Artist: Mimi Haddon
Exhibition: Touch Color 2
Gallery: Gatov West
About the Artist
Mimi Haddon is currently attending CSULB to attain her masters degree in Fiber Art. The description box on instagram reads “Color warrior” and this could not be a more perfect phrase to describe Haddon. This name she uses for herself is reflected in her work time and time again, in the most beautiful of ways. Scroll through her instagram and you will find that her posts make up a vibrant rainbow. When I talked to her Haddon said she’s always liked color but this was really solidified in her work after taking a color class here at CSULB. Haddon said that as she develops more and more as an artist, color becomes even more evident in her art. Haddon does lots of different artwork with lots of different mediums, lights, paint, costumes, and clothing; just to make a few. All of her work is incredibly vibrant, fun, and beautiful.
Haddon’s exhibit at CSULB was a vibrant array of colorful tshirts, repurposed into beautiful artwork. There were three different pieces on exhibit. One piece was made of tshirts cut in to thin strips and then sewn back together to make something like a rug. This piece was very warm and wavy and the way the colors blended into one another and faded into the next colors reminded me of a puddle on a slick surface with the sun reflecting rainbow light onto it. The next piece had blocks of different colored tshirts sewn together up some type of stick leaning against the wall. This piece was very fun and whimsical and reminded me of something you might find in a Doctor Seuss book. The final piece was little bags sewn from multicolored tshirts. I later learned out that this piece was meant to resemble a fair game where you throw darts at balloons.
Choosing to work with tshirts was a very deliberate decision for Haddon. She was inspired by the way that indigenous cultures use raw and native materials to create art and structures as well as the sculptor El Anatsiu who repurporsed bottle caps to create art. This inspired Haddon to find some material that she could repurpose to create her own artwork. Enter the tshirt. I think this exhibit by Haddon is all about repurposing and stripping something down to its basic element and trying to see it in a new light and to create something new. It is very inspiring.
Initially, this exhibit reminded me of being a kid. All the bright colors, this whimsy and Seuss-like elements and the resemblance of a fair ride; all these things reminded me of being a kid. But then I talked to Haddon and read about her inspiration behind her artwork, and I learned that there was so much more to it. The way she cut the tshirts down into little pieces, tore them apart and transformed them into a raw state, and then reinvisioned this scraps was really inspiring to me. It reminds me that in life, we often see situations as black and white, but there is so much more. We sometimes face problems and hardships and in life and feel that we are stuck. But sometimes all we need to do is take a step back, dissect the problem and see it in a new light, and then come up with a solution. Similar to how Haddon took some tshirts, stripped them down, and made something new and beautiful out of them.