Passing (Down)

Rogers_Passing (Down).jpg

Passing (Down), 2022. Ceramic, thread, cloth, generational knowledge in the form of handwriting exercises and clothes-making.

Passing (Down) explores my relationship with my great-grandmother Anna, who I was named after, and the confluence of passing (as a gender) and passing down (heirlooms, memories, etc). Anna made all her own clothes (dresses and aprons). I also make clothes, and recently have been making masculine dress shirts for myself. I sewed one of the dress shirts I made to a clay skirt patterned to reference a 1950s housedress, and positioned it to look out towards Furrow, as I imagine she did late in her life looking out towards neighboring fields on the farm where she raised her family, where my mother moved as a teenager, and my grandfather still lives now.

I textured the ceramic skirt with a cursive handwriting exercise that my great-grandmother taught my mother when she was a child, and my mother taught me. Anna had excellent handwriting, while mine has never been very good. I also included a ricrac border, which was an embellishment she frequently added to clothing she sewed herself.

I began this work intending to use it in a performance piece where I wore the hybrid cloth and ceramic garment until the weight of the ceramic skirt became too much for me to carry, or it ripped off of the cloth shirt (whichever happened first). However, this first iteration has some technical issues which I hope to resolve in future iterations so I can complete this performance.