Artist: Mimi Haddon
Media: refurnished t-shirts
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Mimi Haddon graduated from CSULB in 1994 from the School of Art’s Graphic Design Program. She is currently back at CSULB working towards her MFA degree in the School of Art’s Fiber Program. She is also currently in her third year. She has been exploring color theory, dealing with how different colors respond together and also with layering the colors on top of one another in her work. She has also been working on textiles, dying, and mainly anything that has to do with the material of the clothes that are worn.
Mimi started her project about a year and a half ago. Her pieces were all completely made out of t-shirts. All of her t-shirts have been given to her or she has purchased them from Goodwill. She leans more towards warm colors when purchasing her shirts. Her first 100 shirts were warm colors. By doing this, she is trying to make a commentary and bring new life to them that would have just been discarded and go into the landfill. She now has approximately 300 shirts. Her method would be her having to dissect her shirts, organize them into piles, sleeves with sleeves and collars with collars. She then would be stitched them together to create patterns. When she creates her pieces, she does not have a certain process or path on what she wants to do. She rather sees the organic forms and self-structure come to life.
Mimi first got her inspiration when she had gone to Santa Monica Pier and inside the arcade and noticed deflated balloons from the fun zone. She took a picture of them and thought it was a really interest image and begin making her piece out of t-shirt sleeves because it showed a deflated image. Mimi is a photographer and has been working with costumes. Initially, she would just rent costumes but then began wanting to look into how to make and view materials. Mimi now no longer view materials as just a costume on a person, but she also view materials in a room, or even space. In her project, she likes to create them more sculpturally. She is also influenced by indigenous culture and costumes. She also looks at Phyllis Galimbo’s works. Another person who inspires her and who’s work she looks at is Josef Albers. While taking a class at Long Beach, it gave her a better perception of colors, color theory and the psychological aspects of life. Mimi’s piece on the floor symbolizes a map, representing territories because territories are fluid things that can change. Her projects are hand-stitched, but she does use lots of sewing machines.
I knew just from standing outside the SOA galleries that this exhibit was the one I wanted to write out. The wall of t-shirts caught my attention and lured me in, fascinated and curious as to what it actually was and what it meant. Mimi was outside her gallery working on another project, she was kind enough to speak to a large audience of students. I loved hearing her talk, her passion for this project was inspiring to hear. I am very excited to see her upcoming projects. I love what she is doing, and if she is ever looking for some volunteers I would sure help.