Petticoat on Petticoat Lane

2015

Temporary Site-Specific Public Art Installation/Sculpture

This piece was installed above the street sign for Petticoat Lane at the intersection Petticoat Ln. (11th Street) and Walnut St.

Presented as part of the 2015 Art in the Loop

 

Artist Statement

In this project I respond to the lovely street name “Petticoat Lane” – a name I have always loved. I pay homage to this specific block in downtown Kansas City, which a hundred years ago was a bustling hub of commerce and shopping and where petticoats were both worn and purchased. By illustrating its meaning and origins I provide a moment of whimsical surprise as drivers and pedestrians discover the playful garment hanging overhead.

 

Petticoat, a garment, typically worn under dresses, is often designed to be visible, or at least partly or occasionally seen. An undergarment in public view, a petticoat acts as a beautiful symbol for the complex negotiation and merging of the private as well as public presentation of the self.

 

I hope to disrupt the viewers’ everyday routines by providing a moment of surprise and by inviting conversation. When pedestrians look up (often an inappropriate view for skirts), they are offered a unique perspective of the fabric folds backlit by the sky. This piece softens the angular downtown environment and the blue shades cast color to the achromatic surroundings.

 

With this project I celebrate our downtown revitalization and cheer its return to vibrancy.

 

Sources:
The Kansas City Public Library
UMKC Library Special Collections

All images © Kati Toivanen