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about wearable art mandurah


Wearable Art Mandurah is Australia’s premiere wearable art event and is inclusive to artists of all skill levels, ages and design forms, offering many opportunities:

Recently named Western Australia’s top tourism town, the lid has been lifted on Mandurah’s artistic and cultural treasure trove and Wearable Art Mandurah is one of the city’s most engaging artistic attractions.

Source Material: www.wearableartmandurah.com


Role: Creative & Artistic Director (2014-2017)

For four years from 2014 to 2017 I successfully led the development of the WAM Showcase from a small-scale fashion parade into one of Australia’s leading and most prominent Wearable Arts Events.  I worked with a team of over 80 key artistic and administrative personnel.  This included garment designers, professional creatives, local government representatives, volunteers, professional and community dancers.  The success of my direction and programming is clearly evident by a 400% increase of funding and sponsorship and 600% increase in audience attendance during this time.  I have achieved this success by bridging the divide between strong and engaging commercial output informed by quality contemporary artistic process and experimentation. 



Artistic Director Helen Duncan pushes artists’ concepts further with a sequence of stunning, witty, sensual and bizarre presentations that combine strong performance elements to captivate while the wearable artworks are displayed in memorable scenes.

Nerida Dickson, ARTS HUB (2016)



I offer a strong and strategic approach to planning and delivering successful, entertaining productions with a focus on maintaining a positive, respectful, inclusive and collaborative working culture.

For this project I developed and managed the following resources, systems, timelines and project management approaches to ensure strong and professional outcomes:

Building Strong Relationships

- Assess the successes and challenges of pervious Wearable Art Showcase events and to use this information to inform the strategy for logistical and creative planning.
- Understand the working environment of the organisation and how I can best work within that structure of a local government environment.
- Work with the team to formulate, develop and implement the project’s artistic policy and objectives.
- Initiate creative dialogue and begin to develop strong working relationship with a focus on open dialogue and positive collaboration.
- Understand the strengths, experience and creative interests of each team member to understand how my overall leadership and creative vision can affect best and strongest outcome.

Creative Planning

- Work with the Production Manager, Community Dance Choreographers, Lighting and Set Designers, Wardrobe Managers and City of Mandurah representatives to formulate and finalise the broader outline and framework for story telling.
- Work in collaboration with key design contributors to workshop and approve all designs for the production, including scenery, costumes and lighting plot.  Insure all design elements are working towards creating a unified and entertaining professional outcome.
- Manage the overall artistic vision to ensure flow and continuity of the creative production elements.

Design and Manage Critical Pathways 

- Develop plans and identify critical pathways for successful delivery of the Showcase.
- Identify and support the preparation and management of project concepts, timelines, budgets and contracts.
- Solidify Rehearsal and Performance schedules.
- Ensure adherence to the schedule by all professional team members and work with the Community Choreographers to ensure smooth and timely running of the rehearsals.
- Support the Production Manager to successfully supervise and manage volunteers, cast, and crew.
- Manage project recruitment including supporting auditions and where required assist the City to negotiating contracts with contracted artists and collaborators.

Working with The Technical Team

- Consider advice from the technical team in relation to the creative and artistic delivery plans.  Ensure compliance for technical requirements can be met and readjust creative plans to match deliverability of technical elements.
- Participate in lighting plot to assist the Lighting Designer to achieve best outcome.
- Ensure flow and continuity of the technical production elements by offering clear communication, translating artistic objectives into clear and tangible technical specifications.
- Attend all production meetings as required.

Provide ongoing Artistic Direction and Support

- Generate ideas and concepts for artistic delivery in collaboration with broader artistic team.
- Consult with key stakeholders continue to translate artistic concepts and ideas into deliverable outcomes.
- Work across art forms - visual arts, theatre, music, dance & circus and in collaboration with artists, professional performers and community groups to develop artistic material. 

Recognise and Nurture Talent

- Understand casting requirements.
- Develop strategy and planning for positive and inspiring audition experiences.  Attend all auditions and follow up meetings to finalise the cast.
- Maintain positive and inspiring working relationship with cast, parents and garment artists.
- Mentor & integrate different skills levels into projects from beginner to professional level and ensure professional outcomes are achieved and maintained.

Design and manage strong Communication Pathways

- Ensure regular and timely reporting on all relevant aspects of the project to the relevant departments and persons.
- Clearly translate creative ideas into tangible deliverables with strong processes for reporting and accountability.
- Provide brief weekly progress reports to the City.
- Communicate with a broad range of key stakeholders including reporting to management, managing internal meetings and liaising with cast members and garment artists.

Promoting the Positive Identity of the Wearable Art Mandurah Showcase

-  Work within the framework of the City to promote strong outcome for event branding & project objectives. 
- Attend media presentations and publicity events.  Engage in public speaking opportunities including press (radio & print), adjusting communication style to suit the occasion.
-  Ensure positive morale from all participants and creative and technical teams are maintained.

Budget & Financial Reporting

- Successfully manage large-scale budgets. 
- Ensure compliance with all funding and sponsorship agreements.
- Participate in post event analysis and reporting; including for the completion of grant acquittals and financial reports.
- Participate in debrief and feedback opportunities with the City.


Outrageously inventive.
— Duncan Ord, Director General of the Department of Culture and the Arts.
A cultural thunderbolt
— Paula Silbert, arts consultant
An event that is exciting, innovative and spectacular, putting Mandurah on the map!
— Hon. David Templeman MLA, Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Culture and the Arts and Leader of the House.


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Review Perth Arts Live 2017

Going from strength to strength, entries are already open for the 2018 competition. Once the judging and selection of finalists is confirmed, the colour, sound and movement that has marked Artistic Director Helen Duncan’s showcases will hopefully return in full force.

Read On

Review Arts Hub 2016


A multidisciplinary extravaganza, celebrating artworks displayed on the human form with song, dance and exuberant community spirit.

Read On


Today Tonight Feature 

Highlights from Wearable Art Showcase