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International Finalist, Weta Workshop Costume & Film Category (Sci-Fi), World of WearableArt Design Competition, Annesbrook, Nelson, NZ. 2017

Project Mother is the conceptual personification of divinity materialized into the physical plane of existence. She embodies totality and is perceived to be what we’ve come to know as our universe and more singularly that of ‘mother nature’ herself. Mother’s survival is entrusted to our relationship and care for her nourishment and ample resources. Through eternity she’s housed humanity and all living beings within her womb, protecting the fragility and continuation of our lives. Mother relies on humanity as equally as humanity relies upon her, if she thrives we thrive and thus teaches the rule of balance. Inspired by the creatures discovered during travels to New Zealand, many which were referenced at Tepapa Museum, in addition to the late artist and sculpture H.R Giger, the concept of Mother came to life. She is the representation of many things, and holds personal symbolism, however she ultimately represents our relationship as humans with nature and beings. Politically it is a commentary on the effects and damaging usage of resources. Specific components in the design are sculpted by hand utilizing a range of found objects such as wooden chopsticks, screws and bowls. The ribcage, face mask, hands, and shell were created solely from a non-toxic thermoplastic material called Worbla, using both the Fine Art and Transpa Art finishes. Each sculpted piece was fabricated using Worbla through a layered and buildable method with heat sculpting. The shell from Transpa Art was created to resemble a fossilized species and to reflect a sense of motion or hardened liquid. All three pieces were highly experimental with first time use in sculpting this specific material. The bodice of the garment is structured with steel boning, rigilene boning, interfacing and plastic horse hair. Additionally, the hemline of the gown is incased with plastic boning for shape, lending an appearance of floating or levitating. The entire garment was hand-painted, including the vinyl fabric. Certain areas of the garment were also hand-beaded and constructed by hand. The garment involved an extension amount of work, often requiring 16+ hour days to construct. The first phase of the garment was crafted from the inside out, to ensure a supportive and sturdy structure (the bones of the piece), following individual craftsmanship on separate pieces that underwent hand-painting and detailing prior to final assembly. The color concept was inspired by Albinism in insects as well as sea creatures that possess translucent exoskeletons. This character portrays the feeling imagined to be a first encounter with an extraterrestrial being of divinity or higher intelligence. How would this being look, how would they convey themselves? Mother is that potential meeting come to life.