BIRKENHEAD POINT SHOPPING CENTRE, MIRVAC RETAIL, AUTUMN INSTALLATION: ARTIST INTERVIEW
Over the last 2 years, the Art Pharmacy team have continued to bring Birkenhead Point Centre to life through exciting installations by a number of Australian artists, including Jo Neville AKA Paper Couture, Sky Carter, Mon Bedwell, Luke Power, Maie Dionisio , and Jeff McCann. Now Jeff returns to Birkenhead with a rather eye-catching new look.
How does your installation reflect the season of Autumn?
I wanted to suggest a feeling of autumn without doing falling leaves. I wanted my colour palette and the used of fringed cardboard texture to create an environment of trees dropping their leaves, the beginning of temperature change and a golden glow.
What's involved in creating one of your fashion pieces, how long does it generally take?
The cardboard garments are all made from hand cutting and attaching each piece the an old garment by hand. The chain link dress is all cardboard disks that have been hand painted and tied together.
They take a long time to contrast. Created over weeks with a lot of time spent in the early stages, prototyping and developing the pieces.
Why the use of cardboard in your pieces?
Cardboard allows me to loosen up as i am not worrying about expensive materials. It makes me more playful. Also I like that I can draw/paint onto it. So my work can be 2D and 3D all at the same time.
What's the motivation behind this piece, and in particular, the eye pattern?
The eye motif is a symbol of the moment I realised I didn't have to create art that was traditional or realistic. I was drawing graphic pattern designs and then I simplified the eye and included it in an artwork.
I realised I could just paint and draw and make what makes me happy, and ignore what I use to think was "proper/real art".
How would you describe the relationship between fashion and art in Sydney?
For me I cannot separate the two. I always want my work to be something that has not been seen before. Yes, it is wearable and fashion. But you could also display it on a wall or on a mannequin and enjoy it as art. I want it to be interactive, engaging and inclusive.
How does exhibiting in a window box affect your practice as opposed to exhibiting in a gallery space?
I guess it just opens it up for my work to be viewed in a different context. A gallery world will focus on the creative side and the story I'm telling through my exhibition. Where as a window box is more fleeting and the audience is most likely going to stumble upon it. So it will have a much more immediate reaction, and hopefully provoke a smile.
How do you feel that you've promoted sustainability with this work?
By having a sustainably aware process and showcasing rubbish "cardboard boxes" as something that can be high fashion and desirable, I think it totally promotes sustainability.
Also the after life of pieces is important. Whether I'm reusing materials for a new creation/artwork or even continuing to add to pieces. I rarely let work have a one time use function.