Speed Date: Meet June's New Members

Join us in welcoming the talented and varied array of creatives that became part of the !GWAK family in June.


CHANTAY JAMES

LEFT: 'Allegory of Merit Accompanied by Ebony'; CENTRE: Chantay; RIGHT: 'Untitled''


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I am a 23 year old post graduate Fine artist called Chantay James. I am from the United Kingdom, specifically East London / Essex. My background is Caribbean, specifically St Lucia and Jamaica.


WHAT DO YOU DO? I create digital art which blurs the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation and the critical portrayal of women amongst the lack of black female acknowledgment within western art. Ultimately, my work places the black woman in art history - where she would usually be absent.


I do this through a development process starting with performance, photography and digital art which eventually progresses into large scale paper and/or acetate prints, presented either 'traditionally' or as an installation.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

I think the important message within my work is what drives me to keep making.  Its educational, acknowledging and including conversation-starting elements,which I feel are important now more than ever – yet have always been important to me. 

My work is a reflection of reality. At the same time, it is changing its notion.

I also enjoy working with people: the models/subjects I use bring different features to the work. Lastly, winning a runner up award at Truman’s Brewery, Free Range in 2019 determined personally that I needed to keep creating.

www.chantayjamesart.com

Instagram: @artworkbytay_



VANMAYI SHETTY

Work by Vanmayi


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Vanmayi, my name, when loosely translated from Sanskrit, means mother or goddess of the forest; my work stems from a people and planet perspective. I am a visual artist from India with a lens-based background in social documentary and storytelling.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I like to work with various kinds of media to share unique narratives. From photography to hand-poked tattoos, I have traversed several creative boundaries.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

My practice is rooted deeply in the exploration of themes based on liminality and the feelings of ambiguity or displacement that occur amongst the people that inhabit these transitional spaces. I truly believe that any creative work that stems from the intersection between identity and community has a strong transformative quality about it.


www.vanmayi.com

Instagram: @vanmayii


FLORENCE YOST

Work by Florence


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I'm Flo, and I'm from London.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I honestly love to experiment with a bit of everything - my favourite is probably lino and creating prints, or photography! I also have some more obscure (I guess you could say) creative outlets, such as knitting and nail art.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

I’m normally quite an impulsive creative and act upon sudden bursts of inspiration. My creativity is driven by music, my friends and seeing others create.


Instagram: @visuals.fy



RYAN CHRISTOPHER LLOYD HART

LEFT & RIGHT: Work by Ryan; CENTRE: Ryan


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I’m an interdisciplinary artist from Coventry.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I make experimental shorts, sculptures, paintings and drawings.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

My creativity is driven by observations of resistance, hope and joy, seeing my people free.


Instagram: @ryancl_

www.ryanchristopher.co.uk



TIJANI FAYZAK

Work by Tijani


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Hi my name is Tijani and I'm originally from Malaysia, but have been in the UK for most of my life. I'm currently based in Brighton.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I'm a student at Brighton Uni studying Illustration. I mostly enjoy drawing but also dabble in photography and creative writing.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

I find that I get lots of different creative sparks from various things such as films, music and what I observe in everyday. Surrealism has been a big influence in my work.


Instagram: @warnoldinho



SHANNON CLINTON-COPELAND

LEFT: Shannon; RIGHT: 'Brixton' by Shannon


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I'm Shannon, I'm a Jamaican-Irish writer born in London but raised in Ireland. I now live between Norwich and Kent.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I'm a writer of prose, experimental fiction and scripts, a poet, essayist, and activist, but primarily an aesthete and an all-round creative being.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

Story drives everything I do. Beautiful stories, ugly stories, true stories, hard-to-stomach stories, stories that have to, demand to, be told.


Instagram: @shannonscribes & @curioreads



EMILY COLLYER

LEFT: Emily; RIGHT: Work by Emily


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

My name is Emily, I’m 18 years old and I’m an aspiring illustrator based in Norwich, UK


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I make art primarily focusing on feminism, masturbation, sex, women’s bodies and other things that are seen as taboo by society in an effort to normalise them!


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

The thing that drives my creativity are these topics I base my artwork around, as it helps spark conversations surrounding them and helps people feel more comfortable and honest talking about their own experiences. I’m also highly inspired by other illustrators and the feminist movement, gathering inspiration from other people’s styles and artwork in order to grow as an artist.


www.emilycollyer.com

Instagram: @emilyraaachel



EYRA ROSE NORMAN

LEFT & RIGHT: Synesthia Paintings by Eyra; CENTRE: Photograph of Eyra


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

My name is Eyra, I am 19 and I’m Malaysian-British! I lived in Hong Kong for most of my life and then moved here to the UK permanently, where I now study music at the Royal College of Music in London.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a Douglas and Hilda Scholar at the Royal College of Music, studying Classical Singing and Opera, and I am also a painter!


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

My creativity is driven by my desire to share experiences and evoke different emotions through singing and multimedia performance. As a Synesthete and a classical musician, it’s hard to find a true representation of those things in an accessible way (let alone creative); that’s why I try to share it with as many people as possible through paintings of pieces I listen to, as well as classical Singing/ Opera!


FB: Eyra by Design and eyranormansoprano

Instagram: @eyranormansoprano and @eyrabydesign



REBECCA DOHERTY

Work by Rebecca


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

My name is Rebecca Doherty and I’m Nigerian.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I love sharing beauty related content.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

My creativity is purely driven by wanting to see more people like me with acne prone skin in the beauty industry.


Instagram: @beauti_bybecca

https://vm.tiktok.com/Jd8U8DS/



ANNIE BROWN

Photo of Annie


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I'm Annie, and I was born somewhere in East London.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I write poetry, lyric and prose to say the things that are otherwise impossible to say: "I love you", "I don't love you anymore", "I'm sorry", "I'm not at home in this body".


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

There is no shortage of frustration and heartbreak, so I keep writing.


https://open.spotify.com/artist/4T94AEgTEywmjFzt3wJ6JK?si=g7H-IJScR66flW8ebI1jiA&fbclid=IwAR1bCjxlWdY5QdP7LU4zyhFfWbdWyOSZVoi_Bdqzb0YjKQXD_MvsMFNn_0A



DOMINIC MORRIS

Work by Dominic


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

My name is Dominic Morris. I'm originally from LA and now I live in Egham, Surrey.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am an abstract artist who utilises colour and line to create new, exciting worlds and dreamscapes. My work aims to evoke recognisable shapes and experiences within the complex forms. Differing perspectives provide uniquely driven impressions. I focus my creations through digital, ink and paint mediums. I use film photography to document events and sometimes manipulate them for pieces. Photoshop is my go-to for digital art and I have used it for over 10 years. Most of my works are improvised and not planned, however I have a certain intention for each piece set in the mood or context I want to create.

WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

Being inspired by other artists, dreams, the surreal and strange drives me to create. I always listen to music while working as it helps guide my direction and focus.


Instagram: @mindof_dm

arcanemoon.bigcartel.com



RUHKIA JOHNSTON

LEFT: Ruhkia; RIGHT: Work by Ruhkia


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Hi everyone, my name is Ruhkia and I am based in London.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am an 18-year-old realist artist who often paints black females amidst plants, gold leaf and African wax print fabric.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

My creativity is driven by walks around local parks and the idea of creating art that is inspired by African-Caribbean culture. I love the vibrancy of different materials and incorporating them into my work.


Although I choose to depict black females, I try to ensure that my overall message transcends race and can communicate with people from any background.


www.ruhkiart.com

Instagram: @ruhkiart



JESSICA BARRETT

Photograph of Jessica


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I’m Jess, I'm from Cambridge and I’ve just finished my undergrad in English Literature at UEA.


WHAT DO YOU DO? I’ve just left Concrete as Deputy Editor-in-chief and am now working as a freelance writer. I’ve joined !GWAK to write more and to spread important messages!


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

I love writing because I feel I am giving a voice to those who aren’t able to vocalise their struggles.


www.jessica-barrett.co.uk

Instagram: @jessicabarrett___



TILDA MAE CLARKE

LEFT: Tilda; RIGHT: Work by Tilda


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

My name is Tilda Mae Clarke and I am a multidisciplinary artist. I am currently living on the road but previously based in Melbourne.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am situated within the natural environment spending my time creating and expressing myself using the materials that surround me. I work in collaboration with Mother Nature creating energetic, sculptural paintings.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

Through the creative expression of a personal narrative, I am able to navigate and persevere through emotional challenges. I explore themes of  fear, self-doubt and vulnerability through recorded performance. I delve into the Self through the documentation of movement attempting to manifest a visual representation of deep suffering.


Instagram: @tilomae



ORIANA JEMIDE

LEFT: Painting by Oriana; RIGHT: Photo of Oriana


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I am a Black British multidisciplinary creative working within visual arts, performing arts and creative writing, based in London.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a recent Fine Art graduate, sometimes dabbling in portraiture, but mainly a landscape artist. My work focuses on developing sensory architectural and landscape sets through combining multiple mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography and sound.


My journey in fine art is only one aspect of her work. I am also a poet, having begun writing at the age of 12. In 2019, I self-published my first book, ‘When Will You Let Yourself See?’ which is a book of poems and musings that focus on navigating identity as a young woman in the 21st century. I am also the founder of two thriving organisations, The Soaking Rooms, an arts and entertainment platform focused on bridging the gap between artists and audience by delivering live events, and The Medela School, a project focused on helping people manage and improve their emotional and mental wellbeing using fine art workshops.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

I have chosen this line of work because I am interested in the therapeutic impact of art, not just through context or messaging but just in a visual encounter with art. How does a painting make a person feel when they see it? This is the foundation of my work. As a black artist, I want to steer away from portraiture which is common for black artists; it appears that there is sometimes a pressure on black artists to focus on the body, to have heavy messages in their work, to make their work a form of activism. I want to take on a different angle. Rather than focusing on our tragic history and harsh reality, I want my work to serve as a form of healing and escapism, places where black people aren’t fighting or surviving, places where they can just be. By creating nature scenes in my art and empowering words in my poetry, I am creating places people can go to when they feel overwhelmed.


Instagram: @rianariya



JORDIN REVEL

Photos of Jordin


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

My name is Jordin Revel and I’m from a wee farmer’s town on the West Coast of Scotland called West Kilbride!


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am an actor, poet and model.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

I would say that my creativity is driven by a variety of things: music, art, nature, culture, politics.The same as most people I suppose! I would say that I find a lot of intrigue in what makes us all human: exploring those cracks and imperfections and finding beauty within them. I’ve realised that exhibiting and examining the negative aspects in life helps me to further appreciate moments of clarity and peace.


Instagram: @slackercitizen



LATIYA NANTON

LEFT & RIGHT: Work by Latiya; CENTRE: Latiya


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I am Latiya Nanton. I was born and raised in Essex but my family are Caribbean Italian.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am an abstract geometric artist that deals with colour in a way that challenges my heritage. My practice was founded on the premise of only looking at my 6 heritage colours. White, red, blue, green, gold/yellow and black. My love of colour was founded before I decided to narrow in on my heritage specifically.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

My creativity is driven from the love of new and existing colours. The way they interact with each other and when placed into hard edge forms ( often taking from flags ) they behave very differently. The love of deconstruction is the way to give forms new meaning is something I am continuously exploring for as long as there is a new composition and a new colour to create.


Instagram: @latiya_nanton



JONAS BUTLER

Collage of Jonas


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I’m Jonas. I live in Brighton.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a producer and musician, but I dabble in video production and visual art.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

I’m really just doing the music thing to get laid...


Instagram: @indicapalmradio & @chilli.ma



NENANI KRIS NYALUGWE / FRENZY-T-THINKER

LEFT: Nenani; RIGHT: Work by Nenani/Frenzy-T-Thinker


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Frenzy-T-Thinker, writer with a lot on his mind. I am from Lusaka, Zambia. A little central African country with probably the worst debt in the world right now. Lol.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

Well I write, and when I'm not doing that I'm a website developer/assistant digital content manager for a software distribution company.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

Life... in all its terrible, beautiful splendour. And how I perceive things.


Instagram: @nena.kris



MOLLY BERNADIN

Work by Molly


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Hello! I’m Molly Bernardin (she/her), born in Bolton and raised in Worthing.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a culture writer, poem shaper, photo taker and music maker.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

My creativity is driven by a search for honesty (personal, public, political honesty).


Instagram: @molsdoesmols



TAMERA FRANCIS

Work by Tamera


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

My name is Tamera Francis and I am from Nottingham.


WHAT DO YOU DO? I studied Fashion Textiles specialising in knitwear at Middlesex University.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

I love textiles especially knitting, whether it is hand knitting or machine knitting, as I enjoy creating my own fabrics. My curiosity of knitting technique variations combined together into one sample drives my creativity and gets me excited to design.


Instagram: @tamera__francis



CHAY SWAN

LEFT: Chay photographed by Constance Wilson; RIGHT: Work by Chay


WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

My name is Chay Swan (Pronounced like ‘Che’ before anyone asks) and I'm a creative situated in the Scottish Borders.


WHAT DO YOU DO?

I'm currently studying for a diploma at Edinburgh College in Music Business. I also write self-penned spoken word poetry, as well as compose ambient music, and run my own DIY label ‘Don’t Be Scared’.


WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY?

I think my creativity is driven by my own therapeutic need to express certain emotions and feelings self indulgently and creatively through words and sound.


Instagram: @chay.wav

https://open.spotify.com/artist/0F8YoaJVnELxPv42Hagl39