Film Premiere: Softwear Muse Euphemia
An interview with the Founders of Softwear:
Shannon May Powell and Marley Sheridan
Who is behind Softwear?
Softwear was created by photographer / writer Shannon May Powell and graphic / fabric artist Marley Sheridan. It began with a conversation about embodiment and developed into a conceptual fashion label that embraces the concept of unbinding gender & sensuality through the poetics of fabric, inspired by Italian philosopher, Mario Perniola’s book The Sex Appeal of the Inorganic: Philosophies of Desire in the Modern World.
What is it?
Softwear is an ongoing wearable art collaboration. It began with a textile exhibition titled, The Offering of One’s Body as Extraneous Clothing, where we installed life-size silk photographic prints suspended from the gallery ceiling. It then evolved into a bespoke wearable art collection. We make custom silk suits with photographic prints from the exhibition, as well as a luxurious silk pyjama set featuring the prose poem from the exhibition. We have also created silk scarf prints of the photographs. The latest evolution of the project is our Softwear Muse video series, which explores the concept of embodiment featuring those who personify this concept. Our first Muse is Euphemia, a sex and pleasure educator based in Oakland, California. Euphemia is the director of I Wish You Knew, an amazing platform for education and practical tools for explorative pleasure.
Who wears it?
Anyone who wants to take on (embody) the concept of the exhibition in their personal stylistic choices.
How do I own it?
Owning Softwear is about owning one’s experience of embodiment as much as clothing their body in the fabrics of Softwear. We create Softwear items made-to-order via our webstore www.softwearsoftwear.com and the Softwear silk scarves will soon be available to touch and try on at the Centre for Contemporary Photography gallery in Fitzroy.
How did this collaborative project come about, and what does it mean to you?
We first met at a Queer club night where Marley was wearing a shibari inspired outfit with red silk rope wrapped around her body, we spoke about our mutual love for all things soft and tactile and decided to meet up and talk about how we could collaborate. From this moment onwards, over many italian desserts, Softwear was born. What it means to us is that we get to indulge our friendship. It also means we have a physical vessel to carry our thoughts, feelings and concepts about gender, sexuality and identity. It’s an opportunity for us to invite others into this ongoing narrative and to write them into our poems of materiality.
How does the world look through a Softwear lens (or how do you wish it would look?)
It looks like rolls of soft silk fabric rolling endlessly with no boundaries or edges, a place where there is no definition between self and objects or self and others.
Music by Oscar Key Sung - @oscarkeysung