Remnant is both a reflection of Sally Ketcham’s interest in the shopping bag, as subject and medium, and concern with trends in the fashion industry. Sally began using bags in her work some years ago, first as an attempt at social commentary, (specifically as a response to Bush’s call on Americans to shop after 911), then continuing to utilize them in her paintings, collages and assemblages, out of an intrigue with their lines, shapes, forms and textures.
The sheer volume of clothes coming at the consumer market is mind boggling. Seasons have been obliterated. Instead of the new arriving in stores four times yearly, there is a constant bombardment of new items, many of which won’t last more than a few washings. While some of this merchandise is recycled, much of it ends up in landfills.
While the ‘fast fashion’ trend in the clothing industry is disturbing to Sally on both an environmental and socioeconomic level, Sally’s intent is not to critique or call out individual companies. (We all can agree on the need for reasonably priced clothing).
An occasional shopper at H&M herself, Sally is a participant in the system, and when in the store with a camera, is drawn to the formal patterns, textures, repetition and scale relationships the product displays offer. In conjunction with the shopping bag photos, which for Sally, allude to the figure, body image, and aging, among other things, the artist’s intent is to create a tension between individual desire and complicity, and concern for the local and global implications of current fashion trends.