A stitch in time...
I'm sure lots of you are busy looking out your shopping bags getting ready to shop the closet of Queen Michelle on Sunday up at the Hillhead Bookclub.
I wish I was more like her. More ruthless and less of hoarder. Even though I don't wear 80% of my wardrobe I find it really hard to let it go.
One visual artist who has taken her love of her clothing to a wonderful imaginative level is Allison Watkins. She uses hand-stitched embroidery to bring her drawings of her own clothing to life, creating these magical life sized pieces. She is interested in "documenting the instability of all forms and how our grasp of, and relationships to these forms change throughout time"
Watkins uses her own clothing as source imagery and inspiration for her work, which is why there is probably such a feeling of warmth, comfort, and familiarity embedded in the very fabric and overall feel of the pieces...
In her works, each item of clothing hangs fantastically in an undefined closet as if floating in an otherworldly space where it is just us—the viewers, and the clothes. These items take on a life of their own, calling attention to the uniqueness of our clothing and the delicate details that differentiate and define our very own dress and style
Describing how she creates her work, Allison explains saying -
The work always starts with a photograph, most of which are photographs of my clothing. Then I trace and draw lightly onto the fabric—it is really important that I make the drawing life-size so the viewer can access these abstract spaces more easily. Soon after, the time intensive process of hand-stitching begins; it is this part that I find the most fascinating: the embedding of the thread changes the drawing, and it’s here that I make choices about adding or subtracting information.
Hers and His hand stitching on fabric 52x64 (life-size).
Needless to say there would not be enough embroidery thread in the world to capture all the clothes I have hanging up all around the house...