IceShifts, artist statement
IceShifts is a series of photographs consisting of deconstructed garments frozen into blocks of ice, which are then photographed. This new artwork grew out of a photographic study of fabric suspended in water, which evolved into freezing clothing and enabling the light to shine through it. My first outdoor experiments in 2005 instigated a profound shift in my artistic practice, moving from static artworks towards one of installation and a time-based methodology. Today ice has become both a photographic and sculptural medium and it’s ephemeral nature speaks to the deep correlation between humans and the biological environment.
The garments encased in ice in IceShifts, take on a skeletal quality comparable to a forensic examination under a microscope. Seams and buttons serve as clues to an internalized landscape which appears impenetrable one moment and precariously fragile the next. This frozen wardrobe acts as a metaphor for the multilayered affinities between the self and the environment. On a deeper level, the mercurial aspect of ice alludes to the transient nature of the environment and of the inherent poetic beauty of the ephemeral.
The clothing in this series is deconstructed to allow for a more complex reading of the figure. For instance I may add plant material as a way of rooting the body to the land or use nylon stockings as arms or bras as wings as a metaphor for the multilayered aspects of the self. Although frozen in time, the garments appear to dance, simultaneously forming and deforming, like unmasked shape shifters. This work also revisits the theory of Deconstruction as it pertains to fashion, pointing to the incongruity of applying such a theoretic movement to what is in essence an industry based on consumption. Therefore the IceShifts series supports the emergence of handcrafted clothing and the small runs of the current DIY movement, unraveling consumer culture one stitch at a time.