Mar 28

Australian Wearable Art Festival’s winning works on show

Australia’s premier wearable art event, the Australian Wearable Art Festival, is excited to announce the launch of its exhibition, A Wearable Canvas, at the Cardinia Cultural Centre from April 5 to May 15, 2024.

Featuring a captivating collection of works from the festival, the exhibition showcases extraordinary wearable art created from a range of uncommon materials including ponytail palm, pearl beads, coffee pods, shotgun aluminium, Guinea Fowl feathers and plastic mesh fruit bags along with macrame, weaving and crochet techniques.

Event curator Wendy Roe said A Wearable Canvas is a must-see exhibition for lovers of haute-couture and sculptural art.

“Australian Wearable Art Festival represents a very unique cross-section of high end haute couture fashion with sculptural art and the detail and technique in each work is fascinating to see up close,” Ms Roe said.

“Normally presented on a runway, this exhibition is a collection of some of our most spectacular winning works from the last five years.”

The 2023 Australian Wearable Art Festival Supreme Winner, Isabelle Cameron, will have her prize-winning, crochet piece “Dear Babushka” featured in the exhibition.

Ms Cameron said the work was inspired by her Ukrainian heritage and is a chance to challenge mainstream fashion norms, celebrate diversity, inclusivity and personal storytelling through hand crafted clothing and accessories.

“For me, “Dear Babushka” is not just a work of art; it’s a journey into cherished memories and a celebration of cultural richness. The meditative and labour-intensive process of crochet intertwines with bold, contrasting colours and large-scale elements, creating a playful and dynamic silhouette that exudes joy,” said Ms Cameron.

“With every stitch, I poured my heart into this piece, infusing it with a touch of nostalgia that invites viewers to embrace their inner child and reminisce about the warmth of family and tradition.

“The large lily flowers [in ‘Dear Babushka’] you see on the headdress coupled with the purple and yellow colouring are in tribute to my model who is a proud intersex woman.

“It was really important for me to share her pride and story because a lot of the time the ‘I’ in LGBTQIA is overlooked. Stephanie also shares Ukrainian heritage as well so the traditional ‘vinok’ was also significant to her.”

Alongside “Dear Babushka”, other works to be featured include:

  • Jodie Whittaker Amaterasu: The Japanese Goddess of the Sun
    A stunning gold macrame piece, inspired by the Japanese sun goddess, Amaterasu was the 2019 AWAF Supreme Winner. The intricate macrame work captures the essence of the rising sun, symbolising power, warmth and beauty.
  • David Bongiorno Fowl Queen
    An exquisite headpiece adorned with guinea fowl feathers, exuding elegance and regal charm. The feathers are carefully arranged to create a majestic crown, celebrating the allure and grace of feminine power.
  • Karen Lynch – Recurvata
    A mesmerising garment crafted entirely from ponytail palm leaves. The intricate basketry work breathes life into the piece, evoking flowing movement and intricate detailing. It’s a wearable celebration of sustainability, showcasing the natural beauty of the palm leaves.
  • Evita Camilleri and Dan Draper – Slave
    A thought-provoking collection crafted from pearl beads, exploring themes of material excess and possession. The intricate beadwork reflects the entanglements of desire and ownership, serving as a poignant reminder of the consequences of greed.
  • Elzbieta Cios Jonas Citric Chic
    A bold creation that repurposes plastic net fruit bags laminated onto industrial fabric remnants. The multi-layered fabric showcases the versatility of plastic as a composite material, demonstrating the artist’s ingenuity in transforming everyday objects into high-end fashion.
  • Heather O’Flaherty The Storytellers Muse
    A captivating wearable art piece that weaves together textiles, plastics and ceramics. Its intricate design represents universal connections and emotions, inviting viewers to embark on a journey of imagination and cultural exploration.
  • Rae Saheli and Rhiannon Thomas Perfectly Tarnished
    Celebrates human complexity and resilience through a fusion of leather and shotgun aluminium. The artwork’s sensuality and playfulness serve as a reminder of the beautiful intricacies of the human experience.
  • Madelyn Jane Sumner Coffee Queen
    A striking gown and crown crafted from recycled coffee pods. Its innovative design showcases the transformative power of recycling, urging viewers to reconsider their consumption habits and embrace sustainability.
  • Cynthia Hawkins Cixi: The Power Behind the Throne
    Features handmade shoes inspired by the elegance of Qing Dynasty footwear. Crafted from wood and paper, the shoes reflect the opulence and symbolism of imperial fashion, embodying strength and tradition.
  • Kelcie Bryant-Duguid Beaulah the Banksia Spy
    Inspired by the Australian bush and the banksia plant. Fabricated from home furnishing swatches and reclaimed upholstery fabric, the artwork embodies storytelling and individuality, inviting viewers to assume alternative personas and express their identities.

Visitors to the exhibition will have the chance to get up close and personal to see the intricate techniques and materials used to create these wearable works of art.

This free exhibition will launch at Cardinia Cultural Centre with an opening night on Friday April 5, expected to draw a crowd of 100 people and will run until Wednesday 15 May. For more information on A Wearable Canvas go to www.cardiniaculturalcentre.com.au/exhibitions_event/a-wearable-canvas/.

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