As with most creative collaborations, The Carnation zine was birthed from stylistic play between Jade Paton and Cynthia Fan. Cynthia has been working as a florist at Lush Flowers since completing her Masters in plant molecular biology. “I started ikebana [Japanese flower arranging practice] classes about a year and a half ago with the Ohara Chapter in Cape Town and it has the strongest influence on my work,” she explains. Jade on the other hand is the founder of House of Grace, where she creates macramé home ware and furniture. Her parents were florists, and so her fascination with flowers has been around since her childhood. Introducing each other to their processes when it comes to still life compositions, the pair realised that they have a similar aesthetic. Considering this and their collective love for flowers, Jade and Cynthia decided that a zine would be the most appropriate way to collate and share the images they were creating together.
Reflecting on the journey for The Carnation Jade explains that, “The process was very organic and through collaboration, one thing quickly led to another. Working with someone that totally gets your ideas is great, as we are able to enhance and clarify them. We worked on most aspects of the zine ourselves, with the help of the amazing designer Taariq Latiff of Chclt.”
Hoping that each issue will take on a life of its own, their first issue is exclusively visual. However, they are already working on the next one with Ane Strydom. “Collaboration is important in an age where everyone’s work is easily accessed through social media. Instead of competing, we should utilize someone else’s unique perspective and aesthetic to challenge our own creativity. By collaborating with another artist, our work is able to evolve in unexpected ways.”
The launch for the Carnation takes place on 2 February at AKJP Collective in Cape Town. As an interesting parallel to the images in the zine, Jade and Cynthia will be taking over the store window for 10 days. “For the window we will have a flower arrangement/sculpture that we change every day. We like the idea of it being an interactive and changing installation,” Jade explains. A limited number of zines will be available which can be purchased from AKJP or ordered through The Carnation on Instagram.
Flowers by Cynthia Fan & Jade Paton
Japan Photographs by Jade Paton
Layout by Chclt
Images of zine for feature by Chclt
Special thank you to Lush Flowers and AKJP Collective