YES SIR. Frankie Tobin
Resort '24 collection, Reflexiòn, welcomes an artistic collaboration with multidisciplinary Artist, Frankie Tobin. Formed through the concept of a simple composition, a stirring permission to live as our most whole selves. A notion explored through organic shapes painted exclusively for SIR., which have been cast across swim and ready-to-wear pieces and ignited our first SIR. jewellery collection (coming soon)
Tobin’s subject matter looks to her own experiences and exploration within the female collective consciousness, all driven by a curiosity around the depth of visual communication which is depicted through her works.
We spoke to Frankie for YES SIR.
SIR. We were introduced to you via Jade Gillet and Brent Gold. How did you first connect with the duo behind Rainbow Studios?
FT:I was introduced to Jade through my good friend Johanna Moonan, founder of OpenClosit. Jo and I met while travelling in the South Pacific and remained fond of one another as we both found our way to Los Angeles. I think I owe most of the milestones my work has experienced from the shameless and enthusiastic championing of my female friendships. Jade has since become a warm connection – although we have yet to meet in person, I have loved watching her vision for Rainbow Studios blossom.
SIR. When did you first start painting?
FT: Painting has been what feels like an extension of self from my earliest memories in childhood. My fascination with vibrant colours has been a constant backdrop in my being. I find them to carry varying emotional qualities that help me better process and connect to the fluctuating internal narratives housed within me. Painting has always held me accountable to engaging with my feelings.
SIR. Has paint always been your chosen medium and creative outlet?
FT: Painting is perhaps the space that offers a common thread to all my work. But I do find myself incubating ideas or expressing certain inquiries through many mediums. Clay and the making of ceramic sculptural installations, and the generation of spatial ideations have been just as favoured in my work. I love playing with how we dwell in environments and how physical spaces can inform or express our emotional realities. The language created through my paintings has offered me a foundation to explore other ways of world building.
SIR. Has your process evolved over time?
FT: For my sake, I surely hope so. I began with more static drawings of figures that slowly began to seek abstraction over time. My initial interests were to express the shame I felt associated with being a woman who wanted more than I saw women in the past experience. In fact, the desire to create change itself and attempting to soften the uncertainty it brings has informed much of my artistic practice. How change manifests in our closest relationships — including that which we hold with our sense of self has been a current area of interest for me.
SIR. Are you a perfectionist, or are you comfortable rolling with imperfections?
FT: I deeply struggle with a duality between the two. I find myself wanting to enter every project I undergo with my entire self behind it. I want to know that I didn’t give less than I could have given in hindsight. However, doing multiple things at once and even just waking up to the realisation that we aren’t meant to know but rather feel our way through life has softened me to allow for more fluidity and mystery to play a role in my practice.
SIR. What’s playing in your studio?
FT: Film scores of anime I am obsessed with and currently Frantz Casseus. And everything in between.
SIR. You created two artworks that inspired the collaboration with SIR, titling them Sweet Language. In a poem to SIR., you speak to the notion of “If a woman could wear her true worth like clothing. If she could feel held by the depth of her own existence, she would have little left to fear” – can you talk to this concept and how it relates to your own being?
FT: I can only speak from my known experiences as a woman, but I believe we live in a time that offers us much inheritance surrounding notions of how to be. This is sometimes undermined by taking in how far we have come from living purely as objects in relation to our male counterparts. But if you make contact with the part of you that came here to allow life to express itself freely through you…you will find that we have quite a bit more space within us than we are initially impressed upon.
Much of my own unfolding has been central to excavating what is my own voice from voices I came into the world conditioned to trust. A continual gift to myself is finding ways to build a capacity that can hold space for this process; however long or nonlinear it may be. I can’t pretend to be an authority on something so profound and diverse as notions of self worth, but it is something I have great interest in. I think developing this part of us is choosing to develop how much of life we can truly engage with. If you have at least an inkling of curiosity to know yourself more, you will only be led to places of greater depth and value.
SIR. What do you hope people feel when they see and wear the pieces from our collaboration?
FT: I hope they feel the joy I took in their making. I hope they give themselves an internal permission to feel beautiful, whatever that may mean for them.
SIR. Your favourite piece from the capsule?
FT: So hard to choose. Perhaps I would say the green swim – It is within bodies of water I feel most at home & in touch with our feminine association with the qualities of water. There is a soft strength in being able to move through the world fluidly.
SIR. Tell us about the works Rainbow Studios are showing this October.
FT: I love working with the art world in Australia. Particularly the niche atelier movement that Rainbow Studios embodies. I feel very free to express myself directly without much academic weightiness. It allows for organic connection to be fostered between the work and the viewer, there is no barrier there. There’s an unspoken yielding to celebrating life within the mundane moments. We are showing a small intimate collection of paper works that carry the same unfiltered joy of pigment and organic form as the pieces made in collaboration with SIR. The colour palette is characterised by reds and blues and carries with it a dawn and dusk atmospheric quality. The quality of light that favours the transition of a season, that gives the scent of impending change, which is the time I was living in as I created them after moving my practice out of LA.
SIR. What’s next for you?
FT: I just moved from California to London to pursue a Masters in painting at the Royal College of Art. It has my full attention and will inform much of what happens next. Being based in Europe has been a lucid dream.
Shop SIR. x Frankie Tobin