Photography: Jenny Jimenez
Lady Krishna (Natasha Shulman) is an iconic figure in The Fold's hometown of Seattle. Known for her music, art and meditation practice as much as she is for her personal style and exuberant personality, Lady Krishna has been a mainstay in the city's art scene for as long as we can remember, and she has also been on our shortlist for this series since the idea originated.
Though raised in Seattle, Lady Krishna has lived all over the world, influences that you see integrated into her home through the books, art and ephemera she has collected. On the day we visit there is a book by Judy Chicago displayed at the foot of the bed [Lady Krishna was a former student of Chicago's while atttending Cal Arts], personal notes from admirers and gurus line the doorway to the kitchen, and a jacket designed for her latest album release party hangs on the door. To say she is a woman who has embraced and explored her creative prowess is an understatement. Today, we get a glimpse of her space and insights on what home means to her as a single woman of an “uncertain” age.
You have lived all over the world; what brings you back to Seattle, and how long have you been in your current apartment? What originally drew you to this space?
Originally I came back from New York City because of my grandmother and to be closer to my family. I have been in my apartment 16 years. When I first saw this apartment building I was magnetically drawn to it. I was drawn to the location because it was quiet at the time and walking distance from downtown, and I don't drive.
When I first moved in, half the building was empty. Coming from the Lower East Side [of New York] I didn't have any closets and this apartment has four — three that you can walk into.
I love this apartment; it's the culmination of all the places I have lived at once. Everything is here. It's Mexico, it's Paris, it's Amsterdam, it's New York. They are all here together.
You have many areas of passion and interest. You are an artist, performer, fashion icon and meditation guru. Have I missed anything? Is there one of these things you most closely associate with or do you find you are equally drawn to them all?
One hand washes the other. I live for them all. Right now my main focus has been on getting my latest record, Cosmic Panties, released and my new collection of Lady Krishna Couture hand-painted purses coming out soon.
It's all different expressions of art, and when everything is working smoothly they all function together beautifully. Recently Lady Krishna's Cosmic Panties played at halftime for the Rat City Roller Derby at Key Arena and my meditation practice absolutely contributed to that — I could rock as hard as I did with grace and love and [I was able] to give all the love and to receive it back.
The various shades of pink throughout your home were created specifically for your space — what was the inspiration behind this color choice?
Everyone looks beautiful with rose and lavender reflected on them. It's flattering and I want everyone to look and feel beautiful in my home.
Is it safe to say you are a collector? Of all the ephemera, art, books and novelties in your home, what are a few pieces that are most special to you and why?
It's almost impossible to say which pieces are most special...I love different pieces more at different times.
My teacups and teapots are beautiful and very important to me. I love old compacts, boxes, containers, vessels. I love the sound of removing wrappers, tissue paper, unwrapping and wrapping them back up. I love the secret collections that most people don't see because they are hidden away in big rusted cake tins and gorgeous hat boxes. I have hidden treasures that are squirreled away that I have hidden even from myself. I'm sentimental [and] love old photographs and handwritten notes.
I have to be surrounded by beauty. I'm a wood sheep (my Chinese zodiac) so I can make any space beautiful; I live by it. Even when I was living in a closet in NYC, it's was the most stunning room in the loft.
Would you say your space is an extension of yourself? If yes, why is that important to you?
Yes, it's an extension, definitely. When it's put together and ship shape there is no other place I'd rather be. I love being home. It's like a breath of spring air. It's like a dream.
I work at home, it's a creative place, it's a meditative space. Part of the apartment has been taken over by my clothes — you can see that next time! It's an entire article to itself.
Tell us about the artwork in the bathroom.
In the bathroom I have 19th century Japanese prints that were my grandmother’s. Geishas with boats and lanterns. A piece from my recent show, Lady Krishna She Bleeds For Me, Menstruation, Menopause. A 60-painting installation that was at Fred Wildlife. 28 of my girlfriends menstruated on my vintage handkerchief collection. The rose painting that says “Rama” in Sanskrit in iridescent blue was from a rice bag that I had saved from 1990 in New York. The Red Ballerina painting is from a series that I made while living in Amsterdam in the mid-90s. They are about perseverance and no matter how many times those girls fell down they came back fighting and they kept me going. The Victory painting I did at art school at Cal Arts in 1975. I'm being run out of house and home by my art.
What do you love most about living alone?
I wouldn't say I live alone. I live with the cats. I cater to the kitties. I have always lived alone until I didn't — and then it took awhile to get used to not living with someone again. I have never been afraid to be alone and since I work at home, there is always something to do. I love the freedom of being alone and adore when friends come over.
Who or what inspires you?
That's like Mercury — always changing, fluid, shifting. The list is so vast that I don't even know where to start.
The Holy Mother. Amma (the hugging saint). Artists. Judy Chicago — when I was a teenager I was in her feminist art program at Cal Arts. Artists like Lynda Benglis. Brian Eno. Laurie Anderson. Yoko Ono. Yves Saint Laurent.
I love fabric, accessories, hats, gloves, boots, coats — especially vintage. What would we do without our artists? We would be living in a very dull world without the butterflies. Butterflies inspire me. I'm a butterfly.