I aim to expand upon contemporary concepts of drawing and painting by combining traditional techniques on paper with innovative collage using stitched-together textiles collected predominantly from my own closet. This process serves to explore my own complicated relationship with fashion: after having taken a fashion design intensive program at Pratt, I remain seduced by it as an art form in its own right and as a vehicle for self-expression. Nevertheless, next to Big Oil, the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Normally when we think of pollution, we envision coal power plants and raw sewage piped into our waterways; rarely do we think of the shirts on our backs. My textile work aims to increase awareness of this issue, while still respecting and acknowledging the inherent aesthetics of fashion as an art form.
By pairing my figure drawings with mountainous backdrops that are exclusively made of recycled clothing, I aim to create works that highlight man’s exploitation of nature, while making a conscious and dynamic political statement of “anti-consumption.” I am interested in making work that articulates this tension: the modern experience of beauty, consumption, and industrialization—and what that means for the future of the environment and global sustainability efforts.
Within a contemporary art perspective, textile art is often marginalized as “crafty” and “feminine”—largely dismissed because of its accessibility and historical reputation as a woman’s pursuit. By playing with the dynamic between fabric and drawing in my mixed-media work, I see an opportunity to expand the scope of what this material can do and redefine gender notions that still haunt the art world. Ultimately through my pairings, I hope to elevate textiles to the level of reverence already received by representational drawing and painting. Perhaps this alteration of general perception will underscore the re-usable value inherent to fabric and prevent it from being so readily cast away.
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