Friday, 1 September 2017

Wearable Art Wooooooowwww!!

Above: Practice painting, gridded up from original design
Below:Photoshop design

Of course, I am wearing the
regulation closed-in shoes and
high-vis vest. Not.
Day 1: On arrival at my Traffic Signal Box (TSB), I was a little daunted, but busied myself with setting up my work area including drop sheets, and foldable traffic cones. I really appreciated having my practice painting with me. Not only was it a great reference point for me, one that was large and wouldn't blow away, but I think it was a great help in showing people what my plans were, and engaging them from the start of the process.  After two coats of undercoat, I was able to grid up the box as per my practice work, although the measurements were a bit out from the template - I wish I had done an actual measurement of the box, and converted my grid measurements prior to being on site!

When I started to block in some colours, I found that the brushes I had bought for the job were horribly scratchy, and I that I could not mix purple out of the supplied reds and blues for love nor money - only a murky grey lavender!
Day 2: After an early start to go via Bunnings and pick up some sneaky purple paint, I was disappointed that the Bunnings Breakfast (sausage sizzle) has not even started - I was counting on that!! Much public appreciation with doots and thumbs up, and a lovely man pulls up, introduces himself, and offers his donation to the arts - $50. I was overwhelmed. That will go towards replacing some of my good brushes that I brought today - thank you sir! I packed up early, fearing rain, but was also exhausted by the wind and blinded by the sun. Whilst waiting for pick up, I choked on a tin of tuna, and enjoyed a wee bag of chips from a lovely Indian lady whose child's birthday it was, so she had many treats on board!
Day 3:  Saturday - a very productive and lovely day, but afterwards,  I crashed out on the couch in the afternoon for a few hours!! The paint is really sticky and dries so quickly on the palette, even though I put only a little out at a time. Because I paint by mixing colours on the brush a lot - I need a bit of every colour, then struggle to use it all up in time, but do my best to make sure the majority gets on the box as at least an under-colour!
Day 4: Monday, was the longest stint of painting, from 8-4, but I took some proper breaks, which made a difference. ! One bus driver stopped at the lights opened his door, dashed over to stand in it, and say how great it is. I enjoyed a mime with another, who gave me smiles and thumbs up etc, and I mimed how tired I was, and he reciprocated. I feel very much a part of the BCC community! Two children, a brother and sister, who I have seen several times before, are amazed at todays progress, say it's very pretty, and he marvels at the small eyes I have put on my figure - unlike all the massive doll-like eyes usually seen - interesting.

Day 5: Friday - just the finishing touches today, and the signature. A fellow TSB painter - or perhaps I should say alumni, after 20+ boxes - stops to compliment my work and chat. More waves from BCC bus drivers! Finally I finish, and sign the box as StudioSvenja, so any interest can be directed here. It's been a great experience, and a valuable extension of my practice.

Wearable Art Woooooow draws on experiences in the local area. For many years I have studied fashion at the TAFE college just up the hill. On a study tour to Japan where we participated in an illustration class at BUNKA College, I designed the front wearable art piece, based on siamese fighting fish. On the back of the box is imagery from my entry into the 2017 Wearable Art Mandurah competition, which had an Oceania theme, and featured shibori shaping. On one side of the box is our beloved cat Mishka, who spent many a night (and Daddy spent many a dollar!) at the Creek Road cat Clinic. He also had a very distinctive meow, which was a very piercing WOOOOOOWWWWW!!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Ekka Natural Fibres Market, Recycled Art, Millinery, and WOW 2017 &18!!

Work from QUT

This week I braved the crowds and the germs of the Ekka to assist with the Natural Fibres Market, where 30 local textile artists had wares for sale, myself being one. Although placed beside the three-times-a-day fashion show, and despite great efforts of many people, unfortunately this hasn't turned out to be everything it could be - although it is only the first time it has occurred.  Despite the direct link with the agriculture that the Ekka is all about, I'm not sure this is our best target market, but hey, we'll try anything! It was wonderful looking around our own display, and I couldn't help but try on this wonderful Meredith McMaster headpiece - DIVINE! I also loved seeing Wendy Bailye's stunning wrap atop my dyed silk camisole.

Beneath us were more displays, and I did love this bridal outfit of crocheted goodness!
After my shift, which included watching and listening to two very loud Bananas in Pajamas shows, ( "Are you thinking what I'm thinking, B1?") 1 Farmyard Friends, 3 fashion shows and a bird show, I escaped for a quick wander around, largely to  see the animals. With 2 girls of my own at home, I was keen to see the chooks, and giggled my way around the (mainly) roosters, who would set each other off as I went down each aisle. There were some amazing lads on display!

Corrrr, look at that comb!!!

Today I met up with Janet de Boer at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts to see the Brisbane City Council Recycling Art Competition, where I saw the beautiful work of Katherine Grocott - loved it! Awards are announced tomorrow, and do check out her work.We then spent several enjoyable hours at the nearby Japanese restaurant before heading across the road to Artisan, which is currently hosting 2 lovely exhibitions. At the front is the Millinery Association of Australia Design Awards 2017, with some delicious pieces. In the main gallery is  Beneath the Surface by Luke Maninov Hammond- a Brisbane based jeweller and neuroscience imaging specialist, whose work has been exhibited internationally and featured in fashion magazines.
Neuroscience imaging of Zebra fish brains, I believe.
Less than 5 weeks now until the annual pilgrimage to WOW, and I am already working on the 2018 designs!
Current mood boards inspiring many, many designs.

I can't help it - it will be my 10th year, and WOW's 30th - I MUST be involved! Also distracting me for the next month is the painting of the Traffic Signal Box (TSB) which begins next week. The box is at a major intersection, down the road from the college TAFE (where I have been doing Fashion Studies, FOREVERRRR) and down the other road from the Cat Clinic where we spent so much time and money with our beloved feline Mishka. Titled 'Wearable Art Woooooow' it showcases some of my wearable art designs, showing the influence of TAFE, and immortalises Mish, who's unique meow sounded a heck of a lot like a very, VERY, insistent Woooooooow!!!! I have never really painted like this, so thought I'd better do a practice run before embarrassing myself in public, and am now reasonably confident I won't be doing that.

 So feel free to drop by and see the work in progress, feel even more free to drop by with a cold beer, starting from next Wednesday. See my Facebook for updates on progress and painting days.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Sydney and good news from WOW!

 This week I received the wonderful news that two of my three entries for the World of WearableArt® have been accepted and will appear in the spectacular show in late September! Hurrah!!! It was particularly lovely to receive the news whilst enjoying a drink with my beloved at Darling Harbour in Sydney, after a day exploring the Powerhouse Museum. Quite how I managed to miss the exhibitions of wedding dresses and student fashion, I don't know - this kind of failure was pretty typical of the entire weekend! Still, I got to see these lovely costumes of 'The Million Dollar Mermaid, Annette Kellerman'.
Matt and the birthday boy, Trevor.
Having travelled to Sydney for a special birthday party (see above, and photo of drinking wine from magnificent chalices with fabulous people) we stayed at Rushcutters Bay. 

 A wee walk away was King's Cross, where I got to see the El Alamein fountain so often featured in the recent series Love Child - squeeee!!

 This was our view from the Fountain Cafe - it felt very European! Awesome service, too.

Of course, no trip is complete without Sean Sheep, but this is how we found him after our room had been made up ......

...the saddest pose I've ever returned to. We suspect it was a dude making the bed......harsh, man.
Meanwhile, back in the lounge studio, this is happening - I'm making a half scale mannequin to model the creations I can make on my half scale dress form. An interesting journey....
Last weekend I got to catch up with the fabulous Beatrice Jackson, who had a very special birthday earlier this year, which, due to circumstances here, I was unable to attend at the time. However, we enjoyed a private celebration, along with her daughter Jane, and I presented Bea with a felted wrap I had made, featuring shibori dyed silk pieces she had gifted me.These were purple and pink (it's a passion we share!) and I teamed them with bright oranges,reds, and pinks, in honour of her birthday trip on 'The Ghan' to Darwin.
Here is the video of our unselected piece for the UV section, themed 'Float, Fly, Flow'- yes, Matt was credited as a co-designer (and sssshhhh - also modelled!!)

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Anthozoa - Wearable Art Mandurah 2017

Late last year when I realised that I would be unable to fulfill my duties as a judge for Wearable Arts Mandurah, I decided to maintain my involvement by entering. Already submersed in WOW creations, I was thrilled to find in the studio a corset and skirt already made in a rich burgundy upholstery fabric (an unused version of Fimbria Figura) and a bag of vibrant bomaki shibori tubes to start things off. A late night in the lounge with my favourite fuel, bubbles, and I came up with a work to reflect the theme Oceania.
Taking over the studio
Ahhh, memories of the Christmas period

Embellishment around the holes cut out of the skirt

Oh, more 'O's!!!
I used the shibori to create anemone-like shapes on the bodice and skirt-tail, and used still-tied-up and un-tied kumo shibori pieces to create spiky texture.  I used free-motion embroidery to create circles on a tulle base including all sorts of interesting scraps of materials - silk, laces, hairy bits - before applying them to the skirt, then cutting out the holes. As the piece grew, purple became an important colour - already present in small and light-hued pieces, it was the addition of the deep purple organza which really made the colours pop!
Shibori made by steaming with marbles tied in organza.
It was a labour of love, with many late nights spent stitching on the lounge room floor, and calloused and bleeding finger tips. It's very much a 'dress', but I was limited in what I could design due to having to ship to Perth, with a suitcase really the only viable option.It also just grew from materials in the studio - I don't think I bought a thing for it! Even the headpiece - I needed a base, but it was the Christmas Holidays, so found a small basket lying around the house and used that!
The finished garment modeled by the fabulous Tenielle Lewis and shot by the magnificent Chantal Brennan

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Stradbroke Cup Fashions on the Field 2017

 Today I volunteered to assist with the Fashions on the Field for the Stradbroke Cup at Doomben. What an amazing atmosphere it was! Placed just inside the gate, our station was perfect for people watching. There were many impressive ensembles reflecting the theme of 'Black and White, with a touch of Red', as well as a few highly questionable ones.... The event began with the men, and there was quite a good effort on their part! Sadly, none of my favourites, below, placed in the competition.

There were a couple of these groovy stilt creatures strolling around!
 Fashion favourite Milano Imai looked stunning with her 'skirt over a skirt' outfit - see how she does it here

This hat was a standout, and it was no surprise to see Tanya Lazarou win Runner Up!

I was very pleased to see this hat worn by Brittney Tamou win Best Hat - it was spectacular! Made by her mother, Kerry Mcglone, of Hats in Fashion
A bevy of black, white, and red beauties
Love, love loved this leather and luscious lace number!
The Winners of the day - model Lindsay Ridings won with her all red ensemble - absolutely stunning, but not quite sure that it was a fitting reflection of the theme.