Self-Fabricated Excess Baggage: Patterns and Fabrics of our Lives
We live in a society of excess, where items accumulated through consumerism, gift giving, and the packaging that engulfs them, fills our homes. Some of it can be recycled, but what happens to the rest? Discarded, taken to the dump and wasted. A concern for my own excess became the jumping off point of my current series of fabric sculptures. The materials that fill these pieces and bring them to life are hidden. Thin cotton creates a semi-transparent barrier allowing for one to ponder what inhabits the insides. The items within vary from abused highlighter pens, margarine containers, plastic bags to old beans. I consider this a conscious act of re-using materials in order to take responsibility for objects I bring into and discard from my home.
All the fabrics are purchased from second hand stores and many of the items used are found or donated. Currently I select bed sheets, pillow cases, old clothes and other found fabrics that are brightly coloured and have a variety of exciting, cheesy patterns that comment on the visible consumer trends of our lives: in with the new and out with the old. The forms created within the fabric structures have human like qualities, some resembling body parts and organs. These human forms mimic the use of bed sheets: where we house our bodies as we sleep, wrap our bodies when we are cold and sometimes wither away in.
Due to the process of hand sewing every bit of fabric together with a needle and thread, the process of making takes on an obsessive, time-consuming quality. The fabric structures became an extension of myself that I would wrap my arms around in admiration, while at the same time throw down in frustration. In a world pulsating with progress and technology I want to be aware of my materials and be consumed by the lengthy process of not using technology. I consider these forms to be a venturing point towards creating projects that involve the community; to foster a space where artist and folk can interact together, as individuals are encouraged to touch, handle and move all the extensions. As an artist adding to the excess of our society it is important to me to use existing reclaimed materials to create something new and to be aware of the impact these materials have on our fragile environment.
At the wee age of six, Julia Jungwirth was involved in a major eye accident, thankfully leaving her with full vision in her right eye and some in her left. From that moment on she became a bonafide artist destined to soak up a life of texturally visual bliss. 2006 marked the year she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction from the Alberta College of Art & Design. Recently she became an Associate Artist with the Green Fools Theatre, aiding in the set production of “Crossing the Mediterranean”. Julia is addicted to bicycling, recycling, elbow freckles and laughing very hard. She resides in Calgary until she can conserve enough money to run away to Ireland in seek of her ancestral roots!