Leather and Lace
Allison Manch and Ariana Page Russell
September 6–30, 2007
Leather and Lace is a collaboration between studio mates Allison Manch and Ariana Page Russell, consisting of photographs and collage. Imitating female pop and punk icons of the 70s and 80s, they adorn themselves with temporary tattoos and costume, adopting the personas of these icons. The custom made tattoos are the basis for an exploration of surface—skin, fabric, and image.
Manch's embroidered handkerchiefs examine the relationships between historic textile work, music, and quirky popular cultural conceits. Russell's work investigates skin, manifestations of ornament, and how exteriors reveal as they conceal—such as the emotional power of a blush.
While forming this project, Manch and Russell found that temporary tattoos are a perfect meeting point for their work in embroidery and skin: the surface of the embroidered fabric, turned into a tattoo, meets the skin, introducing a new layer of adornment between the two coverings. Musical icons admired by both artists inspired them to incorporate imagery and lyrics referencing the singers' styles, creating yet another bridge between their work. Combining these elements, photographs and collage reveal the results.
Jen Graves' review of the show in The Stranger