Harnessing the capacity to kill, noxious weeds can reproduce rapidly, smother other plants, and create deadly toxins. Yet regardless of these attributes, brightly coloured flowers and pleasant scents give the façade of attractiveness and desire.
This juxtaposition of death + beauty can be metaphorical of many things.
In this collection I have chosen to compare two:
- the femme fatale, who is a dangerous, mythical woman, who lures men with her beauty and allure;
- the sex trafficking trade within India.
Women around the world are often lured into the trap of trafficking, with promises of marriage, or a job in a big city. Instead, they are sold to madams of brothels, who in turn sell the women to clients.
I spent the year of 2012 living on the out-skirts of a red-light district in Kolkata, India, working alongside women who had bravely battled their way out of this awful trade to hold their heads high with dignity.
These courageous women inspired this collection.
Sex-trafficking is communicated through this textile collection by juxtaposing a dark trade with the beauty of simple and clean textile designs.
The noxious weed that originally inspired this collection is Deadly Nightshade, or belladonna (beautiful woman).
This textile collection was rendered from hand-drawings, which were then screen printed onto linen, using plastisol heat-raised ink.