From a short film by Gaïa De Crecy to a new zine from Margot Macleod, here’s a roundup of the latest exciting work from some of our Dazed Club members
It is indeed 2023 and we are still holiday calendar-ing: maybe because our intention is that this January is as not dry as possible. And so, we present to you the last of our roundups.
Gaïa De Crecy’s short film is a mashup of heist and road trip, and is working on getting young creatives’ work seen through her company Green Eyes. Roana Liana Ahdout wants to bring a raw, female gaze to photography, while Zuzu Valla had the pleasure of photographing the next generation of creative talents with Down’s Syndrome. Mercurial Pearl’s surreal collages will brighten up the start of your year and Liwenxuan Zhu makes it all a bit more spooky with her atmospheric photography and exploration of the occult. Félice Knol goes into the woods and to parties for her photos of youth culture in London, Anaelle Kouassi and Aicha Thomas’ photos celebrate African heritage and fashion, and Lucy Carter has a great substack. Finally, Alice Almeida takes to the streets of Paris for an unexpected series with model Clement, and Margot Macleod is working on a new zine, titled Gunshot Glitter.
Check out all their work below, and stay tuned for our next open call series.
GAÏA DE CRECY
“I’m Gaïa, I’m 23 and based in London. I’m a filmmaker and photographer – here’s my second short film, 11:11, about three best friends over a 24 hour period. Bored at a random party, they decide to leave, steal a car and drive to the beach...
“I also have an events company called Eyes Green. We organise events at Colour Factory, supporting emerging creatives. We will be starting a podcast before the end of the year as well.
“We are always looking for more creatives to get involved! We are mainly doing live music – bands, rappers – but also have DJs. With the podcast, we’ll be sitting down with young artists as well as more established ones and have conversations about inspiration, how to get your work seen and more. You can find us at @eyesgreenldn or via our website.
“In 2023, I’d like to empower more creatives through my platform. We are really working towards making Eyes Green a safe place for up-and-coming creatives to get their work seen. We want to do more events such as gigs but also exhibitions, workshops, talks and film screenings.”
RONA LIANA AHDOUT
“Growing up all I saw were photos of women made by men. Women that were hypersexualised, Playboy-esque, and perfectly fashioned. I saw women being told where to go, what to do, and how to be. What I wanted was to break the cycle. I wanted to know who these women were when they made the decisions on how to be seen.
“I began photographing women because I wanted to know what was underneath; maybe if I uncovered their layers, I would find my own. A camera is a means of creating or closing distance. In the past it pushed women away, made them untouchable. I wanted to close that distance. My lens is an offering to the women that want to be seen as they are and not as they ‘should be’. Women that are playful, naughty, wild, curious, or quiet. Women in action.
“This series is the start of my exploration. These women are my protagonists: they are explorers and voyeurs, victors and lovers. Their bodies are landscapes for the stories waiting to be told, fierce but precious. My photos become a space to play, understand and transcend. This is where women get raw.”
“These past few months have shed a lot of light on the situation in Iran and really captured the world’s attention. As a first gen Persian woman, I’ve grown up being constantly kept up to date on Iran’s cultural and political issues, while also being told endless stories about the magnificence of Iran during the time my family lived there, before the revolution.
“This year I want to create a project that visually reimagines Iran in all its glory, beauty and joy. I want to bring to life the stories my family has told me along with the stories of other Iranians I find. I want to build a photo series that allows me to connect with my roots, connect to a place I’ve never been yet feel so intertwined with.”
“My name is Zuzu Valla and l am a fashion and portrait photographer based in the UK.
“l will be celebrating the holidays with more projects like the one featured in the photos here, which I took at an event organised by Radical Beauty Project – to celebrate the first art and fashion photography collective models with Down’s Syndrome.
“We had the privilege to hear from Down’s Syndrome stars such as actors Sarah Gordy and Tommy Jessop, as well as the amazing model Ellie G and an incredible performance by Drag Syndrome.”
Photos: @zuzu.valla | Christmas edits: @lozfolio | Social Choreographer, Creative & Artistic director: @danieldevice1 @radicalbeautyproject @dragsyndrome @culturedevice | Starring: Lady Mercury, Justina Bond, Nikita Gold, Davina Starr, Lady Francesca, Sarah Gordy, Megan, Ellie G, Tommy Jessop | MUA: @daaddy.longlegs
“I’m Mercurial Pearl, a collage artist and poet in based in London. I express my love of textures and fascination with shapes through collage. I like combining elements you wouldn’t expect to encounter in the same space. Collage gives me space to play out my own logic and highlight the aspects of images that stand out to me the most. I’m drawn to that which is often overlooked: the reflections of liquid through a glass casting shadows on a wall, or the silver filigree accenting a piece of furniture. Materials that call for your attention or those that absorb the light.
“Since 2020, I’ve been writing poems. I use words to process life’s events – the highs and lows. I’m excited to share that I have a collection of poems that I will be publishing as a book in 2023. I’m currently working on the design and layout with Valentina Castro Valdez, who is an incredibly talented concept designer.”
“I am fascinated by horror movies, mythology and the unknown. My work is a manifestation of my surreal world, and the goal of this project is to create characters like extra-terrestrial beings in a distorted metal helmet, a masked holy figure, or a fawn-like sleep paralysis demon, through analog and unconventional ways of editing. For example, image transfer on metal, burn editing and experimental collage.
“2023 will be a year of creating more fantasies, experiment with more mixed media and working freely for me! I am also looking forward to meeting new people that inspire my and introduce me to their fantasy world!”
“I’m a 24-year-old visual artist from the Netherlands, currently living and working in London.
“This selection of works are from my photography exhibition, BLISS: A CELEBRATION OF YOUTH CULTURE IN THE CAPITAL, capturing youth culture and nightlife in London. This project was a starting point of bringing people together around the medium of art, something that is still very important in my practice. I care about the physicality and tactility of my work, and I prefer having my images in print. My photographs are shot on film, which is another important element to the candid nature of my images.
“My main inspiration is the people around me, and I enjoy working collaboratively. When I shoot with people I prefer going somewhere together and getting to know each other, instead of staging a shoot in a studio.
“I enjoy using the medium of photography because I think it is a more approachable and accessible art form. It is a visual language that is widely used, and perhaps less intimidating than other forms of (contemporary) art. I think it is important that everyone feels the freedom to express their ideas and feelings about visual art, rather than it just being for a selective audience.”
ANAËLLE KOUASSI AND AICHA THOMAS
“The beauty of Afrocentricity explores life as a second generation African in the UK. The project speaks on Gen Z boldly claiming their African heritage and celebrating it more and more on social media as each day passes. They are finding the beauty in their traditional languages, clothes, and food. With the rise of Afrobeats, Y2K Nollywood and emerging African creatives, it really has become cool to be African.”
What we want to do creatively next year
Anaëlle: “Step out of my comfort zone, have fun and create something for myself.”
Aicha: “I guess I want to carry on producing art and encouraging the representation of black people through my imagery!”
“My name is Lucy Carter, I’m a writer focused on culture, lifestyle and entertainment. I’ve been writing for years, but have only recently started self-publishing via Substack and Medium. On infatuation and overanalysis I write about – well, overanalyse – whatever I can’t stop thinking about on a weekly to fortnightly basis, trying to offer either new views on well-worn topics or explore an idea that I haven’t seen much written about.
“infatuation and overanalysis was partially born out of the fact that I like writing about whatever I’m finding interesting at a particular moment, which may not necessarily be at the top of the headlines. While I love keeping up with the latest pop culture developments, things often strike me as interesting a long time after I’ve initially come into contact with them.
“In 2023, I want to dedicate more time to my writing and try to keep myself to a more reliable publishing schedule! Creatively, I want to explore a wider range of topics in the newsletter, improve my writing and self-editing skills – a constant journey! – and maybe finally learn how to use Photoshop to make my thumbnails a little more professional. I’d also really like to connect and collaborate with others in the journalism industry who are interested in similar areas.”
“At a very young age, I became obsessed with photography. The possibility of capturing a moment forever in a frame, a memory that can be more than just a thought. Art school in Paris allows me to explore this passion every day.
“There is always something worth photographing, but what I love the most is capturing moments with my friends. When I look back to these images I can remember exactly what I was doing that day and how the photoshoot came about. These pictures were taken as the sun was coming down on the few quiet streets of Paris. They encompass quietness and calmness in a city that is always busy. Towards the end of the photoshoot Clement (my model) and I came across an ice cream shoot in the Marais. These are my favourite pictures from the shoot. To find something so innocent and childish in an arrondissement known for its bars. The neon signs gave life to the place, making it perfectly embedded in their surroundings. The best part about photographing in Paris is that there is always a new place to discover around the corner.
“My goals for next year include doing more fashion photography and seeing an evolution through work of the Parsons Paris magazine.”
“My name’s Margot, I’m 19 and based in Glasgow. I’m currently working on a zine called Gunshot Glitter. It’s named after a Jeff Buckley song – I got the idea after reading a book about him called From Hallelujah To Last Goodbye, and even if you’re not a fan of his work, it’s really interesting to hear stories about life on the road that aren’t glamourised. So far, I’ve got a few interviews and photoshoots with a band called Saint Sappho and another musician called Katerina. We spent the day walking around the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, and also stopped by Byers Road to nosey about. The west end of Glasgow has a very nostalgic feel around this time of year, especially with the deep blue skies at around 4pm before the sunsets. There’s also an interview with a musician called Chell and the Vetos – I interviewed them in a pub called McChuills that puts on gigs every Thursday.”
“I’m trying to be more positive about 2023. I would love to be making more zines and seeing as many gigs as I can. I’d also love to get some writing published at some point. It may be a total pipe dream, but I also just want to go on tour with a band.”
“My name is Jessica Harris, I’m a stylist, and you can find me at @jyssiquah.
“In 2023 I want to explore my new creative home, London, and hope to work with as many of the talented creatives here as possible. I also want to push myself into more creative direction work, and take control of expanding my comfort zone!”
Photo credits (from first to last) 1. Talent: Effy @its_effyy Photo: Frederick Wilkinson @fw_photo HMUA: Charlie Fitzjohn @charliefitzjohn Producer: Aimee Phillips @aimee_phillips_ | 2.Talent: Badé at People @babyibex @peopleagency Photo: Lilli Waters @lilliwatersphoto Photo Assist: Enrico Kas @enricokas Mathew Stott @notabadphoto MUA: Meg @moochimade Art Director: Caroline Beard @carolinebeard__ | 3. Talent: Ben at Kult @3ensam @kultaustralia Photo: Diego Campomar @diegocampomar Photo Assist: Alex Munday @digitalbath.xmp MUA: Elizabeth Ivy @elizabethivy.beauty Wigs: Kara @kitsch.makeup.world | 4. Talent: Partiboi69 @partiboi69 Photo: Diego Campomar @diegocampomar Photo Assist: Ellie Phan @elliephn MUA & wigs: Elizabeth Ivy @elizabethivy.beauty Art Director: Den Villar @darts.vader Styling Assist: Tina Jenkins @tinajenkins_ | 5. Irvrsbl @irvrsbl Talent: Charlotte @chargregg Photo: Diego Campomar @diegocampomar Photo Assist: Harry Burneister @harryburmeister HMUA: Georgia Gaillard @georgia.gaillard
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