flying by the seat of my pants

flying by the seat of my pants

Artist Corrina Hammond shares more about her process of transforming drapes into duds. 

Her window installation will be on view in our gallery window from November 30th, 2022  – January 20th, 2023. 

“like a character in a fairy tale

Like a character in a fairy tale, I carry out my live action harvest of cloth from draperies into the fourth week of this exhibit. And, very much resembling the fairy tale parable, I’m enacting that repetitive chapter, the chapter where the protagonist labours. Each week consists of designing and creating a new pattern from a much loved and pre-worn personal garment, disabling the draperies in the gallery, cutting out the pattern, re-hanging the draperies, taking the cloth to my studio, serging the cloth pattern pieces and constructing the new garment while planning the weave sett and palette for the upcoming replacement drapery.

I’m delighted to report, when trying on the last piece I had sewn up, it worked! The fairy tale played out. I looked in the mirror and was transported; mentally, seeing myself in new garment with shortish shorts, tanned and slender legs, on a large red and white checked picnic blanket, bright green grass, friends, wine and laughter. In short, a 1990’s Benetton ad. Youth regained, friendships and supports entrenched, Covid and weather not an issue. It was about 1:00 AM in a snowstorm.

Next up, pants.

Draperies to duds involve vast output of physical and mental labour each week. Every consumer textile shares a similar story, although enacted through many hands. The textile industry reads much like a fairy tale, capital gains accumulate for very few, gains made by exploiting our desire to transform, to decorate our soul, to demonstrate who we are or we want to be, how we want others to see us. Meanwhile, I’m cutting out the pants pattern. I have not made pants before. I’m tracing a much-loved pair of trousers and struggling at the logic of a pants pattern, pre-construction. The story loops, lessons go unlearned, labour is undervalued and I’m flying by the seat of my pants.