Woman of Letters


 I wanted to appear to be attempting to give directives to the land and the sea. In this case telling the land to “take a pill” and the sea to “get a life”.


This project started out with a desire to understand the technical draping challenge of yokes (hip and shoulder), and (western) kimono and dolman sleeves, underarm cowls and bodice-in-one with sleeve. Draping as a way to come at form for body (as opposed to flat pattern drafting using measurements) has proven to be a passion and process of limitless possibilities…and learning curves. Working “in the round” enables one to link directly the grain of the cloth and the form it becomes, linking my love of both cloth and clothing.

The jacket is an underarm cowl sleeve-in-one with bodice with yoke, and sailors styled pants are button up flap front trousers with yoke are evocative of a uniform…in this case a pseudo-military-sailor OUTfit.

Semaphore became the vehicle in which to perform this garment. Research revealed that the semaphore flags are coloured differently for sea or for field use, yellow and red for sea, and white and blue for land.

The background photographic images of land and sea are close to my home and heart and have become part of my daily walking experience, expanding on the notion of home to include the haunting and powerful landscape. The semaphore images illustrate opposite gestures N (arms down) and U (arms up). I wanted to appear to be attempting to give directives to the land and the sea. In this case telling the land to “take a pill” and the sea to “get a life”.

I have an ongoing interest to engage with clothing in a sociological and ontological context enabling me to inquire and question topics such as authority, power and class, notions of place and ownership, and in this case present the argument that no matter what we think, do, or wish, nature is non-reducible and does not care what we have to say.

Turning myself into a series of gestures through following the system of semaphore and use of flag props enabled me to find expression in my body and collapse myself into an alphabetI am interested in the potential of language (A Desire in Language) and find myself frustrated by how language plays out in this world of contemporary global capitalism and language games.

Woman of Letters is an ongoing project and can be enacted in diverse situations.



Photographic images; four cotton flags, cotton lined linen jacket and pants, and purchased accessories such as a sailor’s hat, cotton gloves, socks and shoes213 cm. H x 243 cm. W x 121 cm. D




Mark