£19 – etsy.com
£120 – carnetdemode.com
£7.79 – amazon.com
£2.92 – etsy.com
£71 – therealreal.com
£23 – macys.com
£4.24 – emp-online.com
Like any fantasy-reading, day dreamer of a girl, I was enamoured of Pre-raphaelite imagery, and this fascination has never left me. Sure the women are objectified in these paintings, and there is often a morbidity to them, but they are also powerful, substantial, and reflecting psychological complexities that rang true to me as a bookworm girl in the suburbs longing for a more interesting life.
I’m lucky to have beautiful friends who are willing to sit for me and model my jewellery– both Rosie and Catherine defintely channel the powerful, mysterious heroines of the Pre Raphelite’s.
When I design pieces it’s often with my customers in mind. My work has a sense of humour but also it’s beauty is based in narrative– not unlike the Pre Raphealite paintings that inform my work.
These earrings were inspired by the angel of death, Azreal. I’ve posted the paintings which correspond to some of my designs below: http://feral-strumpet.myshopify.com/products/copy-of-queen-bee-bindi-with-rose-and-moss-green
By far the most famous Rosetti painting, I have often been influenced by the colours in his Proserpine, as well as the melancholic drapery. My obsessions with garnets and their resemblance to pomegranate seeds probably can be traced back to this painting, too.
Another enduring favourite is Waterhouse’s A Mermaid. The best boss I’ve ever had, Julie, back at the San Francisco State University Library Periodicals Department, had this postcard slipped under the glass of her desk. Julie looked like the mermaid in the picture and everytime I see this photo I see Julie. I loved staring at it (Julie obviously had a lot of patience with my day dreaming self)– the tail wrapped so neatly around her, her am caught in mid-stroke combing her hair and that shell filled with her jewels. I wanted to comb through it! I love setting myself the challenge of making something you could find in that very shell.
Today I woke up to the news that Instagram has now banned the #goddess tag. What this means is you can use the tag, it just won’t show up in searches- essentially making all content with this tag invisible in search. #bringbackthegoddess as well as #goddesses tags have been used as work-arounds.
Instagram has not explained its reasoning. Women on the platform are guessing there was some kind of “pornographic” images using the tag. Surely if that is the case it would be easier to ban the IP addresses of those accounts abusing the #goddess tag instead of silencing a any pagan, heathen user, anyone who likes to call their friends a #goddess, anyone wanting to talk about history, literature or cultural production of the human race? Would they ban #God, #Allah, #Buddha? And what exactly would happen if they did? If they reinstate this tag but monitor it, what exactly will they be looking for?
Just a few weeks ago Instagram banned the body-positive tag #curvy, only to reinstate it with the warning that all #curvy tags will be monitored for content that Instagram finds offensive. And there is the ongoing nipple fiasco, where male nipples are OK, but female nipples in either a breast feeding portrait or in all their body-part glory will get you banned.
Back in the late 80s when I was a Women Studies major at San Francisco State, we debated stuff like this, as well as how to spell women, who could speak to oppression and other things that at the time seemed so academic to me. The argument against anti-porn campaigns went something like this– if we demand patriarchal porn to be banned, the first people these laws will be used against will be feminist women working with images of the body. I wondered at the time how this would manifest. If I could go back in time I could show my younger self this object lesson, except that there are no laws, no platforms for discussion with those in power. We’re subject to the whims of the ones who own our means of communication– I have tried to do with out them, believe me, but it doesn’t work if you have an online business and have friends all over the world.
Like the banning of curvy, this is an attack on women, albeit a stupid, petty one. This morning I feel such outrage, but it is only a reminder of that bit of ancestral memory, of being slowly or violently erased– what women have had to fight against for thousands of years– so much of our ancestors spiritual legacy has been renamed, rebuilt, built over in another God’s name, burned, raized, forgotten. I am under no illusion that the internet is a safe place for women, that it’s democratic or even forward looking, yet I’m not cynical enough for this to be routine. It’s still met with rage.