Costumes covered in outback dust helped ex-Piriean Heather Wallace to win movie award

PRIZE: Award-winner Heather Wallace, right, with supporters of the Sweet Country movie Tony Cronin, left,  Kelli and David Tranter and Jules Wurm.
PRIZE: Award-winner Heather Wallace, right, with supporters of the Sweet Country movie Tony Cronin, left, Kelli and David Tranter and Jules Wurm.

The dusty ochres of the outback desert were conjured in an award-winning costume design effort by former Port Pirie woman Heather Wallace.

Ms Wallace won the Ozflix Independent Film Award at the Alex Theatre in Melbourne for her work on the Australian movie, Sweet Country.

She ensured the actors’ clothes were “part of the landscape” around Alice Springs where the film was depicted.

She said director Warwick Thornton had “wanted everyone to look dirty and dusty” in the drama about an Aboriginal who shoots a white man in self-defence.

“It is beautiful dirt, it is ochre ... it was just a real joy,” she said.

“It has definitely been noted around the world how beautiful the cinematography is in the film. I have worked a lot with indigenous writers and I am really interested in their story.”

Ms Wallace’s next project is a romantic-comedy set in the Tiwi Islands. It is called Top End Wedding and is another indigenous film.

She hopes to work with talented fabric designers on the islands.

Ms Wallace attended school in Port Pirie before leaving at 16 years old to go to Adelaide to study hairdressing. She progressed through the theatre and art scene to become a costume designer. She lives at Prospect.

“I love Port Pirie. It will always be a very, very special place for me – they are amazing people,” she said.

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