name: Celina Jayne (aka CJ)
star sign: Taurus
ig alias: @celinajayne
LH: CJ! You talented babe, thank you for hanging out & showing me your super Australian apartment block! (For international followers, CJ’s apartment block was probably built in the 70’s and are very common in the inner west suburbs.)
CJ: Any time my sweet! Every time I punch a durry on my balcony, I feel like I’m in Home and Away.
LH: You were so excited to open up that suitcase of clothes, what were your favourite pieces?
CJ: I was SO excited!!!!! I always see your stuff online and was keen to get my hands on some goodies and touch the material (like I do in Parlour X with Valentino dresses). I LOVED the entire finger set and that gorgeous “fashion” dress you whipped up. The fringe on the XOXO dress made my soul weep, too. I truly felt like a fancy ass queen. Fuck, can I just say everything?!
LH: Is there some pieces you can see sliding in to your wardrobe easily?
CJ: All of the things I just mentioned can and should find my way into my wardrobe ASAP, with a pair of cowboy boots in every colour. But if I had to choose just one, the Finger top for sure. It would go with literally everything I own, and I request to be buried in it.
LH: Can you tell us a little about your embroidery?
CJ: It all started last year sometime, one of my best friends showed me how to embroider during a time of creative block. I naturally started to embroider kind of confessional text phrases, that were all mine to begin with. Then eventually I sat back and thought I’d like to expand it by getting people to share their confessions with me as well. I got a bunch of responses online, then after having them exhibited at Manning Regional Gallery last month (October) I’ve gotten a whole heap of handwritten confessions by mail. It’s also a huge plus to have this sewing skill now, because I’ve been stitching everything in sight – boobies and vaginas on T shirts, sewing friends tote bags. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, really!
LH: What’s some of the most interesting/weird/creepy/boring submissions you’ve received?
CJ: I’ve gotten a few that kind of haunt me for multiple reasons. The ones I can think of off the top of my head are: “it’s not rape if you’re a gay man”, “this is what happens to paedophiles, you may as well neck yourself now” and “I wouldn’t do this to anyone else”. I got these funny ones from some kids that must have gone to the gallery with their parents or with their school, and there’s probably 5 of them but they all say the same thing: “FOOTY IS AWESOME”. I also have this really cool one, it’s from an older person (I can just tell by the handwriting) and it says “GRANDMA 1937: Don’t slam the door, don’t slam the door, don’t slam the door, don’t sl—“. It kind of reads like a bit of an ominous poem, and since I get no context about the phrase in the submission it really allows your mind to wander about what all these words and memories mean to the person, but at the same time they then get to have a new life through being shared, and begin to mean something to me, too, and become a memory of mine.
LH: Where do people submit their confessions or love notes to you?
CJ: Recently, the gallery has been mailing them to me the old school way. But I do have a tumblr for submissions, which you can check out and submit confessions to me at: projectembroidery.tumblr.com
LH: Your last art piece was about cam girls, can you give us the run down?
CJ: The cam girl work is actually one I made last year, but it was recently exhibited at 107 Projects and I did tweak it a bit for that exhibition. Basically it’s a video work where I emulate the style of cam-girl videos, and is also accompanied by a chatbot service that I’ve pre-programmed with responses. I titled it “SEXY SINGLES READY TO CHAT IN YOUR AREA”.
LH: What inspired you to create this work?
CJ: The whole idea was to recreate the way that some sex chat and video services operate. Often times they have a pre-programmed bot that talks dirty to you while a video of some girl undressing plays, but it’s seemingly real, and a lot of times people don’t know the difference. The title comes directly from the advertisements that are all over the internet offering these services. The Ashley Madison website actually used this technique too, to try to get male members to sign up or think that real females were talking to them, but most of them ended up being these fake bots – which nobody realised until all the information and data about it was leaked. It’s pretty funny when you think about it. The whole work was a comment on sexuality on the internet, and this idea of false reality that the internet creates. Nothing said on it is true or false, but just non-statements existing in a non-space.
LH: How did people perceive your work? Did anything unusual come of it?
CJ: Honestly nothing too unusual came of it, though I did receive a Facebook message from someone that was at the exhibition saying they liked my work. It was cool and definitely flattering, but I think they were at the opening while I was there, so it’s kind of like “just come over and say hi”? I dunno, maybe I’m weird like that.
LH: What do you think of online dating?
CJ: I like the idea of online dating, but I don’t think it’s for me. But that being said, my mum actually met my stepdad off RSVP or something, and I know a bunch of couples that have met off tinder which is cute. Different strokes for different folks, that whole thing. My housemate is also a tinder fiend and she hasn’t brought home any creeps … yet.
LH: Do you have any dating apps? Anything good/bad/weird happen?
LH: Were you able to use that in your art?
CJ: I haven’t used it in my art yet, but I definitely have a collection of a few things (including my love letter on a dollar bill) that I’m thinking of using for something. I’m sure the idea will come to me eventually.
LH: What inspires you to create art that involves love, sex, loneliness, feminism, dating?
LH: You work in a bar that encourages love, sex, pushing artistic boundaries, has an incredible LGBTIQA community, it’s actually where we met! Do you think this has had an impact on your work in the past year?
CJ: The Bearded Tit has definitely had an impact on my work since I’ve been there! It’s such a creative space and I’ve seen so many great exhibitions there, because it’s a gallery as well. They also allowed me to exhibit my embroideries there. I can’t explain exactly how it’s impacted my work, but the whole Tit crew is like my family away from family, and they’ve impacted on my life and me as a person. So I definitely think it’s had an impact on my art. Plus, one of the owners actually submitted to my embroidery project, and we had a lot of laughs about what she submitted. (hers said “Wow, your hair – it feels like pubes”)
LH: Where can we see your work IRL?
CJ: There’s an exhibition coming up for Pine Street Creative in December, which I think I’ll have a couple prints in. But I’ve been popping up in some group shows this year and always submitting proposals, so keep an eye on my instagram for future shows.
LH: Thank you so much for today, you’re amazing & I had the best time seeing what you produce!
CJ: Thanks Kee Kee, you legend! It was great to see you as always, and that I finally got to touch some L&H. If you ever want to collab, hit me up!