Wearable Art Fashion Show
October 5, 2019
My intention with this project was to collect all the materials organically in an every day consumption kind of way. Friends and family were also utilized to gather materials. It was important to me to be mindful of the amount of personal accumulation - for even those who think they are being mindful - this process reveals a spectrum. Because of my inherent love and devotion to trees, paper waste seemed appropriate a medium for me to upcycle. Paper bags were painted and cut into leaves, egg cartons and styrofoam take out containers were used for flowers. As an egg consuming enthusiast, egg cartons pile up the most in my household as well as the cardboard from toilet and paper towel rolls. White glue or PVA glue is added to the pulp as well as a non molding dry wall compound to achieve a workable paste. Dry times vary. Sunshine and low bake works.
In the spring of 2018, my mother stuffed a handful of blue garbage bags into the back of my van. Almost all the bags she gave me were used without damage to their integrity and purpose. The entire skirt can be deconstructed back to a pile of useable blue plastic bags.
Click on images for title and description
I am pretty amazed at how many paper bags one can accumulate. I did purchase one pack of 30 from the dollar store as I was worrying about time but anytime after that when I needed more leaves (which was always) it didn't take much searching around to find 6-8 bags within reach.
I lost count at about 70 or so bags.
All in all, I am happy with my upcycling attempts. The only parts of my costume that wasn't hand made by me was the bra I built it on which I bought from a thrift store and the leather strap I attached the plastic bags to for the skirt. Bought materials are the paints and glue and crystal which I bought for $10 at the local crystal shop. Please be sure to click on the images for more detailed descriptions of each process.
Something that did not make it into the process shots is the fan seen in the finished pictures. I wanted a pop of color that also hinted towards fires that distroy forests either through deforestation or human neglect.
For the face paint, I knew I wanted something warrior esque. I looked up Amazon Warriors and tribes and chose the very contrasting red mask to highlight the bloodshed involved through the deforestation and displacement or eradication of local tribal and animal habitats. The symbol in the middle of the forehead is doubled up rune of protection and the earth symbol as a reminder that we need warriors to protect the earth.
For the performance, I chose the song Medicine from the artists, Rising Appalachia because it calls to healers, medicine women and men to come together.
The people spoke! And touched and seemed to really love my piece during the mingle portion of the night after the show. They got the opportunity to get up and personal with each piece and the artists and I had many great responses! My eyes were glazed over and overwhelmed and my wig and head piece were falling off my head by the end so all in all, it was great! Perhaps it was around here that I thought it poetry to film it going up in flames as a full circle secondary art piece. Trees take lifetimes to grow to be butchered, stripped, pulped, reformed into paper bags collected by an artist who spends 100s of hours cutting, painting, gluing it all back into a pale representation of its former glory to then be set on fire.
Silhouette of Mother Nature.