Friday, October 13, 2017

Odd Beauty and the Steampunk Abbess

I was fortunate to meet artist Paige Gardner, steampunk costume designer, at the Southampton Arts Center show. 
Paige was modeling a creation entitled Abbey.
Paige creates wearable works of art by repurposing found and salvaged material. In this costume, elements were salvaged from the ruins of the Birmingham, Alabama hurricane. The "stained glass" in her head gear, mask and shoulder epaulets are composed of pages from a coloring book. She creates freehand, assembling each costume sans machine, with scissors, glue, safety pins and tape. 

You are drawn in by the costume's drama and beauty. Closer examination reveals a subtext of menace and power. "Odd Beauty" indeed, Paige is the perfect Mistress of Ceremonies for this show.

Curated by Art Donovan
Presented by Amy Kerwin
Photo by Amy Kerwin
"Beginning with the re-imagined, visual language of the 19th Century Victorian Era, Steampunk now counts its inspirations as far back as the mechanical drawings of Leonardo da Vinci to the bold, streamlined locomotives of Raymond  Lowey. But what gives this art form its singular identity is the artists' visual and cultural fascination with mechanical, gear-driven technologies of the past. This exhibition presents works from the most notable Steampunk artist and designers in the field and features visual art, technologies, and contraptions extraordinaire, all of which richly illustrate the need for a messy vitality which allows the imagination to soar." Art Donovan, Curator Odd Beauty: The Techo-Eccentric World of Steampunk
The gallery is filled with intricate curiosities, beautiful and unique. The works are so interesting, I especially loved the Steampunk Cicada. More photos of the show are HERE
Hellhound by Stephen J. Smith
Steampunk Butterfly by Daniel Proulx
Steampunk Cicada by Daniel Proulx
Sculpture by Todd Sloane

Southampton Arts Center
Through November 12,  2017

Artists include Tom Banwell, David Barnett, Mike Cochran, Ian Crichton, Art Donovan, Dave Duros, Steve Erenberg, Cameron Forrest, Paige Gardner, Eric Freitas, Vianney Halter, Steve La Riccia, Vincent Mattina, Clayton Orehek, Daniel Proulx, Saxon Reynolds, Filip Sawczuk, Todd Sloane, Stephan J. Smith, and Sam van Olffen.
Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner 

The headpiece lights up! 


  1. I was curious about the title of your post -- now I see! I admire those who do steampunk well. It's not my strength but I do enjoy it.

    Thanks for stopping by the Marmelade Gypsy! Happy week.

  2. Such interesting and original art! Thanks for sharing this exhibition. xx Sunday

  3. A belated, "Thank You" for your fine coverage of the show! Best creative wishes for 2018.

  4. I would like to buy the steampunk butterfly (purple). How much?

  5. I impressed by the quality of information on this website. There are a lot of good resources here. I am sure I will visit this place again soon.
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