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Tight Laced


My work examines the creases and contours of clothing as a topography of the wearer's experience. While the cut and pattern of a garment often reflect cultural semiotics, the wear and tear on an item reflects the habits and history of the individual who wore it. Like roads on a map we may follow the fold down a sleeve or pant leg to discern the psychology of crossed legs or folded arms. Betty Goodwin's prints look for history in the imprints of her dead father's vests. Through a multitude of contours, George Hawken's etchings cover urban scenes and bound figures with a mercilessly exposed human skin.


The lines in my work are drawn with stitch-work on hand made paper and then used to create encaustic paintings. When sandwiched between two layers of wax, the paper becomes transparent or almost vanishes. While the sensitive contours of my work express personal idiosyncrasies, elements of collage and the colours of the paint evoke moody environments.


The corset series came out of a trio of garments related to restriction. The corset and straight jackets, explore societal restrictions related to beauty and sanity. A conversation emerges, between the cultural expression and restraints embodied by clothing, and the details of private worlds. My current series Tight Laced zeros in on the gender politics tied up in women's foundation garments. Historically the corset wrapped modesty and sexuality into one.


Freedom seemed all the more free when you were tightly wrapped for most of the day. Exploring the phenomenology of bodily conditions is an essential aspect of getting into historical or contemporary contexts.

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