‘Wearable of the Week’ # 4

‘Wearable of the Week’ # 4

‘There is a whole world inside me. I often dream of something deep and colourful which moves and which is very mysterious. There are many corners, strange places, folds and holes. I have an enormous need to express that world.’ Marjolein Dallinga

I love the above quote from Marjolein Dallinga. It is so evocative of a state of mind, of the overwhelming power of creativity and the need to make. When you see Marjolein’s work, which is full of folds and holes and unseen depths, it makes perfect sense. 

Marjolein’s piece Skin is not only our Wearable of the Week, but is also the cover girl of the World of WearableArt’s™ new book which is simply entitled WearableArt™, and is available from Te Papa Store.

Skin by Marjolein Dallinga (Netherlands / Canada), 2011. World of WearableArt’s™. Photograph by Daniel Allen.

Marjolein entered Skin in the 2011 Creative Excellence section of the WearableArt™ Awards, which was themed ‘Under the Microscope’.  The piece comprises three pieces – a shibori dyed silk dress, and a coat and head piece made from thick, soft, wonderful felt.

Detail of Skin by Marjolein Dallinga (Netherlands / Canada), 2011. World of WearableArt’s™. Photograph by Daniel Allen.

Felt is Marjolein’s medium of choice.  It wasn’t always that way however. Marjolein originally trained as a painter. It was motherhood that led her to felt.

‘As soon as the children arrived, eventually three, I could not paint anymore and I returned to a child’s world by making things for them. That’s when I discovered felting and became immediately fascinated by the material…

Her love of both the material, and process of making it, is palatable in her description of the medium.

Felting is a friendly art, full of forgiveness and it combines wonderfully with other textile techniques. It is a combination of handwork and painting. The placement of the fibres is repetitive but calming and meditative, and the playing with colours is a soulful and balancing experience.’

Marjolein began her foray into felting making with small items – toys and accessories, and soon found herself teaching workshops. Today, she operates her own textiles atelier. She teaches feltm making internationally, and produces theatrical costumes for film and for Cirque du Soleil – a client whom she credits with continually pushing her creativity. It was Marjolein’s theatrical feel for fabric and movement, that caught the attention of the WOW® judges. Beautifully, she descibes Skin as ‘costume as a partner’.  

‘You go out together, you keep each other warn, you are seen together, you go home together and you free yourself from the embrace and … go your seperate ways. The costume stands silently, looking out through the large bay window … quietly waiting for the next outing.’

Costume as a partner. It is a relationship that many of us who love clothes understand perfectly.

To hear and see more from Marjolein Dallinga, click here to read an interview by the World of Threads Festival team.

 ‘Wearable of the Week’ is posted in conjunction with The WOW Factor: 25 Years in the Making, which is on display at Te Papa until 17 August 2014. For more on the World of WearableArt™ visit WOW® online.

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