Artist: Mimi Haddon
Exhibition: Touch Color 2
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Mimi Haddon has already graduated from CSULB in 1994 with a BA in Visual Communication Design, but is currently attending CSULB to get a M.F.A in Fiber Art’s. Besides Mimi Haddon’s focus on Fiber Art, she also specializes in costume design and photography. On her website, she shows how she can combine her two hobbies and show her colorful designs. Her inspiration comes from the way our culture is one of “fast-fashion” and that t-shirts end up to be an easily wasted resource. She was inspired by a Ghanaian sculptor named El Anatsul who used discarded bottle caps as his medium to create his “fabric” sculpture. The gallery presented during the week was focused on the fabric from t-shirts and how they can be shaped or formed to express thoughts and feelings.
As a Fiber artist, Mimi Haddon used colored T-shirts that were each shaped and combined to make her art. For the color arrangement, I see a vast amount of warm and vibrant colors. While there are some cooler colors, most of them are of lighter shades. Most of the colors I observed are different shades of red, yellow, and orange. None of her fabrics were dyed, so all the colors shown are from the t-shirt itself. From the design, I can see that some of the cloth was cut into circles or shaped around circular objects stitched together by thread. Mimi Haddon also uses the space around the art to her advantage, such as the open floor or the walls.
Mimi Haddon centered her artwork around indigenous cultures that weaved and created their structures with materials that they had on hand. By using old, used shirts from Goodwill, she is using something that someone once bought and eventually gave away when they were done with it. While working with her t-shirts, she realizes that she could cut and weave together the different fabrics to create a whole new palette of colors. With the new designs and colors, Mimi Haddon explores the art of soft structures and creates shapes and repetitive structures with direction. Mimi’s art show thought varied thoughts and feelings within a person.
Synthesis / My Experience
When I first saw this exhibit, the first thoughts that came to me was, “What is this?” All I saw was scraps put together to make some weird designs. The art piece on the floor reminded me of my mom’s spaghetti and nothing really stood out to me. But after I learned the story behind the art, it made me think a little more. From the hundreds of t-shirts she bought, she was able to make something that worth more than a thousand words. The art pieces made me think that things can be reused or made into something that can help you in the future. There isn’t always a need to replace the old and for the new when the old still has its uses.