Mirabilis: Wearable art

SUSTAINABLE: Sarah Hendy's wearable art uses a variety of natural and industrial materials, including ivy branches

SUSTAINABLE: Sarah Hendy's wearable art uses a variety of natural and industrial materials, including ivy branches

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SAYLE Gallery artist in residence Sarah Hendy is currently exhibiting her wearable art during an end of residency exhibition.

Mirabilis is a collection of dresses exploring the bitter sweet journey of inevitable change and – with a focus on using sustainably-sourced materials – it shows an awareness of the value of everything from precious metals to the more mundane.

The exhibition also includes photographs and a film showing one of Sarah’s dissolving dresses, which has to be seen to be believed.

She uses a variety of natural and industrial materials including feathers, plant life, handmade sequins, fibre optics, even cling film.

And Mirabilis shows how these materials can be transformed into one-off pieces which mesh together to result in some truly remarkable items.

She has also used more than 45 metres of netting – that’s two and a half bendy buses or half a football pitch.

‘My year as artist in residence at the Sayle Gallery has been amazing,’ she said.

‘I started in April 2012 with the intention of extending my use of textiles and other materials, and through the year I’ve bounced ideas off other artists, interacting with them to push myself and my practice into new realms.

‘Mirabilis describes the veil between our reality and other worlds and my dresses are both tangible and ethereal.’

‘The visual inspiration for my dresses is organic forms in nature, and the aesthetic is quite art nouveau,’ Sarah continued.

‘But I haven’t stopped there. I have extended this “lightness” into use of eco-friendly, responsibly-sourced, sequins made by hand from recycled aluminium cans which are not just light in weight, but also reflect light to make the dresses appear even more other-worldly.’

Although the concept of wearable art (defined as items nearer to costume than fashion, which step outside the constraints of mainstream clothing) is fairly new here in the Isle of Man, it is a recognised art discipline in New Zealand, where an annual competition The World of Wearable Art attracts entries from around the globe.

Sarah is planning to enter work in this, but meanwhile, closer to home, she is taking part in the fifth biennial Manx Wearable Art Show later in March.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Isle of Man Arts Council.

The Sayle Gallery is in the Villa Marina Arcade, on Harris Promenade, Douglas.

It is open between 10am and 5pm Tuesday to Saturday, between 1.30pm and 4.30pm on Sundays and between 1pm and 5pm on Mondays.

Admission is free.

For more information contact the gallery on 674557 or visit www.saylegallery.com

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