roll and fragment. your head is not
yours anymore. the second you see
the rotary motion, your skin grows
into something violent. something
that defies the existence of scars.
your life is a 4x3 movie; fixed and
static but free from motion sickness.
your heart is a carousel, not going
anywhere. your boneless, tiny hands
are touching all those photographic
memories popping out from your
eyes. now your life goes negative
as its default mode. fragment. roll.
memories are fluid, blurry, lucid
dream in disguise. film noir. your
head is no longer yours, but still.
Fumbalinas Spring/Summer 2016
Statement accessories with a kawaii kick! The newest collection from the Fumbalinas range explores a series of feminine statement pieces and iridescent wonders. Available online at fumbalinas.co.uk, pieces range from one off creations to ready to made to order items.
The Designer, Maker:
Fumbalinas: A one-woman operation using an amalgamation of styles to create a range of couture head wear and accessories. Rooted in the fantastical and the flamboyant, a Fumbalinas garment always consists of an elegant edge and a touch of the surreal. Fumbalinas chooses to re-use and recycle objects from the antique, obsolete and every day, breathing new life into old curiosities as she weaves them into the intricate designs of her collections. As well as her own seasonal collections, Jodie creates commissioned pieces for any occasion as well as providing workshops for events, private parties and corporations, the latest event having taken place at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
Jodie Cartman (AKA Fumbalinas) is a performer turned milliner, fashion designer and workshop tutor. Her seasonal collections and collaborative pieces celebrate the use of sustainable and recyclable textiles and toys with the manipulation of traditional methods of practice and technique. Collaborations of recent works include campaigns for designers Jane Bowler and Phiney Pet in their shows at both London and Paris Fashion Weeks 2015. Jodie also works as a textiles tutor, most recently for London's Royal Academy of Arts and forthcoming at Aberdeen's Art museum. Jodie's work has been featured in the likes of UK Vogue, Italia online, ID magazine and continues to engage audiences with its unique aesthetic and approach to the fashion world. Visit the website. here. You can also find Fumbalinas on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Please direct press inquiries here.
I trace the lilac veins across your face
Sugar on my foaming tongue,
A lemon-drop, dissolved.
On a bench we look out at sea, or was it a river?
I forget now.
The thought of you, at the window
The ticking of trains on repeat.
In this city, the streets are embroidered
With neon, bulbs like sequins
Blue, green, violet, red.
There are young boys racing
A supermarket trolley down the street
Singing sickness rocks my belly.
My innards clasped in skin
Pale meat in pink lobster shell.
I am underwater
In a silver swimming costume, tarnished at the hip.
Looking down a hall of mirrors,
I crack my eye wide-open, spilling
Vessels like metallic streamers at your feet.
I take your hand on the Ferris wheel
From here the whole city, tangled in light
Collapses all around us.
A world tossed upside down and inside out,
A snow globe in September.
My swollen mouth aches
For the words that line my pockets
Like foil tickets, confetti, smithereens.
Purple paper-cuts like battle scars
Each one for everything I could not say.
AN INTERVIEW WITH EMMA AHLQVIST
1. some of your illustrations are based on novels. we're huge bookworms, so are wondering who some of your favourite authors are and why? how does literature serve as a creative prompt for you?
I have a strong interest in literature and I love working on design and illustration projects that is inspired by fiction. When I illustrate a book I like to focus on the atmosphere or theme rather than a specific scene. One of my favourite books that inspired an illustration project a couple of years ago is White Noise by Don DeLillo. I love the humour, the dialogue and how it reflects on postmodern life. I also read a lot of Swedish books and I don’t know if many of them are even translated into English. One of the most originally beautiful books that I know is Sweetness by Torgny Lindgren. It is a story about two brothers who no longer meet or speak. They are both very ill and dying and hate the other one with a vengeance. The language is extremely considered and beautiful at the same time as it describes things that are so repulsive that you almost want to put down the book. It would be a great challenge to illustrate.
2. we see you have a graphic novel coming out in 2016. can you tell us a bit about it?
The title of this book is still to be confirmed, but it is a story about a girl who has recently finished school and still lives at home with her dad and sister in a small town in the middle of the forest. She spends a lot of time writing on her blog and dreaming of being discovered by someone. She wants nothing more than moving away to a big city. It is about mundane, everyday life, and how we all think we need to grow up to become something special. I didn’t actually know what a blog was when I was the same age as the character but I guess it is still inspired by my own experiences growing up in a small village in the south of Sweden. I am self-publishing the book and I will start selling it at ELCAF in London on the 10th of June as well as on my website. Keep your eyes peeled.
3. you're also a photographer - what is your favourite camera? what sorts of objects/subjects catch your eye?
I love to document places and environments, focusing on the unexpected details. I think I often photograph things that are overlooked or considered ugly by most people. I am currently working on a photo book about Sweden where I am juxtaposing idyllic nature scenes with photographs of industrial areas. I have also recently started to get into food photography and I even started a food blog because I love cooking, eating and photographing food.
I mainly use old school 35mm film and currently my go to camera is an Olympus om20.
4. there is a spectacular illustration called "wild trump" on your website. what are your thoughts on donald?
That illustration was too easy to draw because he is a real life caricature! Donald is terrifying, and he’s just going wild in politics. He is not following the rules and unfortunately it is working for him. When he started his political campaign a lot of people were laughing at him and thinking of him as a joke. Now we’ve all started to get a bit scared, I think that he is so dangerous because he knows that he can do and say anything and the people that vote for him will not care, he will still have their votes.
5. let's speculate. you can create anything for anyone. what is your dream project and why?
That is a very difficult question. The first thing I though of was that I would just like to create my own graphic stories. As a designer I often work for or collaborate with other people. It is really fun to be part of a team and it pays the bills but in between that I want to work on my own projects where I’m the boss. Saying that, there are loads of jobs I dream of, such as working as a graphic designer for film. I love the work that Graphic Designer Annie Atkins did for The Grand Budapest Hotel and getting a project like that would be absolutely amazing.
Orllyorlly is a Japanese artist, currently studying illustration at University of the Arts London in England. We first found her online moving picture book and were mesmerized. Her creations are intricate, vibrant and beautifully unsettling. They remind us of the sort of sci-fi, fantasy and horror we swoon over - that which is not dominated by violent action and masculine heroes, but that is intelligent, complex and challenging. We asked her to tell us a bit about herself and her art. Here's what she had to say:
Illustrating = visualizing stories
Illustrating is similar to visualizing stories. Plots form in her mind by being exposed to subjects. Often, these imagined worlds are then combined with her own philosophies, experiences and emotions. Her works seem scientific in that they convey subjects objectively. At the same time, they are deeply personal, revealing the darker corners of her mind.
Process and materials
These stories sometimes form suddenly and sometimes require extensive research. Orllyorlly sometimes sketches several times, makes 3D objects, writes poems and keeps a diary for inspiration. She uses a variety of materials and styles according to subjects, but her favourite are colour pens, for their detail and vibrancy.
As subjects for her works, she tends to choose people, especially children and women, to express emotions. She also prefers to leave facial expressions blank so that viewers can imagine their own stories. This is largely influenced by her Japanese background, where it is common to avoid expressing emotions openly, and rather let others in only through subtleties.
Orllyorlly is interested in emotions (specifically, the darker spectrum), conflict and psychedelic imagery. She enjoys reading novels, films and watching TV dramas that depict their characters' deep emotional movements. As for content, her tastes are diverse, but she especially enjoys crime, social issues and mental health. She also likes history and culture, especially Ancient Egypt, India and Japan.
Website, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr,
Crying in Colour
I’ve never seen you cry in blue,
even now that you are free to wash your food with salt
before consuming. You never cried
in streams or drizzles either but as tiny glaciers of crystalized
emotion, hoping I’d sit long enough
for them to dissolve. You never tried
to cry in colour – I told you once that was too simple.
You cried for me in pages, in shards of teacups I marked up
with lipstick. You cried them out like beads and
left the day I came to love the search for them more
than I loved decoding your sadness.
something we love about this section of your site is how natural the images look. it's been said that professional artist or band shots can sometimes be awkward in that they can feel stiff or staged. how do you manage to take such candid photographs that still look like they belong in a music editorial?
i think there are many factors that play into candidness of my photographs. the first one being that everyone is excited that i use film and there's something that clicks in them that helps them loosen up a bit. i'm also fairly gentle with my approach. i let everyone do what feels comfortable and i give little to no direction. a friend of mine told me to pretend i've been friends with everyone and that has helped me not get too anxious before a shoot. keeping that in mind, i try to crack bad jokes about the weather and i believe everyone plays off that energy.
self portraits / self reflections
as a feminist publication, we are deeply moved by your self portraits, so excuse us while we take a moment to thank you for sharing your magnificent skin with the world. we want to leave this one pretty open ended - can you tell us a bit about any inner monologues reflected in these photographs and their process?
i am an extroverted introvert and i'm constantly having moments where i'm overwhelmed with my own existence. a professor in college instructed me to find the one thing that terrifies me and to photograph that because at the time, i was playing it safe with my work. i mean, i still kind of am because i'm constantly evolving and trying to figure out what it is i want my work to be, but i'm a little less afraid now. everything i do is intentional from the clothing i'm wearing to how i am looking at the camera.
each photograph is like a diary entry. "i took one of the best showers today." "wouldn't it be funny if i took a photograph of my butt during our private seminar at the getty?"
where are your favourite places and what are your favourite circumstances to shoot portraits of others in?
i love photographing people in their homes. in cars. in open spaces. mid-speech. slightly posed. not posed. i let my subjects (my friends) do whatever they want, really. it's just as much their photograph as it is my own. i studied photojournalism before transferring to an art school and i still carry that storytelling with me. the "capture what you see and don't move anything" mantra echoes in the back of my head whenever i'm photographing my friends. i try my best to keep everything simple.
i'm currently working on an ongoing series titled invite me into your life where i photograph people in their bedrooms. it first started as a project on my classmates between the ages of 18 and 25, but i've since let go of the age restrictions simply due to the fact that at any age, our bedrooms best reflect us. i will more than likely release a small zine of my work in progress sometime this year.
you also have a great eye for objects and spaces most of us might not take a second glance at. is this a skill you feel you've trained yourself in or a natural talent? additionally, some of the photos in this section of your site invoke significant emotion, despite being inanimate objects. do you find the objects that catch your photographic eye reflect your inner mood?
i think photographing spaces came naturally to me. i mean, i'm a half self-taught photographer and half-art school graduate (meaning i could have easily gone without going to school for photography but i wanted to learn more theory and work in a darkroom so i enrolled). i've always been interested in the absence of a person in a space that's used frequently.
my mood when i photograph is usually on the calmer side. i'm introspective and when i'm not talking a million miles an hour, i'm observing. my photographs of spaces and objects is usually because the light hit something in a way i needed to remember. along with my self-reflections, my still life photographs are acting as an entry to my visual diary. without giving away too much– because i want the viewer to engage with the photographs in a way that resonates with them without my guidance– i make a mental note of how i'm feeling and take a quick photograph to remember how the light hit something. it's the details, the little things, that interest me.
we love the combination of text and photography that makes this digital space feel like a peek into a diary. we felt as if we experienced the world from your eyes. if you're comfortable, can you share with us any moments from this section of photos that stand out in your heart or mind and why?
one of my favorite projects in the second section is .twentythree.
when i was 15 i had a crush on the new kid in school. after a few months he transferred out of our high school and we lost touch. while he was at school, he'd tell me about new bands to listen to and i credit him as the first person to show me interpol.
we reconnected years later and after many failed attempts, we met up at my favorite cafe for the first time in 8 years. everything was friendly at first and i half-jokingly told him he should visit me in portland and he spent part of my spring break with me. it was unspoken, but we started dating and i unknowingly started documenting our time together. i half knew it wouldn't last after the summer because i still had a few months left in college, but part of me wanted it to. it's probably weird to have a favorite ex, but he is mine simply because throughout it all- the beginning, spring break, our summer, the time after it all ended- he was gentle and kind and understanding and did his absolute best to let me know he meant everything. it was also a mutual thing. we both knew we were better off as friends, but i still think it hurt me more than it hurt him.
another favorite section is my series momma. i wasn't nice to my family growing up, especially my mom. she's been sick since i was in my mid-teens and i started photographing her at the end of 2007 when i purchased my first film camera. it was my way of trying to spend time with her without actually saying i wanted to spend time with her.
i spent two weeks in georgia with my mom and her side of the family. we spent an afternoon in her hometown of albany with her cousin sandy. i vaguely remember the home from the last time we were there when there was a big flood in albany in the mid '90s. my mom is my queen and this photograph was the first one i've made of her that she's proud of. i mean, she loves all my photographs, but this is the one she used on every social media site.
i was born and raised in the san fernando valley in a city called sylmar, but instead of giving people a geography lesson, i simply tell everyone i'm from los angeles. my love language is film and my work is heavily influenced by my longstanding obsession with the word "home." i graduated from pacific northwest college of art with my b.f.a in photography in 2013 and i've been trying to make sense of it all ever since. on the first tuesday of every month you can catch me at the echoplex in the photo booth in between screaming along to my favorite pop punk and emo songs at taking back tuesday.
invite me into your life, let's talk about our favorite bands. (mine is brand new)
The Sober and Alone EP is haunting, melodic, relatable and seems profoundly personal, as music should be. Can you share a bit about what the creation process was like?
Well, first of all, I’m flattered! I have an insufferable tendency to downplay everything I do and create so that’s really nice to hear. These songs were written over a period of time—some of them are a year old, some of them were written while I was recording. Two of them were written while I was living abroad and having existential crises. I tend to write when I’m left with nothing else to distract myself from my feelings. Like most people, my creativity arrives in waves—sometimes they’re far apart. Lately, the waves have been rolling in strong and hard. I came home from a trip to Europe and was stuck in a serious depression. I am an introvert at heart but this time, I didn’t want to see ANYONE—and I didn’t for about a month. I’ve had “record a solo album” on my list of things to do for the last few years and I’m not sure exactly what made me do it, but I dove in. I spent a month barely sleeping, and being painfully depressed. I put all of that pain and hurt and confusion into recording; it was my outlet. I showed my mom the album and it made her cry. I guess the pain shows—haha.
Additionally, creating and sharing art are two vastly different experiences. What was it like to release this EP?
I’ve never recorded solo music (well, maybe a few songs here and there) and I’ve only been playing guitar for about a year-and-a-half so it was intimidating. The last band I was in was the first time I even wrote songs. I’ve played in lots and lots of bands but always as “the bass player” who played other people’s music. Anyway, it’s terrifying to spend so much time on something and then send it out into the world for everyone, busy with their lives, to listen to and judge. I honestly couldn’t tell if it was garbage or not—I was trapped in my room at all hours of the night (cliché, I know) recording and listening and mixing and I can’t tell if it made me feel more insane or... I finally sent a few songs to a friend and she said they were good so I felt some relief. Anyway, like I said earlier, I lack self-confidence so it was scary to share the album, but also, I created the music and the recordings for myself so whether people like it or not is an afterthought. It was more about, “Ok, Kye, time to do that thing you always talked about but always found a reason not to do.”
'The Gender Binary is a Jail Cell' is a great song title, ringing vastly true. We see on your Bandcamp that your pronouns are they/them. Has it been liberating to detach yourself from harmful gender stereotypes?
I should preface this answer by explaining some words and concepts I use—because not everyone knows or thinks about these things. Whereas gender is socially and culturally constructed, sex is biological—chromosomes, genitals, etc. The best way to put it is, sex is what’s between your legs and gender is what’s between your ears. Sex does not determine gender. They’re completely separate. Gender does not determine sexual orientation. Cis-gender (pronounced ‘sis’) is a term for someone who identifies their gender with the sex they were assigned at birth. A cis-male is someone who was born male, who identifies as male—and likewise for females. The ‘gender binary’ is basically the idea that there is ONLY male or female within the gender spectrum: it’s static and set in stone. What I mean to say is it’s completely bullshit because people are never one or the other (in my opinion).
The most liberating thing I’ve ever done was admit to myself, and the world, that I don’t fit in the gender binary. It’s very confusing to people and almost everyone I encounter uses the wrong pronouns. It’s really just an “okay, they don’t mean it maliciously” thing and also, I have to pick my battles. I get it. I look male. I can’t help that. I’ve always struggled with my sexual orientation and my gender because of the rules set in place by society about what I can and cannot do (because of my genitals). At first it was bisexual and then queer and then “maybe I’m gay, oh, but sometimes I like women too” and then finally I realised, “oh, right, I’m not one or the other, I’m all of it and none of it: I’m genderqueer and gender non-conforming [which generally falls into the ‘transgender’ spectrum].” When I first admitted it, I thought I needed to transform myself into a ‘woman’ (because I often feel more female) but soon realised that was playing into the binary as well. To me, there is nothing more toxic than Male/Female. Gender is fluid. Sometimes I dress more male. Sometimes I dress more female. Why does it matter? Why is one outfit ‘masculine’ and the other ‘feminine’? What I wear doesn’t change who I am inside. My genitals don’t determine who I am or how I express myself or who I’m attracted to.
Genderqueer people are sometimes asked to justify their identities, which is highly intrusive and is not expected of cisgender people. Do you find that you are sometimes asked to explain who you are because you don't identify with traditional gender roles? If so, how does this affect you and how do you hope to see society's understanding of gender identity progress?
I don’t feel like I have to justify myself to people because the whole process is in their heads. They can use the right pronouns and still see me as male. That’s not my battle. All I can do is be myself and explain who I am as best I can. The rest is for them to decide. If they don’t accept that people can live outside of the binary, that’s their business—but I’m doing it and it’s wonderful. I can’t control how someone labels me or categorizes me or judges me. That being said, when it comes to sexual relationships, it’s very confusing because I think most people still see me as a man, no matter what they say—which makes me feel shitty. Because of that, I don’t really ‘date’ anymore—haha.
I think the cis-male is stuck in a “THIS IS WHAT MEN DO” mindset (as conditioned from birth) yet “tranny porn” (I don’t like that word) is consumed by straight-males (not that anyone is admitting it) on a massive scale. It doesn’t line up. I just want to scream, “it’s okay to want to do ‘weird’ stuff, men of the world!” So, when men stare me down like I’m a monster, I’m never sure if they want to fuck me or kill me or both. It can be a bit much, but I guess I like that my appearance alone challenges some people. In my perfect world, gender wouldn’t exist and we could all be whomever we want to be regardless of genitalia. I should add that ‘female’ can be just as constricting and restricting of an idea, it’s not just ‘men’ who are trapped. Neither is right or wrong, it’s just strange.
But, really, people seem to always have a problem with “they/them” pronouns because it’s not “proper grammar”. But, really, what is grammar? It’s a bunch of rules created over time—but it changes. It slowly changes. Grammar and language aren’t set in stone. Everything is adaptable. We can accommodate human beings of all sorts into our dialect; it’s just a matter of rethinking how we communicate. Long story short, most people don’t get it and think people like me are mentally ill or are looking for attention. Yes, I’m mentally ill but that has nothing to do with my lack of gender. I’m not looking for attention—most of the time I want to go unnoticed. I would give anything to live in a world without a gender-binary. Yet, here I am, doing the best I can with where and when I live.
Sometimes, when listening to music, there are those, for lack of a better term, "fuck yeah!" moments where the lyrics hit the listener hard. I had a lot of these on my way through the Sober and Alone EP. Obviously all of the lyrics are important to you, but are there any that are especially meaningful and why?
“Deep inside, she longs for love, but all she feels is her pain” is the lyric that comes to mind. It’s something I’ve struggled with all of my life: loving myself. I’m a self-loathing expert; I’ve perfected the craft. This last year I’ve been really working on loving and accepting myself, but it’s so hard. Being gentle and kind to myself does not come naturally. Often I think, “it’d be much easier if someone could just come and love me because then I don’t have to love myself” but that doesn’t address the real issue. Someone else isn’t going to save me from myself.
What are you doing when you aren't playing music?
I’m compulsive and obsessive so when I get in a routine, I milk it for all it’s worth—but also I change my mind constantly so those routines are always fluctuating. What I mean to say is that last year at this time I was meditating and practicing yoga and running and hiking every single day. Two years ago at this time I was probably drunk or hungover in a pit of self-destruction and despair. Right now, I’m in a “I’m going to chain smoke and nap every afternoon and record a lot of music” phase. With all things that come and go in my life, the constants are music, photography, motorcycles, gardening, and reading. Of course, dealing with my mental health is a daily practice. Like creativity, my depression comes in waves and it’s something I’ve come to accept rather than try to deny. Also, I eat very healthy (so healthy I can’t even eat at restaurants) and I’m sober so I’m a real HOOT to be around.
What makes you smile?
Riding my motorcycle will, without fail, bring a smile to my face. It’s my go-to whenever I’m feeling down. A therapist once asked, “are you sure you should be doing such a dangerous activity when you’re feeling that low?” She was probably onto something, but it works every time, so… Also, my mom makes me smile a lot because she’s just about the cutest person I’ve ever seen.
What does your perfect day look like?
Every straight-male is wearing a dress and makeup and they’re all kissing each other on the cheek and talking about their feelings and crying and professing their love and realizing that masculinity (and femininity for that matter—the gender binary) is a prison but everyone holds the key to escape.