Where art and industry are sewn together

Artist Tony Mead with filmmaker Heather van Heerwaarden in front of the Welcome to Spotswood mural. (Joe Mastroianni) 220499_02

Goya Dmytryshchak

By Goya Dmytryshchak

You could call it a see-through dress … well, it’s made from X-rays.

The visionary design is among the highlights of the Art and Industry Festival, showcasing artistic creativity in Melbourne’s industrial and manufacturing heartland west of the West Gate Bridge.

The 10-day festival opens Friday, November 20 from 8-9.30pm with the ‘Industrial Fashion’ show, featuring costumes set to dance and music.

Lizz Lethlean, who designed and created a robe and parasol from hospital X-rays, is among 12 designers who pushed the boundaries to create wearable designs.

Acclaimed jeweller Anna Kolusniewski created three outfits using parts from Toyota’s closed car factory in Altona.

Before the festival has even started, a giant ‘Welcome to Spotswood’ mural on a vintage water tank by artisan signwriter Tony Mead has caused a buzz.

The story of his mural is among four short films that will be shown, including a behind-the-scenes look at tattoo art and the changing world of a family butcher shop.

At the festival’s epicentre is the Song Series Concert, on Friday, November 27, from 8-9.30pm, featuring original pieces from acclaimed singer songwriters including Mark Seymour (Hunters and Collectors), Rusty Berther (ex-Scared Weird Little Guys), Jane Bayley (Crying In Public Places), country and western star Sherry Rich and Peter Farnan (Boom Crash Opera).

Festival director Donna Jackson said the program told the story of the west’s past and future, drawing inspiration from local industries including Mobil and the Williamstown dockyards.

“The festival’s rich program offers ideas from which to glimpse our future, and opportunities for community to reflect on past industries and to tell stories,” she said.

“The Art and Industry Festival is about celebrating the old industrial places and uncovering the stories, past and present, sewn into the fabric of these places.”

The festival runs from November 20-29.

Details: artandindustryfestival.com.au