Helen Ramona P2
Janelle Abbott’s 2023 series “Helen Ramona” is dedicated to and inspired by the artists late grandmother of the same name. In this iteration, Abbott utilizes fashion, painting, and furniture to contemplate the stages of a life lived, and the narrative void left in the absence of the dead—illustrating the creative power of the living to memorialize and mythologize those who have gone before us. Large scale paintings of weeping roses are juxtaposed by a series of translucent white garments representing the transformation of Helen Ramona from child to eternal spirit.
About the Zero Waste Methodology
The zero waste patterns are like giant puzzles where each piece fits perfectly into the next so that nothing fabric is wasted. When cut and assembled, these pattern pieces become a garment; deconstructed, they can be returned to a perfect rectangle of fabric. Comparatively, traditional pattern drafting wastes 15% of materials in conjunction with garment production. Zero waste honors the time, energy, labor, and natural resources imbued within the material world—it can also provide artists and designers with an opportunity to extend their creative capacity by working within strict limitations. The JRAT brand of zero waste design extends beyond pattern drafting and includes the exclusive use of post-consumer waste such as found or donated clothing, dead-stock textiles, and factory off cuts.
About the Artist
Janelle Abbott (JRAT) was born into the fashion industry—her parents owned a clothing manufacturing company where they produced Tencel garments in Seattle for over 20 years. This early exposure to the behind the scenes of garment production gave Janelle a sense of reverence for the labor involved in creating clothing. She received a BFA in fashion design from Parsons School of Design in 2012. In the face of the exploitive labor and environmental damage perpetrated by corporate fashion, Janelle decided to carve her own path—one committed to upcycling, sustainability, hand craft, and the zero waste design methodology. Densely pleated, boldly clashing, and unexpectedly rhythmic, Janelle’s work is scrappy, unapologetic, and a testament to just how much time and energy it takes for real humans to manufacture and produce every consumer product we engage with.