MANIAMANIA X THE ALCHEMISTS: In Conversation with Kitty Callaghan

Kitty Callaghan’s birthstone is the ruby, it also happens to be her most cherished heirloom, but how could it not be; with her flaming locks of red and perfectly freckled skin, she was emanating and radiating like a ruby on a fine Spring, sunny, light dappled, leafy Sydney morning. 

She exuded sensitivity, was fiery, passionate, kind and tactile with the hands of a mixed media creative artist. All these elements made her a true Cancerian, despite not feeling that “everyone in the world fits into one of twelve categories”. Though, perhaps as an artist, she doesn’t, but that's what makes the artist exactly that, they are an amalgamation of emotions, time, energy, beauty, fragility and fire, that experience and those emotions being the diving board for their work and inspiration. Her work as a mixed-media artist utilises cutting, pasting and with a true eye for colour, is also an mingling of mediums, you get a glimpse of layers, complexities and “airiness”, a unique lightness. That is after all, how her friends describe her. Meeting women who are truly embodiments of the empowered, authentic feminine is truly a sight to behold, watching them in their element is another story.

Kitty, to begin, what is your quest?
To always have a job that I love and enjoy doing.

Equally, when do you feel most powerful? Does that link to your work and creative expression?
In theory, when I am achieving great things. In reality, when I have had a few too many drinks and I'm dancing.

Where do you source your magic from?
Beautiful old books.

So, at what point did you realise you wanted to pursue what you’re doing right now. What was that process like?
I always liked to make collages and scrapbooks as a kid in high school for friends. Then my boss Kym commissioned me to make her some collages for an Ellery collection a few years ago and it sort of evolved from there.

Were you a tactile child? Did your childhood upbringing influence your creative endeavours?
I remember loving the monkey bars. In some ways yes, in some ways no.

How do you stay in your passion and remain inspired?
Mostly through music and traveling.

So many people disconnect from their emotions entirely, the incredible thing about self-expression is that accessing your emotions is a necessity. Is there an emotion you identify with that is intrinsically linked to your creative process?
Sometimes I like to create after I have had a bad day and it puts me in a good place. But that said, I don't usually link one emotion to the process as I like to create most of the time, not dependent on my mood.

When do you feel most powerful and empowered as a woman?
I grew up with three brothers so I think that had an influence on my outgoing personality in some ways. I can't quite put my finger on when I feel most powerful but I definitely feel that butting heads with (and loving) three boys as a kid helped me to be a strong person.

What has been the biggest driving force and catalyst in what you do?
Art and music.

How would your friends describe you?
Fun, a little bit airy at times. In a good way (I hope..)

We live in an age of unparalleled interconnectedness, the world at this moment is in an age like no other, whether thats good or bad. Where do you see this present day world taking us? Equally, in your ideal world, where would you like it to take us?
I see us stepping away from being so connected in the future. It is all so new, the effects of social media and screens in general have not been fully measured. I feel for kids in high school in this age, it has completely changed their world, in many ways for the worse in my opinion. I think after we see the psychological (and physical) effects from things like smart phones in our world so consistently we might all choose to be more mindful with how often we expose ourselves to them.

What is your Zodiac Sign? Do you identify closely with it?
I am a Cancerian. I often wonder why so many people are so into star signs and being in tune with their astrology forecast, because I don't think everyone in the world fits into one of twelve categories, but, I have to say, I am a sensitive and sometimes moody person and that's what defines a Cancerian. So I guess I do identify closely with it in ways.

And your Birthstone?
Ruby - my favourite stone. I have a ruby ring that used to belong to my grandmother Mimi and it's got to be one of the most important things that I own.

Is there a stone you are drawn to?
Opals.

What is your latest obsession?
Collecting records.

We see scent as one of the strongest memory triggers. What is your favourite scent? Does it take you anywhere?
The original scent by Chloe. It reminds me of hot summer holiday NYC in 2008 with one of my best friends.

What is something you are most passionate about?
My mum and dads dog.

What is most precious to you?
Family.

Do you have any heirloom jewellery that has been passed down to you?
Rings from both of my grandmothers, I wear them everyday. I can't be without them. And a ring from my Mum that her best friend gave to her in high school.

What is the most important lesson you have learned?
I am still learning.. to not worry about things that are out of your control. Worry is a wasted emotion.

What makes you laugh?
Anything to do with Larry David.

When do you feel most cherished?
When I sleepover with my Mum.

What gives you courage?
Support from those around me.

Jewellery has the ability to convey so much about a person and about a woman. What piece of jewellery do you value most? What does it make you feel?
The Rolex watch that my auntie and uncle gave to me for my 21st. I didn't really get it when I received it. Now I love it. It's practical and I think it's beautiful.

What do you consider your proudest moment?
When anyone I respect and love tells me that they are proud of me!

When do you feel most your authentic, connected self?
When I’m spending time alone listening to music.

What do you consider your proudest moment?
When anyone I respect and love tells me that they are proud of me!

When do you feel most your authentic, connected self?
When I’m spending time alone listening to music.

What is one rule you live by?
To try not to worry about the future too much.

If you could time travel, to where would you travel? Why?
To the record store in London that George Harrison worked in pre Beatles. There would have been some really good records in there, as well as the best Beatle, George.