A Look at delicate rébellion

One of the first indies to make it to Magalleria was delicate rébellion from Scotland, reviewed here by Imogen Howorth.

Magazine titles are often evocative, magnetising, even beguiling things. They can be deeply symbolic and meaning-laden, or seemingly arbitrary and irrelevant, obscure and unexpected, or candid and unambiguous. Sometimes the words mean nothing at all to us, as our eyes skim past their letter forms, instead lured by compelling visuals, and often the sensory pull of colour alone. Whether or not titles are purposefully chosen, or coined out of mere accident, we all glean certain things from the words before us; Exhibition carries with it a sense of the avant-garde, of spectacle and maximalism, Hortus, with its ornate, Latin form, harks to ancient and established tradition, whilst Bumble is evocative of a softly thrumming natural rhythm.

In delicate rébellion there is a tenacious spirit burgeoning between the lower-case serif ‘d’ and closing ’n’ of this magnetic pairing. Dancing between the ridged, scorched cacti of Bethany Grace’s mystical cover photo, the title of Hannah Taylor’s reincarnated publication is forceful and mythical in equal measure. I felt a boldness, a quiet surge of strength in these two words, coined to form the title for a woman-led magazine celebrating creative spirit through its eclectic array of makers and creators. What is important, perhaps, is that however you may be stirred upon reading these words, the stories and curiosities enclosed within quite easily embody all meanings at once.

Following She is Fierce, Taylor’s first exploration of women-led creativity, delicate rébellion reflects, in her own words, “…a step forward in a more delicate way”, with an evolving and diversifying vision of creativity. Organically departing from She is Fierce’s sole emphasis upon women and their creative practices, Taylor marks a thoughtful evolution with a renewed desire “to create a platform based on the assumption that everyone is curious about everything”.

At its heart a celebration of creative beauty and brilliance, whether in melancholic tattoo designs, mesmerising photographic images, or the shared memories of artist models and muses alike, delicate rébellion is a cornucopia of eclectic articles, with a sparky, curious vein running straight through. This vein, the ‘feeling’ drifting amongst its pages, felt reminiscent of oh comely; both are open-minded, free-spirited publications, with womanhood – in all its beautiful channels – at its core. Lively and engaging from the beginning, there is a playful, sparky sense of movement throughout; articles read in both portrait and landscape orientation, whilst text occasionally swirls and curls rather than keeping a traditionally straight line.

The diverse array of articles and features speak to all manner of creative minds. Personal highlights – the articles that made my cogs whir and eyes widen – included Kirsty McLachlan’s nostalgic photo diary (p.21), and the ‘The Girl with the Ponytail’ (p.84). I was entirely drawn into Kirsty McLachlan’s escapist 35mm New York street scenes and into the glittering, rippling turquoise of the Amalfi coastline. McLachlan’s warm, rich hues and youthful scenes felt enveloping and escapist all at once.‘The Girl with the Ponytail’ felt similarly nostalgic, retelling Sylvette David’s warmly recollected memories as Picasso’s muse. The story of her idyllic summer, unexpectedly spent modelling in Picasso’s Vallauris studio, felt almost mythical. 

delicate rébellion abounds with these unexpected delights; in its first issue alone, aptly named ‘powerful little storm’, it is possible to unearth philosophical thought, tips for nude artist modelling, hidden European city delights, and a directory of creative mentors. Oh, and practical guidance for creating a fashion label, poignant stories of creative pioneers, and sporadic music mixtapes. Indeed, not every single page is accounted for on the magazine’s playful contents page, intentional perhaps so that the reader stumbles upon the unexpected whilst leafing through its pages. Out of the blue, I happily chanced upon Sophie Charles’ geometric, earthy print design ‘Luna Arch’, sandwiched between a mixtape and Ruth MacGilp’s interview of creative Bethany Grace. I often found myself slipping back to segments I had missed on my first flit through its pages. 

I closed delicate rébellion feeling creatively stirred and inspired, eager now to explore the European cities of Bucharest and Vilnius (painted in alluring detail by Cristina Ioana Pașalău and Violeta Skuodaitė Rushkeys), take more photographs on film (thank you, Kirsty McLachlan), and attempt time travel to a balmy summer in 1950s Southern France, to live amongst Vallauris’ potteries and cafes.