Elaborate clothing made from paper by Australian pensioner

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. pensioner / ˈpɛn ʃə nər / (n.) – a person receiving money, often from the government, as a form of financial support

    The government will increase the allowance of pensioners by 20%.

  2. couture / kuˈtʊər / (n.) – clothes designed by a skilled designer

    The popular designer has recently released his summer couture collection.

  3. accolade / ˈæk əˌleɪd / (n.) – an award or praise given to someone who has achieved something

    Her excellent acting won her the accolade of “Best Actress of the Year.”

  4. seminal / ˈsɛm ə nl / (adj.) – very important and has an influence on later developments of ideas, works, events, etc.

    The invention of the first telephone was a seminal moment in human history.

  5. reckon / ˈrɛk ən / (v.) – to believe or think

    I reckon this movie is good. Let’s watch it.


Read the text below.

Age is no barrier to creativity for one Australian pensioner who creates fashionable clothes out of paper.

The 69-year-old has been hailed as an emerging artist for her work. In her studio, there’s paper couture all around Stephanie Reynolds. “I had always been involved in theater when I was younger so I’d always had this great love for design and fashion and making things,” said Reynolds.

The 69-year-old freely admits she’s a textile addict. And she’s now challenged herself by starting to work with paper. “That’s tissue paper and this is a very fine Japanese tissue and you can see how unbelievably delicate that actually is,” Reynolds explained.

Reynolds uses glue to create elaborate paper pieces. “I love the way that it’s unpredictable. It doesn’t behave exactly like textile,” said Reynolds.

After a long career as a business management consultant, Reynolds decided to revive this old passion of hers. In the past 12 months, she has held a fashion show and had a solo exhibition. She’s now part of an exhibition at the Launceston Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery that focuses on ten emerging artists.

She said it’s “hilarious” to be considered an emerging artist. But experts say it’s perfectly reasonable for someone of her age to be given the accolade. “Emerging art is not based on age and there’s a great tradition of artists throughout the world who haven’t actually done their seminal works until their 40s or 50s, so emerging can happen at any time,” said Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery curator Ashley Bird.

“I think what Stephanie’s done is amazing. Just to put your artwork out there at any age is an incredible feat,” said emerging artist Elizabeth Baird.

With the exhibition, Reynolds hopes others will be inspired to try something new. “I would love if more older people didn’t keep on with the story that they’re not creative, because it’s just a story we’ve learnt somewhere in our lives. I reckon everybody is creative,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds is now dreaming that her art will be shown around the world.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Reynolds says that everyone is creative, but some people have learned to believe they’re not. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you agree that age is no barrier to creativity? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What hobbies or interests would you like to pursue even when you’re older? Why? Discuss.
  • Why do you think it’s important to continue pursuing your dreams and passions even when you’re older? Discuss.