Using the cotton T-shirt as a stand-in for the ordinary person, Margaret Parker’s “Ladder Unraveled” reflects on the flimsiness of the American Dream and questions how identity can be altered by financial turmoil.

Parker’s creation is fabricated from decontructed t-shirts which she refashions into a dramatic yet delicate sculpture that aims to discover new meanings from old fragmented realities. The human element is prominent in her conceptual vision through her use of such a humble and generic garment as her primary medium.

With parents who lived through the Great Depression, Parker like many Americans, was brought up with the expectation of a brighter future, and a promise of  “American exceptionalism” that would not fail her, only to be disappointed by the current state of economic hardship in this country and the global marketplace.


“Ladder Unraveled” faces the disappointment and insecurity that results from these false promises and shattered dreams, and dares to propose something new. Working with fragments of the old, Parker rebuilds and inspires a stream of invention, a ladder that leads to a realm of yet to be formed ideas and constructs.

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