University of Tasmania
whole_HumphriesTrudy2004_thesis.pdf (15 MB)

Second skin

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posted on 2023-05-26, 18:14 authored by Humphries, Trudy
The project examines the textile component of surgical dressing - the bandage. My search for the meaning of bandage has concentrated on three main areas: the performance of care in relation to bandage, the concept of bandage as a metaphor for healing, and bandage as an object that signifies both absence and presence. I found textile, with its capacity to convey meaning, to be the most appropriate medium to make the intangible 'seen' or 'felt'. Bandage has an alliance with the body where its ability to temporarily replace skin, together with its ability to record, absorb and imprint from the body, makes it suitable for the construction of bodily memory. These characteristics have been deliberately intensified through the scale of the artwork. A survey of long-term wearers of bandage revealed an array of personal thoughts and feelings of personal physical and emotional conditions. The data provided the primary focus for the work. This was further informed by a study of the history of bandage that revealed a history shrouded within literature on ancient dressings and colonial medicine - as well as those of textile and cultural origins. My bandages were created from gauze, cotton, linen, silk and hemp, as well as many synthetic fabrics that were either woven or non-woven. The fabrics have been dyed with natural dyes that I have extracted from the bark of Tasmanian trees, and commercial synthetic dyes, before being painted, stitched and sutured. They were then moulded with glues and varnishes. In my interpretation of the bandage experience, I have endeavoured to unravel the impalpable and unseeable effects and implications of wearing bandage. I have represented the effects as a void within each of the three dimensional textile bandage husks. This space was created with the aim of allowing viewers time to reflect on their own experience of bandage as well as the experience of others. These textile wrappings are second skins, vessels of remembered experience assembled in the format of a collection.


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Copyright 2004 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (MFA)--University of Tasmania, 2004. Includes bibliographical references

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