Artist: Barbara Burns
Title: Little Devil Corset
Attribution: Little Devil Corset, 2018, Barbara Burns
Materials: Handwoven Tapestry: hand dyed wool weft, seine twine warp, cotton coutil, plastic cable ties as boning, metal grommets, cotton lacing permanent marker
Dimensions: 9.25 x 9.75 x 8
Image Statement: This is the first of several tapestry corsets which, through unwoven darts and pulled warp techniques and/or shaping become three dimensional. This collection of corsets express my fascination with the ways people have distorted their bodies in the name of beauty and art: historically, the corset and foot binding are well known. Being displayed on an armature, propels the corset into the world of sculpture. The corset has been designed to fit the artist. It is supported by a substructure which includes cotton coutil, stays, grommets and lacing, typical of corsets. This first piece in the series has imagery (little devils, water, clouds and vines), inspired by the Apocalypse tapestry in Angers, France. When transferred from a wall hanging to the format of a corset, the imagery takes on new meaning. The little devils are reaching for the corset laces behind the wearers back. What are they about to do? Are they going to tighten the laces, loosen them? What or who do these devils represent, the uncontrolled, alpha male narcissist who prefers women as an accessory to his power to be controlled and objectified? On the inside of the corset are written names of people who have been sexually abused, harassed and/or raped. The names are written in the pattern of a vine as in the original Apocalypse tapestry and in the Little Devil Corset tapestry here. My intention is to give the viewer something to consider beyond the technical and visual aspects of the work.