Making memories on cloth, or Miss Liberty’s Pinafore: Acollaboration in textile narrative

Authors: Costello, Moya; Rall, Denise N.

Source: Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, Volume 2, Number 2, 1 June 2013 , pp. 197-209(13)

Publisher: Intellect

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We take a fictocritical approach, shifting between critical and creative discourses, to centre on the process of creating a memory piece, a collaboration in textile narrative between a creative writer and a textile artist. The basis of the memory dress is a green-and-white-checked empire line cotton pinafore. The writer, here called M, bought the garment at Sydney's Saturday Paddington Markets because of its colour, empire line and its label which was 'Frank', her father's name. The textile artist, here called D, works with recycled fabrics to create wearable artworks and textile sculptures on life-sized mannequins. In her sewing process, each figure she creates emerges with a personality. These personalities are recorded in short fictional histories, or 'backstories'. The memory piece, Miss Liberty's Pinafore, traces the collaborative process of making life fictions between M's fabric scraps, her childhood memories and writing, and D's creative costuming. Miss Liberty's Pinafore could not exist without an analysis of the metaphorical capacity of fabric and dress, the affects resonant between cloth, memory and identity, and the process of making art.

Keywords: affect; fictocriticism; identity; memory piece; narrative; textile sculpture

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Southern Cross University

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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  • The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social practices and the cultural meanings that are produced and are circulated through the processes and practices of everyday life. As a product of consumption, an intellectual object of inquiry, and as an integral component of the dynamic forces that shape societies. The journal will be receptive to articles which focus on Australasian examples, or broader comparative and theoretical questions viewed through an Australasian lens.
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