Wearing Wilderness aka Portable pelt prompts the question of how human ‘cladding’ borrowed from nature, might function on both a practical and spiritual level to encourage engagement, participation, communication and inter-action with each other and our environment. This is a visual and aural representation of a persons interaction both with their environment and with another being. I wanted to invite the idea of engagement through symbiotic biomimicry through the wearing of a photosynthetic garment or accessory. Leading us to consider how a garment might function on a spiritual and aesthetic level as well as performing a function. Through our cladding, we have the potential to transcend both the purely functional and purely aesthetic and hover in a delightful place between the two.
These ideas grew out of a time when I was living in London, and became aware about how often humans living in urban areas are cut off from the experience of the natural environment mainly because it has been bulldozed, dug and paved over with man made materials designed to facilitate intercourse with busyness rather than slowness…..
Looking at the physical differences between humans and their constructed urban and natural environments, I realized that you have to actively seek out nature in our urban wilderness- but when you seek you always find. Through a deeper understanding of the processes and systems that allow the natural environment to thrive, I have become more aware and less in awe. I too am part of that system Deeply more respectful and less inclined to hail naïve uninformed aspects of living with nature as the only way forward. The answer as I see it does not lie within nature it lies in our relationship with nature and ultimately in our relationships with one another.
Engaging physically with anything is far more complex than merely talking about it. Which brings me back to where I started, if humans could adopt the living natural environment as a type of cladding -thus enabling active photosynthesis to take place through daily interaction with the air, we might enter into a more instinctive relationship with our wilderness -even in an urban environment. Wear your wilderness
Tara Baoth Mooney, artist / designer is a PHD candidate at the University of Wolverhampton where she is exploring textiles and fashion as triggers for memory and narrative for people with Alzheimers using an empathic design process.
She also works for UNIDO on the Better Work in Textiles Bangladesh Project in partnership with LCF’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion which develops capacity for creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills around the concepts of sustainability and innovation