I had the pleasure of meeting Libby O'Bryan when I wrote this article for Verve Magazine. O'Bryan is one of several artists featured in the Out of Fashion exhibit currently on display at SECCA in Winston Salem.
On the opening night of the exhibit, Out of Fashion, O’Bryan performed a piece called “Sewed In,” during which she literally sewed herself up. Sitting inside a bubble of fabric with her sewing machine, she sewed furiously until the bubble collapsed and the material clung to her like a second skin. She ended her performance by breaking out of the wrap, but the performance brought to mind images of suffocation and horrific sweatshops. “I do get a little panicky when I’m in there,“ O’Bryan admits.
“Sewed In” was one of several performance pieces O’Bryan developed as a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago starting in 2008. It’s a way to illustrate, as she puts it, “a physical manifestation of what the sewing machine and I do together.” Like O’Bryan’s other large-scale conceptual performance pieces, “Sewed In” explores the way individuals are implicated in the socio-political and manufactured worlds around them.
Read more: Sew Cool, Verve Magazine December 2011