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Exquisite Corpses
2017 - 2020

Exquisite Corpses is a collaborative project with Dr Ingrid Mida, former Curator and Collection-Co- ordinator of the Fashion Research Collection at Ryerson University, Toronto where she is currently a Research Fellow at the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre.

The work grows out of our shared investment in drawing as a significant method in the research of textile and garments. The seemingly macabre title refers to the drawing game game played by the surrealists where an image is completed by multiple players, each adding a section without seeing what the previous drawer has drawn. Like the game, we pass ideas and images back and forth across the Atlantic in the development of work about garments which are invisible. These items of clothing are might themselves be considered 'exquisite corpses': beautiful and fascinating material traces of people long dead. 

Initial questions the project asks are: 

  • What can drawing do as how can drawing make visible aspects of the clothing that is otherwise unseen?

  • How can drawing share and communicate collection artefacts that are too vulnerable to go on public display?

  • How can drawing raise awareness of the value of textile artefacts  and the challenges facing curators and conservators? 

  • How might a space be created to share and value textile artefacts owned by the public that are laden with personal memory and significance but are not materially significant enough to accessioned by a museum ?


Ingrid Mida, is author of The Dress Detective (Bloomsbury, 2015) co-authored with Alexandra Kim. In the book, Ingrid has developed a method for object-based research for fashion she calls 'The Slow Approach to Seeing'. The method involves using drawing to slow down the process of looking and to help focus attention on subtle clues and hidden narratives. This approach resonates with Casey's interest in drawing as a research tool of making visible the invisible and build upon her earlier work with textile collections at Kensington Palace and The Bowes Museum, UK.

In 2017 -2018 the project was supported by an Artist's International Development Fund award jointly sponsored by Arts Council England and the British Council to enable Casey to undertake a residency at the  the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection and for  Mida to visit Casey's studio in the UK.

In May -July 2019 an exhibition showing some of the project outcomes took place at the MLC gallery at Ryerson University.  Have a look  here>>

A PDF of the exhibition catalogue can been seen here>>

exquisite corpse 1
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