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WearableArt creator's honourable doctorate

JO MOIR
Last updated 05:00 30/05/2014
Dame Suzie Moncrieff
MAARTEN HOLL/ Fairfax NZ

WOW FACTOR: Dame Suzie Moncrieff’s contribution to the World of WearableArt was recognised with an honorary doctorate from Massey University at a graduation ceremony yesterday. 

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Even at her graduation to receive an honorary doctorate Dame Suzie Moncrieff was thinking about the next World of WearableArt show.

The creator of the show is in her 26th year of involvement with it, and at yesterday's Massey University graduation she was sidetracked into thinking about how to incorporate robes and ceremony into the next WOW.

"I get inspiration from everywhere . . . each show has to be new and fresh.

"It's full of action, drama, lighting and a magical journey every year that takes people away from their often mundane lifestyle."

As soon as one show was packed away, planning for the next one began. "My whole life seems to have gone very fast."

She was recognised with an honorary doctorate in fine arts yesterday, and said: "It's a very humbling experience and I'm very proud Massey has recognised my 26 years of doing this."

After spending her university entrance year at Waimea College, near Nelson, concentrating solely on English and fine arts, her world crashed when she passed English but failed art.

"I expected to go to art school, and it was awful at the time."

Yet if she had gone to art school, she doesn't think she would have been on stage receiving an honorary doctorate.

"I'd probably be teaching art or be in a studio in the countryside sculpting away. Life is a strange journey sometimes."

WOW first began in a small studio, near Nelson, in a country cottage that she restored with six other artists. This year will be the tenth anniversary of Wellington hosting the show, and Moncrieff said something different was planned.

"We're bringing in a big international act . . . that's all I'm saying for now."

Moncrieff was the only recipient of an honorary doctorate this year from Massey, which capped more than 680 students from five colleges yesterday.

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- The Dominion Post

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