From the Art of Photography to Fashionable Art
Fiona Compton is a photographer whose passion for capturing Caribbean women on film led her to be invited to show in an exhibition at the St. Lucian High Commission in London on International Women's Day in March. Born and raised in St. Lucia, Fiona has lived in London for 15 years, but she readily admits that her heart and soul are still in the Caribbean. Her Flower Series, described as ‘women with vibrant Caribbean flowers', has drawn much attention and admiration for the strength and beauty of the female and floral images. She has reinterpreted classic art by taking photographs of Caribbean women that mimic the works of great masters, such as a recreation of Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, using a delicate shell to replace the pearl in the original. Also in 2013, Fiona launched a line of hand-painted dresses in the UK, and was pleasantly surprised at the reaction to her ‘wearable art' pieces.
“Paradise Prints started when I bought a dress online for a wedding and when I got it I thought it was really boring. Since I love vibrancy and colours, I decided to grab some fabric paint and throw some flowers on there. Three years later I wore the dress again and got so many compliments - people were asking where they could get one. So I started putting the designs on Facebook and Twitter and the line just took off from there. I was invited to include my work in a designers' pop up boutique in Europe's biggest mall, Westfield Stratford, where Paradise Prints have been part of two catwalk shows, and we will also be featured at Nevis fashion weekend, which is wonderful!
“My obsession with bright colours and flowers comes from me living in London for the past 15 years. Of course the UK is renowned for its bad weather, and perhaps to keep my sanity, a lot of my work depicts a colourful Caribbean feel which is like food and happiness for my soul and spirit. I would not call myself a designer, more of an artist... I don't design the pieces I paint on, I acquire them from all over...whatever looks and feels good! I try to find simple pieces and make them pop. But I do think designing is the next step, or perhaps collaborating with another designer, right now I'm open for anything!”