• Bryony Jade

Fierce, Erotic, Fabulous, Hotmess: Heather WANK on Drag

The evolution and art form of today’s drag scene has come a long way and has exploded into mainstream success- largely thanks to the life and career of RuPaul Andre Charles. Through his reality show Drag Race, the language of drag culture is gaining wider public recognition than ever before. “We all came into this world naked. The rest is all drag” (RuPaul).

I have been chatting to one of favourite local Stroud artists and Cotswold Queen- Sean Heather (AKA Heather Wank) …as he tells me what inspires his fierce and fabulous performances. I was keen to know whether he takes influence from his artwork practise, as well as the iconic gender play from David Lachapelle- as I soon discover that there are ‘no rules’ in drag cultures ‘gender fuckery’.

Can you explain your drag persona in 4 words?

Fierce, Erotic, Fabulous, Hot-mess.

How do you create your performances- and do you think they link or take inspiration from your artwork? 

I usually create performances based on songs I'm really into at the time and link audio snippets that I think will work well together. In a way the music mixes are similar to the way I create paper collages instead of juxtaposing imagery it's just sound.

Additionally, I sometimes incorporate large paper collages into my drag work. I got the idea from a performance piece called Mea Mirari I did with my friend and artist Lorriane Robbins. I plan to create more looks and performances that incorporate both collage and sculpture elements. 

What’s your favourite part of the 'getting ready process'?

 I am always in a rush when getting ready so I don’t have that much time to enjoy the process, but I do love the transformation and how you can become anything you want as there are no rules in drag. 


How has your style of drag developed?

My drag style is always developing but the first couple of times I did drag it was shit to be honest it was very basic / first time in drags at a ball. But each time I do it has developed whether my makeup skills have gotten a little better or the performance was more exciting. One of the things that I try to stick to is not tucking and shaving all my body hair off apart from my face as I like the idea of looking androgynous /‘genderfuck’.

And who have you most taken inspiration from?

This is hard to answer as I am inspired by so many artists some of my favourites are Divine, Octavia St. Laurent from Paris is Burning, Candy Darling, Grace Jones, Sacha Velour, Eartha Kitt, Lil Kim and Violet chachki. I am also inspired by the work of photographers Nadia Lee Cohem, Helmut Newton, Robert Mapplethorpe and David Lachapelle. 


Check out Sean’s Tattoo work:

Instagram


Images by: www.bryonyjadethroup.co.uk

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@Bryony Jade 2018