Stella Marbles is a London-based drag performer, mask designer, model, and artistic director. She also hosts and produces events including the monthly queer club spectacular Cookie Jar at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club. We had to the pleasure of meeting her in one of Zebee's events a few months back where she came to spend some quality time with her mother. Couldn't help ourselves but ask a million questions about her day job and here she is telling us more.
Tell us a bit about your background.
I was born in the US in New York but I have grown up most of my life in London, though my whole life I have travelled a lot as well, visiting 43 countries. I studied English Literature at Exeter University and worked in marketing and journalism for about 4 years both before and during university. After uni I moved back to London and that was when I discovered drag and club culture and my life really did a 180, in the best way.
How did Stella Marbles come about?
Stella came about through journalism actually. I was asked to do a series of interviews with drag queens from RuPaul's Drag Race and after talking with them I became really interested in the art form and the community, so I started going to shows in London and then as I discovered the diversity of the queer community and the incredible female drag artists in the city, I began to dress up for fun to go out. The more I did it, the more I fell in love with drag and being Stella. People began to really notice my art and book me for events and I looked for more opportunities to perform and showcase my work, and it just snowballed from there!
What’s your mission as an artist?
Through my performance and my aesthetics as Stella Marbles I strive to warp and redefine the femme form, giving it new power and autonomy outside of heteronormative structures, and to push the boundaries of what it means to be a drag artist. In tandem with this, my mission is to help create platforms for and increase the visibility of wxmen, non-binary, trans and marginalised queer artists.
What do different masks represent to you and where do you get your inspirations to create them?
My masks are like different energies or dreams in my mind come to life, when I wear my masks I get to become an extra-human version of myself and depending on the aesthetic of the mask it influences me in different ways. For example in a silver spiked mask I feel more bad-ass and overtly powerful, whereas in an elegant pearl mask I feel more mysterious and softly femme. They all represent power and taking ownership of your identity and creative expression. I'm putting so much of myself out there creatively but I am also keeping most of my identity a secret.
I get inspirations from everywhere, often other designers and queer creatives, movies and books, especially from the real of horror and science-fiction, but also I will sometimes see a material or object in a grocery store or vintage shop and be inspired by that.