gallery: (dis)robe

(dis)robe is a growing collection of reclaimed, altered and painted garments that explore our culture and heritage, questioning what we choose to wear and to discard, in the contexts of our societies, families, and personal journeys.

(dis)robe: Gaia Gown
A year of plants and insects of the Salish Sea area (and a bit of sea life), painted in graphite and acrylic onto a reclaimed and altered gown. The original gown was worn for a concert given by singer and poet Jude Neale. Branches for the display from birch, willow, apple and rose, near my home.
This gown explores our human connection (and lack thereof) to the ecology of our home. How do we deify the wilderness while at the same time feeling ourselves to be above it? How are we, in fact, an integral part of it? How can we connect with the seasons as the plants, insects, and other animals do? Where do we find ourselves as humble and holy in the spectrum of our own ecologies?
Exhibited on Bowen Island/
Nex̱wlélex̱wem, 2023, and Vancouver, 2024.

 To view video full-screen, click "YouTube" once the video starts playing.

(dis)robe: Hospital Gown

I'd been living with Long Covid for four years at the time I made this gown... It's a very emotional subject for me, because Long Covid disabled me, like it has over 65 million people, worldwide. It took my art and teaching, my ability to care for myself, to drive, even to see clearly, and to walk in my beloved forest. But healing, however unlikely it may be, will require a community, and there is a growing community of Long Covid patients. Over 300 of them contributed their faces to this project, and many also worked on the list of common symptoms. In many ways this project has given me my life back--sure, it's different, now, and I might never be the person I was at the beginning of 2020. But I'm still able to create art, in part thanks to my family, and to the hundreds of people who supported and contributed to this project. 
(To see full-screen video, click "YouTube" when it begins playing, and watch on YouTube.)


 (dis)robe: Maternity Wear
Used wedding gown, altered, painted and embellished to explore the choice mothers make to be the comforter/soother/carrier/carer/wearer of our babies. This reclaimed wedding gown includes a gang of painted toddlers climbing up the train, a built-in satin baby-carrier on the back, a plethora of hanging pacifiers, and a torn-open bodice from which protrudes a pregnant belly painted with the hands and face of an escaping, screaming mother.
Model in these images: Jewal Maxwell.
This dress is featured in Karen D. Miller's book, the Art of Mothering: Our Lives in Colour and Shadow, as well as in the Procreate Project Archive, based in Manchester.

(dis)robe: Nursing Gown
This particular gown is my exploration of our cultural heritage around gender, caregiving, and partnership roles.

(dis)robe: Chain Dress
An exploration of heredity, especially of mothering and caregiving roles among girls and women. It may be a chain of bondage or entrapment, but it is also a chain of generational connection.


(dis)robe: Support Garment
Worn here with the Lovely Bush prosthetic pubic hair, and in front of a lovely painting by Lluis Garriga Felip at Art! Vancouver 2017. More photos of this dress in the Woman Story section of this gallery, as it was included in that installation as well. It looks into the many others whose support (and hindrance) we choose to accept and deny as we make our many ways through life.


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