Chrissie Cotter Gallery
10 April – 21 April 2019
Ruff germinated back in 2007 where my love of creating wearable art pieces for the neck – in the form of elaborate and unique state neckpieces (or Ruffs) – originated and continued as a re-occurring theme in my work.
As an artist my practice has a history of recycling and reimagining as a means to embrace sustainability. I reinvent and re-purpose what is often deemed unwanted, giving it new life and sending it back out into the world in a transformed and unexpected state. I use deconstruction/reconstruction techniques along with hand sewing, collage and embroidery to create my unique one-off pieces.
Photographing a neckpiece in 2016 entitled Vintage Puzzle, I decided to ask my teenage daughter, Sacha Thomas, if she would model for me. Sacha, who was born with Albinisim, has an ethereal unique beauty and, when accompanied by her innate confidence, is arresting. Through this collaborative process, I discovered a new art form in itself. This process allowed me to view my daughter through a new lens and led to a convergence of my role as both artist and mother. The neckpieces were transformed within the image by capturing an essence within my daughter that celebrates unique individuality and beauty in its many forms. I would like to acknowledge Sacha for her incredible contribution to Ruff.
One of my desires in producing both the neckpieces and collaborative photographic works in Ruff is to bring a sense of beauty to the world. Through the use of recycled materials in their in their making, I have attempted to do that in a way that also supports sustainability. I hope it awakens in others an interest in celebrating beauty in reinvention and a renaissance of discarded items.