Finishing Up My Corona Kimono

Last week my friend Kitty told me she was meeting with Jamie, the curator at the Bennington Museum in Vermont.  He was picking up archival materials that she had for an anniversary project he’s working on about the North Bennington Yearly Sculpture Exhibit.  It’s been going on for 20 years and Kitty and her husband Charlie have been taking photographs of the event since the beginning.

Then she asked if it would be okay if she mentioned my Corona Kimono to him. “I’ve always felt like your Corona Kimono is a piece of cultural artwork documenting the pandemic that deserves to be seen by a wider audience.”

I told Kitty I’d love it if she tell Jamie about my Corona Kimono. ” If nothing else, you’ve inspired me to actually finish it.”  I texted her.

So yesterday I sewed all the seams I had to take out to put the batting between the kimono and the liner.  Then I washed it, dissolving the interfacing that I used in the places I couldn’t put batting. (the interfacing stiffens the fabric so I can free-motion sew on it) I also came up with an idea to finish the piece off, which I actually began thinking about the morning before Kitty texted me.

I also always planned on putting a liner in it, so the stitching on the inside of the Kimono wouldn’t be visible.

I was never really sure what would become of my Corona Kimono, but if it could get some museum or gallery time that would be very nice. And if it doesn’t work out at Bennington maybe, this will inspire me to try getting it seen someplace else.

I did wonder for the first time what It might be like to wear the Kimono.  When it occurred to me, I was a little surprised I hadn’t thought of it before.

6 thoughts on “Finishing Up My Corona Kimono

  1. This is so, so beautiful. It feels like a homage to the AIDS quilt honoring those who died from that horrible plague. And thus ties into both the pandemic and your friend’s loved one who died from AIDS.
    Really stunning and poignant.
    What will happen to it?

  2. I agree with your friend. This is…dang I’m having trouble putting it in words. You’ve captured the personal and the geopolitical on a material that carries its own tale of love and loss. This is your experience of the pandemic and is 100% a historical document.

    At the same time, I’m curious about the conversations you would have and the people you would meet if you wore it out and about. Do what feels right and know that you’ve made something very special.

    1. Thank you Trish. It’s funny I hadn’t really thought of wearing it out. I was just wondering what it would be like to put it on. One step at a time!:)

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