The DNA dress is an homage to the beyond repair vintage dress that I was generously gifted by Gladrags Community Resource. I wanted to echo the already noticeable decomposition of the dress by further deconstruction. But first, I wanted to understand what we have in common: an aging future, a point of no return, past one’s prime maybe, and by extension for me a future with no offspring. So with these ideas in mind, I made a list of ‘ending’ words and embroidered these in golden scrolling script across the dress’s outer, gossamer-thin layer. This feels like the outer face the dress and I show to the world; the everyday narratives and concerns on display.
But beneath this layer lie occasionally glimpsed flashes of red of repeated patterns of letters seemingly created out of thin air. The eye eventually makes out the letters c, g, a and t embroidered in filigree. These 4 letters represent the 4 nucleotides cytosine, guanine, adenine and thymine that make up the base pairings of human DNA and bond in such a way as to create the elegant double helix which runs through all our veins. This hidden layer hints at the blood link between myself and all my ancestors who have passed down their genetic code and resulted in me being who I am: my height, eye colour, ability to roll my tongue and possibly my disposition for loving gardening all fixed in the rooted code of DNA.