Interview; Charlotte Allingham
illustrator and occultist
Charlotte Allingham is a 24 year old wiradjuri woman from Melbourne.
She is an illustrator and occultist, and doesn't do much else except draw.
To put it frankly, we love what she does.
Recently, your work was discovered by alot of people in Australia (#abolishaustraliaday #changethedate). Why is it important for you to explore your own identity through your work?
It was important to me to feel connected to my country and my culture, and art was the only way I could. Since that I have had a fire burn inside me to make more, it was important to me but I feel like it's important for everyone to experience her identity and stand strong within that. Its still very important to me to explore that in my work.
Where did your interest in folklore come from and why is it a driving force behind your artwork?
I am very big believer of the collective consciousness, which is something we all have in common and all tap into in our lives. It's just really magickal to me. I started having a massive, obsessive interest in folklore and occultism in general when I was 18 and I had this craving to talk to spirits and having that experience made me dive right into it all. There is so much meaning in folklore, these creatures and ideas exist, and you look at them. They will look back. I love it.
How do you see art being used to heal and educate a broken country struggling with rascism, identity and sexism?
Art empowers, its expression. You can put emotion and pain into art and others will feel it. Art won't change the fact that Australia is killing us, but it can help people know they aren't alone and heal connections. For me personally, it was a way I can fill that void that I had in me. It was a healing of my own psyche, and it's brought all the emotions of my ancestors with it, my own mourning of my culture. You can only say so much in words, art bypasses that bridge and penatrates the core of a person. We can't forgive for what's happened, but we can always look towards a future when we aren't dying and our voices are heard, because we need that.
Over the next few years, do you think Australia will see a rise in young indigenous artists/creatives who break down cultural barriers? If so, why?
I hope so, it's so easy to stay in your bubble. I was in one, I was too scared of rejection and harrassment, but a wise women told me to stand strong, know who you are. So I am, and others will realise it too. There are so many incredible indigenous artists, and they all have something to say about Australia, and rightfully so. We need to make it safe for them to exist in this space, learn and listen and they will kill it.
Lastly, what is your favourite quote?
Whosoever would know Secrets, let him know how to keep secret things fécretly; and to reveal those things that are to be revealed, and to seal those things which are to be fealed: and not to give holy things to dogs, nor cast pearls before swine.