The Conflict of Injury

Project Title:             The Conflict of Injury

Medium Used:          wearable art piece, [Polyester, Cotton Elastane and Polyester Elastane Fabric], 150 x 100 cm

Artist Statement:

Being injured is not seen as beautiful or strong, but ugly and abhorrent.  We are taught to soldier on and hide our injuries. However, showing our injury allows us to become stronger than ever before. 

In responding to Surrealism this idea of showing hidden injury is explored via the interpretation of an internalised vision.  The development of presenting this reaction was explored through delving into the unconscious mind, where a juxtaposition was made between hidden injury and beauty.  Inspiration for this conflict of ideas came from Elsa Schiaparelli’s work The Tears Dress (1938), where she explores horror and beauty through the use of print and precisely cut fabric to reveal lining.  This contrast is expressed through the use of colour, form and material. 

In The Conflict of Injury (2020) red is used to symbolise hidden injury particularly for its association with danger and blood.  It is also utilised to draw the maximum amount of attention, as red is the first colour humans see on the colour spectrum.  From afar the red fabric appears sash like, but upon closer inspection it is apparent the fabric is to represent viscera.  It was achieved by tearing some fabric while the rest was left raw, exposed and jagged. 

Asymmetry has been created with the insertion of the red fabric at a diagonal angle which continues the idea of the savagery of a hidden injury.  While in contrast the front of the garment is carefully pieced to highlight the beauty of the black and white stripe.  The lines flow from the arms to the bodice and then down the body.  However, at each seam the lines are broken and do not quite meet up.  Inspiration for the broken lines showing injury came from Frida Kahlo’s work The Broken Column (1944).  The lines illustrate that even though they are broken they can still come together to make a beautiful whole.

Works Cited:

Kahlo, F., 1944. The Broken Column. [Oil on masonite], 30.5 x 39.0 cm, held at: Museo Dolores Olmedo, México.

Schiaparelli, E., 1938. The Tears Dress. In: The Circus Collection. [Viscose-rayon and silk blend fabric], held at: Victorian and Albert Museum, London.

Additional Photos:

Close up of the work: