I work in retail with a lovely bunch of people who are all artists and designers in their own right outside of selling tote bags and postcards. Every week there is somebody’s art show opening or somebody is featured in a blog or magazine. It’s such a go-getter environment that has really made me put myself out there creatively more than I have in years. Support and nurturing from people in your world is something that can never be overestimated.
One of my work mates recently curated a show; Spring-Time 2.0 (which you should totally go to btw, it's fabulous and colourful and inspired) and asked me to submit a zine for a little zine-shelf she was including in the show. It’s an all female show aimed to include established artists and signal boost emerging creatives. I felt cautious about being included as I didn’t want to take space away from another artist. After I was reassured that I wouldn’t be I set to work.
I wanted to pay homage to a traditional symbol of femininity - flowers - and play with the ideas of power and vulnerability. My personal interest in queer culture and symbols was a factor too, femininity in men is still seen as treasonous and is met with violence. Floral motifs are used throughout queer culture as a badge of honour, a badge of femininity and fragility.
My zine entitled ‘POWER’ includes seven hand cut and digitally altered collages that each examine these themes. Images are cut from a floral illustration encyclopaedia and a number of children’s fairy tale books. Black letter type mingled with a cut flower on the cover provides the contrast of light and heavy, power and weakness, fragile and strong that embodies queer people and women alike.
Flowers are powerful.