Clothing can inspire memories of the past or can be symbols of plans for the future. This week Arts In Context Shorts features artist Johnny Walker as he explores the relationship between people and their clothing in his public art installation Clothes Stories. KLRU commissioned Walker to create this public art project and brought on Goodwill Industries of Central Texas as a community-partner to help create this unique installation.
Attendees at the Arts In Context party at the 2013 East Austin Studio Tour were asked to participate in selecting from thousands of garments donated by Goodwill, writing their stories, and hanging them for display at Big Medium’s Canopy studios. Some attendees even brought their own special pieces to donate. Whether fact or fiction, these personal stories range from family histories and poems to revealing hopes and dreams. The installation was temporary, but the clothes’ stories didn’t end at the event. Walker has cataloged and tagged the clothes for online reference. The tagged garments were then returned to Goodwill to find new owners. As the pieces of clothing are purchased, the tag will lead the new owners to details about the item’s real or imagined past life at clothesstories.com