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13 Feb 2019


Chances are your favourite item of clothing is Kate V M Sylvester’s go-to artistic medium. This Melbourne based artist uses a unique de-threading technique on recycled t-shirts to reveal the extraordinary function and detail of the garment’s material.

As an adolescent Kate discovered she enjoyed the sensation of snapping the bonds between the warp and wheft of her clothes. She found this triggered a calming, euphoric meditative state otherwise known Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).

While studying a Bachelor of Fine Art at the Victorian College of Arts, Kate developed her technique experimenting with clothing as a ready-made art object, using deconstructed recycled t-shirts in sculpture, installation, painting, textile art, video and performance pieces of art.

Kate soon discovered there is so much more to the t-shirt on your back including the political, social and ethical issues that surround the production of mass-produced clothing. Since then, the ordinary t-shirt has become Kate’s muse and she has been creating extraordinary pieces of art which led her to exhibit throughout Victoria in conjunction with the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.

According to research conducted by University of Queensland, each year we consume over 80 billion new pieces of clothing globally, a 400% increase over the last 20 years. Fast fashion has quickly become the second biggest polluter on earth, second only to the oil industry.

Kate hopes to inspire Sculpture at Scenic World visitors to give more thought to how their clothing is created. “My message is hopefully inspirational rather than yet another means of implying guilt on consumers living in a throw-away society,” she says.

Kate will invest several hours de-threading a recycled t-shirt to create her piece for Sculpture at Scenic World, which is set to be her largest yet taking full advantage of the rainforest gallery space.

In Every Tee will be on display at Sculpture at Scenic World which will transform the ancient rainforest to an open air gallery from April 12 – May 12, 2019.

Showcasing 25 works from 29 artists along Scenic World’s elevated boardwalk, the exhibition will also feature an extensive public program including Sculpture Otherwise, an indoor exhibition of smaller works at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.