The Sunshine Coat Project is a collaborative exhibition between Ketakii Jewson-Brown and Shaye Hardisty which sees coats being made using slow fashion methodology, digital printing, recycled, organic and gifted textiles.
Ketakii and Shaye dive deep into the layers of place, memory, belonging, fashion, and Nambour. It is essentially a love letter to Nambour through fashion, photography and video as told through the lens of this interdisciplinary artistic duo.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching kooky videos of Shaye on Instagram and feeling uplifted at the way she values family and community. When Shaye embarked on The Sunshine Coat Project I had to know more. Discovering her project partner was Ketakii felt like a creative process was being established that we could all learn from. Ketakii presents ethereal images and celebrations of beauty using photograpy as her medium.
Every interaction I have had with Shaye and Ketakii has been warm and open, it’s like chatting with two old friends. Listening to women that are working on achieving creative goals, finding purpose in the community while being mothers and allocating space for themselves, are important stories to share and celebrate.
A warm hello to Ketakii and Shaye, please tell us about yourself
My name is Ketakii Jewson-Brown and I am a visual artist specialising in photography. My life currently looks like many days spent in between home in Maleny with my husband and 2 teenage daughters and the studio in Nambour with Shaye and The Sunshine Coat Project. This is a time of expansion as a creative and a human as I learn new skills and grow sustainable creative and community connections.
My name is Shaye Hardisty and I am a seamstress. My life currently looks like sewing a lot of coats and balancing this with the needs of my two beautiful children and my husband. It is an exciting time for me as I am beginning to carve out time and a sense of identity outside of parenting. Being creative is very important to me and being able to share this with other creatives and watch the ripple effects fills me with joy and purpose.
“We started to come to Nambour in 2019 to document street fashion for our Instagram page Mill St Fashion Walk , we were offered a studio space through Sunshine Coast Council’s Creative Spaces ARTSCOAST, which is when we pitched the idea for the sunshine coat. Eighteen months later here we are!”
What messages do you hope that the community will take away from the Sunshine Coat Project?
We hope the community will see that slow fashion is more than just beige linen. It can be bright, colourful and super creative.
Through the exhibition we are highlighting what’s involved in the creation of clothing – how long things take to make, the wastage that’s created and the supply chain of elements used.
“This place-based project highlights the magic that exists in every community when one spends time connecting and listening to the people and the place.”
You are working with recycled, waste materials and organic fibres, how are they being used in your work?
All of the fabric we have had printed through Next State has been organic and or recycled cotton. We are huge fans of the Eco Drill. All of the lining fabrics have been sourced from local op shops and we have been gifted many other fabrics from the wider community. Throughout the project we have maintained strict rules to not purchase any new fabric other than the organic cotton printed by Next State. Everything needed to be recycled, gifted or second hand.
With these strong sustainable values what are three things we can do at home to be more sustainable creatives?
- Buy less.
- Care for the clothes you already own.
- Wear what you have until it dies.
What role has digital printing played in the creation of the sunshine coat project?
Digital printing has been utilised in different ways on twelve out of the seventeen coats featured in the exhibition. Using collaborating artists work as well as key photographic elements, being able to print on demand has made this project what it is.
What is your biggest learning from the project so far?
We have learnt so many things through this project but possibly the biggest is understanding that as women and mothers we need to give ourselves the time and permission to work really hard on something and that despite this passion and desire and work to get everything “finished” and “perfect” it may just not happen. That something may occur that will make it not work and that that is okay, in fact, that is life.
And to then understand on a deep level, that this is not failure. That doing the things and experiencing the growth is the biggest success of it all.