Wednesday, May 31, 2017

'torqued and tethered ...' flies again ...

Last week I completed my annual installation in the window of UniT at the Natick Mall.  This year Eujin, the owner of this inspiring shop, and I decided to feature my sculpture, 'torqued and tethered ...' in the wake of the political shifts and recent threats to women's rights, reproduction rights and human rights in general.

'breaking open . . .' Fountain Street Fine Art (2013)
'torqued and tethered ...' was first exhibited at 'breaking open ...' in 2013, at Fountain Street Fine Arts, Framingham, MA.  For that exhibit the entire dress was pinned down to the ground by rocks, the 'dress' was trapped, straining to get free.  It was during that exhibition that I was nearing the end of a long and intense divorce process and I was feeling very burned by the excepted and traditional roles for a woman, so it follows that the sculpture was trapped and in distress.

'torqued and tethered ...' during installation , Uni-T, present
Since that exhibit and the completion of my divorce, when I have installed 'torqued and tethered ...' not all the ribbons are held to the ground, trapped under the rocks.  At first I didn't think much of it, however on reflection this change reflects where I was personally in my life's journey. It could also be said that showing some of the ribbons free while some of the ribbons are still trapped can reflect the  truths of women's rights in general, there have been some advances but there is still a great struggle.

Below is a more elaborate description of the sculpture that I wrote when it was exhibited at the South Shore Arts Center, Cohasset, MA, in their exhibitForever & After, in 2015.

'torqued and tethered ...' SSAC, 2015
For the present, 'torqued and tethered ...'  can be seen in the window of Uni-T surrounded by photographs from my 'dailydress' series, ephemeral dresses made during the course of my day, created, photographed and then left to dissipate back into the landscape...

'torqued and tethered . . .' is the first of my dress sculpture where I played with the scale and shape of the dress. For this piece the bodice is stunted, emaciated, twisted and tortured. The sculpture hangs by only one of the shoulder straps, the other strap sags, defeated, exhausted. The way the bodice hangs the viewer can see in, under and through her; all is exposed. Being white, there is the suggestion of seeing bone.
'torqued and tethered . . .'
behind 'metamorphosis . . .

The skirt of the dress is created by ribbons that hang from the bottom of the bodice. These ribbons strain against the rocks which have hold the ribbons to the floor; grounding her, repressing her, when all she really wants to do is to fly, to be free.
I usually do not like to share my thoughts about a pieces so that the viewer can have their own personal experience with the sculpture, so I will attempt to leave something for the imagination. However I feel very strongly about 'torqued and tethered . . .'

Lady Forrest 1876, Victorian style dress 
This sculpture speaks to the omnipresent and destructive messages directed at young girls/women,
from the media (TV, movie, advertisements, ...), society, many religions and possibly family. The dress is white to implying the many cultural traditions where a girl or woman wears a white dress that represents purity, goodness, respectability and virtue. Usually a white dress is worn for baptisms, first communions, confirmations, debutante cotillions, some graduations and, and of course,  a white dress is worn in a traditional wedding.
'torqued and tethered . . . ', for me, represents an innocent young spirit/girl who has been pinned down by rules, expectations, dogma and traditions and who has twisted and tortured herself trying to free herself and just be who is authentically is; she just wants to soar!!!

'torqued and tethered ...' SSAC, 2015

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