Lesson One - Trisha S.

Reading other peoples’ contributions has triggered certain memories for me but nothing specific about the particular feel or look of a garment.  What comes up is a realisation that when I think about what I wore I am trying to connect to my former physical self.   My girlhood.   This is not easy territory for me.

I connect with being a tomboy and having lots of energy which was always being curtailed by the expectations of how “girls should be”.  I have a brother only 1 year older.  He was not very robust and although smaller I could out pace him in most things.   Including fighting.

My mother was very interested in how things looked.   Part of this was the expectation of how I dressed and of course I hated dresses or skirts.  They made me fidgety and awkward.  Tight sleeves, waists or bands of any kind caused irritation.   I was being imprisoned by expectations based on a role I was not sure I had signed up for.

Reading through I realise I have written expectation 3 times so far.   Garments were connected to gender roles and rules of the 50s.  Coupled with this was the usually twice yearly receipt of a box of clothes from my cousins in London (we lived in the North of England).  These were their outgrown garments of disarming femininity, to my mind. My cousins were idealised picture perfect children dressed by a fastidious aunt. My hatred of these clothes was the pinnacle of my discomfort.

Surprisingly at 6 I was identified as having a talent for ballet.   For me this was never about being a ballerina.  Despite gaining scholarships and intensive training until the age of 13 it was always about my physicality.   The strength of my body to perform and use my innate energy.

As I review what I have written I realise that an important thread has emerged.   One about energy, physicality and the wish to exist outside of boundaries. Sometimes, often, always when I think about my creative work being blocked there is a fear there that if I really let myself go I will be out of control, in chaos….Interesting thought.