Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mary Gagne

Mary Gagne, Textiles MFA 2010

Mourning Fabric


This piece was conceived of in direct response to modern society’s lack of a visual symbol telling of one’s grief. In our eagerness as a collective to embrace new lifestyles, ideas and technologies, we have abandoned some very useful traditions. For example, today the widow no longer wears black.

So then what do we do to represent our grief, to explain to the passing stranger, neighbor, friend or colleague, that we are sad and to please be patient, understanding the empathetic?

To this void Mary Gagne created her own personal symbol specific to her own experiences of life and loss. She knitted a cloth that melds visual elements of color and pattern inspired by the mourning traditions from an array of cultures.

Interpreting one particular tradition of cutting a piece of one’s own clothing upon hearing the news of a loved one’s death, Gagne will unravel what she has created. Over time, as each day passes, she will unravel a little of this cloth. She hopes to unravel her grief until the memory of the loss exists no more. 

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