Artist: Mimi Haddon
Media: T-Shirts, Fiber Art, Textiles
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Mimi Haddon is a fellow 49er and graduated from CSULB in 1994 with a Bachelor’s of Art in Graphic Design. She is currently here for her Master’s Degree in Fiber Art. Fiber art refers to fine art whose material consists of natural or synthetic fiber and other components such as fabric, yarn, and textiles. Along with creating art and making exhibits, she is also a photographer. She likes to photograph costumes and then she eventually learned how to make them herself. When working on her fiber art, Haddon does a lot of hand stitching as well as using a sewing machine. She likes to bounce around different projects unless she has a show coming up then she ends up focusing on it solely. Haddon likes to work more intuitively and sculpturally instead of planning things out. She draws some of her inspiration from indigenous cultures and colors.
Mimi Haddon’s art work was very colorful. There was a wide variety of color including red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and many more. Most of the art appeared to be woven sculptures which displayed the colors and patterns. One of her works appeared to be the United States of America on the floor made from strips of fabric of different colors. The main colors appeared to be red, yellow and orange which gives off a sort of warm feeling. Another piece of artwork in her exhibit was a wall with what looked like balloons made from sleeves of shirts. The colors for the balloons were a little darker and less vibrant using more darker shades of red as well as purple and brown. Haddon also had a sculpture of a long tube connecting towards the ceiling with a ring of colors around the base. The colors of this sculpture were like a rainbow using every color as well as different shades of them. A lot of her art work seemed to create patterns using different colors. The patterns of the balloons on the wall and the tower of colors had a straighter pattern while the USA on the floor seemed to be more jagged and the how it was made of strips made it also made it more textures. Haddon mentioned that all the work she created in this exhibit were made from t-shirts she recycled from Goodwill. She would make the shirts into strips or ripped off the sleeves to create something new.
Mimi Haddon makes her art from shirts that she has recycled from Goodwill. She believes that it is a waste how so much effort is put into making the shirts and then they are thrown away after a one day event. Haddon wants to give life to the abandoned shirts by making them into art. The balloons on the wall were made from the two sleeves of a shirt that were ripped off and then sewn together. Haddon was inspired to make this when she went to Santa Monica Pier and saw the carnival game of balloons being popped by darts. She saw the balloons of the walls when they were deflated. After seeing this she wanted to recreate the balloons which explored color theory and explains the feeling of just hanging there uninflated. Haddon described that her U.S.A. art work represented a map of territories. Each color represented on territory and its size on the country and then opposing territories and their size. I could not ask her about the specifics of her other pieces of art but all her works consists of breaking apart shirts and stitching them to into new patterns.
Synthesis / My Experience
When I first walked in to Mimi Haddon’s exhibit, I thought everything was very colorful. Because everything was very colorful, the first thing I thought in my head was “see the rainbow. taste the rainbow.” I did not know that the textile on the floor was shaped as the Unites States of America. I also did not know that the fabrics on the wall were balloons. After giving her explanations of her work, I learned that all her art had a deeper meaning. I thought the idea behind how the balloons represent the feeling of being deflated and just hanging there was very interesting. At times in my life I feel like I have just been going through motions of life feeling a little empty and the balloons reminded me of this so I feel like I could relate to the balloons even though I did not know that they were balloons at first. I think it was this art piece that really hit the most because it felt so relatable. I also thought it was cool how all her art pieces were recycled pieces of thrown away shirts from Goodwill. I agree that it is just a waste that people throw away event shirts right after they use them. I am one of those people who will reuse those shirts for workouts or for pajamas. So, seeing her putting them to use was great because it was economical. I believe that at first glance you would think that her art just colorful with cool looking patterns but, her work is actually even more amazing because they all have deeper meanings. By being able to talk to her my simple minded view of art elaborated so much.