‘She combines the cerebral with the carnival’ The Sunday Times.
‘Long time Le Cool fave, Kirsty Allison’ Le Cool
“Hilarious and poignant” Sabotage Reviews
“A 21st century Renaissance woman” Lana Citron
‘Kirsty Allison is the most rock n roll poet living in London – the best multi-media artist I know of’ Kelli Ali
‘She’s a modern Patti Smith’ Johny Brown, Band of Holy Joy
‘Wordsmith wizardry’ Adam J. Harmer, Fat White Family
‘If you want to know what’s on the cutting edge of the zeitgeist, look no further…’ Hardeep Singh Kohli at the Byline Festival 2017
(From the east London years) “Kirsty is the rock chick of East London…” Gee Gee Be Free
“I want to publish some more beautiful editions, and projects – things which aren’t catered for elsewhere, but enable others in every way to do what they want.” The Literary Platform, interview about Cold Lips et al
http://www.lib-rary.com/news/2016/2/11/kirsty-allison-sylvia-plath-fan-club Interview about Sylvia Plath Fan Club and Cold Lips launch…
LOS: Tell us a little about yourself.
KA: Writer, lover, fighter
LOS: What was the best moment of your day today?
KA: Passing wild white horses and running into the clear waters of Mediterranean Sea. I’ve travelled in a camper van from London, down to the Camargue in the South of France, following the water down from the glaciers in the Swiss and French Alps. Spain will be next… love a road trip, or decent tour. As Hunter S. Thompson said, when you travel, you need a good attorney, and fortunately I have a decent Samoan by my side.
LOS: How do you express your creativity?
KA: If I were flipping burgers, I’d flip them pretty high…depends who’s paying, y’know. The toughest thing in any art is staying focussed. I believe creativity can be channelled in any direction. Words are articulation, but so’s getting dressed in the morning. Everything from how you walk to how you eat and drink is an expression. It’s taken me a while to get my true act together because I got into journalism young, and it became my income stream. I spent years interviewing and hanging out with musicians and high-achievers, rather than doing any of the art I’d started out in.
Most decent writers live for experience and I’ve DJed, made films, produced radio documentaries, styled celebrities, advised governments and many a thing. The reason I gravitate most heavily towards writing is because I like the restrictions; black and white provides the limitation of having to explain your imagination with the palette of language, which is infinite enough. Visual art, whether fashion or painting is about many more colours and textures, so has the danger of going anywhere, it’s harder to pin down, particularly when you get drawn to the wacky, as I do. Collaboration with like-minded folk helps.
Although I occasionally illustrate and paint my poems and short stories, sometimes live, in clubs where I also perform, I don’t have the money to be an painter; time, paint and studios are a luxury in London. My stuff’s been exhibited in London and Sao Paulo (at the Oscar Niemeyer). I had an exhibition of paintings in Portobello when I was 18. I threw away the ones that didn’t sell.
My novel, Medicine, is a true labour of love. I’ve been working on it forever. It gets better the more time I can give it. It’s an incredible process. Novels are pretty unfashionable, but it’s what I’ve wanted to do since I started realising there were authors in the world. I’m writing whilst I’m away, and unlike last year when I left my iPad in the car in Ibiza and it got nicked with a complete, unbacked-up manuscript on it, this year, the iPad and my new work-in-progress are always by my side.
LOS: What makes you happy?
KA: Writing, clothes, sunshine, glaciers, being on the road. Laughter, peace and love. Work. I once read an interview with Kate Moss, on ShowStudio, I think, and she said she is happiest, lying on her back being fucked, which we’ve all got to agree with; it’s pretty existentialist. I get affected by my environments massively, I live life with an open heart. Life and wisdom are about learning and experience. Passion can get a girl in a lot of trouble, but it’s good fun to taste the world’s pleasures.
LOS: Who or what inspires you? Why?
KA: Rock stars and poets. Artists. Everything inspires me. Moonlight, sunlight, and all the life and death beneath. Towerblocks. roadblocks, sunblock, cock rock. Human behaviour is what inspired me to work as a journalist, but it’s tough finding good editors. I used to love Gonzo and the Pranksters, all the rock n rollers from Rimbaud to Picasso, Hendrix to Tarantino. I loved acid house, what The Stone Roses were all about. I’d like to think culture could be challenged beyond wearing a meat bikini, but what’s a girl to do to stay on top? Responsibility to the planet is cool. I’m sure that’s why kids get so annoyed, if the future is futile, why not smash shit up? I love a decent bassline, musical or political, talent backed up by showing the world there is more than one way. Gandi, Mandela, Che Guevara. I love the Transition movement. Le Gun. John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Lara Baumann. Nancy Spero. Patti Smith. Genuflex. Oliver Ho. Fee Doran. Feral. Kelli Ali. Beatrix Ong. Karl Lagerfeld. Boy George. Vincent Gallo. Pharrell. Alexander Snelling. Steven Tyler. The Perenos. Vivienne Westwood. Madonna. Everyone offers an opportunity for wisdom, from park benchers to all the dead at 27 fantasists. The determined nature that has to partner visionaries.
I’ve been lucky enough to work and hang-out with some true mavericks and head cases. I started on Loaded and Dazed. Both Jefferson Hack and James Brown, the editors were inimitable. It’s good to be around people you respect. There are a lot of crap artists, people who sell out for the scent of fame, and marketing freaks who want to control our lives; it’s hard staying on the straight and narrow in our times.
HERE’S ANOTHER: COOL INTERVIEW WITH KIRSTY