Friday, September 25, 2015

The Weeping Dress, Martha L. McDonald, Artist

Craft Victoria
Melbourne, Australia
March 10 - April 21, 2011

Featuring Craig Woodward on fiddle

The Weeping Dress was a performance and installation arising from research of Victorian mourning rituals.  During a woman's first year of mourning, nothing she wore could reflect the light.  That meant wearing wool bombazine or crepe, which didn't hold the plant-based dyes so color ran from the fabric in the rain and heat, staining her body.  I am fascinated by how this public performance of grief was experienced in such a private and corporeal way.  I constructed a period mourning dress out of black crepe paper that I activated in performance to release the fugitive dye and leave a stain, or trace behind. The transformation of the dress and the stain it leaves behind suggests presence, absence and our own impermanence. 

Above images and text from McDonald's blog. Link here

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