SARAH MACMILLAN-TAYLOR ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

 

 

 


 

 

 


2008 EXHIBITION


assembly


716 NW Davis


 
     

LOUIS VUITTON OFFERS
(2008)

DOLCE & GABBANA OFFERS
(2009)

MIU MIU OFFERS
(HEARTS)


PAUL SMITH OFFERS
(2007)


DOLCE & GABBANA OFFERS
(2008)

MIU MIU OFFERS
(FLOWERS)



MARC JACOBS OFFERS



HERMES OFFERS

 


Y.S.L. OFFERS




GIVENCHY OFFERS





CHANEL OFFERS





BURBERRY OFFERS

 

assembly

The art of our trade, like that of a painter, is to create the impression that the work simply appeared fully developed. The only way to do this is to totally master technique.
—Hubert de Givenchy

When I moved to the Lake District, several years ago, I started to follow fashion and haute couture much more intently. This was a direct response to moving from the cosmopolitan West Coast to the rural North of England. Suddenly I needed something to fill the gaps between that rare visit to the Tate Modern – or the Tate Liverpool – and the occasional local Sean Scully show. Even my opportunities to access the internet were few and far between, so I began to see glossy magazines as a fresh and ever-changing source of inspiration for form, colour, texture, pattern and composition. They were prevalent yet disposable: ready-mades I could peruse at my leisure and then rip up to assemble sketch books.

Several other artists working in my commercial studio shared this interest in fashion, and would swap fashion magazines. These artists provided a group of peers with whom I could discuss Miuccia’s use of texture, Marc’s colour choices, or Karl’s intriguing patterns.

Actually many more of my peers, male and female – not just the artistic work mates – still share my love of contemplating fashion. Why do we all have this in common? I think it is due to our shared Buddhist practice of “making offerings”. As part of our daily meditation practice we each make gifts to the Buddhas in order to cultivate a light and happy mind before meditating. Since this practice of giving offerings is primarily a mental action – not dependant on possessing physical substances – imagination is key. Of course the couture houses design all kind of delights to inspire us: from perfumes to silk dresses, dining room settings to bath products. All it takes is memory and imagination to include these colours, scents, patterns and textures as part of our daily offerings.

This current body of work stems from my personal offerings’ practice which is, of course, inspired by my love of fashion. In traditional Buddhist meditations offerings are delivered by young handsome gods and goddesses. Sometimes the offered forms, smells, and tactile objects are worn by, or integrated into, the gods and goddesses themselves (e.g. goddess wearing glittering jewels, gods smelling of heavenly cologne, goddesses wearing light silks).

Assembly depicts the more visual of these offerings: goddesses wearing designer clothes. The colours, forms, patterns and textures are inspired by different couture houses, and derive from my practice of imagining offering goddesses outfitted by those houses. Gold is often used as a Buddhist offering as it is considered very pure, so I’ve included gold leaf (along with palladium, silver and copper). Each sheet of Arches paper is hand-dyed with lightfast silk clothing dyes in clear colours. The graphite marks supporting each composition are grids used in traditional Buddhist art to draw offering goddesses. Of course each homage’s title gives credit where credit is due but, while inspired by the compositions of fashion designers, I’ve made each piece my own. Still I’d like to think that the designers themselves would be happy to show such pieces if they were given a similar opportunity to outfit a dozen beautiful young women for the purpose of delighting Holy Beings.

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