Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

3-3-06

Contacts:

Jean Parsons, textiles and clothing, (515) 294-4022

Cathy Curtis, College of Human Sciences Communications, (515) 294-8175

International award-winning art by ISU professors is on display at LAX

AMES, Iowa -- An award-winning wearable art piece designed and constructed by two Iowa State University professors is now on display in the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The fiber artwork named "Transformation:Icarus I" is a wool gabardine cape digitally printed with a circle image. The piece won first place for wearable fiber art from the fifth Biennial International Juried Wearable Expressions Exhibition hosted by the Palos Verdes Art Center, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

Designed by J.R. Campbell and Jean Parsons, both associate professors of textiles and clothing at Iowa State, the design beat 72 other entries, including entries from several foreign countries.

The artwork is named for the mythological Icarus who met a tragic fate after attempting to fly over water with wings held together with wax. He flew too close to the sun, the wax melted, and he plunged to his death.

"Inspiration for the cape began as part of a series of designs Campbell and I created that are based on geometric forms and are intended to 'transform' from two-dimensional flat art pieces to three-dimensional apparel forms," Parsons said. "This piece began as a circle and evolved to have half-circle insets in the side panels to create movement when worn. Initial images came from photos that Campbell took of the inside of a clothes dryer. These were transformed into images that blend with shape and add to the impression of flight."

Parsons said the cape design is displayed in the Tom Bradley International Terminal Customs Hallway at LAX because the curator of the Wearable Expressions exhibition also organized the airport show and she wanted to use the piece.

Campbell is currently a research fellow with the Centre for Advanced Textiles, Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. He and Parsons are in early collaborations on two new pieces.

Parsons said she is not certain what the future of their award-winning cape art will be.

"It has been in several shows now, so it may be retired," she said. "Or, it could be available for purchase."

However, Icarus I already was the inspiration for another wearable art project.

"Campbell and I did a second Icarus piece in a lightweight silk and another color that moves very differently," Parsons said. "It has been in one show so far."

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'Icarus I' cape

This fiber artwork, named "Transformation:Icarus I," is a wool gabardine cape.

Quote

"Initial images came from photos that Campbell took of the inside of a clothes dryer. These were transformed into images that blend with shape and add to the impression of flight."

Jean Parsons, associate professor of textiles and clothing