Monday 29 August 2011

Regal Savage

If you've dropped by Craft Victoria recently you may have seen two very industrious (and friendly!) ladies working away in Gallery 3. As part of our annual I'll Show You My Craft If You Show Me Yours project that we've been organising for the past few years as part of Craft Cubed, we commission two pairs of artists to work together either inside or outside of Gallery 3's confines. This year's collaborating artists are shoemaker Emma Greenwood and weaver Maryann Talia-Pau (the previous collaborating pair were jeweller Tessa Blazey and fashion designer Alexi Freeman - click here to see their fabulous work Interstellar Dress!)

 Emma and Maryann's project is called Real Savage, and here's what it's all about:

A colonial British Queen travels through the Pacific to Samoa, on invitation by High Chief Moana. Upon arrival, the Queen decides that her wardrobe should embody a cultural hybrid for her CoconuTea party with The High Chief. The Queen selects a local Native weaver who works with her artisan shoemaker to create an ensemble of New Savage Couture.

Emma Greenwood and Maryann Talia Pau become the Queen's Chief WeaveStresses, chosen to help navigate culture, protocol, design, craft and etiquette. The combination of their skills and the use of diverse materials suggests a desire to experiment and comment on cultural identities and values.
Materials include stamps of both nations, local plant-based materials, shells, beads, feathers, leather, rope and luxe fabrics from the Queen's luggage.The use of plastic and rope speaks also of environmental pollution, foreign items washing up onto Island shores, a metaphor for Colonial powers in the Pacific, including the Queen.
The skills of both makers come from historically rich traditions. Greenwood's crafts of shoemaking and textile arts, and Talia Pau's skill in weaving and adornment, combine to produce a stunning vocabulary of design, and a unique opportunity to create a couture wardrobe for English nobility, worthy for a meeting with The High Chief.

The outfit-in-progress is currently being worked on, and Maryann and Emma are always looking for visitors to their vibrant and colourful 'home' in Gallery 3.

Wedge in progress

Click here to view more photos... Emma and Maryann will be working away this week from about 10am-3pm, drop by and say hi!

Photography: Kim Brockett

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