Susie Freeman’s Compass exhibition opened last week. This is her piece Bacteriology Illustrated in the window of Art@42 late on Saturday night. It features Susie’s signature machine-knitted pocket fabric formed into a dress. The pockets contain fragments torn from the pages of the book.
Initially I tore up a page in an attempt to isolate key words, placing each selected bite size piece in its own pocket. However, it seemed important not to discard anything.
The dress is now formed from every page of the book. The process was painstaking and precise, each page torn into 130 pieces and placed in correct sequence to form reconstructed pages paired across the weft. Running along the warp two by two for 610 rows, there are 15,860 pockets in total. I combined the dress with a ‘doctors bag’ containing the tools of defense against infection collected in the surgery.
The language of dressmaking and tailoring becomes layered with a different set of meanings when applied to ideas concerning infectious disease. The boned corset constrains the body, the boned book cover both holds the information within and tries to control the billowing spreading fabric.
See more by Susie Freeman at The Rowley Gallery.