This is not the first time I have made these dress forms, but it is the first
time I have used them in a gallery setting. In five different outdoor
installations, I have used the dresses as lenses to invite people to look at
the world around them differently, clothing trees and shrubberies with
them, finding installation opportunities in day to day spaces that are not
usually used in this way. Even indoors, the dresses bring the light from the
riverside into the gallery, like a fibre optic cable.
Over the years, Mary Ellen Read, owner of Northern Front Studio, has
suggested that she wanted an artist to do something that would “mess with
the space,” to challenge its ability to perform its function as the entrance to
her office. She is an architect, and so she thinks about spaces and how
humans inhabit them.
I created this show especially for Mary Ellen, in response to her wish,
inspired by what I imagine of her vision. In doing so I find myself thinking
about space differently than I usually do, installing a show of paintings, for
example. Her challenge makes me take my artwork into new dimensions,
which is a wonderful educational opportunity.
So thanks to Mary Ellen Read and Northern Front Studio for making the
space in which this idea could happen.
In terms of adapting the use of the room, I must thank my partner Dean
Eyre, on whose expertise in stage carpentry and able-bodied help I relied
to create the armature from which the dresses hang. In addition to this,
Dean supports, observes and jams on my ideas. This show wouldn’t have
been as good without his input.
Nicole Bauberger, July 2017