Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020

23 October 2020

Figure 11 Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020 low res

Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020, in the 29th Wallace Awards.

This is an abstract from a paper for Context magazine, published for the Costume and Textile Association of New Zealand.

I made my final submission for my MFA in Auckland at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in February 2020, and March was a month to work towards an exhibition that came from my research. This exhibition was to open in April, and would include installation, performance and storytelling, perhaps even a collaborative social project. This was to be a solo show in my hometown of Whangarei but of course, 2020 would unfold in ways no one could plan for. I stepped into a project that challenged me in ways I did not anticipate.

Figure 03 Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020 low res

Intimacy and distance are constantly negotiated throughout the process of stitching the selfies. Shifting from the photographic image to the pencil on cloth and then embedding the image and line with thread. This process pushes me away from myself and retains a sense of safety in what I chose to share publicly. I creates a safe space to re-present images of myself.

Figure 05 Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020 low res

Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020, detail, at the Pah Homestead, Auckland.

As my masters’ research paused, I was speculating on new questions that emerged; how can formal objects exist in a social or relational practice? And can one engage in dialogue with objects and people, and socially with the object in the absence of the person? This project enabled me to view my work and research through another lens.

Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020 detail low res03

Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020, detail, at the Pah Homestead, Auckland.

With constraints on physical movement, who I spent my days with and where we were based became the locus. With lockdown, my closest and most intimate relationships became paramount. My research focus, with a basis in social interactions and exchange had to shift to new modes of connecting and ultimately a new subject matter.

Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020 detail low res02

Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020. Found textile dyed with avocado skins and seeds, ballpoint pen, pencil, embroidery thread. 29th Wallace Awards, Pah Homestead, Auckland.

Six selfies from this project, Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020, is a finalist in the 29th Wallace Art Awards, and is part of the travelling exhibition during 2020 and 2021. It is at the following venues:

 

Wallace Arts Centre, Pah Homestead
15 September – 15th November.
(The Salon des Refusés  finishes on Oct 25th)

Pātaka Art+Museum
Official opening Sunday 6th of December, ending Sunday 28 February 2021.

Wallace Gallery Morrinsville

March – May 2021.

Figure 06 Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020 low res

Selfies stitched in Lockdown 2020, detail, at the Pah Homestead, Auckland.

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