We caught up with the creative force that is Frances Cannon. Their work has appeared in Vogue, Gucci, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Broadsheet, and the list goes on! Frances through multiple mediums explores all things love, gender, sex, and emotions. Y'know, just the small issues!
We know you’re a superstar, but for those who might be out of the loop, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Lol thank you for the ego boost! I’m a queer (they/them) freelance artist working in Naarm Melbourne. I am well known for my simple black and white drawings, but I am also a painter, poet, workshop teacher, and recently, jeweler! Alongside art, I love spending time with my friends, cooking, listening to ASMR, reading gay young-adult fiction.
You run Pink Ember Studio in Coburg alongside some other brilliant artists. What drove you all to create this not-for-profit artist space?
Myself and some friends were unhappy with the studios we were working from, as the studios we had tried out were very bro-y (run by cishet white men) and not very community focussed. We wanted to create our ideal work space, queer run and queer friendly, a space for community to work and skillshare and build each other up. I also teach my body positive life drawing workshops from the space which is such a joyful class!
Your earlier work focusses on your experience of womanhood: sex, gender, and bodily functions, amongst other things. Can you tell us what your experience has been leaning into the fluid nature of gender, and the influence on your work?
Hmm! This is an interesting question. A few years back before I realised I was non-binary, I focussed a lot on what it felt like being a ‘woman’ and having a fat ‘woman’s’ body with big boobs and big feelings… BUT in hindsight, looking back on the work that I made when I was a ‘woman’ - I can see the queer colours running through every single drawing. I made so much work about gender dysphoria before I even knew what it was (for example making work about how much I dislike having big boobs). My art has always been way ahead of me! I also made a lot of work about hating straight sex (lol sorry to my ex-boyfriend). But I love that my art is such a visual representation of my Self and my experiences through all of that growth.
What gives you joy in your wok?
Trying new things! I don’t like feeling stagnant in my work, and I get bored very easily doing the same things over and over (hello undiagnosed ADHD). I’ve recently been learning how to make silver jewellery using the lost wax casting method. It's been so exciting for me to make my drawings into 3D pieces of precious jewellery.
What do you find difficult and how do you overcome it?
I find a lot of things difficult lol, I have depression and anxiety! The things that help me most are cozy days with my partner, talking to my friends, and making art about it! I also love getting out of my head by making a really nice meal and feeding the people I love.
What drew you to SÜK?
What first drew me in was wanting clothes (in particular pants) that were gender affirming. I had been looking for simple work pants that fit me for YEARS and when SÜK appeared I was so excited to get them on my body!
Are there any stand out pieces from our collection that have become staple pieces in your wardrobe?
Station Pants! I have multiple colours, and I’ve worn holes in a few pairs from wearing them so much. I love them.
Do you have any life tips for other people navigating our flawed world?
Do things that bring you joy! As much as you can! Make messy art! Cut your hair! Get impromptu tattoos! Kiss your friends! Cook good food and eat it! Get in the garden! Smell some flowers! Dress like a fairy! Talk to your therapist! Hug your dog! Go to a class and learn a new skill! Breathe in! Breathe out!
Frances works from their studio on unceded land of the Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation.