allysun
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        Allysun West is a medicinal dye based textile designer in Portland, Maine. She completed her BFA in Textiles and Fashion from the Maine College of Art in 2018. where she began working with natural fibers, and plant based dyeing methods, transforming her work into garments of healing.

        Intrigued by alternative medicinal qualities offered by plants, which also produce the dyes she colors her fabrics with, West challenges the ideas of synthetic based items in and around our bodies with an alternative option of natural comfort and healing from the outside inward. A process she refers to in the creation of her garments as radiating energies. 

 
 
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Artist Statement

As an eleven year old I was diagnosed with a curious disease and was given standard drugs to make me feel better. I later realized that the Western medicine I was using merely suppressed my symptoms instead of fixing the actual problem. After this realization, I started using herbal medicine which works naturally with my bodies own system to help heal itself. Throughout history, plants such as Calendula, Madder, Alkanet, and Indigo have been known to produce colors of yellow, red, purple and blue. Although different in nature, these plants share something essential to my practice; they all possess medicinal properties. My work then harnesses the positive healing energies emanating from natural fibers, such as wool and linen, in combination with medicinal natural dyes. The medicinal qualities are emitted through the active chemical compounds in the plant and then soaked into the fabric to radiate both the dye and fiber healing qualities onto the wearer. These medicinal energies are presented in the form of garments to promote a direct pathway for healing by being absorbed through the skin. Thus the healing garments act as an armor, a second skin, and create a sanctuary for the person wearing them.

 

Education

2016-2018

BFA in Textiles/Fashion at Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine

2014-2016

Fibers department at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA

 

Group Exhibitions

2018

Thesis show

Medicinal Garments in MECAmorphosis Fashion Show

2017

BFA Show, Maine College of Art, Portland, ME

Mind, Body, Spirit, Plant Medicine, Oceanfront in MECAmorphosis Fashion Show, Maine College of Art, Portland, ME

Merit Show, Maine College of Art, Portland, ME

2016

Crocheted Circle in MECAmorphosis Fashion Show, Maine College of Art, Portland, ME

2015

Fibers Spring Show, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA

 

Workshops

2017

Teaching Assistant - Susan Tobey White - Fiber College

(1 day rolling class) Surface design: stencil and painting with Golden brand fabric paint.

 

Teaching Assistant - Amelia Poole - Fiber College

(1 day rolling class) Eco printing: dyeing fabric with plants and flowers.

 

Teaching Assistant - Jackie Graf - Fiber College

(1 day workshop) Natural dyeing

2018

       Teacher - Maine College of Art

Medicinal Dyeing Workshop

Assistant - Maine College of Art

       Indigo Dyeing Workshop

 

       Teacher - Maine Audubon Society

       Medicinal Dyeing with Native Plants of Maine

 

       Teacher - Fiber College

       Meditative Machine Knitting Workshop

Medicinal Dyeing Workshop

Professional Activities

2017

Marketing Director at Fiber College, Searsport, ME

Internship at Lana Plantae, Buxton, ME

 

Bittersweet Vine arch Installation, Fort Williams State Park, Cape Elizabeth, ME

 

Publications

2018

http://jamiepeeps.com/mecamorphosis-2018/

http://valomaine.org/our-art