This will be a mixed media sculptural installation comprised of a series of pieces of armor made from paper.
Each suit of armor will vary in construction, from plated paper doll dresses to cast paper breastplates, and screen-printed cut paper chain mail. Appropriating styles from historical armor of the past, each piece of armor will be unique in its composition,including different fibers, found materials, and fragments. The armor will remain feminine in nature to contrast with that which is commonly perceived as masculine, despite historical women warriors such as Fu Hao, Artemisia I, Boudicca and Joan of Arc.
The unifying theme throughout will be that each suit will be made from paper. The dresses are made from found material, nostalgic images, text and pictures from old books that belonged to my mother and father, paper I have made and purchased, and my prints. The cut paper doll dresses are records of each piece of paper’s unique history, these fragments, when joined together become a protective whole.
Paper, like skin, is vulnerable to the materials and elements that assault it, and yet paper is an astonishingly resilient material. Sheets of paper can be made incredibly strong, but remain very thin and even translucent depending on the fiber. Like layers of skin, layers of fiber are resistant to tearing and puncture. While in most cases we as humans do not “develop a thicker skin,” both time and experience shape us and we learn when, and where, to protect ourselves from harm both emotional and physical. We are shaped by experience but also by larger social structures.
The final piece will include between 60 and 75 suits of armor. The armor will be shown on dress forms or faceless mannequins. Like the terracotta soldiers of Emperor Qin’s tomb, these inanimate forms emanate an eerie sprit that one feels could march onward at any moment. The intended feeling is that any woman could wear the armor. The army of figures represents the resilience of those who have persevered despite all odds, the actual and metaphorical women warriors of the past, present, and future. The absence of weapons will emphasize the nature of the armor as defensive, protective, vigilant and uniting. Extending beyond my own personal experience, memories and layers of history, the project is a physical manifestation of an ongoing battle, a steady, but constant sometimes slow onward march.
Date: April 17, 2017 through May 25, 2017
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