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Artist Statement | Alvitr (Strange Creature)

Today, my partner and I installed the dress, helm, and process art I created for Embodied: Contemporary Takes on the Dress at the Gadsden Museum of Art. I genuinely enjoyed the experience and look forward to celebrating with everyone again at the opening reception. This post documents my work as it stands alone. I had a quick, easy install and couldn't resist getting some photos before the other 12 dresses joined the conversation. Keep reading to view the work and accompanying artist statement (in italics).

A dress made of crochet lace and found objects stands in an empty gallery. A helm made of found objects is suspended over the dress with thin filament.
Alvitr and Helm, standing alone in the gallery.

Alvitr (Strange Creature) is a layered A-line gown that tells the story of a contemporary Valkyrie through modular garments and found objects. The bodice is a flurry of crocheted cotton snowflakes that swirl around the torso and down the arms, wrapped in a

translucent outer layer of vintage metallic fabric. Embellished spandex wraps delicately around the hips, revealing additional layers of faux fur, recycled lace, and rose-embossed velvet draped dramatically to the floor. A belt of hand-painted leather sits at the

waist, fastened with an assembled medal rosette holding trophies and tools collected over a lifetime. The accompanying headdress is made from crocheted cotton, steel, and found objects.

This work was inspired by rediscovering childhood ice-skating memorabilia during a challenging season. Finding my old ice-skating awards opened long-dormant wounds left by a traumatic past. Creating Alvitr presented an opportunity to shift the narrative around those past events into one of empowerment. This gown embodies the spirit of people who teach others to embrace their intersecting layers, create beauty from chaos, and bravely challenge oppression.

A woman stands in a white room with wood flooring. She is hanging large crochet cotton panels embellished with project design artifacts on the wall.
Amanda installing the process piece.

I used a variety of materials to create Alvitr. My process emerged through intense research, experimentation, and playful exploration of crochet techniques I have known since childhood. Many of the early decisions for this work were made to explore and challenge the physical limitations I experienced during my recovery from trauma. Each component marks a personal milestone in my recovery and a new horizon to explore in future work.

This statement reflects a broad overview of Alvitr and my motivation for creating the work. I hope to provide additional context for each piece through this series.

Alvitr is a project of layers. Each one tells a story. I hope you find it worth the read.

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