Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, April Dauscha, received her BFA in fashion design at the International Academy of Design and Technology and her MFA in fiber from Virginia Commonwealth University. April is on the board of directors for the Surface Design Association (SDA) and is one of the founding members of Tiger Strikes Asteroid Greenville (TSA GVL). She has been represented by Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, Virginia and has recently exhibited as part of the Uneasy Beauty: Discomfort in Contemporary Adornment exhibition at the Fuller Craft Museum and as part of the, Adornment: Beauty in Excess at the Walton Arts Center. Her work has also been featured on art blogs such as Beautiful Decay, Ignant and Issue No.206. She is currently spearheading a brand-new fiber arts program as instructor and area head at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, South Carolina.
Her work can be seen here at www.aprildauscha.com or on instagram @aprildauscha .
My work uses my body and personal narrative to investigate ideas of loss, death, and separation. As an artist, I am influenced by costume history, traditional Catholic rituals, Victorian literature, and the history of early photography. These textual and visual sources further underscore my interests in questions of morality, transformation, penance, and communication through dress. In my work, I often choose feminine objects and materials such as lace, veils, undergarments, and hair, as symbols that speak to my experience as both a woman and a mother, they become physical representations of mourning, sorrow, and maternal sacrifice.
Handmade objects and my own body become props for fictional rituals captured through intimate, voyeuristic, and documentary-style videos, photographs, and animations (GIFs). The final artworks are often fraught with tension arising from handcrafted objects being subjected to digital manipulation. I go between the delicacy of handcrafting a miniature piece of needle lace, to the vulgarity of wrapping a lacemaking thread, tightly, around my own tongue – a symbolic gesture of confession and atonement.
The latest body of work uses materials that mark the passage of time - hair, veiling, corsage pins, historical garments, and family heirlooms - materials that are associated with rites of passage. They are the remains of our corporeal existence - prompts to memory, nostalgia, and melancholy. Here, bodies come into direct contact, and in symbolic conversation, with familial objects that function as relics - covering, wrapping, shrouding a faceless form. It becomes an idealized ritual, enacted in anticipation of one’s own death, and one last interaction of the living with the deceased. Moving images act as metaphors for corporeal weight and inescapable gravity.
“What we are, you will be. What you are, we once were.”