Damsel is a conceptual sound and visual artist born and raised in London. Their work transports you to a century-hopping, faiey tale romance. Just as our inspiration, their style allows nature to speak and finds ways to create and consume sound in a performance setting.
By using photography, film,fine art, performance, movement and sculpture they unify their abstract ideas. Dansel's wardrobe consists of a dreamy collection of vintage clothes featuring dresses with puffy sleeves, silk and embroidery
My passion for sound began with classical music when I was six. I was transfixed by the romantic world and decided to begin playing violin. However, training in the classical world was not the dreamy world I thought it would be. A demanding, elitist and competitive place it was and I began falling out of love with music. I am a multidisciplinary artist and growing up I flitted from one craft to the other; fine art, film making, photography, graphic novels and so much more. I just love using my hands and imagining the impossible. It wasn't until February 2020 that I started to take sound art more seriously after I got a double bass and named her Cordelia that I once again found my solace with music. I was wooed by the world of experimental music and it gave me freedom to explore sound with confidence.
My world is about fluidity, texture and history. When I'm creating music or playing in a room I'm thinking about the past of that space and weaving it into something new, something that you can feel. If you were able to place your hands on my work you'd feel the grooves and the shapes and different consistencies; my sound must have rich textures. Similarly with my style, I’m drawn to the textures of a fabric, how it drapes or holds the figure, the shapes and colours I’m creating on my body. The silhouettes and styles from the far past and how that can be reimagined in my own way.
Floral head sculptures and wire pieces handmade by Damsel
The trees, the sea, little bugs and flowers speak wisdom to me and that's where I feel it's my duty to translate their words into sonics, to make one feel and hear the way I do. I am drawn to beautiful spaces with historical or spiritual presence. I love sitting alone in a 13th century church, just me and a piano, absorbing the sonorous sparkles that the vast room creates. I love mechanics and watching how old antique machines and instruments work. I have a typewriter and document my world through analog processes such as my film camera handed down to me from my auntie.
Giving room for silence. Becoming one with a space. Listening to nature. Finding comfort in dissonance. Merging with the walls.
I used to do a lot of art. Drawing, painting and sculpting a lot, not so much now but art is still part of my creative process when I'm creating concepts. I've a keen eye for photography and it’s also part of my way of documenting my world. At some point I'd like to release the works. I like wire sculpting and floral designing, which I incorporate a lot of those designs into wearable pieces. I especially love making headwear!
I’m sure some folks will be happy to hear I’m finally in the works of releasing an EP, based on the whispers and speakings I’ve collected from the Earth over the last couple of years. I’ve got an album concept in mind too. Performance wise I've got a number of things in the works but the upcoming ones are; my debut show Tales of the Earth that I performed in February is being developed alongside Clod Ensemble, I’m very excited to breathe life into that again.
On September 23rd, I will be performing something very different, in celebration of my single release Echoes of Lalia which explored the city sounds from my neurodivergent perspective, I will be sharing the stage with Astrid Sonne, Lola de la Mata and Tara Clerkin Trio, creating an immersive abstract world of my city.
Damsel Elysium x Renli Su
Artist: Damsel Elysium
Hair: Hiroki Kojima @kojimahiroki
Make up: Takenaka @takenakamakeup
Photographer: Benjamin Werner @benjaminwerner
Styling-Art direction: Nina Scott-Smith @ninascottsmith