Fashion and food; two of our greatest loves! New York based, Australian artist, Ishara Jayakody combined these two masterpieces!
The self-proclaimed ‘techie-artist’ believes her pieces, “take people back to that childlike state where imagination is limitless”. Having left her job in the corporate world to follow her artistic passion, 27yr old Ishara decided to merge her love of food and fashion to launch her first show, Edible Attire in Perth in 2014.
Sri-Lankan born Jayakody is currently spending 3 months living amongst the madness of New York City, capturing the energy that fuels the city that never sleeps. Her latest project, thatbagelsuit, encapsulates what New York is known for; the never-ending hustle & the pursuit of power. A suit signifies power, and what fuels the hustle? A NYC staple – the bagel! Ishara approached “only the most inspiring bagel shops with their own hustle story that captures the essence of NYC”, and is using their bagels to create her latest masterpiece.
We were lucky enough to speak to Ishara about her latest project, thatbagelsuit and the fascinating journey that led her to success.
What encouraged you to become an artist?
I’m not sure if anything encouraged me. It started off more as a matter of the creative side getting the better of me. Being at war with my corporate and creative self gave birth to this new way of self-expression.
What inspires you and your projects?
So many things inspire me. My work is one where I have to be consumed by my subject entirely to capture the core essence of what I try and communicate. Every subject, everything we are surrounded by is inspirational once we capture what is going on at the core. I believe my mission speaks for itself:
I inspire to spread my positive energy through my couture in a world where we have forgotten the formula for magic by injecting the intangible awe of child-like wonder in to every unique piece.
Basically… capturing the intangible and bringing it to visual life through food and fashion – two subjects we have a deep emotional connection with.
Who is your support group?
My parent’s choices gave me the platform to get to where I am now.
My support network extends throughout all areas of AUS and NYC now. I have a few close friends in each city who I lean on to challenge me when I need to test my thinking and to keep me sane when the pressure is on.
However, most of the time, I support myself. By that I mean I make an active effort to keep myself energised and in that kid like state to be able to make my creations truly magical.
I do this through my creative process. My process is deeply personal and self-reflective where I spend time journaling, recording entries on my phone, researching and creating an identity for each piece. The outcomes of my creative process drive me to keep going to discover the essence of each subject. It’s like a problem I’m trying to solve every time.
Tell us about your latest project.
My 3 month adventure is to capture the Ingredients of New York City.
I observed NYC and its energy…its sense of belief in self and empowerment. I associate hustle with power. This hustle is what makes you achieve your dreams… a suit signifies power. What fuels the hustle? A NYC staple — the bagel.
My fashion element is a suit, my food element the bagel
I approached Bagel shops (Ess-A-Bagel, Bagel Oasis and Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Co.) who have been voted the top bagel places in NYC on the Gothamist List – all have their personal hustle story to share. I intend to capture their personal stories and am using their bagels in my work as a homage to their hustle.
What do you love most about NYC?
The electric magnetic energy of this place. The reason I started doing my art here was because I was inspired by this city’s energy and wanted to capture this in my cuisine couture.
Not to mention all the delicious food and the amazing vintage collection of clothing. All elements I pulled to create my piece.
I find it’s the first place I’ve been to where my level of energy is matched – it is truly amazing.
Having lived in Perth and now exhibiting in NYC, what experiences have you gained or hope to gain?
My greatest experiences have been based around people.
I have met so many people and have felt I’ve learnt a lot from every interaction. Every experience adds to my work. I’ve met people who challenge me, inspire me, people who loved what I’m doing and some people who just don’t understand.
The experiences have been my lessons learnt so far as they add layers on to my personality to create greater things for the future.
The ones I can say have made the most impact on me are:
Mediocre is not an option – always strive for greatness
Never take no for an answer – if your soul craves it enough, you will always find a way
Dig deep in yourself to find why you’re doing what you’re doing – this was the biggest challenge and greatest experience I encountered when it came to any written publications I had to complete. Personally, I found the “why” for me was to always serve a purpose higher than myself.
In terms of my work, I hope to gain further experiences around the field of Performing Art where I’d like to complete a live display capturing the essence of a restaurant – using their ingredients to dress models.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
Marina Ambramovic and Jean Paul Gaultier.
I have been privileged enough to have Monarch Gallery (the gallery I’m display my work in) be seated right next to the Marina Institute – fingers crossed I get to meet my idol.
Both of these artists are raw. Their unstoppable nature and ability to follow their unique paths (regardless of the nature of their work) is a true inspiration.
Marina’s performances are energetic, real and inspirational with a deep meaning
Jean’s couture is breathtaking, unique and dangerous and capture his inner workings perfectly
I love it!
Describe yourself in three words?
Restless, Fearless, Unique
What are your plans moving forward?
I have to warn you I’m the queen of planning…
Firstly, I’d like to complete the book I’m writing about combining creative and corporate – a book dedicated to aspiring artists who have the creative fuel and require a companion to launch their work, market themselves and drive the business side of the art world.
To partner with businesses, restaurants, major designers and capture the essence of their products in a way that brings the essence of what they do to life.
I’d love to travel around the world and capture the core of various cities, people and design specific items of cuisine couture for them – clothes to match their individual sparkle.
My dream is to get on to Project Runway where I’d like to further develop my craft.
Lastly had to ask, what’s your favourite bagel filling!?
Being a sugar addict, I instantly fell in love with the strawberry cream and sprinkles on a plain white bagel – I can’t get enough of them!
Ishara’s upcoming show, Ingredients of NYC, will be on display at Select Fair Monarch Gallery, Manhattan, from 13th – 17th May 2015. For more details head to Ishara’s Facebook!
*Photography by Sebastian Sayegh*