OUTline: Idolect #1 No, Idolect #2 Is




OUTline took two months to produce. The garments are arrived at through the process of draping, flat paper pattern drafts, and constructing the toiles initially in muslin….with many revisions before constructing the finished garments in final fabrics.  It is a time-consuming craft! The vintage chairs are recovered in the same fabrics as the institutional dress forms.  The video was basically a selfie video using a fixed camera position on a tripod. For this project Bethley Morrison assisted me with the construction and Kathleen Tetlock with the video editing.






Two one-minute looping videos, two chairs, two cotton hats, and two cotton dresses. 
182 cm. H x 182 cm W x 182 cm. D



The dress, hat, and chairs are identical in their forms other than the fact that they are colour reversal/inversals of one another; one set is green with white outlines, and the other white with green outlines.  The use of the green or white outlines reference both the specific aspects of the vernacular architecture and objects which surround me in my home in addition to being a tidy way to fit and give one’s self an outline, parameters, containment!

The garment lies flat (meaning it can lie flat due to the fact that there are no darts and the back and the front are somewhat the same in terms of shape and volume…like a kimono?). This means for display they can be hung on the wall like graphic paintings.


The co-ordinate videos; Ideolect 1 “NO”, and Ideolect 2 “IS”, are identical as moving image and it is the super-imposed text which changes.  I often think of dress as possessing the semiotics, which allow one to interrupt our conventions and sense of being and or belonging and inversely providing us with the codes that enable us to belong.  

“Idiolect is defined as the language or speech pattern of one individual at a particular period of life.” Merrium Webster online dictionary  

“For the purposes of this entry an idiolect is a language the linguistic (i.e. e. syntactic, phonological, referential, etc.) properties of which can be exhaustively specified in terms of the intrinsic properties of some single individual, the person whose idiolect it is. The force of “intrinsic” is to exclude essential reference to features of the person’s wider environment, and in particular to their linguistic community.” Stanford Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy


The garments in this work transgress from their unisex, hospital surgeon’s gown, and nurse/dunce cap origins. The uniforms fall under costume in that their purpose is to provide a common template for a group identity and purpose: militaristic, fast food or health-care workers, religious orders or penal systems. Inversions, doublings and symmetries are recurrent themes in my work altogether.  Amongst our extreme efforts to find security and identity to co-ordinate ourselves with the rules of society, language games, and dress standards, we are possibly numbing our ability to discover our true self (or myself!).