‘Truth and Masculinity: In Conversation with Iggy LDN’
PETRIe Inventory March 2018
‘From American dreamers to the Wealth Obsessed’
PETRIe Inventory February 2018
‘True Love and Self-Imposed Stoicism’
PETRIe Inventory February 2018
‘If I Can’t Fit into Your Box, Do I Still Exist?’
PETRIe Inventory January 2018
Vibrating Higher with Image Maker Natasha Garoosi
During a chat I had with a childhood friend, moving image maker, Natasha Garoosi, she radiantly touched upon being charged by self-realization as well as moving by, through, and around the cultivation of authenticity.
Gracing the media industry with conscious intention, Natasha Garoosi is creating and producing content that not only boasts authenticity, but simultaneously emphasizes the pursuit of personal truth, while holding a wholesome intent of ‘share rather than sell.’ In the 22 year old’s most current project, High Quality Human Beings, Natasha intimately captures the light of many individuals across several industries who continue to blossom in the embodiment of their inner most truths. Natasha speaks on the pervasive nature of inspiration, the necessity of vulnerability, and the non-perfect intricacies indicative of a ‘high quality human being.’
“[I decided to] take on the responsibility as someone who cares to offer [media] that can help people grow, that makes them feel like they’re being shared something,” Natasha mentioned of her efforts to produce content holding a conscious, truthful agenda. Unlike the commonly insincere contributions in media, Natasha’s content bracingly aims to form an innately human connection. In a society where quantity often trumps the incidence of quality, HQHB is recognizing industry personalities who “are connected with themselves, respectful of themselves, others, and their values, and are living what they love.”
The HQHB that Natasha films come from a wide array of backgrounds, often with heavy emphasis on questions of equality, revolution, perception, and truth. Supermodels, music artists, actors, and bloggers are some of the characters affirming their respective truths and intents in the face of Nastasha’s camera. According to Natasha, an essential component in a HQHB is realness, “you have to be real with yourself no matter what you’re feeling,” she says, “with HQHB, its people who are a process too, no one is perfect. But process comes with realness, and putting a hundred percent of energy towards that with every moment, every breath.”
A sense of individuality and self-realization is not only what Natasha finds in her subjects, but it is also nothing short of what she herself has long strived to personify, drawing inspiration from many facets of her own life. “My mom always told me to be myself,” she offered, “I liked to wear a lot of crazy things and well, she looked at me like I was crazy, but she never looked at crazy like it was a bad thing.” From a home environment void of appeal for the alteration of her character, Natasha adheres to the notion of personal authenticity, and yields inspiration from those doing just that. “Anyone who’s living their love and passion inspires me.”
Creating within an environment that so often lends potentiality to inauthenticity and lack of substance, Natasha reminds of the necessity to “keep blooming.” “When you know that it takes a process to continue growth, you [just] have to keep applying yourself. Then, it doesn’t matter where you are at all because once you have that space that makes you feel empowered, [and] the foundation is set, you just have to know your intentions. It’s empowering what we’re able to do once we fight and let [our] foundation be our building block.”
follow Natasha’s enlightened and empowered imagery through HQHB’s Youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCReBDaQu1ErsB5yJbQwm1mg
and Instgaram: @natashagaroosi
Moving image maker, Natasha Garoosi touches on being charged by self-realization as well as moving by, through, and around the cultivation of authenticity.
Gracing the media industry with conscious intention, Natasha Garoosi is creating and producing content that not only boasts authenticity, but simultaneously emphasizes the pursuit of personal truth, while holding a wholesome intent of ‘share rather than sell’. In the 22 year old’s most current project, High Quality Human Beings, Natasha intimately captures the light of many individuals across several industries who continue to blossom in the embodiment of their inner most truths. Natasha speaks on the pervasive nature of inspiration, the necessity of vulnerability, and the non-perfect intricacies indicative of a ‘high quality human being.’
JG: Did you have any idea growing up of what you wanted to be? And does it remain congruent with what you find yourself immersed in today?
NG: when I was a kid I was crazy. I knew that I wanted to do something where I could continue to be crazy, and imaginative, and entertaining. I always liked to make people laugh or inspired. I think one of the best ways to entertain people is through video, so that’s what I’m doing, and just storytelling. I always loved talking and sharing stories with people, so that’s why I do it. And it definitely branched out from childhood, and my love for entertainment when I was a kid, I did modelling [and] it was just so much fun to be on a set, and that energy awoke something within me, and it never left.
JG: You spoke about feeling inspired and at home on set, and having this in you since childhood, so did family offer any inspiration? And did they have any effect on you wanting to be a story teller, through this embodiment of your individuality?
NG: My mom always told me to be myself. I was always a really bossy kid, and I liked to wear a lot of crazy things and she never looked at me like I was—well she looked at me like I was crazy, but she never looked at crazy like it was a bad thing. She always wanted me to kind of push for my dreams, as crazy as they were. And, my dad, he was always very charismatic. I saw the way he connected with people, he, and others in my family, they loved to entertain, always having parties and barbecues. So I do get a lot of inspiration from them. Also, my father’s friends, [they] were either chefs, or hair stylists, all people living what they loved. And that always inspired me. It’s easy to say no I don’t have any inspirations or mentors, but I get inspiration from basically everyone. Anyone who’s living their love and passion inspires me and you can learn something from all of them.
JG: You seem to always have had a firm sense of identity and you’ve gathered inspiration from various facets of life. How did going to FIT facilitate in your experience of yourself and what you wanted to do?
NG: [FIT] was really a safe ground to transition and break free from the chains that held me for a long time. In my first semester, I was able to explore—really, really explore freedom. College was a safe ground to survive, but I still wanted more, and I wanted out of that chain. I didn’t like [FIT]. I ended up taking all my courses online. When I wasn’t in class I was shooting, and meeting people. I was doing things, and that was the best teacher for me, living. [College] was also a good lesson [in] what I want[ed], because when you are in [an] environment [that] doesn’t feel right, it creates a frustration that pushes you to find the space that you do want to grow, and invest your time in. My marketing teacher, the only one that really stood out to me, said ‘I don’t care if you don’t remember anything I ever said to you, but if you can remember the impact that media has on the world, then I’ve done my job.’ And that pushed me to start creating more content that was conscious, and truthful. So many people creating media are not living their values or caring about the messages that they’re spreading. [I decided to] take on the responsibility as someone who cares to offer [media] that can help people grow, that makes them feel like they’re being shared something. Everything is always sold, but if you can make someone feel like they’re being shared something, that connects us as human.
JG: Recognizing your desire to consciously create, was inevitability to thank for the creation your YouTube series High Quality Human Beings?
NG: HQHB definitely came as a result of living, making mistakes, meeting amazing people, and getting lucky. One day, walking with my sister, she was attracting a lot of weird people because she was in a vulnerable place, and I was like ‘you have to stop attracting these low quality people,’ because my sister is someone that loves everything high quality—when it comes to food, to clothes, to travelling, and hotels, but why were the people not matching that? And that’s what I realized, that the people that are able to be connected with themselves, who treat themselves with respect, who treat you with respect, that’s a high quality human being. Someone who is living what they love, is respectful of themselves and their values, and those are into place. They understand and appreciate life, because they’ve been through things that caused them to question, and things that have shown them that you can’t be fake with yourself. You have to be real with yourself no matter what you’re feeling. With HQHB, its people who are a process too, no one is perfect. But process comes with realness, and putting a hundred percent of energy towards that with every moment, every breath.
JG: Do you think that within the industry it’s easy to find such authenticity, and how can you stay balanced and connected with your truth in an environment that has a reputation for being void of such substance?
NG: You just have to keep blooming. That’s all you can do. And I can spot people who are blooming, people who are happy knowing that they love themselves. When you know that it takes a process to continue growing you have to keep working towards it and applying yourself to that space that makes you feel empowered. Then, it doesn’t matter where you are at all because once you have that space you know you can go to, that foundation is set. You just have to know what your intentions are. It’s empowering what we’re able to do once we fight and let [our] foundation be our building block.
Visual Activist Zanele Muholi Uses the Power of Imagery to Speak Volumes
Sifikile, Nuoro, Italy, 2015© Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York
GWF Hegel first introduced his philosophy on the purpose of art, alluding to a non-western construct of spirituality. He proposed that the success of an artwork lies in its ability to reveal one’s individual truth through a spiritual freedom of expression. In this, Hegel avers that the purpose of art “is to enable us to bring to mind the truth about ourselves, and so to become aware of who we truly are.”
A message of verity and authenticity beckons as South African photographer Zanele Muholi’s image echoes across the perimeter of the Autograph ABP in Shoreditch, East London, on view from 14 July to 28 October 2017. In silent allusion to a Hegelian perspective of art, Somnyama Ngoynama, (translated to Hail the Dark Lioness,) exudes self-assertion and reveals many individual realisms while sheltering screams in the hopes of acknowledgement and acceptance for the un-interpreted individual.
Born during the apartheid in Umlazi, Durban South Africa, Muholi has dedicated herself to providing sanction to the LGBTQ community in matters of recognition and inclusion amongst a decidedly closed society. In challenging of the ideal, and through the use of poetic imagery, the artist and self-proclaimed visual activist remains driven by the prospect of the preservation of history for a group that has stagnantly faced marginalization.
Boasting a comparable motive and demographic of a black female artist fueled by activist ideals, Muholi’s work can be compared to that of American conceptual photographer, Lorna Simpson who similarly introduces a contemporary approach to the reinterpretation of the image of the black woman, while also holding characteristics reminiscent of Cindy Sherman’s approach at self-portraiture used to address various issues plaguing society.
The artist speaks of the inspiration which led her to create the exhibition, relaying the rampant suppression she has faced from naysayers, and most importantly recognizing the number of lives lost due to the lack of understanding and inclusion surrounding the LGBTQ community.
In questioning of purpose among her previous works, Muholi moved towards the adoption of a novel subject—herself. The artist speaks of such a transition as a form of therapy, allowing her to devise “conversations with herself” that she previously wasn’t able to partake in.
With Sonyama Ngonyama, which she describes as a “Reclaiming [of] Blackness,” Muholi sets an aspiration to provide hope for a change. “Blackness is once again a texture, a refraction of light on skin, a luminescent explosion of melanin…a haunting that shakes houses while not uttering.” Muholi addresses the restoration in the image of blackness, by way of referencing aesthetic aspects of it, reassuming its boldness, its grace, but simultaneously recognizing the uncertainty that may invade the thoughts of others in its presence.
Through the use of classic portraiture infused with aesthetic qualities of contemporary fashion photography, in images made throughout various cities of the world, Muholi’s statements transcend the senses—the bright whites of her eyes shine, her gaze making way into the consciousness, and remaining engrained in the viewers’ mind even well after departure.
From Muholi’s presentation, the viewer is captivated by the boldness that the images encapsulate and the emphasis of what they stand for. In response to the plagues of our society, the artist dawns silhouettes composed of symbols evocative of struggles reminiscent of diaspora.
Throughout Sonyama Ngonyama, the artist employs seemingly mundane objects as thought provoking props to touch upon issues of the environment, historical occurrences, and most deliberately, varied instances of oppression. The use of self-portraiture allows the artist to take ownership of her image as a woman, while decidedly placing emphasis on her blackness through the usage of black paint, and an intensification of contrast to illustrate arguments of social injustice.
By the convention of found objects such as latex gloves, and scouring pads, to plastic, and electrical cords, as well as a striking manipulation of light and composition, Muholi speaks volumes not only to the surfaces of our aesthetic pleasure, but also to the depths of our thought processes, subtly referencing societal concerns regarding the environment of South Africa as well as gender identity politics. The viewer is left to uncover and admire Zanele Muholi’s vision of herself as a black woman, overtly, uninterruptedly, and without the presence of portrayal, recognizing the threads that tie delicate insinuations to sociopolitical struggles.
Muholi references the black woman’s mock representation in society through depiction as a mask to wear, an allegory to obtain through fat injections to a bum, hair teased to emulate an afro, or skin bronzed beyond its nature, exuding sex appeal and lacking of matter. The reintroduction of herself as the black woman through her own eyes allows for the interference of a varied perspective. The various hairstyles, poses, and manipulations of the images unapologetically relay her truth and the raw beauty of the black woman while touching upon historical and social contexts.
The images boast confidence, as they float among the expanse of the Alphabet ABP. Sifikile (English translation ‘our arrival’) stands at a three quarter view with the artists’ head held high, chin down towards her shoulder. The white background offers stark contrast with the oil slick of her skin, the whites of her eyes beaming through to the viewers’. Atop Muholi’s head lay a careful bundle of dreadlocks, small safety scissors playfully intertwined. The scissors seemingly representative of an attempt to change, but their positioning asserts a statement that the perception of herself, is fixed in her own possession. A bold expression grazes Muholi’s face, exuding a gentle assertiveness, as if to draw in the viewer, and demand attention, while holding a firm yet charming appearance.
The compositions within each image hold the facility to paint diverse yet concurrent depictions relaying sheer beauty, and uttering messages of the necessity of reconsideration in the subject of the un-interpreted black woman. While circumventing evasion of personal truths, the artist also remains true in her work, provoking the world to view her by her own accord, blatantly refusing another ethos’ attempt at the depiction of her and all that she embodies.
On Seasons and Colour Theory: Feeling the Hues
A seasonal glimpse into the evocative nature of colour.
As winter beckons, we welcome a period of transition and transformation, altering our mindsets to combat the imminent darkness. In anticipation of warmer months, our minds, bodies, and even wardrobes experience a similar shift. With impending darkness comes further moments of introspection, tuning into our consciousness, focusing more on the way that we feel.
Winter also acts as a platform for preparation—readying ourselves for the next season, where we look to the warmth and comfort of soups, knits and wools, allowing us to foster the positivity needed to welcome the next season. The dark milieus of these few months can be suggestive, reminiscent of negativity, leading us towards dark tones and solitude. But if nothing else, it’s recognizably a time for hope, a time of expectation. In lieu of attaching to the blacks and greys and depending on them to mirror our dreary feelings, we can look at colour and use it as a tool—see through the darkness to the light.
It’s helpful to recognize colour as an avenue by which to relate our inner most complexities. Colours are more than simply what we see, as poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe explores in his 1970s book, colour theory. His vivid description and analysis of colour references the ability of colour to be digested beyond our surface sense of seeing, by illuminating its emotionally evocative propensities. The movement from darkness to light can be compared to the undertaking of the internally interpreted black and grey hues of winter to the yellows and inherent brightness of spring, summer, and even autumn. From the affinity of colours we perceive in each respective season, the passage between seasons allows for the exploration of different feelings within us.
With little space for feelings amidst the myriad of necessities that arise in fulfilling our societal roles, clothing acts as one of the few avenues by which each character is offered the occasion to express him or herself to some degree. Through various styles, textures, and colours, we are able to use clothing as an engagement of direct expression, highlighting a commonly suppressed nod to what it means to be human. It is by this notion that fashion designers can be driven to creating a collection, looking to appeal to buyers through the emphasis of colour, in recognition of humanity, engaging by an emotional connection. In her Fall 2017 collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri sought inspiration directly from the colour blue. Creating 68 looks, and exploring a number of hues, Chirui sought to embody the different associations of the colour, from the divinity of the sky and Santa Maria, to the mere notion of practically, using “blue” as a point of reference to appeal people’s emotions.
Fall 2018 runways just a blink away, our black and grey mindsets stand in anticipation of the blue, orange, and yellow hues that will paint the streets and runways, eliciting a mirrored lightness in us. Conscious of our recognized symbiosis, we crave the energy that colours have the possibility to awaken in us.
The Alchemist’s Kitchen: A Modern Approach to Holistic Healing
An herbal utopia graces the depths of downtown New York City, feeding a rise in conscious counter-culture.
photo courtesy of @Olliesocial
Nestled among the coolness of the Bowery is The Alchemist’s Kitchen, a café and market developed around the concept of “conscious consumption and contemporary herbalism.” Collaborations with mindful suppliers and botanic and herbalist experts from across the US offers a transcendent experience, encouraging clarity and sentience to the power of plants.
The Alchemist’s Kitchen provides conscious spa treatments such as “Theraphi” energy healing and Reiki, as well as various conscious lifestyle products from adaptogenic mushrooms, herbal blends and tinctures to botanic beauty products and lifestyle books. A whole plant tonic bar graces the café, where vegan and other healthy treats are also offered alongside a variety of state changing elixirs and healthy herbal tonics and teas.
The assorted elixirs, tonics, and teas are recognized by the respective healing properties of the herbs which makeup these curiously educing potions. The spirit elixir is one of many state changing elixirs found on the inspiring menu of The Alchemist’s Kitchen, where a “meditative blend of blue lotus, skullcap, kava, and lemon balm tea,” intends calmness, subtle body energy, and intuition.
The plethora of unfamiliar herbs can at first seem intimidating, but The Alchemist’s Kitchen staff stands willing to address any questions one may manage to conjure, underlining their facility to enlighten visitors, illuminating a stepping stone on the conscious path of—but not to—wellness, recognizing that the matter lies in the journey, rather than solely in the destination.
The philosophies and practices behind the ancient study of herbalism and surrounding holistic health ways are supported by the various products proposed by The Alchemist’s Kitchen. Countries in the eastern hemisphere of the world, such as India and China have long instituted a variety of holistic healing and mindfulness practices in remedy of physical and mental illnesses.
A recent trend in areas of wellness within the western world has brought forth a greater recognition and implementation of such holistic approaches, recognizing ancient traditional practices such as the Chinese energy altering approaches to pain and illness of cupping and acupuncture, and Japanese shiatsu, and reiki, as well as ancient Hindu traditions of yoga—and accompanying many of these practices are assorted herbal preparations which can be applied to a range of issues that have long seen primarily western medicinal intervention.
Many of us are able to claim familiarity with the 21st century multitude of anxieties and food intolerances that seem to result from our post analogical, and mass stimulated environment. Increased implementation of these practices within western countries postulates a more conscious mindset towards treatment of illnesses of both the mind and the body.
Certainly, a natural response to the fairly latter-day concept could be please, not another hippy dippy millennial fad. But in its progressive dedication to sustainability and the reinterpretation of the herbalist ideal, The Alchemists Kitchen, along with many doctors and independent enthusiasts are offering a modern approach to holistic health while simultaneously taking steps to combat prominent problems within our environment, and doing so in a thoughtfully, easily digestible, and refreshing manner.