A Family of Poetry Dresses

I’m deep into a rather unresolved process of putting text on textile, in this case clothes. I started off with seven pieces, and a working title something like “Synesthesia: 7 Days a Week.” I was looking at unfinished embroidery, and either adding stitches or words. Three of the pieces were garments, and they seem to have become their own set.
IMG_1189 4
Actually, they are a kind of a family. The “mother” is a pink nightie I bought second hand.
I had the embroidery put on professionally, and although the embroiderer was terrific the old material was so worn it tore. We decided to leave that tear in, because it reflected the text, with its warning against assault or even rape.

Pink Gown

I said, more
than once
get in a car
with boys

I also realized today that the tear could be an image of breast-feeding, or nurturance. For there is the “baby” in an antique gown.

Child’s Gown
smell of milk
swollen womb
     of possibility
blue jug
     grass dunes the sea


And finally, the child. This was done on a dress that was actually mine, circa early 1960’s.


Dress With Tags
I was like a package
going nowhere
a dress with tags
like decals
on a steamer trunk
but I
was never sent

SO–here is the question. What should I do with these?
Make more?
Make a clothesline?
Leave as is?
Create additional but self-contained pieces?

AND–where should they go?
Gallery? (Such as?)
Textile Bomb? (How? Where?)

All advice appreciated.

3 thoughts on “A Family of Poetry Dresses

  1. How about putting them on dressmaker’s models and create an installation of various-sized girl/woman figures? Maybe they could be placed in a circle and read each other’s messages?

  2. I agree that they seem to be parts of an installation. They need a space, and, at the very least, poles with hangers for them to hang from. Dressmaker’s models would be best of all, but it might be daunting to rustle up baby/child-sized versions. My gut is that they need (aside from installation) to have another element added–but that may be my thing about 3s talking. They could also be shadow-box framed (maybe as focal parts of a collage) and hung–but that could get awfully expensive, unless you knew someone who could do the woodwork…

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