• The Seamstress and the Traveller: art practice as generous encounter

Dormor, Catherine, 2016, Conference or Workshop, The Seamstress and the Traveller: art practice as generous encounter at Gender, Sexuality and Citizenship Conference; Center for the Study of Citizenship, Detroit, US, 31 Mar -2 Apr 2016.

Abstract or Description:

The concept of space and its occupation is one traditionally loaded with assumptions. Notions such as public/domestic, centre/edge, inside/outside suggest a sharpened division of the global realm, which could be considered to have been built upon patriarchal occupying strategies, from the local, most often considered in terms of the feminine. Here, I want to explore occupation as a theme articulated and challenged through women’s art practices, re-positioning the discussion around notions of generosity and collaboration.

Marsha Meskimmon (2013, 7) suggests that the agency of art-making operates as a form of precarious ecology, an idea that she explores through the work of Polish artist Joanna Rajkowska’s Soon Everything Will Change (2014) In this work, the artist journeys a Brazilian crystal to the UK, establishing it as form of seaming device as it makes the journey. Rajkowska disrupts space that is built upon ownership and power, suggesting generous encounter as a cosmopolitan space with the potential to shift and change.

In this paper, I want to open out these ideas of communality and collaboration through a participative dialogue between texts, artworks and voices to consider the notion of such tactics of artmaking as a necessarily precarious ecology but one with the potential to challenge and remodel concepts of space.

This will be addressed through three themes: the traveller , the storyteller and the seamstress: producers of space, who bring together the material, the virtual, the metaphorical and the visual. Works by artists Kimsooja (A Needle Woman (2006)) and Kirstie Macleod (Barocco (2014)) and Chiharu Shiota’s The Key in the Hand (2015) will be considered as a way by which to explore the potential for thinking-through-seaming as a form of cosmopolitan practice. This paper will frame Meskimmon’s cosmopolitan embodied belonging as ecology in terms of a mode of practice which exists in each moment of encounter between needle, thread and cloth - as and how they connect and pass through each other.

Thus traveller and seamstress together offer a means by which to contest binary thinking and enable free passage through to a spatial strategy that is built upon opening out and onto others in mutual exchange.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W190 Fine Art not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2016 15:08
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 15:47
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2504
Edit Item (login required) Edit Item (login required)