To honour Fashion Revolution Week 2021 we asked Lana, our Arnhem boutique and customer care honey, and insanely talented artist, to create an art installation for us. We had a loose creative idea to develop an artwork from our Arnhem fabric off-cuts and revive them into something that visually communicates the concept of circularity.
Our vision at Arnhem, is a circular future in which the concept of waste doesn’t exist. As a fashion brand we still have a long way to go, but from the beginning we are thinking about the end life of a product and ensure that any left-over fabric is turned into something useful, becoming part of our zero-waste collection Revive.
Lana sketched and painted a concept that explored the need to love and protect our environment, expressing the essence of circular economy by creating a structure using sustainable fabric off-cuts so that materials remain indefinitely in use.
Below we talk to Lana about her journey as an artist, connection to nature and how personal challenges have been an unexpected opportunity to explore a new creative direction…
Lana, please introduce yourself…
Hello, my name is Lana and I am student of life! I love learning and being inspired and curios with this mind-blowing thing we call life! I am an artist, teacher, yogi and mumma to be.
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day for me, I love having a variety of jobs, projects and artworks on the go. In saying that I love to wake up, cuddle my dog and my partner, do a bit of yoga or go for a walk.
What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up that shaped your work as an artist?
Growing up in Far North Queensland, I grew up spending a lot of time in the bush, camping, making shoes out of paper bark trees, nests out of foraged grass and sticks, and bridges and sculptures out of driftwood. This is where my love of nature was nurtured, and ignited in me an endless curiosity and fascination with the world. This curiosity shapes all the work I produce. I love seeing how far I can explore and investigate a natural material, or what type of dye I can get out of a food scrap, or turning a mundane item into something otherworldly.
Tell us about your journey and how it’s evolved to be where you are creatively today.
What a ride! I spent my late teens and early to mid twenties modelling in Australia and London. This industry was dynamic and fun but never filled me up and I longed to expand and learn more. After spending a year in India, I realised my heart was in art and yoga and this is when I decided to study fine arts and do my yoga teacher training. Through my late twenties I taught yoga, created large scale installations and stages at festivals around Australia, and did art direction at numerous events.
Last year the covid blow to the arts and event industry was harsh and swift. It was the first industry to close and probably the last to open. I was also handed another challenge, that was the catalyst that propelled me to create the work that I do now. In April last year I was diagnosed with VTOS and had to get my rib removed on my right side as it has squashed my vein and created a blood clot. With limited movement I was suddenly unable to create the work I normally did with @within_space. This challenging time is where I found my love for weaving, looming and natural dyeing. The softness and gentle nature of creating these sculptural, textual wall hangings is so satisfying and nurturing for me and I cannot wait keep exploring it.
What’s the most memorable project that you’ve worked on and why?
It would have to be the final piece I produced at university, where over 7/8 months I slowly created an installation made out of used tea bags, 5000 in total! I managed to create a 25m long visceral labyrinth that spoke about intimacy, slowing down, sensuality, and connecting with yourself. See pictures of my website if this tickles your fancy as it’s hard to explain in words.
Where do you find creative inspiration?
Inspiration comes in so many shapes and forms, it can be an emotion I feel I need to express, a topic I want to explore, a dream, a material I find interesting, a colour palette …….endless really.
Tell us about the process of creating the Revive loom piece for Arnhem.
It all started with a conversation between myself and the Arnhem team. We chatted about the concept of the work and the materials being used. We wanted the piece to be predominately made out of recycled off cuts from Arnhem fabric as the concept was about circularity and closing the loop with waste in the fashion industry. I then did up a few sketches and Arnhem gave me a big box of offcuts to work with. I love the process of creating, it becomes a moving mediation and this piece was just that.
What role does the artist have in society?
I see art as a language and emotion that can be communicated. I feel art has the capacity to translate the emotions and struggles of the society it exists within.
What messages do you try to convey through your work?
I am always exploring the interwoven connection between nature and ourselves. I feel cultivating compassion often begins from nurturing love for our own self and this planet and that by reaching outside of our own experiences can help us move beyond ourselves.
What’s next for you?
Keep creating, keep exploring, keep learning, keep loving!