Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Seamstress Final

it's not a doll, it's a sculpture.

so this was a major time-suck (fig-1), but it was really fun to get out of 2D land for once :) this is part of a larger effort for my team (i obviously had the "e"). tomorrow is the final installation for all the letters so i'll have photos of the full piece in the next few days. anyway, here's the second half of the process:

DAYS 6/7: sanded and painted the figure and sewed the basic structure of her dress

DAYS 8/9ish: found that an old bottle of painkillers (left over from my date with the DR) was the PERFECT height for her seat. (see walgreens tag peeping through) penciled in the pixels for the "e" and began to sew the pieces. NOTE: sewing 1" x 1" squares of fabric with a standard size iron is decidedly unwise...though i only burned myself once (SKILL).

DAY 10/11ish: painted the shadow box to fit the palette of the fabric. something unfortunate that i learned when working with textiles is that YOU ARE AT THE MERCY OF THE TEXTILE DESIGNER. you can't change their palette, so you have to just suck it up and alter your plans...or layer sheer and opaque fabrics.

DAY 12/who-knows-what-anymore: final composition thoroughly secured with the help of mr. elmers, a handful of pennies, and Susie's trusty glue gun! i sewed the girl onto her seat and replaced the drugs with pennies (yea, i know, significantly less fun :P) so she wasn't top-heavy.

so there you have it! it was an awful lot of fun to work on, though my volcano-ash-and-sawdust-filled lungs may disagree. i have to say to my credit, though, i DID actually buy a dust mask...and i did use it-- only i didn't open any windows. apparently tiny, lung-slaying particles tend to linger in the air, so when i took my mask off, i gained a respiratory system full of foreign bodies. cheers to a shorter life span!

i also never addressed the subject matter of this piece. the restrictions of the project were only this: make an "e." well, ok. that's significantly less specific than my other assignments. considering the tumultuous nature of recent events, i decided to fall back on an old favorite subject: the seamstress. and only b/c this is the only subject i've consistently revisited, i feel like indulging myself and taking a walk through a bit of ego-centric history:

it started in the winter of 2008 (january 3rd or 4th if i remember correctly). i took a textiles class called "pojagi and beyond." in this sweat-shop-like environment, i stitched away for at least 300 solid hours....in about 6 weeks. ended up with several obscenely self-serving pieces. the three below are "armor," "swell," a 15 foot installation, and "the kiss," based on Klimt's palette (his painting of the same title). i found the act of sweat-shopping strangely comforting. it was agonizingly repetitive, vaguely empty of thought, and extremely meditative.

it was a mindless means to an end-- but mostly a means to a means.

it was a long winter:

running into the spring of the same year, i did a retrospectively weak digital painting called "seamstress" (yawn). unlike the previous series, this piece detailed my resolve:

in 2009 i was surprised to find myself in need of my dear, old friend. this time it was not so much the physical act of binding pieces together, rather, depicting it. these are two of an eight-part series that explores the button as a vehicle for attachment. it also put to good use my childhood obsession with collecting buttons off the floors of department stores (more specifically, Syms). "red blood" and "white blood" appear at the end of the series:

this brings me to the shadow box. unlike my previous works, the purposes behind this piece not only changed nearly every other day, but were in direct conflict with each other. the circumstances surrounding its creation kind of fucked up my reasons for using the subject matter in the first place. typically, i had a singular voice in anything i created with this theme. i had one thing to say to my motivator. after this particular project, though, i don't know what to say to my motivator anymore.

i've already said everything, and now i'm passionately neutral.

i'm not sure where this experience leaves my relationship with the 'seamstress.' this might just be the death of that theme since i'm finding myself scrambling for new symbols. regardless of whether or not i could ever find comfort in this subject again, the process of this piece served its purpose (see fig-1).

1 comment:

  1. The seamstress looks great! I love how the fabric and painted squares fit together seamlessly (oh snap). I can't wait to see the final collection all together.

    Muahaha "YOU ARE AT THE MERCY OF THE TEXTILE DESIGNER" Yes, I see you are buying into our plan of world domination through color palette limitation!