I use the language of clothing to create narrative sculpture. Frozen and stiff, the garment becomes immobile, as if the wearer evaporated, leaving a only a shell. They become places. Enclosures. Upon opening, the ghost of the missing person still remains in the echo of the garment’s frozen shape. When opened what remains are fragments, small found objects and books nestled within. They are the distilled essence of the story, the one left behind by the “person” once living there. New homes for stories I collect. In addition to individual objects, I began to create environments for these narrative sculptures. Using varied modes of display, the installations are inspired from the dioramas in natural history museums, retablos and altars, drawing on a narrative tradition in which the impossible is probable in which magic and marvels coexist with things actual and proven.
Miriam Schaer is a multimedia book artist. She uses garments-girdles, bustiers, brassieres, aprons, children’s' clothes-as her means of containment. Inside these stiffened, shaped, embellished enclosures, she conceals books and other objects that document her explorations of feminine, social, and spiritual issues.Ms. Schaer is a recipient of a NYFA Artists Fellowship. Her work has been included in the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series at Mabel Smith Douglass Library, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, the oldest and longest-running exhibition series dedicated to showcasing women artists in the United States, Ms. Schaer’s work has been included in the Cheongju International Craft Biennale, in South Korea, and Imagining the Book Biennale at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt.