C L A I R E H L E R N E R
Goodwill + Remnant
For this body of work, Goodwill + Remnant, I visited second hand stores in both Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties here in California. I photographed rows upon rows of clothing in these stores for months at a time as a record of my visual experience. What caught my eye was how beautifully the clothing was arranged and prepared in each of these stores by color and pattern. I felt the presence of the store's staff as I enjoyed each arrangement. I later worked with these printed and cut photographic images by hand in the studio and in Adobe Photoshop. I couldn't help remembering my maternal grandparents. My grandparents were immigrants to America from Eastern Europe; they inspired the final work on this series. They each made a meager income by working with fabric. My grandmother sewed and my grandfather sold fabric remnants. As a child when I visited them in Brooklyn I remember being fascinated with the bags and bags of fabric pieces they had in their bedroom closet. It was fun sorting and playing with all the colorful remnants with my grandmother, a memory that I will never forget. As a child I didn’t realize how hard they worked and that the fabric that I was playing with represented their livelihood.