Heather Goodchild's Uniform Factory
Conceived by AGO artist-in-residence Heather Goodchild, Uniform Factory acts as both a training facility and a romanticized vision of the manufacturing process. In this space Goodchild replicates a fully functioning industrial garment factory in which volunteers are trained to fabricate uniforms that form part of a larger artwork for the artist's upcoming Nuit Blanche performance. The installation serves as a commentary on our current marketplace in which most products are made abroad while local manufacturing jobs are dwindling. This project offers a rose-tinted vision of past labour practices as a way to question our current systems and imagine change for the future.
Uniform Factory embodies the following ideals:
WORKING WITH OTHERS TOWARDS A COMMON PURPOSE
KNOWING THAT YOUR SKILLED WORK IS USEFUL TO YOUR COMMUNITY
MANUFACTURING GOODS CELEBRATED FOR THEIR QUALITY AND CRAFTSMANSHIP
TAKING PRIDE IN PURCHASING LOCALLY FABRICATED PRODUCTS
Referencing a diversity of ideas from the Shaker notion of object-making as a kind of prayer, to early 20th-century worker propaganda, Uniform Factory seeks to lift the dark stain of the sweatshop from the satisfaction of making an object with pride and care.
Goodchild's Nuit Blanche performance Made it Then, Make it Again will be taking place September 29 at the AGO in collaboration with Naomi Yasui, Josh Hall and Doug Paisley. Equipment for this installation has been generously provided by the School of Fashion at Ryerson University.
Goodchild welcomes the public to see Uniform Factory in action in the Community Gallery at the following times throughout July and August:
- Wednesdays, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm (FREE admission to the Gallery from 6 pm – 8:30 pm) Training and working with AGO Youth Council members
- Thursdays and most Saturdays, 2 pm – 5 pm Assembly performances with skilled garment workers
About the Artist
Heather Goodchild has exhibited across North America since 2002. Her recent solo exhibitions includeWalking the Pattern, presented at Mulherin Pollard Projects (New York, NY) in 2011 and The Wardens, presented at Hamilton Artitsts Inc in 2012. Goodchild will be exhibiting in Berlin, Germany this September at Sur la Montagne.
Her practice involves exploring the rituals, regalia and symbols of world religions, Girl Guides and Freemasonry in an attempt to understand the purpose of these traditions. Using textile techniques such as rug-hooking, inlaid patchwork, screen printing and quilting, she has developed new ways to execute old crafts, creating pieces that seem to exist both in the past and present.
Heather Goodchild, in collaboration with Naomi Yasui, runs the online project The Wardens Today.
The AGO's Artist-in-Residence Program is generously supported by Partners in Art.