Discover the Secret Lives of Costumes!

Exhibition – Secret Lives of Costumes

Queensland Ballet and Griffith University

Step inside the magical world of ballet costumes as Queensland Ballet and Queensland College of Art (QCA), Griffith University presents Secret Lives of Costumes at the Thomas Dixon Centre.

This visually sumptuous exhibition features costumes from Queensland Ballet’s rich and diverse repertoire ranging from the well-known and loved classics of The Nutcracker, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, and Don Quixote to recently celebrated original creations of Dangerous Liaison’s and Little Green Road to Fairy Land.

Queensland Ballet’s Resident Designer and Costume Archivist Noelene Hill said the exhibition provides a rare opportunity to glimpse into the world of tulle, twinkles, fairyland, pointe shoes, wigs and glamourous accessories while telling the story of how these magnificent pieces come to life.

“This collection will showcase costumes incredible detail and beauty, along with the skillset of the costume creators who make them and the designers who design them,” said Ms Hill.

“I guess that’s what the Secret Lives of Costumes is: a peek behind the curtain into our whole process of creating costumes and bringing characters to life,” added Ms Hill.

QCA Galleries Manager Nicola Holly said QCA is happy to collaborate with Queensland Ballet on this exhibition.

“QCA is delighted to work with the Queensland Ballet on this truly extraordinary exhibition and we’re looking forward to giving the public an opportunity to get up close and personal with costumes from the collection,” said Ms Holly.

QCA Griffith University student and Queensland Ballet Intern Caitlin Fraser, who helped curate Secret Lives of Costumes with Noelene Hill, said the exhibition showcases the creative work the company has been producing behind the scenes.

“It has been really exciting to visually play with the different costumes and give patrons an opportunity to see the creative works up close,” said Ms Fraser.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with a world-class company on such an exciting project,” added Ms Fraser.

Executive Director Dilshani Weerasinghe said Secret Lives of Costumes is just a taste of what is to come at the centre.

“As home to Queensland Ballet it seemed a fitting starting point, but really this is just the beginning. We have big aspirations for the space including a Thomas Dixon Centre Presents Artistic Program. That will present a diverse artistic program, giving platforms to artists locally, nationally and internationally, sharing creative talents far and wide.

“We are currently seeking expressions of interest for those wishing to use the spaces, and our sector and community will have the opportunity to access Queensland Ballet-subsidised spaces and facilities as part of our commitment and service to our wider arts community,” Ms Weerasinghe said.

“The Thomas Dixon Centre is an arts and community hub, and we are excited to create opportunities for artists of all genres, community groups and audiences alike,” she concluded.

The Secret Lives of Costumes is on display at the Thomas Dixon Centre from 18 July to 22 September 2022. Free entry. The exhibition will be complemented by a program of ticketed talks, workshops, and events.

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