Sydney clothing label Sark Studio is holding an exhibition and auction to raise money for the Climate Council. Twenty artists from a range of disciplines – including Luke Steele, best known as the frontman of Australian band Empire of the Sun – have each contributed a photograph to the exhibition that reflects their interpretation of the show’s title and theme, The Human Environment.

The 20 artworks will be auctioned on February 18 at The Glue Society in Alexandria, which is also curating the exhibition. All proceeds will go to the Climate Council, a not-for-profit, independent organisation dedicated to informing the Australian public about climate change, which recently lost its government funding. For London-born Sark Studio designer Theresa Jackson, who made her home in Sydney in the 1980s, Sark Studio’s support of the Climate Council is a natural collaboration, and one that is close to her heart.

“At Sark Studio we design during the season, not six months ahead and so are attuned to what is happening with our weather cycles,” she says. “I believe climate change is one of the most important issues of our time.” Theresa shot the Sark Studio contribution with producer Ian Iveson at Guerilla Bay, one of their favourite places on the south coast of New South Wales.

“As we did the shoot, I thought how awful it would be if all this disappeared,” she recalls. “Ever since arriving from London I’ve found the Australian landscape inspirational, with its unique colour palette and wildness.” Theresa’s commitment to sustainability, the inspiration behind the The Human Environment show, is also a major feature of her work.

Theresa tries to run a “zero-waste” operation. Every piece of material is put to good use, she says, often being creatively re-worked into beautiful new pieces. Scraps of pattern cardboard are even used to make price tags.

“We hate throwaway-ism! We believe that design comes from servicing a function and we strive to produce long-lasting garments without any of the waste associated with mainstream fashion.”

A Sark Studio shirt – designed to be “beautiful, yet practical” and made locally in Sydney “by experienced, talented and properly paid artisans,” according to Theresa – features in each photograph in the show. This was part of the artists’ brief.

The designer has loved meeting the artists responsible for the 20 photographs that are set to be auctioned as well as seeing the vastly different images they have produced working from the same instructions. “It was wonderful,” she says, “They gave their time and talents so willingly and instantly.”


The Human Environment exhibition and auction will take place on Tuesday February 18 from 6–8.30pm at The Glue Society Studios, 6 Birmingham Street, Alexandria. The auction will continue online until Sunday February 23.

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