RAW cre­ativ­ity cap­ti­vates judge

The Leader (Nelson) - - Arts - By SI­MON BLOOMBERG

Creative Garin Col­lege stu­dents showed you don’t need silk, leather and se­quins to make fash­ion­able out­fits in­stead us­ing a load of junk to cre­ate spec­tac­u­lar wear­able art as part of the school’s Mahi Toi fes­ti­val.

Te Wairoa o nga Mahi Toi means the ‘‘spirit of cre­ation in the arts’’, and last week stu­dents at Garin at­tended a range of artis­tic work­shops and ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing creative writ­ing, cup­cake dec­o­rat­ing, dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion, sculpt­ing and flax weav­ing.

But one of the most spec­tac­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties was the RAW (Re­cy­clable Art that is Wear­able) com­pe­ti­tion, in which stu­dents cre­ated out­fits from re­cy­cled ma­te­rial.

Thirty-three en­tries cre­ated by 69 stu­dents were pa­raded be­fore the school and teacher Mandy Ditzel said the cre­ativ­ity of the en­tries was as­tound­ing.

‘‘The en­tries are get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter be­cause ev­ery year we have some­one who raises the bar and sets a higher stan­dard,’’ she said.

One

of

the

most

colour­ful en­tries was Un­wrapped, cre­ated by Karen Drys­dale, Veron­ica Mitchell, Sjann Hunger­ford and Clare San­ders. The mer­maid bikini top and dress with a long tail were made from 2894 gum wrap­pers which the girls had col­lected over the last few years.

‘‘I didn’t join the group un­til later but they started col­lect­ing the wrap­pers in year 9 and in­tended to make a dress out of them but never got around to it,’’ Karen said. ‘‘This year we fi­nally did it and it was awe­some to be part of some­thing as creative as this.

‘‘Veron­ica and Clare came up with the mer­maid con­cept be­cause the wrap­pers are nice and shiny and look like scales. We had to fold the wrap­pers and join four of them to­gether to make each scale, so it took hours and hours.’’

Karen said the gum-wrap­per scales were so del­i­cate that they needed to glue them in­di­vid­u­ally onto a sheet to ‘‘sta­bilise the out­fit’’.

Ash­ley Booth and Abi­gail Pow­ick’s Bach Off, a dress made of old news­pa­per and sheet mu­sic, was eye-catch­ing, while Chris Hills, Makaila Pow­ick, An­nelise van Zoe­len and Kirsten McCashin’s Puz­zled was made out of puz­zle pieces and mod­elled stylishly by Chris.

Judge Sonya Leusink-Sladen said the com­pe­ti­tion was ‘‘very dif­fi­cult to judge not just be­cause of the stan­dard of the en­tries but also be­cause all the en­tries were so dif­fer­ent’’.

‘‘It’s re­ally great to see them find­ing ways to use re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als that are very creative and very in­ter­est­ing.’’

Sonya said she had se­lected a top eight and the win­ners would be an­nounced on July 5.

Photo: SI­MON BLOOMBERG

Stun­ning: Garin Col­lege stu­dent Karen Drys­dale and her friends Sjann Hunger­ford, left, and Clare San­ders pre­pare to model their en­try in the RAW com­pe­ti­tion held as part of the Mahi Toi.

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