Caitlin Thompson: Dandy Lines

July 25 - October 23, 2016

Dandy Lines is an exhibition of cosmic country embroidery that references Western fashion through the cyclical, transformative theories of craftwork and animation. It revisits the histories of the decorative and brings to the surface tensions between labour and identity, the body and the psyche.

Richly ornamented cloaks simultaneously project and imbed images of nature and the unnatural: their void interiors await a body for transformation; their heads have been severed, freeing the imagination into the frontier. Embroidered images are pulled from animation sequences that reference nature, but a nature that unnaturally exists between the animate and the inanimate. The cloaks sit atop wooden sculptures modeled after Western animal-objects: the barrel bull, the rocking horse, and the chuck wagon. The human body has replaced the animal and simultaneously acts as both the driver and the rider. The sculptures become extensions of the body; their repetitive motions mimic the looping animation sequences of embroidery. Decoration and surface adornment also act as an extension of the boundaries of the body: designs and symbols project outward and reflect an interior identity. By combining the Romantic era dandy of nature and individualism with the New Romantic notion of the unnatural, Western identity is here presented as a mythic space of continual transformation.

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