Anna Trevelyan, stylist, on blood.
GB Tell me why you’ve chosen blood.
AT I’ve chosen blood because to me it’s the beginning and end of everything. It’s pumping through all of our veins, it drives us, keeps us alive, but is associated with death. Blood represents passion, anger, love, lust, identity, and the core of our bodies, who we are. It’s the colour of blood that we associate with love, passion or anger. And visually, it makes almost everyone have a powerful basic and instinctive reaction in one way or another.
GB Did you have to overcome an initial horror of it before you found beauty in it?
AT I’m not really a queasy person when it comes to blood, but of course there are many ways and situations in which blood is horrific and not at all beautiful. It’s more the romantic and stylized notions of it that I find beautiful. I find the feelings that blood represents inspiring.
GB It has such powerful symbolism. Even one tiny drop of blood instills fear into people. Are there any images of blood you’ve been particularly struck by?
AT I’m always in love with what Quentin Tarantino does. It’s such highly stylized ultra-violence. It doesn’t feel real and it’s feels considered and directed in the most beautiful of ways. I often love Japanese horror too, such as Battle Royale, because it’s just so art directed and stylish. I’m not into violence as such but there’s a visual allure to blood when well represented. Have you seen Franco B’s work? I first watched it on YouTube. He sat in a room with blood being taken out of him until he passed out, with a small audience watching. I almost passed out watching it. I think it’s crazy that seeing one substance can have such a vigorously physical reaction. There’s one piece where he walks up and down dripping blood from his wrists and leaving his path imprinted in blood. It’s so beautiful.
GB Does beauty come into your work much? Or is style a different thing?
AT I think it does but in a subconscious way. I don’t do something because I consider it beautiful, more because I consider it exciting or inspiring. But however strange something is I must find a certain beauty in it otherwise I wouldn’t do it. Style and beauty are very different things.
GB What makes something worthy of the word Beauty to you?
AT I think most things in life are worthy of the word beauty depending on how you look at them.