Ancient mythology paints a picture of a magical bird, radiant and shimmering, which lives for several hundred years before it dies by bursting into flames, only to be reborn from the ashes. Anyone undergoing cancer treatment of any kind is familiar with this feeling of dying and rebirth, of being remade into something different. The Art Bra event has always been a champion of this transformation of breast cancer survivors by celebrating their radiance and beauty at every stage of treatment. Lorraine Bier likely speaks for both artists when she says, “I wanted something that would give the sense of getting past a cataclysmic event and coming back stronger and more beautiful.”
This multi-faceted fiber artist is also a clinical social worker, horseback rider and homesteader — and now adds “Art Bra artist” to her lengthy resume. Rachele has had a number of friends and colleagues who have battled breast cancer, and she wanted to create a 3D moving piece of work that depicts the “…Phoenix rising across the model’s breasts with the chin tilted upward to strongly face the next challenge.”
Rachele used roving wool, dyed sheep and mohair locks to create the needle felted bra, as well as oven baked and painted clay in the wings and beaks and two plastic eyes in the face that were salvaged from a stuffed animal. Her intricately created piece exudes new life and movement, and is sure to make its model channel her inner beast!
“Rising From the Fires”
This Art Bra veteran artist says she enjoys designing a costume with a message, and she surely accomplished that with this design. “The phoenix, the bird rising from flames, is an inspirational metaphor for getting past breast cancer and starting again,” Lorraine explains, “Legend says that the phoenix is a royal purple bird, which, along with the red of the flames, are colors associated with women over 50.”
Lorraine used hand-dyed feathers, appliquéd fabrics and hand painted silk to create her bra and accompanying skirt of flames and silk veil.
More of Lorraine’s work can be seen in her Etsy shop.
ART BRA AUSTIN
All art bras will be auctioned off at BCRC’s signature charity event on June 6, 2015 at the Austin Music Hall. All funds raised goes to support local women affected by breast cancer. To learn more about Art Bra Austin, visit www.artbraaustin.org