Brides Revisited is an installation and exhibition of refashioned and reclaimed wedding dresses from various eras of style.
The title of the exhibition is a veiled reference to Evelyn Waugh’s book of similar title, Brideshead Revisited. Waugh’s story has been studied and parsed since its publication in 1945. One motif debated is whether the central figure is a gay man. I am broadly referencing gay pride in this installation by printing in series like the rainbow flag that has become synonymous with gay pride outreach. Each wedding dress and formal wear item chosen and installed is in series (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple). The titles of each dress are the names of the main characters in the novel.
“Sanzi refines and redefines each gown into a color of the pride flag: separate but equal, all appreciated, and unified into one.”
Charles Ryder :::: (Blue/Indigo: unknown, Spirituality, Divinity. Blue is calming, Indigo is sedating, mystical; bridges gap between finite and infinite)
Protagonist and narrator. Financially comfortable but emotionally hollow. Unsure of his desires or goals. Path repeatedly crosses members of the Marchmain family.
Repurposed Centre Stage Theatre costume, represents circa 1890s. Screen print. $675
Celia Ryder::: (Yellow: sunshine. Clarity of thought, wisdom, orderliness, energy) Charles’s wife. Vivacious and socially active beauty, infidelity to Charles.
My wedding dress from the UK (2006). Screen print. $1850 US size 14
Cara::: (Red: passion, vitality, enthusiasm, security. Longest wavelength)
Lord Marchmain’s Italian mistress, they settle in Venice.
Donation from jilted bride (2010) Screen print. $950 US size 4
Lady Marchmain aka Teresa Flyte::: (Green: fertility, growth, balance, health, wealth)
Member of ancient Roman Catholic family. Raised all of her children as Roman Catholic
1960 silk gown donated by neighbor; her mother wore it. Screen print. $2450 US size estimate 6/8
Lady Julia Flyte::: (Purple: highest element of spirituality. Dark tones=sorrow. Deeper shades of violet/purple=high spiritual mastery). Elder daughter Marchmain; Debutante. Turns back to the church later in her life.
Purchased from consignment antique shop south of York, PA. This dress was splattered with mud and ink - a restoration challenge! Screen print. $1275 US size estimate 6/8
Lady Cordelia Flyte:::: (Orange: creativity, practicality, playfulness, equilibrium, control) Youngest of the siblings. Most devout, aspires only to serve God.
Repurposed Centre Stage Theatre costume. Reminiscent of 1910/20s era. Screen print. $425 US size estimate 4/6