This 3-dimensional piece is a true reflection of my current life. It is chaotic, somewhat disconcerting and at times very uncomfortable. "Party Of One" is a copper wire dress structure that has been “stuffed” with six life sized dolls and is topped off with a paper bag.
This stuffed dress floats above a water base. Water is an important life-long symbol for me having, been born with the horoscope sign of Pisces (fish), being actively involved as a competitive swimmer as a young child, and being a mother of two daughters who have been avid synchronized swimmers for the past eight years. I have spent hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours at poolside gazing meditatively at reflections in the water.
The dress structure was created through experimentation with materials. It includes knitted and crocheted wire, feathers, beads, woven fabrics from a friend and her daughter's graduation dresses, materials form each of the doll bodies and found objects.
The dolls represent different aspects of my life and are further experimentation with materials. "School Daze" is made of stitched paper from old school notes and textbook pages from my various post secondary adventures. "She'd Rather Play Than Do Housework" is made of stitched dryer lint collected in my house and donated by friends. "Roots" is made of tartans from old kilts I have worn and green printed fabrics representing my Scottish and Irish heritage. Photo transfers of my ancestors and living family have been stitched onto these tartan and green fabrics. "I Am Woman" is an unadorned naked female figure and stands for the biological and sexual part of my being. My interest in cooking and food is reflected in "She Is What She Eats" which is made of stitched paper from cooking magazines collected over the years. "Arti" symbolizes my life as an artist and is made of painted fabric.
The process of creating this three dimensional object reflects the true nature of my life. As I concurrently created the dress structure and the dolls I began to feel that the dolls needed to exist outside the dress. My experimentation with the presentation of the dolls led to other more visually pleasing compositions that were less chaotic and disconcerting and easier to look at. Conceptually, for now, the dolls needed to be stuffed into the dress structure. This is how I perceive myself at this time in my life. I consider this project not yet finished - it is a work still in progress. I can visualize the dolls emerging from the dress at some time in the future and taking on different visual presentations in different locations - a conceptual "freeing" of those parts of me that until now have been contained "inside the dress".
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