GEELONG DESIGN WEEK 2021
18th – 28th March
Not This or That is an installation of dresses created by the artist Shelley Hannigan that cannot be worn. In a shop space (Flattery), these dress-art pieces might appear to be functional or wearable but are not.
"I create my dress-art pieces through an experiential process of rogue knitting dress forms from copper threads and wires in different places or ‘on the go’ (in trains, planes, while travelling or in different locations)."
I am interested in how this ‘design product’ in shop spaces can challenge some of the motives of ‘design’ where the product is usually functional and wearable. I have been exploring this project devoted to dress-art for a few years and written about in a number of publications. From the Parlour to the Forum: How dress art unsettles place and space, 2019. Springer is one book chapter where I explain this term in context to place and space issues of the body and other artists who also explore dress scholarship. I create my dress-art pieces through an experiential process of rogue knitting dress forms from copper threads and wires in different places or ‘on the go’ (in trains, planes, while travelling or in different locations). I am interested in the emergent style of MY dress forms from this process (compared to those of some of my collaborators). My dress-art pieces in this installation have become metaphorical for women/dress that have been worn, torn and mended.
Hannigan has been a practicing artist since completing a BFA in the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 1989. Her artistic practice explores embodied experiences through an experiential and experimental creative process including painting, sculpture, mixed media, drawing and textiles. Her early works were psychological landscapes which led to her studying a Masters Degree in Creative arts therapies and working in this field for a while. She has been an art educator for many years and for her PhD research she investigated the phenomenon of “place and identity” that had been a constant topic in her practice. This involved an autoethnography into her artistic practice and narrative case studies of four artists and who also explore place and identity in different ways through their artistic practices and embodied thinking. She holds regular exhibitions of her artwork and has published widely in academic journals and books.