Janet Mackenzie

The Fabric of Reality

Loz Back
recycled fabric wedding dress
“It has been too long since we have made the gesture of the French Revolution, the epitome of the democratization of art. We do not have to enter the Louvre or the castles, we have to enter people’s houses, people’s lives. This is where useful art is.”
— Tania Bruguera

I have investigated women's culture and craft art in the form of homemade garments to deconstruct common design conventions in female clothing. 

The act of making these garments and dressing myself and others in them, encourages active consideration of the implications they have for our navigation of society under capitalism. As a female craft and textile artist, I find these often under-considered aspects of clothing important to explore because of the subtle way in which they affect the performance of class and gender. 

I have created patterns for the garments from my own and other people's bodies as opposed to using commercial ones, adapting these cloth ghosts into specific items of clothing that each explore one or more conventions and socially accepted aspects of dressing in their creation, use, and design.

My film documents the act of dressing and undressing in these garments, as a way to allow the audience to explore the conventions which they are exposed to daily in the wearing of their own clothes. 

This process has fostered a more meaningful relationship between myself and my body, my artwork and my activism, and it has allowed me to consider more closely the place of craft in contemporary art.


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