505 m2 fabric, 1 kilometer gold ribbon, 271 capes
TWF was invited to create a mid-afternoon WOW moment for Sampa The Great at the Laneway Festival in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. Inspired by Sampa’s empowering lyrics “who am I to be a hero, who am I to not?” we envisioned Sampa’s words magnified in physical form — words of heroism becoming uniforms of empowerment. In less than a month, we conceived and hand-crafted a massive patchwork dress AND backdrop comprised of hundreds of interlaced individual capes–each cape a different bold African pattern honoring Sampa’s heritage.
The artisanal interconnected backdrop created a bold but warm vibe as the band took the stage. At the pinnacle moment of the set, during Everybody Hero, the massive dress lifts from the pit and dons Sampa… she is Queen of the stage, our mother Africa. The opposite end of the dress is then passed over the audience. The expansive quilt of striking African patterns cascade from Sampa to blanket the audience in colorful shade. With the pull of a chord, Sampa releases her dress into the audience to reveal her cape. She calls to the people, “unlace your capes!” The audience unlace the canopy, don their own cape, and become their own hero.
What was once a stage dress is now hundreds of beautiful capes worn by heroes throughout the festival and life. Our heros twirl in the sun with their capes, wrap their friends in comfort, create shade, make picnic blankets, and wrap them in their own unique style. Lyrics printed in black on the golden neck lace ask Sampa’s inspiring question,
“who am I to be a hero who am I to not who am I to be a hero who am I to not who am I to be a hero who am I to not who am I to be a hero who am I to not who am I to be a hero who am I to not who am I to be a hero who am I to not who am I to be a hero who am I to not who am I to be a hero who am I to not who am I to be a hero who am I to not who am I to be a hero who am I to not”
Melbourne & Sydney, Australia
Concept: Ana Constantino with Jon Morris
Creative Direction: Jon Morris
Producer: Ana Constantino
Cape Production: Bieta Prod
Backdrop Art: Meton Joffily de Alencar
Production Assistance: Josh Rowe
Fabrics: Laura Pitongui
Local Coordinators: Julia Valentini, Lauren Bok, Alice Fleming, Lauren Frahamer, Brodie Evans, Leif Wilson, Joanna Soares…
Special Thanks to Erica Valenti and the Laneway Festival for making this happen!