Last Friday evening, we attended the premiere screening of Design Eye Creative paper on skin 2020 – The Film. It was wonderful to watch these fabulous garments brought to life on the big screen and to have been a part of the journey. The film can be viewed as a whole or in sections and another presents a forum with the judges explaining their rationale. They can be viewed on the Burnie Arts Council website here, sit back and enjoy.
The inaugural paper on skin competition transpired in 2012, the brainchild of Burnie denizen, paper artist Pam Thorne. The concept of wearable art links a strong history of paper making in Burnie with the creative talents of local and international artists. When we learned the major sponsor had withdrawn, we didn’t hesitate to offer our support and so, Design Eye Creative paper on skin 2020 became the new incarnation. Usually, the competition culminates with a gala parade and award evening, however, with the advent of social distancing regulations, a new strategy emerged. The award ceremony was live-streamed through Facebook followed by an exhibition of the garments at Burnie Regional Art Gallery for four weeks. In lieu of the catwalk parade, a series of films have been produced to allow a greater audience appreciation. We were privileged to witness some of the filming at the Burnie Arts & Function Centre. Tasmanian artist, Marion Kennedy, was on hand for last minute adjustments to her entry, Fathoms
and the seemingly simplistic Flow will be explained later.
The movies will be released on 4th September and I will publish the links when available. Meanwhile, join me at the exhibition. The competition is not themed and each entry, which must be made from at least 80% paper, has its own story. Guardian of the Southern Convergence, made with hand dyed indigo kozo paper by Liz Powell & Dr Denise N Rall (NSW) is based on the Antarctic Convergence, the threat from environmental change and the alliance of countries protecting it from exploitation.
Over 2,300 folded paper and silk paper spheres have been mathematically engineered and sewn together to create Flower of Life. Brielle Killip worked with Chris Geissinger & Jennifer Garber (Denver Colorado, USA) to produce a garment that is both a bold statement and is comfortable to wear, earning them the $2,000 Runner-Up Award as well as the $500 Public Vote Award.
When Queenslander, Karen Benjamin, conceived her idea for Flow, she had no idea how pertinent her entry would be. Made from toilet paper, each circle has been coloured with permanent marker and hand stitched, creating the illusion of flowing water. The degree of difficulty was enhanced when pandemic panic buying brought a halt to production but, on the up side, the idea for the face mask accessory was born.
Burgeon is an interesting collaboration between Portuguese paper artist and jeweller Renata Fukuda & fashion designer Marta Lisboa, playing with proportion in unpredictable ways.
Lorreny Vera from Victoria has tapped into her Venezuelan roots to create Queen Guacamaya, the queen of the jungle.
Toyo paper braid is the basis for Calligraphica by RR Pascoe (NSW) who has been creating artworks from reclaimed and sustainable materials for more than two decades.
Jade Kahle (VIC) has mastered the art of knitting and crocheting with paper string, enjoying the texture, stitch definition and sculptural effects to culminate in her entry The Esther Dress.
Paper card was the material of choice for Janine Hilder (VIC) for her pastel creation, Lantern Lass.
Although we had a preview of Fathoms at the filming session, I hadn’t realised the detail of the underwater world featured on the gown.
It may not have won any awards but Connie’s Coat stole my heart. A wonderful collaboration between Anne Gason, Barb Adams, Chris Rose, Chris Smith & Gail Stiffe (VIC), the handmade paper gives the illusion of a well-worn coat with a treasure in every pocket. There is a story behind this garment; “The Coat of Connie McBride: Connie sailed from Dublin to Melbourne in 1885 with her brother Darcy. After a few years trapped in the city slums they travelled to Jamieson VIC to prospect for gold. Darcy moved to Beechworth, but Connie befriended the publican of the ‘Diggers Exchange Hotel’ where she worked until it closed in 1911 due to the actions of the ‘Liquor Licence Reduction Board’. Connie lived until she was 95 (died 1970).”
Plotting paper has been used by Laila-Inga Mueterthies (Germany) for her piece, Papyria.
Stunning by design, the kozo and recycled paper entry Snowy Mountains Dreaming by Polly Crowden (NSW) pushed the boundaries of ‘wearable’.
Technology, art and fashion synthesise in Rockabetty by Tara Morelos & Liz Bradshaw (NSW).
If you have ever enjoyed a cup of tea you will appreciate the ingenious re-use of tea bags in New Life. Denise Lamby (QLD) spent hours drying soggy tea bags to reincarnate them in a fabulous, colourful art form.
The throwaway culture of the fashion industry is highlighted in the entry from Kate Dunn (NSW), Exposure.
The enigmatic Foggy Lady by Mali Klein (Netherlands) comprises an ensemble of handmade paper dyed with natural pigments.
Local Burnie artist, Joan Stammers, has created a spectacularly grand costume using recycled papers. The floral trimmings on Let them eat cake would be worthy of any garden competition.
With her 100% paper entry, Loong (Dragon) Tale, Simone Guascoine (NSW) has used sewing techniques taught by her grandmother to create her Japanese themed outfit.
The winner of the $5,000 Major Award, Amanda May (VIC), designed a beautiful, bright representation of the Australian native flower, Waratah. The vital work of our Australian native bees hasn’t been forgotten with the eco-addition of a Blue Banded Bee.
The pretty Pretend Print-cess by Kelcie Bryant (NSW) is reminiscent of a feminine sundress accompanied by a playful rabbit mask.
Handmade paper has been used by Amee Dennis (NSW) for her creation, Study of Grass.
The TasmAsian by Cynthia Hawkins is an intriguing fusion of her Malaysian roots and adopted home of Tasmania.
A second entry by Laila-Inga Mueterthies (Germany), Showtime, is truly stunning. With the use of plotter paper, we are taken back to a time when style meant elegance and sophistication.
Another local entrant, Chloe Townsend, has successfully transformed her concept to reality with the aptly named Flame.
With so many fabulous entries, choosing one for my public vote wasn’t easy but Musings On Things Ethereal by Kathryn Wilkinson (NSW) was outstanding. Mulberry paper, teabags and silk organza combine perfectly in this stunning creation, I would love to add this to my wardrobe.
Donna Vo (NSW) has used artisanal Japanese washi paper along with paper raffia for her composition, The Shedding. Her piece, “represents the shedding of ideals placed on a female as a child, a young adult and as a mother.”
Inspired by the natural world, Svenja (QLD) has shared her fascination in her design, Cosmic leafy sea dragon.
Unfortunately, two artists missed the judging due to upheavals in the postal system. Romanian Antoaneta Tica was selected as a finalist but her work was stranded when international freight and postage lines closed. However, she organised a photo shoot and it can be viewed on the paper on skin Facebook page. Tony Williams (Cleveland Ohio USA) also encountered problems with freight and his three entries arrived after the judging and filming but in time for the final week of the exhibition. Tony’s spectacular creations can also be seen on Facebook.
For me, the name Picasso conjures images of, somewhat disturbing, cubist portraits. The tragic figure of Weeping Woman, painted in 1937, is a fitting case in point.
What I didn’t realise, until a visit to the NGV last year, is that he was also a prolific ceramicist. Spanish born Pablo Picasso was well into his sixties when he met Suzanne Ramie, one of the owners of Madoura Pottery, on a trip to the south of France. Already an accomplished artist, he was eager to experiment with this new medium and learn all he could from Suzanne. He set up his own workshop close by in the town of Vallauris and over the years, produced thousands of pieces as well as creating new ways of decorating and glazing. The Picasso’s Ceramics exhibition displayed fifty nine of his works, unfortunately I only have a few to share with you. Feminine faces and figures featured across the collection,
grand vase aux femmes voilées depicts the backs of four women, their nakedness partially covered with translucent veils.
Another favoured subject was birds, particularly owls with distinct personalities.
Picasso’s interest in mythology is reflected with the playful imagery of fauns,
satyrs and goats.
Bullfighting was another recurring theme with many works detailing bulls, matadors and bull-rings.
One of the things about ceramics that appealed to Picasso was the ability to create new works quickly and inexpensively. By producing editions of up to 500, as well as originals, he liked the idea that his pieces would be affordable for everyday people, not just the wealthy. That may have been the case at one time but the price tag these days is definitely out of reach for most of us.
Whether we like it or not, there is a certain obligation to decorate our workplace for Christmas. Each year, the boxes of tinsel and baubles are dragged out of storage along with the increasingly dilapidated tree. To add a new dimension this year, we were each issued a challenge to decorate a door in the department. Everyone dug deep into their creative souls with astounding results. There are a few elves
and a couple of Santas, one of which has decided to go for a swim.
An enthusiastic llama
is inspired by the mischievous and musical reindeer down the hall.
There is a happy snowman, a couple of Olafs and a penguin that looks as though he has had one too many egg nogs.
I think this wins first prize for imagination.
A chocolate advent calendar is a must for counting down the days.
Some excelled with colourful creations.
Christmas trees and gifts featured
along with baubles
and a quirky, original night sky (sorry about the quality, looks like I had one too many egg nogs!)
Of course, not everyone feels the joy of Christmas.
Wishing you all a very happy and safe Christmas and everything you hope for in 2020.
Leaving Steavenson Falls, we had hoped the rain would abate for our visit to Bruno’s Art & Sculpture Garden in Marysville. It didn’t. As we pulled into the car park, the gallery was obviously closed but we discovered an honesty box for the $10 entrance fee to the garden. Grab your umbrella and come for a walk while I tell you more.
Bruno Torfs was born in South America and moved to Europe with the family in his teens. After training as a sign writer, his talents evolved through many trips to foreign lands and he made the transition to a full time artist. Oil paintings and sculptures, reflecting scenes and faces of his journeys, were sold in exhibitions at the family home.
Bruno and his family moved to Australia and in 1996, found the perfect setting to create a permanent sculpture garden in the sub-alpine forests of Marysville. Hand crafted from clay and fired in a kiln onsite, there are now around a hundred and twenty pieces on display.
The path diverges in all directions through the forest and everywhere you look, there is another character waiting to delight.
On 7th February 2009, the bushfires of ‘Black Saturday’ raged through Marysville, claiming lives and decimating the township. Bruno’s home, gallery and gardens were completely destroyed. For two months, no-one was allowed in the town and when Bruno finally returned, he set about rebuilding his home and restoring his garden.
There are pictures on the website taken the day Bruno returned after the fires. Next to this installation, there is a heartbreaking photo of Bruno carrying all that remained of The Lady of Shallot from the stream.
Some figures emerge from the remnants of the woods, melding nature’s work with man’s.
Bruno’s courage and dedication has resulted in a wondrous fantasy land, an opportunity to escape for a while in a surreal environment.
As we left, the remains of Bruno’s 1960 BMW R27 motorbike jolted us back to reality with a reminder of the devastation wrought by the fires of Black Saturday.