Artist: Mimi Haddon
Media: Fiber Art
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Mimi Haddon is an amazing artist that I have gotten the chance to interview this past week. She graduated from CSULB in the year of 1994 with an undergraduate degree in graphic design for the School of Art. She is currently working towards getting a MFA degree in the School of Art’s Fiber program. As well as going to school, she is actually a photographer. She would photograph her costumes. Along the way she started to learn how to make costumes. About over a year ago, Haddon started projects using t-shirts. She retrieved these t-shirts from either people that didn’t want their t-shirts or Goodwill. She believed it was a much better idea to bring a new life to these shirts rather than them being discarded. Without having a plan, Haddon just dissected into the shirts and put them in organized piles. Once they were all piled, she started stitching them together using mostly her hands but also machines. She enjoys making her art fun and playful with the use of multiple colors, however still wants others to get the idea behind the art as well.
Fiber art is usually consisted of natural or synthetic fiber. In Haddon’s case, she used yarn and t-shirt fabric in her exhibit. In one of her projects, there were lines of jagged shirt that were stitched together with little gaps that were bundled together laying on the floor. This sort of looked like the United States. One side had mostly warms colors such as: red, orange, and yellow. The other side had more cool tone colors like purple, magenta, and a little brown. My favorite project was the one of the wall that was made out of t-shirt sleeves. They scrunched up at the top of the sleeve and then hung on the wall, sort of like a deflated balloon. They were all lined up in even rows. Also, they were bright neon colors with a couple dark colored ones.
As Haddon had mentioned earlier in the interview, for the piece that looked like the United States was representing a map of different territories. She used multiple colors but bonded them together to make a single territory. Her idea behind the project was that we are each different in multiple ways however we still come together in harmony. As for the project on the wall, she was inspired by a balloon game with deflated balloons at the Santa Monica Pier. She elaborated on how they explored the color theory and the utilization of colors together. As the balloons were deflated, it was like feeling deflated. What we show on the outside to others is not always what we feel on the inside.
The project as a whole was very intriguing to me. When I walked through the door, the wall was the first thing that caught my eye. I knew exactly that it looked like a bunch of deflated balloons but once I got the understanding behind it, it meant so much more to me. I have never seen t-shirt turned into art and I really liked the overall concept of it. It was wonderful being able to listen to Haddon’s story behind all of her art pieces and the meaning of them. I hope she continues with fiber art because she is definitely very good at what she does.