Martha McDonald: The Weeping Dress

Opening: Thursday 10 March, 6-8pm. To be opened by Kate Just.
Free artist talk: Saturday 2 April, 2pm

Victorian mourning culture meets craft and contemporary performance.

Martha McDonald is an interdisciplinary artist whose work features handcrafted costumes and objects that are activated through gesture, singing and autobiographical narrative. The Weeping Dress comprises a performance and installation arising from detailed research into Victorian mourning culture.

Mourning wear was traditionally made from wool bombazine or crepe. The dyes used to colour these fabrics were often plant-based and unstable, staining the woman’s body in the rain and heat. McDonald will construct a mourning dress out of black crepe paper, which will be activated in performance to release the fugitive dye. The transformation of the dress and the stain it leaves behind suggest presence, absence and our own impermanence.

Opening speech by Kate Just
Interview with Martha McDonald about The Weeping Dress on SYN FM

Download pricelist here
The Weeping Dress
is presented as part of the 2011 L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program.


Performance video

Photography: Christian Capurro

11 March – 21 April 2011
Gallery 2