Gasp! Oh my word, I want to stand in and under all of these sliced pastel beauties… I wonder if it smells like forgotten perfume? This installation, titled “Fantasies (2019)”, is the work of Melbourne based artist Hannah Gartside. From July to October 2019, this wonderland of feminine fabric was shown at Ararat Gallery TAMA (Textile Art Museum Australia). “Fantasies” uses 1960s/70s nightgowns made from 100% polyester, which helps her tell the story she wants to tell. “Through such dichotomous methods as cutting, shredding and stitching – by turn, both violent and reparative – she explores the complexities of being in and of a female body.” Brilliant. Here is more of Hannah’s artist statement:
“[Her] works explore feminism and material culture, and present ways of experiencing the profound sensuality and subjectivity of our relationship to the physical world. Gartside uses dress-making processes as well as methods of patchwork quilting, wet-felting, and fabric dyeing. Through these labour intensive processes and treatment of materials, Gartside invests in the work a quality of concentration, devotion and care.
Although she believes in the ‘aura’ accrued by materials through their production and usage, Gartside researches the aesthetics, production techniques and history of her materials that have emerged from particular historical, sociopolitical and cultural contexts. Her works co-opt the materiality and various associations of the material as a way of making sense of the past, through a sense of shared consciousness, and of offering up new possibilities for hope.”
*Photographs by Louis Lim