I love the challenge of telling my story through the limited medium of historic costumes fashioned from paper. These sculptures contain layers of meaning and messages that I might not be naturally brave enough to talk about. Whether these pieces speak of LGBTQIA+ rights, the oligarchical economy or uncover astounding women from history; recycled books, maps, letters and photos combine to tell their stories. Each dress provides a beautiful silhouette from a distance and then reveals covert details up close.
These half scale garments, which can take weeks or even months to complete, are made relevant by the materials included. I enjoy surprising the viewer, either with the trompe l’oeil of paper masquerading as fabric, or with facts like Queen Elizabeth I’s BFF was actually a subversive writer, or nudging the conversation by creating a Marie Antoinette made of 1040 tax forms and US currency. Especially fulfilling is working towards 100% historical accuracy as well as how prolifically I can lavish the surface with details.
About the Artist
Liza MacKinnon is a self-taught multi-media artist and arts educator with 10+ years of experience in teaching, freelance graphic design and exhibited artwork. Working in Lawrence, KS, she has shown regionally as well as NM, WA and TX. Liza specializes in ½ scale 3d historic costumes made from relevant paper and ephemera to create in-depth studies of women in history.
Higher resolution images available upon request.
© Liza MacKinnon