A tutorial on dressmaking with artist Kirsty Lillico

For Kirsty Lillico, an artist from Pōneke/Wellington, artistic inspiration surrounds you. Music, books, films, artwork, design of every kind present artistic inspiration for the artist who makes use of yarn as her main medium.

It follows then, that these garments typically change into a part of her artwork. “Over the previous yr I’ve created a linked sequence constituted of second-hand activewear, to discover the fashionable phenomenon of ‘sport’ and what this has to do with our society and values. I’m within the language of clothes and what it has to do with it. wanting.”

Though she is usually drawn to stable objects with inventive energy, earlier this yr when she was invited to the Lillico Style Present she turned Yu Mei’s output right into a sequence of wall-mounted works in numerous colours that explored the connection between between industrial manufacturing and the issue of vogue waste.

As she advised curator Robert Leonard in a 2019 interview, clothes and structure, one other of Lillico’s largest influences, are intertwined. “Each are protecting mechanisms that we dwell by that can be utilized to indicate identification.”

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In 2017, Lillico received the Parkin Drawing Prize, Aotearoa’s premier drawing award for her work State Block, which featured a ground plan of a Nineteen Forties high-density ground plan with cut-out carpet holes put in in a floor-to-ceiling show. A lot of the work portfolio has combated hostile concepts throughout the constructing, inequality, affordability and questioned fashionable views.

You possibly can in all probability say I am a teenage goth as a result of there’s nonetheless a suspicious quantity of damaged black material.

As an grownup I made a variety of my very own garments. My outfits typically invite ridicule on the streets of Higher Hutt. Folks all the time speak about subcultures as a “tribe”, however I actually did not have many goth mates and my recommendation on music and vogue got here from (UK music journal) NME.

Now I see this part as a type of efficiency artwork, which is a solution to present the world that I’m towards all the pieces that’s offered, the established order. Which makes it dangerous, whereas it was really very highly effective, and escape.

Monique Ford/The Stuff

“Dressing seems good for artwork, as a result of A) it is a signal that your thoughts is just too busy fixing difficult artwork issues to trouble with vogue. B) It saves cash.”

All garments are garments. In case you’re all the time expressing your identification via clothes, does it actually “exist”? Denims are what I put on most frequently, each within the studio and at work (I am the assistant supervisor of the Te Papa Tongarewa assortment). Palms or the sides of the sides usually are not good if you find yourself scrubbing the steps or scrubbing the ground.

My strongest reminiscence is The garments I longed for as a pre-teen however could not discover: spandex pants like those Olivia Newton-John wore in The Fats. Jelly sneakers, puffball skirt, Bubblegum denims. One of many golden jackets they gave as an award (TV present) That’s unbelievable!

Left: I just can't, 2021. Sports fabric, wood, urethane foam, paint.  Right: Brand New, 2021. Sports fabric, wood, urethane foam, polypropylene, paint.

Michael McKeagg

Left: I simply cannot, 2021. Sports activities material, wooden, urethane foam, paint. Proper: Model New, 2021. Sports activities material, wooden, urethane foam, polypropylene, paint.

My favourite issues weren’t new after they got here to me. I feel the prospect of getting one thing second hand makes these issues costlier. I purchased this costume from a retailer on Cuba Road that not exists. The geometric sample of the costume and the woodblock prints of the folks remind me of the early Bauhaus after they have been within the craft period. However the underarm material broke and I attempted to tear it off nevertheless it did a horrible job so I ended sporting it.

The 1960’s and 1970’s polyester attire I owned would in all probability outlive humanity.

From left: Bauhaus dresses, two of Kirsty's favorite polyester dresses


From left: Bauhaus attire, two of Kirsty’s favourite polyester attire that “could transcend humanity.”

The oldest factor in my wardrobe a blue mud jacket (model: Adolphe Lafont) that I purchased from a store in Auckland referred to as Search and Destroy which sells classic Japanese and French clothes.

I wore it to work however my mates appeared shocked by the (engine oil?) dust so I coated these areas with plaster. The manufacturing of clothes within the workshop or manufacturing facility is among the hallmarks of post-industrial society. Additionally see – Carhartt, Dickies and the like. This one would not slot in my studio – it is so cool! As a substitute I put on a chef’s apron.

Grandma Elsie’s 1960’s jacket is essentially the most emotional merchandise. Black woolen coat with massive buttons. Very heat!

My sister in legislation borrowed this when she was pregnant. My grandparents had a garment manufacturing facility in Lloyd St (now Hania St) within the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties. They made pants for the military. [IMAGE: Elsie’s coat]

From left: Black velveteen trousers from Cotton On, favorite blue duster coat, black wool coat from Kirsty's grandmother Elsie.


From left: Black velveteen trousers from Cotton On, favourite blue duster coat, black wool coat from Kirsty’s grandmother Elsie.

I like the thought of ​​costume codes, which is taken to extra suggests the costume. Just a few years in the past I really designed the costume myself as an artwork undertaking. I believed this could clear up my nervousness about deciding what to put on every single day.

Many artists come to a sure “look” and it turns into a type of extension of their work. For instance: Frida Kahlo, Joseph Beuys, Georgia O’Keeffe. Clothes seems good on an artist, as a result of a) it is a signal that your thoughts is just too busy fixing difficult inventive issues to trouble with vogue. B) It saves cash. Truthfully, I might be so bored.

Experimenting with garments – shade, model, sample – is enjoyable and stimulating creativeness. You possibly can have a secret dialog that nobody else is aware of.

Rodchenko, 2007. Lambda print 400mm x 280mm.

Kirsty Lillico

Rodchenko, 2007. Lambda print 400mm x 280mm.

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