Friday, June 05, 2020

The Big Day, an anniversary installation

(Above:  The front and back of a shrunken, wool bodice worn by a friend for her first wedding and my storage area ... where I'm currently collecting used wedding gowns.  Click on either image to enlarge.)

Several months ago (pre-COVID-19), I envisioned an anniversary installation for September 2021.  I started collecting the wedding gowns that will be needed to make it a success.  This included digging out my own dress and buying a couple at auction.  Then, a pandemic interrupted my plans.  Ordinarily, I'd have a conceptual statement, a venue lined up, and images that would be used to put such a hair-brained ideas into motion.  Progress just didn't seem possible until now.

I have to trust that "things absolutely WILL fall into place".  I have to trust my vision.  I have to trust the little signs that are everywhere, coaxing me to act.  Just yesterday I unexpectedly received a tiny, wool bodice from a friend.  She didn't know I was contemplating a wedding installation.  She just sent this garment with a little story.

My friend wore a two-piece, wool outfit for her first marriage.  The marriage only lasted six year.  (Her second marriage is currently enjoying year fifty-six!)  As a felter, she once threw the bodice into the "hot wash".  It now looks like a doll's size.  I'm thinking of embroidery ... the words "I do" and "I don't" all over it, front and back.  Of course I'm thinking these phrases!  They were important when I celebrated my 30th anniversary with an installation.

(Above:  I Do / I Don't, a 2011 installation of wedding veils on which I free-motion stitched statements about marriage that were collected from the public.).

Nine years ago, I created I Do / I Don't, an installation of wedding veils on which I free-motion stitched statements about marriage.  The phrases were offered by the public.  I added lengths of white ribbon, cut and tied together.  On the ribbon, I machine stitched "I Do" and "I Don't".  These were called the "tied knots" of marriage and the untied knots of divorce.

Nine years ago, I didn't have a venue.  I wrote my conceptual statement after starting the work.  I trusted that "everything would fall into place." I couldn't have imagined such a perfectly gorgeous room for this exhibit which was part of a very well attended and publicized annual art crawl.  Things fell into place.  So, now I am doing the same ... trusting that it will work out!

If you are reading this blog post and know of someone willing to donate a wedding gown, please reach out.  I do not have funds to pay for shipping but I promise to keep all participants updated with the progress of this installation.  Gowns can be shipped to me at Mouse House, Inc., 2123 Park Street, Columbia, SC  29201.  I promise to create another, inspired installation with a public component (assuming COVID-19 will allow people to interact with the dresses!).  I promise that the installation will be FUN, thought-provoking, and a celebration.  I am not planning to look at the dark side of relationships or the injustices others find in marriage.  My thoughts are on "what lasts" ... as in what part of the "big day" is important forty-years later.  Trust me while I trust that this installation will come together, find a venue, and have a "happily ever after" sort of life!

1 comment:

Catherine - Mixed Media Artist said...

I can see it will "come together" that seems to be something you have a great of experience in, and then there is your own artistic reputation that has got you where you are now/then. I suspect a number of curators and gallery owners are saying to themselves "I wonder what **** is doing during this time..."