The Garments as Art exhibition as part of RE-FASHIONED, presents work by four artists that connects through their use of garments and textile making processes as a base for their work. Flattened clothing is overlaid with printed images, garments are cut-up and woven into other forms, and elements of garment and textile making processes are revealed and re-fashioned. The work explores a range of ideas including the gendered nature of textile making, clothing’s relationship with identity and memory and the fragility of the human form.
Lucy Brown‘s work explores female identity through themes such as beauty, absence and presence of the body, clothed versus unclothed. She meticulously unpicks and reconstructs secondhand and vintage garments to create abstract, sculptural works that evoke heightened nostalgic and physical responses.
In his series ‘Imaginary People’ photographer, Bill Jackson, uses a collection of paper dress patterns, re-fashioned to create illusory people. The paper skin is hauled up in front of the camera by hooks and threads and left to dangle and rustle in the slight breeze, finding its own shape and description of the human form. The paper appears to mask a solid shape, acting as both a set of clothes and the body itself.
The use of reclaimed garments is a major element of Shelly Goldsmith’s practice. Her work responds to the idea of memory and sense of self, and draws upon psychological and forensic theories associated with the cloths we wear, such as the notion of garments being laden with the wearer’s life; memories that may be retrieved and pieced together from the substances left behind on the clothes we wear. She works in a range of textile methods from hand stitch to digital sublimation printing.
Sally Richardson’s work celebrates and critiques vintage instructional textile magazines which she uses to inform her drawings. They give a sense of the methodical and monotonous nature of the textile pieces and highlight the way in which the instructions actively prevent creativity by providing a set of compulsory steps which undermine any artistic intervention.