Benalla’s Maggie Hollins is one of the stars of the Elements of Indigo art-to-artwear project on display at Beechworth Town Hall.
Maggie’s designs offer a distinctive take on the Beechworth Arts Council’s Spring 2018 project — to design a navel-to-knees garment that expressed connection to Indigo Shire in a way similar to how the Celts use tartan.
Arts Council president Jamie Kronborg said the creative idea stemmed from the tradition that forms and styles of clothing throughout history have evolved to identify a people’s tribe, clan, community, place, culture and even country.
‘‘In this project participating artists were encouraged to tease apart the idea and tradition of tartan and re-work it to identify the communities of Indigo,’’ Mr Kronborg said.
The two-phase brief — a visual design followed by a finished garment interpreting the form of a kilt — asked entrants to depict or express ‘‘elements of Indigo’’, including its sky, landscapes, colours, seasons, geology, topography, plants, crops, animals, birds, and other inspirations.
‘‘A kilt is a traditional skirt that covers from navel to knees and has a deep history in Gaelic, Norse, Mediterranean, Tartar and First Peoples’ cultures,’’ Mr Kronborg said.
Ms Hollins used a re-purposed woollen blanket as the base for her work.
‘‘The choice of materials has been deliberate,’’ she said.
‘‘It was dyed with commercial indigo dye. Indigofera australis is a plant that grows in Indigo Shire and the First Peoples of this place used the flower of this plant to produce a blue dye.
‘‘I want the viewer to remember their own blanket, how it felt safe and warm when it surrounded them.
‘‘To highlight the landscape’s beauty I layered the base textile with vegetation.
‘‘When heated pigments are drawn out of the plants and leave marks on the material.’’
The five interpretations of Elements of Indigo will be exhibited in Beechworth Town Hall until November 25.
Proud: Benalla’s Maggie Hollins with her contribution to the Elements of Indigo art-to-artwear project, which is on display at the Beechworth Town Hall.