Wearable Art is an artistic expression of individual, hand-made garments that highlight the skills, techniques and craftsmanship of the designer.

Entry to Wearable Art Mandurah is inclusive to established and upcoming artists across all design forms, within five categories; Avant-Garde, Transformation, Metallic, Tertiary and Youth.

Criteria and Judging


Explore the world of wearable art by creating extravagant, revolutionary, provocative works of art on the body. Be inspired to transform artisan skills including sewing, felting, weaving, dyeing, leather tooling, beading, painting, knitting, crocheting and more into expressions of history, personal stories and a new perspective of design. Consider innovation in materials including traditional fibres and finished fabrics as well as recycled, reused and repurposed materials.

Garments will be judged with equal weighting across five criteria:

Artistic Vision

  • Articulated inspiration or narrative in your Artist Statement
  • The synergy between your artwork and your Artist Statement

Creativity and Originality

  • Use of traditional techniques in a non-traditional way
  • The presentation of unconventional ideas

Innovative Use of Materials

  • The innovation, manipulation and transformation of materials

Quality of Craftsmanship and Construction

  • Excellence in form and technique
  • Durability, safety and freedom of movement

Visual Impact

  • Level of visual impact from all angles

Artist Statement

The Artist Statement is the communication between you and the audience, describing your creative process of construction and results. It may include your personal history, symbolism, purpose or philosophy and should represent your artwork. Write in simple language and consider the relevance to the category (maximum 100 words).


  1. Your Pre-selection photographs and Artist Statement will be judged by a panel.
  2. Successful Pre-selection artists will be notified by 9 March, 2018 and listed on the website.
  3. Successful Pre-selection garments will be judged at the Final Judging on Saturday 7 April, and will be professionally photographed.
  4. Finalists will be notified by 23 April, 2018 and listed on the website.
  5. Finalist garments will feature in the Showcase events on Saturday 9 June and Sunday 10 June, 2018.

Judges Hot Tips

  • Consider structure and form; move your thinking away from traditional clothing and more towards creating a sculptural artwork
  • Be innovative with materials – try to use materials that have been manipulated or transformed rather than using commercially available fabric or materials
  • Consider how the garment will perform, move and appear on stage. How does it compliment the human form? What makes it stand out from the rest?
  • Ensure the garment looks as good from the front as it does from the back.
  • Poor quality photographs may reduce your score in the Pre-selection Judging.
  • For the Final Judging, carefully consider the overall presentation including hair, make-up, movement and choice of model.
  • For a garment to be considered for the showcase, it must:
    • fit a female size 8 – 12 or a men’s size medium
    • be durable and be able to be worn up to 15 times
    • include clear dressing instructions
    • be safe to wear eg. no sharp edges, not excessively heavy

Photography Hot Tips

  • Three full length images; 1 x front, 1 x back, 1 x side
  • One close up image to show material detail and technique
  • Photograph your garment on a person
  • Use a plain background
  • Consider the background colour to contrast against your garment
  • Where possible, use a light source from the front rather than the back
  • File size minimum 2mb, maximum 5mb

For more tips see our Guide to Photographing Your Wearable Art 

Showcase and Exhibition


Now in its eighth year, the Wearable Art Mandurah showcase is an 80 minute multi-art form event at Mandurah Performing Art Centre, on Saturday 9 June and Sunday 10 June 2018. The Showcase introduces audiences to the creative achievements of wearable art within a theatrical staging featuring dancers, musicians, singers and models.

Successful Pre-selection artists are eligible for a complimentary ticket to the Showcase.


A selection of garments will be exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Spaces Mandurah from 3 August to 2 September 2018.

Categories and Awards

There are five categories and seven special awards, totalling more than $11,000 in cash and prizes.


Avant-Garde     $1,000 cash prize

Think Jean Paul Gaultier meets Lady Gaga! Consider using traditional materials in a non-traditional way. Favour or introduce new experimental ideas and methods. Push the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo.

Transformation     $1,000 cash prize

Consider a marked change in form, nature, or appearance. It could be the metamorphosis during the life cycle of an animal. Or the spontaneous change of one element into another by a nuclear process. Think about change, alteration, modification, conversion, transfiguration, evolution, mutation.

Metallic     $1,000 cash prize

Consider this as an open category, where anything goes – as long as it is metallic! It can be metallic in colour, or metallic in material. Endless possibilities. Experiment with texture, repetition, shape, balance and harmony. Your technique and choice of materials become the star of the show.

Tertiary Student Award presented by WA Fibre and Textile Association (WAFTA)     $1,000 cash prize, plus a complimentary WAFTA membership

The Tertiary Student Award, presented by WAFTA, is for students registered at universities, TAFE institutions or government approved registered training organisations any time between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018. Includes 2017 graduate students.

Youth Award presented by Reading Cinemas Mandurah     $500 cash prize

Open to artists 18 years and under, with no themes or boundaries. The brief? To create a revolutionary work of art on the body.

Special Awards

Wearable Art Artist of the Year Award     $2,000 cash prize

The artist with the highest score across all categories will earn the prestigious title of Wearable Art Artist of the Year.

International Award     $1,200 cash prize

Open to artists living outside Australia, across all categories.

Creative Reuse Award     $1,200 cash prize

Reuse discarded objects or materials to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. Requires a minimum of 80% repurposed materials.

TAFTA Inc. Award     $1,100* value

For extravagant, revolutionary, provocative works of art on the body using traditional fibres or textiles in an original and creative way.

*This Award offers a week long residential workshop at the 2018 or 2019 Geelong Fibre Forum, valued at $1,100 AUD. (Includes accommodation, all meals, and workshops, excludes airfares and transfers).

First-Time Entrant Award     Wearable Art Hardcover Book $80 value

All first-time entrants are eligible.

Gillian Kaye Peebles Youth Award     $500 cash prize

Open to artists 18 years and under, with no themes or boundaries.

Powertex Award presented by Powertex Australia     $500 value in Powertex products

Artists across all categories who incorporate one or more Powertex products are eligible for this award.

Tertiary Student Highly Commended Award presented by WA Fibre and Textile Association(WAFTA)     Complementary WAFTA Membership plus one free Workshop Registration

This award is for students registered at universities, TAFE institutions or government approved registered training organisations any time between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018. Includes 2017 graduate students.

Artists are not eligible for multiple prizes. If an artist is the highest scorer across multiple categories and/or awards, they will be deemed to win the prize of the highest value.

2017 Wearable Art Winners

Marie Gallin and Jude Tupman


Australia’s flora and fauna are so important to past and present cultures. Boab represents both the natural beauty of our wildlife, and the need to respect land and culture. Embellished with twigs, nuts, feathers, nest and bark from the forest, Boab also incorporates recycled cans, plastic bottles and furniture packing.

Jacq Chorlton

'A Fish out of Water'

The Anglerfish, a feared predator of the deep. Made from plastic, the very same material that is currently choking our oceans and has become the biggest predator of our marine life. A Fish out of Water has been constructed from over 200 milk bottles.

Val Hornibrook

'Coral Bleaching'

The impact of prolonged rising water temperatures and the corals inability to cope, it expels the living algae in its tissues, causes it to turn completely white which results in what is known as coral bleaching.

Award presented by The Sebel Mandurah

Louise Wells

'Everlasting Love?'

Our “love” of bright shiny new technology, often quickly discarded, creates everlasting landfill. Our earth continues to carry this burden of waste. In future, will it even be possible to plant flowers amongst the landfill? Or will the only flowers be made from landfill contents?

Helen Coleman

'Icarus Rising'

Icarus Rising pays homage to man’s age-old dream to defy gravity and fly. The graceful frame is inspired by Da Vinci’s flying machine, while the handmade albatross flight feathers dipped in beeswax remind us of the Greek legend of Icarus.

Powertex gives the illusion of ancient bone, as though Icarus is once again flying to freedom on waxed wings.

Kristen Springvloed

'Waving Goodbye'

Kiribati will be the first country to disappear due to climate change, washed away as the seas rise.

The garment is a swell that builds and gently splashes at the last of the islanders and their history. Made mostly of soluble packing peanuts, it too can be destroyed by water.

Award presented by the Western Australian Fibre & Textile Association

Sophie Lance

'Kitchen Couture'

The huge contrast between the bright, funky form of the rubber glove when compared to its dull, boring function inspired this piece made of items from the kitchen.

Rubber gloves, microfibre cloths, steel wool and forks were combined to ensure this housewife could never be overlooked in her kitchen couture.

Award presented by Reading Cinemas Mandurah

Gem Vassallo

'Covered Media'

Using Newspapers, magazines and other media, this artwork represents what is seen and has been used in magazines and television. The “real” news is being overshadowed.

Gold paint, feathers and jewels represent the glitz and glam of advertising that wants us to see only one side of the story.



Anthozoa, meaning ‘flower animals’, celebrates the rich colours and textures of the tropical reefs of our oceans. Anemones gently wave their fronds at passing creatures from their home on the jewel-like encrusted coral reef. Tiny fish hover in the safety of the reef, glinting as the sunlight catches them.

Silver Chain, facilitated by Carol Hazel

'Sands of Time'

A spark for life shines as we reminisce our childhood memories of the aqua blue ocean, shimmery white sands, fishing, the seagulls and collecting seashells. We take pride in passing on these traditions. How the tides have changed in our generationally aging multicultural society.

Award presented by Powertex Australia

Elizabeth Morley

'Smashing Pumpkin(s)'

For over 20 years people visit the country town of Dwellingup to enjoy the Giant Pumpkin Festival. These majestic vegetables receive great care, to which we pay tribute in the detail given to leaves and flowers. The bountiful pumpkin vine has many lovely stages of development.

Catherine Kelly

'Take Flight'

Inspired by the Wright Brothers who had aspirations to fly, masking tape, wire, glue, boning and cotton were used to create a garment with a sense of flight. The feathers represent the boldness of humanity and the strength to push our boundaries up and beyond the constraints of gravity.

Award presented by the Western Australian Fibre & Textile Association

How to Enter

Step 1

Application entries open 1 July 2017 (WST) and close 18 December 2017 (WST)

Entries to the 2018 competition are now closed

Step 2

Pre-selection Submission is now available for registered 2018 entrants
Closing date is 19 February, 2018 (WST).
Submission requirements;

  1. Four high quality photographs of your completed garment
  2. 100 word Artist Statement of your completed garment
  3. 50 word statement of techniques and materials used
  4. 50 word condensed artist statement

Step 3

Garment Submission For all Adult Categories (over 18)
Successful Pre-selection Artists should bring their completed garment to the Final Judging on 7 April 2018.
Artists unable to attend the Final Judging should ensure their garment is received by 4pm Tuesday 3 April, 2018 (WST).

Garment Submission For Youth Category (aged 18 and under)
Successful Pre-selection Artists should bring their completed garment to the Youth Judging Event on 24 March 2018.
Artists unable to attend the Youth Judging Event should ensure their garment is received by 4pm Tuesday 20 March, 2018 (WST).

Final Judging and garment delivery location is: City of Mandurah, 3 Peel St Mandurah, Western Australia 6210 AUSTRALIA.

National and International Artists unable to attend the Final Judging will receive a garment freight subsidy of $100 AUD.

Showcase Season