Michele McFarlane

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My aprons are made from second hand shirts sourced from the Op Shop, combined with bits and pieces of bundles made over the previous year, when I started experimenting with colours from nature. I have loved learning from India how to reimagine clothing into a totally different form, freeing the imagination from the artificial bounds of encultured expectations of a particular garment.

Reclaiming the apron, traditionally associated with the purely domestic role of women under patriarchy, has been a rebel act. Many pockets are empowering, freeing me from the need to carry an encumbering bag all the time, leaving both arms free for action.

I loved using some embroidery threads left behind by my grandmother. My creative freedom flows with the unrestricted essence of rebel stitching. I feel connected to my grandmother and great-grandmother, who taught me to embroider as a child. (Though they would probably be spinning around to see the ‘messy’ result!)

2018 is a year of transformation for me, as I re-encounter myself after years of family and work responsibilities, and making the Alchemist’s Apron is a physical embodiment of my process. And so, my word has much resonance for me. Contentment: a state of mental or emotional satisfaction drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind.

Michele McFarlane

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