Grassroots Australian Wearable Art Festival to be bigger than ever in 2020


Winner Avant-garde and Supreme Overall Winner - Amaterasu by Jodie Whittaker

The extraordinary creative talent of artists from across Australia and the world are set to return to the Sunshine Coast for the Australian Wearable Art Festival on Saturday 2 May 2020 at Venue 114 and people are being encouraged to get their tickets now for this unique artistic showcase.

The 2019 event received an overwhelming positive response with a sold-out show and expressions of interest from artists for the 2020 festival have already doubled on this year to more than 60. 

Event curator Wendy Roe said the high calibre of the artists, the style of artwork as well as the intimate connection with the audience has been an important part of what makes this festival so intriguing.

“We want the audience to really immerse themselves in the art and see the level of devotion that goes into making the one-of-a-kind pieces– they might even be inspired to create a piece themselves,” Ms Roe said.

“The festival is a fusion of high-end fashion with the sculptural world of art where Gaultier meets Picasso.

“We are excited to be growing the event into the larger space of Venue 114 and to offer more options for people to attend, hosting an afternoon runway show as well as a gala evening event which will include a night of food, drinks and exceptional artwork.

“We will also be offering a limited number of VIP tickets for both shows which will include premium seating to really get up close and personal with the art. Tickets have gone on sale and entries for artists have officially opened to the public, ready for the main event.”

The 2019 Supreme winner Jodie Whittaker said it was the first time she had been a part of anything like the Australian Wearable Art Festival and while she has a love for creativity and fashion, she specialised in macramé.

“I was actually meant to be a spectator but was convinced by my mother to give it a go. It was an amazing experience that I wasn’t expecting; you get to push the boundaries of your talent and really explore your creative side,” Ms Whittaker said.

“The winning piece was named Amaterasu – Goddess of the Sun – and its inspiration came from some gold material I had for a macramé wall hanging, culminating with a trip to Japan.

“I wanted to emulate the quiet grace of the Japanese culture and being able to work on a piece like that has encouraged me to try my hand at this type of art.

“The Australian Wearable Art Festival has opened so many doors that I never dreamed of – I have since showcased pieces in the Brisbane Fashion Runway and the Emerging Designer Showcase.”

Sunshine Coast Councillor Jason O’Pray said he’s still in awe of the amount of work that went into the inaugural event last year.

“This event proves the Sunshine Coast has many different hats and the art industry is such an integral part of the region,” Cr O’Pray said.

“The event organisers recognised the incredible demand for a unique art festival and they not only delivered that but are now doubling the size of the venue and offering up more opportunities for the audience.

“In 2019, there were 30 artist designers showcasing 42 pieces of art and to hear that there’s already 60 expressions of interest for entries is really exciting!”

The event will have four main categories as part of both the afternoon and evening gala event – which include Avant Garde, Floriana, Trashion and Sustainable.

There are also additional prizes for Haute Couture, Headpiece, Emerging Artist and best tertiary and secondary student pieces. 

“Sustainability and being environmentally conscious have been a crucial part of our show which is a strong ethos of the Sunshine Coast, so it was only fitting to bring back the recycling category ‘Trashion’ and ‘Sustainable’ category,” Ms Roe said.

Jodie Whittaker also had an entry in the Sustainable category and said it was a great opportunity to think outside of the box.

“All of the work had to be biodegradable which is a lot more challenging than you think. I used natural cotton cords and timber and hand-dyed the material with coffee and tea,” Ms Whittaker said.

“This is truly a remarkable experience that everyone is so excited to be a part of. I know that now we have our date set, the artists will be rolling up their sleeves and getting their sewing machines ready and I can’t wait to see what they create.”

Tickets for the afternoon seating start at $85 and the gala event tickets start at $150. To find out more visit

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