When roads are built in hilly regions, paths are cut through the rock. Sometimes this exposes geological layers, sometimes even fossils. I had this in mind when I faced a floor-to-ceiling display case:
Rather than standing a few dresses on mannequins, I created a road cut: geological layers of clothing:
The dresses were carefully laid down, the earliest ones on the bottom, and a wedding dress from the 1950's on top. The back wall is covered in kitchen calendar towels.
The approximate dates of the clothing was noted, and small 'fossils' - a pin cushion, opera glasses, gloves - were tucked between layers. This piece of art (see below) is a piece I made long ago, but it fit, as a house on the hill of dresses, with its own kitchen calendar background.
Funny story: as I was making this, I had it pinned up on my work wall. I hadn't added the windows yet, and was wondering if the shape of the red dress was identifiable as a house. So I asked my husband "what do you think it is?" Poor man had that deer-in-the-headlights look, and thought it was, maybe, a hippo? OK, it needed the windows.
There was another big, built-in display case, and I staged that one as an archaeological dig:
Here I am, setting up the case, with my dear friend, Margie Zuidema (you can see her reflection in the glass as she takes this photo). Margie cheerfully stepped to help: thank you!
Remember how I said that I tried to imagine what scientists would find, thousands of years from now, in my studio? Perhaps something like this:
Early art, buried under clothespins; old ironing boards piled up with washboards and wooden drying racks. The art in this case is from my Domestic Archaeology series, which I'll get to in a future post.