Monday, April 15, 2013


I finally finished the "Immerse" project I mentioned in the previous post.  As some of you guessed it was wearable art.  Despite living in the land of The World of Wearable Art for most of my life, I was never once, even for a second, tempted to enter.  Basically it had always been on my Not To Do List.

But soon after I moved here I met a group of lovely and passionate people who were trying to get a new wearable art event off the ground for Mandurah's Stretch Arts Festival.  I must have said "wearable art isn't my thing" about twenty times before I finally gave up, thought to myself "just be supportive" and so said "go on then" instead.  I made a piece for their inaugural event in 2011 and at some stage I'll photograph it and show it to you.  Given my usual dislike for making useless things I basically made a quilt and a dress.

Last year I was working like a madwoman and ran another little project at Stretch as part of my job so had no time to make anything other than dinners.  This year, in a moment of weakness and much to my daughter's surprise, I again said Yes, albeit ten minutes before the entry cutoff time.

There are reasons why wearable art isn't my thing so to avoid these I set myself a few criteria.  I was determined that my entry would a) not scare small children, b) not scare any of us more delicate adults, c) be a simple design, d) only use one material and e) not cost me more than a few gold coins to make.  Then my partner brought home a huge pile of superseded advertising banners from his workplace because he doesn't like throwing things out and he thought I might be able to make something out of them.  I looked at the lovely watery colours of the banners and the words on them which were Immerse and Splash.  I thought about the theme for this year's Stretch Festival which is Identity.  Lately I have been mucking around with smocking so I played with the banner fabric and made the huge smocked samples in the previous post.  I finally finished my entry a few minutes before I was due to collect my gorgeous model (a former workmate) to go to the judging event. 

Here is the longer version of what I wrote as the didactic for my entry.  (Writing this stuff is so odd.  It is a frock.  With a mental hat!)

My piece is about two sorts of “immersion” and how these have changed my Identity since moving to Mandurah.
Firstly, I now spend a lot of time in and around water; I soon realised that to not do so here would be huge missed opportunity. I have discovered kayaking and am finally learning to swim. The colour and movement of Mandurah's beautiful waterways entrance me.
Secondly, in this piece I am playing with connection, expansion and changing direction as these are all things that immersion in the local arts scene has given me via a constant stream of wonderful opportunities.

So there above and below it is.  Many thanks to my amazing model.  (Sadly I don't look like that in it.  I look certifiable.)

Seeing all the weird and wonderful directions the entrants went in was fascinating especially given that we all started from the same point: the word Identity.  During the main Stretch Festival weekend there will be a public event where all the entries will be showcased.  Details are as follows:

Common Threads of Identity Wearable Art Showcase
Sunday May 5th 2013 at 3.00pm
Boardwalk Theatre, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
Come along to this free, ticketed show to see all the wearable art entries in all their glory.
Collect your free tickets from Mandurah Library, Falcon eLibrary and Community Centre or the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.

The winners will be announced at that event but I must admit I'm not bothered as I have already had the ultimate positive feedback.  In the car on the way home from the private judging event where these photographs were taken my daughter said in a somewhat surprised voice, "Mum, it looked really good!"

Now that I have ticked that off my Not To Do List (again) it is time for A cup of tea and a lie down, which incidentally was the name of my 2011 entry.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool! Well done- always knew you had this in you, even if you resisted. Gorgeous model- suits your garment wonderfully. You are so talented- love watching what you'll do next!