Thank you Danny O for the conception of this one-of-a-kind festival and the opportunity to be a participant.
Thank you MCLA's Gallery 51 for hosting this amazing collaboration between gallery and artist.
In preparation the gallery's long room was sectioned into 30 individual studios and the walls were made bare.
The gallery became our jam space and we brought our instruments.
Even before the opening sentiments were uttered those artists who had settled in began to work and the room began to sing.
The gallery remained open to the public and the installation became our technique, process, and work ethic.
Posted work hours were from 10am to 10pm yet some of us had a feverish drive to work until daybreak, living together in a multilevel condo steps from the gallery's door it was easy to keep each other refueled. Together we kept the pace. The only competition is yourself. I became my own challenger. I dared to break self imposed limitations. There is only one rule; collage. My interpretation of this theme has been diverse, from sex pillows to quilting but I have always brought my sewing machine.
Jennifer Huberdau writes for The Boston Globe and asked me a few questions while in the Woodshed. Here's an excerpt from the article,
Maggie Hunt, a Boston artist in the event for her third time, said her past experiences inspired her to learn to sew. ‘‘I definitely could not sew four years ago,’’ she saiddress designs. ‘‘When I was here two years ago, I was making quilts. After that, I asked myself why I was making quilts, when I could be making my own clothes. Now I can make my own patterns and my own clothes.’’
My growth as seamstress has been spurred by two things. Woodshed and dresses. I ambitiously planned to collage an entire winter fashion line from found articles of clothing. I focused on finishing my two favorite designs.
My first goal made my first original pattern wearable; a hooded tube dress with an over sized kangaroo pocket, raglan sleeves, and details inspired by this varsity sweater I have in my own closet.
I collected sweatshirts from thrift stores and the closets of my friends and pieced them together to fit my pattern pieces.
My next goal was to create a dynamic dress from a hand-me-down Jones New York tweed jacket.
Here is the Jones New York tweed jacket with velvet collar shown in it's original form and in mid-process with pins, chalk, and some washi tape for marking. These velvet Versace pants lost their luster when the velvet began to peel off and I gained some confidence cutting them apart. Once the first cut was made it was easy to snip the lattice work off of an existing dress.
I designed a paneled dress to lend itself to the collage of my found materials.
My fervent will to create did not die after our curator's deadline passed. I continued with one last project, a skirt, so I could dress myself in art for the opening night.
Look how cute we are! My bff Jen enjoyed modeling my sweatshirt dress and I wore my last minute skirt. This was one of the proudest moments in my life.
The day of the opening I set up camp in the kitchen of our rented condo and deconstructed and reassembled two skirts and a tee shirt without a reserve.
I cut the waist band and pockets off off an intensely green colored suede skirt with a wonderful pattern.
I sewed sections of a graphic tee shirt within the pleats of a deep blue wool skirt. The tee shirt had an image of a woman doing yoga at the summit of a mountain. The skirt's movement revealed the spliced image, peek-a-boo!
The gallery was packed opening night. It was a honor to see the audience reaction because I knew the artists and the evolution of each piece.
|My dress seems to be playing the cardboard harp replica|
Can you see my mangled fingers? My eyes focus on me proudly discussing my show piece with a woman at the opening.
I could have never done this alone in my sewing room. I would have had to stop for food for thought, check on status updates and question both my ability and my ideas. The marathon of Woodshed encourages me to pace myself and cross the finish line. Since I started sewing I've been terrified to cut anything apart. My fear of deconstruction was less than my fear of going belly up with this project allowing my real time creativity to do double time. Now I just hope this dress can keep up with me!
X O X O X O
T H E B A D T W I N
p.s. I made the fringe belt too! A found a leather skirt sliced up.