Artist Bio & Statement
Bio: Kristin Mariani is a Chicago based dressmaker, designer, artist, and educator. In her art and design practice she investigates hidden layers of labor discovered inside found cloth and garments, incorpo- rating physical responses to material that emphasize process, chance, and patience. In 2000 she founded her label RedShift; a line of contemporary couture created from salvaged materials and found garments. Her designs have been distributed internationally. She is faculty at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an artist member of The Arts Club, Chicago. She maintains an in- terdisciplinary practice creating works for dance, performance, and installation.
My practice is an ongoing discourse between design and art. I acknowledge the unstable distinctions between the two disciplines, and my investigations unfold in this unstable territory, continually questioning how the body is figured through fashion, place, and labor.
Dressmakers are often confined to small spaces, small motor skills, mechanical cycles and repetitive processes. Handiwork is concealed in the inner linings of a garment. I don’t always want to stay inside of a dress. How can I use my skill set to address other spaces that the body occupies? How can I build coherent relationships from disparate parts? How can I connect the flow of raw material in my studio to a larger material stream and thought process?
My raw material is a by-product of my dressmaking process and comes in parts. Thread is my drawing tool and connective device to reintegrate cloth fragments and garment remnants into coherent visual relationships. Stitching on two-dimensional surfaces enables me to create fronts that reveal what is commonly concealed in the facades of fashion. Structuring a crosshatch of materials to establish a new value for what is typically discarded, I deploy aesthetic strategies and skill- based knowledge to probe the historical, material, and labor-oriented underpinnings encapsulated in any effort to clothe the body.
Kristin Mariani Kristinmariani1[at]gmail.com