Note: the following article was written by Julie Nutting, our 2nd Friday artist for April.
A week before the show was to start, I went to the gallery. They were bringing in chain link fencing, shopping carts, and lots of wadded up newspaper for the installation.
It was looking fantastic. Just a couple of days before the drop-off date for the art, I had one of those aha moments-newspaper. It's one of my favorite papers to use in my collages, so why couldn't I use it for fashion? I set to work creating a gown that used newspaper.I didn't choose just any newspaper for this. I carefully tore the date from a French paper that I had purchased during an anniversary trip to Europe two years earlier. I also used an Italian ad from one of my favorite stores, a Thai newspaper from one of my husband's many mission trips, and some old patterned tissue paper. I added some pink tissue because everything looks a little better with pink, and a bit of gold leaf for the finishing touch.
As I was working on this piece, many thoughts regarding the theme of the show came to mind. The most important was how much we tend to judge others on appearance. I was thinking of the girl I created-underneath her gown made of trash was the beautiful princess that's in us all. I remember years ago hearing a celebrity on a talk show telling of a trip she made to a third world country and gifting young girls with dolls and new dresses. She was surprised that they were drawn to the dresses more than the dolls, but then realized that they never had a new dress before. That had always stayed in my mind. Just imagine the happiness at having a brand new dress when you've just had hand-me-downs-what an amazing feeling that must be! And so, I named my piece All She Wanted Was a New Dress.