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Cactus Shadow

By  Claire Barber 2023
When the sunlight gently streams through the top floor windows of a townhouse, it casts its light onto the fabric of a tailored wedding suit hanging in the corner. In this quiet space, a number of graduations are created, from the deep jet back shadow caused by the cuff buttons to the blended bleached fabric across the sleeves that has absorbed the light. Juxtaposed with this light is a shadow of a household cactus, its leaves gathering dust on the window sill. The patterns of the shadows are densely stitched in a black thread into the grain of the two sections of the tailored suit sleeves, in places almost returning to the former colour of the suit. At times the stitches reach the unbleached fabric and then they blend into one deep shade of black. Cactus Shadow deals with a widow’s conflict, of either hanging onto a worn suit or letting it go. The framework of Tailored offers another solution; a means of performing mourning through the hand-sewing process. The stitches emerge as timid interventions and evoke the impermanence of the surface of the suit. Cactus Shadow was selected as part of The 62 Group exhibition Tailored presented at Sunny Bank Mills, West Yorkshire 13th May - 2nd July 2023.
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