Artists in Art Garments ~ Leisa Wake
Meet the artist behind the Art Silk collection, Leisa Wake.
Dressed entirely in Art Garments, linked image credits follow the interview.
Tell me a bit about your 9 to 5
It's through Think Positive we have printed our scarves, keeping the entire production process onshore in Australia.
And what was the road that led you to creating these pieces for Grace?
As a wearer of Art Garments and friend of Grace’s for the best part of the last decade, I’ve followed the evolution of her brand into the Art Garments you see today. Lovers of the shop will know that many of the singular vintage items Grace sources are like art pieces in themselves.
Grace came to me with a desire to introduce her own line of wearable art ~ art garments if you will.
So we set out together to transform the humble silk scarf into a multi-functional square and runner that would encourage the art of dressing. We both share a love of collecting inanimate objects and setting tables (more on that to come in 2021!), so this became the perfect subject for the collection.
What is your design process like?
A concept is important to anchor my decisions and weave a narrative throughout my work. I then gather physical subject matter to paint from, and trawl photos for colour inspiration. I usually can’t rest until I’ve experimented with lots of elements and compositions, and since indecisiveness is one of my greatest downfalls I can find my design process quite tormenting!
Sometimes I’m satisfied with the arrangement I’ve done by hand, or else I’ll digitally fiddle. Digitally printing my artworks allows me freedom to experiment, and know that all the detail and softness and intensity will be come to life on fabric.
Overall, my design process can be either elating or anxiety inducing. Learning when to push through or come back with fresh eyes is always a hard line to find.
Why did you choose a scarf as the first release in Art Garments own line?
It became a companion to each of the Still Life scarves, picking up on colours within each artwork. The colour balance was tricky. I had to hit the perfect lack of contrast so that you get a dreamy haze over your eyes where the two colours melt together, but inject enough contrast so that there is a tension that makes the colours pop.
And her bold, evocative colour palette makes me gravitate toward her every time I get dressed.
Watch this space! As hinted at earlier, Grace and I have big plans for 2021 in the home & tablewares arena. As for garments, we are in the initial plotting stages of creating a universal unisex shirt that showcases art. The one below is our first sample: my own shell print on a lush silk hemp.
Look 1: Luminescent slip gifted to Leisa, worn with The Jug
Look 2: Metallic crinkle gown
Look 4: Pale gauze two piece set
Look 5: Ecru silk shirt & The Shorts
Look 6: Buttermilk plisse & ruffle dress
Look 7: Y2K Metallic strip skirt & The Lily
Look 9: The Jug
Look 10: Ecru silk shirt, Butter Runner, Champagne silk skirt [coming soon]
A huge thank you to Leisa for her toil over the last few months and for her participation in this shoot on a 40° late November day, beginning with a 4:30am pilgrimage to the Sydney Flower Markets.