Yes/On is an installation of dress prototypes which I call Text Toiles.
Drawing from my background as a dressmaker, I stitched the letters Y, E, S, O, N into the framework of a shift dress—a simple rectangular garment whose meaning and use have changed in step with historical cultural shifts. The familiar form of this classic dress in contemporary fashion began as a comfortable undergarment to protect the outer layers of clothing from bodily fluid. Through the craft of sewing these shifts, I attend to and openly address intimacy, reflecting on conversations with my family and peers about consent, dating apps, sex positivity, language and boundaries. Considering the parameters of interpersonal relationships as intertwined with the grain of cloth, I set up the conditions for each spectator’s particular correspondence to YES, to its counterpart NO, and its inverse ON through the display of these garments in various states of openness, completion and declaration. The meaning of these terms are reliant on voice and embodiment, as clothing and language both function and fail as a boundary. Working from the parameters and experiences of my own body, I see these dresses as a cloth envelope of space where thought and feeling merge.