Black: A Contemporary Dance Short Film

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Black: A Contemporary Dance Short Film

Mia Ramer is a traveling musician and dancer. We met her in the South of Spain where she was on a journey living her dream of wholehearted creation and had just filmed and edited her first contemporary dance performance. 

In the words of the artist:

"This video was shot in England, where I was volunteering in a beautiful manor house with a big garden close to Oxford. Music videos was something that I had been thinking about doing for some time, and the beautiful location inspired me to make this movie. It was en experiment, and for me a way of being able to express myself and perform, feeling like I was on stage even though I was by myself. I did everything by myself: the filming, the dancing and the editing, so for me it really feels like an accomplishment and the beginning of new creative possibilities."
 


About the Artist

Mia Ramer was born in Switzerland, but spent most of her adult life in Denmark and Germany, where she studied contemporary dance for 5 years in 3 different schools. Along with that she played the guitar and the harp and danced Argentine tango. She taught contemporary dance and tango in Berlin and danced in a few festivals and music videos, but had to take an office job in order to survive financially. Almost a year ago she left Berlin to go travel and do more of what she loves and is passionate about. She went to different countries in Europe performing on the streets and at open stages, while making videos. She now mainly makes her own creations combining music, dance and video and upload her projects as well as my travels on to Youtube.

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Featured song: "Black" by Danger Mouse Feat. Norah Jones 

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Qualia by Katrina Amato

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Qualia by Katrina Amato

QUALIA, is a dance concept video created and performed by Katrina Amato. And to watch it is to witness woman claiming her power. As a creatrix, she owns her raw expression and dances in the fullest embodiment of her authentic truth. As you watch her throw emotions fearlessly into the wild, feel the conviction she claims and the beauty she allows to move through her.

 

Hear the inspiration behind this project from the artist herself:

 

What inspired the movement in this video? 

My movement was inspired by the need to release specific emotions and feelings from my body. Typically when I choreograph a project, I rehearse ahead of time. While constructing Qualia, I purposefully created on the spot without rehearsal, to allow a real and honest performance to reveal itself.

 

Did you feel "wild" in making this video, in what way? 

More than anything I felt free, which was kind of wild. I have done so much on-camera work, over the years, but I've never felt so vulnerable. There was literally nothing I could hide behind; not a brand, not a product, and eventually not even my clothes. Just me and my emotions. It was extremely liberating.

 

What is your relationship with nature and how did you tap into that in creating this video?

I've always been fascinated by nature. I'm allured by its power to comfort, to calm, and to nurture. It slows me down and effortlessly brings me to the present. I find it incredibly healing. 

While standing in the sand dunes shooting Qualia, I understood why I had felt called to them for so many years. The softness of the sand under my feet and the warm breeze embracing my body, made me feel at home and at peace. I was allowed to fully relax and truly trust the process. I had been holding onto intense emotions, and found the safe place to let it all go. 

 

 

More from Katrina: Scattered Into Light


Performer & Creator:

Katrina Amato

A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Katrina moved to California to earn her Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from California State University, Long Beach.  Upon completion of her degree, she began modeling and dancing professionally which quickly earned her a long list of credits including Citi Apple PayAflacBloomingdale’sCliniqueYahoo!, Target, Glee, Old Navy, Athleta, Lucy Activewear, Kohl’s, Chevrolet, GMC, Dodge, Heineken, Campari, and Absolut Vodka.  In 2007 she earned her certification as a power yoga instructor which allowed her to gain further knowledge of aesthetics of movement. In 2011, Katrina founded The Hollywood Bathing Beauties; an impressive collection of synchronized swimmers, dancers, and aerialists.  Her work with this company allowed her to choreograph works for French artist, Thomas Marfisi as well as Rod Stewart.  She utilized her underwater choreographic experience for projects with TOMS shoes and a music video for musician, Brandon Boyd. Recently her choreography can be seen in music videos for Tiesto & Incubus, as well as in the feature film, We Are Your Friends, starring Zac Efron.

As a Movement Coach, Katrina helps music artists connect with their body while making them comfortable enough to freely move while performing.  She focuses on utilizing the music artist’s personality and general way of moving to create a movement style that allows them to feel comfortable in themselves while performing on stage.  Katrina feels that it is important for an artist to express their true vibe while enhancing subtle movements in order to connect with the camera or a live audience.  This thought is universal for any type of artist whether they are a musician, model, or actor.

Katrina teaches every Wednesday night from 6-7pm at The Sweat Spot in Silverlake. Her classes are truly inspiring, fun, and upbeat.

Visit http: KatrinaAmato.com to find out more!


Directed, shot and edited by Spencer Byam-Taylor
Hair and Makeup by Megan Sutherland
Styled by Tristan Magundayao
Music by Ta-Ku
with help from Wilder Rush and Corey GPotter

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Womb Illumination Ceremony

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Womb Illumination Ceremony

In today’s society menstruation is perceived as something shameful and disgusting. It is a taboo. People do not feel comfortable talking about it. There are many factors that contribute to the negative feelings accumulated around the period. The most poignant is the fact that people have been separated from everything that is basic and primal, they have been cut away from nature. Most men fear the process of menstruation, as it is so alien and unknown. Most women perceive it as a necessary nuisance, and try to bear their suffering, isolated and alone. Women have given up one of the most powerful tools they are equipped with, their sacred power. Menstruation has been seen as a curse for hundreds of years but in reality, it is the greatest blessing and should be treated as such.

 

When one looks close at menstruation its sacredness becomes pretty apparent. A word ‘blessing’ comes from an old English word ‘bleeding’. Women are the only females, except for a few animals that bleed a little around their ovulation to attract males, who regularly bleed. Blood is the most basic, instinctual, raw and earthy substance known to humanity. It is life itself. It is its essence. The red color of this liquid indicates strength; it is associated with power, fire and emotions.The pictographs were usually painted in red, and most of the cave symbols are of this colour. The red ochre has been used for centuries in Palaeolithic burials (Walker 639). Chinese people consider “red a sacred colour associated with women, blood, sexual potency, and creative power”.This sacred elixir of life, should be captured, honoured, treasured and offered in ceremony for is pure potency of feminine power.

 

In times when people believed that a woman was able to create life without the man’s semen, her “bleeding wound”, and a life giving blood, was treated as something mysterious and even godlike. People could not comprehend how a woman could survive losing so much blood in such a short period of time. A woman’s bleeding played a significant part of people’ life. It was a source of life. It was respected. Women were believed to be a part of Mother Earth, a giver and sustainer of life. They were perceived as a manifestation of Goddess and treated accordingly. People paid great attention to the cycles that occurred in nature and the menstruation was one of the most obvious cycles of human life.

The bleeding time had been a significant part of life in the times of the Goddess worship until the arrival of the new, male gods. Around five thousands years ago the men, who prayed to the fierce gods of war, dominated the earth. They believed that the power belonged to men because they were stronger and wiser than women. The old chapels had been destroyed and the female figures replaced by the new, representing the male gods. The female was pushed aside. Her body, a sacred vessel that held a great power was diminished to the role of a procreating machine. The women were pronounced devil’s creatures and the menstruation, because of its incomprehensible complexity, was feared. “The Talmud said if a menstruating woman walked between two men, one of them would surely die” (Walker 641). It was easier to separate the society from the unknown and mysterious. It was safer but as a result, women have been cut away from their sacred cycles, and from their bodies. They stopped paying attention to the messages about themselves and about the world around they were receiving monthly. The wisdom flowing with their blood was lost. For centuries they have been reassured that their period was a disgusting nuisance, and they started to believe that to be true.

Menstruation, once cherished, became a source of shame. From generation to generation the bleeding time was becoming a time of isolation and secrecy. All the knowledge about the sacredness of the fluid “from a woman’s Mysterious Gateway” has been forgotten. Women started to perceive it as a curse, a time that disables them and makes them less valuable. During those few days a month they could not do what they would normally do if they did not have “it”. The power turned into disability. The women, instead of being happy with their bodies, began to blame them, making themselves weak. The more they hated their cycles, the more pain and misery they experienced every month. Something that was such a big part of women’s lives started to be a curse.

The more time passed, the more the women separated themselves from their blood. The lack of connection with Mother Earth caused irregularity of their periods, so they began to take hormones to force the balance into their bodies. The dependence on the drugs made women even more vulnerable. They gave away the control over their bodies to the pharmaceutical companies. The businesses have been developing fast. It has become an avalanche. The more hate there was towards their monthly blood, the more pain, the more money put into the hands of males owning the drug companies. Women were walking further and further away from the wisdom and appreciation of being a female.

The media contributed to the distortion of a healthy woman’s image. The products’ advertisements, which are supposed to ‘facilitate’ those hard days are numerous. The message is simple. The blood is wicked and it needs to be hidden. Women do not have to suffer the ‘horrible symptoms’ associated with the menstruation any more. Nobody has to discover their shameful secret because products, such as tampons and deodorants, can help to completely forget about menstruation. There is no need to even think about menstruation. Women can go to the swimming pool, they can wear white clothes, and they can have freedom. But do the procedures of masking this natural process offer a real freedom, or they take it away? Do they help to regain the balance or they take woman further away form their mental and physical health?

Every culture has its own attitudes towards the menstruation. Most of the time they indicate how women in general are perceived in a given culture. It is proved that in the cultures where natural processes of the female body, such as menstruation and menopause, are respected and held as sacred, women suffer less pain. They do not complain about the PMS syndrome, they are happy with their bodily functions and they find pride in being a woman. This would indicate that the beliefs that surround women have a great impact on their well-being.

In the societies where the wisdom of the grandmothers is re-membered, women know that their monthly flow is one of the greatest sources of power. It is magic that connects all women around the world. Every month each woman has a potential to bring forth a new life into this world. It does not necessarily have to be life in a form of a child. The new life can be an idea, a dream, a piece of art. It can be a decision to do something, or say something. The menstruation is a messenger and helper and should be treated as such. All the major ideas come to women during the bleeding time because they are more open then. Their wombs are open. They are withdrawing from the external world and are more focused on their feelings, and as a result more receptive.

The menstruation is a time when all the problems that are usually overlooked, neglected or pushed aside seem to be more pronounced. A voice of the intuition tries to point out the things that need to be looked at. It is extremely hard to hide anything during those days as everything that a woman has tried to push aside surfaces and demands her attention. These days, if treated with respect, can become a great ally, because they can help to get away from everything that is harmful, if it is a relationship or an environment, and regain a natural health.

Women, during their ‘red days’, have an access to the depths of their souls. If they were allowed to spend time undisturbed, listening to what their hearts have to tell them, they could learn a lot about their lives and human existence in general. The period gives an opportunity to be painfully honest with themselves. Some of the people, such as Tibetan lamas and Celts, believed that women during those days have mediumistic abilities; they are able to enter the spirit world, and talk to their ancestors. The smell of it is supposed to draw the spirits. The blood has always been seen as the biggest offering. Men all over the world have practiced the blood sacrifice ritual. Women offer blood naturally every month.

In the societies, such as Native American, where blood and menstruation was held as sacred, each time when a girl got her fist period a big ceremony was prepared for her. It was a symbolic passage from childhood to adulthood. Every culture had their own way of performing the ritual but each of them celebrated that time in one way or the other. In was an event in which the whole village was participating. It was a holy time. At first usually a girl was secluded for a few days. She was facing her own demons in solitude. Then, an older, post-menopausal woman was chosen to lead a girl through her Ceremony of Passage. Her role was to tell a girl some initiating stories and teach her a little bit about a woman’s role in a society. All women in the village contributed in some way to that ceremony. Each of them offered a gift. It could be a piece of jewelry, a story or a song. From the day of the first menstruation a girl was a woman, mature enough to decide about her life and take on all responsibilities of a woman. She was ready to start her own family and have children. She was a giver of life.

Even today, in some cultures, the Ceremony of Passage is still performed. All of them include some type of a test of endurance. In the Navajo tradition, the girls participate in a run towards the rising sun. If a girl that is bleeding for the first time outruns everyone, she is believed to have a good life. She is a strong woman. Some of the tribes, like Nootka in Canada, have a different kind of an endurance ritual. A girl is taken in a boat into the middle of the lake and left there. If she manages to swim back she is a woman, ready to bear the pain, such as childbearing. In the Apache tradition a girl who is menstruating for the first time is called a “Changing Woman”, and after a ceremony she gains a name of a “White Painted Woman”.


The dances and rituals of the initiation usually last for four days. For four days a ‘new woman’ is at the center of the village’s life. The attitude of native cultures is so much different from the one ‘modern women’ have been accustomed to. There is no shame in menstruation but a beautiful celebration of life. A girl’s first blood is seen as a blessing, and a powerful transition time. During those few days a woman can gain strength and confidence that will stay with her for the rest of her life. The reaction of the parents and people around towards the first menstruation usually shapes the attitude for the rest of the woman’s life. If the reaction is one of shame and guilt, which is usually the case in a dominant society, it is probable that a woman will not be happy with her body. It is extremely difficult to erase and transform it into something positive. Women should dive deep into the wisdom and rituals of the aboriginal societies because they knew that the menstruation was a natural and beautiful part of the Great Circle of Life.

The bleeding time, as a part of life, is strongly tied to the moon. The fluids in a human body, like all water on the earth, move along with the moon. They are conducted by it, like a big orchestra. The moon and blood wax and wane in unison. In the past, when people lived in accordance with the world around them, they were aware of this connection. There was no artificial light, the moon was the only giver of light at night, and as a result women’s cycles were coordinated by the moon.
The natural time for a healthy woman to bleed is during the dark phase of the moon (New Moon).Today it is not so defined as there are many factors that distract the natural cycle. The artificial light, the food with hormones, and various pills interfere with the balance. As a result sometimes a woman bleeds even during the full moon, which can be, if used properly, a very powerful time, too. During the full moon the female energy is directed outwards, as oppose to the dark phase, when a woman is focused inwards. The menstruation during a full moon gives an opportunity to express oneself externally and some great art can be produced during those days. If only women were able to tune into their cycles and listen to them they could accomplish some extraordinary things.

If a woman lives close to nature, however, her menstruation will occur during the dark phase of the moon. The bleeding is a natural way of cleansing a woman’s body off all the tissue that is not needed any more, that has performed its tasks. Just like the moon retrieves to a dark and quiet place to get ready for a new cycle, a woman, in order to be healthy, should retrieve to her sacred space, where she would look closely at her life and regenerate her strength for a new month. Sacred space can be any place that feels comfortable and peaceful, a place where woman would not be disturbed. The best solution would be to take a few days off from all activities. It is almost impossible, however, in the society today to dedicate a few days to relaxation. People who are not ‘producing’, not ‘doing’ are thought to be useless. It is understandable that women are more emotional and ‘overreacting’ around the time of their menstruation, as subconsciously they know that they are not doing what they are supposed to do. They would be much happier if they could spend some time without the demands from the external world. They would be able to tap the sources of a new life and get new, powerful insights.

The ideas conceived during the bleeding days are growing together with the moon and reach their peak at the full moon. The full moon is a natural time for a woman to ovulate. It is the climax of menstruation. All the dreams that have lived inside of a woman for fourteen days are opening now; they reach out to manifest themselves in the outside world. Then, slowly, a woman is waning to go back to her bleeding time again. Sometimes, when the dreams could not realized and the ideas could not be exposed a woman feels disappointed and irritated.

A woman’s body has been designed in a way that it reminds her about her need for solitude. Sometimes the pains and cramps are so unbearable that it is not possible to do anything else, but lay down. There is no escape, a body forces to look inside of one’s soul. The more the period is despised and evaded, the bigger the pain. The pain can be used constructively, it can be signify that the time has come to get away from the ‘worldly matters’ and spend some time in solitude. The cramps, in themselves are like an initiation ritual. They push a woman to her limits and expose her biggest demons. Each time a woman survives the pain of her cramps she becomes stronger. Pain is also a way of opening a heart, because when it is unbearable the only way of escaping it is listening to what it has to say. It is one of life’s paradoxes. Sometimes the cramps indicate that there is some health problem and if a woman could listen to its messages more closely, she and people around her would be much happier and healthier. When one is happy one makes everyone around cheerful and more positive. Instead of killing the pain with the pills, it should be listened to and acted upon accordingly.

In many traditions menstruating women are excluded from the various ceremonies they would normally be allowed to participate, especially if there are men involved in them. It is not because of the uncleanness, however, but because of the great power the bleeding women hold at that time. There is a possibility that too many doors to the other worlds and dimensions could be opened and harm other participant. Whenever there is a Sundance ceremony, which is the most sacred of all Native American ceremonies, and there are bleeding women dancers, they have to dance in an area specially designated for this purpose. It is located at some distance from the main arbor. The Indians believe that the energy in a body of a woman who is under the influence of the grandmother moon flows counterclockwise, as oppose to the regular, clockwise flow. When a bleeding woman dances in a separate place her energy is interweaving with the energies of the people in the main arbor. They create infinity.

In addition to the power of blood it is also believed to be one of the most nutritious of all liquids. The plants that are watered with it seem to grow much faster and are much healthier. It is a natural fertilizer. Blood also carries all information about humans and when it is given to Mother Earth she recognizes it and feels nurtured. Just like plants grow better when they are talked to, Mother Earth is happy when women share their fluids with Her. This practice is especially significant today, when the Earth has been neglected for so many years. The Native American women in the moon lodges were usually letting their blood flow freely. Today, this sacred liquid is flushed down the toilets without a second thought. It only shows how much the societies have been disconnected from the roots.

Blood has always been seen as a very powerful liquid. It has been used in folk magic. Its smell, and probably chemistry was believed to evoke deep emotion if a man consumed it. The semen and blood are considered two of the most powerful ingredients produced by humans. If joined together they are supposed to bring wisdom and strength. “In the Tantric tradition men became spiritually powerful by ingesting menstrual blood”. Although today it may seem disgusting and insane, the drinking of blood from a ‘sacred wound’ was quite popular among people involved in magic.

Women do not lose the power of their blood even in her post-menopausal days. They become even stronger as now their blood is “permanently retained”. No longer do they have to give it away. A woman’s life is imbued with the sacredness and the power of blood. Through all the stages of life, a maiden, a bride and a crown woman are infused with the presence of blood.


When I sat down to write this paper I started to bleed. It seemed that blood came to help me or maybe it wanted to speak and share its wisdom. The time has come for all the women of the world to dive deep in ‘the red river of life’ and regain its power.

The experience of moon time is the decision that we all make every month and if we choose it to be it can be an extremely empowering time. Women should reach deep into their ancestors’ wisdom and relearn the value of this sacred time. It is time to transform all the negative beliefs exiting in the male-dominated society into something that can be constructive and helpful. It depends on each and every one of us, women if the life of our daughters will be full of shame and guilt or full of joy and power. Happiness is not only our choice. It is our responsibility.



the Photographer: Chanel Baran

Chanel Baran is a greatly inspired 24 year old Visionary Photographic Freelance Artist. Born, raised & currently based in the beautiful Wet Tropics of Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia. She graduated James Cook University with a Bachelor Degree in Photography. For the past 4 wondrous years she have been passionate about travelling the world and truly taking the time to discover who she is, what her gifts to this planet are and to understand why she is here. Chanel has explored many parts of world around her and also the world within herself.

Chanel has discovered that photography is her medicine tool for healing. She is greatly passionate about facilitating a sacred space during her photo shoots. She loves to create an environment with her client where they feel comfortable and grounded to then fully embody their true authentic selves and soul’s true expression. Chanel is incredibly passionate about creating images that inspire women world wide to remember who they are and remember the great healing and transformational power that they hold as a woman.

Chanel’s enchanting and empowering images have deeply inspired people world wide. She has had the honour to co-create with inspiring people such as Hannah Fraser/Hannah Mermaid, Donna Raymond, Kalya Scintilla, Eve Olution, Imagika Om, Xavier Rudd, Shona Keeli Jones, Nehanda Nyanda Rusere and sooooo many incredible women and men around the world. Chanel is constantly transforming as an artist and her creative endeavours are spreading far and wide. She is currently creating and launching her own clothing line where her digital photographic artworks are printed on beautiful garments.

www.ChanelBaranPhoto.com

FB - The Visionary Photographic Art of Chanel Baran

Instagram - @ChanelBaranPhoto

 

The Model & Writer: Divine Flow

My earth inspired creative heart art is called Divine Flow at My Divine Flow. 
Offering Moon Lodges, Womb Clearing and Healing, Red Tent Woman's Circles, Embodiment Practices, Yoni Yoga, Sacred Spot Massage, Blood Rituals, Varying Right of Passages, Goddess Ceremonial Photo Shoots with my sister and Visionary Artist Photographer, Chanel Baran, as well as promoting the use and sale of Love Cups (menstrual cups) as an alternative to other wasteful sanitary products such as tampons and pads."

Join her for her 9 month Womb Illumination Webinar

www.WombIllumination.com

FB - Womb Illumination by Divine Flow

Instagram - @womb.illumintation

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Free Folk by Kelli Radwanski

“Free folk don't follow names, or little cloth animals sewn on a tunic," the King-Beyond-the-Wall had told him. "They won't dance for coins, they don't care how you style yourself or what that chain of office means or who your grandfather was. They follow strength." - George R.R. Martin

Photography by co-founder Kelli Radwanski, Styling and Design by Alexandria Basso

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Life On the Other Side

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Life On the Other Side

I finally stopped searching, suddenly surrounded by beings that exist in no other place, bending to their own design. Creatures who beckon my wandering feet to plant themselves among the strange, welcoming me home among the odd; as one of their own, as I always was. For a moment I meld, desert into sky, sunset into dusk, human into Joshua Tree, rooting and reaching.

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You Oughta Know: Sara Winkle

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You Oughta Know: Sara Winkle

In an age where film is nearly obsolete, photographer Sara Winkle has grown attached to it's unpredictable outcome.  She uses a combination of film and digital processing to paint the stories of her mind, gaining inspiration from old withered buildings and paintings by artists long since passed, and elders she acquaints herself with.  Sarah Winkle began her artistic endeavors as a young child in Germany where she learned to paint.  This was the beginning of life wandering in and out of different mediums of art, such as ceramics, photography and animation.  Let yourself wander through her work, and discover your own stories from the cobwebs of your mind.  

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You Oughta Know: Lee Price

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You Oughta Know: Lee Price

The work and expression of Lee Price is unlike many others. From first glance, you're pulled into the scene wondering about the honest portrayal of the subject's relation with her surroundings. The way that food and the female body are shown in her paintings, doesn't have the typical 'fat shaming' aspect that society dubs on many individuals but instead, the art speaks to you and says, This is my reality, let me in. We got to speak with Lee about her work, the relationship between women, food consumption and body image—and much more. Here's why you oughta know her work. 

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I Grew Up In Sunshine Land

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I Grew Up In Sunshine Land

A soft reflection on a place you call home. Reminiscing on memories of her youth, photographer Carissa Gallo revisits images from childhood, dripping in nostalgia and sun-drenched shores, with her photo-essay, "I Grew Up In Sunshine Land". Collaborating with fellow San Diego natives, each scene, each location, each piece of clothing in the series links back to memories of adolescence, curiously contrasting the child within and her present self. Get lost in a true Californian escape—sand, surf, and a drive down memory lane.

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WildSpotlight: Coco Khan

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WildSpotlight: Coco Khan

Feminine and futuristic collide in the colorful work of Coco Khan. Combining different artistic techniques, this maker is not merely indulging in escapism, but helping to fill a void in our world, through both handmade visuals and musical creations. "Art has always been a form of escapism for me, since I was very young. I never formally studied art, it's something I always just did, was drawn to."

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Monochrome Girl

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Monochrome Girl

Monochrome Girl will entice you at first glance, the way that subtle hints of paint  makes a natural slate speak volumes. With unconventional execution, photographer William Blanton and model Jacqueline Alicia joined together to create an minimal type of elegance with a hint of wild. Get lost in this exclusive editorial. 

 

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