The Common Threads Wearable Art Showcase was held at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, last Saturday night to a full house. This show gets better and better each year.
The Mandurah Mail has lots of great photos of all the garments in the show.
The garments will be exhibited at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM) from June 3 to July 3.
Fire Flies was made in response to the competition theme of “Illumination”
The original idea for this work came about through a couple of connections. Firstly a female friend who worked on a mine site for many years, said “There is no flattering Hi-Vis clothing” at the same time I started seeing people wearing Hi-Vis clothing EVERYWHERE. Not just in the work force for safety reasons, but down the shops, walking the dog, I even saw a guy asking survey questions on a sidewalk wearing a Hi-Vis vest. I began to question the “visibility” people have in this saturation of Hi-Vis. How do you stand out from this crowd?
Ironically, many roadside construction workers I see are wearing faded, worn out and dusty versions of the clothing designed to protect them…
I also considered if people always wear their Hi-Vis clothing, what could I make that they could pack in their suitcase and take to the mine site for a disco night?
Concertina and folding came to mind…
I started with recycled plastic strips from ReMida. Stapling them together, playing with shape and design ideas. I went down the path of investigating spray paints in fluro colours and primers to adhere paint to plastic, although when scaled up, the plastic option became too heavy and I am sure would have been very uncomfortable to wear.
Accepting that I would no longer be in the Upcycled category gave me the freedom to choose the most suitable materials for the project design. I bought fluro t-shirting by the meter, stiffened it with interfacing, then cut it into strips ready to stitch together.
The title Fire Flies comes from this Wikipedia reference –
…Experimental use of high-visibility clothing began in 1964 on the Scottish Region of British Railways. Fluorescent orange jackets, known as “fire-flies”, were issued to track workers on the Pollokshields to Eglinton Street electrified section in Glasgow...