Artist: Mimi Haddon
Media: Fiber: T-shirts
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Unfortunately I did not get to speak to the artist herself due to a large crowd surrounding her and I was too busy with the classmate conversation at the time. And by the time I was able to head over to the artist, she stated she couldn’t speak anymore due to too much talking previously. However, I did speak to a classmate and they gave me some information, along with reading her statement from the gallery.
Mimi Haddon graduated from CSULB in 1994 as a Graphic Designer. She actually went back to school recently to study in the Fiber Art Department. She has been working with T-shirts because she wanted to learn what the “native materials” are in her culture. She has studied the work of a Ghanaian sculptor, El Anatsui, and realized that a material doesn’t need to be made from the Earth. From this artist, she got inspired from his art using discarded bottle caps and loved the idea of reusing discarded human-made materials. She mentioned in her gallery statement that these bottle caps had a prior purpose to them which gave them a “charge.”
Mimi used a lot of color in her artwork which sparked interest in me immediately. It’s really pleasing to look at from her warm colors to cool colors. All of her works are made from fiber which are T-shirts sewn together. The deflated balloons artwork looked very symmetrical and straight. It seemed like each balloon was measured out between another balloon. The piece that was on the floor with T-shirts shredded as strings and sewn together to look as if it’s a very inviting rug was very pleasing to my eye. The texture seemed really soft and the shape isn’t a simple oval or square and had it’s own shape. The overall rhythm between all of her artwork was soothing and it all went together because of the colors and flowed nicely.
As I mentioned earlier at the start of this blog post, I couldn’t speak to the artist one on one (I also talked to you after class last week to let you know) so I didn’t get to have any ideas to relate from Mimi, unfortunately. I believe Mimi is thinking about the value of all the T-shirts she got to use in her artwork. She likes the idea of using used materials because they can serve a greater purpose being used yet again after being used the first time. I really appreciate her as she’s appreciating the T-shirts for the second time being used.
Synthesis / My Experience
I think Mimi’s artwork really speaks to me about how things should not be taken for granted and new shiny things are just things that are new but do they have that greater value in them? That’s what Mimi has me questioning. Her using donated and used T-shirts really speaks out that anything can be made into new things with simple materials. I really love how she got inspired from El Anatsui from him using used bottle caps. I really enjoyed this art of the week but I wish I could have spoken to her face to face before the crowd swarmed her.