I’ll make no bones about it. I’m a huge fan of Blacklist and they’re one of my first ports of call for affordable art. So I was delighted when they shared some exlcusive behind the scenes images from their recent photoshoot for their new collection Cross My Heart.
Almost entirely black and white, it is still instantly recognisable as their popular work and I’m already getting in a panic about which one I’d choose for myself. I love the flexibility of having something monochrome because it usually goes with everything and in any room! And I don’t need to remind you how much I love typography in all its forms. Hello, word nerd!
So why is this collection called Cross My Heart? “We believe in the power and romance of promise,” says Jaynie Johnson, one half of Blacklist with husband Nathan. “Cross My Heart saw us create something that was different from anything we’d ever done; a collection about promise only using a monochromatic palette.” (Well almost all monochrome, we’ll come to that later…).
Nathan and Jaynie, known for being a couple of romantics, were reflecting on the simple things, on contrasts and ultimately what mattered most. “As with everything we create, there is always an element of hope: as with the night, joy comes in the morning. So the final pieces we created were the colourful, hope-filled, ‘peace & love’, they are the lights at the end of the tunnel… the last page of the story.”
They used their own Cronulla home (a previous Real Living cover star!) and enlisted the help of some talented friends for the shoot: photographer Adrian Price, model Niclyn Starr, make-up artist Stacey Tsardoulias, and clothes by Celeste Tesoriero, who they’d worked with previously when she was a designer at Aussie label One Teaspoon. “Can you tell we love collaborating?”
They moved away from their usual emotive shoots, where it was about conveying a lifestyle, and decided to try something more editorial-focused, where the product was central to the story. “I guess where the product is the story,” says Jaynie.
“It was a long shoot, from Nathan building the ply set and white floors, to framing, shooting, everything. We shot late into the night and ended up having around 6 different lights set up in our tiny lounge room to ensure we had consistency throughout the shots. Aido is a genius!”
During the creative process, the pair sometimes worried people would misinterpret the work as being too simple. “But that was the entire synopsis for it, that was the goal, to create new pieces that were cohesive with the old, to remind ourselves of what matters most. For us it is summated in each of the artworks: peace, love, a cause greater than ourselves, promises and palms (a symbol of strength and eternal life).” And as Jaynie rightly points, out: “At the end of the day, the WHY is the most important thing behind what we all do, right?”
The collection comprises prints, wall flags and cushions. If you like something you see, snap it up, as there are always a few pieces in each collection that sell out in a matter of hours (I should know, it’s always the ones I want!). See the full collection (this is about half of it!) at their online store.