Kelly June Mitchell
handmade clothing, vintage linens, paper
dimensions of installation 8 ft x 11 ft x 36 in
The clothes you see in Ghosts were handmade as a gesture of remembrance for family members who have passed on, and as a way to recall a time when dressing and preparing the dead for burial was a duty of the women in a family. I am metaphorically dressing the dead in my family by creating clothes for them posthumously and allowing myself to grieve through the meditative practice of sewing. Contemporary ways of dealing with the dead keep us so separate from the process that it has become taboo to openly mourn. We are encouraged to move on and be happy again before we can feel the full weight of our grief. Ghosts is a way of reclaiming the grieving process. I made these clothes as a way through my own grief, but my hope is that it will speak to anyone who has lost someone and allow them to feel what they need to feel in order to grieve.
Ghosts was a temporary installation completed in association with Storefronts Seattle, a part of Shunpike.