Daughter's Baby Booties Kick-start Mum's Art Project

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 Daughter's Baby Booties Kick-start Mum's Art Project

Date posted: 8 June 2012

A mother and University of Derby student found a unique use for old baby clothes - permanently preserving them as an artwork for her final-year degree project.

Grace Goodbean, 49, of Matlock, who is just completing her BA (Hons) Creative Expressive Therapies degree course, took crocheted baby jackets and booties - including a cardigan once worn by her daughter Alice, now aged 23 - dipped them in porcelain and fired them in a ceramics oven, to create a solid, preserved copy of the delicate woollens.

She explained: "I wanted to do something which would surprise anyone looking at them as the unexpected interests me. Baby clothes are soft and usually made by women. I wanted to show the beauty in everyday things, such as a cleaning cloth and other objects that are often discarded. Here, they're transformed into something ornamental, hard and permanent."

On a similar theme, Grace's final year project also includes a recreation of our solar system's planets in coloured balls of wool, complete with knitting needles.

"It's a play on the idea of God being a woman, with knitting being a very female pursuit," added Grace. "The woman in the moon knitting the sky, an alternative creation myth."

Her eye-catching work is just one of the exhibits by final year Creative Expressive Therapies students; currently on free public display on the fourth floor of the University's Britannia Mill site, in Markeaton Street, Derby until 3pm on Saturday (June 9). Other exhibits explore ideas of home memories, foreign cultures and human psychology.

This exhibition is part of the wider current 2012 Degree Shows of works by visual communications, textiles, product design, fine art, photography students and many others, on free display at the University's Markeaton Street Site in Derby until June 12.

Jean Bennett, Senior Lecturer in Therapeutic Arts, said: "The work in this year's Creative Expressive Therapies degree show is diverse in terms of the different media used throughout. Grace's piece is an interesting concept in preservation, not just of a child's garment but in relation to the memories it holds; something every mother can identify with."

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