CuratorSpace Artist Bursary #14: Clare Charnley and Farah Naz Moon

This project is a collaboration between Bangladesh artist, Farah Naz Moon and English artist, Clare Charnley, looking at the garment industry from different historical and geographical perspectives. Both artists are interested in the political implications of the movement of goods worldwide and to face the problem of how to represent and discuss such a complex subject with sensitivity. Clare describes their collaborative process below.

"We've never met, though we’ve been exchanging ideas on social media for a while. And moving gently towards trying to make something together. Farah Naz Moon suggested we make a soft object - as a means of coping with hard times. From this it was agreed that we would make a dress - in fact two dresses - from fabric with specific connotations.

Farah will construct a dress from the kind of thin cotton used to wrap dead bodies. She wants to use the way she can layer images on this delicate fabric. The starting point for her imagery and text is the remains of the Neelkuthi indigo factory, close to the village where she grew up. Established under British rule, the factory imprisoned and tortured local farmers, forcing them to shift from food production to growing indigo for clothes manufacture.

I will construct a dress from a garment made in Bangladesh and one I previously used for an artwork about translation. My starting point for text and imagery is the event of the container ship 'Ever Given' being stuck in the Suez Canal for 7 days last year, causing a blockage in both directions. This was widely reported, taking on a sort of mythic status.  I am curious to know what this myth might mean. Both myself and Farah will invite local people to contribute to the story of these works. We will also share texts and images with each other. 

These dresses will be cut vertically and then one half will be sent to the other artist and reconstructed as part of two simultaneous performances in front of an audience."


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