"The small thread of days and sunlight" -Shirley Jackson, A Visit
fabric, venetian plaster, taxidermied birds, dress forms, plaster, joint compound, found salt and pepper shaker.
Installation at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY.
20' x 50' x 35'
a celebration in the bedroom. My favorite ladies as guests. Birds visit and never leave. The outside comes in through the windows.
The title for the piece is taken from the longer quote "The small thread of days and sunlight, that bound Margaret to the house, was woven here as she watched" from Shirley Jackson's "A Visit".
The work references interior spaces and the body. Each element in this installation is handmade: the dresses, window coverings, taxidermied birds, and Venetian plaster. To create these dresses, each dress was taken apart, put back together, and used to create entirely new dresses. I'm interested in the process of fitting a dress to one-self, and how it creates an awareness of the way the body takes up space. Through the process of alteration, I find myself attempting to see parts of my body that are challenging to see, as getting in and out of a dress in the midst of alteration is extremely difficult. The process of making each dress speaks to how impossible it is to see yourself as others see you; you can never have a whole objective image of yourself through your own eyes.
This installation includes handmade curtains –dressings for real and imaginary windows. Curtains though decorative, can conceal a view of the outside world from the inside, as well as obscure the outsider’s view in. The window coverings and dresses both relate to my interest in what is seen and what is imagined.
Taxidermy involves taking a once live animal apart and putting it back together. Through the process of making this work, I found a relationship between dressmaking and taxidermy –like taking apart a favorite piece of clothing, to taxidermy an animal is at once a brutal and loving act.