A major exhibition celebrating the work of internationally acclaimed, Brisbane-based design partnership Easton Pearson is currently showing at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), South Bank until November 8.
Queensland Art Gallery director Tony Ellwood says the Easton Pearson exhibition is the gallery’s first fashion design exhibition and features more than 70 outfits.
“The exhibition is installed within four themed rooms and explores Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson’s inspirations, artistic resources and creative methodologies,” Ellwood says.
“It includes examples of Easton Pearson’s work from the early 1990s, to an elaborately beaded and hand-decorated garment created especially for the exhibition.”
The exhibition reflects the breadth and individuality of Easton Pearson’s work.
“It highlights their sourcing and production of extraordinary textiles, their collaborations with artists and artisans across the globe, and an inspired capacity to weave together associations and influences of all kinds,” Ellwood says.
“Art museums worldwide consider fashion design a part of contemporary visual culture and we’re pleased to present this important work for local and national audiences.”
Senior managerial researcher and curator of Easton Pearson Miranda Wallace says Easton Pearson’s clothes are often the result of enormously labour intensive handwork by skilled artisans in India or Vietnam, and Brisbane.
“Often the base cloth is quite ordinary (a fine muslin, for example, or a heavy-grade cloth), but it is rendered extraordinary by the embroidery, the beading or appliqué,” Wallace says.
“In terms of practical creation of the garments, the company has an exclusive arrangement with an embroidery workshop in Mumbai…whose master craftsmen contribute to much of the hand beading, hand appliqué and other details to the clothes.”
She says Easton Pearson works with a co-operative of skilled embroiderers in Hanoi who continue a tradition of fine handwork that has been a legacy of French colonisation with the duo also commissioning other skilled craftspeople.
“For example, the silver braid on the ‘Sali dress’ is by women from the town of Surat in western Gujarat, India which specialises in such braid (and Easton Pearson) have worked with not-for-profit co-op Shrujan based in the Kaach region of western India to develop intricate embroideries in recent collections, seen in such items as the ‘Wish top’ from 2008,” Page says.
Queensland Art Gallery