Feb 09

In 2024, artists and audiences alike will once again flock to the Australian Wearable Art Festival, which will transform Queensland’s Sunshine Coast into a vibrant hub of creativity, innovation and style, showcasing the latest boundary-defying reaches in wearable art from across Australia and internationally.

Tickets are now on sale and the call for 2024 artist entries is now open, with designers limited only by their own creativity to transform unlikely everyday materials into spectacular works of art to be worn on the Festival’s signature 27-metre runway.

The preeminent showcase for wearable art in Australia, the Festival celebrates expanding fashion and art boundaries over a two-day event held this year on August 9-10 and fashionistas and lovers of art are encouraged to get in quick with tickets, as shows were a sell-out last year.

Australian Wearable Art Festival’s Supreme Winner in 2023 Isabelle Cameron said the Festival offers a unique platform to showcase work that reaches new audiences and she encourages emerging and established artists to participate in 2024. 

“The Festival is a really supportive, collective effort. There’s not many opportunities to deliver a performed artwork with access to models, makeup artistry and a full catwalk with sound and lighting – it’s a great chance to connect with other artists and get your name out there,” Ms Cameron said.

Ms Cameron, whose outstanding crochet piece “Dear Babushka”, which was inspired by her Ukrainian heritage, took home three prizes in 2023 – the Supreme Winner, the Floriana category winner and one of four artists chosen to be featured in the Textile Fibre Forum magazine.

Like many other wearable artists, Ms Cameron said her work is a chance to challenge mainstream fashion norms, celebrate diversity, inclusivity and personal storytelling through hand crafted clothing and accessories.

“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,” said Ms Cameron.

“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.”

Event co-founder Helen Perry said the Festival in 2024 will build on the growing momentum wearable art continues to accrue in the public domain and that the primary focus is connecting wearable art to industry.

“The global popularity of events like the Met Gala for example, underpin the popularity of fashion that pushes the boundaries and Australian Wearable Art Festival puts the spotlight on wearable art as a standalone art form in its own right,” Ms Perry said.

“We continue to build an internationally-spanning industry platform that supports a unique art form feeding into music and entertainment industries – last year’s judge Bethany Cordwell, a highly regarded wearable artist herself, has had her work worn by Beyoncé in Renaissance album artwork.

“The possibilities of where wearable art can take artists are limitless and the Australian Wearable Art Festival exists to nurture emerging talent and empower them to commercialise their craft by creating a platform that opens doors to these kinds of new heights.”

Since its inaugural show in 2019, Australian Wearable Art Festival has expanded to 40 artists, 27 metres of catwalk and is a cornerstone of the Sunshine Coast’s arts and cultural scene. In 2024, the Festival will extend beyond its physical roots in South East Queensland with a static  exhibition in Cardinia Art Gallery, Victoria.

Sunshine Coast Council is the official destination partner for Australian Wearable Art Festival 2024 and the event would also not be possible without other key partners including Visit Sunshine Coast, Fresh PR & Marketing, the De Deyne family, Horse & Water and Converge Marketing. 

Entry forms and tickets can be found by visiting www.australianwearableart.com.au/

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