Feathers fascinate, feathers are fetishized, feathers are very much back in fashion. This exhibition takes us back to a time when the wings, bodies and heads of birds were used to adorn hats.
Fashioning Feathers… explores the complex geographies of collection, production and consumption behind the making of such ‘feather fashions’. From the hunting and killing of birds in their natural habitats, to their processing in metropolitan plumage sweatshops and crafting by professional and amateur milliners, to their becoming adornments on the heads of women in Europe and North America.
With all these human designs on bird feathers Fashioning Feathers… enlists the artwork of certain contemporary artists to help engage our curiosity to wonder at how birds use their feathers – and what we do to birds in the process of fashioning them.