Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Laundry Maze gets physical

The Laundry Maze is the installation I'm doing at the Portland Building Feb 13 - March 16, 2012. There's been a lot of planning (a web survey, distributing postcard/flyer with self-stamped envelopes, connecting with ESL departments and adult literacy programs throughout the Portland area, asking friends who are immigrants, collecting shirts from friends...).

And now, things are getting physical...the first shirt has rolled off the production line!

I have gesso'ed 48 shirts (although I'm pretty sure I won't need anywhere that many; I'll probably need about 35 or so). So far, I have collected enough data pairs to sew around 2 sets of tags on each shirt. I'm also still setting up appts with ESL & literacy programs for the next few weeks. I will continue to add the tags while the installation is up. Hopefully, by the end of the installation period, I'll have 3-4 tags per shirt.

The back of each shirt will be a landscape sketch that I hope people can interpret in various ways. Each will be a sketch of mountains, rivers, and/or oceans, all natural national boundaries. But landscapes can mean so much in terms of what a 'home' is.

The front of the shirt will have tags of people's professions before and after immigration. Each pair will be stacked on top of each other; the "after" tag can only be read when you lift up the "before" tag.

The serger has been a great investment. It's handy in finishing the tags so that they won't fray as people lift up the before tags to read the after tags.

I have bought the dowels that will serve as the laundry lines, and the clothespins. I just need to finish sketching the remaining shirts, sewing/writing the remaining tags, then it's install, and the show opens!


Clare said...

I must remember to get to the Portland Building to see this!

Bridget B. said...

Will there be an opening at the POrtland Building for this??

fingerstothebone said...

There won't be an official opening reception, but I will set up a few times during the month when I'll be there, and hopefully enough people will come that I can make some photographs of people walking through the maze. I'll send out the announcement when I have it installed and can send a photograph.

Sundry said...

Wish I could be there! Sounds terrific!