Title: Articles for Armistace
Medium: printed fabric, string, Watsonia bulbs
Dimensions: 180 x 70 x 50 cm
My entry point into the theme for this project was reading the book “A Farewell to Arms” written by Ernest Hemingway. I was looking for a way to understand the complex nature of the lives lived within the state of war. And the ideas expressed identified how clothing became the representation of the individual. Within the story the central character rejects his commitment to war and the country he served. Once he has made this decision he understands how his military clothing has become part of his identity. The opportunity to obtain other clothing is limited, he only has his military uniform to wear but thinks he has concealed his allegiance.
Warfare is not static, national identity is not fixed throughout a conflict and spaces in between being at war and not, Armistice, are places of confusion.
I designed an “Article” of clothing that implied a person can change their body covering to suit any environment using a military style. The ‘Article” has panels of fabric laid over the top of each other to resemble window blinds. Mixing camouflage printed fashion fabric with hand drawn camouflage patterns and commercial prints, it offers the possibilities needed to camouflage. The hand drawn camouflage was coloured copying the outlines of different camouflage patterns and mixing them together. Adding buttons made from the burnt seed pods of Watsonia, a weed that has penetrated the bush around Albany, I referenced the medals and embellishments of war.
Nat Rad lives in Albany, WA. She has completed major commissions, exhibited in group shows and co-ordinated Visual Art Awards and exhibitions for Viewpoint Inc and the City of Albany.