War Cry |
War Cry came out of a moment of fury, frustration and exhaustion. This year has been huge. When I reflect I sometimes lose sight of what has gone down - in less than a year. For War Cry I worked alongside set designer/graphic designer Kate Fox & photographer ‘The Furies’. Our creative concepts are all usually inspired by our own lives, and we all shared this same fury and rage at how unforgiving and cruel life can be at times, particularly at this moment in time. This feeling was simply begging to be channeled positively and constructively into a creative concept. War Cry was a declaration of war and preparation for battle against our enemies and inner demons. An expression of both vulnerability and rage. A way to steel ourselves against whatever the future will throw at us, and a letting go of the negativity of the past. We hoped to inspire courage and fortitude in the audience and give them the strength to do the same.
I was asked to art direct a queer poc friendly night at a nightclub in Melbourne. So War Cry had a delivery date & venue. We shot an editorial + film & planned a live installation to accompany the premiere of the film on the evening. Everyone cast in the editorial/film, & subsequent show, identified as queen &/or poc. We originally wanted to shoot in a skate park – but it was suddenly closed for refurbishment. We specifically needed that brutalism backdrop + a location that could be anywhere in the world at any time. This War Cry was universal, timeless and raw. I felt like my scream could have been heard on the other side of the globe.
We found bushland - but gum nuts & Australiana fauna were so far from the concept… We found ourselves casually breaking into a church… To see this location in the flesh screaming a loud cry of approval from the fashion Gods. Completely empty, white walls, white ornate arches, a concrete slab alter + stained glass arched windows.
The night of the event the 6 model’s were all placed in a cube in the venue lit up by LED lights and draped in plastic. It was a voyeuristic moment where the crowd watched them drinking & dancing with complete freedom, abandonment vulnerability & fury. The film played and all the model’s proceeded to scream their personal war cry & move through the crowd to Bjork ‘Army of Me’. Some of them moved almost in a mania, others bodies found a more graceful and delicate way to move, others stomped & unapologetically vogued… But everyone revealed themselves, a very vulnerable, raw side and captivating side of themselves. It was exactly what it needed to be. Personal freedom and personal ownership. Zero fucks and zero apologies. It truly felt like demons had been stomped out + our true selves could come back into the light.