Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Making a start

I'm sorry I couldn't come and meet you all. Thought I'd make a start by myself and explored the collection of Slough Museum on their website. The object that lingered was this almost ghostlike image of a doll's underskirt from the late 19th century.

Object Number: 1985.027.001D
Description: Bowyer Collection of Needlework and Textiles -
19th c dolls under skirt
While I would love to see it for real, inspect it (the seams, the waistband, those stains), I am also attracted by the quality of the image, its melancholy feel. The object might not be real after all! This could be the lightest of pencil drawings, or a picture of a skirt come loose from its wearer like a kite from its string, floating across a twilight sky in search of her… I also like that the image doesn't give a clear indication of size, it might be a doll's, a girl's, a woman's underskirt, delicate, hand-sewn, ever so light.

I dug out some tiny old sketches and a paper figure I made a few years ago where the skirt does not conceal the upper body, but actually replaces it. I'm mulling over ideas now, want to crochet, focusing on lightness, the threshold between thereness and not-thereness. A lot of my work is to do with memories, their fragility and elusiveness, the point where a memory becomes a story becomes a memory.


  1. - I think this should be the link to the image. No copyright problem with that. And in the meantime, I'll check if we can reproduce images from the Museum website here.

  2. Jane, I had tried that, doesn't work as a direct link. Thanks for checking about reproduction of museum's pix.

  3. If I pasted the link text in to the browser, it seemed to work. Hopefully we may be able to copy the pictures though. I think the curator is on hols at the moment, so I won't know the answer for a while.

  4. I think your ideas are quite wonderful. It really encourages me to take mine a bit further. How I don't know, but I am glad you showed us the ideas!


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