Odette & Odile
Event: World of WearableArt Mythology Section finalist
A princess is changed by sorcery into a swan, symbol of life in many cultures, yet also referencing death, and the soul flying away – the ‘swan-song’. Swan Lake draws its inspiration from Russian and German folklore, and is a myth exploring the dichotomies of good and evil, love and betrayal, life and death, reality and fantasy.
A creature of the lake, the mirror-like meeting place of air and water offering reflection versus reality, the duality of Odette and Odile in Swan Lake often being performed by the same artist adds a further psychological layer revealing the struggle within the self.
Materials & Techniques:
Aluminium, plastic, rivets, acrylic paint, vinyl, lycra, acrylic, beads
The ‘feathers’ have been created from many plastic soft drink bottles – top and bottom were cut off, the remainder ironed flat, then a soldering iron was used to shape the edges. These were then spray painted, then hand painted around the edges before riveting them to the aluminium base to create feathers – uplifted ones for Odette, downturned ones for Odile, throughout headpiece, bodice, arm and leg pieces.
The neckpieces, headpiece and bodice decorations have been made from wire wrapping together acrylic laser-cut offcuts from jewellery making – sourced at Reverse Garbage, and beads and motifs from jewellery collected at op-shops. The lycra for Odile was also found at an op-shop, the lycra for Odette from a liquidator. Odette & Odile were retained for 12 months and exhibited at the World of WearableArt Museum.
QR Bonus Information Odette & Odile were created to be eligible for the Sustainability Award at WOW, meeting the requirement of being made of 85% recycled materials. This was really the beginning of my solid interest in using more recycled materials. It was fun finding them, it was challenging working with them, and it was economical.
After crating the swans up, we delivered them to Mainfreight for shipping, only to receive a call that our wooden box was no longer acceptable for Customs! Panic stations – what to do? Matt has a chemical company which often has retired IBC’s for bulk shipping of chemical, so he cut into it, created a doorway, and we re-packed.