Apr 29

39 national and international wearable art pieces will come alive on the Australian Wearable Art Festival’s 27-metre-long catwalk later this year, in an event that will transform the Sunshine Coast’s Venue 114 into a creative mecca for art enthusiasts, fashion mavericks and creative minds alike.

A fresh wave of wearable art talent from across the globe, including last year’s Supreme Winner Isabelle Cameron, are set to unveil their latest genre-bending creations to audiences on Friday 9 to Saturday 10 August across four categories: recycled ‘Trashion’; foraged organics in ‘Sustainable Nature’; ‘Floriana’ incorporating floristry elements; and the audacious silhouettes of ‘Avant-Garde’.

Australian Wearable Art Festival curator Wendy Roe said, the Sunshine Coast grown event, which held its first show in Eumundi in 2019, has gone from strength to strength in recent years and highlights a nationwide enthusiasm for arts and cultural festivals within the events calendar.

“We launched ticket sales in February and have already sold 25% of tickets for the August event, which we feel is a really healthy indication of the festival’s sustained interest with our audience around Australia,” Ms Roe said.

“Last year’s attendees raved about the excitement and spectacle of the catwalk, where sculptural artworks are like something you would see at the Met Gala or at a runway in Paris Fashion Week.

“There has been such momentum created around this event that our 39 finalists hail from across the continents – Europe, South East-Asia and the United States – as well as a continued strong representation from across Australia.”

Brisbane-based artist and last year’s Australian Wearable Art Festival Supreme Winner Isabelle Cameron – whose outstanding crochet piece “Dear Babushka”, inspired by her Ukrainian heritage, took home three prizes in 2023 – has again been selected as a finalist in this year’s Festival with her piece “Stardust”.

“If “Dear Babushka” was a love letter to my heritage and to the women who came before me, “Stardust” is me – raw, awkward, honest and silly,” Ms Cameron said.

““Stardust” tells a story of a crochet sea monster plucked from the seaweed – for the first time the world sees them for exactly who they are and that is terrifying.”

Incorporating movement and volume with exaggerated limbs, a high contrast colourway and a ruffled, crochet mohawk, the piece will be a continuation of Ms Cameron’s practice that challenges public perceptions of crochet.

“Crochet has always been underestimated in fashion and it’s time to change that,” Ms Cameron said.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 3 Councillor Tim Burns said the event was proudly supported by Council through the Major Events Sponsorship Program’s Emerging Events category.

“This colourful, highly creative and sustainably themed cultural event had the potential to create enduring opportunities that strengthen our economy now and in the future,’’ Cr Burns said.

“As a sponsor of this event and many others, our message to everyone is simple – buy tickets early so that event organisers have the confidence to keep delivering wildly creative and entertaining experiences like the Australian Wearable Art Festival.’’

Ms Roe said she believes the Festival’s success is rooted in an unique and authentically delivered showcase that connects audiences and artists.

“As a meeting point of art, fashion, costuming and technology, the Festival fills a particular niche in the national art landscape,” Ms Roe said.

“It’s designed as an opportunity to connect wearable artists and designers to industry; there are few events where relatively unknown artists can gain national exposure on the scale we see at Australian Wearable Art Festival.

“It’s a chance, especially for emerging artists, to have their works shown and our audiences are able to revel in an unbridled level of creativity that occurs when experimental creative minds blend genres and mediums.”

Ms Roe said that from the moment guests arrive at the gala event they are immersed in a world of wearable art where any found object – from ring pull tabs, bicycle tyres, flowers, teabags, feathers –are transformed into haute couture.

“With a 27-metre-runway, there’s the jaw-dropping performative aspect of the event but there are also more tactile opportunities for attendees to experience the detail of the work, understand the hours of work involved in the creation and talk with the artists about their process,” Ms Roe said.

“It’s a unique combination and one that has audiences walking away feeling electrified and inspired.

“This interplay has nurtured such passionate local support and we’re so grateful for our Sunshine Coast sponsors – many of whom have come on board after experiencing the Festival for themselves.”

Australian Wearable Art Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland. Sunshine Coast Council is the official destination partner for the Festival. The Festival would also not be possible without key partners including Visit Sunshine Coast, Argon Law, Hello Sunshine and In Noosa Magazines, Fresh PR & Marketing, the De Deyne family, Horse & Water and Converge Marketing.

Australian Wearable Art Festival will be held Friday 9 August to Saturday 10 August 2024. Tickets for the can be found by visiting www.australianwearableart.com.au.

The Australian Wearable Art festival finalists for 2024 by category:

TRASHION

  • Karla Pinkett
  • Andrea Pollock
  • Natalie Hamblin
  • Christy Yahav
  • Sally-Ann Porter
  • Kathleen Hunt
  • Louise Gerzanics
  • Tatiana Sheverda
  • Amelia Jan Tahere-Angus
  • Robyn Valentine
  • Britt Timmins
  • Michael Percival
  • Shumbi Love
  • Antoaneta Tica
  • Galina Mihaleva
  • Lucy Yule

SUSTAINABLE NATURE

  • Roz Bannan
  • Eloise Galea
  • Vivien Eardley
  • Mayhla Howells
  • Ririn Yaxley

FLORIANA

  • Karen Jones
  • Viera Keogh
  • Felicity Aitken
  • Lisa von Muller
  • Kana Sasaki
  • Lorena Balea Raitz

AVANT-GARDE

  • Karen Lynch
  • Maria Leoni
  • Dinh Hai Yen
  • Renate Jamieson
  • Rae Saheli and Rhiannon Thomas
  • Alexandra Zvi
  • Isabelle Cameron
  • Madelyn Sumner
  • Alle-Jane Sellens
  • Teddy McRitchie
  • Suzy Syme & Andrew Costa
  • Kelcie Bryant-Duguid
  • Olga Blake Mckenzie

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