Injecting the ‘wow factor’ into the Eyelights Gallery

Injecting the ‘wow factor’ into the Eyelights Gallery

While last week came to a shakey end on Friday, we are hoping that today’s sunshine filled day bodes well for a smooth and steady week, as we have quite a bit of work to catch up on in order to get two new exhibitions up for Saturday.

As Friday afternoon’s earthquake hit, we were in the midst of installing The WOW Factor in Te Papa’s Eyelight’s Gallery. The WOW Factor marks the 25th anniversary of the first World of WearableArt™ Awards – a phenomenal achievement for any arts organisation, let alone an independent arts organisation, and takes over both sides of the Eyelights Gallery – gone are the model trains and stoney stare of the Roman Emperor bust!

We have been lucky enough to have been let loose in WOW’s wardrobe, and have selected over 25 garments from the show’s history, from the first ever winner, to a range of entries from 2012. By Friday afternoon, 15 of the garments had been screwed firmly into place on their forms (thank goodness), while the others patiently queued in the ‘waiting room’.

WOW garments wait their turn to go on display in the Eyelights Gallery at Te Papa.
WOW garments wait their turn to go on display in the Eyelights Gallery at Te Papa.

Following the opening of The WOW Factor on 24 August, I’ll post ‘Wearable of the Week’ each Friday in which I’ll highlight one garment, and unravel some it is inspiration.

At 2.31pm on Friday, another couple of colleagues were in Te Papa’s editing suite, cutting a lively interview with Lorraine Downes when everything began to wobble. Lorraine is the focal point of Our Miss Universe, a showcase highlighting Lorraine Downe’s recent gift to Te Papa of her iconic Miss Universe evening gown, crown and trophy. 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of her historic win. In the interview, which will screen in the showcase and on Te Papa’s Youtube channel, Lorraine vividly takes us back to the night that changed her life. We got to spend a lovely day with Lorraine, who proved to be a great story teller, the other week filming and chatting, and reuniting her with her gown.

Miss Universe small
Lorraine Downes checks out her Miss Universe gown in Te Papa’s Conservation Lab.

 The WOW Factor and Our Miss Universe open on 24 August on Level 4.  Check out Te Papa’s event calendar for a range of associated events, including floor talks, back of house tours and inspirational talks by Dame Suzie Moncrieff (Saturday 21 September)  and  Lorraine Downes (Tuesday 24 September).

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *