PROCESS WITHIN PROCESS is a project exploring fabric treatments like dying, bleaching and quilting. It's by Mikaela Fisher and Caeylen Fenelon-Norris and is the end result of their experimental, dynamic process. It's currently up in our store windows. We asked Mikaela and Caeylen about their process, scroll further to see how they tackled this project.
You had the idea to activate Kloke’s store windows when you noticed all the papered over/concealed shop windows in the area, and were struck by their bleakness. What were your next steps?
Mikaela- I started looking at the idea of an archive and how we could interweave this into a VM project. Kloke is known for their fabrics and looking back through the archive of materials I thought it would be nice to re-work these and use them within a different function.
Caeylen- I had approached Adam (Kloke cofounder and designer) earlier to potentially incorporate some of the dead stock fabric into my own practice. As I started doing so I realised that this archive of fabric was quite amazing as a body in itself. So the idea between Mikaela and I to collaborate to form a new life for this fabric was quiet seamless and natural.
Where did you make the work and how did this impact the outcome?
M- We created the work in my backyard, it gave us a lot of room to experiment with different bleaching and dyeing techniques. Using the clothes line as a display and the grass area to work on, the process developed naturally each day, rain or sun.
C- The work was created in Mik’s backyard due to restrictions of using a studio or another space, which was quite fitting because it allowed us to use the surrounding elements to almost create the works, bricks, clothing-line, buckets, and garden beds.
How much was play and experimentation part of your process?
M- We spent each day testing, bleaching, painting and dyeing fabrics, cutting and ripping up fabrics. Essentially destroying the material then sewing it back together. Not knowing what the end result would be, it was a fun process to be able to experiment and work through. Once we felt like we had enough new materials to work with, we decided to paint our own impressions over these pieces. Using the bricks and fence to mask patterns using watered down ink and spray paint. We basically compiled a library of fabrics that had been re-worked from the original form.
C- It was all trial and (a lot of) error, due to each fabric having different qualities and preexisting patterns, we had to treat each piece separately. It was important that we both had a hand in each of the processes, working and re-working old and already dyed fabrics, over and over. It all fell into place as we would stop and re-assess each day, which informed the next process of sewing the panels together.
How did you finish off the work in the end?
M- After the dyeing, we spent the majority of the time overlaying and folding the fabrics to see how each colour and element would work with the others. Using the whole perimeter of the backyard, we hung the fabric and started piecing things together. As it’s an archive of fabrics used for previous Kloke collections, we stuck to combinations that we had seen before. From there we started patch working and sewing the pieces together to form the skeleton of the installations.
What challenges did the installation throw at you?
M- It was a bit of a struggle as each piece flat on the ground had a different form to what it had when suspended. We decided to keep the more formal panels for the QV store and hold onto the more obscure/sculptural elements for the Fitzroy store. Each work had a certain weight to it, so it was about getting it visually and physically right so each piece accented the other. The QV space was perfect to work with as the window almost framed the work so we could work with those constraints quite well. Overall, dealing with the architecture of the space it was quite an important part of the process as it affects the viewers point of view and the focus of each panel that we were trying to highlight.
Mikaela Fisher | @miko_bellissimo
Caeylen Fenelon-Norris | @caeylen