WHAT’S GOING ON UPSTAIRS, 2018
“What’s Going On Upstairs might provoke feelings of discomfort and sadness in the viewer, but Garfen has never shied away from dealing with uncomfortable topics in her work. It is this aspect of her artistry that shows her ability to engage sensitively with difficult human experiences.” Jessica Edney, Selvedge blog, 2018
A bedroom installation has been placed inside a gallery. Hospital and domestic furniture set the scene of an adolescent’s bedroom/sterile hospital ward. Using painstaking hand stitching, a moving and accessible artwork has been created dealing with the devastating world of eating disorders.
The main feature of this work is a quilt which has been made using a pattern designed by a talented and creative young woman who passed away after suffering from a complex eating disorder. The underside of the quilt is constructed using three hospital gowns.
A dollshouse sits inside the gallery. Its bedroom furnished with a miniature version of a hospital bed, a tiny drip stand, weighing scales, stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. These objects and others found inside the dollshouse have been reproduced in life-size, incorporating textiles stitched with motifs and researched text.
Visitors to the gallery were invited to write their personal stories in a diary, sitting on a chair obtained from an eating disorder clinic.
‘What’s Going On Upstairs’, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, Gallery TG11, London (2018)
‘What’s Going On Upstairs’, The Knitting & Stitching Show, The RDS, Gallery TG6, Simmonscourt, Dublin, (2018)
‘What’s Going On Upstairs’, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate Convention Centre, Gallery TG2, Harrogate (2018)