WONDERLAND: Plastics is Precious: The disappearing dresses

Trish Belford Trish Belford, Professor Helen Storey Helen Storey, Professor Tony Ryan Tony Ryan

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

64 Downloads (Pure)


Wonderland a collaborative project with Professor Tony Ryan OBE (PVC for the faculty of Pure Science, Sheffield University) and Professor Helen Storey MBE (UCL) created the world's first disappearing dress. Its fundamental message was to think about new solutions for the problem of excess packaging and waste. The science and concept were conceived by Professor Ryan and Storey, the dresses being the metaphor and Trojan horse delivering a powerful symbolic message and means of stimulating public debate about how science and art can work together to look at new solutions to world problems. The dresses were designed and created under the direction of Trish Belford, many years of technical print and design skills combined with high tech resources at the University of Ulster resulted in groundbreaking textiles, making plastic look beautiful, but by its disappearance left the viewer with a despair at its waste. Wonderland toured the UK, was seen on the runway in the US, and engaged in educational workshops. Several films of Wonderland including 'Wonderland' by Nick Knight and SHOWstudio were shown. The work attempts to show that Plastics are Precious and are described by Tony Ryan as "buried sunshine". This project is an example of art, science and technology, in action and shows that if society can embrace science, it can influence science and the results benefit everyone.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOrmeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • art
  • science
  • plastics
  • textiles
  • fashion.oil
  • sunshine
  • dissolvable


Dive into the research topics of 'WONDERLAND: Plastics is Precious: The disappearing dresses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this