Sequin Kay Interview
by Javier Melian, Chrom-Art.org co-founder
Sequin 'queen' Kay gives a magical skin to any mundane object. But her work is far from superficial; It is a subconscious inward journey using laborious work and reflections like mirrors to the soul. Her work have been shown across London, even on the Underground. She has also exhibited internationally showcasing works and collaborations in Miami, Canada, Berlin, Ireland and Malta. You can't miss her because she shines, like a sequin!
When one thinks of sequins, one thinks of party nights and soirees of razzle dazzle. How can something that is an imitation of outer wealth become the reflection of the inner riches? The path is
in the laborious and painstaking process of placing the sequins one by one. This repetition, like a mantra, is a form of meditation. Our own reflection in the sequins; our mind following the
patterns, the colours, finds the way to oneself, the way to enlightenment.
Sequin Kay attended Camberwell college of Arts and Goldsmiths University where she completed a BA in Painting. From an influential trip to India she became inspired by Indian culture and their connection to light and spirituality. Humans are naturally drawn to light and it has a connecting power in the ability to bring together the body and mind.
"So many things make my world go round, here are a few, finding something secret which no-one else knows about and revealing it to the world slowly. Being around close friends, dancing into the night with energy. Making work which enlightens other people's vision to the incredible mother nature which surrounds us. We are not human beings on a spiritual journey, we are spiritual beings on a human journey."
The obvious question.. why sequins?
My attraction of sequins was born out of a very chaotic and transformational time in my life, I was in a tumultuous time of my life living in Brixton, and I began to find peace in the fabric and sequin shops in the market. It then became a focus to start working and experimenting with sequins in my paintings, sculptures and experimentations grew out of this. I started covering everything from household objects to shoes to my housemates. I found that sequins brought me out of a negative space and allowed me to transform all that was dark into light, in every sense.
As I go deeper into understanding the attraction and magic of sequins this journey has taken me to India to understand the cultural connection to this magical material. I wanted to understand the story of sequins and what role they play in other people’s lives. It has truly been a fascinating journey so far.
How did you start as an artist?
I started making work form the age of 15, I created a mosaic for my school for the foyer of the Library under the title ‘Knowledge is Power’. My journey continued to Camberwell College of Arts where I studied painting but discovered I was on conflict with myself and kept creating very destructive installations and sculptures with old chandeliers and wallpaper.
After leaving art college I really found my strengths and my obsession started. By being in the world and really just seeing what I was drawn to without the pressure of actually having to make anything, sequins came to me. This process of making work and experimenting and playing has brought me to this point now, living and breathing my joy, which is making sequin art-work.
Painstaking work with repetition is a meditation for you. Do you find comfort on the process or is it necessary pain to achieve the outcome?
I find comfort in the process, I find it calming in the chaos of modern life in London, this allows me to go deep inside myself and work through any thoughts, emotions or feelings which come up
and are then communicated through the work. The past emotional pain is already there it just needs to be accessed through a meditative state and then it can transform itself into the
What items would you like to cover with sequins that you haven’t done already
I would love to sequin the side of a building with the flower of life pattern and film the process of the changing light from sunrise to sunset, that would literally stop people in their tracks
really demanding their attention and the reflections bouncing around form that would be enthralling, now that would be magical.
What other media have you used before or are willing to try in the future
I have used paint, photography and collage in my work previously, I would like to start incorporating film and moving image, filming sequins in various environments and documenting my
personal journey with them would be very interesting and an engaging project. Playing with the refraction and reflection of light using cameras would be a very fun
What is the profile of your buyers/collectors
The profile of my buyers really varies from corporate hedge funders to spiritual healers, I find my work attracts an eclectic group of people, this is what I like about my work the response from
the viewer and their interpretation, discussing the work often takes them on a journey which ends up outside of themselves and what they do day to day. I am hoping to take my work to Dubai
for a show, now that would be really interesting.
Which other artists do you admire?
I love the work of Yayoi Kusama, Andrew Logan, Bridget Riley, and Ian Davenport for their mastering of their material their vision and their creative power to transform the viewers experience.
I think that is one thing artists strive to do is master their material and really try and push it to the ultimate limit, these artists for me have done this in considered and brilliant
Do you have a muse?
My muse is the beautiful creation which is all around us. I would say plants and flowers are my main muse as I believe that we have a lot to learn from plant spirit and teachers. A lot of
my teachings and musings come from working with plant medicines and being open to and listening to the wisdom that is all around us.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am working on a commission for a friend to go in her lounge. The colour scheme is silver, gold, different tones of blue and white. The piece is called Osiris after the God of the
afterlife, underworld and the dead in Egyptian philosophy. The name and title came through to me in a meditation and visualisation.
What are you working on at the moment?
My dream as an artist is to be able to change people’s perspectives on their reality and their understanding of it. To show people how powerful we as humans really are, the interconnection
of life and to become self empowered through this understanding. I aim to touch people on a personal and emotional level enabling them to be a catalyst for their own healing through the
power of sequins, visual stimulus and communication.