five senses from my world: alexandra savior, singer-songwriter

Five senses from singer-songwriter Alexandra Savior's world. 

Growing up in Portland, Oregon, 21-year-old singer-songwriter Alexandra Savior first started painting to escape the banalities of suburban life and spent her childhood attending after school programmes in performing arts, oil painting and figure drawing. Later when her interest in music developed, she trained for three years as a jazz singer at a local school where she would often perform in jazz clubs and office building to practice and strengthen her voice, crowds often filled with "a bunch of old people and my mom", she says. Her cover of 'Big Jet Plane' by Angus & Julia Stone set the internet world ablaze when it graced YouTube in 2012 and since then, Alexandra's smoky vocals, atmospheric melodies and antagonistic lyrics have been honed on her striking debut album Belladonna of Sadness, released this year. 


The strongest emotion for me when writing is longing.

I feel a lot of longing, sometimes for nothing in particular, other times for people, fantasies, dimensions that no longer exist. I think evil is an interesting subject so I often write from a vengeful perspective because I'm interested in the psychology of a villainous character. I love the contrast of human nature found in the film Harold and Maude; it's dark, mundane and aggressive but then it also shows why it's important to live without boundaries and the two characters explore all of these things. They really learn a lot from each other. 


I want to understand people more than anything and painting is my way of attempting to do that. 

I strictly paint portraits which for me, is more about trying to emulate the dilemma of each subject by really trying to look into a person. I used to do a lot of figure drawing classes and recently I’ve been having my friends sit in so that I can do proper portraits of them. It’s interesting because with portraits, I find it easier to look beneath my friend's surface and find out what color they are in their lives right now. 


The artist Alice Neal is a big inspiration to me. 

She had the ability to really look deep into people's souls and she created so many raw and beautiful paintings and for most of her life, spent her time just painting and living on welfare. She had a lot of tragedies happen to her and didn’t get any credit for her art because she was a woman until finally the women's liberation movement came about in the early 70s, but this didn't happen until the last ten years of her life when she too was in her 70's. 


I have an exact list of decades I'd like to visit. 

France in the 18th century when Marie Antoinette ruled, the Victorian era, the early 1900s, the 1930s and then of course the 60s. I just feel like those were all really strong times for the things I’m drawn to aesthetically. I love Jane Austen too - she made pleasant literature that has a strong perspective without being complex so I'd love to experience the era she writes about. 


The desert Death Valley National Park in California takes my breath away. 

Growing up in Portland with forests and rivers, deserts are totally alien to me and at this one, there's a really strong energy and so many unusual colors. I first went when I was living in Los Angeles for three years and shot the video to my song Shades there with a friend. There are so many National Parks in California so I pretty much went to a different one every weekend and as soon as I'd visited them all I was like cool, I'm out.

This Week

making codes: behind the scenes

Take another at director Liza Mandelup's Making Codes video, a look behind the scenes at digital artist and creative director Lucy Hardcastle's piece 'Intangible Matter' that features producer Fatima Al Qadiri, artist Chris Lee and a host of more leading digital artists.

Read More

making movement: behind the scenes

Take a look behind the scenes in filmmaker Agostina Galvez’s Making Movements: a look at the making of The Pike and the Shield: Five Paradoxes with ballerina Nozomi Iijima and other leading movers and shakers from the world of dance including choreographers and dancers Holly Blakey, Aya Sato and the duo Project O. 

Read More

making films: behind the scenes

Take another look behind the scenes in director Eva Michon's Making Films with Alma Har'el video: a look at the making of JellyWolf and the current state of play within the film industry through the eyes of female filmmakers championing diversity, and Alma Har'els Free The Bid initiative. 

Read More

making images: behind the scenes

Take another look behind the scenes at photographer Harley Weir’s journey in capturing five women from around the world as well at a number of other creators defining the image of today in documentary filmmaker Chelsea McMullan’s Making Images video. 

Read More

making exhibitions: behind the scenes

Take a look behind the scenes in director Christine Yuan’s Making Exhibitions with Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel: a look at the making of Just A Second: A Digital Exhibition Curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, inspired by CHANEL Nº5 L'EAU, and a look at other leading curators and collectives from the art world including BUFU, Rozsa Farkas, Fatos Ustek, Angelina Dreem and Yana Peel.

Read More

seeing sound: in conversation charlotte hatherley & carly paradis

Two of London’s most sought after figures in visually-shaped music meet.

Read More

lizzie borden: feminist trailblazer

As her magnum opus returns to UK shores, Lizzie Borden – the visionary artist behind Born in Flames – talks rebellion, feminist artistry, and her nostalgia for 70s NYC.

Read More

rebecca lamarche-vadel's
just a second

Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel is the Paris based curator for the Palais De Tokyo. Dedicated to modern and contemporary art she puts on large scale exhibitions that span installation, dance, sculpture, photography and spoken word. For The Fifth Sense she created a digital exhibition based on the transformative power of CHANEL’s Nº5 L’EAU.

Read More

reba maybury: she’s got the power

We sat down with the editor, writer and dominatrix Reba Maybury to discuss her taboo-breaking publishing house Wet Satin Press, her latest novel Dining With Humpty Dumpty and what it means to be a woman in control.

Read More