Other people’s blogs hold answers too.
Discussion with Jean McEwan, and Sharon Hall Shipp brought up the topic of archaeology. It struck a real chord with me, with the work I’m doing now, and what has gone before. I am digging into the past. Sometimes it is my own, sometimes not, but that doesn’t really matter. It all has resonance. I dig into my brain, my emotions, my memories. I ferret about for things in second hand and charity shops, waiting for that tingle in my fingers that tells me I’ve found something, unearthed it. Something that no one else has spotted. Then I do something to it, to highlight what I see.
I had thought that these line drawings of bras were different, but they’re not really are they? These garments have been discarded for some reason. I rediscover them. I record their state in simple line drawings in black ink. I now have nine A3 drawings on layout paper. I wanted them to have a fragility. (Storing them is a bloody nightmare… I need a plan chest.) I wanted to be able to see one drawing though another. The more of them I do, the clearer it gets. I am piecing together a sort of conglomeration of a woman’s life. I don’t think it is mine, but you never know, it might turn out to be. What I feel though, is that these bras are too clean, too nice. I know that out there are bras that have been worn into the ground. Grey, frayed, the elastic no longer elastic. Desperate bras.
The clothes on the top, for public viewing say what a woman wants to show the world, how she wants to be seen (presuming the clothes have been chosen by the wearer, there are circumstances where this may not be the case). The clothes underneath, unseen except by a partner, perhaps not by anyone, speak about how a woman feels about herself.
The discarding of the bra is seen differently, depending on who you ask. It might indicate a passing of a stage, be that puberty, motherhood, maturity, menopause, illness, death. It can also be a sexual act. I have only asked women what they think of this series of drawings. What do men think? Tell me.
So I keep drawing, keep collecting.
The original bra that sparked it all off, has been embroidered, but I am thinking of unpicking it. It is a different story this one. My interference minimal – more observational, a scientific approach? Archaeological?
(If you happen to come across the aforementioned desperate bra, please do get in touch – no questions asked)