The Clothesline Installation (2020)
site specific and flexible
Once it was common to see clotheslines pinned with household linens and family laundry. Those days seem to be gone but linger in the collective memory of forgotten ancestors. I started this installation during a Februray art residency with the Springfield Art Association in Illinois. COVID-19 was just starting to spread across the globe. My original concept was to use vintage textiles and suggest a nostalgic beauty and ease (as opposed to some community’s bans as eye-sores) while subtly promoting energy conservation and other common sense reasons to line-dry textiles. Hand prints are immediately associated with “doing this by hand”. They question the wisdom of so many wasteful practices that promise convenience. Quickly however, my found fabric hand prints became a reminder to “wash your hands”. This installation grew during days of “sheltering in place”. People have donated aprons and table runners to the project as it continues to grow. The Clothesline Installation is a visual appreciation of taking care of a household and doing the tasks that are fundamental for quality living, especially during the dark days of a pandemic.
© Susan Lenz