Drawing with the Dress Detective


From 8-18th January I'm here in Toronto drawing historic garments, or 'exquisite corpses' in the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection with Dress Detective Ingrid Mida. The 10 day intense drawing period is supported by Arts Council England and the British Council. Over the 10 days, I'm learning from Ingrid Mida's 'slow approach to seeing', a method she has developed using drawing to examine fashion items. This has started out making 'maps' of garments - taking the idea of intense looking and careful scrutiny through drawings to absurd extremes. The garments being studied are, for the main part, dead objects. This means that their material condition is so poor that they would be unable to go on display. Normally, in terms of collections, dead objects are those that are not able to be examined or displayed, therefore considered 'dead' or useless. However, these garments, careworn and bearing the traces of time and wear can tell their own story and have much to say about care of textiles and material degradation. Perhaps these can be preserved and communicated through drawing....

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