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Wearable art pushes garment boundaries to create spectacular but challenging clothing #australia #australia_news #ABC_News #Just_In


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June 09, 2018 09:00:06

Mandurah, south of Perth, has made itself the centre of wearable art in Australia through its annual competition and exhibition of creations from around the world.

The city’s wearable art show is on again this weekend and features creations such as a village made of cardboard, a dress made of threads from plastic water bottles, and a costume put together in a game of artistic Chinese whispers.

More than 80 works were submitted and the final 40 selected will go on display in a live show that involves models, dancers and singers wearing the artworks.

“We have covered the whole gamut of artistic creations, from colourful, bright, happy creations to actually some quite dark creations,” artistic director Bernie Bernard said.

Many of the works are closer to sculpture or light installation than garments; the only restriction on the artists is to make something than can actually be put on.

“The artists can let their imaginations run pretty wild. As long as they can go on a body, then my job is to find the right body — a model or a dancer or an actor,” Ms Bernard said.

“They are breathtaking to look at.

“It’s not so breathtaking to wear a lot of them, but we have a wonderful cast who are very compliant and working well with the garments.”

What does it take to wear a giant sewing machine?

Even a large cardboard village, which surrounds the wearer like a barrel and includes a headpiece and lights, is wearable.

“It lights up and becomes a beautiful installation on the body,” Ms Bernard said of the work titled It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.

“It is heavy, but the designer has been very clever in leaving enough room for the performer to move and twist and bend around this village.”

Another work, Are You Thirsty? by Romanian artist Antoaneta Tica, has transformed 200 disposable plastic bottles into a dress fringed with delicate plastic fringing that resembles shimmering water.

In Forty-Four, by university student Debbie Ridley, the wearer dresses in a giant sewing machine made of recycled materials.

Its name refers to the 44 cents per hour earned, on average, by garment factory workers in Bangladesh.

Game of whispers brings costume together

Skrydstrup Woman was created in an artistic game of Chinese whispers, a work inspired by a bronze age woman uncovered by archaeologists in Denmark.

The work was begun by artist Jodie Davidson then sent on to five other artists around Australia who each worked on the project for a month before passing it on.

“Each artist worked into the existing artists’ work rather than creating a whole new thing,” Ms Davidson said.

“You have no idea, passing it on to another artist, it’s a bit scary really — you don’t know whether you have done it justice.

“But the process was lovely because everyone has a different take on it.”

For Sue Girak, who was the final worker on the project, the challenge was to make it wearable.

“It needed to be finished and the detail tightened up so the model wasn’t going to be scratched by wire or have loose pieces coming off,” Ms Girak said.

“For me it was like bringing it all together; I didn’t add an extra piece but I think my fingerprints are all through it.”

After going on display and featuring in the show, Skrydstrup Woman will become part of the City of Mandurah’s growing collection of wearable artwork.

The Wearable Art Mandurah performance is on June 9 and 10 at the performing arts centre, and the works will be exhibited at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah from August 3 to September 9.

Topics:

arts-and-entertainment,

fashion,

design,

visual-art,

sculpture,

human-interest,

mandurah-6210,

perth-6000



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