One of most exciting aspects of working with artists and designers on projects for Melbourne Now is witnessing them respond to spaces in the gallery building in new, unexpected and visually spectacular ways. Foyers, stairwells and corridors will be transformed along with the usual gallery spaces.
Early on when I began talking to fashion designer Toni Maticevski about creating a new work for the exhibition he was thrilled when I suggested the impressive stairwell that spans three storeys of the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Free to think beyond the constraints of the human body and catwalk format for showing his designs, he has reimagined his work for an entirely new physical context.
Toni Maticevski is an RMIT University Fashion and Textiles (Honours) graduate who has received substantial critical acclaim during the last decade for his demi-couture collections. Since establishing his own label in 1999, of which he maintains complete creative control, Maticevski has been based in Melbourne. He presents collections in Australia and overseas, and their mix of high glamour, exacting technical know-how and sleek and restrained tailoring has received international recognition. Maticevski’s complex garment designs take an anatomical, sculptural approach to silhouette that balances proportion with asymmetry. His work is delicate and feminine and often evokes a sense of otherworldliness reinforced by a palette of subdued hues.
For Melbourne Now Maticevski is planning a three-tiered sculptural work in neoprene, silk and resin, suspended in the towering stairwell. The work to be titled Triptych in White and is to be a magnification of the fundamentals of his practice allowing the public to engage with the intimate details of his garments’ construction, such as form, fabric, drape and decoration, from a number of spectacular vantage points.
During a recent site visit with the artist we had some very productive discussions with our exhibitions designer, textiles conservator and installation specialist to work out some of the critical logistics required to successfully install this spiralling work over the 13 metre drop of the stairwell!
Toni Maticevski’s project is supported by Wai Tang and Kee Wong.