This work was inspired by a vintage child’s dress belonging to my daughter which reminds me of dresses I had when I was a child.I have been working on this piece for quite some time as most of the work is stitched with tiny straight stitches over most of the painting. The painting is on un-stretched canvas and the stitching has changed the texture of the canvas almost looking as if it has been woven,which I find quite interesting.I also find the back very interesting which has left me with a dilemma of how to display the work. When I first set out to do the piece I thought of having it framed so I can hang it on the wall with the paintings, but now I am not sure because I think I might want both sides to be seen especially because I think the title might be’two sides to every story’,so I might have to think of somehow sandwiching the work between two pieces of Perspex and making a stand so that it can be viewed on both sides.
This work’Tippi Hedren’ was an appliquéd suit to pay homage to the actress in the film’The Birds’ by Alfred Hitchcock the work was a collaboration between Tracey Emin and Sara Lucas in the 1990’s when they ran their’shop’ which was a gallery studio in London they worked together in producing and selling work.The suit was a green woman’s suit which was appliquéd with images of birds and displayed on a Mannequin.This came to mind when I was thinking about my work and I was given the vintage jacket I was well into sewing the piece when I remembered the piece of work by Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin so it gave me the confidence to continue with my work and also think about how to display my piece.
I did think about suspending the jacket somehow with clear thread or fishing line but with further thought settled with a mannequin which I bought from eBay for a reasonable price(a male shape)I am thinking of stitching onto an army shirt which I have and leaving it in a crumpled heap at the foot of the mannequin.I will have a flat wall with my paintings behind and the mannequin in front so that it can be viewed all the way round as I have worked onto the jacket on all sides.
I like to record my paintings as they are made.This work is part of a body of work which goes with the other acrylic on canvas I have featured on this blog titled ‘little fat dress’This painting of a dress is completely the opposit of the black dress it portrays a glamorous dress for presumably a slim glamorous young woman(actually it is modelled from an actualdress belonging to my son’s girlfriend)The subject matter broaches the subject of women never really being happy with themselves no matter how beautiful,young and slim they are,just as the owner of the oversized black dress would feel.The painting holds a secret that not everyone would notice,the spots do not perfectly line up in part of the painting and also it may be noticed that there are belt loops but the belt is missing as something might be missing in the feamale owner such as confidence.
Eva Hesse was a German-Jewish artist/sculptor known for her work in materials such as latex, fibreglass and plastics.She lived in New York from an early age. Her individual style first appeared in her drawings shown in her drawings ,shown in the early 1960’s in her first one-woman exhibition at Alan Stone Gallery in New York(1963).During a year spent in Germany,she constructed and exhibited 14 papier-mâché reliefs with chord wrapped wires embedded and protruding from them.
At the kunstkalle ,Düsseldorf ,among these exhibited works were ‘Tomorrows Apples ‘1965.In the years before her early death,Hesse’s sculptures grew in scale and changes from easel sized reliefs to ‘Expanded expansion'(1969,New York Guggenleilm)whose latex covered cheesecloth’curtains’draped between16 plexiglass poles.
Although not a textile artist(nor am I really!)in particular I can link the art of Eva Hesse to my own work.The textures,colour and thread-like materials and processes take on the look and texture of textiles particularly some of her larger installations such as expanded expansion.
The work for my final project is taking shape in the form of paintings/Stitch and a mixture of the two.One of the pieces I am currently working on is a vintage army jacket and according to research is probably a battle dress jacket(I’ve seen them on Dad’s Army so maybe I am right!)used by the Royal artillery as well as other regiments.As the photographs show , some of the paintings appliquéd are of an albatross,based on one of my Grandad’s stories of his travels and ordeals on the Artic Convoys as a soldier in the Royal Maritime Artillery.
The appliquéd albatross painting as well as the small ship painting at the back of the jacket is painted on calico in acrylic paint enhanced with a few stitches in silver metallic thread.It was then fused to the material using a hot iron.The stories and words will be continued to be stitched around the images.The other images of ships also include an image of one of his actual ships he sailed on HMS’Archer’.These images where a technique I have been working on by experimenting by glueing prints onto fine muslin fabric(white)and then allowing the PVA glue to dry overnight.The images were then ironed to straighten out the wrinkling and they were then fused onto bondaweb before ironing down and stitching onto the fabric of the jacket onto the sleeve.This was first practiced on similar weight fabric to see if it looked OK and also if I could get a needle through it(see photographs) I wanted the images look like fabric and not as if I was using paper.This seems to have worked well.
The work is slowly taking shape,slowly because it takes a lot of time to stitch the images,but mainly the wording onto the fabric.The work is partly resembling the picture I have in my mind, but having said that I do n to really know what the end result will be which is all part of the pleasure of the creative process.