Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Dinnigan exhibition ‘unlaced’

Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced, exhibition views: Detail colour swatches and inspiration boards in ‘Obsessive Creative’ section.

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, An interview with Anna Tregloan, exhibition designer of ‘Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced’, Inside the Collection , 23 August 2016

Anna Tregloan has designed staging and costumes for a wide variety of independent theatre companies and artists in Australia and overseas. Here she discusses her approach to the exhibition design for Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced with MAAS fashion curator, Glynis Jones.

Can you describe your design practice?

I am best known for designing staging and costumes for theatre but even within that medium I have been lucky enough to work in so many different forms, from contemporary dance to opera through drama and physical theatre and from tiny one person shows through to big spectaculars. Additionally I conceive and design installations, sometimes these include live performance and the focus is on creating immersive experiences for the audience.

I trained at the Victorian College of the Arts but am a great believer in learning through experiment and experience. In my early career I designed but also worked extensively with other designers making props, painting, making costumes, as a design assistant. Not only did this keep me afloat financially it exposed me to many different approaches, techniques and types of production. Additionally I was heavily involved in the construction of my own designs, I taught myself patternmaking, costume construction, carpentry, mould makings as well as 3D computer drafting. This has given me a much better understanding of what is possible (or not).

Can you describe your creative process?

I approach just about all of my projects the same way – very, very slowly. I am not the type of person who walks in with big fully formed ideas. Often enough they turn into big ideas but I prefer to spend as long as possible collecting information, looking everywhere for inspiration and getting to know the people involved. I attempt to discover the key that will make it work. From experience I know that if I can find that ‘key’ everything else will follow more naturally.

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