My dark and rainy morning was made infinitely more inspiring after discovering these tripped-out videos of performance artist and mother of re-purposed textiles, Evelyn Roth.
In the 1960s, before the concept of recycling was of any global importance, Evelyn began collecting old sweaters, unraveling the soft wool, and re-knitting the yarn into large scale cocoon-like shelters, provocative clothing and political wearable art. She is also known for collecting old rolls of TV film (found in newsroom trash bins), and crocheting it into clothing, car covers, and performance art costumes. When viewing the videos above, be sure to watch the awesome Arts 74 interview, wherein she performs a rad dance piece, playing with physical movement while completely encapsulated by one of her soft mollusk-like sculptures.
Above, top L: Roth c.1970s in a capelet of recycled feather dusters. R: In a crocheted fur and leather ensemble. Below, L: Moving sculpture happening in Vancouver. R: Recent portrait of Roth in a wheatgrass cape and recycled tape gown.
Roth has always found it bizarre that any person would choose to wrap their own skin in synthetic fabrics and textures, knowing that humans have the freedom to swath their bodies in any fabric available on Earth. Through her art, she wants to help people understand the physical and emotional effects brought on by the textiles we surround ourselves with, both healthy and non. Clothing and shelter are both intensely tactile and sensory experiences, to be considered with care, creativity and sustainability.
Above: Sea mollusk performance piece c.early 1970s. Below, L: Making a call from "The Family Sweater". R: Roth chilling out inside "The Environment for Living Recycled from 110 Sweaters".
I'm off to find a set of driftwood needles so I can whip-up a living room teepee and knit a sweater for my husband, Pug and I to wear simultaneously.