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Re: Emerging – a comparison of design through time

People arriving at Dunedin Airport will soon have a new perspective on Otago Museum. A new display, timed for iD Dunedin Fashion Week, opens on 1 March, called Re: Emerging.

The development of the display presented an opportunity for a collaboration between iD Dunedin, Otago Museum and the Otago Polytechnic School of Design.

Otago Museum Head of Exhibitions and Creative Services Craig Scott says, “These three iconic Dunedin institutions have collaborated in the past and all bring very different and innovative parts to the table, creating valuable learning experiences for both the students and the audience.”

Selected outfits designed by alumni of iD International Emerging Designer Shows explore the themes of technology, gender, sustainability and culture alongside a digital display of artefacts from the Museum’s costume and textile collection that highlights aspects of these themes. The concept demonstrates the historical, as well as current, relevance of these global conversations.

Mr Scott says, “Creating innovative designs, whatever the field, involves repeated exploration, experimentation, questioning, testing and examining of results. We call this critical making and it was just as important for textile and garment designers, makers and manufacturers of the past as it is for emerging designers in the 21st century.”

“The work of these designers from the iD International Emerging Designer Shows provide really interesting comparisons with some of the older but equally excellent design examples from the Otago Museum’s collection.”

Margo Barton, iD Co-Chair and Creative Director, and Professor of Fashion at Otago Polytechnic says, “It’s great to collaborate with Otago Museum in their airport space and show visitors to the city items from the Museum’s dress collection and emerging designer garments while iD Dunedin Fashion Week is on.”

Of course, the new installation also signals the deinstallation of the previous long-term display, which provided an introduction to the Otago region, through particular reference to the Museum’s Southern Land, Southern People gallery, and connection to the environment around the airport.

Dunedin Airport has long been a partner with Otago Museum, and also for the past five years with iD Dunedin Fashion Week. Megan Crawford, Dunedin Airport General Manager, Business Development says, “This is a very exciting time for us, giving us the opportunity to inject some of the exuberance and passion surrounding our local fashion to those passing through the airport - the gateway to Dunedin and the region.”

A particular favourite, the albatross, will be temporarily returned to the Museum where she will undergo conservation treatments following her long public exposure in the uncontrolled environment.

Nyssa Mildwaters, Otago Museum Conservation Manager explains, “The albatross will go through our quarantine process and then she will get a very thorough clean! Loose dust and dirt will be removed, and engrained dirt and dust accumulated within her feathers will be painstakingly removed, feather by feather. We can’t do this work while she’s at the airport so it’s great to have the time to bring her back to the Museum. Once she has been cleaned and her condition assessed, she will be re-assessed by the Collections team for her next adventure.”

Re: Emerging is a temporary display and will be in place until late August, when it will be followed by a new permanent installation providing travellers with a taster of the whole Otago Museum experience of culture, nature and science.

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