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Art to Wear from Svenja
Using Gummy Cocoon Strippings.

Our thanks to Svenja for allowing us to publish these images.


About the piece.
Lichen Morphology continues Svenja's fascination with, and exploration of, intriguing textural forms in nature. Svenja's first exhibition titled Morphology (2009), focussed on 'the fascinating surfaces and forms of fungi and lichen through contemporary textile practices.' When travelling, Svenja photographs lichen and funghi. 'Lichen Morphology' is based on one of her favourite photographs of the 'foliose' lichen taken at Port Arthur, featuring the dark cupola shapes in the centre.

Although the use of paper was a new challenge for Svenja, the use of silk paper, along with a variety of paper manipulation techniques, provided the bridge to create Lichen Morphology. 'In many ways, it is a work deeply connected to my ongoing art practice, as well as being a new extension of it,' says Svenja. The lino-print used on the undergarment was initially cut or the Morphology II exhibition (2011), whilst the wire armature has been re-purposed from a wearable art garment of 2014.

Svenja has covered the armature in papier-mache which she has then painted to create the look of aged wood. Silk paper 'lichen' were created by wetting and ironing undyed gummy silk cocoon strippings, which were then crinkle-ironed for texture. These were then coloured with shimmering inks, with further texture created with free motion embroidery using hand-dyed crochet cotton. Dyed and painted pieces of silk cocoons create the cupola shapes found in the centre of many lichen.

Materials: Wire, lace, tulle, papier-mache, acrylic paint, silk paper, silk cocoon stripping, shimmer inks, crochet cotton, paper string, glitz yarn, lycra.

Winner - Burnie Arts Council 2018 Betta Milk Major Award.

Grant Wells Photo


Grant Wells Photo


Grant Wells Photo - Detail




Svenja works from her home studio in Brisbane, where she lives with her husband and unwitting 'Patron of the Arts', Matt. Svenja has numerous arts, fashion and textile qualifications on her extensive CV, with her most recent being a Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology from TAFE Brisbane (2017).

Although a first-time entrant in 'paper on skin' Svenja has had considerable success in other notable wearable art awards. She is a self-confesssed World of WearableArt® 'addict', having had twelve garments accepted into the iconic New Zealand competition and show. From these, eight have been exhibited at World of WearableArt® Museum, with three permanently remaining in the Museum Collection.

At Wearable Art Mandurah last year Svenja took home the 'First Time Entrant' award for Anthozoa.


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