Miranda Skoczek x Silk Laundry

“I see my works as offerings, you know, for people to accept or reject. I'm very interested in the decorative arts and the whole history of image making” - Miranda Skoczek

Melbourne-based artist Miranda Skoczek first crossed paths with Silk Laundry’s Creative Director and Founder Katie Kolodinski at one of her exhibitions.

“My art which brought us together. Katie discovered my work and fell in love with a piece. At the time she sold many items out of her wardrobe to buy one of my pieces, which was her first significant art purchase.” 

At the time they both connected over their love for nature and now, roughly 10 years later Miranda has collaborated with Katie to curate The Protection Collection. Centred around symbolism and the rituals of self-protection including the iconic Aster flower, central to Katie’s upbringing, this was a harmonious alignment given Miranda’s style of art which is deeply influenced by historical references and ancient cultures.

For Miranda, her art allows people to explore other worlds and she hopes that placing her designs on clothing encourages people to have those conspectus conversations as well. 

In line with this creative endeavour, she shared insights on her practices, creating the collection and her relationship with symbolism. 

Can you talk us through your artistic process and creating this collection? 

My artistic process is one of gathered visual knowledge, coupled with everyday experience, and a long-held interest in folk art, the domestic and the whole history of image making. Frenzied and automatic layering of paint then gives way to more conscious and considered assemblages of emotions and motifs which trigger meditative and quiet contemplation. 

Naturally, when considering this collection, my immediate thoughts turned to nature - for when I think of my friend Katie and Silk Laundry I think of her immense adoration for it - just one of the things we share in common. The Aster flower has a rich history in Ancient Greece, and Roman deities considered them to be sacred. I love them for their star-like quality and mysticism, they are also my son's birth flower. 

When I completed the Protection Print I created the Aster Floral print, devoid of colour, so it would couple nicely with the various symbols and colours, and I love the idea of people wearing the two prints together - I do love a good clash! With past fashion collaborations, like this one, I've never been interested in a straight image of a painting as my surfaces hold much weight in allowing one to read and immerse oneself in the picture. With mechanical reproduction, that of course is lost. The graphic nature of these two prints are great signifiers of all that I am drawn to, I also wanted images that the wearer could relate to and hold onto. The motifs and imagery are all historically significant and their energy always guides me and my practice. 

Do you have any protection rituals or traditions that underpin your life? 

My self-protection rituals are undoubtedly the importance I hold for immersing myself in nature - for it is when I feel most supported. I'm a rather chaotic person, so it's important for me to be enveloped by the salubrious nature of forests and verdant gardens that I so very often find myself in. Gardening is a daily pursuit, my home is full of plants, and I love walking my dog along the Yarra River and escaping up into the Dandenong Ranges whenever I can. I also burn incense daily and love the sounds of the Sitar and Indian Tabla -this music transports me and it's a constant in daily life.

Do you have any sentimental talismans or symbols that play a role in your life? 

A treasured piece that holds much meaning and significance for me was found in India - it's essentially a miniature temple that has the most incredible patina. It hangs on my wall and is in the most glorious pink - pink is synonymous with India. I have numerous pieces of antique jewellery - most notably Native American, Afghani and again Indian which when I wear act as a type of armour or protection. 

Are there any self-protection rituals you hope to pass along to your son, Harper? 

Where my son Harper is concerned, I've always shown and exposed him to the importance of seeking solace in nature, of seeking restoration and peace, of recognising its wonder.

Do you have any favourite pieces from this collection?

I think my favourite piece is likely the Camp shirt which features the eyes on the back. Its wearer can be assured of warding off evil... perhaps not, but it's a satisfying thought! 

Any styling recommendations? 

I liked the idea of doing two very different prints which speak to one another, but in a very contrasting way. I love the idea of clashing prints, so it is my hope that people do wear the two styles together.

Explore the power of symbolism and ancient practices of self-protection by viewing the collection here.

WRITTEN BY  Silk Laundry