Artist: Mimi Haddon
About the Artist
Mimi Haddon is a graduate student in the Fiber Art program at the CSULB School of Art. She started started out at CSULB years ago and graduated with a bachelors degree in graphic design in 1994. Since then she grew a passion for photography and worked with costume design. She is now back here at CSULB focusing more on using textiles and doing costume design and working towards a Master of Fine Arts degree.
Haddon’s gallery was filled with art made completely out of recycled t-shirts. She started out with 100 shirts and worked her way to needing hundreds more to complete the project. Every piece was either hand sewn or done by a sewing machine. Color was a big part of the art, bright and eye-catching colors were used; all of the t-shirts displayed their original color. Each piece of art was placed in a very relaxed way. The pieces hung on the wall seemed to be put up with a nail and draped down in however they fell naturally. The piece on the floor appeared thrown and to land where it was then untouched. The t-shirts gave a free flowing feel to the art, they hung on the different structures just like they would naturally on the body.
Haddon often works more with photography and models so this project was aiming towards getting away from the body. She wanted to work more with structure, space, and architecture even though she believes they can be their own sort of body. She was inspired by an artist in Nigeria who uses different recycled materials for his art and wanted to use something that was readily available. She did some research and found that billions of t-shirts are made and donated every year. Using bright colors in her art incorporates her personality as well, Haddon said her work has always been very colorful and she enjoys working with color light and shadows. The playfulness of her art reflects how she is as a person, she said she has a good sense of humor and even looks for that in the models she hires.
I was very attracted to Haddon’s exhibit because of all the bright colors, it was inviting and playful. The piece in the corner that extended to the ceiling reminded me of Dr. Seuss and made me experience joy. I did not realize everything was made out of t-shirts but when I realized she used them as recycled pieces I was shocked. I have been getting more interested in the environment and ways I can help, but I have never thought that the clothes we wear could be a problem as well. I clean out my closet a few times a year and always donate everything, realizing that these items could be added to the landfill made me want to repurpose some clothes instead of just throwing them away.