Endangered Species: The Sweater
I’ve spoken before about the show I saw at The Drawing Center with textiles as its theme (http://www.drawingcenter.org/en/drawingcenter/5/exhibitions/9/upcoming/806/thread-lines/). It was interesting to me that a few of the artists used sweaters and sweater graphs in their work, but I was put off by the fact that they used sweaters that other people had designed, once again exploiting the creative work of those mostly anonymous and underpaid textile artists.
It occurred to me that I could exploit myself. I’ve been re-purposing my unsold swatches from my own design work for pillows and dolls–why not make an artistic statement derived from their original purpose? Over the 20+ years that I designed and made these miniature sweater fronts, I must have produced thousands of designs. I have hundreds that were returned from my reps (because they didn’t sell) to choose from.
Animal skin as a motif is perennially popular; I decided to combine some of those patterned sweater designs with my concern about endangered species. I embroidered in black and white duplicate stitch a statement–“there are less than 4000 wild tigers left in the world”–and a ghostly tiger face on top of the knit sweater front.
What do you think?