Art and Soul

This weekend I somehow found myself perched on top of a platform in a whirlwind of fashion, beauty and environmentalism. My very artsy friend Fiona had asked me if I could stand in for her in a modelling gig at the Art Gallery’s annual “Art and Soul” event. The theme this year was “Eco-Chic”, so the outfit was going to be something plant-related, but I didn’t find out until my fitting on Thursday entirely what I was in for. It was lingerie. Beautiful retro corsets and bustiers, babydolls, bras and knickers with ruffles… made of old umbrellas. The only way I can describe my outfit is Marie Antoinette as a ballerina living in the forest. I had a neutral coloured corset with cream gauze sewn on into a kind of tutu, with lichen from Kenora sewn across the top and all throughout the gauze. Then recycled umbrella knickers, fully exposing everything above the boobs and waist down. My hair was big and curled and full of feathers and I had a white porcelain-esque face with big purple colouring around my temples. It was the most creative thing I’ve ever worn in my life.

There were three other girls, two of whom were actual working models, and we took half-hour shifts in pairs standing on top of a raised platform, surrounded by foliage and greenery and rich people. We opened the night with all four of us up there and then took our partnered turns. We had to pick a pose and hold it for five minutes – I had no idea how exhausting this was going to be! I tried going along with the ballerina type poses to go with my outfit, and the girl I was with couldn’t bend down in her outfit, so I got to do a lot of stuff on the floor, which was cool, but holy crap, I came home with bruises on my knees and a very sore back indeed!

We finished at about 11:30 and then got to change and enjoy the rest of the party. My gosh, rich people go all OUT for these things!! There were girls in prom dresses made entirely of magazine covers; two people dressed as energy saving lightbulbs, a girl in blue with a silver sparkling wig with a tap on top of it, a woman covered in leaves with a bag of actual leaves in it, on which she’d written individually “SAVE THE TREES, SAVE THE WORLD”, which she was handing out to anyone and everyone. There were lots of green outfits and girls with hair twice the size they were, full of recyclables and wire… it was just beyond amazing. And each level of the gallery was transformed into a different theme. There was the “midnight garden”, and a VIP lounge, and a beautiful blue-lit dance party, from which people spilled out onto the roof, which was lit with orange lanterns. It was unlike nothing I’d ever seen and I just wish I could’ve taken someone with me. Although I ran into the lovely Jane, who kept me company on the dancefloor at the end of the night, and a couple of others showed up later that I knew, so all in all a very interesting albeit exhausting evening!

The whole fundraiser thing has really been something I’ve been thinking about lately. My friend Vicki in the UK did a marathon last year to raise funds for breast cancer since her mum was diagnosed with it not too long ago. And this year she’s raising money by having people sponsor a skydive. I try and do my bit for charity whenever I can, and making a positive change in the world is something I think we should all think about more often. So much in life we take for granted, and complain when things aren’t going so great for us. But compared to how your life could be if you weren’t lucky enough to be living in the country you are right now, are your problems really as bad as they may seem? I really want to get involved in helping another charity, and I’ve been looking at a few of them. I’m not a singer or an athlete, I’m not part of team or a church or a school that could get together and do something big. But I want to do something. I’m thinking something that I wouldn’t normally do – like I’d love to throw myself out of a plane, but people just do that for fun, and I want it to be challenging – it’d seem more meaningful that way. So, being faced with 6+ months of deep freeze, I decided it would be a good time to train up. Really dedicate time to get myself in shape so by the time the snow melts, I can get out there and do something. Run a marathon, or do a triathlon, or something. Push myself to the absolute limit and have people sponsor it in the name of a good cause. If anyone has any creative ideas for me, or even wants to join me in doing it… I’d totally love to hear from you 🙂

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