We were incredibly lucky to get the opportunity to collaborate with the beautiful Dee of Kawa Heart Studio
this week. We chat things about loss, life and her new book Love Is.
Get ready for a quick little intro into her beautiful life in Western Australia. It's the simple things with Dee and her family, which is really what love is.
What is your name? Who all is in your beautiful family?
My name is Dee. It’s actually short for Doris - but while I was growing up I couldn’t handle how old-fashioned it was and shortened it to Dee. I feel like when I’m a grandmother I may revert back to the full D-oris. My middle name Kawai is also my Chinese name and Tang is my Dad’s family name with origins from Hong Kong.
In my family there is my Artist husband Desmond, Rafa Rose (6), Beau Sunray (2.5), our lab retriever Nami Flower and Angel big sister Kawa Leaf.
Where do you live? What draws you to the sea?
We live in Fremantle, Western Australia and live really close to the Swan River (Derbarl Yerrigan). We spend a lotta time down there with the family hanging, swimming or spotting dolphins. It’s a very special, ancient river system that many dolphin pods call home.
We go between South and North Fremantle beaches and head down south during school holidays to Margs (Margaret River) for waves and friends.
And finally… give us a little peek into what inspired you to write Love is.
Love is inspired entirely by my firstborn Kawa Leaf. She passed into spirit in 2017 and in the year to follow after her passing she would whisper love notes into my ear, or float them down for me to collect in my travels.
It became clear in 2020 when covid and social isolation became a reality, that the words would take physical form in a book titled Love is. I began collating all the words and arranging them into poetic verse and the illustrations followed.
During the process of making this book, I met a lovely 70-odd year old grandmother who shared with me a story about her twins, she was pregnant with some 50 years ago. She lost them both at full term in a tragic car accident. As she was sharing her story of life and loss, it materialised that the book would be dedicated to her, and to all the mama's and the papa's in the world who have children who are angel children.
How does it feel to finally hold this beautiful book in your hands?
The first sample copy I received — it took me a day to open it because I was so scared of finding errors, or things I would pick at or be disgruntled about when it came to the design — which is pretty common from a designer lens when you receive a sample of any kind. I finally opened it up, flicked through and just signed with relief — I couldn’t find anything “wrong” with it. It was the biggest relief and sign that it was presented exactly as it needed and wanted to be.
It was really important to me that the would be reminiscent of antique hard cover books — covered in texted linen fabric and stitch bound with embossed lettering — so that it would be tactile and feel good and hardy in the reader’s hands.
Any inspirational words to share..?
This is a line from the book - “Love is knowing in your heart, that you will never ever be apart”.
What’s your favourite Fabrik piece and why?
This new batik print Florian Dress and the Tavi midi dress. I love midi length dresses for autumn winter that you can layer with knits and throw on with kicks.
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