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Life & Soul

After opening Life & Soul in Victoria Street in February, co-owners Sally and Shelley, launched into winter with a VIP Styling Evening last month. Empire Rose designer Kathryn Cizeika and Lara and Sarah from Mode & Affaire, treated local fashion shoppers to an indepth round up of their latest ranges and the best ways to style them.

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As well as Empire Rose and Mode & Affaire, Life & Soul also stock Asilio, Akla, Auguste, Infamous Friends and Nobody Jeans. Local jewellery line, Me I Me I is stocked alongside WA homewares company Ash &  Lime, and the coolest sneakers around, Superga! From scented candles to vegan nail polish line, Kester Black, head into Life & Soul, Victoria Street Bunbury.

 

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Wood + Water

Driving back from a Perth trip yesterday I noted the large number of public artworks and sculptures that form an integral part of new constructions and roadworks that pop up on every journey. It is so refreshing to see the value both private companies and the public sector put into public art, and it’s contribution to the built landscape. Earlier this year I volunteered at ‘Public’. This street art project developed by FORM embraces new urban and regional communities and through Public expanded on the impressive suite of public artworks scattered throughout Perth,  it’s suburbs and, the unique Pilbara and Wheatbelt regions.

It was a privilege to meet many of the artists involved in Public who are contributing to developing and enhancing  our urban landscapes. It is also a privilege for Bunbury to host an up and coming exhibition by 2 inspiring and accomplished West Australian creatives. ‘Wood + Water’ marks the final and biggest exhibtion for the year by The Art Label at Maker + Co.

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(Ian Mutch painting for PUBLIC in Victoria Park, 2015. Photography by Jean Paul Horre. Image courtesy of FORM)

Margaret River based Ian Mutch was guest artist at the recent launch of Re.Discover Bunbury 2016 (another exciting project). At Wood + Water he will showcase his “Bitetime” booklet (following on from successful Melbourne and Dunsborough shows), plus new artworks and favourite limited edition prints. Ian creates detailed artworks using drawing ink, acrylics, watercolour, aerosol and markers. His work has won awards and given life to public spaces. His large-scale gallery works are in high demand. He also designs and co-publishes Kingbrown Magazine and has been an industry speaker at Agideas, the Design Institute of Australia and Semi Permanent.

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(Chris Nixon painting for PUBLIC in Northam, 2015. Photography by Bewley Shaylor. Image courtesy of FORM )

Adding his own mark to the exhibition will be Chris Nixon. His work will feature artwork on custom built and designed skateboards, originals and limited edition prints. All inspired by wood and water. Chris Nixon is also an illustrator, designer and creative director based in Perth. He is inspired by the West Coast and classic surf culture with an emphasis on the handmade and crafted,  From children’s books to animation, commercial illustration to large scale public art, Nixon threads a distinct style across all scales and sizes to extend his creativity. Chris has created several large scale artworks which have been installed around Australia and has exhibited work in Tokyo, Berlin, Bali, Sydney and Melbourne.

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(Andrew Frazer launching Re.Discover 2016 – Image Rogan Pringle)

Additional excitement surrounding these 2 artists is they are featured artists in Re.Discover Bunbury for January next year. It seems only fitting that we get the chance to appreciate and purchase their work prior to arguably one of Bunbury’s biggest cultural events.

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The innovative and widely accessible online art gallery www.theartlabel.com.au uses the gallery space at Maker + Co as a vehicle to embrace online art and for buyers to get a feel for the style of artists listed on the website. The Art Label Online Art Gallery allows regional and Western Australian artists to showcase their work, and sell directly to art buyers.

To browse the gallery visit http://www.theartlabel.com.au/ The exhibition open Friday 13 November at 5pm and will run until January 20, 2016.
Contact: Janine Stewart Mob: 0404913737

History and Fashion Unite at South West Fashion Festival

The South West Fashion Festival celebrated its fifth birthday in style over the weekend, bringing a selection of stunning fashion events to Bunbury that were bigger and better than ever before.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the Saturday morning brunch at Casellas Restaurant, where upwards of 60 ladies dined in style while feasting their eyes on incredible pieces from the Darnell Collection.

This is the third year that Charlotte Smith has bought an excerpt of her world-renowned collection to Bunbury to feature in the South West Fashion Festival. This year, she selected pieces to fit in with the SWFF’s theme of ‘Futurism’, an interesting and challenging theme given that almost all of the Darnell Collection is vintage or antique. IMG_8374

While guests sipped sparkling and indulged in an array of delicious treats, Charlotte spoke about the history of the Darnell Collection. She inherited the collection in 2004 from her godmother Doris Darnell, who had been collecting vintage and antique clothing and accessories since 1936.

The Darnell Collection currently features over 8000 pieces, with the earliest piece, a night bonnet from Scotland, dating back to the 1720’s. It was easy to feel Charlotte’s passion for what has become her entire life – she currently travels the globe exhibiting pieces from the collection and has written several books.

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Seven unique and ‘futuristic’ pieces were modelled, as Charlotte gave the back-story and history of each. One of the most fascinating stories was the one behind the gold lame kimono-style dress pictured above.

This 1970’s dress was worn by Australian mezzo-soprano singer Margreta Elkins, and was given to the Darnell Collection by Margreta’s husband Henry after she passed away in 2009. Charlotte told a touching story of the friendship she developed via email with Henry, who continued to donate many items from Margreta’s wardrobe to the Darnell Collection over the years.

What is also fascinating about this dress is the designer it was created by – Danica of Double Bay. As Charlotte explained, there is absolutely no information about this designer or boutique anywhere online, leading her to think that perhaps the designer simply created these one-off pieces for Margreta Elkins.

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It is these stories that demonstrated Charlotte’s love of fashion and its importance in recording and reflecting history. As she explained, fashion is so much more than the frivolous notion that many people see it as. Each piece captures the society and culture that it comes from, and allows future generations a fascinating insight into the past.

The Darnell Collection as a whole represents so many different moments in fashion, some moments which we were privileged to hear about during a gorgeous brunch as part of the South West Fashion Festival weekend.

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Charlotte White (right), owner and curator of the Darnell Collection with model wearing the Danica of Double Bay silk and lame dress

 

Micro Ideas, Micro Funding, Massive Talent

4 amazing ideas, 4 inspiring projects and one ‘souperb’ concept to bring life to micro projects in Bunbury.  That is the basis of Bunbury’s first Neighbourhood Soup. It didn’t take long to feel the energy at BRAG on Wednesday night.  The Chapel Gallery was buzzing as 120+ took their seat, or a beanbag, or stood to listen to 4 x micro presentations on creative projects happening in our town. The first thing that impressed this Stylo was that these 4 projects were happening, with or without the carrot of potential funding.

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Concept in a ‘soupbowl’?? Pitch your project to a captive audience who all donated $10 ea (and scored a bowl of homemade soup).  The most loved project gets the jar of cash to spend. $1060 toward invaluable benefit to our community.

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Competition was really tough and I wanted to vote for all 4. First up was Jane. With a botanist background, Jane was motivated by her unsuccessful vegie patch, to explore what really does thrive in our Bunbury soil. Research and enthusiasm encouraged her to plat predominately edible species in public spaces where the community could access and enjoy both plants and produce.

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Sasha (our winning project) coordinated a Time Bank.  An age old concept of trading skills.  It’s been around for thousands of years but still stands true to the value of our time and skills.  Sasha and her team will utilise their funds to access those who don’t use social media to communicate, our elderly.

Number 3 was Kelsie and ‘Good Nights’. And who doesn’t enjoy one! As a lover of house concerts and independent music I got this. So much amazing music, musicians and talent, and no where to showcase. Kelsie is offering small intimate concerts that benefit musician and audience alike.

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Number 4. Andrew, a young man who has already offered so much to Bunbury and continues to support. A collaboration with the Shoestring Cafe. Offering cafe patrons and the GP a chance to share the experience of furniture making, in a 5 hour workshop, creating over 100 stools from local timber.  The stools are used at Re-Discover then sold to raise funds for the Shoestring cafe. A perfect cycle of recycling and regeneration.

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How do you choose between the 4????? Well done to BRAG and Enable for a brilliant concept and a great example of community collaboration on so many levels.  They may not have all taken away the money but they all go a chance to share their ideas, projects and passion. We were all inspired.

So much happening in this town. Next Bunbury Neighbourhood Soup…….27 August @ 5.30pm. www.eventbrite.com.au And a huge thank you to Taj Kempe for the incredible pics. Another emerging young talent.

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