Three of my collage cards with a detail of my new skirt - Really!?

Three of my collage cards with a detail of my new skirt - Really!?

This week I’ve been thinking about style. What’s my style? I never really thought about it having moved through my teenage years always on the fringe of the groovy kids, never really fitting into a group. Moving to the country and being labelled a bit of a dag. Hard to find a style when you are in hat, coat, four layers of clothes and gumboots just to keep warm in the Victorian winters.

Style is very personal. It could be derived from the colours you like to wear, how you accessorise, what brands of clothing you wear. Or even how cluttered or minimalist your living abode is. I’ve always considered myself to be a bit eclectic, a bit of this or that, never a purist. Never followed recipes, always a pinch of this or a slurp of that. I also feel that I have outgrown certain colours like Melbourne’s black. Living in the semi tropics I’ve now embraced bright colours and whites.

So this week when it came to hunting for an outfit to wear for my exhibition opening of Deluge coming up this Friday night; I wandered the streets of Murwillumbah and Lismore eyeing off the linens and cottons but being underwhelmed by them all. Nothing with any pazzaz. Until I found a skirt that ‘spoke’ to me. I tried it on but it didn’t fit. Story of my life these days.

However the lovely lady at Bunnyhole suggested another skirt, even brighter and more out there. It fit and I fell in love with it at first sight. Here was a skirt I could have designed myself. When I got home and checked out some of the collages I had upscaled into cards, they all fitted together. My art had found me and I was wearing it.

Suddenly I realised that this was my style. Yes a bit eclectic, a bit of this and that. When combined together, a statement. A bit like my collages. A friend called it ‘gleaning’ like the old fashioned gleaners who went around after the harvest and picked up the leftovers to transform into food for the family. He said it was a bit like what I did, using bits of ephemera to turn into art. I haven’t gone about consciously finding a style, my style has found me!

Heather Matthew