Composition ideas for showing ‘Locus of the Dress’ work

I’ve been doing an extensive amount of sampling for the work that makes up  ‘LOCUS OF THE DRESS: AN INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL LANDSCAPE’.    I am now working out how it is most appropriately presented, so that I can embark on making up the final pieces.

It brings together psychology and contemporary textile practice, (hand and digital print) expressed through traditional and new textile technologies and ‘clothing vernacular’  and is explored through a personal lens.

The full piece is formed from 2 collections of dye sub printed/embroidered dress fragments and 2 sound works:  a piece accompanies each dress (to be accessed by headphones).

There is one child’s dress and one an adult’s.

The ‘locus of control’ theory informs us that “a child enters the world with a neutral ‘Locus of Control’ but this can be influenced and moulded by their upbringing, the people around them and their cultural and geographical situation. By the time an individual reaches around 40 years of age the influence of internal factors now have a stronger impact”

  • The child’s dress, naturally smaller than the adult dress, demonstrates the EXTERNAL qualities of the ‘Locus of the Dress’ theory. It will be printed with my heavy dark drawings of the impending tornado, drawn from community photography gathered from my trips to Ohio plus detailed drawings of family jewelry/lucky charms. 

The printing covers the partially made garment making interesting interventions across pockets, embroidery, button holes etc.

The cuff is enlarged and presented as a photographic piece, it is an opportunity to scrutinise every aspect in greater detail.

The accompanying sound piece is YouTube link of the in-coming Xenia ‘Super Outbreak’ tornadoes on the Xenia Radio – offering travel/weather news and advice on how to protect yourself when the tornado hits.

  • Relating to the positive power of the sea, the predictability of the tides and the wearers ability to self-sooth, self-rescue, nourish oneself, the adult dress demonstrates the INTERNAL aspect of the theory.

Printed on the dress fragment are my photographs taken at the Walpole Bay sea bathing pool, Margate / photographs of a mother and daughter paddling at the coast. The images are illuminated, reflective surfaces of the pools showing a microcosm of life, over-laid with drawings of comfort food and eating utensils (nourishment and sustainability).

The INTERNAL surfaces of the garment is printed. The straps/seams, hooks & eyes, labels, shoulder pads etc. signal this is the inner space. There will be frayed seams, untidy backs of embroidery, trailing threads etc.

The audio that accompanies this piece is my recording of a buoy off Margate coast, a ‘bell buoy’ which incorporates a warning bell as part of sea and coastal navigation.

The display of the textile work supports/maximises the ideas and materiality of the work as well as supporting the audience’s ability to enjoy and comprehend the work.

One piece from each of the two groups is presented at a much enlarged size. Through photographing the 2 pieces, digitally printing at high res and large scale I am presenting an opportunity to view the qualities with more visual impact, hyper-reality quality.

170212 BBC Draft V2a


170213 SKETCH 1




































  • One (EXTERNAL LOCUS) group of dress fragments presents the audio of the Xenia Radio Station, which broadcasts the meteorological description and advice to the Ohio residents of the 1974 ‘Super Outbreak ‘ as  34 tornados (over one weekend) start to touch down in the Cincinnati region.
  • The second (INTERNAL LOCUS)set of dress fragments has an audio of a bell buoy recorded off the Margate coast.


A published introduction written by Dr. Hernaiz-Sanders and myself and a pre-commissioned essay by Dr. Victoria Kelley will accompany the work –  both are digitally printed on silk scarves.



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