Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Weeping Dress

Craft Victoria
Melbourne, Australia
March 10 - April 21, 2011

Featuring Craig Woodward on fiddle

The Weeping Dress was a performance and installation arising from research of Victorian mourning rituals.  During a woman's first year of mourning, nothing she wore could reflect the light.  That meant wearing wool bombazine or crepe, which didn't hold the plant-based dyes so color ran from the fabric in the rain and heat, staining her body.  I am fascinated by how this public performance of grief was experienced in such a private and corporeal way.  I constructed a period mourning dress out of black crepe paper that I activated in performance to release the fugitive dye and leave a stain, or trace behind.



The transformation of the dress and the stain it leaves behind suggests presence, absence and our own impermanence. 

 Photos by Christian Capurro




Martha McDonald interview about The Weeping Dress on SYN FM

Art Monthly feature on The Weeping Dress