Merill Comeau mixed media art relies on the process of deconstructing (and then – reconstructing). Creating anything from installations and murals to garments, she uses alters clothing and linens, turning them into complex pieces of art.
“I am drawn to the discarded: clothes from friends and relatives, paper ephemera, and vintage linens,” she writes on her website. “These disparate materials were all once utile; they show the wear and tear of well-loved objects and scars and stains of lives lived.” The cloth is gathered from family, friends, and her extended community.
She then alters her collected materials through rending, rusting, and composting, embellishing them later with block printing, thermo-fax, embroidery, and paint. “I employ traditional methods of sewing construction in a contemporary way probing the tension between old and new and art and craft,” she explains.
In an interview with Textile Artist, Comeau talked about the importance textiles have in our day to day lives, saying that “textiles are an essential element of our daily lives: we are swaddled when born, we sleep in linens, we clothe our bodies each day, and we mark life’s passages with special garments and fabrics.”
“Each piece carries stories of countless human beings: who created, wore, gifted, graced their table with, or found comfort in it,” she says. The finished result is a thing of beauty, but also an homage to memory. See for yourself: