In collaboration with Rosie Smith, Mia Cassels, Candice Sun, Sarah Allen and Ruby Chappell
Te Papa Client Brief: to provide audiences with greater access to, and engagement with, Te Papa’s diverse dress and textile collections and their stories. Come up with innovative ideas to help us present our dress and textile collections in accessible and engaging ways for contemporary audiences, while also taking into account the limitations of conservation requirements.
Why should we do this?
Te Papa is undergoing a major gallery renewal project. We have the opportunity to reimagine our History galleries on level 4, including the way we present and interpret our dress and textile collections, in new and exciting ways for 21st century audiences. Te Papa holds rich collections of dress across our Mātauranga Maori, Pacific Cultures and New Zealand History collections, ranging from exquisite woven kākahu, to hula dance costumes, elaborate Victorian evening gowns, drag outfits and contemporary street wear, including protest t-shirts. We have garments made for chiefs, Prime Ministers and stars; garments worn in ballrooms, on the streets, the stage and sports field. Garments for special events and the everyday. Like the wardrobe in The Narnia Chronicles, Te Papa’s ‘wardrobe’ has the potential to be a magic portal through time and place for our visitors, to engage them in a range of stories beyond the narrow confines of fashion, from materials and design to social mores and rituals, innovation and technology, trade and commerce, gender and cultural identities, and the body as a site of activism to name just a few.
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