My Black Dress
by Dr Henrica Langh

An art installation to coincide with Farnham Literary Festival. The showcase is complemented by a workshop and performance.

Event details

  • 6 March 2024 - 29 March 2024

    10:00 - 17:00 (GMT)

    James Hockey Gallery, UCA Farnham, Falkner Road, Surrey GU9 7DS

Installation with dress and poem

Clothes are an intimate part of our embodied experience of the world. While worn, they can become emotionally entangled with people, places, and moments. Certain garments may become particularly evocative and acquire an uncanny, almost animated presence that is difficult to explain.

Henrica Langh’s current practice-led research is concerned with the phenomenology of intensely evocative garments; that is, it seeks to explore our experience of emotionally meaningful garments that evoke particularly strong emotions. As a result of her research process, she has named intensely evocative garments as ‘bleeding garments’ to highlight their agitating, intensely evocative nature.

The installation features a dress draped over a chair and a poem illustrating an encounter with a ‘bleeding garment’. Casually draped over the chair, the dress acquires an almost sacred quality that suggests that there is something particular about this dress. The evocative quality of the dress is intensified through the accompanying poem, Poetic Entanglement, which captures the agitating impact of intensely evocative garments.

The installation is completed by a soft soundscape with the rustling sound made by the dress and a short annotation that will open the work for further contemplation.

Workshop:  7th march 11am- 2pm

To explore and capture the intense, complex, and fleeting emotional materiality of intensely evocative garments, Langh has developed a workshop method that invites participants to ‘uncover’ poetic fragments from garments that are emotionally meaningful to them. Rather than being a process of writing about the garments, the workshop allows the participant’s experience of the garment to emerge through an intuitive process of metaphor and freewriting.

Performance: 7th march 4-5pm

The installation will be complemented by a 10-minute performance of poems ‘uncovered’ from evocative garments, showing the rich emotional texture of worn garments. The audience will have the chance to further engage with the notion of intensely evocative garments by participating in a workshop that invites them to poetically explore garments that are meaningful to them.

Artist statement

Henrica Langh is a transdisciplinary artist and researcher (BA, MA, PhD) inspired by the magic of the ordinary and our delicate existence in this world. Her practice is highly process-led and seredipitous and she works across different subject areas, incorporating textiles, photography, and poetry into her work. She has presented her research at different conferences, including Textures of Emotions: Storytelling and Textiles by Progressive Connexions in Athens, and she has published a poem called Poetic Entanglement for the ‘Dialog/Dialogue’ section of TEXTILE: Journal of Cloth and Culture.


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