The Salt Spring
National Art Prize



Mississauga, ON

Artwork Statement

"Lifers" is a repurposing of vintage life jackets inspired by the Titanic – the ship the 'water would never go through...' until it hit an iceberg. Not enough life jackets or lifeboats, but the band played on. Oblivious to the loss of life 'below,' first-class passengers worried about being back onboard in time for breakfast. Privilege prevailed.
Each life jacket has been redesigned and hand-tailored into couture black-tie 'garments' for those tragedies when one needs to 'look their best.' Whatever the iceberg – climate change, pandemics, racial injustice – we are drowning under the weight of precarity, but one must dress appropriately.


Hand-tailored lifejackets, unframed


34" x 48"

About the Artist

Holding credentials in Craft, Fine Art, and Costuming, Noelle Hamlyn uses craft practices to mediate embodied experience and memory. She blends the technical and conceptual - recognizing hands respond to their tacit subjective experience. Intrigued by textures, ideas, the world, and being in it, she believes objects have the power to absorb time, conjure experience, and hold a story. Her work has been recognized as a Salt Spring National Art Prize 2017 Finalist; Best in Show at TOAE (2014, 2019); and supported by residencies at the Banff Centre; Harbourfront; Burren College of Art; Salt Spring Arts Council; and Barefoot College, Tanzania, re-building Bee-Keeping suits as social-enterprise.