The Creatives: BNE Girls

QH chats to Dani Marano, one-half of BNE Girls, the fab new book that every Brisbanite needs to get their hands on.

Eliza Rogers and her puppy Frida

Produced by Dani and her partner in crime Hannah Roche, BNE Girls is a celebration of women in our city and their creative endeavours.

Dani is a freelance stylist, soon to be visual merchandiser and Hannah is a fashion photographer. The two met on a shoot a few years back and clicked. Since then they have worked on many shoots together and have built up a pretty special friendship. When we asked Dani what her fave part of the book’s creative process was she said, and we quote: “Working with the ever so talented Hannah Roche.”

BNE Girls features photographs of jewellery designer Bianca Mavrick, Patience Hodgson from The Grates and Rachel Burke from i make you. wear it.

Dani speaks with us about her life and inspirations and of course BNE Girls, and the city that we all fondly call home.

What do you believe makes Brisbane so special and different to other cities?

I consider Brisbane a bit of an underdog when it comes to Australia’s cultural landscape. For a while, there wasn’t much going on and every few years there was a mass exodus of friends who moved away. Over the years I noticed that happening less, and more people starting to open cafes that weren’t Gloria Jeans and starting businesses that went against the grain.

Another thing that sets Brisbane apart is that it’s a city with a small town vibe. That’s one of the best things about it, I think.

What lead you to create BNE GIRLS?

To put it simply we wanted to acknowledge women and their contribution to Brisbane’s creative communities. Brisbane is an underrated city brimming with amazing talent and we wanted to celebrate that.

We were also drawn to the idea of creating a book rather than an online publication because the more virtual our lives become the more we crave the physical. I love being able to interact with an object, feel the texture of a book’s front cover and flick through the pages. You don’t have the same interaction with a digital publication and a book stays with you for a lifetime.

Trina Massey

How did you decide who was going to featured?

Initially, we photographed a handful of women we had met through friends and the project snowballed from there. Once we started talking to people about the project, approaching women via social media and organising more shoots, people were happy to be involved. We chose women who had mainly started their own businesses or were pursuing multiple creative endeavours.

When you were working on BNE Girls what did your day look like?

During the BNE GIRLS project, my day went something like this – emailing, emailing, text messaging, Facebook messaging, Instagramming. emailing, calling Hannah, Facebook messaging, scouring Pinterest and emailing again.

Jaala Alex

Can you give us the inside scoop and let us know what 2017 brings for you and Hannah?

Hannah and I are planning on releasing an Adelaide edition but are currently working on scheduling. It has been a challenge to organise shoots as I live in Melbourne and Hannah recently moved to Bowral in NSW.

What Brisbane event are you most looking forward to?

I am really looking forward to the Making Modernism exhibition showcasing the artwork of Margaret Preston, Grace Cossington Smith and Georgia O’Keefe at GoMA! Since I was a teen Margaret Preston has been one of my favourite artists.

Savannah Van Der Niet

What inspires you CREATIVELY?

Having such a diverse range of friends with varying talents keeps me inspired and motivated. They are social workers, interior designers, stylists, arts managers, photographers, musicians, ceramicists, jewellers, painters, florists and the list goes on. There is something so inspiring about knowing people who are passionate about their practice. It really challenges me to find where my strengths lie and work towards honing my skills.

What’s the motto YOU try to live by?

I try to live by two mottos:

1. Lean in. When a situation makes you feel awkward or self-conscious, take a deep breath, take it on board and just do it.

2. Legitimise your practice. I received this advice from a friend recently and am hoping to put it into practice this year. Whatever I am doing I want to do it confidently and without self-criticism.

Where can we get our hands on a copy of BNE Girls?

GoMA, Queensland Art Gallery, Gorman Fitzroy, Gorman James St., Junky Comics, Contra or there are still a few available from the BNE GIRLS Big Cartel site.

Wendy Ma
Styling by Dani Marano | Photography by Hannah Roche