Corset Favorite 



Mar 14 2013

Artists: Cindy Maguire, Assistant Professor Art Education Adelphi University and Teaching Artist with Artistic Noise and girls ages 13-17 from the Brentwood Residential Center on Long Island.

This bra/corset is a collaborative work by Cindy Maguire, Assistant Professor of Art Education and a teaching artist with Artistic Noise along with a group of girls from the Brentwood Residential Center, part of the NY State Office of Children and Family Services. Artistic Noise is an arts and entrepreneurship program for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The program provides an opportunity for participants to process and document their lives using the visual arts while learning valuable life and job skills. The work is then exhibited out in the community to share the experiences of the youth. To begin the work we looked at the statistics regarding women of color and breast cancer. We found that women of color but especially African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than any other group of women. The choice of a corset instead of a bra is due to the symbolism associated with corsets including binding and restriction of movement for women. Poetry and imagery from an earlier project was put into Photoshop and used to create the paper panels. Rolls of medical gauze from the Vietnam War cover the interior, a symbolic parallel to the military soliders collaged on the exterior. Dr. Maguire was in charge of putting all the pieces together. As with past Creative Cups submissions, Dr. Maguire used thread and other sewing materials from her grandmother, who was a breast cancer survivor.

Creating the work was exciting and challenging. The participants aren't always up for the artmaking or they are transfered out of the facility, so participation was uneven at times. The girls are also no allowed to use certain tools, such as needle and thread and there is no where to store larger pieces of work that are in process. This impacted the final construction, which was done separate from the girls.

The piece was one of a select group chosen for the opening exhibition, which will take place on March 6th. So far, we've had a very positive response to the work.

Posted by cmbaba on