As many of you know, I have been working on an installation about women’s clothing as social statement. Therefore, I keep my eye out for inspirational work by other artists who have made pieces that fit into this category. When I find one who also uses a lot of recycled materials, I am hooked! This is how I discovered Kentucky artist, Jamie McIntosh’s, art. Subsequently, Jamie was gracious enough to grant permission for me to write this entry about her. Her work is cerebral and diverse. She stretches both the media and her imagination with each creation, be it a teapot made of tea bags sewn together to one of her beautiful quilted paintings. They are all captivating.
“It’s sometimes challenging to make a really great piece of art that is realistically functional without having to “dumb it down” a bit. If you’ve ever tried to make a teapot out of fabric, then you know what I mean.”
“That being said, it’s often a complicated process to create something absolutely original without being sucked into using typical, tried-and-true materials. As far as fine art goes, that’s what I’m working on conquering right now.”
To me, the clothes that we wear are a type of sculpture, but they have become necessarily “dumbed down” in order for us to be able to perform our daily activities. I read in a book recently, (and I’m paraphrasing this…) “The type of shoes we wear is a declaration of what it is that we don’t have to do.”
I find it difficult to explain the way I work; the process isn’t always the same. But mainly, I start with a collection of one specific material (otherwise known as “a pile of junk”). Usually by the time I have accumulated a great heaping mass of this said material, I have figured out an interesting way to attach all of them together, united with a new and different purpose.
I made this bangle bracelet from plastic from... a parmesan cheese container! The plastic is sturdy and comfortable, plus it's the perfect size and flexible enough to go on and off easily. I've hand "engraved" the design onto the surface by using a woodburner to slightly melt the plastic.
For example, candy wrappers, fabric softener sheets, buttons, pistachio shells, scraps of foil and copper, clothing tags, and pressed leaves are all excellent things for me to collect and work with.
Dress made of dryer sheets
By re-using discarded materials, I don’t mean to explicitly make a political statement about recycling–but I am interested in questioning humanity’s social expectations and transforming the mundane into something interesting and useful.
Plastic Ball Gown
Since I have recently re-discovered my passion for sewing, anything that can be sewn together is definitely of interest to me (no matter how silly or disgusting). Also, I’ve recently been working on creating a unique line of clothing that makes underwear something you’ll want to wear on the outside.
Photography credit: J. McIntosh
If you have a craving to see more of Jamie's work, please check out her web site at:
Twisted Textiles - Art Themes .
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