All dressed up
Carmen took the wearable art dress she made in 2016, Wedding in Paradise, to Corning, New York, with funding support from Creative New Zealand. It was part of the Glass Art Society Glass Fashion Show, with more than 100 other international artists. The dress, which is made from cast-glass ferns, flax flowers, weta, huhu bugs, and pohutukawa seeds sewn on fibre-optic fabric, and vintage materials, copper wire and aluminium, weighs 10kg. She has also collaborated with other artists in multimedia projects.
In 2010, for a Sarjeant Gallery Arts Review, Carmen and Whanganui weaver Leonie Sharp created a full-sized cast-glass and feather sculptural dress entitled Those Who Should Venture. “A woman had to be bolted in and model it walking around the Sarjeant Gallery,” Carmen says.
The work stands in the Whanganui i-Site and represents the pioneering women of the Whanganui region and the title is based on an 1860s advertisement in a British newspaper asking for women to come to
Carmen made the glass bodice, decorated with lace kowhai flowers and fern fronds. The bodice is symbolic of the settler women’s fragility and strength; the woven skirt represents the flora of the region — grasses and seeds — and the natural environment from mountain to sea.
Carmen also worked on a project for the Whanganui Memorial Centre with artists Jim Dennison and Dean Flavell and created a cast-glass column commemorating the Anzacs.