April Dauscha

I use the body to investigate the ideas of morality, mourning, mortification and most recently of motherhood. I look towards costume history, traditional Catholic rituals and themes in 19th century literature and photography to feed my obsession with transformation, reconciliation and communication through dress.

My making focuses on feminine objects and materials. Lace, veils, undergarments and hair adornment speak not only of womanhood, but also of the duality of human nature. Lace speaks of purity and sexuality, it reveals and conceals, it is humble, yet gluttonous in its ornamental overindulgence; lace is the ultimate dichotomy. I use it as a potent symbol to represent the duality of body and soul, right and wrong, good and evil. Historically, neglected, disheveled and unbound hair was a sign of mourning and penance, a physical representation of one's sin and sorrow. In my work, hair comes to represent an uncomfortable binding of one's self to one's alter ego, while helping to serve as an act of penance and mortification.