Asentamiento Dress from the series ‘Duende A Time for Healing’ - Julie Cook

Asentamiento Dress, Julie Cook, 2006. Image © Heini Schneebeli

Object Details

Date of making
Date of acquisition
Textiles: hand-stitching
Cotton, duck-down feathers, six lead weights (in base of dress)
L1450mm x W840mm x D620mm
Collection Number

Maker Details

London, England
Place Trained
Middlesex University, London, BA Jewellery (First class honours) with placement year, 1998-2002; Barnet College, BTEC Diploma Foundation Art & Design, 1996-1998; St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, Registered General Nurse, 1980-1983
5 Roseheath Avenue, Winchmore Hill, London, N21 3NE, England
Crafts Council Development Award, 2005-2006
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This object inspired new work by...


Julie Cook’s work comprises collections of wearable pieces for the body using found materials associated with comfort such as pillowcases, blankets, feather duvets and cotton sheets.

As a nurse of 20 years, Cook explores ideas of physical, spiritual and emotional cures for the ills of contemporary life. The Asentamiento Dress makes the viewer consider emotional pain and healing.

At the time of acquisition, the Crafts Council acknowledged that the Collection did not fully represent the richness of contemporary practice in UK art textiles. Acquiring Asentamiento Dress set out to redress that gap.

In 2008, Asentamiento Dress was the subject of the Crafts Council ‘Object as Muse’ exhibition, in which six artists presented a visual response the piece.

Read more about related loans and exhibitions

Sarah Mann

“On first glance it is a sinister object, reminiscent of a straight jacket, but its appearance belies its function as a healing tool. Inspired by Duende, a term connected with flamenco and its associated catharsis and heightened emotion, this dress is interesting because of its use of dance, conveyed by the artist in a set of instructions to the wearer.
What I love about it are the details hidden from view; at the dress’s core is a tiny silk poultice applied to the wearer’s solar plexus (a dense tangle of nerves in your abdomen), and used to ‘reset the body’.
Julie’s work reflects her other life as a mental health nurse, allowing her to explore the psychology and ritual around illness.”

Sarah Mann

Sarah Mann, Assistant Curator, Embankment Galleries, Somerset House. Exhibitions Officer, Crafts Council 2007-2009.

Poet Colette Bryce was commissioned to write a poem responding to Cook’s Asentamiento Dress for the 2008 Crafts Council ‘Object as Muse’ exhibition, in which six artists presented a response the piece.

From the Archive

Crafts Council Purchase Information Sheet

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