What was the inspiration behind RIOT! RIOT! RIOT! and how did the idea first come about?
It was definitely Riot Grrrl inspired. That was a feminist punk movement that was instrumental to third wave feminism. I’m in love with the unapologetic, rebellious ethos and attitude. It has me all over it. I wanted to bring this back somehow, but I wanted to make it more inclusive. It was all cool but it was very one sided. Quite middle-class, cis and white which is definitely not reflective of intersectional feminism. RIOT! RIOT! RIOT! isn’t just about femininity though, it’s about expressing yourself through artistic means.
How did you decide which artists to get involved?
I had three amazing women in mind who I knew would be just right for this exhibition. Rene Matic who explores many themes, some of them being sexuality and race. Joy Miessi who translates moments and feelings into stunning visual pieces, and Hanecdote who specialises in embroidery that looks at feminism, grime and race. They really embody what it means to riot through art. We constantly talk about bravery in the creative scene, so why not just do it?
Which work are you most excited about in the exhibition?
All of them really, they’re all so different and I don’t really know what to expect from any of them. I’m familiar with their style but they each bring something different every time. We shall see.
What was your first break in the creative world and what’s your journey been like since then?
I think I’m yet to have that big break to be fair. I’m 20 years old and still finding my feet. I feel like I’m in a good position though. It’s been blood, sweat and lots of tears but it feels good. I guess when you’re really hungry for something you always see a positive outcome. It’s been mental though, I’ve had so much support from loads of people and it can get pretty overwhelming at times. From a very early age I dreamed of doing stuff like this so I can’t complain.
What was it like to work with ASOS?
A dream. I really do like ASOS for what they stand for. Nothing is forced. I feel like some brands force this whole “we care about everyone” vibe but it feels and is very genuine with them.
Why is it important for up-and-coming creatives to be supported by big brands like ASOS?
I mean being supported by a brand is great but sometimes we get distracted by big names. I definitely think getting recognition and support is super important but I would always research a brand’s ethos first. It gets complicated because as creatives we face decisions that could make or break us. I’m starting to see a rise of underground creatives collaborating with brands though which is sick. I think it’s about time we recognise our worth and how much change we could make when given the right platform.
Who do you most admire in the industry and why?
Edward Enninful, 100 per cent. It’s like he stepped in and suddenly I have more of a desire to make it to the top. Its only been a short amount of time but I can already see people I resonate with all over the place. It’s almost as if he clicks his fingers and it’s done so effortlessly. I’m really aiming to make representation and culture a key theme in all of my works and he does that all of the time. He just gets it done.
[i]RIOT! RIOT! RIOT! is on at Protein Studios on Saturday 21 October.[/i]