Photos by Nat McComas
About the project
This project is one of seven artist and social enterprise collaborations for A Fierce Hope, the keynote exhibition for Brisbane’s newest art and cultural hub - Adderton: house & heart of mercy, opening in June 2019.
‘Blue Jean Sisters’ is a collaboration between artist Belinda Smith and social enterprise Outland Denim, an ethical clothing brand. Outland Denim provides sustainable employment and training opportunities for women who have been rescued from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Modern Slavery effects 45.8 million lives in many of the poorest countries and three quarters of this alarming figure are women and girls.
The goal for the installation is to make 2000 dolls, individually handmade. While made from the same pattern and material, every doll will have its own variations in colour and workmanship - each will be individual. The collection of dolls will be installed as a group, allowing the viewer to see the overall quantity as well as observe the individual variations.
It is hoped that people share this project and reflect on the decisions they make about the clothes they wear and how, and by who they are made.
1. Come along to a ‘making session’ - dates and places will be announced
2. Follow on instagram and DM for a pattern to be sent out and return a made doll
3. Download the pattern from the website and make a doll from some old blue jeans you have at home
DOLLS SHOULD BE RETURNED BY THE END OF MARCH 2019 FOR INCLUSION IN THE EXHIBITION
Send the doll back for inclusion in an installation as part of A Fierce Hope, the keynote exhibition for Brisbane’s newest art and cultural hub Adderton: house & heart of mercy, opening in June 2019.
After the exhibition the dolls will be sent to Cambodia to children in orphanages and rescue homes.
For more information about Adderton House and A Fierce Hope
Doll + Denim
The rag-doll is a simple object made for a child by resourceful women out of scraps and rags around the home. Historically it is soft and familiar, made with well used textiles no longer useful. Children project living qualities on to their doll- a friend, confidant, someone to care for - reenacting the mothering, friendship and care they receive from family onto the doll. A rag-doll is a symbol of innocence - it marks the time in a child’s life when they are loved and safe. It is used in this project as a symbol of the innocence lost for so many girls in the world.
Denim is a textile connected to the every day. Indigo dyed and hard wearing, the history of denim jeans is first linked to working clothes and then became a symbol of disobedience worn by jail inmates. Over the last few decades jeans have become a staple fashion item of clothing for any wardrobe. Today the demand for denim jeans has meant that the industry has become an exploiter of human labour and environmentally destructive. Outland Denim was founded to change that - using the high demand for jeans to forge social change.