Archive | April, 2012


The Lipstick

Sitting on the edge of the bed, I feel the warmth of the early morning sun. Its subtle heat cocoons me making it difficult to stay awake. My eyelids are heavy; my skin tingles and every inch of my body wants to cave in. But I quickly remember why I got out of bed at 6 am sharp in the first place and fight the urge to curl up and let my body sink into the covers and my mind sink into unconsciousness.

This is where I feel the safest. This is the only place where I can slow down. My brain is used to going a hundred miles an hour; worrying, analysing, over analysing whatever’s already been analysed. But not here. I can forget here.

Coffee is brewing downstairs. I can hear the faint bubbling noise the water makes as it boils in the machine, followed by a drip-drip beat, and then a sudden burst of the sweet smell of Arabica beans invades every corner of every room, so inviting and familiar. The house comes alive as everyone follows their daily routine. Heels clicking hurriedly on the wooden floor landing; hairdryers buzzing in the bathrooms; softly spoken chit chat at the breakfast table; one by one departing until the big iron door is slammed shut for the last time leaving the two of us alone.

I sit patiently on the edge of the bed feeling a little anxious from the events of the past year, wondering what took me so long to come back. Ninety-two seconds pass as I stare at the neon green alarm clock on the bedside table. It looks absurd and out of place in the one room of the house that has managed to escape the claws of modernity and change. Finally, she comes in. Following her trajectory from the door to the dressing table with total undivided attention, it strikes me how this frail woman’s every movement is still so graceful and elegant. That trait definitely skipped a generation or two, I muse.

There’s this discernible stillness that she commands when entering a space. Apart from the tiny particles of dust dancing around the sunrays that penetrate the window, it seems like the world stops revolving and I feel forced to hold my breath as if the smallest of movements would interfere with this ritual. She sits in front of the mirror reaching for the iron clad key that opens the top drawer of her ageing wooden dressing table that holds all of her most prized possessions. She takes out a tortoise shell case that holds pressed powder, a round brittle hair brush that she’s used for 20 years and a red Revlon lipstick. Humming Blue Danube by Johann Strauss, the first song she taught me to play on her grand piano, she places each item lovingly and carefully in front of her, glancing intermittently at a picture of her husband that was taken the year before he died.

Her cotton white hair with silver streaks, that to the touch is just like silk, catches the sunlight and gleams, almost sparkles, creating an aura around her that makes her look angelic. She gently brushes back her bob with the round brittle brush and not a single strand is out of place. She inspects it in the mirror meticulously, turning her head from side to side and when she’s satisfied she places down the round brittle brush exactly where she picked it up from and opens the tortoise shell case. Her fingers are long and bony; her joints slightly swollen from sewing crochet doilies, the top of her hands sprinkled with little brown spots that give away her age. Inside the case is a thin round sponge which she pats onto the pressed powder and then strokes her cheeks, then her nose, then her forehead. Her face fascinates me; it tells a story of pain and joy, of struggle and achievement. It’s enigmatic. She has almost lived a century and yet her skin is still plump, full of colour, and apart from the trademark family wrinkle – a deep crevice on either cheek stretching from each arch of the nose down to the chin – she barely has any. Her eyes are full of life, concern and love for the things and people around her, yet there’s an emptiness that will never be filled again. She carries her past with a remarkable lightness of being and even though she has experienced so much, she somehow defies the passing of time.

Still humming the work of Strauss, she places the tortoise shell case exactly where she picked it up from and reaches for the red Revlon lipstick. The final touch. The grand finale. The first time I ever bought a lipstick, I bought the same one. The same make, the same shade. I remember standing in front of my bathroom mirror trying to emulate her precise method, but ended up with it all over my teeth as I awkwardly stretched my mouth for precision. She puckers her thin lips and does the bottom and the top in two swift movements with astounding accuracy. She presses them together to make the texture smooth and even, the cupid's bow emphasized by the rouge tint. Looking at me through the mirror she winks slyly, a little crease forming at each end of her mouth. Still in her dressing gown, she looks more glamorous than I’ve ever seen a woman look.

As the tortoise shell case, the round brittle hair brush and the red Revlon lipstick go back in the top drawer where she keeps her most prized possessions, I sit on the edge of the bed still watching her with total undivided attention. She locks the drawer with the iron clad key, gets up and walks to the window and I snap out of that beautiful, dream-like condition. I no longer feel anxious. I feel free and I feel light. It’s strange how such small, seemingly mundane moments can be so cathartic, but I understand why. We need moments that make time feel inconsequential, moments that are so pure and so dear to you and are so embedded within you that it only takes a second to transport yourself and escape.

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An Enchanted Forest

To celebrate our new look - here is a little video treat featuring the beautiful Melissa Benkendorf!  
Makeup & Hair: Julia Whiteway. 
Music: Explosions in the Sky - First breath after comma.

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Q&A: Daniela Sach

Here at Little Wing, we love nothing more than evocative art. Whatever the medium, expression through art is invaluable for our existence – forms of creativity that allow the artist and the viewer to explore the complexities of humanity or simply look at various aspects of life through different perspectives. Daniela Sach is someone who truly understands this, and her love of art is deeply rooted. Her innate talent for drawing, painting and music was apparent from a young age. Her old doodles, sketches and scrap books tell tales of her dreams and fears. Her songs are poems of love and heart break. Her current work is visually arresting, beautiful yet dark, the kind of images that reach deep into your soul and stay embedded in your mind.

Growing up in Colombia isn’t always easy for artists – it’s a country where unemployment is high and financial struggle is commonplace, so coming out of school and opting for a career in the arts is risky business. But Daniela went against the grain and catapulted herself onto a path she had always wanted to explore. In doing so, she moved to Germany and is now living in Berlin studying German and prepping her portfolio to enrol in a photography course, which she hopes will lead her to become a director of photography...perhaps the next Sofia Coppola?

Daniela Sach

Hi Dani! So tell us a bit about your art background? Where are you from? How did you end up in Berlin?

Hello, hello! I come from Bogota, Colombia… Yep far, far away! I think my background is really experimental, not in an alternative way but I say this because I’ve always liked every way of art and I went from one to another. I danced ballet and jazz, painted, drew a lot, took loads of photographs, played music, sang and wrote songs pretty much my whole life. The fact that I always lived a creative life brought me to Berlin, where the artistic vibe is the strongest I’ve ever felt.

What are you doing in Berlin at the moment?

I’m currently studying German, and I think I will do that for quite long since it’s impossible to really get it perfect, you know what they say…life is too short to learn German! And at the same time I’m preparing my portfolio to start my studies at ‘’Neue Schule für fotografie’’ [a photography course in Berlin].

The whale

What’s Berlin like in comparison to Colombia? I’ve been to Berlin once before and I completely fell in love with it. What’s it like to live there?

Well Germany and Colombia are worlds apart, but I find Berlin quite similar to Bogota. People party very hard in both, and they’re equally crazy. But for me living away from home definitely has had an impact and makes Berlin much more adventurous. Bogota is my mom’s hotel, a comfy nest…and Berlin is the opposite of that, it’s where I need to be instinctive and that makes it all the way more magical. We connect very well!

Obviously, Berlin is a great hub for artistic talent. What’s it like for a young emerging artist? Do you feel there are more opportunities and paths to explore there rather than back home?

Yes there are definitely more opportunities here. It’s sad to say it because there is a huge amount of talent in Colombia, but here people actually decide to look at your work, even if it is based on a different perspective than what they expected – in fact that makes it more attractive for them. It is starting to change back home, and it makes me happy! But we do need people to open their minds a little more, and pay attention to real growing talents instead of following the usual! About paths to explore, I would say it resides in each individual. If you’re away from home you learn about the world, and within time you start bringing your roots out and all the things that makes you part of the place where you were born. That ‘mix’ between where you come from and where you actually live is very interesting.

Memory pain

Do you come from an artistic family? Have you always had a knack for drawing/painting?

Funny question about my family. I would say it’s half and half. My mom paints and is an art lover, and my Dad likes numbers. I hate numbers and love art. I have two brothers; one is a designer and the other one is an administrator, a business mind. So, 3 – 2 ! Art wins. One of my favorite activities was to bother my mom during her painting sessions and after dealing with me for a while, she would end up giving me something to paint with and I would follow her. So yes, I’ve always had a thing for drawing and painting.

Your drawings are very evocative and some are quite dark. Where do you get your inspiration from? What’s your creative process like?

I think my drawings show a dark side or destructive element of my personality and that’s the reason why they come up like that, quite morbid but at the same time very sweet…it’s confusing for me at times. My wide imagination and fears stand behind all of that. It’s like if a dog barks it’s then talking to a ghost and I’m out of there!

They were together, for once

My inspiration comes from books, films and music…mostly film stills I would say. So my creative process is to look around and everything that reminds me of a book, a song, a character or a film is what I take and start from there. There are times when I feel like doing something, but I see nothing around me that will be inspiring, so I just go through my ‘’things I like’’ file…and some idea will come up. I love the aesthetic managed by Sofia Coppola, Jane Campion, Jean Pierre Jeunet and Lars von Trier…they have a very strong visual identity, and that’s what I aim for. For me, it’s all about having your view of things printed on a photo or recreated by a drawing… so then it becomes something truthful and unique; that’s what transforms something normal into something overwhelming… I hope that within time I will get better at that…

A cat

I know that you dabble in photography as well, so what is your favourite medium and why?

Difficult question... you got me thinking here.  I enjoy them in different ways because they show different things. I would think that with photography I subconsciously express a very romantic and nostalgic side of myself, so at the moment this one would be my favorite.  The fact that I worry so much about ‘real life’ makes me forget about how idealist I really am and photography brings me back to that. Perhaps when life calms down a bit, I’ll go back to drawing as well.

Are you looking to get a career in the arts? Where do you see yourself going with it?

Yes! I am definitely looking to get a career in the arts. My all-time dream is to be director of photography. It goes step by step because it is a big dream and a high-ranking position in the hierarchy of film production, so I will start by studying photography and then we will see what comes next. Fingers crossed!

Have you got any plans for major projects? Is there anything in the pipeline that you’re working on?

Well it is not a major project but I’m currently working on cd/vinyl covers. It’s not necessarily for a specific band because the idea actually came up after some people that were looking at my portfolio were immediately reminded of bands like Pink Floyd, Morrissey, Cranberries, Bat for Lashes and some others. I thought it was an interesting thing, since the art behind music covers should be attractive to the eye, but definitely not obvious. So since then, I transformed a drawing into the 1:1 format (squared format) and I completely fell in love with it. It became something personal but it would be lovely to see them at record stores someday.

To see more of Daniela's work,visit her Tumblr blog here

Written by: Nicole McLennan

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