© 2016-2018 by Laura Raboff

Artist Statement

 

I have been working with clothing images for many years, beginning with monotypes and paintings. The clothing images are often stand-ins for the human body.

 

I began to work with actual fiber and thread, developing installations and groupings of exaggerated clothing forms. I use silk, copper wire, cocoons and cotton batiste.  Space becomes the object and the source of shadows I cast.  I animate the shadows with strong light and moving air. The shadows appear as drawings on the walls. The clothing, empty of human figures, evokes sadness, longing and loss.  The installations point to individual stories as well as our larger human experience.  They allude to our vulnerability and the fleeting present.

 

Cloth labels from real garments became a medium for commentary about the international workplace and exploitation of women in the garment industries.  The labels have also created an opportunity to work with abstraction, departing from clothing images.  

When I began writing explanations for the painted and cloth garments they sometimes became the narrator's voice.  I threaded black wool coats with words and lyrics from popular songs, each expressions of longing.

In 2016 the garments themselves became memoirs, the sewn text scrambled like real memories sometimes are.  The "little memoir dresses" are edits from childhood.

 

With short vimeos I have sought another medium to voice my long-time interest in the intersection of disturbance and beauty.