ELAK Design by Studio FAUX

Toning it Down

Toning it Down

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Toning it Down
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Toning it down.

The number of times we’ve been asked to keep it cool, just relax, come to our senses, shape up. To not distress others or cause a “scene”. & can we tone it down! To the degree that we lose contact with our feelings altogether, so well that some of us stop feeling entirely, begin to doubt own own reactions & dismiss our emotions. We tone it down.

When therapy is “full” and we try our best to learn how to cope with society & ourselves, vulnerable people become depending on someone or something else to make it through the day. Characterised by self-destructive behaviours, unstable sense of self & fear of abandonment, the situation is desperate & precarious. There is no coincidence that the demographics of borderline patients are primarily women, trans- & gender-non-conforming people. & as always, the most vulnerable are left out of the statistics, undiagnosed and without access to medical support, altogether. The story of BPD is the story of abuse, repeated abuse. Abuse from family or loved ones, abuse from society & working conditions, abuse from yourself & the medical establishment; a response to unfairness & invisibility. It’s political and a personal struggle. & sometimes it’s not getting out of bed in the morning or eye rolls about your mood swings.

In this zine, there are a bunch of quotes from the people we bump into, friends & medical professionals. The quotes are all anonymised as is some of the content. The bulk of the content is written by myself (& so doesn’t have my name written by it as the work of the other contributors), a wave good bye to a diagnosis I’m both leaving behind & resigning myself to; put together in the frustration that follows from invalidation. In being vulnerable, as everyone in this publication are, sharing medical records, notes directly from diaries & art relating to personal anxieties & fears; this is getting through the day & for once, not toning it down.
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ELAK Tarot Deck (78 cards)

ELAK Tarot Deck (78 cards)

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Finally, the ELAK Tarot deck is here!

Individual watercolour and ink illustration feature on each of the 78 cards, making it a unique and personal deck. 
Balancing between kitsch and simplicity, this is a rich and colourful deck, filled with mystical symbolism and queer characters alike.

The ELAK Tarot is based on the classic Rider Waite deck and follows the same structure.

1st edition. Measures 70x140mm. Cards are plastic coated and printed on Heretic 305um Black Cored Playing Card Board.
For interpretations and guidance in the practice of Tarot, we recommend e.g. The Little Red Tarot. 

Illustration and design by Linnea Frank.

The ELAK tarot deck has been reviewed:

Glamour Zombie

Jo's Tarot

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SAFE - exploring London's queer performance scene

SAFE - exploring London's queer performance scene

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SAFE - exploring London's queer performance scene
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SAFE is a visual anthology that show us the world of queer performance in London and reflects on the power of provocation.

SAFE features performers, Dave Lynn, David Hoyle, Fauxnique, Gareth Chambers, Good Ness Gracious, Goodtime Mama Jojo, Latrice Royal. Lavina Co-Op, The Lipsinkers, Mysti Vine and Oozing Gloop, As well as interviews with:

Apple Derrieres, Ebony Rose Dark, johnsmith, Pi the Mime, Rubyyy Jones, Victoria Sin, Theodora van der Beek.

SAFE has been published in partnership with Stonewall UK and 20% of the profit from the sales goes directly the charity that do amazing work for LGBT-rights.  To support them, volunteer or find out more, go to: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/

The book was crowdfunded via Kickstarter, (find more information on the Kickstarter page) and printed in the UK by Ex Why Zed http://www.exwhyzed.co.uk/

SAFE gives a glimpse into the realm of queer performance in London, and what it means to perform and embody a wide range of genders. Here, gender is repeatedly deconstructed and reconstructed in new ways – without fear of consequences. Included are various performers’ thoughts about gender and performing on stage, notes on my own and other’s personal experience of being in a queer space and being “The Other” outside of it, as well as photos from performances. In sum, bits and pieces from a vibrant scene are used to create a collection and commentary on the queer space as a place to challenge, perform and explore gender variations.

This Cabaret environment is part of a club scene and bar culture that offers a different framework for the performers from that of the traditional theatre. It is a much more intimate environment makes the audience impressionable and places them closer to the stage. The performers are approachable and often part of the queer community for which they perform. This makes for a unique setting where the audience and performer are in constant interaction and start their conversation with a certain familiarity.

Questioning your own identity and presentation, on or off stage, seems to be closely tied to living a queer life. Within a society in which there is still a very real threat of violence for queer and gender non-conforming people, a queer bar or a queer space is not just a space for entertainment but also functions as a safe space – safe for those within it, but a threat to the outsiders who even deny its existence. I am curious as to why these performances translate so differently to the outside of the queer safe space and how an act can be simultaneously a reassurance and a threat.

SAFE has been put together with a deep admiration for the brave and generous people that get up on the stage. I explore it from the side lines; for someone who generally avoids the stage, my everyday presentation is enough performance work to handle. On stage you have the power to change perceptions, to entertain, shock, and scare the viewer – off stage you have the chance to live it and both are valuable to change our aspirations, give us new ideas and understanding about who we are and how we can live.  

This book was crowdfunded via Kickstarter, find more information on the Kickstarter page

It's a Mess

It's a Mess

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'It's a Mess' is a fine print zine and edition of 10 consisting of pattern and photographs based around the idea of artificial beauty.

© Linnea Frank 
Risograph and Offset, printed at Ditto Press London 2015