'Relics of the Bottom Drawer' print works by Sarah Mellor

Red Gate Gallery, 209a Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8RU
'Relics of the Bottom Drawer' print works by Sarah Mellor image
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This event ended on Thursday 21st of February 2008

Red Gate Gallery, 209a Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8RU

Corsets, girdles and stockings once practical, everyday items of clothing for women, but now no longer needed as whims of fashion have come and gone. Sarah Mellor’s work reflects the artists need to preserve, represent and transform these relics of fashion; precious and important items which have recorded our social history and hold within them the personal triumphs and tragedies of the women who wore them.

Mellor feels that her attraction to the above is amplified by the fact that she has no personal connection to the items she works with. The garments she is drawn to are all in a wearable or useable condition, some not out of their packets, yet rendered obsolete by the fickle nature of fashion. It is precisely the ‘alieness’ or dislocation these disused items possess that stirs her imagination. The fact it is no longer used for its commercial purpose and exists purely as creative medium appeals for the same reasons as the garments.

Using intaglio and monoprinting techniques Mellor can make a cumbersome and uncomfortable looking garment, fine and delicate, or enliven sheer and ephemeral wear to substance and form. Within her work she gives importance and renewed value to these perishable, unwanted and insignificant garments. Her practice has always revolved around textures and feelings and the combination of the two, so printmaking is as important to the artist’s work as its subject matter.

“My Artwork is about things that have no value, purpose or significant use; as either a functional or aesthetically pleasing entities. They are disregarded yet chart our personal and social development. The garments themselves are working documents; they are displayed to show the process and the end of their life as ‘garments’ and the beginning of their life as ‘art objects’ Clothes have long been used within the Art world to express ideas of identity and the self, however I am looking at the idea of the average and universal ‘self’ that would have worn these particular garments and raising questions about the identity of these anonymous people, as well as questioning our own places within a consumer rather than necessity driven society.” (Sarah Mellor 2007)

Tags: Art

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