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  • Gen Memory

New denim work

I have been thinking about denim as a fabric and its sign value for a couple of years, and I bought a book on its history a while back too. Perhaps it was a subconscious outcome of my Sculptors Qld residency that I finally began a denim project recently with the specific intention to blur the lines between 'object' and 'artwork'.

Hope is a form of planning and a survival tactic, 2020, found denim jeans and skirt, thread, canvas, polyester wadding, timber, six panels, each panel 51.2 x 46.2 x 5cm approx., installed dimensions 114.5 x 161.5cm approx.

This work is a kind of global portrait of humanity and a prayer for global harmony and equality. Denim fabric has a democratic quality – all people, of all ages and identities, can wear denim. Denim is classless and transcends cultural boundaries. It is universal.

The process for this body of work is a departure from my usual practice as I am cutting up the jeans and collaging them with machine stitching, rather than using the clothing items whole as I have previously done with the dresses. I decided to include some wadding between the layers of stretched canvas and denim to subtly suggest 'the body'. The stitching and fabric are my 'paint' for this work.

These hybrid art objects are both expanded painting and soft sculpture, bodily and inanimate, have presence and absence, and are artwork and object. Competing binaries such as these are a feature of my expanded practice work and also of my representational and abstract painting practice.

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