EcoFashion, DeFashion, Sustainable Fashion
Thursday, October 19
United States: 10am PDT, 11am MDT, 12pm CDT, 1pm EDT
Europe: 18:00 BST
For this Zoom event we will hear from five members who have or are making work that includes upcycling, repurposing, plant-based materials, and handmaking of textiles and products (and potential products) as an art form including Johanna Törnqvist, Heather L. Johnson, Nicole Dextras, Alyce Santoro and Barbara Cooper. We will discuss the potential for artists to play a role in the movements of ecofashion, defashion or sustainable fashion. What are the real environmental costs of fast fashion? Join us to find out more.
With one foot rooted in craft and the other firmly in the criticism of consumption, Johanna Törnqvist raises questions about how we value today's material and today's human. In her work there is a consumer criticism that discusses how we look at our assets as an infinite resource, while we continuously produce large amounts of trash. She finds the specks of gold in the superfluous material and creates her jewellery and garments in the borderland between art, craft and fashion. A provocative contrast between the transience of the trash and the precision of the craft. Törnqvist graduated from Studio Berçot in Paris in 1990 and is also educated in New York, Japan and Stockholm and has been working with fashion, textile handicraft and ceramics, as well as education. www.johannatornqvist.com
Heather L. Johnson is a Houston, Texas-based artist who makes drawings, embroideries and installations that blend landscape topography, maps and diagrams to explore intersections between nature, mechanical systems, human emotion and climate change. During the pandemic she established “Artificial Heart”, a wearable art business for which she hand-makes bags and other items from salvaged materials. The bags are embroidered with imagery and references that appear in her non-commercial work, enabling her ideas and experiences to travel beyond gallery and collector walls. Johnson’s work has been seen in galleries, museums and in the public realm internationally. She has been awarded artist residencies at Grand Canyon National Park; Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; Villa Bergerie (Spain); McColl Center for Visual Art, and other sites. She is best known for her project “In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful”, for which she traveled solo by motorcycle, giving artworks to strangers throughout the Americas. www.heatherljohnson.com
Canadian Vancouver based artist Nicole Dextras creates environmental art that roots nature into our everyday urban experience. She works across diverse mediums, blending textile arts, natural materials, performance, photography, and film, to create ephemeral installations and social interventions. Her art practice fuses notions of contemporary materiality with eco-fiction, that is immersed in research in alternative materials and methodologies such as working with plants in summer and ice in winter. Dextras has exhibited her work in Canada, the USA and in Asia. In May 2022, she exhibited A Dressing the Future, the eco-fiction of Nicole Dextras at the Huston Center for Contemporary Craft, curated by Kathryn Hall. In 2023 she launched her short film Chronos, time of sand, which centers around a resourceful character who survives a catastrophic drought by using desert plants for his sustenance and to weave his climate adapted clothing. https://nicoledextras.com
Alyce Santoro is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in biology and the environmental humanities. Her practice highlights connections between the sonic and visual, art and science, the observer and the observed. Over the past 25 years Santoro’s works have been featured in over 50 solo and group exhibitions related to innovative textiles, experimental musical scores and frameworks for improvisation, sound/listening, and the intersection of art, science, and ecology. Santoro holds a BS in Biology from Southampton College of Long Island University (1990), and both a Certificate in Scientific and Technical Illustration (1994) and a MA in Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies (2019) from RI School of Design. Her thesis—An Intricate Ensemble: The Art-Science of an Ecological Imaginary—compares the shared desire of some 18th/19th century Romantic Naturalists, 20th century Surrealists, and 21st century thinkers to defy destructive conceptions of "progress" by “re-enchanting the world.” She suggests this spirit is urgently needed now in light of the Anthropocene epoch. www.alycesantoro.com
Barbara Cooper works in sculpture, drawing, and public art. Her work is biomorphic in style and process driven, growing from the inside out. Imagery evolves from paring down forms in nature to their essentials, eliciting references that blend genres. Utilizing repurposed materials whenever possible, issues of sustainability and an ecology of wholeness are embedded in her work. Cooper is focused on transforming ordinary materials into something no longer recognizable. In the case of Waste Coat, Cooper wove with a material that is normally extruded and of one piece so as to create an elegant form from the detritus of our current packaging dilemma. Believing that a labor intensive process can transcend base materials, Cooper hopes to draw attention to the world wide problem of single use plastic production. Beauty can be a means to bring attention to what is painful to look at and what we do not want to see. www.barbaracooperartist.com
This event is free for members + one guest. $10 for non-members. All participants MUST REGISTER.