SUKU X Shannon May Powell

We feel inspired by the way different people from all sorts of creative disciplines find a way to make SUKU uniquely them. Shannon May Powell is one of those people who can approach each project with a sincerity and curiosity, allowing her to really see a subject differently. It’s for this reason, she is a beloved and regular collaborator of SUKU’s. For this month’s Dream Team shoot, SUKU designer Christine Lafian joined Shannon as shoot stylist. Between these two creative minds, who know SUKU so well, they were able to bring to life an interpretation of SUKU that expresses a certain dreaminess only these two can capture. We interviewed Shannon to find out more about how she sees things…

Artwork by Lani Mitchell

You've collaborated with us in many ways before... what's your interpretation of SUKU?
For as long as I've known (designer) Chrissy she has shared her lucid, almost feverish dreams with me. Surreal landscapes, strange hazy characters, her imagination is so vast. I see this manifest in SUKU. Also her cultural roots, traditional Indonesian tribal patterns, mixed with the hyper-colours of her personal world here in Melbourne.

What's your favourite thing about your artistic collaborations?
The expansion that happens when you have another mind to bounce off. Chrissy and I have always collaborated creatively and always will. Outside of SUKU I love to collaborate with artists that explore different mediums so I can see the alchemy of ideas being expressed through means beyond my own. Seeing something I write expressed as a painting, or an aesthetic, or idea brought to life as moving image. Being pushed outside of your parameters creatively, that is a magic feeling.

Which rule need do you think needs to be broken more often?
Most of them, but especially outdated social conventions. Namely nudity and other types of personal expression that are oppressive. On a more societal level, immigration rules should be broken, especially in privileged countries like Australia that have the space and resources to accommodate and still refuse those in need. The gay marriage rule should also be broken, more as a symbolic recognition of all types of love being accepted.

What's something that you think you see a little differently than other people?
I guess we see everything differently to each other because we siphon the world through our own lens. But if I am to speak of something I see differently in my life right now, it's the concept of home. I have been travelling and living abroad for a while now. I haven't been in an English speaking country for almost two years before I arrived back in Australia recently. So, I guess I am seeing home differently. In a more conceptual sense, the notion of home has become a very fluid and abstract thing. But I like it that way.

Artwork by Gabriel Curtin

If you could walk in anybody's shoes for one day, whose would it be?
Sun Ra

Ideally, what would your next project look like?
I'd like to experiment with moving image instead of still photography. I'd also like to start performing my writing as spoken word, which is terrifying, but that's why it interests me.

Photography // Shannon May Powell
Model // Tamrin Barta
Styling // Christine Lafian
Words // Maxine Dabrowski