Annie Temmink '07 is a sculptor and costume designer, and St. Anne's-Belfield School sandbox kid, who has recently sculpted her way into the finals of one of the biggest international design competitions in the world. This September, Annie will be one of 12 American finalists to compete in the World of Wearable Art in Wellington, New Zealand.
A blend of costume, theater, fashion, and art, this production attracts almost 60,000 visitors annually to see the elaborate incorporation of choreography, lighting, and digital projection to showcase 122 spectacular wearable garments.
Temmink's garment is constructed from surprisingly humble materials: cardboard, foam tubing, and paint. But after being shipped halfway across the world and passing through two rounds of judging, it has made it to the final stage for the competition in September.
"My first experience of wearable art came in high school at St. Anne's-Belfield School on a college visit to the Rhode Island School of Design with my mom, longtime art teacher at the School, Randy Bill," remembers Temmink.
"We made it for RISD's wearable art runway showcase and were both amazed by the creativity and construction of the work. We thought it would be an inspiring experience to bring to the St. Anne's-Belfield community."
Bill started the School's runway show in the mid-2000's, and Temmink had her first chance to design work for the moving body. Her second year, her work was picked up by a trend forecasting agency from New York.
"Building wearable sculpture requires a good mix of imagination, engineering and problem solving," says Temmink.
"It is a great experience to have in high school because it mimics many real-world design experiences, fosters confidence, and rich, creative expression. It also encouraged my own fascinated with construction and visual splendor leading me to a major in sculpture and math at Davidson College."
After college, Temmink was awarded a Watson Fellowship to study traditional textiles and adornment for a year in Indonesia, India, Japan, Uganda, and Ghana. While researching the effects of a globalized fashion market on traditional craftsmanship, she had the chance to work alongside master craftsmen in each country. Temmink fell in love with adornment, and with the community tasked to build costumes for wild, community spectacles.
"I fell in love with the mastery, and brilliance of each craftsperson," Temmink recalls.
"I have since been interested in creating similar environments through workshops, fashion shows, and performances. I find there is a great need to encourage unapologetic creative freedom and community making. "
Her journey thus far has included building costumes for "drag queens and Video Music Award winners (Ke$ha)," building props for theater, dance, opera, and the runway, and even spending a year building houses and working in a metal shop.
"I have learned a long the way that passion is something you build and cultivate, not something you are born with," she says.
"I have newfound gratitude for the passion cultivated by the many teachers who inspired me at St. Anne's-Belfield. Of course my mom, Randy Bill, has been my primary inspirer but also Dorene Fisher, Diana Smith, Isabelle Reeves, Atsushi Yoshida, Don Malone, Rosanne Simeone, Karine Boulle, David Jones, Stacey Gearhart, Nancy Kovatch, Ann Wicks, Janet Moore-Coll, Jill Mozee, and many others.
"I am grateful for all of the dedication and selflessness shared by the faculty, coaches, and staff at St. Anne's-Belfield. They have helped shape the way I approach research and creativity and this offered a great springboard for the work I have done since. I only wish there had been more hands-on experiences like the runway show when I was a student!"
See more of Annie's work at www.artemmink.com or on Instagram @artemmink.
Photo credit: Christophe Vorlet www.vorlet.com.