Client: WonderLab Museum
Location: Bloomington, IN, United States
Completion date: 2015
Gallery Operations Manager
This is an interactive 3D textile art installation at a Children's Museum.
The goal was to make it interactive for children and adults to give them an opportunity and the experience to touch and become involved with a textile art installation. Mike Voyles, Gallery Operations Manager at Wonderlab explained that the only textiles their patrons are allowed to touch now are the stuffed animals. The other displays they are encouraged to touch are made of metal, plastic, wire and glass. This art interaction would involve fabric tubes hung on the blue wall on the north end of the building at a level where as young children and adults could touch and reach. The public may take the tubes and forms from its bottom hook and reposition it to another hook. They may overlap the tubes so that they touch or make the tubes hang separate. This will be up to the public to decide and create their artwork.
The process to make these tubes started with hand-dyeing cottons and silks with fiber-reactive dyes. Then Redman sewed the dyed yardage into many tubes using a domestic sewing machine and serger. Then, one tube at a time it is slipped over a round PVC pipe or square metal or ceramic pipe. She painted on a starch-like stiffener and pushed the fabric to one end of the pipe to form pleats. This is the Japanese arashi shibori technique of bound and resist dyeing. She added a stiffener to the scrunched fabric so that it retains its tube-shape and there will be some memory in the pleats when the forms are stretched between the hooks over the course of the installation’s life.
She loaned a digital camera to Wonderlab during the opening night reception of the interactive installation, so that photos could be taken of the public’s end creation. She also loaned a printer for so the public could print a remembrance to take home. The intent with this project is to encourage and inspire people of all ages to become more involved with art and textile art.
Hopefully this will inspire the public to explore textile art further on their own.
The installation was well received by the public. Remarks were: “I felt like I was in a museum, it was like a Christmas present to the employees to enjoy, I wish it could be a permanent installation”. Now I am encouraged to explore how many different forms I can make from my hand-dyed fabrics. And how many different ways they can be installed by me in gallery, museum and commercial settings, whether temporary solo artist’s installations or permanent art for which I can sell.