Artist: Mimi Haddon
Media: MFA Fiber (T-Shirts)
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist:
Haddon is a Cal State Long Beach Graphic Design graduate from 1994. Currently she is a 3rd year M.F.A Student in Fiber Art at CSULB. She worked previously as a graphic designer for two years, then switched her track to photography. She said in her free time she enjoys working with textiles, dyeing, sewing, and sculpting (and photography of course!) She lives in Santa Monica. In the work I was fortunate enough to see today, she works mainly with T-shirts. Her pieces attempt to delve into the concept of “fast fashion” and the culture that has consumed us. T-shirts are everywhere, she says. It’s only fitting that her work also encompasses them as well.
The piece I’d like to analyze some more is her balloon wall piece. Speaking to her, she mentioned that she was very much inspired by color theory– that is, how colors respond to each other. The piece is very soft, with no harsh lines. The use of t-shirt fabrics makes it appear soft. The scale was quite large, and consumed most of the eastern wall. The various colors used draw the viewer into it, and show the effects of arranging different colors in different orders. To me, this piece feels very much coherent and pleasing to the eye.
During the interview with Haddon, she spoke about her inspiration for this piece. Over 10 years ago she saw some balloons (or a photo of balloons?) at the Santa Monica and was inspired to make this piece about that. The image was engrained in her memory. The wall piece also speaks to the “deflated theory”. The t-shirts fashioned in the shape of deflated balloons I think speaks to man’s power over others and consumerism in general.
Synthesis / My Experience:
Her work was one of the most unique I’ve seen. Admittedly, I’ve never seen an exhibit like hers before– one where the pieces were made solely from the fabric of T shirts. It was really interesting to see how this medium worked in an exhibition setting. After hearing her speak about color theory, I stepped back in to take another look at the balloon piece, and found I was able to look at it deeper. The use of the various colors was very intentional, and was all about how appealing it was to the viewer. Even though she did not speak too much about her personal experience with this particular piece, I can say for myself that it resonated with me. The feeling of being “deflated”, just like a balloon, is something I’m sure everyone feels. Color theory and deflated theory are both very technical terms but the way this piece made me feel was very organized (if that’s something art can make me feel.) Overall Haddon was very friendly and bubbly– a great person to talk to!