Ginette Chittick on Discord Couture and Feminism in the Modern Era
Riot girl, educator and multimedia artist Ginette Chittick’s latest artistic endeavor “Sewing Discord” is a thoughtful exhibition, which explores notions of value, work and visibility by reframing conventional perceptions of craftsmanship in contemporary visual culture. Incorporating traditional craft techniques that women integrate into their daily lives such as weaving, origami, spinning, embroidery and lockpicking, the exhibition resolutely presents Ginette’s work alongside a panel of artists entirely feminine : Hazel Lim, Nature Shankar, Berny Tan and Jodi Tan.
Having taught for 17 years and over, Ginette made a career in teaching design communication before plunging into fashion. Her background includes designing websites for 5-6 years before teaching full time, recounting past jobs where she stayed just for a living. Since then, the restless designer has given birth to a 6-year-old daughter, Luella, who changed her lifestyle and her perception of motherhood and the world. High heels have been replaced by sneakers and flats, making it easier for shoes to chase after daughter and provide comfort amid the heat and humidity in Singapore.
She taught me a lot about empathy. I always thought I was very empathetic as a punk: fighting for causes like feminism. When she arrived, I started to be more open and to realize that there are different types of people, âsaid Ginette, manager of the Diploma in Creative Direction for Fashion program at Lasalle College of the Arts.
Ginette explores new horizons by entering the field of contemporary art. Use the use of design principles such as balance, geometric shapes, repetition and textures, balance and repetition; the works of art in this exhibition are more object-based and complex in their fabrication and conceptual layers compared to his past works.
Born and conceptualized during the breaker period last year, the works were free-form in their approach and constituted meditative self-practice for the artist.
âI wanted to define a space for myself, to separate these roles (mother and artist). I had my studio for making art, my house for parents and my table for work. These pieces came from this desire for space again “
Practicing the arts since the age of 15, Ginette is no stranger to the arts and culture scene, having first been recognized for leading the first all-female punk group. Psycho Sonic as part of the second generation of the punk scene, following in the footsteps of Opposition party and Stompin ‘Ground. Some of his inspiration comes from contemporaries such as Sheila hicks, leader of the new textile art movement, Annie and Josef albers of the Bauhaus movement and Mimi Jung. On the fashion side, Ginette is a fervent supporter of local businesses and frequent Ong Shanmugam and Beyond the vines.
The act of weaving helped the 40-something designer slow down and focus while creating for the project. The repetitive nature of the profession brought meditative qualities that forced her to deal with loneliness and to deal with the loud thoughts and emotions that accompanied the lockdown, something very different from the highly collaborative efforts of music fashion where being in a physical space with other creatives can stimulate ideas and innovation.
Working on the pieces in the exhibition also gave him the space to reconstruct the collapse of time and space imposed with the abrupt blockages and stay-at-home notices. It also helped connect more deeply to her roots, as her grandfather used to pick latches. “No matter where you look, nothing is out of place. Nothing will look like the colors that shouldn’t have been there,“says Ginette. This is true with the intention of planning every square inch to have the perfect color palette on her artwork. Her particular panel took 8 months to complete.
The MA Design graduate with a BA Multimedia Studies is also active on social media, using various platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to learn more and keep abreast of current events and socio-political issues. Ginette expressed her interest and joy in seeing the rise of the social media sphere as a platform for the public to voice their opinions on issues of inequality and injustice. The exhibition, in collaboration with her partner Hazel Lim, was born from the idea of ââplacing domestic crafts centered on women, devalued or invisible on a pedestal.
Reflecting on why she is a supporter of feminism, she recounts a heartbreaking experience in her youth as a DJ: “I was a DJ and someone came to fiddle with me. It was a sexist and oppressive environment that I had lived in before. “As a key child in the 1980s, she also remembers being forced to undertake home economics instead of design and technology in high school, and only allowed to do woodworking crafts as part of her extracurricular activity only after failing in home economics and convincing her.
I would have stood up to my secondary and elementary teachers a little more. I was often humiliated by them for learning differently. It wasn’t until adulthood that I realized that I was learning by doing things with my hands, ârecalls Ginette of what she would have done differently in her life.
To maintain a solid footing in the creative industry, Ginette suggests the importance of interpersonal skills and ingenuity. Curiosity is the key, for example, to discovering how something is made and what is behind the making of a certain reference piece. She has noticed a disturbing tendency of the younger generation to depend too much on digital gadgets, with a decrease in face-to-face interactions, which is of course further exacerbated by the current Covid-19 situation which leads to an inability to correctly read expressions facial or to log in. deeply with another.
Sewing discord is currently open to the public at the Jendela (Visual Arts Space) on the Esplanade and its run has been extended until August 29, 2021. It is open from 11 am to 8:30 pm Monday to Friday and 10 am to 8:30 pm on weekends and public holidays and admission is free.
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