Sunday, November 16, 2008

Knitting Nation by Liz Collins

KNITTING NATION is ongoing, collaborative performance and site-specific installation project. It explores aspects of textile and apparel manufacturing, laying bare the process of making machine knitted fabric. The project functions as a commentary on how humans interact with machines, global manufacturing, trade and labor, iconography, and fashion. It should create awareness of the physicality involved in making fabric and clothing, and aims to raise questions about our culture of excess.

This concept for performance and process emerged in a series of conversations with friend and fellow fashion designer Gary Graham starting in 2002. As independent and emerging designers working in the fashion industry, we were constantly faced with challenges and frustrations in the quest to build our brands.

We felt that we needed to create an outlet for our aggressions and a platform to reveal the raw, creative energy and the labor-intensive processes that were part of our work. We brainstormed ideas about performances and projects, and proceeded to work collaboratively and successfully on some garments, but we did not perform while making them. Instead, we continued to devote our time to our fashion businesses; but the drive to perform my knitting stayed with me.

Liz Collins is an artist and designer, recognized internationally for her use of machine knitting to create ground-breaking clothing, textiles, and 3-D installations.

After five years as an independent designer of seasonal ready-to-wear collections in New York City, Collins returned to her alma mater, Rhode Island School of Design, as an Assistant Professor in the Textile Department. In addition to teaching, Collins currently designs knitwear under her own label, which she sells at trunk sales and select boutiques in New York and Tokyo. She also collaborates with other designers, producing signature knit pieces and collections for them.

more text on her homepage:


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