Image: Frances Cannon shot by Costa Virtanen for our Catalogue Girls series.
There’s a good chance you’ve already heard about Frances Cannon. Her powerful drawings are at once subversive, delicate and raw. In a few simple lines, or strokes, she says everything you need to hear, when you need to hear it: whether it’s tackling anxiety’s realities, essential self-care or bodily rights, Cannon’s work is a window into those feelings that are so difficult to sort through alone. The results are brutal and empowering; enough that her art frequently becomes a lifetime, and lifeline, as it’s tattooed onto people worldwide. She gets that we, so often boxed into patriarchal stereotypes, are actually a multitude.
If you haven’t heard of her yet, I’m guessing you going to want to check out her work right about…Now. We were lucky enough to catch up with the talented lady, and even luckier to get her on film.
Catalogue: Hey Frances! Where are you from, and what do you do?
Frances: Hello! Well that’s actually complicated because I’m Australian but I grew up in Thailand as my parents work there, so for a long time Thailand was home, but for the past 5 years I’ve been in Melbourne. I’m pretty happy here too. And I’m an artist and illustrator and am currently finishing my Honours degree in Fine Arts.
Catalogue: Who, or what, is currently influencing with in your art?
Frances: I’m actually finding this hard to answer… I guess a lot of things! Probably the thing that most influences my work is my emotions and mentality.
Catalogue: When did you first start drawing?
Frances: As soon as I could hold a pencil! I have memories of scribbling as early as 2 or 3, and I’ve always been intrigued by art and spent a lot of my childhood drawing and painting and making stuff.
Catalogue: Your Instagram is a place of support and positive body image for all woman- when did you decide this is what was most important to you?
Frances: There was never a decision moment, it just happened really naturally.
Catalogue: You are quite open with your followers about dealing with anxiety. Do you find social media a positive platform to communicate?
Frances: I definitely do. I think that honesty and integrity in all aspects of life is really important. And there is such a stigma about mental illness that needs to be broken, so it’s so important for people to talk about it, and be open about it. Social media is such a good way to communicate with and connect with a lot of like-minded people.
Catalogue: What do you consider the negative aspects of social media?
Frances: Trolls. There are a lot of mean spirited people who find their targets online. I find it so appalling that some people think its OK to treat other humans like trash. It’s disgusting behaviour and there is no excuse for online bullying.
Catalogue: What are your favourite things to do in Melbourne?
Frances: I like visiting art galleries (both big and small), drinking coffee (how very Melbourne of me), and eating dumplings on Little Bourke St. I also love seeing shows at the theatre (when I can afford it haha) or watching movies at Cinema Nova! There are a lot of cool shops to visit as well and lots of artistic nooks and crannies in Melbourne! I’ve been here 4 years and still have so much to explore!
Catalogue: What are you most looking forward to this summer 16/17?
Frances: BEING DONE WITH UNI FOREVER YAY! So excited! I’m so tired of studying. I’m also SO ready for beach weather, and spending lots of time at the beach eating fish and chips and drinking beer. Also my family is visiting from Thailand for Christmas so it will be nice to have them around – I’m looking forward to my mum’s cooking. Yum.
Photography: Photography: Costa Virtanen @czsta
Catalogue Girl: Frances Cannon @frances_cannon
All clothes Frances’ own.