#134 An artist’s gift of poetry

By Cathryn Wellner / September 10, 2011

This is not what I expect to find sewn into my thrift-store trousers:

“Life is a huge dream
why work so hard?”
~Li po

But if I were shopping in a secondhand clothing store in Miami, that’s what I might find. Artist Agustina Woodgate makes her art public in a lot of creative ways. This is one of my favourite. Woodgate takes her stash of poems, a needle and plenty of thread, and goes “poetry bombing”. Out of sight of clerks, she whips out her supplies and sews the little poems onto suit labels and on the edge of trouser facings.

Here’s how she describes it on her Web site:

“Places and Objects are alive, we make them alive, they tell our stories and tales. Sewing poems in clothes in a way is giving the garments a voice. We are in relation — with others, with things, with the world. This being-in-relation, is a way of perceiving, a mode of moving, a narrative of global truths designed by cultural fictions. Sewing poems in clothes is a way of bringing poetry to everyday life just by displacing it, by removing it from a paper to integrate it and fuse it with our lives. Sometimes little details are stronger when they are separated from where they are expected to be.”

The Brazilian-born artist is one of those people whose originality wakes us up, helps us see the world afresh. Check out her Performance-Fairy Tales or her Forest or Hopscotch installations. And enjoy this wonderful video created by Alessandra Villaamil for The Miami Herald.

You give me hope, Agustina Woodgate, with the little gifts you sew into used clothing and with your imagination and creativity. And you give me hope, too, Alessandra Villaamil, for seeing how inspiring and newsworthy this story is.


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