A trip to Japan to study the traditional craft of using paper as a material for clothing and soft sculpture awaits Ballarat textile and paper artist Anzara Clark.
Having studied the art in Australia for more than a decade, Ms Clark will visit Japan in February to learn directly from the masters of the craft.
"I've done as much learning as I can from books, online and lots of experimentation of my own," she said. "I've reached a point where I need to do some immersion in traditional techniques and cultures and the use of paper textile for clothing is really strong in Japan."
Receiving the VJ Award in support of Overseas Study grant from the Ballarat Arts Foundation will allow Ms Clark to travel during a time when her art practice is coming to the fore.
The BAF grant, awarded on October 5, confirmed her travel plans but she also has an exhibition Where The Light Enters opening at the Art Gallery of Ballarat's Backspace Gallery this month, has just published volume one of her book Paper As Textile which brings together her learnings over the past 10 years around the different techniques and possibilities of creating paper clothing and soft sculpture, and needs to write volume two before her Japan trip.
Japan has many more different types and forms of paper than Australia and, being a tactile craft, Ms Clark wants to learn directly about them from the masters.
"Japan has been working on making sure they collect up, guard and promote craft traditions so they don't get lost. There is a lot of celebration of the masters still alive and the contemporisation of work," she said.
"To learn you have to get your hands into it, talk to people who have been working with it for years, talk to them while getting that tactile sensation."
Ms Clark is looking at the sustainability of paper clothing.
"I think there's huge capacity to address some of those sustainability issues on so many levels. We can start a story, a conversation looking at a material culture and how amazing skilled traditions can translate into the modern world."
Ms Clark was one of eight recipients of Ballarat Arts Foundation Grant Round 36.
Zlatko Balazic, received the Nicholson Award for Contemporary Performance that will see musicians sculpting their performance sound in 3D as they play in real time, and Georgina Gould-Hardwick was awarded the Haymes Family Foundation Award toward work on her first solo exhibition Encapsulated in response to the Western Victoria district seed bank in Creswick.
Ballerinas Leni Howlett and Madison Sparkman received awards to further their dance careers while comic book writer Shaun Sunday received the Will Coltman Award for Writing.
Linocut printmaker Amanda Western received the Rotary Club of Ballarat South Award for Visual and Performing Arts to buy a drying rack for her large-scale works and Nicholas Collins won the Louis Stevens Award for classical or jazz musicians, composers and conductors.
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