Episode 5: Mary Burns

Mary Louise Burns is a textile artist and educator based in Queenstown, Tasmania, who places great emphasis on recycled materials and sustainable fashion. Emmalie and Mary met at her pop-up shop filled with vintage and antique goods and Mary’s own sustainable, wearable art, on Orr Street in 2018. Ever since their meeting they became incredibly close friends and worked together on a number of projects. When recording first began for the podcast, Mary visited Emmalie at her home on a rainy summer afternoon and was the first local artist Emmalie interviewed. Mary discusses finding her home in an old blacksmith’s cottage, the origins of her craft, her love of colour and whimsy, fashion as wearable art, hunting and eating witchetty grubs and the need for a good battle helmet. 

“Having studied at the Canberra Institute of the Arts, Mary has been sewing since she was twelve years old. Her practice—printmaking, textiles including dyeing, weaving and machine knitting—and main passion is using recycled materials to reconstruct garments, ‘repairing’ denim jeans using Japanese Boro techniques and embroidery, and offering workshops in ‘toothbrush rugs’ (an old Scandinavian technique), Dorset buttons, reconstructed hats and fingerless gloves. Mary is inspired by the beauty of Queenstown and uses the ferns and vegetation in her discharge dyed garments. Mary’s major claim to fame is as a winner on three occasions in the Alice Springs Beanie Festival Competition.” – from The Unconformity website

Mary can be found online – 

@burns653 (Instagram) 

https://theunconformity.com.au/artists/mary-burns/ – Mary Burns featured on The Unconformity website

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