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Date: 02 February 2012 

Representing Australia one stitch at a time

A group of crafty Queensland University of Technology (QUT) fashion graduates have been chosen to represent Australia in the 2012 La Biennale di Venezia International Kids' Carnival, in Venice, Italy next week.

Kiara Bulley, Bianca Bulley, Priya Cox, Anna Hickey, Madeline Taylor and Carla Binotto from The Stitchery, an arts collective based in Fortitude Valley, will run a number of workshops at the historic festival alongside representatives from as far afield as Austria, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Romania and the UK.

Founding member of The Stitchery Collective and QUT Creative Industries graduate, Anna Hickey, said the group would teach children about designing and sewing with recycled materials while also bringing a distinctly Brisbane feel to the Italian festival.

"The program is called WARM because we want to re-create the warmth and vibrancy of our Brisbane studio in Venice," Ms Hickey said.

"Aside from being a lot of fun, our workshops give children a sense of how design can use recycled materials in a creative way.

"With the rise of fast-fashion many people think of clothing as disposable but our workshops aim to introduce kids to the idea of sustainability."

The Stitchery members will also be assisted by a group of Italian fashion design students, who will help deliver the workshops.

Ms Hickey said the collaboration with the students will make for an interesting fusion between tropical and European designs.

"While Italian fashion is world-renowned for its style and elegance, Australian design tends to be more casual and experimental," she said.

Head of fashion at QUT Kath Horton said the international collaboration with the Italian design students in such a high profile event would benefit both the students and Stitchery members.

"It is an exciting and valuable opportunity for cross-cultural exchange and will be a very enriching learning experience for everyone involved," she said.

Jointly funded by QUT and the Australia Council and Arts Queensland, the WARM workshops will use materials and equipment sent from the Stitchery home in the Bell Brothers building in the Valley.

The Biennale Kids Carnival will be held from February 11 - 21, near the famed San Marco Square.

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Media contact: Alita Pashley, QUT media officer, 07 3138 1841 or alita.pashley@qut.edu.au

 

Sachiko Dodd wearing her creation from the Brisbane WARM workshop