Wednesday, July 19, 2006
These are a few of my Dream Coats. I call them such because the ideas come from 3-D, Panavision, Technicolor dreams complete with construction details and close ups. I even get the words or script for each of them that goes on the counterpane inside each coat. The pictures are lousy but at least you can get an idea of what I do when I make them. All of these have been sold or are in private collections.
Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
Fire Element Coat. You can't tell, but there's a huge train that travels off of the back. My friend Jeannie Taylor is modeling the coat. The bronze circles are netsuke's from samauri swords. I used layers of a type of thick iridescent paper in the open flames front and back that give the illusion of rising flames and make the coat crackle when you walk in it. It is in the collection of Mexican artist, Pedro Parra. Fire Element makes a yearly statement at the Florida Gay Film and Art Festival each year when worn by the host. Pedro thought the idea was clever for a gay man to wear the coat. Subtle, Pedro.
Shadowlands Coat. This coat was a shroud commissioned by Santa Fe College for a retrospective of artists that have died from Aids. It was part of a National Aids Awareness function. The coat is extensively embroidered with beads and has a holographic moon on the front panel. The final installation at the gallery included the funery urn you see in the picture.
Our Mother's Labors. As part of an invitational show for the State of Florida Sesquicentennial and the 75th anniversary of women's right to vote, I used old photographs and needlework of Florida women including the granddaughter of the African-American who founded the Florida town and school of Bealsville. I placed pictures of the women and their contributions of old needlework. There is a piece of Seminole quilting and beadwork and a picture of them in their traditional hairstyles and dresses, the first childhood needlepoint picture done by a friend, a glove worn by my mother holding a hanky that she embroidered and edged with crochet with a picture of us dressed for Easter Sunday services she wore both in, a handmade nurse's cap with her graduation picture. There are palmeto fronds painted all around the coat and into the pockets with a running discourse about them on the coat. Also used in a talk I gave on Cracker Women at Barnes and Noble. The coat was very much handled despite the signs and you could see this in the intallation picture. I loved sitting and watching the reactions of women as they read the story and the counterpane. Some cried, a few laughed and everyone touched the coat.
Lotus Robe. Modeled by a then editor of Vogue magazine at the Ringling Museum of Art Renaissance Festival. I've won lots of awards with this coat in various shows, even when it was on a hanger and not displayed as an art piece. The lotus flowers have metal dew drops and are 3-D. They appear on the robe front and back. You can't see them, but the pink train is actually a fish pond with tiny goldfish that 'swim' when you walk. One sculpted little fish comes up out of the 'water' to stare at you.
From Russia With Love. Documents the adoption of a little girl from Russia. There are a series of photographs showing her standing demure and prim in her little dress ready for church, then she slowly blossoms for the camera to an unbridled ham! This was for a show at the Museum of Modern Art in Tampa. I made the copper maqui to hang it on. The collar of flowers is actually the back of an elaborate traditional Russian headdress on top of a sketch I did of the girl's face. There's another sketch right on the fabric of the girl's mother holding more pictures of her daughter in a series of ballet moves on the back. Antique dresses and Kimono made up the rolled fronts and hem held in place with turquoise and coral gemstones.
Comedia Tragedia was made for actor and director Anna Brennan. I soft sculpted and trapunto quilted the two Greek drama faces in suede for a tactile feel. I'm modeling it on the banks of the canal Dogpatch overlooks. The silver is a type of metal fiber. If you click on this one, you can enlarge it and see the sculpting in detail along with my patrician nose and mountain of hair.
I'm really chagrined that I never took the appropriate pictures to save of my past work. It never seemed really important to me at the time so there are years of blanks where I was prolific and yet never documented it. I always felt that my art and my creations no longer belonged to me once I finished that final touch. This is good for selling. It's not so good when people ask to see some of my work. I really don't have any. They are all 'out there'.
So. Now you can see a little of what I do with fiber and metal and any other thing that can be attached to cloth. Thank you for sharing yours with me.
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