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Chloe Tabone/ Faery Hexes

Chloe Tabone, aka Faery Hexes (she/her), is an artist based in Naarm (Melbourne) who creates surrealists works exploring themes of sexuality, mental health and the climate crisis. With the use of symbolic imagery, she examines the overwhelming world around us and portrays a deeply sensitive exploration of her own experience in it. Informed by a reflective understanding and awareness of social and environmental issues, Chloe is able to depict the complex, beautiful yet fractured, world around us.

I set up my laptop and zoomed Chloe from across the world; she is studying abroad in Malta. With Maltese family roots, she describes a wonderful start to her time overseas. Looking through her screen into her student accommodation; it appears to be the start of a sunny day. In contrast, my room has just dipped into darkness as night has set in. We get our discussion underway…

My practise is informed by a variety of things. I think I've learnt now, that as someone who is neuro divergent, highly sensitive and anxious; that I basically feel like if I don't create I’ll self-implode.

It does actually feel like that. Sometimes I find just going through life, experiences start to build up. Not necessarily bad ones, just things can be overwhelming and it feels like they build up and it's like I have to express them, or it creates this blockage.


Since lockdown, it's just informed by whatever interests I have at the time or whatever I'm experiencing; emotions I'm having and climate anxieties. I know everyone has it at this point, I felt like even as a kid I had climate anxiety. When we first learnt about it in class, I was the only one that went home and felt it to such a heavy degree. But no one wanted to talk about it with me, so I felt like no one else understood. And now obviously we all do, but I think maybe I've just found a way to alleviate the burden, just a little bit through painting and stuff.

What do you find informs and influences your art practiced?

As your art practice has evolved, have the themes you discuss changed?

I think I discuss a lot of the same themes, but I think I find ways to communicate them better. I usually keep exploring my sexuality, femininity as a young woman and the climate crisis. And then psychological and emotional stuff.


It's nice with ongoing works, like “Under the freeway”. That was the first one I did from that series, and it was really fun because it was where I used to walk to school, under that freeway. There was something equally pleasing and just gross about it. Because it's completely dark under there, and it's just the Creek with lots of rubbish and graffiti. But something about it I found it really charming. It was just nice to have this little patch of something, that was just so deep in suburbia. Just something about it, I don't know… it just feels like it has a different energy to it.


Anyway, there’s a little section of the sky that represented to me like, possibility or hope I suppose. So, I did other art works with the same idea, along the Mooney Ponds Creek. They represent simultaneously feeling frustrated with everything being concrete, and hating that there is rubbish everywhere… But also, for some reason, I just find suburbia really enjoyable to paint. Like trying to make the mundane things more interesting or romanticised. Probably just for myself so I can enjoy where I live a little bit more, 'cause sometimes it feels so stifling and painfully flat.

Do you often use similar themes throughout each artwork?

think I often use symbols with the climate crisis, like using water pollution to symbolise my own emotional turmoil or whatever I'm going through. Why I probably use the climate crisis the most, is because I wanted to break down what I find so frustrating; particularly about the climate crisis stemming from capitalism. Also, how we still have nature and it's beautiful, well what's still intact… And then feeling frustrated that I get to have such positive experiences being privileged and getting to enjoy the benefits of capitalism. Then getting frustrated at how it can be so distracting sometimes, and so enjoyable… Almost enough to forget what's going on.





I think capitalism is endlessly fascinating because of the way it runs, obviously on a large scale, but on a small scale as well. The way that it affects thinking and the way that it affects language. I think linguistics is already so interesting, but if you start paying attention to the way people speak, and you have a vague understanding of the different notions that come with capitalist thinking. It's crazy because the language you use, shapes the mindset that you have, and so that obviously dictates your behaviour.


I think we all subconsciously make excuses for capitalism to continue. Not that we really have a choice. Obviously, there’s no judgement or blame, it's not our fault. But even just saying something like ‘I really need this new top for the weekend’. 'Cause I used to be like that; desperate to make sure that I looked right and the clothes I wore looked right. We're all sold things that we don't need and the way that advertising effects our brain and how social media affects us, how ALL these things affect us just to continue the system. I don't really know what other like alternative option there is. It's just not sustainable at all.

It can be so overwhelming understanding how integrated capitalism is. Do you consider capitalism often when exploring other themes?

I feel like with the more you research and look into social and environmental issues, the clearer it is that they are all connected and interwoven. Is this huge, connected web something that interests you?

Yeah, it’s horrible, but I think that’s what makes it such an interesting topic. I think that the most interesting part is all of the connections. Learning about all the links between environmental symptoms, the economy, social issue, politics and government influences. Having the mindset of knowing all these things are so interconnected; it's interesting, but it also makes me sick. It's so overwhelming just to think about. It's such a weird one 'cause, it's on the hugest scale that we know, like globally. But it affects every little thing. Especially when you think about really small animals and stuff. Realising like, ‘oh shit, they're in this too!’ It just doesn't feel real, I still just don't believe it's happening sometimes. I feel like I really understand climate denial now. Obviously, it's frustrating, but no wonder you wanna say ‘it’s not real!’. Yeah, I don't want it to be real either. Like, it's shit.

Do you make your art for an audience, or to get a message across?

Oh yeah, I'd love to say that I'm really wanting to reflect on society so people can wake up and know what's going on. But I think everyone kinda knows at this point, so I think it almost doesn't feel like its raising awareness. That it all kind of means nothing at the at this point, not that that's actually the reason that I'm not making it for an audience, just because it is a really personal thing… It's always an emotional experience for me, creating an artwork… or it's always for my own enjoyment and pushing myself creatively for my own mental health. It's the reasons that I do it, I just love it. Obviously I love when other people can get something out of my art or enjoy it. Knowing that people enjoy it or can relate to it, 'cause otherwise it can be quite a lonely thing. But even if it was a lonely thing, I'd still be doing it to, 'cause it's just what I do.


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