciate the time and effort put in by everyone for this shoot. What a setting and company to end the day…and the work for this exhibition.
The last dress….a full cycle of creative process as well as of story and place.
I’ll try to fill you in on the other SHIFT dresses in between in the next few weeks!