Monday, 10 December 2012

Making a Point...

I had a chance to visit an exhibition a couple of Tuesdays ago in Braintree called Making a Point. The exhibition was a collection of artists and textile designers who have created sculptures, textiles etc to represent a story of someones life. We were very lucky to have one of the artists travel down with us and tell us about her work. Ellen Devall, used to attend my university so it was easy to connect with her on a student level, (as well as her being extremely lovely), and she had great enthusiasm for her work. She uses antique fabrics and lace to create a background story of  poor women in the 19th century who had spent their lives creating the beautiful items such as lace for the wealthy ladies who could afford them and getting paid a tiny amount for it. The hours were long and tedious and would result in the women having damaged eyesight and nearly starving.

Her artwork, 'A Hope Chest' encompasses the use of plain, worn cotton and wool that contrasts against the beautiful lace and mother of pearl objects to show the representation of the upper class ladies who would buy the items from the working class women.


I like this work because I feel like it connects with what I am doing for my dissertation. Looking at upper class ladies and the way they would use to show their wealth and status through what they wore, but I hadn't considered what it does to the working class women who have to produce the items for the wealthy to wear. It tells a tale of someones life and the things they value from their experiences and their story. In each drawer a representation of parts of the woman's life, her faith, her work and family.

Seeing Ellen's work really made me consider the story behind the maker and creator of the work and to think about what handkerchiefs I am looking at are representing and trying to say about the embroiderer's life.

No comments:

Post a Comment