A Dress to the Nation

A DRESS TO THE NATION, 2017. 2 -3’x5′ National Flags, lace, brocade, bone, brown cotton, nylon, 1- size nine pair of tap shoes, wire, 11 hour our audio loop of the song ‘Tomorrow” from the musical Annie. Dress Design: Richard Mark Rawlins • Fabrication: SEW LISA • Photography: Michele Jorsling

This work created for the occasion of my 5Oth birthday, is meant to symbolize my feelings toward the trust, hope, security and prayer that in my opinion has been expected of everyone one of our citizens over the course of my lifetime, but without any real sense of reciprocity. It is commentary. From as early as I knew myself I can recount the countless times we as a nation, certainly my parents, my brother and I, would dash home so as to be sure to not miss the announced “Address to the nation”, by the Prime Minister, or in some cases the President of the day. Today that is no longer required, and it does not hold such past pomp, circumstance and authority, as everything is re-broadcast on social media. While some addresses were often responses to public dissatisfaction over some perceived ill, or another, and others still heralded political actions to be taken against an opposition member or sitting member of Government (read sacking), or the odd occasion the announcement of a curfew or house arrest, for the most part I found them mystifying, in the sense that they left me no better off than before, and in recent times, they could even be described as befuddling, leaving all but the most sycophantic in a perpetual ‘WTF’ moment. Everytime I hear the words ‘an address to the nation’ now I can’t help but hear the song from the musical Annie, playing in my head. That cute-lily-white-milky–milky-soppiness of sacchrine, that extolls the virtues of looking on to a brighter day. The sun will come out tomorrow. Again. Yeah, allyuh could wait for that…

Andre Bagoo on A Dress to the Nation

TOMORROW Marsha Pearce interviews Richard Mark Rawlins about his A Dress to the Nation