Gallery 2022 – Eleanor Burholt

Special Occasion

I Am Half Sick of Shadows

This project was inspired by Alfred Tennyson’s 1843 poem “The Lady of Shalott.” The poem describes a woman who has been cursed to stay in a tower, weaving images of the outside world. After seeing the world pass her by, she feels an urgent need to leave. She climbs down from the tower and floats down a nearby river. She suffers the death of a past self, but is able to be seen by and become part of the world.

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A woman in an alcove at the New York Public Library. She is wearing an ivory-covered dress that forms large poufs. The dress is constrained by a teal piece with layers of overlapping lace. Cords wrap around the body, containing the poufs.

This gown shows a point of tension, constrained by the tapestry, but exploding through the cracks.

A close-up of the same woman. The lace on the gown is painted in various shades of dark teal with a mottled effect. Different kinds and textures of lace are layered over each other.

The lace was hand-painted to create a watercolor effect and appliquéed.

A view of the back of the gown. The skirt is intensely gathered and hangs from mid-hip. The hem drapes over the ground. The back of the dress has several pieces of lace that join the cords together.

The gown is supported by a rigid internal structure onto which the shirring is secured.

A close-up of the back of the gown. The lace has been invisibly hand-stitched to the dress. The back closes in a way that does not disturb the continuity of the poufs or reveal the understructure underneath.

To create a seamless effect, the cords are woven together with lace at the back.

A side view of the woman. It's blurred, and her shadows appear besides her. The poufs travel along the body uninterrupted over the side seam. The woman is in the same alcove, and she's staring directly at the viewer.

The lightweight taffeta gives it a cumulous quality, which contrasts with the heavier teal overlayer.

Meet the Designer

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Eleanor Burholt

Croton-on-Hudson, New York



Photographer: A Burholt
Model: Eleanor Burholt

FIT, State University of New York

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