Denise Weston


In Western culture, clothing and immediate surroundings are often used to project a sense of self identity. Codes of dress operate as technical devices; clothes construct personal habitus. Clothing the body enables us to become sign, message and signifier. This series of work references ideas of memory, preservation, family and the construction of female identity.

 In every piece of clothing there is a sense of a life lived before, and of memories that can be brought back to life: memories of children long grown up, and of loved ones now gone. A fragment of cloth may act as archive, reawakening memory. the sense of lives lived and narratives stored, but not forgotten. 

The Clothing Series references museum display cases where objects and archives are exhibited preserved and stored. 'Mis-Pers' references associations with clothing laid out for identification, as in the case of missing persons. 'Flaneuse' is concerned with female space and identity. This work owes it's title to the metaphoric male figure brought into being by the 19th century poet and writer, Charles Baudelaire. 'Flaneuse' is a nonsense word; for there is no feminine equivalent of the term 'Flaneur'.

Baby clothing affects us in particular ways. Emotive by its tiny scale and attention to detail, we recognize the vulnerability of the infant waiting to be placed within these garments. With small babies, we are encouraged to accquire superflous clothing that is worn once or not at all, yet with the passing of time, we allocate those same objects a place and significance in our lives. We save them as exhibits. Though rarely used. our preservation of them becomes a significant and essential part of our re-interpretation of the past. 

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