DRAPE is an investigation into histories and contemporary forms of fabric and the drape – as sculptural form, social code, and forms of signaling and communication. Focusing on the motif of drapery as signals of status, wealth and sensuous desire, contrasting with its use for modesty and restraint.
The work involves creating a database of research material including cloth, textiles, drape, fabric, curtain, banners, suspension, hangings, laying and bundling. Areas of focus include draping in public (such as clothing, or ceremonial drapes), statuary and figurative representations. Research includes how artists have engaged with drapes formally and conceptually; its sculptural qualities, social codes, forms of signaling and communication. The project traces an alternative and esoteric path through both the expected and the unexpected.
DRAPE taps into Eldret’s wider interest in corrupting the social ‘form’ of fabric (as used in banners in protests, rallies, or ceremonies, for example), using it to rethink social expectations, and bring alternative social voices into an artistic discourse. Fabric becomes the vehicle for a fascination with the ways that people come together to perform and perpetuate cultural identities.