At work with: Ione Gamble, Polyester

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Ione Gamble is an editor/writer who when not produing her own zine Polyester, contributes to Dazed Digital, Time Out and Sister Magazine. The zine’s packed launch parties are famous in their own right. We look ahead at her week as the sixth issue of Polyester arrives.

How was your weekend?
Mostly spent working, and watching Shrek/Eurovision/various Gordon Ramsey shows with my best friend.

Tell us about your typical Monday journey to work..
I live a 15 minute walk from my studio, so no annoying cross-London commute for me! I’ll probably listen to the same song four times on Spotify and try to avoid walking past the dump nearby on my way.

Describe the state of your desk and tell us a little about your office.
My desk is extremely bare at the moment! We’ve just moved into a new studio and I’m currently working off on an old school desk, so I feel like I’m back at school.

Our office is part of a shared studio/creative space with three of my friends and collaborators — artist Rachel Hodgson, Lu Williams who runs Grrrl zine fair, and artist Ayesha Tan Jones. We’re preparing the space to be able to run as a photo studio, as wells as hosting workshop and exhibitions in the future. We also have a baby pink floor!

What magazine matters to you most this morning?
I’m super pleased that Hate zine successfully crowdfunded for their new issue, I’m such an admirer of Scarlett and Luisa’s work and can’t wait to see what they have lined up for there fourth issue!

What can you tell us about the sixth issue of Polyester?
So! Our sixth issue is the biggest yet and took me the longest to make, I wanted to wait things out and have everything perfect rather than rush something out that I felt wasn’t complete. Which I’m really grateful to have been able to do! The issue features Pussy Riot, Cherry Glazerr, The Love Witch and lots of other amazing femmes. I also wanted to bring in more non traditional article formats and features this time around — we have often stuck to traditional profile pieces in the past — but this time we have poems, prose and illustrated makeup tutorials.

A sixth issue is a huge achievement, how do you feel the zine has changed from the first issue?
The zine a lot as has changed since issue one – I was still studying when I started Polyester and creating the zine has probably been a steeper learning curve than any aspect of my degree. Hopefully I know what I’m doing a bit more than I did a couple of years ago. Our ethos has stayed pretty consistent throughout the duration of the zine. It’s become more politicised maybe – less about fashion in a traditional sense, and more about the subversive nuances of femme identity.

You guys are known for your free launch parties, do you worry that they are getting too successful?
Never worried they are getting too successful! Always worried no one is going to show up. Usually I book a few djs and a band – I try not to think about it too much and just book friends, contributors to the issue and djs I’ve seen when out and enjoyed their sets. I think a good party is most of all about providing an inclusive, non intimidating environment in which everyone feels welcome and at home.

What are your plans for the future for Polyester?
Hopefully our art space will be open and functioning soon. I want to explore and tap into the IRL Polyester community as much as possible and harness that as something that doesn’t just exist in the pages of a zine or on the internet. We’ve done that before in the sense of curating exhibitions etc but this will be something much more permanent, which is exciting. It’s our third anniversary in September too, so we’ll be celebrating that somehow!

Pick a spread from the last issue of Polyester and tell us what it says about the magazine.
The ‘Becoming Womxn’ shoot is probably most indicative of the issue as a whole. It’s a beauty shoot, and much of this instalment focusses on beauty. But in particular the editorial explores the double edged sword of self care, and the fine line between ridiculous beauty standards and empowerment via our own beauty regimes. A big part of Polyester is exploring and teasing out different sociopolitical and feminist issues through visual mediums and I’m particularly proud of this shoot.

What are you finding most frustrating about your work this week?
Probably the amount of time I spend at the post office.

What’s going to be the highlight of this week for you?
Maisie Cousins solo show this Tuesday at TJ Boulting. Maisie is a contributor to the zine and one of my favourite people. I can’t wait to see what she’s done for her first solo exhibition.

What will you be doing after this chat?
Going to sleep!

polyesterzine.com

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