Artist: Mimi Haddon
Exhibition: Touch Color
Media: Fiber Art
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Mimi Haddon graduated from CSULB in 1994 with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design; moreover, she is now in her third year focusing on an MFA in Fiber Art. She takes quite great interest in contemporary art forms, specifically fiber art that deals with textiles and sculptures. Haddon’s artwork explores “fast-fashion and the art consumer society,” in which her purpose is for viewers to see how certain things that people may get rid of are actually items that can be brought back to life. Even though clothes may only be worn once or twice and thrown towards Goodwill, she decided to utilize the clothes in order to represent that native materials can form art once disassembled and gathered together. Besides Haddon’s focus on Fiber Art, she also specializes in costume design and photography. With costume design, she noticed that patterns were a great force of the field itself; however, fiber art allowed her to explore her own intuition about art that she has created.
For all of Mimi Haddon’s work, she used various colored T-shirts that were each structured differently. Each and every single one of her pieces stood out to the viewer’s eyes since the colors used on the T-shirts were quite vibrant. Starting with the piece on the wall, oval like-shaped forms were in a straight line with a mixture of dark and bright colors being portrayed. As for the piece that was linked to the ceiling, a line of unequally divided portions led to the floor where an array of T-shirts circled around the tethered line. Another one of her pieces was scrambled out on the floor, yet these parts seemed to be more brighter in color as compared to her other art pieces; moreover, there was only about two dark colors with the rest being bright yellow, orange, and pink. Lastly, Haddon had a corner piece that somewhat looked like an animal to me with a triangular shaped head and a dotted base. The head didn’t have much color, unlike the base that had dots with shades of blues, reds, and yellows plus the background colors that illuminated the piece even more. Overall, her fiber art focused on warm colors with mainly constant textures and different structures plus shapes associated with it.
Mimi Haddon centered her artwork around indigenous cultures that weaved and created their structures with materials that didn’t necessarily have to come from “Earth’s roots.” As she stated, her work is all about organic forms and working with multiples while working based off her own feeling with nothing specifically planned out. With the piece on the floor, the idea she meant to portray was a map with different territories that are fluid with the ability to change. As for the piece on the wall that depicted balloons, she incorporated her photography skills from photos she took at Santa Monica Pier. With balloons, she wanted to get the message across of a deflated feeling that one may feel while also incorporating color theory associated with Josef Albers. Within the color theory, Haddon focuses on how colors bond and respond with one another. As seen through her work, colors can be seen underneath, side to side, or just scattered. Haddon’s artwork truly goes by the idea that material isn’t only meant to be seen on a person, but also in a space or a room as an art form.
Synthesis / My Experience
The exhibition of Touch Color changed how I look at materials that may seem like scrap to me, but are really not since amazing artwork has been created by simply fusing various parts of T-shirts together. What may seem to others as simple warm-colored shirts gathered together in lines and other shapes turns out to be art pieces that have significant meanings attached that allow viewers to portray the different pieces from an artist’s view. Without Mimi Haddon explaining her pieces, I looked at the balloons as simple ovals on a wall and the map on the floor as a rag or rug solely meant for the floor. However, this is because I look at things without really analyzing to fully figure out what is laid out in front of me. No doubt, Haddon’s work is definitely beautiful with all the multiples stitched together! I wouldn’t be able to do such work even if I tried my hardest, so I give my applause to Haddon’s pieces. After I figured out that the piece on the wall was of deflated balloons, I seemed to correlate it to my life knowing that there are times when I feel like I can’t get through school work. Therefore, I end up being popped like a balloon with nothing left to offer for my grades. As for the piece that connected to the ceiling, I seem to relate that with the fact that wider dreams are harder to reach while the smaller dreams are simple and at the bottom with easy access. The fabric at the top portion of the line was spread apart as opposed to the bottom portion that was collated together. Even if the upper part seems to be quite difficult at times to reach in reality, it’s indeed possible after getting through the tiny barriers. Dreams may seem impossible at a point, but then think again because look at Mimi Haddon and her artwork. Truly, I’ve been inspired by her vibrant pieces of art to incorporate meaning into simple things in life.