Monday, July 27, 2009


Details of orange paper dress ensemble from 1966, copyright Ingrid Mida 2009
Mixed media (Paper, ribbon, thread)

Details from blue paper dress ensemble from 1966 copyright Ingrid Mida 2009
Mixed media (Paper, ribbon, thread)

Unlike the prevailing view in the contemporary art world, I believe that art does not need to be provocative or ugly to have meaning. Earlier this spring, I created an artwork (for a prestigious competition) in which I wrestled with my soul over whether or not I could produce shocking and ugly work. After many sleepless nights, beauty won out. I knew then that I would not be one of the chosen. I've tried to make peace with that and decided to share selections from that submission.

This is my artist statement from the work which is called "1966".

Our choice of clothing conveys unspoken messages about our self-image and our place in society. My artwork, which uses paper as a medium to represent the ephemeral nature of fashion trends, examines the meaning inherent in women's clothing.

With the birth of the feminist movement in the 1960s, women began to question their traditional roles as wives and mothers. Fashion mirrored the social and cultural upheaval of that decade and women were freed from the constraints of highly structured clothing.

In 1966, the year that the phrase "women's liberation" first appeared in print, the disposable paper dress was created as a marketing tool. These cheap and sexy dresses were an instant hit and symbolic of the new levels of liberty women were achieving in the workplace and at home. Bikinis, representative of new sexual freedoms, often came in ensembles with matching dress, hat, and shoes, and were sometimes even worn as bridal wear.

This work called "1966" celebrates a pivotal year in our recent history in which there was a convergence of the women's movement with fashion.