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New exhibition opens at National WOW Museum in Nelson

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The National WOW Museum’s new exhibition of finalist garments from the 2017 World of WearableArt Awards Show will open to the public on Friday 8 December. Six Worlds of WOW 2017 showcases more than 50 garments by 60 designers from 11 countries, including the winner of the 2017 Supreme WOW Award and other major prize winners.

The garments come to Nelson from the 2017 Show where they were seen on stage in Wellington by more than 60,000 people over the three-week show season. The exhibition allows visitors to examine the garments in detail. The title of the exhibition - Six Worlds of WOW 2017 - references the six sections in the 2017 Competition - Aotearoa, Open, Avant-garde, Red, Illumination Illusion and Science Fiction.

WOW Chief Executive Gisella Carr says the exhibition is the perfect way to see up close the world’s best wearable art. "Six Worlds of WOW 2017 features the outstanding work of wearable art designers from around the world and epitomises the heart of WOW - that anyone can enter, as long as they can meet the challenge to create a piece of wearable art that is original, innovative and truly exceptional. As is the case every year, this year’s Competition attracted designers from all walks of life and from across the world, ranging from fashion designers and artists, to a realtor, an orchardist and two welders.

"The garments themselves are equally diverse - made from a range of materials including recyclables such as bicycle spokes, chopsticks, horsehair and orange peels, through to high-tech, cutting edge materials such as Worbla, Fosshape and Plasterzote.

"If you know nothing about WOW, then the exhibition is a fantastic introduction. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a WOW exhibition, then we encourage people to come along and meet the garments face to face! And, of course, if you’re one of the many, many WOW fans who saw the Show, then it is a second chance to appreciate the work, this time seeing it close up and at your leisure.

"The appeal of WOW is such that we know that thousands of international visitors will be seeing the garments over the busy summer season." Carr said.

The exhibition also features audio-visual from this year’s Show as well as historical film material from previous Shows. Every year, many of the designers converge on Wellington for the show, travelling from around the world, and around New Zealand. A short video of interviews with some of the designers can be seen here.

Six Worlds of WOW 2017 features many of the award-winning garments from the 2017 Awards Show, including the winner of the 2017 Supreme WOW Award, Encapsulate by Rinaldy Yunardi (Indonesia); the Runner Up to the Supreme WOW Award, Refuse Refuge by Grace Duvall (USA), made entirely of recycled bicycle tyres and spokes; and the winner of the Dame Suzie Moncrieff Award, 222 Buckle Belts by Annina Gull (Switzerland), chosen by Dame Suzie as the garment that best captures the WOW spirit.

Visitors from the top-of-the-south may be especially interested in seeing works by local designers Sue Cederman (Motueka) and Helen Millen (Marlborough Sounds).

The new exhibition features designers from New Zealand, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA and UK. WOW has also included a selection of garments from its permanent collection. The scale of the Show, and of some of the specific garments, means that not all finalist entries are exhibited at once. There will be change over in early 2018.

Quick facts about the exhibition Six Worlds of WOW 2017

- Open 8 December 2017 at National WOW Museum in Nelson

- More than 50 garments by 60 designers from 11 countries

- Also features a selection of garments from WOW’s permanent collection

- National WOW Museum is open every day (closed Christmas Day)


Quick facts about the 2017 WOW Competition and Show

- 104 finalist garments by 122 designers from 13 countries

- 37 awards received by 36 designers from 9 countries

- Six sections: Aotearoa, Open, Avant-garde, Red, Illumination Illusion, and Science Fiction

- More than 60,000 people attended the 2017 Show in Wellington

Quick facts about the 2018 WOW Competition and Show

- Six sections: Avant-garde, Aotearoa, Reflective Surfaces, Under the Microscope, Open, and Bizarre Bra

- Entries open now

- 2018 celebrates the 30th anniversary for the WOW show

- The 2018 Show is at TSB Arena in Wellington 27 September to 14 October

- Tickets on sale 1 February


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