Living Armour: Day Thirteen

Living Armour Series

by Emily Rose Michaud

“Craftwork establishes a realm of skill and knowledge perhaps beyond human verbal capacities to explain…” — Richard Sennett

The performance — Living Armour: Day Thirteen — is a meditation on the effort needed to preserve custom and to remember folk tradition. I find peace in silent work, when I work with my hands and perform physical labour. In Living Armour: Day Thirteen, I share with the audience what connection to material process entails, as well as embody the urgent need to preserve forgotten custom. A sense of power is shared collectively, in the act of making and remembering forms of craftsmanship. This is my way of becoming re-enchanted with nature’s living elements and re-enlivening this connection.

Living Armour: Day Thirteen is a series of performances, in various locations. My armour is a living and breathing shell of protection over the body as it is a reminder of the strength that is gained from remaining in physical contact with the natural world. This armour also dies, leaving a collection of memorial costumes, nothing left behind but the shape of an absent body and the smell of decay. The fermentation process is alive and tangible in my work. Within the 13 day process of soaking, germination, growth and decay, the roots of various seeds nest to the surface of burlap coffee and rice bags and bind to the fabric as living threads. The seeds I grow thrive or become moldy, always reacting in new ways depending on the environment they are grown in and the way I care for them.

“My armour is a living and breathing shell of protection over the body as it is a reminder of the strength that is gained from remaining in physical contact with the natural world.”

Living armour: Wheat berries, burlap

Installation: Burlap, various sprouted grain and seed, needle and thread, Louis Vuitton handbag, hangers, soundtrack . Quebec . 2008-09

Project Photo Archives

Living Armour Fashion Show


Art Gallery, Volume 2 Issue 3