(Re)making: Primark Shirt (2013)

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We’re showcasing the work of artists on this site, because the response to the Rana Plaza collapse has been multinational and multi-disciplinary, and because we are lucky enough to have an artist – Catherine Cartwright – creating new work with us as part of this Challenge.

Toni Buckby’s Shirt (2013) is not a direct response to the Rana Plaza collapse. It is, however, fascinating for our Challenge because, she can explain:

“I have become more interested in the act of making; I consider the objects I produce to be residues of my actions. These concerns sit in a wider social, cultural and economic structure, drawing attention to the human practice of building identity through the objects they use, create and acquire. My work for this exhibition highlights the commodification of the objects with which we engage -divorcing ourselves from the means of production, devaluing the objects, and opening manufacturing processes upto labour abuse.

In Shirt – 2013, a live performance work that takes place over the two weeks of the MArt Creative Art Practice final year exhibition, I deconstruct a £4 ladies shirt (size 12) purchased from Primark and produce a copy of the garment, employing hand sewing techniques and using organic, fair trade and recycled materials. The parameters of the performance emulate an abstraction of the working conditions used in the manufacture of the original shirt.”

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