With a degree in Fashion Design as well as Fine Art, Brooklyn based artist, Patricia Ayres works in the mediums of Fashion Design and Sculpture. A multi-disciplinary artist, Ayres uses installation art, sculpture, mixed media and printmaking to explore ideas around female identity, institution, restraint and confinement. Located in a hundred year old factory in an industrial part of Brooklyn, New York, Ayres takes advantage of the materials constantly discarded by her industrial neighbors. Her work is process based, and relies on the transformation and manipulation of materials. Ayres works with a wide range of natural and upcycled materials, using discarded materials to inform her art and her designs. Constantly amazed by the quantity and quality of materials discarded through mainstream production, her artful collection is produced from repurposed materials under the label Artlab.
Living in a densely populated city, Ayres finds herself drawn to the more isolated areas of New York City, such as the location of her studio, in a raw, gritty section of Brooklyn. Once a bustling, desirable area, with trolley cars and a waterfront dock, Brooklyn bares the scars of neglect and the traces of its celubrious past. Divided by a major expressway that severs the industrial from the residential, the area is home to sweet shops, sweat shops, chop shops, and porn shops, all living side by side. Reveling in the obvious juxtapositions in her locale, such as sex shops and orthodox religion, and auto tire shops filled with seamstresses, Ayres enjoys the authenticity and cultural diversity her part of the city offers, from the Yemeni owned bodega, to the Israeli falafel place, the tiny Mexican restaurant with very spicy tacos, and ”real” Chinese soup, enjoyed between conversations about Mao and China. The stimulating visual vocabulary drives and inspires her work, continually feeding her work as an artist, as well as a designer.
Ayres work starts with a concept, and sketches, a lot of them, letting process guide her intuitively. Working from a basis of exploration, armed with no more than a lot of questions and some materials, designs often change both direction and statement through the process of creation. Material use also informs her practice, often posing a challenge to bring to a place of cohesiveness and coherence. Designs often incorporate both complexity and austerity, concealing and revealing concepts and ideas. Ayres works with felt, boiled wool, and men’s suiting fabrics, donated by the menswear designer across the street, and discarded by the clothing factory below. Patricia Ayres produces a feminine and understated collection of clothing and accessories from the off-casts.
Her work has been exhibited in both New York and Berlin, celebrated in the pages of numerous publications, and sold in the U.S. and Japan.