Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fairy post #34 - Chinese New Year & Interview with Linda Jackson

Faerie News

In February, fairy tale rings around Australia gather to discuss the theme of Sleeping Beauty. Contact your ring leaders for details. (Hint: that might mean seeking The Australian Fairy Tale Society!)

* * *

Happy Chinese New Year
- the Year of the Rooster!
Purpose... Integrity... Honour...
Phoenix, rising from the ashes...
Dynamic creative energy.
Be wary of aggression, yet ready to confront it, whether as a 
Resister (or bro),
or solitary nurturer of dreams.
Take your pick - or peck!
Just don't let anyone
pluck your plumes.

* * *

Sun Loong

Bendigo, one of Australia's historic gold-towns, prepares for the final parades of Sun Loong in 2017 & 2018. Brought to life in Hong Kong circa 1970 by 101-year-old Chinese elder James Lew, who dotted the dragon's eyes with chicken blood, he could probably tell the rooster a thing or two about longevity. 

We thank Sun Loong for his years of distinguished ceremony, and wish him a spangling, serene shimmy toward retirement at the Golden Dragon Museum. 
Read about Sun Loong's approaching last dance.

* * *

Waratah portrait by Linda Jackson
Australian native Protea

Bird in Gum Blossom by Olaf Parusel

How do shapes or hues 

of flora & fauna 

...inspire faerie art?

'Bush Landscape', by Linda Jackson, Australia

'Waratah Beauty', by Linda Jackson

A Tribute to 

Linda Jackson

Australian fashion icon 

& member of the 

Australian Fairy Tale Society


Linda Jackson, 2016, 
Living Arts Centre, Bendigo
A forty year career as Australia’s renown textile artist and fashion designer, has taken Linda Jackson around Australia on wanderings through the outback of Oz, discovering and documenting landscape in a myriad of ways, revealing a colourful, unique passion for telling the tales of her travels. 

Linda Jackson is a true pioneer and free spirit of Australian Fashion and Textile Art. After studying fashion design and photography in Melbourne, she left Australia in the late 1960’s to live in New Guinea, traveling through Asia to Paris and London.  

Returning to Sydney in 1973, Linda met kindred spirit Jenny Kee. Colourful creativity was their flamboyant force, along with staging Flamingo Park fashion parades that became famous for their energetic amalgamation of art, fashion and music. 

Linda Jackson
"Oh, she doth teach the torches
to burn bright!"

- Shakespeare,
Romeo and Juliet
Goddess Sun Star Rain Beauty Flame Opal Angel Auroraustraloz... 
Model Deborah Hutton, Grace Opal Butterfly Angel, Jenny Kee, Linda Jackson
Flaming Opal Follies 1981
Linda Jackson with Grace Kee (left), 1981

Over four decades, Linda played a significant role in development of a distinctly Australian approach to fashion. Working outside traditional boundaries of Western fashion, Jackson’s wide ranging interest in art and design, Indigenous cultures and her love of the Australian bush, inspired and sustained her creativity.

'Beauty and Swampy the Wallaby', by Linda Jackson

Travels to Central Australia and Lightning Ridge led to opening a salon-showroom, Bush Couture, in 1982: bringing the Bush to town in a new Art form… experimenting with unorthodox ways of printing and making cloth and canvas, by exploiting techniques of mark making, monoprint and painting. Linda continued to show Fashion collections in a theatrical Salon style in her studio along with exhibitions of Opal jewellery and Textiles. Commissions included designs for Rugs, several Port Douglas Hotel interiors, Theatre and Film costume and a collection of Scarves and product with Oroton. Her label Bush Kids was sold around the world, while a Bush Kids shop opened at Darling Harbour. During these years, Powerhouse Museum Sydney, National Gallery of Victoria, and the Australian National Gallery of Canberra, acquired Jackson’s Fashion, Textiles and photographic archive.

'Lyrebird Beauty and Friends', by Linda Jackson

Closing the studio in 1992 due to ill health from screen printing inks, Linda relocated to Arnhemland in the Northern Territory; she travelled and lived in remote parts of Australia including WA, NT and North Queensland, worked  in  Indigenous  communities, managed Art projects and continued painting and exhibiting her art and textiles in private or regional galleries.

In 2012, the National Gallery of Victoria curated her retrospective exhibition entitled ‘Bush Couture’, to celebrate her unique form of Art clothing. The displays were a record of Linda’s romance with classical couture, the dress traditions of India, Japan, China and Africa, infused with colours and shapes of the Australian Bush and Indigenous collaborations. Linda’s archive of photographs featured in multi media images in the exhibition space. At this time Linda also collaborated with the Centre for Australasian Theatre in Cairns for costume design of the production ‘The Colony’ performed at Jute Theatre, November 2013, and continued collaboration on ‘This Fleeting World’ ... sets and costume for 2015. 

Flamingo Park And Beyond
Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson
Living Arts Centre 2016
September 2013 Linda unveiled ‘Gold, Dragon, Bush’ fashion extravaganza at Bendigo Art Gallery to open Bendigo Fashion Week. This new body of works were inspired by the city of Bendigo, its rich Chinese history and environment. She worked  in her studio as Artist-in-Resident at Bendigo La Trobe University, sharing lectures, developing workshops for students with Bendigo Art Gallery, also assisting with artworks and decorations for the Festival of Light at the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion. In 2015 Jackson collaborated on three collections with young designers Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales: Romance was Born. One collection, ‘Cooee Couture’, celebrated creative similarities, inspired by the raw beauty of Opals, Australian landscape and wildflowers, handpainted and printed by Linda, incorporating her art and designs. The runway show starred at the Art Gallery of New South Wales during MBFWA 2015 in Sydney. In 2016 Linda was included in the ‘200 Years of Fashion’ exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, a retrospective exhibition ‘Flamingo Park and Beyond’ at the Living Arts Space in Bendigo and ‘Hand and Heart’ exhibition at Wollongong Art Gallery of New South Wales.


Louisa: What are your favourite costumes in fairy tale illustrations or films?

Linda: Actually I have loved many... and the more exotic the better. I was an avid reader of many books... Growing up I loved every Walt Disney films. The Jetsons and the Flintstones. I guess they are not fairy stories but cartoons !!! I drew and designed clothes for the characters. I made cutout paper fairy doll clothes and stored them in little stocking boxes. When I was about 15 my dad printed one of my black and white drawings of 3 fairy type girls with big eyes as a card and I would colour them in all with different patterns... and sold to a local shop in Beaumaris, plus other colourful small paintings. Maybe they were my Pixies...

'Gumleaves Tree Fairy', by Linda Jackson
Power House Museum Sydney Collection.
Photo by Fran Moore

Louisa: What are three of your favourite fairy tales, and why?

Linda: Alice in Wonderland… Beauty and the Beast… I guess my own Story, Beauty and the Bush, which I started working on in the 70’s, is based on a combination those two... I feel that this story is really based on those early inspirations and my own life adventures, dreams and visions.  I loved Thumbelina…and later associated that story with Buddhist tales of the Lotus Flower; and Fantasia, the Sorcerers apprentice. I love reading...!! so I have devoured many fairy stories from many countries.

'Rainforest Amongst Gumleaves'
Tree design (& photo), by Linda Jackson
National Gallery Victoria

The Earth laughs 
in flowers."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, 

Louisa: In Shakespeare's time, it was a crime to dress outside one's designated class. It mattered to identify status at a glance. It's interesting how many of his plays involve disguise. Do you see clothing as a way to hide, escape, or conceal? Or is it more about revealing what we wish to show? A little of both?

Linda: I was inspired by many countries and different cultures, reading National Geographic as a young girl. I liked tribal clothes and costume. My parents were ballroom dancers so I grew up dressing up in mum’s frocks. I did ballet and Calisthenics... I loved dressing up and making up my own costumes. I loved  ethnic dress for the workmanship, the handwoven cloths and embroideries... The way you can tell where someone comes from by their costumes and jewels. 

Louisa: Would you say that fashion is more about letting our internal quality shine through? Before knowing anything about you, I walked straight up to you and pegged you as the fairy I was meeting, because you had that aura. The word “glamour” traditionally meant a kind of enchantment. What is it that you try to evoke or convey?

Linda: I have made all my own clothes since I was around 12, and still do. I never wanted any of the clothes in shops… I always from an early age wanted to create my own. Perhaps I was dressing up as many different characters… I dress to be comfortable and I like to be able to jump around, dance, sit on the floor…peel layers off and dive in the creek... maybe this comes from the travels and life in  remote places. Washing by hand and drying on the Hills Hoist is essential. In the early fashion days I was the mannequin...I experimented and explored all ways of cutting, wrapping, painting, printing on myself. Even with my photographs from the 70’s it was essential to roll up the outfits, both glamorous and practical in the swag back to the location that inspired them. 

Seaweed Fairy, by Linda Jackson

Louisa: If you could design clothing for a fairy tale character, whom would you choose? Why?

Linda: Now I would be only creating costume for my own story and characters, all the Wildflowers the Bush and Opals.

'Opal Rainforest', Silk Scarf by Linda Jackson

'Opal Tribe', by Linda Jackson

Floral textile ...
Wildflowers Embroidery
by Linda Jackson
National Gallery of Victoria

Louisa: You are working on your own fairy tale now, aren't you? If you feel ready to comment on this, we'd love to hear about it.

Linda: This has been a dream for many years. Now I see the main character is probably me; I have had to travel, dream, be inspired, wander the remote places of Oz… experience wild, powerful and magic landscapes full of stories and wonder, and make and create along the way. To be able to write and paint these stories can happen now as it seems a part of my journey has come a full circle… My visual diary is the clothes I have made… the artworks painted and printed along the way. Words like calligraphy appearing as patterns and shapes. 

CV - Archive of Exhibitions:


Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Frances Burke Resource Centre, R.M.I.T., Melbourne
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Private Collections, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Major Archive & costume collection
Queen Victoria Museum, Tasmania, South Australia Museum
The Araluen Centre for Arts and Entertainment, Alice Springs. Chinese Museum Bendigo
2016 Woman in Style Fashion Award
2010 Mossman Storycloths- Scarves  & CIAF. Project Grant, Arts Qld BIA .             
2009 Mossman Storycloths- Scarves  & CIAF. Project Grant, Arts Qld BIA.      
2007/8 Creative Communities. RADF  Arts Qld, 
2006 Essence  DVD Cairns Regional Gallery Project Grant,   Arts  Qld
2003 Life Fellow: Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
2003 1st Prize: Carnivale Art competition, - Port Douglas Gallery of Fine Art
1996 Fellowship Visual Arts / Craft Board  - Australia Council for the Arts 
1977 Lyrebird Australian Fashion Awards - Innovators Award

National Gallery Victoria, RMIT Melbourne Victoria Floor talks, Lectures, Workshops
Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge , Cairns, Townsville, Cooktown, Aurukun, Mission Beach
Indigo Dyes, Natural Dyes, Shibori, Weaving, Painting,  Sewing,  Screen Printing

Presented workshops throughout Australia and Indigenous Art Centres. 
Aboriginal Communities include  from 1980 Utopia-Yuendumu-Santa Teresa-Maruku- Hermannsburg Alice Springs in Central Aust. Tiwi Designs and Bima on Bathurst Island-Ramingining –Maningrida, Oenpelli- Arnhem Land-Darwin NT. Cairns, Mossman, Cooktown. Atherton Tablelands, Mission Beach, North Queensland. Bundaberg. Hervey Bay
Extensive workshops-lectures in Schools, Colleges, TAFE, Universities NSW, Vic, NT Tasmania.

2016 Hand and Heart Wollongong Art Gallery
2016 Linda Jackson Studio Gallery 47 Rylstone NSW
2013 Linda Jackson Studio La Trobe University 
2013 Gold-Dragon-Bush Bendigo Art Gallery
2012 Bush Couture  NGV Melbourne 
2012 Waratah  Kado The Way of Flowers CellArtSpace Cairns
2112 The Avoca Project Installation Watford house Avoca VIC
2011 Waratara Opal cloud  No 47 Rylstone            
2010 Opal Mud Fossil Umbrella Studio Townsville  
2010 Swamplands Paintings   No 47 Gallery Rylestone  
2010 Vintage Jackson  Shapiro
2009 Black Opal  Lightning Ridge    
2009 Opal Jewels,  Giulians Sydney   
2008 Dyeing with the Red Mangrove  Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns 
2006 Essence  Cairns Regional Gallery 
2006 The Opal Forest    Karnak Kaleidoscope Art Theatre 
2005 Reflections in a Blue Lake Port Douglas Daintree Gallery of Fine Art 
2003 Coral Sea Radisson Treetops Resort Exhibition and Residency
2002 Waratah Butcher Café Mudgee- Paintings and Scrolls
2001 Opal Reef  Port Douglas Gallery- Paintings Textiles 
2001 Black Opal  Lightning Ridge  
1999 Fan Coral Radisson Treetops Resort -Exhibition & Residency
Rainforest  Radisson Treetops Resort – Exhibition & Residency
Lipstick Palm  Post Office Gallery Port Douglas - Paintings
Fashion Art Survey Linda Jackson 1974-1999 Span Gallery Melbourne 
1998 Paintings Rugs Textiles Roslyn Oxley 9 Gallery 
  Desert Rivers  Gondwana 11 Alice Springs -Paintings
1996 Pearl Coast  Durack Gallery Broome -Paintings & Textiles
1995 Billabongs Boabs Beyond  24HR Art Darwin 
1994 Opal Country Paintings  Gallery Gondwana Alice Springs 
1993 A Brush with the Bush Paintings  Barry Stern Gallery Sydney 
1991 A Bush Fantasy Museum of Childhood Juniper Hall Sydney 

1988 Jordan’s Darling Harbour - “Bush Couture and Bush Couture for Kids”
1986 Shepherd Street Chippendale Studio – “Bush Couture Christmas Show”
1984 William Street Studio, Sydney – “Bush Couture Blossoms” Collection 
1983 William Street Studio, Sydney – “Opal Essnece -  Perfume – Jewellery and Textile Collection”
William Street Studio, Sydney – “Black Opal Bush Couture”
1982 William Street Studio, Sydney – “SalonOpalinda -Opal Jewellery and Textiles”
William Street Studio, Sydney – “Black Magic Bush”
1981 Queen Street Galleries Sydney -  Opals & Silver Jewellery & Textiles 

1981 Jamieson Street Nightclub Sydney – “Flaming Opal Follies”
1980 Sydney Town Hall – “Red Centre”
1979 Seymour Centre Sydney – “Barrier Reef & Wildflowers”
1978 Queen Street Galleries – “Colour & Shapes”
1977 New York – “Wildflowers”
Milan Paris – “Wildflowers
Windsor Hotel Melbourne - “Trunk Show”
1976 Le Café Sydney – “Flamingo Follies”
1975 Bondi Pavilion Theatre – “Flamingo Follies”
1974 Hingara Chinatown  Sydney – “Step Into Paradise”

ROMANCE WAS BORN Fashion Collaboration 2015
COOEE Collection 2
OPAL ROMANCE Collection 3

Collaboration with Cairns based Centre for Australasian Theatre
The Colony, Jute Theatre Cairns
This Fleeting World, Jute Theatre Cairns
Cargo Club, Metro Arts, Brisbane

1991 Korea - “Australian Fashion The Contemporary Art” 
1990 Tokyo Japan - “Australian Fashion The Contemporary Art
1989 Victoria & Albert Museum, London – “Australian Fashion The Contemporary Art”
1986 Tokyo, Japan – “Art Knits”
1987 Neiman Marcus, San Francisco USA – “Australian Fortnight”
Neiman Marcus, Los Angeles USA - “Australian Fortnight”
1986 Commonwealth Arts Festival, Edinburgh Scotland – “Australian Decorative Arts”
Neiman Marcus Dallas USA - “Australian Fortnight”

2016  Flamingo Park and Beyond. Living Arts Space Bendigo
2016  200 Years of Australian Fashion NGVA Federation Square
2015  The Horse  NGVI Melbourne
2014  When you see this Remember me. NGV Melbourne 
2014  Paternation  The Carlton Melbourne
2013  OPAL -Lightning Ridge  NSW
2012  Rainbow Opal Collection - Dubbo NSW
2011  The White Wedding Dress - Bendigo Art Gallery  Victoria                                                       
2011  Fashion Full Stop, LMFF Melbourne Fashion Festival
2010  Queen Victoria Statue Costume - Sydney Statue Project
2010  Mossman Story Cloths - CIAF Cairns Indigenous Art Fair,  Tanks  
2009  Into the 80’s, Powerhouse Museum Sydney             
2009  Mossman Story Cloths,  CIAF Cairns Indigenous Art Fair,  Tanks  
2008  Low Isles The Reef  & Beyond - Sugar Wharf, Port Douglas 
2008  Across the Desert - N.G.V. Melbourne 
2008  Black in Fashion: Mourning to Night - N.G.V Victoria 
2008  Low Isles: A Fragile Sanctuary Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns 
2007  Low Isles: A Fragile Sanctuary  - Port Douglas 
2007 Taking it to the Tropics - Tanks Performance Arts Centre,Qld 
2005 Inspired! - Design Across Time - Powerhouse Museum Sydney
2003 Life Fellows Awards Exhibition - Powerhouse Museum  Sydney
         Carnivale Art Show - Port Douglas Galleries of Fine Art 
2002 Federation Square Opening Twister: - The Ian Potter Centre N.G.V. Australia. 
2001 Opal textiles & jewellery -  Lightning Ridge N.S.W.
2001 Opal textiles & jewellery  - Yowah Queensland 
2000 State of the Waratah  - H.S. Ervin Gallery, Sydney 
1999 Photographs - Museum of Sydney 
         Federation Fashion  - Myer, Melbourne 
         Colonial to Contemporary  - Powerhouse Museum, Sydney 
         One Hundred Moments of Fashion - Myer, Melbourne 
1999 Design Show - Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney  
         Southern Bias  - Object Gallery, Sydney 
1996 Great Lengths Central Australian Textiles - The Araleun Centre, Alice Springs 
         Indigo The Araleun Centre, Alice Springs 
         Couture to Chaos National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 
1995 The Artists Garden  - Australian National Gallery, Canberra 
1993 The Art of the Scarf - Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney 
1989 Australian Fashion The Contemporary Art - Powerhouse Museum, Sydney  
         A Free Hand - ”Powerhouse Museum, Sydney 
1988 Australian Decorative Arts 1788-1988 - Australian National Gallery, Canberra 
        Art Knits  - Art Gallery of N.S.W. 
        Plastic Rubber & Leather Dress - Australian National Gallery, Canberra 
1986 Linda Jackson & Jenny Kee, Flamingo Park & Bush Couture  - Australian National Gallery,       Canberra 
1984 Permanent Collection  - National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 
         Australian Decorative Arts The Last 10 Years - Australian National Gallery, Canberra 
1983 Clothes & Clay - Orange Gallery, NSW 
1983 Costumes, Masks & Jewellery of the Commonwealth - Queensland Art Gallery  
         Textiles  - Crafts Council Gallery of Tasmania 
1981 Fabulous Fashions 1907-1967 - Art Gallery of N.S.W. 
         Art Clothes - Art Gallery of N.S.W.  
1980 Vogue Australia 21 birthday Fashion show - Art Gallery of N.S.W.  
1979 Into the 80s - Textile Museum of Australia 
1973 Winter Fair Bonython Gallery Sydney 

This information was kindly provided by Linda Jackson, with her interview by invitation for this Fairy blog. Special thanks to the Australian Fairy Tale Society, through which we met. AFTS now has registered charity status.

Fey regards - Louisa John-Krol

Leader of the Vic Fairy Tale Ring
Co-editor of the AFTS national ezine
Co-President of the Australian Fairy Tale Society

Storytelling Australia Victoria

Australian Fairy Tale Society