Laura Sudweeks

Have a Nice Day! — 2005

Medium: plastic shopping bags, donated denim jeans and flannel shirts from the St. Vincent de Paul Help Desk
Size: 51 x 5'
I have reconstructed the wedding dress, the iconic symbol of a young girl's right of passage into womanhood. I have replaced the ultra feminine fragile and expensive fabrics of this single use item with the hardy everyday materials of denim jeans and flannel shirts that are commonly utilized in cold unfriendly outdoor environments. The fabrics were "purified" by bleaching out the color, thereby negating their former life much in the same way a white wedding dress implies the purity of the wearer. The shopping bag petticoat suggests a disconnect between the consumer market and the unfulfilled needs of the poor. My hope was to summarize the needs and wants of the poor and the ingenuity that they employ in their daily struggle. Many girls dream of their wedding day and the union with another, but how many look forward to a lonely existence on the streets?