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World of WearableArt 2023

Birth of the Babel Fish   2023

Lynnette Griffiths and Marion Gaemers and

Materials:  Ghost Net, reclaimed rope, fishing gear


International Designer – Australia and the Pacific

Regenerated life enfolds a Queen as she births fluorescent Babel Fish.

Beneath the surface the Oceans of Mars are teaming with life. Living within is the Babel Queen. She lives below giving birth to thousands of Babel fish. There are worker fish that team around the colony nurturing the new babel fish. The ones that are fed the Queens jelly come to the surface of the planet to become travellers that will be adopted by all planetary races to interpret the interplanetary languages for all travellers and hitch hikers. 


It is hard to think of a more fitting symbol for the environmental crisis than a Ghost Net. Much like global warming and pollution, they exist as colossal, relatively slow-moving menaces in the abyss. Because they are literally beneath the

surface they also exist, much like the issue, almost as an abstraction. Until, of course, they are not just an abstraction. Birth of the Babel Fish counters the abstractness of this issue, placing it in a human context as a wearable garment.


Creating evolutionary tales from marine debris; (ghost net) is what Griffiths and Gaemers do as they sit together stitching, collaboratively sharing deep respect for the makers circle and recycling.


They create textural handstitched fabric by deconstructing and stitching together decarded net and rope. This project allowed them to explore the fluorescent nature of fishing gear as they probed the curious with their passion for the handmade. The metamorphosis of material to object is inspiring and appealing to both; Gaemers who is a sci-fi enthusiast and to Griffiths sense of surreal fantasy and costume.

Imagine a mega-tsunami sucking all the Earths plastic and creating an ocean on Mars that disappears beneath the surface… The different habitats and creatures metamorphosise from the waste, emerging from the strata of the landscape,

that is the garment. The fluorescent babel fish swim free, as Douglas Adams intended in the 1970’s seminal work Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. Emerging from the sunken oceans of Mars, luminous, regenerated, hand-stitched life enfolds a Queen as she births strange slug like fluorescent babies and propels them onward into deep space on a mission to interpret interplanetary languages that allows galactic travellers and hitchhikers to communicate freely.

Supplied by Lynnette Griffiths

Video Source: Keiran James | Rockpool Productions

All on stage photography provided by WOW


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