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Strange day today at ArtSpace… not a single person walked through the door… the town was very quiet, and not many even walked past, let alone looked through the window. I usually get in about an hour before opening, to think about what to take downstairs from my studio, to work on during the day.

Bra number one needed some attention. There will be more than one, that has been decided, but more news of that at a later date. I finished the embroidery yesterday, but today needed to work on the next bit, wiring it, to see if it stood independently. Of course the sensible artist would have worked out this crucial matter first wouldn’t they? But Noooo…. not me, I spend weeks embroidering this garment, possibly to find out my whole idea doesn’t work and it falls down round my ears!

So I spent the whole day, from 10:30 – 6:00 doing just that. I stitched milliners’ wire around structural seams. Note: milliners’ wire is great, it comes covered in cotton (assorted colours), can be bent easily with hands and basic tools, and can be cut with stout scissors, but is firm, and holds shape really well.

By the end of the day, It is standing up. It’s not great, it needs additional cup seam support, and some up the rows of hooks at the front, but it will work. The garment, while not exactly comfortable, could still be worn…It is transformed now into something sculptural. It wraps around the ghost of a woman. The flaws, repairs and tears in the garment show, inside and out, and so do the backs of my stitches and the knots….. hmmm…. David Riley, on Facebook, said that the wires and knots would leave interesting marks on the skin. I think I may need to have a chat to my life model…

I like it. It is a warts and all item. It is obviously a bit old and a bit rubbish, but time has been spent on its adornment. It show signs of neglect, pragmatism, hope, and pride. It is, I think, a perfect middle aged woman. I can see this work drawing me in, enveloping me for months and months to come. I have great affection for these bras, these women… and wonder to how large an extent they are me?


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