Burnie Arts Council Inc are gearing up for the 4th biennial Betta Milk Burnie Wearable Paper Art Competition, to be held on June 15th. “It’s very exciting, all the signs indicate we will have another stunning show with more than twenty finalists currently putting the finishing touches on some extraordinarily ambitious pieces,” says Pam Thorne, Secretary of the Burnie Arts Council Inc.

“A number of finalists are telling intensely personal stories through their work. There are also strong statements about topical issues like climate change. There will be both drama and beauty on the catwalk, no doubt about it,” says Pam Thorne.

This year paper on skin opened entries to international artists. Finalists have been selected from as far away as Amsterdam and Ohio. Five Australian states are represented, with many of the artists making the journey to Burnie for the event.

“Some of the pieces are quite complex, so it’s great that the artists will be present to ensure a ‘seamless’ transition: from imagination, to creation, to that moment where the piece comes to life – being worn under the lights on the catwalk before an enthralled audience.”

Garments must be made from at least 80% paper. Wearability is a key criterion. “The suspense on the night is palpable. Judges do not make their decision until after the parade. They disappear into a private room for their ‘judges huddle’ while the audience have their own say by participating in the Public Vote Award.”

Adding to the international flavour of this event, a workshop will be held over the weekend of the 16th and 17th with New York based hanji papermaking specialist and scholar, Aimee Lee. “The tie-in is the durability of the hanji – an ancient Korean papermaking tradition. Aimee will be teaching manipulation techniques enabling paper to be used in a myriad of ways – including clothing!” Pam Thorne says.

The workshop will be held at Creative Paper Tasmania, where Aimee will be supported by Burnie City Council’s master Paper Maker, Darren Simpson.

paper on skin is run in partnership with the Burnie Regional Art Gallery. A selection of Aimee Lee’s pieces will be exhibited with paper on skin entries from the 22nd June – 29th July at the gallery.

“We are proud of the community involvement in this event,” says Pam Thorne. “For the first time we are having a dance opening by Reflexions Dance Studio. Wynyard-based musician and multi-media artist Telen Rodwell is responsible for the music and sound design. Once again En Vogue Modelling Academy is bringing a team of enthusiastic students to model these amazing art pieces.”

PRIZES Betta Milk Major Award $5000. Friends of the Gallery Runner Up Award: $1500. Cocoon Designs Public Vote Award $500.
JUDGES Janet De Boer OAM, Former CEO of TAFTA; Niecy Brown, Arts Administrator and community artist; Jane Haley, CEO Ten Days on the Island
DETAILS Date – June 15th Time – 6.30pm Venue – Burnie Regional Art Gallery
TICKETS Burnie Arts and Function Centre Box Office – 03 64 305850