Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rift : A SHIFT dress

  The layouts in this series of dress sculptures were so complex. There were often multiple layers of resists, or else multiple layers of patterning. The designs had to be thought through in that reverse thinking way required when working with resists, and also with transparencies, opacities, and inclusions.  My brain was burning with keeping it all held in order to get to the end result. Thinking through on what will show on which side of the garment and where, and what will happen if it is overdyed. Where would each design element fall on the body when shaped into the 3 dimensional and worn. Left and right, front and back, inside and outside....all parts were relevant...all at one time. 

 The lightest layers of wool roving made me think of skin tissue healing. So relevant to this dress full of (beautiful) scars and my intentions. 

   This dress is made of shadowy shards. Like flakes of obsidian. But cradled within a softer surface....Black and white forming shades of grey over time.  Geology is just so prominent in many of the SHIFT dresses. This piece has elements of all rock formations, sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic; tectonic shifting, escarpments...  It is hard, sharp and cut, but softened around the edges in overall dress form, like a tumbled stone.  Geode like inclusions; seams of precious earth....scars, dreams, in general. Not simple.
 They are pushed up and out of the base textile; carved and twisted through the fulling.  Complicated, (if you chose to think about it) like the shadowy base.

  This dress is sinuous and feminine on the wearer, and full of tactile metaphors.  I like that it can be just a beautiful dress, and can also hang as a sculptural form filled with intention.  

  The techniques used in this piece will be part of the Fall felting retreat in Quebec this October. I'm trying to get the details posted about this as soon as possible....there's lots going on right now...lots of big events vying for my attention...but this is up next! 

  It's not all serious thoughts and introspection! I've got lots of plant dyeing lined up for the next few days...some summer lightness...warmth, sunshine and flowers; folly and experimentation!
Warm wishes, 


  1. Fiona, dear- If you thought that I was 'chomping at the bit' about our retreat BEFORE I knew what work you were going to feature, now it's even worse!! Giggle. I love this work, the metaphors, the incredible, detailed layering and conceptualizing...ohhhhhh...I can't wait!

  2. I was out to see your show this past weekend - phenomenal work and so inspirational!

  3. Stunning .. I want to wear this dress ..