Sunday, 26 April 2009

Dress for seven sisters


I would have liked to make this ‘life-size’ and let the dress stretch across a wall but as I didn’t want to commit to a life-time project I made it a small piece. Started last September, put it away while I made my shoes, final stitches the other week. Decided to have some fun with it now, my work (art and writing) has been so serious lately, and I’m feeling so bleeding tired and in need of light relief, so here’s a quick little poem to go with the dress:

Material: Silk/wool yarn
Dimensions: 41 cm x 18 cm


Dress for seven sisters

To curb their cheer,
to hold them near
a dress was made
from wool too coarse
where silken slips
could soothe and tickle.

Twelve arms vanish,
strapped of their art.
Cool skin, pale blue
as starlings’ eggs,
lies with breath held
in every pore.

A skittish storm
of hands is stirred.
Happily trapped
these fingers trail,
tease a pink purr
from turbid skin.

Cheeks bloom, eyes blaze.
When mother comes
two dainty hands
are raised to greet her.
That skirt bluffs frills
and ruffles.

7 comments:

Lesley said...

Great Marion!

mansuetude said...

what a great idea!

that the one skirt holds them "together" in one situation...

love the "bluffs" in the last lines... (because they are "literal and emotional bluffs) it might be strong enough to take the phrase about the lies in every pore out, because it says the same thing...(lies is a bit direct)

but that is only my stupid opinion... very evocative. Very wonderful concept.

laurence said...

I loved the cosy for my heart poem and I like this one. the 'cosy' poem I find so evocative that I would like to make a doll from it. would you allow me to quote from it if I mentionned where the words come from? It might be too personal to be used elsewhere? (by a stranger at that!). I am printing on fabric and making dresses for my art dolls and I was thinking of printing words on the dolls' dress.

Catherine said...

The dress is so powerful by itself. Being mainly a visual person I find it stand on its own. I love the detail of the crochetting, the seamless flow of one dress into the other with just a hint of division. The line I like best in poem is 'a dress was made from wool too coarse' it allows me too experience the material without feeling the dress.
Evocative work as always. I am always pleasantly surprised to see how you have managed to manipulate yet another garment full of meaning. x

Marjojo said...

Thanks, all!
Have just edited the poem, tried to make it clearer and hopefully more evocative.
Mansuetude: I hadn't meant 'lies' as telling untruths, hadn't even thought of the double meaning of the word and simply meant a kind of passivity (lie, lay, lain), of waiting. Maybe I have to find another word that expresses that better. Thank you for drawing my attention to it! And I can't see your opinion ever being stupid...
Laurence: I'll think about your proposal. which lines would you like to use?
Catherine: I was hoping the dress could stand on its own, but I'm also trying to link my art and my writing more closely, and also want to see if different meanings can be teased out like that.

Roxana said...

it's amazing... oh how can you have so much tenderness pouring from your heart... and i agree that the dress is so powerful that it doesn't need anything else, but the words seem to grow out of her as well, and enlighten her in new ways...

redredday said...

the more i look at this piece the more i love it, Marjojo. i only wish that it could be life size as you would have liked it to be. stretching out across a wall or a room, looking at it and feeling like you are in one of them, bound together as one with the rest, never alone, never empty. but maybe that is also what it is about. the impossibility of something like this. that loneliness that would always be there and can't be filled no matter what.
but can you just imagine the craziness and giggles it would create actually trying to wear it all together?

strange thing about this dress is that even though my mind knows that it is constrictive and possibly also freakish, there is so much joy in it. at least to me. i would be one happy sister in it.
so interesting that your poem is reflective of that playfulness and joy of the dress, and not the restrictiveness of it. i guess, as kids, there is that innocence of wanting to be together forever, and that would be more than enough.