Monday 11 September 2023

Wearable Art in Warwick, the Sunshine Coast, and Townsville.

What a year it has been for Wearable Art, even though I am about to miss the biggest show of all, the World of WearableArt. I stopped entering in 2019 to pursue other avenues of textile art, which has been the right decision for me, although it hasn't stopped me from being involved in it in other ways. In July I exhibited five of my previous works at Warwick Wearable Art Awards during the Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival.  Here's me being a fool on stage as we officially open up the stage of mannequins.

We stayed at a B&B with Alpacas and Highland Cows - just gorgeous!

Then in August we had a great night up at the Australian Wearable Art Festival (AWAF), where I got to catch up with several contacts from around the country and overseas. It was our second time there, and it did not disappoint. I was a guest of AWAF as I was representing TEXTILE Fibre Forum Magazine, and also awarded four prizes of publication of an artist profile in the magazine
This delightful beastie Dear Babushka won the show along with the audiences' hearts. I had seen it back stage and had been quite intrigued - never did I expect it to be the absolute explosion of colourful delight that it was! Congratulations to Isabelle Cameron and her model Stephanie Saal for bringing this joy to the stage.
All the below photos are by Colin McLellan:

This was an intriguing work - Perfectly Tarnished made by Rae Saheli and Rhiannon Thomas and spectacularly modelled by Naomi Capon. It features aluminium textured with a shotgun - I was lucky enough to be gifted a brooch made of it!
Obviously the colour of Galina Mahaleva's Into the Wilderness was very appealing to a pink freak like me, and although it looked little more than a handful of wired shapes backstage, it literally sprang to life when worn, creating the most beautiful shapes and movement.

Snow Queen was an intriguing work by Maria Leoni, with photographic prints on organza and velvet, a beautiful colour palette, and powerfully modelled.

Oooooh, and this was amazing - Koi, by Madison Griinke-Visser - the resin headpiece replicating the flow of water was just stunning. Second photo pinched from Instagram, original by Tanya Marriot Photography.
Oh, just one last one from this event - Recurvata, made by Karen Lynch using Ponytail Palm fronds - amazing. She said she was inspired by Iris van Herpen, and I can see the reference - she nailed it. Photo by Colin McLellan.
There will be an article about the show in the December TEXTILE magazine, and the four artist profiles will be in the next one after that.
At the end of August it was off to Townsville to the unknown quantity that was Wearable Art Creatives (WAC) at the POSE Festival, part of the North Australian Festival of Arts. Thanks to the Australian Government's Regional Arts Fund administered by Flying Arts Alliance, Christina Papadimitriou, the founder, was able to ship up a container of my wearable art works to be included in the performance, and some in the associated exhibition at Pinnacles Art Gallery afterwards, as well as myself. See photos of all the works here for now - soon to be uploaded to the WAC site.
In the Julia Rose photo work

Rob Doumas did an amazing job wearing Cordycephila!
The performance was of a higher standard than I had imagined, and my fears of having my work not shown at its best were unfounded. However, I have had that experience before, with my easygoing attitude leading to less than desirable outcomes. I might have come over as a bit precious to begin with, but I soon discovered that both I and my works were being treated with respect.
I was also engaged to speak about wearable art to students, some of whom were already making marvellous creations. Teacher Kirsten Walsh is absolutely wonderful in encoraging their explorations. Here we are deep in conversation at the Exhibition Opening (photo Townsville City Galleries).
Coccinelle, BioLumina, myself, Freyja, and Christina Papadimitriou
In Kirsten's classroom in some wearable art!
During the installation of the exhibition, having decided it was to hard to try and put Spike on a mannequin, we looked at the alcove next to my other works and thought - what if we just pile him up here like an actual fungus? I absolutely loved seeing my work in this new formation - this is where not being too precious and being willing to experiment can lead to good things!
The morning after the opening I had a public artist talk at the gallery, followed by a mini-workshop on Concept Development for Wearable Art. I had been rehearsing with my slides all week, my biggest fear being that I would go too quickly and run out of material. Well, turns out I could probably take all day and still have more to share!(photos Townsville City Galleries).
Public Artist Talk
Concept Development Workshop
It has been a great to have such a positive teaching experience - it has not been something I have been overly fond of in the past. To have influenced people and enabled them towards creating is a real pleasure.
Alison McDonald
Thomas Papadimitriou
It was a wonderful week in Townsville, and everyone was really so lovely wherever I went. Many thanks to Christina for working so hard to make it all happen, and for chauferring me around, as did her charming son Thomas, and fellow artist Alison McDonald.