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FLAT 120 - forget-me-not

Sew the Sofa - International Women Day

Karen Vaughan

 

SEE EYE 23rd - 24th March 2007

 

This work, from the perspective of a stranger to the area, acknowledges the landscapes, empty homes, and discarded objects of Abbeyview as the bearers of unknown histories that took place in the artists’ absence. It takes the form of three framed panels, presented in a room within flat 120 Allan Crescent. The pieces utilise a selection of second-hand clothes bought from local charity shops in Dunfermline, and the frames are made from salvaged oak wood from an old oak door. In this way discarded objects are given a new meaning, seeking to form a coherent picture from scattered points.
The process of salvaging, or ‘gleaning’, is recurrent throughout the work, and is apparent in the panels’ thematic content, being sourced from everyday and unassuming scenes from the immediate area. These include a view from the window of one of the flats, a piece of graffiti from one of the window panels, and a depiction of leaves lying on the ground.


To most viewers the lives that inspired these scenes, and the discarded/recycled clothes that form the material basis of the work, are completely anonymous - yet they still hold many stories both imagined and perhaps known. The work is dependent upon our own personal interpretations, yet offers a strong link to ancestry, cultural identity, strength, re-growth and restoration. It can also be seen as a meditation on the transience of material existence, and the dismantling of decades of social life, which the regeneration process has brought into effect.


The unpicking of clothes in order to sew all the different panels of fabric back together again - creating a blank canvas – can be seen as a striking metaphor for the issues and concerns presently affecting the Abbeyview community. Similarly, the reinterpretation of forms that are generally perceived as being destructive, such as graffiti, gives them a new social connotation: when presented as embroidery they become not destructive marking, but artwork instead.

 

Chris Hladowski

 

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