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Disability Pride Through Wearable Arts 2017 & 2018

Photo Above: Designer and artist Maggie Rose Paine with Sylvie MaCreanor in support, just before showing Maggie’s ‘Tele Tiger’ Wearable Arts Piece at Disability Pride Day 2017 on the Wellington waterfront. Maggie has stripey grey and white tights on and colourful flouro dots stuck on her white on her top. Her top also has big two black and white eyes. Maggie is wearing her Teletiger black top hat which has the four teletubbie antennae standing on the top. The antenae are teletubbie colours: red for Po, purple for Tinky Winky, Green for Dipsy and yellow for LaLa. On the front of the hat are the letters “R” and “H’ in a font that Maggie designed. The letters are the initials of Rolf Harris, who is one of Maggie’s favourite performers.  Sylvie is wearing a plain black dress because it’s all about Maggie showing and being proud of her creation!! Maggie and Sylvie are holding hands. Maggie is tipping the brim of her hat forward. She has a huge smile on her face, is pulling on Sylvie’s hand and looks ready to go and show her Tele Tiger to the cat theme music from Peter and the Wolf.

Over the last two years we have had Wearable Art events in Wellington as part of Disability Pride Week celebrations. Each year the project has started with putting an invitation out to anyone who might be interested in creating or helping to create a wearable art piece for disability pride week.

Disability Pride Week Wellington have partnered with our friends Vincents Art Workshop in Wellington City. Here is a link to Vincent’s website https://vincents.co.nz/

Vincents provided the artistic space for us to meet and learn about, design and create our wearable art pieces. The Vincents staff help us to think about and develop our ideas and design our pieces. Both years we have started off with a Wearable Art workshop led by a Vincents Art Workshop Tutor. The tutor shows and talks with us about the ideas and messages that can be expressed through wearable art. They show some examples of what people have created and share ideas about materials and techniques for creating pieces.

In 2017 we scheduled a morning each week where wearable artists and team members could work at Vincents together. People can also work on their pieces at home or anywhere that suits them. Some artists worked by themselves and others in groups. In 2017 the wearable art was shown by the artists on the waterfront (see/read description of the Tele Tiger photo above).

Last year we had a two day weekend workshop at Vincents to create our pieces. Our Disability Pride Wearable Art was shown at the Disability Pride Rally at Te Whaea – The National Dance and Drama Centre.

One of the pieces was created by Wellington artist, disability activist and cook Paul Holmes. Paul identifies as having learning disabilities and ADD. His 2018 piece was called ‘Disabled Oompah Loompah’ and was modelled by Sylvie MaCreanor to the Oompah Loompah music from Charlie and the Chocolate factory.

Paul explains his wearable arts piece:

“I wanted to make something whacky because wearable art is bland. An Oompah Loompah is boring in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because they’re all the same person! But we’re not all the same. A disabled Oompah Loompah was like a Rainbow version of an Oompah Loompah. My message is that people should have pride in being disabled. Disability can be invisible, some are visible. We need to put everyone out there.”

Disability activist and wearable arts creator, Paul Holmes at the Disability Pride Week celebration at Te Whaea – National Dance and Drama Centre, Wellington, December 2018. Paul is standing in front of the audience. Beside him is a microphone on a stand. He is about to speak about his wearable arts piece, ‘Disabled Oompah Loompah’ and disability pride. DPW volunteer, Bernadette Macartney, who MC’d the event is standing beside Paul.

Disability activist and wearable arts creator, Paul Holmes at the Disability Pride Week celebration at Te Whaea – National Dance and Drama Centre, Wellington, December 2018. Paul is standing in front of the audience. Beside him is a microphone on a stand. He is about to speak about his wearable arts piece, ‘Disabled Oompah Loompah’ and disability pride. DPW volunteer, Bernadette Macartney, who MC’d the event is standing beside Paul.

A close up of Maggie Rose Paine showing her Mag Bird Wearable Arts piece at the Disability Pride Week celebration at Te Whaea – National Dance and Drama Centre, Wellington, December 2018. A Mag bird is a cross between a Kunikuni pig and a staunch eagle. Maggie Rose is wearing a black top hat. The hat is covered in fluffy black feathers and has two cream coloured clay tusks on the front brim. She has a big smile on her face and looks like she is in her element! Her Mag Bird cloak is draped over her shoulders. It is covered in feathers made of all different sorts of patterned and colourful cloth.

A close up of Maggie Rose Paine showing her Mag Bird Wearable Arts piece at the Disability Pride Week celebration at Te Whaea – National Dance and Drama Centre, Wellington, December 2018. A Mag bird is a cross between a Kunikuni pig and a staunch eagle. Maggie Rose is wearing a black top hat. The hat is covered in fluffy black feathers and has two cream coloured clay tusks on the front brim. She has a big smile on her face and looks like she is in her element! Her Mag Bird cloak is draped over her shoulders. It is covered in feathers made of all different sorts of patterned and colourful cloth.

In this image Mag Bird has her arms extended to show the back of her rainbow feather cloak and wings. She is holding hands with her team, one on each side, as she extends her wings. Her cloak is covered in dozens of feathers that were cut from cloth and sewn onto a cape. The feathers are layered and hanging down. There are lots of different patterns and bright colours. The tartan feathers are Maggie’s favourite. Maggie describes the Mag Bird as having “rainbow feathers”.

In this image Mag Bird has her arms extended to show the back of her rainbow feather cloak and wings. She is holding hands with her team, one on each side, as she extends her wings. Her cloak is covered in dozens of feathers that were cut from cloth and sewn onto a cape. The feathers are layered and hanging down. There are lots of different patterns and bright colours. The tartan feathers are Maggie’s favourite. Maggie describes the Mag Bird as having “rainbow feathers”.

This image is of Sylvie McCreanor modelling Paul Holme’s wearable arts piece, a Disabled Oompah Loompah. Her face is painted bright orange, she is smiling and looking to the audience at her side. She is wearing black rimmed eye glasses. Sylvie is wearing a bright yellow raincoat over brightly spray painted white paper overalls. The hoods for the overalls and coat are up. She is holding the raincoat wide open to expose the overalls underneath. Paul has drizzled and splattered black, yellow, orange, red, purple and pink paint down the front of the overalls. The pattern looks like a multi-coloured, braided swirling river and continues from shoulders to feet. The back of the overalls are spray painted purple and the hood has a rough stripe of green. The Ooompah Loompah music from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is playing.

This image is of Sylvie McCreanor modelling Paul Holme’s wearable arts piece, a Disabled Oompah Loompah. Her face is painted bright orange, she is smiling and looking to the audience at her side. She is wearing black rimmed eye glasses. Sylvie is wearing a bright yellow raincoat over brightly spray painted white paper overalls. The hoods for the overalls and coat are up. She is holding the raincoat wide open to expose the overalls underneath. Paul has drizzled and splattered black, yellow, orange, red, purple and pink paint down the front of the overalls. The pattern looks like a multi-coloured, braided swirling river and continues from shoulders to feet. The back of the overalls are spray painted purple and the hood has a rough stripe of green. The Ooompah Loompah music from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is playing.

This image is of Paul Holme’s Disabled Oompah Loompah and Maggie Paine’s Mag Bird standing with the Mag Bird’s team Bethany and Sabrina. Sabrina is smiling and clapping. They are looking at something happening out of view of camera view. The Oompah Loompah is laughing, holding one hand on her hip and flapping her other arm.

This image is of Paul Holme’s Disabled Oompah Loompah and Maggie Paine’s Mag Bird standing with the Mag Bird’s team Bethany and Sabrina. Sabrina is smiling and clapping. They are looking at something happening out of view of camera view. The Oompah Loompah is laughing, holding one hand on her hip and flapping her other arm.

 

Wellington Wearable Arts 2019

We want to grow our Disability Pride Through Wearable Art project year by year through the involvement of more local community arts spaces, networks and artists. This year Pablos Art Studios has joined Vincents Art Workshop in providing a space and support for wearable art artists.

DPW 2019 wearable art pieces will be shown as part of the Disability Pride Parade & Celebration on Wellington Waterfront, Saturday September 21

Anyone who wants to be part of creating wearable art in Wellington 2019 can come along to Vincents Art Workshop or Pablos Art Studio any time and get started. For more information and support please contact DPW volunteer Bernadette Macartney, bernadettemacartney@outlook.com

Pablos Art Studio and Community Connections are also partnering in a Disability Pride project and exhibition ALL ACCESS in Wellington in December this year

Thin about doing disability pride through wearable arts in your community!!!

If you want to do disability pride through wearable arts here are some tips and ideas.

Start small!

You don’t need very many people to create a statement through wearable art so if there is a small group interested this year that is all good. The people who participate and those who see and touch the wearable art will benefit hugely no matter how many pieces. If you want to grow the project in future years, you will have learnt from this year’s experience and will make new connections and maybe bigger plans for next time.

Enjoy yourselves!

It’s about the experience of wearable arts designing and making more than it is about the final product, even if you’re really hooked on the product! Use the project as an opportunity for disabled people, our communities, families and allies to connect, be visible, have fun, create and celebrate disability pride together.

Use a space to host and house the project

A project could be based in a community arts space, early childhood centre, school, disability hub, community hall, or even at home if you have room and don’t mind the mess!

Find people to help organise the project

  • Look for a person or people who might be able to run a wearable art workshop for you or plan to run one yourself.
  • Disability Pride Week projects are led by or in partnership with disabled people, they are about expressing and celebrating disability as a positive identity and being proud as disabled people.

Resources – reduce, reuse, recycle!

Wearable art can be made from many different sorts of materials and you don’t have to spend lots of money or use expensive things. It’s about being creative… Your community may have a place that collects, recycles and gives away objects and materials that can be used in wearable arts making.  Some people also have stashes of cool stuff at home. If you base yourself in an arts space you should have most of what you need available.

Work together!

People are resources too! Some people like to work on their pieces by themselves. Others like to work in a group with people working alongside them to help create their piece. It’s good to try to cater for people’s preferences and for help to be available for everybody when they need it. A larger group might could work on one piece together as the entire project.

Show and celebrate the Wearable Art!

  • This could be as simple as joining in on another event or you could think bigger and organise a variety performance event, parade or stand alone show.
  • You could find a place, like a community space or art gallery to exhibit pieces after or instead of a live showing.
  • Invite each artist to choose music if they want it and to decide how there work is shown.
  • Artists could choose to have their wearable art modelled by another person or they could model it themselves.
  • Raise awareness by inviting people from the local media to see the pieces and learn about disability pride.

Disability Pride Through Wearable Arts 2017 & 2018

 
 
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