This story is about why I spend endless hours making scarves, why not ranges of garments, or ‘fashion’?.
My upbringing was that of a preacher and a teachers’ daughter in the Northern Territory of Australia, our childhood was full of experiences not possessions. So as we moved to the city in my teenage years ‘brands’ and ‘fashion’ consumed me. I loved sewing and making and so the allure to work and be fashionable took me on a journey.
(Golbourn Island NT Australia 1978 making paper Hats)
It is an interesting concept to explore the ‘need’ of people to wear and express themselves by their choices of what they wear and buy. I was part of that spending 17 years ‘in the industry’ in Sydney (starting as a design assistant and ending as a retail buyer) I was completely besotted by the theatrical concept that I could be anyone I dressed as, if I had the latest look, the best labels and travelled to the worlds ‘fashion cities’ I was special and someone “who knew”, suppliers laughed at my jokes, and stopped and listened as I placed my orders, it nicely massaged my ego.
So now I make one off unique scarves, dyed with plant material from my local surroundings, using things from my fridge or the ocean and the bush. My wardrobe that once contained 15 black suits, now has a couple of pairs of shorts and jeans, I have two tops I consider my ‘good tops’ one black and one white and to this I add my scarves, these scarves are statements on so many levels. They connect me to place through choice of material. They record a day in my life when the wind blew and the leaves fell, (being completely biased) they are beautiful works of art.
They don’t wear out as fashion does, the colours are individual with the occasional vibrant highlight from a leaf. I am the anti-consumer now, I patch and make do, and don’t speak out much. I hope that by wearing what I love to make other people will notice and maybe reduce their own consumption, which is a benefit to them on an economic level, an environmental level and a way for them to become more grounded in their own perception of self. As they come back to themselves and become less attached to objects of desire, the peace and comfort and awareness it brings is like taking your first breath as you stare at the ocean. That expansion and letting go is what makes my entire body of work both current and in the future my obsession and my consolation.
And another obsession… here are a few sneak peaks of ‘Nest a Day’ you can follow this on Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr, I use fibre or material that is found, foraged or already in my studio and aim to finish one little object a day until Easter arrives. They are a chronology of my time, this weeks have been fast and furious with random additions of recycled packaging, chaotic… and with the heat we have been having this week everyone around me seems a bit the same sort of random and chaotic… Notice the additions of beautiful ceramic eggs, by an awesome sunshine coast artist… all will be revealed at the end of March….. just in time for Easter. And if you haven’t already, go over and like The Handmade Exchange (on Facebook) I have just joined their portfolio of makers and my first online Facebook market will be the 3rd and 4th of March, so my beautiful scarves and nests will be there with a special discount just for you.