Julie Johnson lives and breathes all things art – and the creative juices are stirring again as she contemplates another sustainable Wearable Art fashion masterpiece.
As the winner of the Bendigo Bank Wearable Art Competition in both 2012 and 2013, Julie is beginning to gather treasures to enter a piece in the 2014 competition, taking place in Eumundi on May 4 as part of the Australian Body Art Carnivale 2014. The theme for the 2014 competition is DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES, and artists must weave the competition theme into their creations – be it a dream, nightmare or both.
Working with her husband Luke in their Rosemount-based wrought iron business ‘The Blacksmiths’, Julie’s day job sees her designing and creating concepts and unique pieces for clients by blending traditional and modern wrought-iron methods and styles.
“I like to create pieces with function that go beyond the concept of traditional art, giving people the opportunity to interact,” she says.
After many years of contemplating the fusion of art and fashion that is ‘wearable art’, Julie first threw herself into the Eumundi Wearable Art event three years ago.
“My head always seems to be full of unique ideas and I needed to start committing myself to completing and showing some of these concepts,” she says.
“I now have the 'bug' and get excited when each year's theme is revealed so I can begin to visualise a new concept each year that not only works as Wearable Art, but also stands on its own as an interesting sculpture,” Julie says.
Julie’s wearable artworks at the last two Carnivales have incorporated her blacksmith skills, and an amazing range of upcycled items, including spoons, leather, a kite, an umbrella, roofing materials, old belts and bikes.
The challenge for entrants is to create garments from recycled materials or items that have had a “life before”, sending an important sustainability message to the wider community. Garments must be created from reused or second hand materials - anything from recycled textiles to household goods to industrial or other discarded items.
“Over the weeks ahead I’ll be raiding industrial bins, dumps and op shops and if I am looking for something specific, I’ll be calling on my network of friends, she says.
And how does it feel to be defending her Wearable Art crown? “I have always found this competition to be an exciting, mentally stimulating challenge. It's not about winning or the title, although this outcome is of course a bonus reward for all the effort. I like to think this competition is more about having a creative outlet to show my skills. It is something I enjoy doing and being surrounded by like-minded people.
Julie’s words of advice for sewers or artists contemplating getting involved in this year’s competition:
“Don't be afraid to think outside the triangle, don't be afraid to have a go and always make sure you have fun!”.
“Sometimes you just have to throw yourself in there and commit to doing something, and who knows you may even achieve more than what you set out to do”
Julie won’t tell us any more about the work she’s planning. “Come along to the 2014 Australian Body Art Carnivale in May to view some amazing works by some very talented artists and designers from the Sunshine Coast and beyond”.
“And thank you to Bendigo Bank for supporting this event,” says Julie. “Their contribution enhances the event greatly and encourages artists to get out there and showcase their talents.”
Registrations are open for the Bendigo Bank Wearable Art Competition with entry forms available for download at www.australianbodyart.com.au. Once registered you have until the May event to brainstorm and create your art piece.
Entrants can either create their design independently, or team up with fellow students, friends or colleagues and create a work of wearable art together.
Visit www.australianbodyart.com.au for more info, competition registration, sponsorship opportunities and to sign up to receive eNewsletters in the lead-up to the event. The event also has a Facebook page: Australian Body Art Carnivale and Twitter account @AusBodyArt
Australian Body Art Carnivale
Monday 24th of March 2014