“Kirsty Allison is the rock chick of East London”

Good press.  Nice to be interviewed aside Murray Lachlan-Young, Brandon Block and many more… Thank you, Georgia Bee Edkins. http://geegeesfreelondon.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/art-before-existence-an-interview-with-kirsty-allison/ Gee Be Free     She’s worked for the biggest names and even bigger publications; a writer, an artist, a DJ, a fashionista; Kirsty Allison is the rock chick of East London. Enviably calm, creative and collected, Allison can be found reading from her dulcet ditties, creating metaphysical artistic masterpieces or writing about her wild, wacky and wonderful life experiences on her blog. She’s witty and humble and bloody gorgeous… You’re job description is basically “everything creative”. What would you say you are most interested in? Poetry, novels, fashion, films? My main thing has always been writing, that’s the central point of what I do, and I get enthusiastic about other things. Creativity is an energy that you can put anywhere, it’s just what you put most energy into is what you’re doing at that moment. I classify myself as a writer first and foremost. You were resident poet for Art Saves Lives founded by Dean Stalham. How does the cause particularly resonate with you? I think anyone who puts their art before their existence is on the right track. If you’re going to call yourself an artist, that’s the first step to claiming yourself as an individual and having your own ideas. At an Art Saves Lives auction you said your art with its focus on eyes and triangles is reflective of your poetry. What do they mean and why are these symbols so pertinent to you? At that point I was playing with some stuff that I had in the Tate Modern that was all about identity in a digital space. So I kind of developed symbols. I’ve recently discovered this artist Herbin, he’s a French artist and he developed this whole alphabet according to a system of shapes and colours; he spells out words like “peace” and “unity” using these shapes and colours. I love stuff that has a double context like that. Universally we all relate to different shapes. With the triangles, there’s a theme of putting aerials on top of them, so it’s kind of to do with communication, a totemic representation of what culture really is, my concerns about digital culture are, you know, highly totemic and not as analogue as real conversation and the purity of writing. Those images at the Tate were about identity then. With your poetry, is that also a way of expressing identity? Yeah, I think that’s the first point of any art for me. It is an expression rather than a graphical consideration but sometimes I like the boundaries of given a topic to write about, it depends on the commissioning process. To what extent is your debut novel “Medicine” autobiographical? That’s an interesting question because I think anything you begin, the truth is ultimately the most powerful tool. I think to start off with, when you’re first learning a medium the best place to start is an intimate one. I’ve written hundreds of drafts of it and it’s now very close to being finished. Your truth can only come from yourself. Joan Dideon said something the other day about the fact that you’re basically just building characters that are based on you to start off with. It’s about pushing your identity as far as you can within writing. “Tantric tourists” is hugely accredited. What was it like working with your fiancée? We’re married now, so it didn’t wreck us, amazingly! It was a long process, we shot it in 2006, we didn’t have the cash to get it finished until 2008, then it took us until 2010 to release it, but I’m helping him to produce his next film at the moment. So it’s not a bad thing, it’s great. He’s my harshest critic; with my writing I value his opinion above and beyond anyone else’s. You once said you and DJ Fee refused to sell music with your gender. How common is it for people to sell their gender in the music industry? How damaging is it? It’s so fucking simple, that’s the basic problem. I think we should go beyond gender. I’m one of the first generation of women who have been able to play as hard as the boys and play in every industry that the boys have been able to play in. Yet people still fall back on their sexuality, it’s really easy to, but I think we should live beyond the boundaries of expectation. It’s like gossip; it’s unnecessary and it detracts from the wider issues of a united society. You’re a self-professed rock chick. What kind of music do you tend to mix as a DJ? I’ll play a bit of everything; I’ll play a bit of Black Sabbath, some kind of decent heavy bass. I read a crowd, I do like responding to a crowd rather than a pre-mix tape that just exists and has been made four days or a year before. What negative caveats come with your obvious success? I’m not one for complaining about life. I’m quite a happy person, I think! Where is the most creatively inspirational city in the world, and why? Wherever you lay your hat really, but London. That’s where I am. I do still love East London, I don’t think it’s dead yet. Told you she was lovely..   Go to Kirsty’s blog: http://www.kirstyallison.com The lovely portrait of Kirsty was done by Gaynor Perry, I recommend a visit to her website as well for more equally brilliant photographs: http://gaynorgaynorperry.blogspot.co.uk/

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