New Encaustic Work on Cloth and Panel by Sheary Clough Suiter
2D and 3D artwork utilizing material sourced from discarded clothing conceptualizing the impact and resulting inequities of the see now, buy now, discard now Fast Fashion industry.
Also to include for the Opening Night Only: A Five Piece Avant-Garde Mini-Wardrobe Presentation of Re-styled and Up-cycled Fashions by Colorado Springs Designer Aaron Graves.
A percentage of all exhibition sales will be donated to Who Gives a SCRAP/Art SWAP 501c3 to support children's local programming.
My primary medium is encaustic, a paint made from natural beeswax and pure pigment, strengthened with damar resin. Combined with material sourced primarily from deconstructed, discarded clothing, this exhibition seeks to bring attention to choices we make about the clothes we purchase and wear.
By conceptualizing the impact and resulting inequities of our culture's see now, buy now, discard now approach to contemporary fashion, my hope is that the artwork will facilitate consideration and discussion of the true costs of the nearly 40 year old Fast Fashion industry, thereby encouraging viewers to seek alternative options.
The figurative paintings series, “The Shape of Things,” convey individuality as simple form, pondering the value we place on our external, public display of self via the clothes we wear.
The “Entanglements” series' translucency and intricacy is achieved via a multitude of whisper-thin layers and detailed inlaid paint to create thread-like line. With the growth of Fast Fashion and the fact that we personally no longer experience the painstaking construction of each article of the clothes we wear, we take for granted fabric's significant contribution to the evolution of humanity.
“The State of Things” minimalist paintings utilize deconstructed clothing shreds and smoothness of wax surface to conceptualize a future sustainable clothing industry in which the clothes we wear promote equity and environmental sanctity.
The complex forms of “The Flight of the Innocents,” “The Pocket-Keeps,” “The Keepers,” and the “Reconstructs” sculpture series all utilize textiles rather than panel as their substrate. These pieces are founded on a sustained, meditative process of waxing hundreds of threads, a single thread at a time, over the course of the last two years. Much like mending, the repetitive action gives rise to a form filled with the regenerative strength of plenitude. The limited palette of red, black and ecru reflects a minimalist esthetic in sync with choosing to own and buy less clothing.
As you view the four online galleries of this exhibition, please consider these unintended but actual costs of Fast Fashion:
INEQUITY- The human cost of a cheap labor force, consisting primarily of economically vulnerable women and their families, that create The Clothes We Wear.
IDENTITY – How are the day to day choices we make about the The Clothes We Wear influenced, often without our realizing it, and reflect a historical western cultural bias resulting in gender inequality and injustice?
ENVIRONMENT – A widely overlooked impact of The Clothes We Wear is the polluting of our earth via the industry's use of petrochemical fabrics. Unregulated manufacturing processes and high carbon transportation requirements also contribute directly to the growing number of “climate refugees,” migrants who are fleeing their homeland due to climate-change-induced flooding, drought, and famine.
Effecting change is a realistic, achievable goal via collaborative efforts to make small changes in our consumer habits, such as buying less, wearing longer, donating and shopping at resale shops, mending and repairing rather than throwing away.