2011 had many ups and downs ,creatively speaking.
I was invited to speak at the Nelson WOW designer forum. I was delighted to be asked, although a little freaked at the prospect of speaking in front of a crowd! What could I possibly have to say to those amazing designers? What would they be thinking… hmmm ” you have no qualifications and can’t draw to save your life”!!?!?!?! lol… well I am glad to report it was went fine and I didn’t get thrown out:) Phew!
I left that forum excited that ‘Toys Are Us’ was about to go on display in the Museum.Friends and family were anxious to go see them up close in the Museum.It was a great example of what I was capable of whipping up with 2 long pointy sticks and I was happy people would see my knitting!
I also left with a tonne of creative energy…I was going to enter more than one section in 2011 and I would complete my 5 year project..my most emotional entry yet. It felt good to have made the decision to finish it. I had met with the WOW competition director,Heather Palmer ,who was also very positive about the 2 entries I had presented to her, especially the NZ Section costume,which was her favourite of the 2.Very Kiwi and very very me!
I left WOW with a great deal of positivity and drive…this was going to be my best year yet! I was on fire…I got out the boxes and got started literally seconds after getting home..but the bubble burst not long after.
Earthquakes occurred in Christchurch ( where I lived as a child) and Japan ,which devastated me, changing my design course for a variety of reasons, both emotionally and morally. It suddenly seemed strange to be creating something for WOW when people were struggling to survive only a few hours away.My garments were suddenly the least of my worries. I needed to help affected families, so set up groups on Trade me and Facebook and focused on that for a few months while I dealt with the reality that WOW was not looking good for 2011.
I no longer felt it appropriate to enter the Open Section entry as the visuals were linked to what had been playing on tv screens for the previous month or 2.All I saw was broken people, the rubble, smashed buildings , shattered lives ,it was strange to see something you have worked on , playing out on the news. It freaked me out to be honest!I had spoken with Heather Palmer about this only a week or 2 before the first Earthquake occurred in Christchurch…What are the odds of an iconic building being destroyed ,that had previously been written into a costume concept, that also was broken?!??!I knew 2011 was not the year for this piece as soon as I saw the news footage.I withdrew it out of respect for my designer friends in Christchurch and my friends and family affected. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. It had a positive message behind it,but I couldn’t change the visual impact and knew it was really bad timing. Heather agreed I should leave it for 2011.
At least I had 2 more to fall back on right? EHHHH..Wrong! My NZ section entry followed soon after, It had to be withdrawn after the wool order was delayed 😦 Boy was I disillusioned by this stage! My third entry intended for the Children’s section had similar issues with lack of wool, I did try using fabric but $70 later I knew I couldn’t do it. My problem with fabric, is I keep looking at it and saying “It should be knitted” …..so it went from 3 —>2—>1 OH NO…..zero entries left! Arghhhh! Then just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse…it did! WOW rung and said they were not going to display my entry in the museum after all 😦 Funny, but in that moment all I could think about was what I was going to tell friends and family,who I knew were going to be very disappointed. Most my friends and family never attend the sow, so the museum would be the only place to view it. My biggest disappointment is that I told been told yes, and now had to tell them No.
I started thinking I might have to leave it for 2011 . I was struggling to come to terms with the devastation happening in the world and needed to do something.My friends inspired me to enter in the end.
I figured if my friends were creating garments while living in their garage, or creating a garment from paint, as it was all that was on offer after earthquakes devastated their homes and city, or creating while dealing with some serious health needs, then I would make something and dedicate it to them! I was very inspired after talking to a designer friend in Australia….you know who you are:)
While I thought about what to enter in the short time left…I designed a jumper ‘Love Christchurch’. A 3 day challenge.