Dallas Seitz is a Canadian artist who lives in London. In his own words, he "unapologetically utilises the poetry of objects to combine his interest in collecting, museology, colonisation, personal history and the complexities of representation." From his 'Museum' and 'Tourist Postcard' series right through to his accidental sculpture encounters in his photographic series 'The American Story', Seitz displays a cunning twist of thought and purpose leading to riveting reinterpretations.
Work by Dallas Seitz:
Dallas Seitz chose the photographer Juno Calypso as the person who is inspiring him at the moment.
I will say I am very proud and inspired by Juno Calypso at the moment. I had the pleasure of watching grow from the first year of her BA at LCC. Juno was part of a great year at LCC and as an Artist and University lecturer you don't get so many of those in such a dynamic way. Juno's year group took on the three years hard core! Juno's work is creepy, beautiful, feminist, scary, charming and has always reminded me of so many moments from my past The Stepford Wives, Valley of the Dolls, David Lynch, my Grandmothers Doll collection and carpeted bathrooms with coloured fixtures....pink and blue foam hair curlers.
I think when an artist can do self portraiture and own it the way Juno has done is very difficult. We have Cindy Sherman and Yasa Masa Morimura and so many others but Juno is presenting a strange period of time which we can almost smell. That makes sense to me to say it that way. It has nuclear qualities and I love that she uses the personal in her sourcing of costumes, and sets. Joyce if she still calls her that is to me about going backwards and re-looking at what our mother's, aunt's and grandmothers might have experienced in suburbia or small towns and then Juno takes it one step further into 'Oh fuck Ya!' Now I am green in a pink heart shaped bath tub reminding me of Diane Ladd's character in Wild at Heart when pushed to edge of motherly, female guilt covers her whole face in lipstick and puts a hit out on Lulu's boyfriend. Juno is a smart, funny, hypnotic photographer.
Juno Calypso and her 'Joyce' series:
Juno Calypso nominated the costume designer and stylist Ruka Johnson:
There is only one Ruka Johnson. We were both born and raised in London but our paths didn’t connect until 2011 when I was a student and she was about to open her own lingerie shop in Carnaby Street, aged 25. She let me have my own exhibition in the shop. For the opening Ruka made a giant gold clamshell and filled it with pink alcohol. She is the only person I know who can say, “is there anything these hands can’t do?” without sounding conceited.
Since then Ruka has made a name for herself as one of the best costume designers in the UK film industry. Her ruthless switch from lingerie designer to costume designer inspired me to be more zealous with my own career. She sets goals for herself and achieves them in record time. It’s like watching Simone Biles and Paris is Burning at the same time.
Costume Design and Styling work by Ruka Johnson:
L-R: (Collaboration with Juno Calypso, Cherry on Fire costume illustrations, still from short film Balcony)
I first worked with Dionne a couple of years ago when she was directing a short called Hi, Miss - I just really admired how vibrant and bright and dynamic she wanted to make it. Young black people are really starved of on screen representation and she is actively changing that. With Hi, Miss she really created a soft, hyper-real colourful bubble for the two main characters. She treated the young black people on screen with kindness, care and humour, which is a privilege they're not usually afforded - and I admire her for using her platform to do that.
I just recently worked with her again on her latest short We Love Moses which was an amazing experience! As soon as I read her script I was desperate to be involved & to help translate the characters' feelings & decisions through the costumes and clothing. It's a really beautiful and delicate story dealing with adolescence & sexuality, to me personally it's a very important "coming of age" narrative and one in which communites of colour are underrepresented. I also think Dionne's got a great eye for lighting and for mise en scene, every detail is considered. It's great working with a director like that - I also feel like at this point because we've worked together before, she trusts my judgement and so it's a dream to not feel restricted in terms of my creativity. I'm really excited to see how well We Love Moses does, there were a couple of shots that really took my breath away during the screening - I can't wait for other people to be able to see it as well.
*Photo of Ruka by Juno Calypso
Films by Dionne Edwards:
(L-R: We Love Moses, hi, miss!, We Love Moses)
Dionne Edwards nominated the filmmaker, writer and artist Cecile Emeke:
Cecile Emeke inspires me right now. Her online work is raw, unflinching, poetic and funny. Most importantly, she is a young black woman who decided not to wait for anyone to give her permission to tell her stories. In a world of gatekeepers, institutions and bureaucracy access in the creative industries for young people and young people of colour is an issue - I think Cecile has played a part in redefining that for people like me.
Emeke rejects the term "minority" is unwilling to compromise her vision as an artist and storyteller and I am excited that this is just the beginning for her. She inspires me as a black queer woman with a quest to remove the limitations placed on black images and stories in film and television.
Films by Cecile Emeke:
Cecile Emeke* nominated mental health advocate and app developer Sait Cham:
Sait has greatly inspired me with his project 'Recovr' which is a space dedicated to mental wellness in young black people in the UK. There is such a unique and traumatic history that sits as the backdrop to the mundane concerns of a young black person in this country. To see one of my peers tackle such a space with such dedication and integrity is truly inspiring.
Sait Cham and his Recovr app.
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