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saffron lily: urge to create


I’ve always felt the urge to create. To translate the stories and feelings that fill up inside me – like a tap flooding from a glass, art was just the excess of things I didn’t know where else to put. (Or maybe more accurately, the only way I knew how to put it).

I was lucky enough to grow up in a surrounding that encouraged the creative. Circumstance brought me out of a linear education system, so instead I learnt to count my knowledge by measure of the things I found drive in - I traded trigonometry for story books and exam halls for dance floors.

The mediums that inspire me fluctuate – it’s always the concept that comes first, the need to tell something in a way that lives longer than in day to day transience, that sinks into minds a little longer than the bus ride home they first formed in. The shape I want to portray these ideas through changes, but I’ve always been a lover of the visual. Sometimes missing the whole picture but dissecting the details, witnessing things not central to the immediate. I like things that are awkward and real and don’t always seem how they’re supposed to. I’m interested in concepts of change and the temporary, and how identity and relationships fold into these circumstances. I’ve moved between places a lot – and I’m grateful for the experience and perspective I’ve gained from not being stagnant for too long. This definitely influences my own practice as an artist.

I usually find myself creating through the forms of photography, illustration and writing. The latter art forms are more independent, reflective in their practice, they provide space to create something of your own invention. Photography however provides an alternative avenue - the process is as important as the end. I’m interested in the relationships we form with each other when we create and to invoke the thought and process of consent within photography – how we relate to one another and the dynamics this provides to explore within boundaries that can be communicated. Navigating this is crucial to creating photography that is valuable to me – it’s a conversation, an experiment. Even if there is an orchestrated concept I want to outline within the work there needs to be balance. I don’t want to create an image that strips the humanity between those I interact with, I don’t want to succumb to the formulaic chain of images that get pressed between glossy pages.

Alongside my own practice, I also curate a publication called (un)titled: we are not defined by labels. I’ve always been in love with the form of publications, zine culture and the history that it is entangled in. Creating and submitting work from an early age, although there were some beautiful spaces and projects I am grateful to have and been involved in, I found there was often a criteria or consumable box that young or emerging artists had to fall into. I craved a space where the young and emerging didn’t have to dilute themselves. That the stories that filled the pages didn’t have to represent themselves in tidy manners and that there would be candid conversation to relate to. I had toyed with the idea of a publication for years before finally coming to fill the shape of (un)titled. In its second year since the website opened, it has grown in more ways from hosting open mic nights, film screenings and now into a print publication. The print publication is definitely an exciting venture, having wanted to place the articles that had been featured online into something a little more tangible. The project still has so many ways in which it can grow. It is predominantly self-funded, the money made from it recycles back into maintaining the project, I want to expand on this to pay artists and provide an agenda free space for people to be inspired by. If you would like to support the project everything helps from donating, buying a print copy, badge or postcard to sharing a story on social media just to promote and keep alive the work of young and emerging artists.

Overall, my days are marked by the need to create – to document and to love and to create something that hopefully, makes others feel heard. I think that’s what art really is, inseparable from experience, a conversation with everyone, a shared moment, a timeline marked by people bold enough to state that they saw, that they felt, that they listened and that they simply, were.

I’m always happy to hear from people, if you’d like to get in touch regarding commissions or collaboration, don’t hesitate to get in touch through my website saffronlilyart.com or social media @saffronlilyart

If you want to read more of (un)titled, you can do so here: untitledpublication.com and see the shop here