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Progressive & Delightfully Subversive Creations by First-time Entrant Oliver Cain


First-time entrant Oliver Cain is a graduate from Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland has already established himself as an artist to watch. His creations are progressive and delightfully subversive seen in his 2022 entry.

Oliver is a proud member of the queer community and uses his work to examine, question and criticise the relationships between gender, sexuality and society.

For his first entry in the Competition, he has applied techniques used for making sculptures and large-scale installations to create an award-winning work of wearable art.

“It took a few weeks to figure out how I was going to make an outfit that could be worn and performed in. I was able to try new methods of making and tried my hand at working with fibreglass to reinforce the garment for strength and weight,” he says.

One of the things that makes WOW so special and unique is that all Competition finalists are determined through a closed-judging process where the judges are presented with the garment name, and the inspiration behind the work; however, the designer’s details and experience are not disclosed, allowing the work to be considered solely on its own merit.

This is one of the many ways WOW strives to give wings to these talented dreamers – those that aspire to create something that will make our judges stand up and take notice, not to mention delighting a crowd with creativity!

A Peeling Misconception by Oliver Cain was awarded second place in the Monochromatic Section in the 2022 Competition.

A Peeling Misconception, Oliver Cain, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand

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