London’s NOW Gallery at Greenwich Peninsula, a public exhibition space for contemporary art and design, was recently transformed into a sea of tulle by hip young fashion designer Mary Goddard.
Known for designing flamboyant yet feminine clothing in unlikely materials, Goddard created oversized dresses using about 1300 feet of tulle in vibrant colors and suspended them from the ceiling of the gallery. Called “What I Like,” the three-month exhibit was designed to allow the public to interact with the dresses and even add their own personal touches.
The 20- to 30-foot-long dresses were hung on a pulley that could be raised or lowered. Visitors were encouraged to be creative and embroider designs of their own making onto the dresses; each gown already had some embroidery to inspire people to take up the needle and thread. Easy-to-follow instructions for embroidery stitches for all abilities were part of the exhibit, as was the necessary equipment including scissors, large plastic needles and embroidery thread.
Goddard’s vision was to engage people in the art and craft of embroidery and to create works of art that included the handiwork of many people. Visitors were encouraged to sew over or add to others’ embroidery to create a continuous, varied and ever-changing chain of artwork on the dresses.