Miriam Mladinov Ceramic Costumes February 2016

Dresses worn by famous people achieve their own level of celebrity; picture Marilyn Monroe keeping her white skirt under control above a ventilation grate in "Bus Stop." Ceramic artist Miriam Mladinov captured the unique garment in her own way -- a ceramic version designed for wall display. A solo exhibition of original pieces by Mladinov will fill the visitor center art gallery at Boyce Thompson Arboretum during February; iconic garments that pay homage to historical figures from Samson and Delila, Frida Kahlo and Isadora Duncan - to characters from Shakespeare. Items on exhibit range from 10-20 pounds; and in price from $800 - $2,800. Meet the artist at her gallery opening reception February 6 from 1:00-3:00 PM.

"In the last four years I have created a whole series of ceramic costumes. These are not meant to be worn and do not need an actor, because costumes are telling the story. The body is only present as an impact it has on the garment itself.
"They incorporate elements from nature, like Prospero's cape; Titania and Oberon, the fairies, have costumes made of floral elements. Samson has a sunflower tucked into his waistband...I am planning to make an Arizona version of Adam and Eve -- you can guess these costumes!"

"The three Joseph’s coats were the first of the series and were inspired by the Bruce Feiler’s book Walking the Bible. He mentioned the connection between Joseph’s garments and events in his life. Each coat represents one crucial moment. This trio was purchased by the Jewish Museum in Minneapolis.
"Samson and Delilah were also caught in action when she seduces him and cuts his hair. Samson’s name in Hebrew corresponds to sun and his persona is derived from an earlier Sun-God, hence he has a sunflower tucked in his belt. Miriam, who’s existence is tightly connected to water has her feet in a pond. She also carries a cup and a drum. Her other passions are dancing and singing.

"The Bible certainly offers a great gallery of characters but I also find subjects in theatre and in life. Hence I chose Titania and Oberon, the sexy fairies who inhabit magic, dreamy, woods of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night's Dream. They're elusive and blend with nature. I also made five characters from The Tempest: Prospero, Miranda, Ferdinand, Ariel and Caliban. I have designed the play for Forum Theater production at Shakespeare in the Park in Worcester, Massachusetts. For the three main characters in Othello I made only their busts. The handkerchief connects them; Desdemona proudly displays it as a symbol of her love, Iago uses it as a dagger, while Othello has a scar where the handkerchief has been.

Contact the artist about commissions and prices by email to mirjanamladinov@gmail.com, or call 480. 288. 9016

"I chose the flamboyant artist Frida Kahlo because she used her outfits and her portraits to express her moods and state of mind. My most recent subjects are dancers Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham because of their unmistakable expressions and movements.
"By making these costumes my primary goal is to catch the defining moment of a character’s life. I am using the same approach as I did when designing for theater. The emotion the costumes evoke supersedes the historical accuracy, even though they often reflect the historical period. I feel free to use any form, texture, color that conveys my idea. Most costumes are realized in high fire stoneware with additions of wood sticks, leather straps, glass and ceramic beads and occasionally some other materials.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum is at highway 60 milepost #223 near the historic copper mining town of Superior, a drive of about 45 minutes due East of Mesa. February visitors are admitted from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.; no visitors are admitted after 4:00, and the Arboretum closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. New exhibits begin each month and may be seen daily during business hours; the Arboretum is an Arizona State Park and daily admission must be paid to enter the Visitor Center where our gallery is found. A membership may be purchased in the gift shop on the day of your visit.

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