Flotsam and Jetsam

Elise Cakebread, 2023

Found materials: wool, silk, cotton, viscose, linen, polyester, bamboo and lurex with cotton thread

Flotsam and Jetsam are the seafearing terms for debris and ‘cast off’ items that wash up in the ocean with a contemporary meaning that is a catch all term for the detritus of life, the disppossesd both physically and metaphorically. My work is primarily concerned with these themes, I use cast off and disused textiles as an embodiment this. The works are pieced together from waste textiles that through their nature are embedded with personal, historical and social meanings.

The two works have each been created strand by strand from production waste, dowry linens, silk tourism scarves, antique kimonos, baby clothes from when my daughters were infants, muslin cloths, sewing off-cuts, paisley shirts from my husband’s youth, fast fashion dresses, tulle dance costumes, hand-embroidered table cloths, worn out Manchester, old jumpers and French lace.

The two works are a site specific special commission for the Capella Hotel Sydney.

Photography by Michael Quinlan.