Be comforted, dear soul! There is always light behind the clouds,” wrote Louisa May Alcott in her seminal novel, Little Women in 1868. A simple quote that bears deep meaning that is all too easy to forget when the clouds turn day into night. Waiting for the light to break the cloak of darkness is part of the human condition and has been my primary quest for the last year. This quest led me to reach-out to Peruvian-American interdisciplinary artist, Grimanesa Amorós. I have been drawn to the ability of Amorós’ ethereal light sculptures to allow dark and light to co-exist. Amorós’ artwork is a reminder that one cannot exist without the other; darkness is necessary for light. The beauty of finding light is the focus of our cover feature collaboration with actor-singer-songwriter Maya Hawke.
New York-born Maya Hawke, 24, is known for many things. She is the child of Hollywood heavyweights Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke. She is also a gifted actor in her own right. Hawke landed her first gig, the coveted role of Jo March in the BBC’s adaptation of Little Women in 2017 when she was in her first year at Juilliard. Hawke’s visibility skyrocketed after she accepted the role of Robin Buckley in Netflix’s most-watched English language series, Season Three of Stranger Things. Lastly, Hawke has just released her second album, Moss, which showcases her talent for the written word and dreamy, yet catchy melodies. Her voice is laced notes of smoky oak, fresh cut grass, sour cherries, and orange blossom honey—if I could distill her voice into a perfume I would bathe myself in the scent for all seasons. Listening to her first album, Blush, and now her second album, Moss, I find myself uplifted.
Light, as a metaphor, is a theme of Moss. “You drink up all the darkness and choke on the moon in your mouth,” she sings in the song, “Restless Moon”. The album, as she explains in our interview, addresses the inner light in all of us, so joining our collaboration was kismet as light is also Amorós’ medium. Amorós harnesses light into LED tubing structures and organic forms that she controls through a computer system that allows her to choregraph light in various color and hues. She compares programming her lighting sequences to composing a piece of music: every note has its moment in time and space. For our photo shoot, Amorós enveloped Hawke in her custom-built sculptures as I photographed the star.
Amorós experiential artworks invite viewers into her worlds. Hawke’s acting present us with worlds to ponder, while her music allows us to contemplate ourselves and the world around us. Both women’s work offers us access to the light within us, and this collaboration speaks to that idea. My mission was to capture that light and convey it to you.
Dior dress | Mateo gold necklace and earrings featuring De Beers ethically and sustainably sourced natural diamonds from Botswana