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16 Oct 2019

Breathtaking design soars to new heights at WOW

Lisa Vanin, an artist from Cambridge, has made the region proud through her award-winning entry Kaitiaki at this year’s World of Wearable Art (WOW) Awards. Her design used bamboo, copper, and more than 700 handmade feathers to send a resounding message that “We have one chance to look after our precious environment and natural resources to pass onto our future generations as their inheritance.”

Lisa’s design won the New Zealand Design Award category and was placed second in the Aotearoa Section. The Wintec Bachelor of Media Arts graduate says her passion for using creativity to produce thought-provoking and spectacular pieces is why she enters WOW year-after-year.

We caught up with Lisa to get a sneak peek into the life of a wearable arts designer.


What motivates you to keep entering work into WOW year-after-year?

I find designing for WOW is a great creative outlet, a time for problem solving, a time of inspiration; there is also plenty of hard work, perseverance and long hours (day and night) and it can be slightly stressful at times!

But it is quite magical seeing your entry come to life on stage and it’s rewarding being a small part of something truly unique and spectacular.

I enjoy the ideas and concept process, the challenge is finding that elusive design that excites me; that keeps me awake at night; an idea I can’t get out of my head.

My family are so supportive of what I do. They just seem to ‘get it’ when I retreat to the garage until the small hours to work on my next entry.

What’s been your favourite piece that you’ve entered into WOW so far?

All of my entries have memories (and trials) attached to each piece; however Kaitiaki is probably my favourite at the moment with ‘The Cloak of Piwakawaka’ a close second.

I like to think with each year I enter I make improvements to the way I approach a design and that I refine my processes. I’ve learnt so much since I began my journey with WOW, especially when it comes to thinking outside the box and problem solving.

What are you up to when you’re not designing for WOW?

I am currently an Art Technician at a private school in Cambridge. Otherwise I dabble in a bit of design work and photography here and there as it comes up, but I keep fairly busy being a mum of four.


Photo of Kaitiaki by Lisa Vanin, New Zealand.
Photo credit: World of WearableArt Ltd