Biography - Rachael Binnie - Toriizaka Art

Rachael Binnie

Rachael Binnie was born in Australia and received her degree in Psychology from Swinburna, University in Melbourne before studying Interior Design and Decoration at The Royal Melbourne institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

“I love kimono and wanted to find a way to creatively display it since when it is hung straight, only one side can be appreciated. I started to investigate whether it would be acceptable to use kimonos for art and discovered a number of people re-cycling antique kimonos into contemporary clothes, accessories and home furnishings. I also learned that in days past, damaged kimonos were salvaged by using the most beautifully decorated panels for mirror and musical instrument covers."

"Exhaustive searches of second hand kimono stores and weekly shrine sales, have enabled me to find fabulous kimono with beautiful colours and designs. I carefully take apart each hand-sewn silk kimono, iron out the creases and folds, and layout the pieces to create my art. Often one or both of the sleeves with mon (family crest) are incorporated in the piece. Additionally, I use obi (the wide belt worn with a kimono), complimentary fabrics from other kimono and adornments such as the koshihimo (woven ribbons used to secure the obi in place)."

"The complete piece is stretched over a custom made frame which is lined with cotton fabric to protect the silk from the timber.“ A hint of perfume, a scuff on a hem … each kimono has traveled a different journey. Rachael hopes that viewers enjoy her kimono art as much as she enjoys breathing new life into these beautiful textiles by bringing them out of the dark boxes and cupboards where they were hiding."

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