Many events in our lives seem to be forever tied to clothing details. The rituals of christening, marriage or burial have all become associated with iconic dress customs that are deeply evocative. As we age, certain articles of clothing can trigger memories of the event itself, a sense of time or loss. Our memory becomes enlaced in the network of the lines and spaces of the lace itself - as if the cloth now serves as a vessel for memory.
Ceremony is a series of six paper lace christening gowns. The tissue is first coated with a special protective natural starch and then embroidered before being either washed or burned to create its open structure. The network of the lacework evokes human tissue espousing the fragility of life and our memory of it. In its time, lace work was used to bestow a sense of occasion. The Ceremony gowns although newly made, echo with this sense of occasion, The open space of the smocking alludes to childhood and innocence, but suggests aging and melancholy as the the garment has been worn by time itself. Are these childhoods that have been lost, or memories of children who have been lost, or memories themselves that have been lost? What adult touches the fabric of a child’s christening gown without becoming enmeshed in longing?
Ceremony explores memory and ritual by manipulating the iconic qualities of lacework; its pattern of space, and light, its richness and its association with ceremony and sacrament.
Freemotion on Gampi Tissue Paper with Selective Burning
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Australia