The Work Explained
How we dress is one of our most fundamental modes of expression.
My work combines historical and technical research, sculpture, sewing and dying techniques, filmography and performance to create objects that quietly and powerfully question our relationship with clothing and the cultural elements it comprises. The objects and events are staged in no-admission environments to demystify and de-isolate fashion for a wider audience.
The Dowsing, is an aesthetic calling card declaring one's right to create true to one's perspective. Its attention to form and detail instills a respect for the personal universe we each contain and express through the architecture of clothing. The ritualistic and the quotidian, the private and the public, form and function intersect in fashion, making it complex and fascinating. My practice addresses and dissolves many issues that arise from the commercial fashion industry.
By using natural fabrics, dyes and techniques to conserve materials, the Dowsing confronts a lack of sustainability in fast fashion. The Dowsing's attention to detail and craft re-instills a
respect for manufacturing, opposing wastefulness and apathy. Cultural appropriation in an industry of constant turnover trivializes traditions without regard for their origin. My research and the Dowsing’s reverent presentations honor its inspirations, including Ecclesiastical and Mennonite garments. Gender and body politics in culture come to a head in fashion, further alienating people from a fundamental expression of self through the body and its protective covering. Though the garments are mostly categorized as "feminine" I use male models to subvert this expectation and issues of body type.
Artistic collaborations, serial performances at multiple institutions, lectures and forums in recent years have resonated widely with a diverse audience. Previous Dowsing exhibits have addressed sociopolitical aspects of fashion. Those records continue to have a life of their own. My work has been successful in highlighting these issues and offering potential solutions. As we reinvigorate such consideration, I believe a better understanding of cultures and better use of human and natural resources will follow.