Cathy began her weaving journey in 2015, taking a loom on her travels around Australia, developing her own freeform style. She uses a myriad of textiles in her weavings and all are sourced second-hand or gifted to her. The weaving and the design process happen organically, there are no patterns to follow and no pre-conceived idea of what it will be like:
It is a joy to weave/create something beautiful from others’ discards.
By repurposing, re-creating, using all secondhand materials, Cathy often wonders who has been involved in the past, creating the fibres, the designing, the construction and the person who wore the clothes before she had them:
My stitching/weaving is a way to hold all those stories into the future.
This year's Sustainable Couture theme One World ~ Many Threads, relates so well to Cathy's weaving. She uses all oddments of yarns different plys, fibres and colors: On their own they are just a single strand but once woven they hold each other, support and create something beautiful. So it is with our endeavours to reduce, recycle, reuse, on our own we cant achieve a lot, but if we band together for the same purpose, so much can be achieved in caring for our world
Cathy's catwalk collection for 2021 shows superb fusion of colour and texture.
Left: Flame dress (image courtesy of Erwin Chlanda, Alice Springs News
The warp used in this weaving has been created from the cones of overlocker threads found in opshops. One single strand on its own isn't strong enough but multiple strands create strength and is the framework for the flames, using a mix of yarns to give the effect.
Bag - The bag has been woven from discarded clothing, which was cut into strips before weaving on the loom. Even the base support is recycled – the cover of a display book! The many threads already in existence can be revisited and renewed too.
Centre: Restyled green dress wirh detachable oversmock (Image courtesy Ken Johnson, Desert Connections)
The open weave in this oversmock has been woven with the superfine yarns that Cathy has collected over time. It also includes the silk threads that were given to her – her mother was a weaver and created the altar decorations in their church. She had passed away and the silk threads came to Cathy. The oversmock is detachable and can be worn with other outfits as well as making it easier to handwash.
Scarf - woven on the same fine warp as the smocktop, with one green thread throughout: One thread can make a difference when it is repetitive and consistent and has a goal to aspire to.
Right: Flame dress and Restyled green dress; Models Matilda and Cleo