Artist: Mimi Haddon
Media: Fiber Art, Textile, Sculpture,Refurbished t-shirts
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Mimi Haddon is a fellow 49er who had graduated from California State University Long Beach in 1994. She graduated with a bachelors of fine arts, specifically, in graphic design. She is now currently working on her Master of Fine Arts here at Long Beach and is focusing on Fiber Arts. Her art style focuses on fiber art, which means using natural or synthetic fiber in their art pieces. In the exhibit she had presented, she had used pieces of T-Shirts. She stated that she likes using t-shirts because it does not matter how old or how new the shirt is, all of the material is usable and she prefers using old shirts because it is practically recycling. She draws her inspiration from indigenous tribesmen and likes to work intuitively. She does not like making work that is over planned. With that being said, She works with multiple different pieces at a time which can help her draw ideas from each other. She is also interested in clothing making and photography.
What really makes her art stand out is how colorful it is. All of her art is very vibrant and full of life that it can catch your attention easily. The materials that she used for her exhibit are old refurbished t-shirts and Mimi Haddon had brought up the point of starting off with only 100 shirts to begin with and by now she had used up to 300 shirts. Even though the art itself is very colorful, each individual piece has a certain theme to it. A comparison would be the wall piece and the floor piece. The floor piece has a color selection that is very similar to a sunrise/sunset and was using strips of fabric to make a shape while the wall piece seemed more structured but the colors are very spontaneous. What is very fun and interactive about her art is that they are more sculpture like.
Mimi Haddon had started working on her art about a year ago and she was inspired by many different things. One of them was in Santa Monica pier, which inspired her to make the wall piece. She said it reminded her of the wall balloon game where you have to pop them. She said mini-game made her feel deflated which clearly shows in the art work while messing with color theory. Her other work that really had a deep meaning is the floor piece. She said that it resembled a map and in it are a range of colors. To me it looked like the United States but she did not specifically say it is. She said that each color is supposed to represent the territories and how it is constantly changing. This is very relevant now with all of the political problems that are occurring with the United States.
Synthesis / My Experience
I had a lot of fun looking at her art. It was the first thing that caught my attention from the other exhibits. I enjoyed how vibrant and colorful it is. It really contrasts with the season because during winter it is normally associated with darker and more calm colors while her exhibit portrayed loud and warm colors. The funnest piece I would say is the wall piece. When I first saw it, it screamed skittles to me. I wanted to take a lot of pictures with the art because it really went well with the white background. Her color theory really did well because the colors popped. When I got a closer look, it became more clear as to how it represented a deflated balloon. She mentioned how the balloons made her feel deflated but it was the opposite for me. Yes, the ‘balloons’ were deflated but I interpreted them as empty vessels waiting to get air in them. A more clear analogy would be the glass half empty but rather half full. The map piece did not really stand out to me at first, but when she described the thought process and ideas behind it, it easily became my favorite piece. It made me feel like the country is more divided than I imagined it to be. Different ideas that opposing each other could represent the colors she had used instead of it representing territories.