Thursday, June 30, 2011

Barn Swallow Dress goes to a great home!

I went to a fundraiser at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA), and had the chance to meet new art lovers. I also had the chance to offer a couple of my pieces up for auction to help fund Young Benefactors at the UMFA as well as Studio D, and Utah Opera's Vivace.

Barn Swallow Dress sold to some dear friends of mine. It is one of my favorite dresses from the installation titled "Stories the Hummingbird Told Me," 2003.

Jen Harmon Allen plaster dress Barn Swallow Dress

The dresses from this series were pretty much all found at DI (Deseret Industries), and harken back to a certain era in fashion: 50's party dresses, a 60's dress suit, a 70's mini dress. Barn Swallow dress happens to be the last one: a quilted red mini dress! I dipped it in a big bucket of plaster and draped it over a dress form to harden. Later I painted animals, insects and flowers on the surface of this and the other seven dresses. 

Jen Harmon Allen installation of Stories the Hummingbird Told Me

Jen Harmon Allen installation of Stories the Hummingbird Told Me

Jen Harmon Allen installation view of Stories the Hummingbird Told Me

From my artist statement at the original 2003 exhibition (Woodbury Art Museum):

"Influenced by an incident with a hummingbird, the dresses in this installation are about the relativity of time. Last summer as I completed landscape studies on my back porch, often I was visited by a hummingbird hovering close. It was my red-flowered smock that drew it to me. Hoping to hold on to this little creature’s flirtations with my dress, I realized that a hummingbird's movements are in direct opposition to any sort of holding on. 

Ephemeral in nature, dresses and bird-visits cannot be made to stay still. But connecting with this creature made me feel like time had stopped. I am grateful to living things that tie me to the world and make me hold my breath when I see them staring back at me. I believe this is awareness."

1 comment:

  1. I Love your story behind these dresses! WoW! You are so creative. These are beautiful.