This work began with the discovery of a dozen white cotton dress shirts, wadded into a box in a dark basement corner. The toil of weekly laundry; washing, bleaching, line drying, starching and pressing, took many hours, and untold energy. It is no surprise that my mother was an early adopter of permanent press, or that these shirts were cast off at the first opportunity. I can still smell the freshly hung laundry and the spray starch she used as she dutifully ironed six white shirts a week. Many years later, the shirts provided me with a blank slate for mark-making and fabric manipulation in a visual exploration of connections between women, work and textiles.
I have dedicated this series to the Dr. Ruth Benerito (1916-2013), a USDA chemist credited with the discovery and development of permanent press, wrinkle-free cotton.