"But why paper?"
Well, Reader I'm glad you asked! After weeks of digging into the concept of wearable paper, I'm so excited to get into the nitty gritty subject of accessibility in art and why projects like this offer important conversational points.
So let me begin by asking..
What is something you do everyday? And how can you take that mundane ritual from your day and turn it into art? Some may answer: "I eat breakfast," "take a walk," or "go to work." For Lindsey it was the process of getting dressed. And that's where she began trying to push the envelope with sculptural material, the body and everything that comes with the use of a uniform.
(Click here to see the full uniform timeline)
As a person who also attended a private school for a long period of time, the evolution of this project makes a lot of sense. It's not often mentioned how a person is affected by the concept of uniforms. Especially after you have to leave that kind of environment. It truly is a jarring experience when you are suddenly allowed to exist in an academic space with *gasp* your own means of self-expression. There is a period of time where you have to find that self expression again, but this time in a new environment. And this project really feels like the beginning of that journey of self exploration through artistic representation.
After a brief interview with Bert Marckwardt: An artist and friend of Lindsey, who has also worked with paper, I have realized what truly intrigues me about this project. And that is the accessibility of materials, community engagement and willingness to let go of expectations. In this blurb Bert reminisces on a visit to Lindsey's work space while she was attending SAIC. And how often the piece of clothing would change over the course of the day. And at the "end" (as the project is still considered an open concept) the paper was laced together and left in the Loop on State Street to see how people would interact with it.
(Click here to read about Lindsey's year in paper)
(Check out more of this project here)
I find the idea of leaving something out for public consumption incredibly exhilarating but also anxiety inducing. Especially a piece you've spent so much time and energy immersing yourself in. As artists I think we become too attached to a concept or piece of work to the point it begins to collapse and suffocate. A lot of us are guilty of not letting our work breathe. Maybe its fear?
But that is why this paper monster is so important. That's why process based work and the use of accessible materials, like paper, are so important. We need give the space to explore every possibility a piece of art has to offer, even if it's just a sketch. Some of the most transformational ideas come breaking the rules, giving permission to change, or just leaving room to engage in something that you believe in. It's an incredible feeling to let your work spark joy.
So where can you spark joy in your routine?
Gallery installation photo by Grace Duval: