Crafted Consumerism

I’ve spent this week looking at textile manufacturing processes, both printed and woven and it reminded me of a thought provoking exhibition I saw last year in a superb venue, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC.

Artist Brian Jungen looks at everyday items, deconstructs them and reforms them into entirely new objects – a mass of expensive golf bags transform into contemporary totem poles, plastic chairs into a dinosaur skeleton but the piece that really caught my eye was “Peoples Flag”, on loan from the National Gallery of Canada. Here, Jungen amassed a collection of mass produced materials, hats, coats, umbrellas and stitched them together to form a huge red flag.

Partly inspired by banners created by Greenpeace activists and also by a poem, “The Red Flag” written by Irish political activist Jim Connell in 1889, “Peoples Flag” is a beautifully crafted piece ironically made from mass produced consumer items.

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