Monday, 16 January 2012

Reforming plastics: Kate Ward

The often vilified plastic carrier bag gets a bad press for being too disposable and has the reputation of not breaking down in landfill for many years or for being discarded inappropriately and floating around our streets, seas and countryside.  However, with a bit of creative thinking the carrier bag can have a new lease of life.
Kate Ward carrier bag in the MoDiP collection
One example of a designer / maker creating wonderful objects from rejuvenated carrier bags is Australian, Kate Ward.  MoDiP purchased one of her pieces for our Encore! Re:formed Plastics exhibition in 2009, we felt that the piece illustrates the reuse of plastics materials so well that it also featured in the 2011 exhibition You can do it with plastics.

Kate is passionate about textiles, art, design, and architecture and loves using traditional techniques and combining them with modern materials.
Other work: La Nina

Other work: La Nina detail

Kate graduated from the Textiles Workshop at the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University (ANU) in 1998 with a Bachelor of Visual Art and went on to obtain a Masters in Arts Management and Policy from London University in 2008.  In 1999 she was awarded a residency at MegaloPrint Studio and undertook an exchange with Kyoto Seika University in Japan through the ANU exchange program in 2000. Her experience in Japan informed a body of work and as a result she held a solo exhibition at the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery.
Other work: Shades of Grey

She has been awarded the inaugural Emerging Artist Award by Fiberart International, and first prize in the City of Redcliffe Excellence in Craft Award, Australia.
Other work: Modern Tree (Hope)

Other work: Modern Tree (Hope) detail

MoDiP is in good company exhibiting one of Kate’s pieces.  Examples have been displayed at the Sydney Opera House in 2009 and on the London Underground in 2008. Her screenprinted images were exhibited at the Bankside in 2009 and her designs are represented in the collections of New Zealand's World of Wearable ArtGallery, and Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery in Australia.

You can find out more about Kate by visiting her blog,

Louise Dennis (Assistant Curator)


  1. Those designs define creativity! Lots of stuff can be produced with plastic. It's just a matter of how you will make it usable and effective. Kudos to the great designs! They don't look like they're made of plastic at all!

    1. Thank you for your comment. It really is amazing what can be achieved using recylced platics.