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Jedda Daisy Culley + Tartan

Tartan invited Sydney based artist Jedda Daisy Culley to hand paint on five pure white organic silk dresses. Jedda described the experience of working on finished silk garments as "VERY high risk. Has to be perfect every time! No mistakes are possible. Unforgiving like calligraphy." 

Jedda creates colourful, figurative paintings that often investigate the female experience and themes surrounding sex, motherhood, and objectification. Rendered in shade-shifting palettes of pink, purple, blue, and more, depicting fragmented representations of the female form.

Her loose, energetic strokes imbue her work with a sense of vivacity. It's important that the works appear to have been painted quickly to capture her subjects' swelling emotions and unpredictable movements.

Jedda conjures up a world of character’s from feelings and observations. Her lived experience manifests itself into a world of fairies laced with anxiety, monstrous mothers exploding outside their physical form, twisted butterflies lining up their chakras; demons have swirling eyes and cowboy hats; this symbolism is her language. She knows the story in such deep detail that she is lost in the process.

"Working in large scale, my gestural marks force my whole body into a wild and abundant process. When I work small it’s close, right up in my face, personal. I often repeat poses and symbols within my painting, I love how poetry can be rhythmic and repetitive and how painting is fluid and continuous."

"I like the idea of saying something over and over, I like trance and hypnotism and high-risk painting. It’s through my writing that my visual language is created and it’s this visual language of characters and symbols that best reflects how I feel the world is around me."

Jedda's work explores the darker side of the female experience with an acute focus on how women have been deemed otherworldly monsters as a tool to keep their power suppressed. Where women have been denied the agency to assume roles that emphasise strength, assertiveness, and empowerment, they are also written into characters of folklore narratives that tell of evil witches, perilous mermaids, and challenging fairies.

"I’m interested in how by association with otherworldly power, patriarchal society has used stories that should empower women but, on the contrary, have caused much suffering. More recently these stories can be seen to contribute to the limitations we put on modern women with an analytical focus on contemporary female train wreck’s and the role other women have played in their downfall. Demonising because of the deep intergenerational fear, these kinds of narratives have kept women frightened of themselves and the powers they may or may not have."

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