Artist Reincarnates Wedding Dresses for Exhibition
Sanzi Kermes continues her exploration of materials for her solo exhibition at Waddell Art Gallery at Northern Virginia Community College. For "soft swish of taffeta, ceremonial rites of passage, resurrect muted voices," Kermes textiles are pre-worn wedding gowns. Whether out of the attic, pulled from a cellar, brought from the closet, found in a secondhand shop, or gifted, every dress has a special story. Kermes unfolds a new relationship with each gown via the ritual of matrimony.
By: Northern Virginia Community College
A mixture of new and older works, Kermes' multi-media installation highlights a new direction of her practice from prints and printmaking into the realm of sensory explorations and examinations of cultural expectations. The collection of wedding dresses has been altered, painted, and screen printed. The transformation from bridal iconography to art is now accompanied by stories from numerous people who discuss their experiences with weddings. The imagery on the dresses is a mixture of hand painted and screen printed motifs that include flora, abstraction, and her trademark patterns derived from Scrabble games.
Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Kermes is a self-described Scrabble afficionado. She documents games played and creates bold, graphic, and colorful patterns throughout her work. She incorporates the words played during the game using the form of haiku, but which is more accurately a senryu. The use of poetry, especially Japanese poetry, is not only reflected in Kermes' text but also her practice as a whole.
"While simplicity is perhaps the best way to describe Kermes' practice, it is not void of content. Kermes' art is astute and flowing with context, meaning, and ceremony," says curator Liz Faust. The exhibition brings together this collection of artifacts that stand as witnesses to these events, our cultural expectations of them, and how these ideas affect us on both a collective and personal level.
We invite you to come experience Kermes' unmaking and refashioning of these memories in not only a visual viewing but with your entire sensory body.
For more information, visit https://www.nvcc.edu/