Wow, phew and whooppeeeee. Hello again! So, since I last dropped into the stream-of-conscious freeflow of anonymous blogging in cyberspace, In the past two weeks I have been to Hong Kong, London, Cannes and Paris…
I had received some excellent tips of must see and do things in Hong Kong but my flight from Denpasaar kept being delayed because of typhoon rain in HK, eventually departing 7 hours late. I almost left the airport for one last surf on my brand new custom artboard. Let me tell you a bit about that…
I really got into surfing out in Bali- it is one of the best and most present moving meditations I have experienced in my life and Bali is one of the best surf spots on earth so I was willing and ready and grateful to creep out of the Ubud wellness jungle and hit the waves on many occasions. I befriended some local Indonesian surfers, in particular one who shapes boards and we discussed the possibility of making my very own custom board. I had the good fortune of connecting with internationally renowned artist Jean Claude Adenin in Ubud as he was preparing to launch “Lord Ganesha Gallery” specialising in “primitive” antique Javanese and Indonesian artworks. I made several visits to the gallery enjoying the evolution of the collection and murals he was painting all over the gallery walls. I was so taken by a few of the details within the murals and other complex landscape canvases he had painted in the studio at the back of the gallery, that I asked him how he would feel about me photographing aspects of the paintings to bring to my board-shaping friends and launch a concept that I’d had bubbling away for some time… “Artboards”. Basically, surfboards that are co-created with talented fine artists as luxury sea vessels as well as being highly decorative for hanging or propping up against the wall at home. Thankfully, Jean Claude liked the idea and gave me carte blanche to photograph and extract elements of his artworks, which I then pasted together in a mood board along with some sketches and brought to the board making studio. Here are some photos of that process as well as the fantastic finished result. And with this project- my “spiritual name” has been launched as a custom co-creation artboard brand “Dragonfly”. IF you want one, get in touch and we can make something unique to your design. There are other very cool surf brands out there making beautiful boards but this is my niche of focusing on the artwork and co-creating one of a kind functional art to ride and display.
I arrived in HK 7 hours late and basically slept a few hours before getting on the next London bound plane.
London was a soft landing, arriving at a cozy houseboat community to stay on Xanadu, an inspiring retreat in the centre of town and an occassional popup restaurant run by Author, Publisher, Experimental Chef and founder of The Cardboard Book Project, Jemma Foster.
The gentle rocking of the boat lulled me into a deep lullabye slumber and I awoke to spend my one full day in London running some necessary and mundane errands and collecting some amazing outfits to wear for the Cannes Film Festival. The Rodnik Band creator Philip Colbert was actually on his way to launch the collection in Hong Kong so it was as though we were swapping locations and it was lovely as always to visit his studio, have a brief catchup and borrow some fun and comfortable pieces from the new “Peanuts” collab collection, as well as a perfectly cinema-themed popcorn dress and tshirt from the last collection. These dresses got a lot of admiration from people and photograph attention out in Cannes- the dresses were sucesses!
I had a few beautiful dresses in my suitcase from my favourite shop in Ubud “Portobello Bali” and a stunning silk kimono for a very sexy ninja look. I also intended to try and make it to the studio of dear old friend Meihui Liu who’s label of romantic handmade dresses Victim Fashion Street I have been wearing and championing for more then a decade. However, Meihui was preparing for an exhibition in Spain and a Guerilla fashion show the next day on Fashion Street in East London. I was so bamboozled by a return to the underground tube system that I shockingly got a bit lost and did not have the capacity to freeze time enough to go and collect dresses in East London, in time to return to west London and set sail aboard Mama Xanadus for a much anticipated reunion and a bounteous feast. Throughout the preparations of this “Fishetarian Feast” Jemma and I exchanged travel anecdotes, creative inspirations and learnings on the shared interest of healing, herbalism and shamanism. It was a seriously interesting time to chat and to film Jemma as she effortlessly cookedup some very inventive concoctions with little tastes of this and that throughout. I can’t recommend the experience enough, if you are lucky to book one of the six seats for her supper or brunch clubs. Jemma is also available as a private chef for dinenrparties and retreats. I look forward to cutting that houseboat cooking show footage when I return to Canada next week. For now, let me divulge some images of the most amazing fishetarian feast that anyone has ever created…
So this blog was entitled “Reflections on Cannes” and I haven’t even got there yet- obviously being terse and to the point is not really my forte…but there is so much to tell and to share! Cannes- in a (pea)nutshell…It really was a culture shock for me, after spending more then half this year meditating in the jungle or surfing the waves and becoming accustomed to people wearing all white or shorts and flip flops. I did a lot of staring at the designer D&G, Versace, Valentino ballgowns and their very waxwork wearers parading up and down the croisette or climbing in and out of ferraris and lamborghinis. I was delighted to reconnect with beloved filmy friends Loyse de Pury, Fletcher Cowan and Sharon Wyler on my first night out there. We had an amazing time drinking champagne and dancing barefoot on a mammoth yacht out at sea where upon arrival on board, I lifted my arms and squeeled in delight at the surrounding lights of cannes, the pumping loud sound system, the delicious food and other even bigger yachts. I heard Pharrell’s “Happy” for the first time that night and it felt like a perfect moment that I wanted to bottle as a scent called “Lights, Camera, Action: The Law of Attraction”.
I met a lot of film producers, directors, writers, distributors and sales agents throughout the week, mostly at parties sometimes within the film market or pavilions. I was selective in which of my projects to discuss with each person wanting to know first what they were interested in hearing about: documentary- fiction feature-tv series. I have learnt through trial and error not to just blast pitch projects at people who are likely being bombarded with information out there all week. I set the intention en route to Cannes to be open to finding deeper connections and cultivating friendships with people I would actually want to work and hangout with. I reconnected with friends I had made on my travels in Asia: Elizabeth Valentina and Nina Markus of 20th Century Fox Films and scriptwriter Shane T Hall. I reconnected with former colleagues, collaborators and London friends Jeremy Wooding, Michael Cowan, Paul Armstrong, Rhodri Thomas, Tim Nash, Loyse de Pury, Fletcher Cowan and Clara Bunge. I bumped into icon Lloyd Kaufmann founder of Troma films daily and wondered if it was a sign that maybe Troma needs me to make a shlocky feminist cult B Movie to ad to their extensive archive… I love Lloyd and Tromaville!
I consumed more alcohol in one week then I have in the last few years (I am not proud of this fact…but when the champagne was free flowing, I went with the flow,,,and it was deliciously merry-making to sip bubbles again). I actually made it to some film premiers this time around too- Jeremy Wooding’s “Blood Moon” a Western Horror fusion of cult genres which is sure to be a hit and Paul Armstrong’s “Lawrence and Holloman” a comedy bromance about two best friends, one trying to slowly kill the other- it was very dark!
I shared an apartment with a tribe of creatives from L.A, London, Argentina, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Ireland and Canada. We joked that our apartment would have made a great reality tv show as every morning there would be discussions about the previous evenings activities with buisness cards piling up on the tables alongside daily copies of Variety and Screen International. Everyone in that apartment was passionate about filmmaking and creativity and we really became a tribe for the week, although all operating independently. I look forward to the evolution of all my fellow cineaste tribes’ projects over the next few years and to reconnect again in Cannes- although I don’t know if I will return until I have a film that is screening as a part of the festival because then it’s a different ballgame and every invitation just lands at your feet. Gone is the daily time wasting routine of what events are happening, who to call and how to get in. It was really fun every night to glam up, dance and make new friends at Bungalow 8, Le Petit Majestic, Le Baron and David Lynch’s Popup club Il Silencio. A pleasure to breathe in the vistas, to savour the moments of being completely swept off my feet and dancing on yachts with beautiful and inspiring people. A thrill to connect with interesting companies and plant seeds for future collaborations also to promote the offerings I currently am keen to get out into the world. To discuss things like “Dreams and Insomnia” the main themes of my fiction feature (now complete and being sent to film festivals for a world premiere), to discuss the “Sound Healing” documentary with people who were either very interested in it or probably in need of it and to discuss my love of books, particularily an interest in adapting them to screen- books by Douglas Coupland, William Gibson and Jemma Foster in particular.
I had waves of memories of my other amazing “pilgrimages” to the Cannes film festival and going for the first time as a very young thing in 2000. I got invited to every party back then because I was eccentrically well dressed and so young that everyone assumed I must be the kid of someone famous or famous myself. I was visited by some ghosts of my past and memories of experiences I’d had out there having attended the festival four times over the years this being my 5th Cannes film festival. I pulled myself repeatedly into presence by appreciating the awesomeness of making it out there and diving straight in from Bali with my first fiction feature completed and a documentary on it’s way. I coached myself into a positive high vibration state of consciousness daily and it felt like some really interesting people were drawn to that light.
I left Cannes by train for Paris (sleeping the entire 5 hour journey) and went directly to the theatre to see Loyse de Pury performing in Les Rois Du Catch. It was experimental physical theatre at it’s best- very polished and very surreal. I loved it!
I took the Eurostar the next morning arriving to attend Jamie Catto‘s creative development workshop “What about you?”. I was really very exhausted from all the travel and adventure by the time I arrived to hear Jamie challenging us to “stop being so appropriate” and start saying “Fuck you” everytime you find yourself saying “oh I’m very sorry”. We did some insightful work on breaking patterns. It feels like I have attended a lot of empowerment workshops but the work is never done- there is always more work to do in the betterment and understanding of my self. Under Jamie’s guidance, and smaller group work with my “executive advisory board” I managed to turn my irritating “People Pleaser” habit into a “Knockout Ninja Oracle” so don’t be surprised if I’m less malleable to what you want me to do for you from now on. I am a knockout Ninja now, well at least a part of me is…which will no doubt come in handy.
Finally, back in London exhausted and resting my swollen blistery feet- after walking at least 6 kilometeres per day up and down the croisette in Cannes (sometimes in heels)
I could not resist visiting the Fragrance Lab in Selfridges on the bank holiday. It’s a genius offering by my friends at The Future Laboratory and an immersive experience in understanding what goes into creating your own scent. It is something I have always dreamt of doing and I am seriously loving my new, bespoke scent. The process begins with a short personality assessment and a visual multpile choice quiz. Express results are delivered and various scents are presented which encapsulate the “essence” of your personality. My essence had bizarre ingredients like neon lipstick, asphalt, iron fillings and violets. It was a very unusual and intense statement scent and was definitely not something I would want to wear everyday. So, I went into the laboratory and collected objects and references that formed the story I wanted my signature scent to tell and the emotions I wanted the scent to activate in me when wearing it and possibly on other people who might hug or kiss me. I wanted a unique scent with yummy, moorish, romantic, nostalgic and mysterious city girl low notes and organic high notes of free-spirited adventures in the tropics- quite the combination but for me it works very well. Catch it while you can at Selfridges until June 25th!
Bye for now..
I will soon go and chill the f*%§! out in Canada for a bit and practise stillness with a bit of silence for a few days to process the amazingness that my life has been since I jumped out of my comfort zone and left London to live the life of a cosmic adventurer.
Who knows what the next chapter holds…one thing is for sure “the future is wide open”.