the confidantes (robin) by Michele Elliot

the confidantes (robin)  2018

giclée print on Hahnemuhle rag

38.5 x 41 cm (image)


This group of works are textile objects presented as photographs, as documentation of the objects. They combine my late father’s handkerchiefs with dyed backing cloths that have been stitched together in a grid with running stitch.


The backing cloths come out of an artist-in-residence project at Tender Funerals, Port Kembla where I work with families in their loss to find a creative expression or ritual for their person. The ‘tender cloths’ also produced as part of my residency, are a series of lengths of muslin dyed with funeral flowers donated by the families. Here in these works, the wrappings, the residue of this process have been paired with a handkerchief, in a way that seeks to bring about a kind of shared remembering.


In the same way that the flowers arise from the generosity of others, the individual titles have also been gifted. Friends, whose fathers have died, were invited to write a short text in relation to their own father. The titles were found in amongst their words.


Finally, the textile objects have been flooded with light and photographed in such a way that all three layers of the work are seen at once - the handkerchief on top, the dyed cloth behind as well as the internal space where beginnings and ends of threads reside.


I’m drawn to cloth and fabric that has a lived connection to the body; found and gifted clothing, quilts, pillowslips, connecting maker, wearer and artist over time. The photographs evoke a sense of the memorial, a remembering that becomes embedded in the work.


Edition of 4 + A/P

Unframed or framed (boxed with museum quality glass)


Deepest thanks to Frances Mocnik, friend, colleague and collaborator. Her photographic briliiance realised my ideas for the work.

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