Fastenatrure For Ukraine by Emily Vickers

Type: Art & Sculpture
Price: $300.00


Fastenatrure For Ukraine by Emily Vickers

Artists for Ukraine:  Artist’s percentage of sale going to the Ukraine Fundraising Project: 100%

wearable botanical sculpture. Conceived on February 25th, 2022. inspired by Ukraine's mighty flag and its mightier people.
9 x 14 x 9 inches

Artist Statement: I cringe when people call them hats…

They’re Fastenators, so-called because they appear to defy gravity, as if fastened to the side of the wearer’s head. I saw my first Fastenators watching the British Royal weddings on television. Mine are actually FasteNATURES. Rather than satin, velvet, and felt, each unique creation is fashioned from all-organic flora: Bark, berries, mosses, mushrooms, feathers , grasses, reeds, seedpods, lichens, leaves, twigs, vines. Most are gathered on my farm in the Sourland Mountains but I’m always on the lookout for natural prizes to add flourish. I made my first Fastenatural in 2013 and still wear and display it today, which brings me to one of three tenants of philosophy behind these botanical art/fashion pieces.

First, love of hats is in my DNA . My Great Aunt Grace, was a professional milliner who opened her eponymous hat shop, Graces, in Atlanta, Georgia in the early 1950’s. My mission is channeling Grace’s aesthetic and southern charm to revive hat fashion, so my Fastenatures must be wearable, first and foremost…

Second: Aunt Grace used trimmings: ribbons, satin, fur, tassels, buttons… but I am far more attracted to the innate glamor that I find in the natural world, so I limit my components to earthly elements that are grown, not man-made.

Third: Natural materials by definition are perishable, so deciding what has the greatest chance for longer survival is crucial to my process, which involves a number of techniques to test and ensure my creation’s longevity and vitality.

Fastenatures must be:

• Wearable

• All Natural

• Durable

I’ve been thrilled to find that even the most delicate stems and seed pods have remarkable staying power if they are dried slowly and carefully treated with some kind of natural preservative. I find as much beauty in the relics of a flowering plant as it wanes, as when it was in full flower, and have been delighted to preserve flora that I never thought would desiccate without falling apart.

I consider my work the nexus of Millinery, Wearable Art, and Botanical sculpture: Triplex assemblages. I hope they bring a smile and the desire to look more closely at nature’s incomparable glamor.

Bio: Emily Vickers BIO

In 1979 Emily Vickers left her native Athens, Georgia to pursue a Master’s Degree in Art History at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts in Manhattan. Feeling right at home immediately, she gladly moved on from small-town life as a student and counterculture entrepreneur, with gratitude to her successful venture as co-owner and creative director of Gladys Shrimp Leather Company, the sale of which financed her new life in New York.

After 3 years of study at the Institute, Emily was disappointed when her mentor, Professor Kirk Varnedoe left to assume William S. Rubin’s position as MOMA’s Director of Painting and Sculpture. During the previous year researching 20th century photography for her thesis on August Sander, Vickers had been introduced to luminaries Irving Penn, Arnold Newman, Gordon Parks, Duane Michaels, Richard Avedon and Ernst Haas. But it was Haas’ larger-than-life protégé, Jay Maisel, who convinced Emily that gallery work might not suit her energetic personality. She started as an intern at Jay’s storied studio on The Bowery, and became immersed in the fascinating, fast-paced, lucrative world of commercial photography production.

Vickers worked as Maisel’s studio manager and production coordinator for 10 years, along the way marrying Tom Mason, Jay’s first assistant and location scout. Tom had to convince Emily to leave her beloved Manhattan to visit his property in Hopewell; which was a diamond in the rough… a 200 year old barn and farmhouse whose 18 inch stone walls were no match for the insidious poison ivy that had made its way right into the living room!

As Mason and Vickers plunged into restoration of Van Dyke Farm, they also tied the knot together professionally. As Mason Vickers Productions, LLC, they offered their combined experience of casting, scouting, and coordinating complex still photo shoots to an A-List of talented photographers. For the next 25 years, they produced hundreds of assignments for high-end clients such as American Express, Tiffany, NYC Ballet, “GotMilk”, Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes, traveling the globe from Tunisia to Tucson; Capetown to Charleston; Whitehorse to Williamsburg.

Despite the excitement and financial rewards of commercial production, Emily longed for her artistic roots, and in 2014 decided to pare down her client list, eventually answering calls only from a few favorites. When she formally ‘retired’ she declared…. “I’ve been making a living since I was 17 years old. It’s time to make a life”. That life now is filled with gardening and gourmet cooking, plus a plethora of projects in leather, fabric; needlework, Haiku poetry, and of course, her Fastenaturals. She’s also worked as a ‘pro-age’ model for Cindy Joseph’s Boom! Cosmetics line, and signed with a New York talent agency, though it takes the rare assignment to lure her away from the farm.  These days, she wonders how she ever found time for her career at all… there are simply not enough hours in the day for her creativity!


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