‘The Colour Red’: Moana wields her divine rage in creative collaboration

Two of Perth’s most exciting artists are collaborating on a unique new project, combining creative styles to tell the story of a killer spiritual assassin.

The Colour Red is the brainchild of musician, performer and writer Moana Mayatrix and artist and designer Lucas Bowers, bringing together music, visual art, animation and fashion.

The work, led by Moana’s epic ballad of the same name, explores the archetypes of a woman’s journey from naive princess to wounded woman, finally emerging as an indomitable warrior.

Speaking to OUTinPerth, Moana says while she and Lucas have different experiences in the arts, the pair have a shared vision for what they like to see in their practices.

“I’d written The Colour Red, which is a ten-minute long murder ballad and I’d recorded it with my band and I just knew it needed to have a visual,” Moana says.

“I wanted it to be told in a way that wasn’t just a normal music video. I came up with this idea of a comic book style something, and my manager at the time was good friends with Lucas and suggested him and it all came together.

“I’m really honoured that he said yes because he’s an incredibly talented artist.”

The ballad alone is the result of five years of writing and composing from Moana, and the epic creative feat has exploded into something even greater than the sum of its parts.

“I had this particular feeling and particular mood on the guitar and I would return to it because it’s a ten-minute long song so there’s a lot of detail and a lot of dramaturgy within the song,” Moana tells us.

“We’ve been just gestating on the idea for the last three years or so. It started with a photoshoot of the narrative and how I wanted it all to look for the comic book and Lucas has been working on the animation over the last few years. Now it’s all coming to fruition!”

The ambitious project is fuelled by curious experimentation, combining sound, visuals and multimedia. Moana says experimentation is at the core of all of her work, with the goal of immersing her audiences in the presentation.

“I really get off on trying new things and immersing myself into different worlds. Sometimes that’s through different characters or different atmospheres,” Moana shares.

“With this particular project, it’s special in a way because I’m really going for the whole immersive thing with Lucas on board. This being based in a narrative, based in a story, it feels like more of a bold vision to share that with the world.”

At the heart of The Colour Red is the story of a woman who finds herself evolving through the archetypes of a naive princess, to a wounded woman and finally – a warrior.

“I suppose it’s looking at it from a Jungian psychological perspective that we all have these archetypes that we go through in our life, just through our collective human experience.”

“The warrior woman to me in this story is someone who has embraced her sexuality, who has embraced her inner fire and has reconnected with her wild life force which is – in this story – portrayed a lot through our connection to nature and our connection to magic.”

Moana shares the project is also about claiming our inner rage, and wielding that power as a weapon for change.

“I think women have a lot of rage – I mean everyone in the world does – but this story is looking particularly at feminine rage and transforming that into a creative force to live by.”

“I saw a really great quote the other day that said divine rage isn’t about vengeance, it’s about wanting to reorder the world.”

“This story could be seen as a revenge thing on a surface level, but it’s really about taking that divine range and transforming it into a new order of the world.”

The duo are also celebrating the launch of the exhibition with a special live performance alongside some very talented friends this Saturday. PS Art Space will be soaked in red, hosting the haute couture burlesque style of Essie Foxglove and the sounds of elemental drone duo Filth Goddess, as well a selection of tunes old and new from Moana and WAM-nominated band.

The Colour Red exhibition runs Friday 8th July to Wednesday 13th July from 5pm to 9pm, at PS Art Space, 22 Pakenham St, Fremantle.

The special live performance event is taking over on Saturday 9th July from 7pm. For tickets and more info head to Humanitix.

Leigh Andrew Hill

Image: Lucas Bowers

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