I have difficulty recognising how I feel. I may experience a physical sensation—light on the feet while my heart is beating funny, or throbbing behind the eyes accompanied by hollowness in the torso—but I am unable to translate these perceptions into words.
I give caged emotions shape, to see and to hold.
I start each new piece by taking apart old clothes. The upcycled textiles and the memories they contain, interact with my emotions expressed as needlework, become a textile creature.
While some emotions are frightening, my art is childlike—made to the size of a cupped hand or a cuddle hold—so they are approachable and invites one to hold them, comforting one’s own emotion.
Clothes from my past, donated, or foraged form the majority of the materials I use.
At times, I carefully deconstruct from the seams; at times, I rip with forceful hands; regardless, time does what it does best, break down and fade fabric. And memories.
Deconstruction leads to new creation, re-telling the story embedded in the old.
The unpredictability of the odd mix of textiles at different stages of wear, of different purposes, inform the personalities created.
Trained in interior design, however ended up working in the apparel business long enough to have attended to everything from customer service, to her favorite roles in design & pattern cutting.
When she finally left her job, her love of textile did not stop. In the beginning, she made dolls—what she thought was scaled down mannequins—but quickly realised it wasn’t the clothes she was interested in.
Her subjects range from human to mermaids, ostrich to tortoise. She tries to capture the characteristics of each, while emphasising the sentience that all share.
When she’s not creating textile art, she would be reading a library book by the pool, or cooking up a storm of fresh plant foods. She lives in Singapore with her husband and a hundred fabric friends and counting.
letters from marn
I write a weekly mail on making art while learning to live with my heart wide opened. Take a look at letters from marn.