December 12, 2011

From The Neck Up

Be brave/Fear everything, mixed media

Each year Smart Alec Hatters in Fitzroy invites a group of contemporary visual artists and designers to transform hats into works of art.

"Last year we did the panama," Smart Alec's Michael Albert says, "and the results were rather painterly. This time, with top hats, there's a real Dada spirit at work."

Artist Troy Mendham set himself the task of destroying the pristine sample provided by Smart Alec.

"I wasn't concerned with keeping the functionality of the hat although you can still wear it. I wanted to obscure the underlying hat structure beneath a layer of wrapped plastic. The hat's been cut and made much higher, with crudely constructed extenders and electrical tape. The whole thing is addorned with grotty fabric, painted roadside barrier plastic and fishing floats, with an end result that is quite rediculouse really. It looks like you’re wearing someone's garbage, which is just the effect I was after. From a gentleman to a tramp all in the name of fashion."

Other artists included: Lu Skacej,  David Thomas with Sonny Thomas,  Nicholas Jones, Mandy Toniolo, Henry Maas and Louise Blyton.

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