Louise Bourgeois Memorial Sweater
100% Black Acrylic Red Heart Super Saver Yarn, black fabric and foam/cotton to cover dress-form and stuff bulges, torso dress-form, pedestal.
Seeing Louise's work at the Hirshorn a few years ago in person was amazing! I had been going through a period of not making and not sure where to begin again. Her show gave me permission to begin where I was; now a mother and artist. When she passed away I wanted to do something about it or for her but didn't know what. Sometimes you don't know a person personally but their work really affects you so the loss of that person feels like a real loss. That is how it was for me and I didn’t know what to do with that feeling of loss. Then one day I had the idea of crocheting her a sweater. I have never crocheted anything larger or more complicated than a scarf but this idea got me so excited and felt so right that it kept me going. This year, I have a new interest in exploring the traditional crafts like crochet and cross-stitch that I learned from my grandmothers as art mediums. I am also investigating how to bring those skills together with my skills as a sculptor and humor more specifically. This piece stems from all of those concerns.
There are photos of Louise Bourgeois wearing sculptural like blouses with bulging nipple-less breast like forms similar to some of her other sculptural and installation work. I believe these photos are from a period in which she was making wearable sculpture. I decided I would make her a sweater to wear over one of those blouses. It would be black; she was a New Yorker after all. I began by creating each bulge (25 in all) basing the size, height, diameter, etc on photo sources I had. I then made the collar and worked my way down adding in each bulge trying to place them so that she could actually wear this piece over her piece. Being my first sweater, I think I would do some things differently if I did it again. However, overall, I am very happy with the piece and feel like I honored her and got to say thank you in my own way. I like to think she would enjoy it.
All appropriate credit given to Louise Bourgeois for this image and the photographer of it. I in no way claim or take credit for the image below. I post it simply to give context/background/source.
- 2015, Contemporary Women Artists XVII: Reimagining Femmage. Foundry Art Centre. Juror Lisa Melandri. Juror's Award - Honorable Mention. Catalog. St. Charles, MO.
- 2013, Under The Influence. Art Saint Louis. Jurors Kit Keith and Tim Liddy. St. Louis, MO.
- 2013, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Studio. The Gallery of By Design. Alton, IL. (solo)