Ghost Seamstress

Michèle Karch-Ackerman

April 6 – June 26, 2022

“I make clothing for ghosts. The dead, the forgotten, and the hurting. For thirty years I have stitched conceptual wardrobes to manifest healing.” – Michèle Karch-Ackerman

The act of making garments by hand, one-by-one, each time with a wearer in mind, is an act of devotion. When the intended is no longer living, this may seem an impractical gift. What it does, however, is hold space for their imagined lives, and a place in which to put the energies of grief and hope. Each stitch is a reverential gesture; an offering; a product of care.

Bodies that were birthed and lived and passed become soil, which becomes wildflowers whose seeds are spread by songbirds and so on and so on. Bluebird Dress Factory presents a ‘flock’ of white and blue flowered children’s garments (each stitched to represent Karch-Ackerman’s Grandmother Julia and her multitude of offspring using patterns and heirloom fabric dating from the late 19th century to the 1960s with featured archival photographs) and an installation of Victorian-era ‘garment factory’ furniture/ephemera, antique dolls, and toys.

Leading into Bluebird Dress Factory are excerpts from Sweet Breath of Trees and Flower Girl which bring forward over 30 years of work to follow a set of common threads that wind through histories, literature, domesticity, nostalgia, and labour to consider the lives of women and girls.

Michèle Karch-Ackerman is a nationally recognized contemporary artist whose installations are known for inspiring viewers with their provocative and touching subject matter. For over thirty years her artistic practice has involved the devotional act of sewing clothing. Karch-Ackerman is an installation artist drawn to domestic, traditionally feminine, work: embroidery, needlepoint, knitting, dress and doll-making. Her work considers the dead, the forgotten, the and the hurting.

 

Related Events:

Bluebird Encounter | Saturday, June 4, 2022 from 2pm-4pm

Artist Talk with Michèle Karch-Ackerman | Sunday, June 5, 2022 from 11am-12pm

Bookbinding with Jeffrey Macklin & Michèle Karch-Ackerman | Two Sessions | Sunday, June 5, 2022

The Art Gallery of Peterborough is open from 11AM to 5PM, Wednesday to Sunday.

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