The AUT Shapeshifting conference launches next week bringing together fashion designers, practitioners and researchers for three days of presentations, panel discussions installations and workshops. I have a few fashion crushes who will be presenting at this conference including Nick Cave and Otto von Busch. Remember that time I got stranded at Wellington airport with Otto and it changed my life? I can't even begin to imagine what a dinner party would be like with TWO of my fashion crushes in attendance!
One of the workshops I am most excited for is the Studio Mechanics workshop hosted by artist, designer and performer Nick Cave. I am a huge fan of the way that Cave's work is able to make me feel delighted, challenged and uneasy all at the same time. You can imagine how excited I was when I had the opportunity to interview him recently ahead of his arrival in Auckland!
I love how you always seem to be able to capture a sense of both movement and magic in your sound suits and I am intrigued to hear more about the relationship between the wearer and the suit?
The wearer must surrender to the suit and feel what he is allowed to do within it. This is the magic. There becomes a real collaboration between the suit and the performer as the suits can both restrict regular movement, but at the same time provide liberation of the spirit as they fully mask race, gender and class.
You walk a through a delicate overlap of disruption and playfulness in your practice and I am interested to know if this energy is present in other spaces in your life?
As an aquarian I am fully open to change and disruption of the expected. I think it is what allows us to grow in our own skins and become what we are made of inside. My performances as well as installations are on this earth to try and help others get to this space …one of dreams and possibilities.
When you embark on making a new work, what happens first?
Each work is inspired my something specific … a found object, a thought or something I see out in the world. It can be on the bus or on youtube. It really doesn’t matter where or what it is, just that is evoke an emotion in my body. Then I take it from there.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an early career interdisciplinary artist?
To be fearless when it comes to your work. Keep your eyes open and step confidently on whatever path feels right in front of you. Don’t worry if the surface is rocky or unsettled. If you are stable inside, your journey will powerful.
And finally, who would you want to make sure was on your team in a zombie apocalypse?
Damn … I don’t know. How about Grace Jones. She’s one bad mother.
Tickets to Studio Mechanics workshop by Nick Cave are available from Event Finder.