Throughout January, QAGOMA invited emerging artists aged between 13 and 18 years to submit a design for a motorcycle helmet as part of a national design competition. Teens were encouraged to take inspiration from ‘The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire’ at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and were challenged to create an original design in any medium of their choosing. The entries were judged on their creativity, presentation, idea and concept, and there was a range of amazing prizes up for grabs.
The winning design belonged to sixteen-year-old Mira Westaway from Brisbane (above), for her whimsical digital design inspired by the 1885 Daimler Reitwagen, which is widely recognised as the first motorcycle ever built. Mira’s design also takes inspiration from 1800s fashion and German Expressionism.
When beginning the design of my helmet, I wasn’t sure where to start. So I went back to where it began: 1885. Using the colours from the original pattern and design of the back wheel, which sits prominently on the side of the helmet, my inspiration came heavily from the first Motorcycle made: the Daimler Reitwagen. Pulling from 1800’s fashion for the overall appearance, particularly the beautifully intricate fascinators worn by women of that time, with layered and draped fabrics towering upon their heads, made for a wonderful and unique silhouette. One more big influence for me was: German expressionism, pulling back to the Daimler Reitwagen (which was made in Cannstatt, Germany). I incorporated cross hatching, to add a slight hit of that beautiful genre. This helmet combines many of my interests. But it all comes back to 1885, and the beautiful motorcycle to start it all.
View some of the competition entries below!
Featured image: Teens: Motorcycle Helmet Design competition winner Mira Westaway, featuring her winning helmet design / Photograph: Joe Ruckli © QAGOMA