8000 Buttons + Rain + Sunshine + Time

Sculptures on the Scarp 2019 was held a couple of weekends ago. It rained and rained and rained on install day. It rained on the first day, friends were concerned that my work would be getting wet…Yes, it was, but fabric and buttons are designed to get wet, so I wasn’t too concerned.

What I didn’t consider, was on that final sunny day, as the buttons and fabric dried out in the sunshine, they absorbed some of the colour in the bush. Some of the individual buttons have dyed silvery greys, other hints of rusty tones.On a few of the pieces the thread I used to stitch the buttons has also developed rusty tones. I’m surprised and delighted that  plastic buttons and polyester thread has dyed so well.Thanks to Kerrie Argent for all the lovely photos on location. A couple of night time images

The work on show at Sculptures on the Scarp looked amazing. You can see the work of all the Artists Here.

Sculptures on the Scarp

Spare Buttons is my first venture into creating work for an outdoor sculpture exhibition. I am delighted they will be on show at Sculptures on the Scarp in the beautiful bush setting at Darlington’s Station Reserve, 2- 3 November 2019.

Greg(Norman), Harry(Potter), Nick(& Nora), Rose(La vie en), Christian(Dior), Ralph(Lauren), Eden(Park) and Vera(Wang)* are Spare Buttons. 50cm diameter, each made from approximately 1000 recycled buttons.

Artist Statement

It’s well known that Fast Fashion has contributed to the exploitation of workers and damage to the environment.

The proliferation of cheap clothing and its practices means that many components of quality clothing have disappeared and now no one notices and it’s expected that patterns and checks on side seams don’t match up, seams are so narrow that with the slightest wear they come apart, and badly cut garments go out of shape very easily.  Natural fibres are rarely used so clothing doesn’t breath, however it does shrink and pill. All factors that lead to garments only being worn a few times and then thrown away.

One ubiquitous item that does remain is the spare button. Stitched into a side seam with the care label or in a little plastic bag on a swing tag, it probably stays in place or in a drawer for the life of the garment.

Do people realise it’s there? Can many people sew this spare button if required? Or do they simply throw them away?

*The titles refer to a single rare button only found on that Spare Button!