WAFER THIN, 2012

‘Wafer Thin’ centres on the throes of dieting and takes the form of a paper towel roll.  It begins fat and rounded and as it unwinds gets thinner and thinner. At its core, hidden from view, is ‘Stick Thin’ which lists the extremes dieting can reach when obsession takes over. 

Wafer Thin has a hand stitched upper and lower border made up of measurement tallies one would find on a tape measure. The upper border has a never-ending list of diets, all taken from four women’s weekly magazines, (Best, Bella, Woman and Woman’s Own), over the course of one year (2010-2011).  There is emphasis on the ridiculous obsession of women’s magazines which constantly publish articles pertaining to women’s bodies and dieting.

The lower hand stitched border has text taken from ‘Fat is a Feminist Issue’ by Susie Orbach. 

“Caren Garfen integrates the text wittily with the imagery, for example replacing familiar logos on everyday items with her own observations.” Sara Impey, Text in Textile Art

A weight, date and time, as if taken from the ‘sell-by’ dates, etc from food packaging, but in reality come from a young woman’s blogspot in which she marks her weight - she weighs herself obsessively almost every day.  And in turn, I obsessively stitched this information onto each sheet.

This section is hand stitched in black and lists the extremes of dieting and eating disorders and is hidden within the heart of this piece.

Photo credits above: Sussie Ahlburg

Photo credits above: Sussie Ahlburg

In-situ in ‘She Was Cooking Something Up’ Installation

In-situ in ‘She Was Cooking Something Up’ Installation


Measurement: 10m x 34cm


Exhibited in:

62 Group Package Tour, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, London (2012)

62 Group Package Tour, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Dublin, Ireland (2012)

62 Group Package Tour, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate, North Yorkshire (2012)

Construct, Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire, North Wales (2014)

She Was Cooking Something Up, Solo Gallery, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, London (2014)

She Was Cooking Something Up, Solo Gallery, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate, North Yorkshire (2014)

British Textiles Exhibition, 62@50, SHOWA Women’s University, Tokyo, Japan (2014/15)

Textile Art of Today, Touring Exhibition, Slovak Museum, Czech Republic (2015)

Textile Art of Today, Touring Exhibition, Romer Floris Art & History Museum, Hungary (2015)

Textile Art of Today, Touring Exhibition,Historical Museum, Poland (2015) 

Textile Art of Today, Touring Exhibition, Gallery, Slovakia (2016)