five short poems by: Tara Abrahams ≈ illustration by: John Force
A LETTER TO VIRGINIA WOOLF O god The sea pours from your mouth; It has so many voices. Could you hear them all? Yes. You could. I am envious. Those voices are Immortalized, but lost in the waves (of time, assured of its ownership of them, and of you). I know that all lighthouses Crumble when touched too much By the ocean. I’m sure you know, too.
A LETTER TO JANE AUSTEN Thank you for Your ability to see past the reflections in False Versailles mirrors and Waxed end tables. There is more to a man than His Roman bust’s jawline and Arduous manner of speaking.
A LETTER TO MARY SHELLEY I was a monster, too When I read your words – thirteen And learning how to speak. O yes! How ignorant In my wisdom, once read – I told myself I had no fear of your creature (How odd to think he lived inside such a beautiful head).
A LETTER TO SYLVIA PLATH I hope you slept soundly The night before. I know how Unforgiving your poppy garden Could be, and that’s why I insist – Those opiates Might have eased you into a Sweeter lull.
TO SAPPHO Did you deign To wear the first flower crown? Perhaps, or maybe Those braided rosebuds and Violet tiaras were better suited For your young Aphrodite. Crowned heads and hearts, So lovely! Think of gardens, sweet mystery And your sorrow departs.
This is by far one of the most creative lookbooks I’ve ever come across and I don’t think it got as much recognition as it should have. Burma MFG. took screenshots from GTA San Andreas and added their clothes onto the characters in the game. Genius.
Tell me about Goldilocks Gallery!
Goldilocks is this awesome place with this sort of classic vibe. It’s like the Chelsea Hotel or something. I feel like the people here are truly characters in the up-and-coming story of art. We work hard. We inspire each other. And sometimes we collaborate and it feels like this totally harmonious thing. But we’re all always moving and trying new methods and mediums which is what’s really inspiring.
Do you have to be invited to live there? How did you find out about the gallery?
I found out about Goldilocks through craigslist in the midst of a weird emotional time in my life. I really decided it was the only option for moving forward. You basically have a little interview of sorts with Kamal, who founded the space. You fill out an application and if you seem like you’re going to make the best of the opportunity and the space you’re pretty much welcome to work or stay.
Wow, I’m so intrigued, it sounds like heaven! I want to move in! Describe your art style in three words:
Ha! Yeah, it’s really a cool place to be a part of. Well I think as the overall aesthetic that seems to manifest itself in everything I create I would say: Eclectic, Positive & Pop.
What is the strangest medium you’ve used for your art?
Fashion-wise I’ve done some pretty silly stuff. I made a dress out of tiny collaged triangles. It wasn’t excessively weird but definitely impractical and it took ages to make. But I see so many things as accessories with outfits. Like sometimes an apple can just be the perfect accessory. And it’s fleeting, ya know? It makes me feel like I’m part of a performance piece or something. Ha.
What projects are you getting into this summer and what do you hope to accomplish?
Well this summer is really the first summer I really plan on engulfing myself in my fashion endeavors. Next Sunday I’m throwing a pop up shop at Goldilocks with two girls who just graduated from Moore for fashion design. It’s sort of my intention to get a lot of people involved in the shop, which I hope to have a few more of over the summer, and maybe have some cool themed events at the gallery. I’m so grateful to have the talented eyes of Camille and Maddie and so many other artists in my repertoire and I really hope to bring all these people together in a way that benefits everyone and let’s us really be immersed in our passions. I want to keep making signs and get a little better at that skill. Those are my biggest goals, to make the best of my time and talents and find out where forward is so I can go there.
Who and what inspires you specifically and helped you get to where you are today?
My biggest inspirations are often characters with a strong sense of self: Brigitte Bardot in “And God Created Woman,” Anna Karina in “Une Femme est Une Femme.” I think style, in visual arts and in terms of fashion, comes largely from personality. Patti Smith is a huge inspiration because she worked through hard times and created something from it that she never thought she would. I really appreciate people who can overcome great odds stacked against them. Support helps a lot though, as well as being a person who is willing to educate themselves. I think having supportive family and people around me has really been what’s allowed me to develop. My parents are also very big on kindness which I feel fortunate to have learned. I don’t think people truly realize the effect kindness can have on your life. It really makes things find motion.
If you could do anything you wanted career wise, what would you choose to do?
I have some crazy dreams, which mostly include collecting vintage clothes and sharing them with people, hopefully allowing people to feel as comfortable and and confident as possible. I want to see people take more risks artistically because I think that’s how art changes and retains its’ value. Having a bold sense of style has given me the confidence to live my life with more joi de vivre. I want to create less waste in the fashion world. I think I’m still trying to figure this out. Ha. But sometimes I wake up and think maybe I am living the best career possible. Even if that means working at things that aren’t necessarily my art form of choice. But I think there’s value in any job you do.
If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Well I would love to style a film for Godard probably. I just love the way he sees the world. And maybe do a really cool crazy thing with Yayoi Kusama. Some sort of fashion combined installation. Ha. I think that’s my favorite combination of things. 60’s pop that just overcomes a place and really let’s people feel like they’re a part of it. Hopefully I can create something that combines those things.
If it could rain any kind of food what would you wish for?
I wish it would rain gouda or mozzarella or just assorted cheeses. It would keep me from spending tons of money on cheese every week. Haha.
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My name is Jenna, I was born in South Africa and moved to Australia eight years ago. I am graduating from University this year as a Graphic Designer, specializing in Fine Art and Illustration. My heart still lies in Africa and my illustration work is heavily influenced by it. Beautiful women, animals and feathers almost always appear when my pencil hits the paper. I love creating strikingly bold imagery and line work that captures movement and expresses feeling. I use standard Staedtler lead pencils and love to draw on paper and wood.
1. how long have you been drawing? I dropped the crayons and picked up a pencil when I was about five and have never looked back! When I turned six and started school, I met a quiet boy in my class who would spend lunchtime in the art room. I decided to join him and he taught me how to draw mermaids. My love of drawing grew as I did and you wouldn’t catch me without my trusty Etcha-A-Sketch. Nobody could escape my nagging to “sit still while I draw you” and I would practice my signature for hours to ensure it looked just right when I signed my work.
2. how would you describe your artistic style? My style is clean, detailed and intensely bold. My work often holds hidden personal meaning and reflects my subconscious. I find beauty in animals and women, and combining the two was a natural decision.
3. what inspires you/your work? People inspire me most, especially people who are dedicated, talented and intelligent. Other creatives who are thriving off of the buzz of living their dreams are my main motivation. My work is inspired by my heritage and Africa has powerfully impacted my creative mind.
4. how long do you spend on an average piece? I tend to draw on a large scale and highly detailed pieces usually take around eight hours. I also love to do little sketches in my Moleskine to release small bursts of creative energy, which usually take around 20 minutes.
5. black and white or color? Black and white for sure. I admire artists who use colour in their work but there’s just something about dark, rich lead pencil that I can’t get enough of. Funnily enough, I do use colour when I paint though!
6. thoughts on ashton kutcher? Ashton Kutcher is a massive hottie… no-one compares to the Gos though ;)
7. are you working on anything now? At the moment I am working on a little collection and have more ideas than I can wrap my head around…so stay tuned!
8. do you have a favorite out of all of your drawings? One of my favourites would have to be “Indlovu”, which when translated from Zulu (an African language) means elephant. Another piece I enjoyed working on was “Warrior” which was drawn and painted onto my childhood treasure chest.