Last weekend, we hosted a 30 trader art market at KERB x Peckham. Organised by Creative Debuts, a pioneering platform for local, emerging artists to be celebrated and seen in a similar way that our inKERBator programme acts as a platform for emerging street food businesses. Here are some of the female artists doing incredible things for art in London (many trading for the first time!) We want to share their stories with you.
1. Elrose Film / Hollandoates (Lauren Rose)
Lauren Rose is a North East London based analogue photographer who uses handwritten quotes and photography to raise awareness of mental health. After being signed off from work last year, she was encouraged by other artists who she knew to speak out and be more honest – and now she uses her words and photography to help others get through the same things.
“I love taking photos in London, particularly Shoreditch, of the little things other people don’t see to make them see things differently.
I came up with the lead quote ‘Kindness is at my core’ while feeling like all my attempts at putting other people’s feelings ahead of my own had failed as it felt like I lost myself in the process. The quote is a reminder of what’s important to me and that self-care is paramount and should never be confused with being selfish. It’s important to be honest with yourself first and foremost – give yourself time and respect your struggle”.
2. Raine Lo (Lorraine)
“I learnt how to make my dolls so I could make some for a friends little sister who thought her skin was too dark. This was when I found out about the lack of diversity when it comes to brown and black dolls. I wanted to create something we could see and relate to, something that resembles ourselves and those around us and that wasn’t in the high price range that black and brown dolls are at the moment.
Luckily I had the opportunity to sell my dolls at Black Girl Fest where I was greeted with a heartwarming response. Since then I have also started making brooches, earrings, key rings and Christmas ornaments, alongside taking personalised custom orders”.
Made to order to match the skin tone of who they’re for and with a name tag on too. Find Lorraine on Instagram and look out for them on Etsy soon.
3. Line and Honey (Amberlee)
Part-time mental health specialist, part-time illustrator – meet Amberlee from @line_and_honey. Using simple “lines, curves and curls”, her artwork is a way of keeping herself and others mindful, focusing on “the individuality and unapologetic attitude of black women” and the beauty of still life.
Her illustrations are minimal and soothing, using as little detail as possible to illuminate the full picture. “My illustrations focus on black women and other women of colour, in a bid to reclaim and contribute to the changing narrative that black British artists are driving through their art right now. It’s an exciting time.
I hope that people see themselves, their strengths and their beauty when they look at my illustrations and come away feeling calmer and more mindful.
Look out for her next ‘still life’ drawing workshop on 3rd December.
“I use my platform to uplift the voices of black women so we see ourselves portrayed the way we want to, to tell the untold stories of self through collages or film. I sometimes appropriate white artists because they’re the only artists we’re taught about. White art is not the standard.”
The idea started out of a reaction to John Stezaker’s artwork, which portrayed white women only and became a conversation over time. Rachel also takes inspiration from Janelle Monae, Viola Davis and Rihanna.
5. Lala Oblaka (Lalah-Simone Springer)
Passionate about ‘self-decoration’ and pompom earrings, full time marketer, Lala, makes yarn jewellery in her free time to outlet her creative juices and help make other women feel beautiful. Lala says “people have been decorating themselves since they found out that mud and water made paste – it’s part of being alive, it’s not frivolous! And should be fun, ethical and accessible”.
From a family of makers – “my Grandma was a sorceress with the sewing machine, I still use a bright orange doily that she wove by hand on my stall”, she uses yarn in everything she makes. Why yarn? “It’s accessible and inviting, the repetitive movements it takes to make a pompom are meditative and when people see them it takes them to a place of childlike delight.
My Mum is a hairdresser who can work absolute magic but I can’t understand why this kind of craftsmanship isn’t considered art. It’s seen as women’s work, while sculpting and painting are somehow more legitimate. I call it “art of the lovely everyday”.
Helena Cardow is a 24 year old Londoner with a penchant for oil paints, leopard print and anything ginger-flavoured.
“Until recently, I didn’t really see a career in art as a possibility. There’s a lot of societal pressure to get a ‘real job’, and I found it hard to put myself and my work out there without knowing how people would take to it. After going through academia and getting a Master’s in Visual Arts and Culture, I realised I was spending a lot of time thinking about other people’s art but never my own. So last year I made a promise to myself to create something every day. A few months later, I was showing my work at my very first exhibition, Creative Debut’s Nasty Women: Empowerment!
My art explores, at the moment I’m fixated on the female form. It’s the first subject I knew, as an artist and as a woman. The female form as my corporeal home has shaped how I’ve been seen by others, how I’ve experienced life; in some ways it is all I know, your own body is sort of your first confirmation of reality. Most importantly, the female body is beautiful! It deserves to be seen, to be visible, to be loved”.
7. Les Delacroix (Julie Yeung)
Dressmaker and pattern cutter turned pop up origami card maker!
Julie Yeung gained her Masters at London College of Fashion before working for Roland Mouret and Tara Jarmon in Paris. It is in Paris where the concept was born: to create a range of luxury origami greetings cards folded into shapes of clothing that transform into 3D ornamental objects, thus allowing the recipient to keep the card as a gift.
Nicknamed The Delacroix, each card is supplied with a flat tripod for the recipient to cut out and fold, allowing them to interact with the creation of their 3D gift. In addition, the cards unfold allowing space to write a personalised message.
“My objective: to surprise people and make them smile by creating something simple and fun”.
From watercolour chameleon bags to Ancient Greek inspired jewellery, artist Geeta Roopnarine’s designs are inspired by the spirals and talismans in Ancient Greek writing and she makes things to ‘ radiate positive energy’. She was born in Trinidad and Tobago and now lives in London and Athens and studied Fine Arts in Athens and Computational Arts at Goldsmiths.
…And last but not least: one of our KERBanists!
9. Betsy from Dreamin’ Dough (and #KERBAlumni, You Doughnut)
Betsy (above) and Jo started You Doughnut 6 and a half years ago after working for KERB Founder, Petra, in her Choc Van and for KERBanist, Luardos, at festivals.
“We loved food and baking and were good friends after studying photography together at uni. We used to meet in cafes and eat cake and share our baking stories, then after a little while we thought “why can’t we set up a food biz and make it a success like these guys?!” – having fun, feeding people, travelling etc. So we did!
It HAD to be dessert cos we have HUGE sweet tooths and we saw a gap for a delicious hot doughnut dessert. Fast forward 6 years and we became increasingly aware of using dairy products (the impact on the environment plus intolerances) and along with our head dough girl mollie, we create an indulgent vegan doughnut recipe that tastes as good as, if not better, than ‘normal’ doughnuts! (Oh and also we just couldn’t find jobs we were into that much – the desire to be our own bosses was big. It’s madness but we love it and wouldn’t have it any other way)”.
Up next at KERB x Peckham: Green Rooms’ Botanical Garden