“In the Tailor Shop” is a of a story about a mannequin who gained a soul through a tailor’s imagination. The story was from an obscure French play written by Anim D’Alo, taking place in the early 1800’s.  Synopsis: An orphaned little boy runs away and finds a gentle blind tailor who wants someone to help him create his masterpieces. The orphan becomes his assistant and sews the tailor’s magnificent dresses for the town to see. They set them up in the window and as the passersby look at the mannequin who graces these clothes, the mannequin gains a conscience and ends up falling in love with an eccentric man about town, Monsieur Beau.  This gentleman ends up saving her in a fire, a fire she starts by accident in one of her imaginative episodes and it is this man, who finds her in the ashes and brings her to life. Unfortunately, the Blind Tailor and his assistant die in the fire. A strange story, partly because of the subject matter, but also the feeling it imparted. Trying to get the very essence of the tale came to me as I sketched out these scenes where she imagines her thoughts coming to life. They translated into “still lifes”, haunting, vague, yet intriguing pieces.

The first is “Dress”.  The dress is made to startle the people and make them look. It is an orange garment glowing with hints of cyan blue ribbon, giving the mannequin fire and an impetus to create.


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After getting the kind of feel I wanted out of this piece, I started sketches on the next scene, where the mannequin is haunted by the eccentric man, Monsieur Beau. He rides a unicycle through town and has taken special note of her display. She is dressed in green, an olive, lime green that symbolizes her envy. She so desperately wants to become real that she emanates this green hue of color the blind tailor sees in his dreams.

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In the next scene, named “The Resistance”, she knows of the mannequin heads that sit on her dresser waiting for her to look out of, this makes her sad because they remind her of what she is not.

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There were certain colors described in the night scene where the little orphan puts together a purple, lavender silk dress that shone through the hallway light.

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She lends her magic in the neighboring meat shop by lighting Chinese lanterns .

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The following is the last piece I have done, titled “In the End She has Her Captors” where the mannequin imagines taking all of the vital belongings of what make up Monsieur Beau, the blind tailor and the little orphan and placing them in a net bag. She believes they are ‘soul parts’ for her taking.

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I am hoping to continue this series with one more painting, depicting Monsieur Beau riding his unicycle in the distance while the mannequin is picking up scissors and making her wedding dress.

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