Historical authenticity, narrative interpretation and the mnemonic experience: measuring the impact of costume-based artwork in dress handling sessions within the museum environment.
This study has been developed from the perspectives of both an artist and an educator so as to create an immersive, memorable and instructive experience for audiences through the creation of interactive replica dress pieces. The research explores how its practical outcome - a multisensory, narrative, dress-based artwork: A Conversation with Mary’s Dress - could be used in a museum education context, alongside or even replacing the study of original items of dress in order to research and experience fashion as social history, while protecting fragile originals. This artwork allows viewers to investigate the dynamic interaction between dress and disease as revealed by deep investigation of a surviving Eighteenth Century gown worn by Mary Graham during her final illness and just before her death from tuberculosis in 1792. The replica dress that constitutes the artwork allows viewers to handle, touch and explore interactively a dress that essentially reproduces the original. This process engages, educates and inspires the viewer in ways that are simply not possible when only the original is available for examination. In addition to and like the dress, a fabric based pocketbook and heart and lungs contain embedded sound-spots that allow viewers to experience and follow the full story of the making of the replica artwork, Mary Graham’s treatments and her subsequent death from tuberculosis. The entire work, then, rewards curious hands and minds through sharing its rich history by way of a multisensory experience.
|Keywords||Eighteenth Century gown; Mary Graham; tuberculosis|
|Publisher||University of Derby|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.48773/981w1|
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|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||08 Aug 2022|
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