Thursday, 6 March 2014

Hello Beth Ditto!

2013 was just about the biggest year of my life. The birth of my daughter Eden, running a pop up shop with a tiny baby and then a big interstate move threw my life into momentary chaos until I was left blinking in the sun in country Victoria. The last half of the year flew by in a whirlwind of baby bliss and it was probably just about the happiest I've ever been.

So after a fairly long break, Elephant and Rose is back up and running! I have an order to send off to Sturt Gallery in Mittagong shortly and there will be more stockists announced throughout the year.

I also just finished making a doll to enter in the Reginald CAE Portrait Prize. The brief was to design and make a plush portrait of a pet or person that you admire. I had a pretty long list of potential candidates including Jenny Kee, Twiggy, Clare Bowditch, Katie Noonan, Margaret Pomeranz but I finally settled on Beth Ditto (lead singer of band The Gossip) and I'm glad I did because she makes up into a rather gorgeous doll! The photo I chose was of her modelling some Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture. Making her tiny little dress was the most fun and my years of dress making really paid off. I'm sure I've made quite a few adult sized dresses that took way less time to make than this one! I had to take a bit of artistic licence with it because it was a very detailed dress that was hard to make out in photos, I also had to work with what I had on hand so it is made from a mix of a dyed petticoat, a floral bed sheet, tulle from underskirts and an enamel brooch. Her body was cut from a beautiful old linen table cloth. She is made entirely from materials that I have collected from op-shops. See! I knew all that stuff would come in handy one day.

I made the pattern for her body out of my head and sketched her face and tattoos directly onto the fabric which I then meticulously embroidered. I would estimate that she took me about thirty hours to complete. I just had to steal moments while Eden was asleep or busy with her toys. 

I just received an email from Ararat Regional Gallery confirming an exhibition I will be involved in for May so it's on to the next project for me and fingers crossed that Miss Ditto will make it into the exhibition at the CAE. If not, I know a certain little lady that has been eyeing her off big time!

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