'The fire blazing in her dark and injured heart seemed to glow around her like a flame'
- The Beautiful and Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald
My friend Lianne got in touch the other day telling me she wanted to sell my photography for me on a web site she had co-founded called The Beautiful & The Damned, which champions cool Indie artwork by British artists. I was flattered that she thought my photographs are artwork, or that they are cool, but sceptical about...well, whether my photographs are artwork or whether they are cool. I promised I would think about it. The thought of submitting some of my work was scary - what if it wasn't good enough? But I had a look through my collection and picked out some prints that I like. Who knows, maybe other people will like them too?
The Beautiful & The Damned is an art collective started up by a group of ladies who clearly love beautiful, alternative artwork and want the rest of the world to be able to access the stunning work of the awesome artists they have come across. This sort of community is one of my favourite types - sharing great finds. They also have access to a kick-ass printer by all accounts, so they can not only collect all the artists that they love in one place, they can print the work of these artists pretty damn professionally too. I can see this site gaining a cult following, not unlike another of my favourite galleries that collects together the work of certain indie/alternative artists - The Flood Gallery (based in Greenwich, south London). So to be a part of it would make me very happy!
I also love the nod to the 1922 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Beautiful & The Damned calls to mind loveliness, but also futility. And flapper dresses. And who doesn't want all of that in their lives?
Luckily, after I had collected together some of my pictures of things that I have seen and loved over the years, and sent them off, I got a response from Lynsey, one of the founders of the site, saying they LOVED my work and even wanted to see some more of what I have to offer - particularly photos of my cross stitch (which I'm not good at photographing, but I'm practising...). She sent me a link to the 2 photographs of mine that had already been uploaded to the site, and when I clicked on it I was blown away! To me, they are just my photos. But give them to someone who sees them with new eyes and...wow! Both the photographs feature pink cherry blossom heavily. The Beautiful & The Damned have termed them 'Sakura' prints, which means 'cherry blossom' in Japan, and suddenly they take on a whole new lease of life and even look a bit magical. I'm so pleased with them. And so excited that I kind of want to jump up and down a little bit...
All of this just goes to show, of course, that sometimes you need to reset your eyes and your brain and look at something differently. Futility can become beauty after all. And hooray for community, in all it's forms! And - how soon can I get to Japan to photograph more Sakura?
Shop The Beautiful & The Damned for fantastic Indie art to put on your walls here. Or on your mugs, or your phone, or your body...