In a recent work, Kiss the Dark, Manning designed a dress using a collection of watches. The artist was inspired by the way timepieces relay a form of structure: each hour indicates a different moment of responsibility—for example, getting to work on time, or attending a meeting. For this reason, the watches included in the dress were all set to different times. Manning intended to disrupt the structural nature of timepieces, transforming them into something more erratic.
Courtland Alley in downtown New York, a setting used often in films and therefore suggestive of a variety of places and times, seemed a fitting backdrop for a photo shoot of the artist wearing Kiss the Dark. For Manning, contrast between light, dark and colors is an important element of her work. Interestingly, as it got dark over the course of the photo shoot, the luminosity of the watches shone brightly, while the silhouette of the black dress disappeared into the background. The effect was stunning, and reflected both the nature of the timepieces that made up the work, as well as the natural experience of time outside of it.
L. Mylott Manning received her M.F.A. from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and her B.A. in sculpture and fashion design from the Rhode Island School of Design. She also studied printmaking at the Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art in France.
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