- Artist: Mimi Haddon
- Media: Discarded T-Shirts
- Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov West Gallery
- Website: http://mimihaddonart.com
- Instagram: @Mimihaddon
Mimi Haddon is a Master of Fine Arts student studying Fiber Art through CSULB’s Fiber Department. Haddon became interested in using discarded t-shirts as a form of media over a year ago, after becoming interested in how indigenous cultures utilize native materials throughout the world. What really piqued her interest was at discovering how these people braided, weaved, and knotted those natural fibers to create structures. Through this discovery, Haddon also ties her pieces to her studies of the work of Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui, who used discarded water bottle caps in his sculptures as an acknowledgement of the wasted human made products. When discussing her art, Mimi Haddon was very passionate about her pieces and her fascination of how every discarded t-shirt has its own story was unmistakable.
Within the gallery, Haddon had many works of art placed in contrast among the stark white walls. Her pieces were all constructed from recycled colorful t-shirts; some cut into strands for weaving, while others cut into shapes made for reshaping. The recycled clothing was collected by Haddon through donations and her local Goodwill, then to be repurposed into colorful works of art. In the top picture located above, you can see the overall appearance resembling the carnival game of popping balloons with darts. This piece has bright colorful shirts that are tied near the top to resemble deflated balloons pinned to the solid white background. Although we were not allowed to touch the material, it appeared soft and most likely made of cotton.
From my understanding, Mimi Haddon’s work is meant to make use of a taken-for-granted material by turning it into something new. Something that shows its’ audience that this material isn’t some bland, useless, waste of resources, but something that deserves attention and brings life and excitement by bringing an abundance of color. Through breaking down and reconstructing the structure of the fabric, Haddon showed her audience that even this media can be reshaped into something worthy of being deemed art. I believe that during her creation of these pieces, Haddon was also trying to expand her color palette and learn to be more embracive with the wide spectrum of colors.
Mimi Haddon’s work is truly one-of-a-kind and in a happy and vivacious way. After walking out of her gallery, I felt happier and uplifted due to how colorful and bright her work was. I thought that the extensive use of luminous colors was refreshing as it contrasts the darkness our nation is surrounded in currently. I also believe her piece that was strung from the ceiling somewhat looked as though it was recreated from a Dr. Seuss book. While looking through the gallery, the bright color and use of fabric reminded me of the Cat in the Hat, and the section of the book containing the machine that sucks up the children’s t-shirts from the floor. Overall I really enjoyed the gallery, and recognize how much work, effort, emotion, time, and energy must have gone into creating these pieces.