A local artist is using natural materials to create a new form of art.
Although it may look a bit out of the ordinary, Roanne Whitticase has developed her own clothing pieces of art using all organic materials she collects in different natural environments. “I guess I just see within our forests and everything that’s around that’s already so naturally beautiful and accessible materials and it’s just a creative way to use some of that beauty that’s presented to us,” she said.
Designing hand crafted fashion pieces, Whitticase sewed each of the materials on to mannequins to make a unique form of art. “I probably started like half a year ago, did a road trip with a friend to the Cache Creek near the Bonaparte First Nation there around Loon Lake is where we gathered all of the sage and the lichen there.”
Many other natural items such as birch bark and rocks were also found near the cutbanks and in Cottonwood Island Park. Whitticase even made one piece out of a wasp’s nest.
All of the mannequins have organic materials, but thrift clothes are used as a base which is music to the ears of Waste Diversion Program Leader with the Regional District of Fraser Fort-George, Rachel Ryder. “With the re-use, there’s a lot of thrift stores in Prince George where people can take items that they no longer have a need for or a use for, but are still in working order or not weathered enough where they can’t be used by somebody else.”
Now Whitticase hopes to start her own clothing line with wearable materials. Her initiative seeks to make an eco-friendly impact. “Just kind of being more conscience and aware when you’re purchasing clothing and making it just re-using,” Whitticase said.
Ryder added that efforts like this could make others realize the importance of going green. “It makes people realize that they’re is another use for some of these items that are out there,” she said. “It’s not just that single use that it was originally intended for, so we really appreciate that because we don’t want that material in the landfill if it can be used somewhere else.”
Whitticase’s work will be showcased at the Two River’s Gallery Thursday night from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.