By Irene Trejo
Visual artist Daphne Lyon says she comes from Santiago de Chile, but everything about her and her art indicates she comes from a place where time doesn’t exist, and chaos and litmus hues abound. She is who she is, and believes that the only thing she came here to do is to live the life she wants and create. And that’s exactly what she shows through her work, life, and being. Seeing her arriving at a cafe in her comfy and costume-like clothes, her blue hair, and her loud voice screaming ‘hola!’ before coming in; Daphne reminds you of a certain kind of being, one that is precious, rare and free. “When you learn how to connect with yourself, the rest just happens,” she says.
She studied art in Santiago with a special interest in magic, sexuality, and nature. She likes to experiment with different techniques and materials; ceramics, installations, collages made out of porn magazines from the 90’s, sculptures made of fabrics and iron, sewing beautiful kimonos and bikinis, and most recently, she started tattooing peoples’ skin. “I believe my materials and I choose each other depending on what I’m working on” she says. She loves creating spaces and atmospheres where people submerge into her magical world, all that moves her and inspires her, places to travel and reconnect with beings from other dimensions that can’t be felt or seen by most of us.
Mexico City has been Daphne’s home for four years now. Before, she was living and studying in Spain and France, besides paying some sporadic visits to her homeland. All of these places left something tattooed on her, and have made her grow and know herself in a deeper way. Lots of her work comes from the oneiric world: “I tend to dream inside my dreams, so there are moments, especially when I spend a lot of time alone, where reality can become very confusing”. She sees herself as a modern witch, doing spells all the time, playing with all the elements and sometimes working non-stop for days.
Cultural traditions like the celebration of the Fiesta Tirana in Chile and carnivals celebrated in Mexico, with the devil masks, busty women, and all the bright and fun fabrics are very present in Daphne Lyon’s work. Tarot, and mystical, religious and mythological symbols also tend to appear in most of her pieces. As does the element of water with all of its fluency and inhabitants such as mermaids and dolphins, earth represented by plants, mushrooms, and snakes. “Snakes symbolize so many things, they are associated with life’s energy, women’s sexual divinity and transmutation.” Through Daphne’s experiences, and the books she likes to read, most of them about magic and subjects related to the spirit and duality explained in ancient cultures and civilizations like Egypt, she began to see sex as a way of exchanging energy in order to harmonize with the universe. Daphne likes to seek the feminine creative energy in everything, regardless of its body.
Vaginas become doors to transcendental states and other dimensions, as her installation Pussy Galactic shows. “You come out of it feeling blessed,” she says laughing. “Through vaginas you might be able to create humans, but in reality, you can use them to create whatever you want!” Daphne Lyon’s biggest dream would be to become a living particle, touched by the light of the sun and the moon, floating on top of a big piece of moss at the bottom of a gigantic waterfall, in a landscape full of mountains and rivers. “Water just has it all,” she says. “Light and darkness.” She would also love to get a greenhouse-like castle filled with all kinds of plants, with all the tattoo artists she admires the most doing their own thing in different rooms, as well as nail art, hair art, massages, a skatepark..“an amusement park made for us adults who are still children. A space to lose your mind.”
Daphne’s personal rituals include changing her hair style and drinking mezcal. She says that if she could drink a mezcal with anyone she wanted, besides beings from other planets, she would do it with Aleister Crowly, and she would invite him to have sex after having a long conversation with him.
“My work is my way of going back to my real planet, my way of playing and putting color into pain.”
Follow Daphne: @daphnelyon