Published across social media on November 7th, 2021:
“It doesn’t matter what my motives or intentions are for the Peacock dress. I must consider impact. It has become clear to me that my attempt to evolve a viable third option is not tenable. The conversation has been collapsed into a neat binary – make the dress/don’t make the dress. It appears as though a third option is being interpreted as falling under “make the dress” – and harm, chaos, polarisation, conflict, and assorted mischief have continued. I am therefore abandoning the project. I will make something else.”
As I write this ten days later, my thinking on what happened over the last two months is still developing – about the dress, about my project, about diversity and inclusion, about non-attachment, about how we make meaning from events, and about what social media has become, and what purpose it serves.
You and I investigated a dress. We found out how it was made, and by whom. We unearthed a dark history and looked at it twice. We honoured an overlooked art form and named the artisans on the Museum Collections Record. We figured out a pattern and mocked it up. That could be called a successful research project.
Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you intended. That’s ok; it’s an exercise in humility. In future I’m sure I will have a lot to say about this moment and this project. For now, stepping away from the circus and reflecting feels healthy and appropriate.