HAPPENINGText: Adrienne Adams

Art and fashion merge at an exhibition by Melbourne designer Beci Orpin, with fabric design the inspiration for posters, vinyl cuts, skateboard design and sculpture.

Currently on display at Darlinghurst gallery space/clothing store Our Spot (in Sydney’s CBD), Orpin’s exhibition opened Wednesday night, May 5th, the crowd of about 300 filling the shop and the laneway out the front.

Taking from past and present collections of her T-shirt / accessories / baby-wear label “Princess Tina”, Orpin says her work sits somewhere in between art and fashion. “It involves a lot of design. Mostly it’s just things that are appealing to the eye, there are no hidden meanings.”

A series of tooth sculptures, 28 in all, were made from expandable lightweight foam and covered in fiberglass. Orpin had a friend make them for her. They are all painted in bright colours except for two, which are black and crying. “I’m not sure why I chose to make them,” she says. “I have been doing toothy characters for a while now and I guess this was a way of taking them to the next level of design… I used to walk to my studio every day and I would pass a dentist that had a sign of a tooth with an umbrella. I really liked it and it stayed in my head and one day I just did my own toothy design. I like the shape of teeth, I think that’s why I pursued the design… I am so happy with how they turned out – exactly as I pictured!”

Orpin has been exhibiting her work since the mid-90s and has an average of 2-3 shows per year. She has also been working as a freelance designer for the past 8 years for companies such as Burton Snowboards, Rookie, Xlarge/Xgirl, Built by Wendy, PAM and Levis. In 2001 she started “Princess Tina”, which she now runs with her husband from their Melbourne home (they also have a son Tyke who is about to have his 1st birthday). “Princess Tina” is stocked in shops in Australia, Japan, the US and New Zealand.

Orpin says she is considering taking the exhibition to Melbourne and possibly Tokyo. She has also been offered a show in New York.

Beci Orpin Exhibition
Date: May 5th – June 22nd, 2004
Place: Our Spot
Address: Shop 5, 256 Crown St Darlinghurst, Sydney 2010
Tel: +61 8354 0300

Text: Adrienne Adams
Photos: Adrienne Adams

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