Dressed In Art
World of Wearable Arts founder Suzie Moncrieff, 60, was a single mother on the DPB and a struggling sculptor when she decided she wanted to “take the art down off the walls” of her gallery in Nelson and put it on the body instead. A musician with no formal theatrical or business training, Moncrieff went through the phone book looking for sponsors, literally knocking on the doors of “big business”. “I didn’t even know you needed to make an appointment,” Moncrieff says. She was knocked back; back then, business was interested in sport, not arts. Finally she told a Nelson cafe owner, Eelco Boswijk, of her troubles. How much did she need? Boswijk asked. A lot, Moncrieff told him – $1000. “He came back with a cheque and handed it over,” she says. “He is a great supporter and is now a patron.” WOW now operates with a multi-million dollar budget and appears to have its pick of New Zealand corporate sponsors. It generates an estimated $10 million for Wellington traders over its ten day run. Moncrieff and her team are now concentrating on building the event’s international presence. International designs made up 55 of the 165 entries this year, and came from India, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates, among other countries.