Amelia’s Magazine | Central Saint Martins: Ba Hons Jewellery Graduate Show 2011 Review

Jing Jing Cao headdress
Headdress by Jing Jing Cao.

The Central Saint Martin Ba shows were held for the last time this year in the iconic Charing Cross building, visit before the courses depart for new accommodation in Kings Cross. What will happen to the beautiful vaulted hallways when they go? The caretaker couldn’t tell me…

I can’t help but love jewellery – whilst I’ll happily bypass the graphic design stands if there’s a glint of precious gem I’m in there, help nosing around. The Ba Jewellery offering was a mixed bag – much of it did not appeal to me at all but the designs that did grabbed my attention good and proper. Below are the best designers I found.

Kerry Huff
I was attracted to Kerry Huff‘s rough gemstone jewellery based on natural patterns even before I realised that she had sourced all her materials ethically… and is also passionate about fair-trade practice. How joyous to find students tackling design with a firm grounding in the implications of their work.

Hee Jung Son
Hee Jung Son also worked with recycled lids to create a well presented range of colourful rings on silver bases.

Yung-Han Tsai
Central Saint Martins jewellery graduate exhibition 2011 Yung-Han Tsai
Yung-Han Tsai reappropriated everyday objects and transformed them into something new – in this case she clumped bundles of headphones (I’m hoping they were recycled or upcycled) into sculptural forms.

Bonnie Yiu
Bonnie Yiu did some strange and wonderful things with copper wire and paper which produced curvaceous necklaces and bangles with detailed patterns that bore closer examination.

Central Saint Martins jewellery graduate exhibition 2011 Wenhui Li
Wenhui Li pink ring
Wenhui Li
Wenhui Li showed a fabulous display of coloured mixed media rings featuring strange alienesque bulbous shapes. See more on Wenhui Li’s website.

Lauren Colover
I didn’t notice Lauren Colover‘s work when I was at the exhibition but the piece she has chosen for the catalogue is stunning – based on a Ginkgo Biloba leaf and encrusted on the underside with semi precious stones.

Min Yoo
Min Kjung Yoo created some amazing hybrid creatures from a mix of resin, precious metals and gems. Some were far more out there than this particular frog/dolphin specimen – see her website.

Jing Jing Cao
Jing Jing Cao produced stunning brass and acrylic ruffs that spread around the face like a stylised human frame.

Anna Heasman barter bangle
In her final year Anna has found herself questioning the meaning of jewellery as simply adornment but rather as a means of exchange. Inspired by primitive forms of exchange (or indeed, some might say the most postmodern way to live) Anna Heasman offered exhibition attendees the chance to Barter for a Bangle. How could I resist? I offered to write about her here if she gave me a particularly fetching gold twisted number. But I haven’t heard from her yet, and look, here I am writing about her anyway. Clearly I’m not so good at bartering.

Central Saint Martins jewellery graduate exhibition 2011 Anna Heasman Barter Bangles
One of the most intriguing things were the other barters on offer, everything from a list of herbal medicines to other bits of jewellery, cupcakes and a drink on the town. If it wasn’t so incredibly frowned upon to take photos at the CSM shows I would have taken more snapshots of the amazing array of offered goods and services. Some of them can be viewed on Anna Heasman’s Tumblr.

Still to come… my favourite finds from the Jewellery MA.

Categories ,2011, ,Acrylic, ,Anna Heasman, ,Barter Bangles, ,Bonnie Yiu, ,brass, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Copper, ,Eco-Design, ,ethical, ,fairtrade, ,Gems, ,Ginkgo Biloba, ,Graduate Shows, ,Hee Jung Son, ,Hybrid, ,jewellery, ,Jing Jing Cao, ,Kerry Huff, ,Lauren Colover, ,Min Kjung Yoo, ,paper, ,Precious Metal, ,recycled, ,Resin, ,review, ,Silver, ,Upcycled, ,Wenhui Li, ,Yung-Han Tsai

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Amelia’s Magazine | Central Saint Martins: MA Design Jewellery Graduate Show 2011 Review

Tourmaline Boa pendant by Gwyneth Harris
Tourmaline Boa pendant by Gwyneth Harris.

There were two jewellers that caught my eye from the MA Design course that covers Ceramics, information pills Furniture and Jewellery at Central Saint Martins. Gwyneth Harris‘s Boa Collection was absolutely exquisite: an exploration of surface qualities through shape, generic colour, tone and pattern, inspired by the sinuous lines of snakes. She used German lapidary experts to create her beautiful winding tourmaline pendant, which was first carved in wax. Everything was created in shifting shades of red, her favourite colour. Gorgeous, I wanted to wear every piece.

bite me pendant by Gabrielle Harris
Bite Me pendant by Gabrielle Rosanna Harris. Diamond, Topaz and Gold.

Gabrielle Rosanna Harris first trained in Paris, where she did a range of work experience in exclusive Parisian jewellery workshops such as Boucheron. It was in these joaillerie that she learnt the techniques for setting stones that have so influenced her final collection. I was most entranced by the way she has turned the settings upside down and back to front to achieve a bold new look for The High End Jewellery Etiquette, where the setting of the stone has become the most important part of the design.

It’s a real shame I can’t show you more of these jewellers’ work, but photos were not permitted in the exhibition and images were hard to come by. If you like this why not check out my previous blog about the Ba Jewellery show?

Categories ,Boa Collection, ,Boucheron, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Diamond, ,Diamonds, ,french, ,Gabrielle Rosanna Harris, ,Gold, ,jewellery, ,Lapidary, ,MA Design, ,paris, ,Snakes, ,The High End Jewellery Etiquette, ,Topaz, ,Tourmaline

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Amelia’s Magazine | EDE Knitwear: An interview with Ellie Jauncey

EDE men's moss jumper by Claire Corstorphine
EDE men’s moss jumper by Claire Corstorphine.

EDE was founded in 2009 by Ellie Jauncey. Having studied Textiles at Manchester Metropolitan University and specialising in Knitwear she moved to London and spent a good few years working in soul-less fashion roles. Two redundancies in a year later and the penny finally dropped, why work for other people when you can work for yourself? Paying homage to her mother’s maiden name she started EDE, which is a knitwear label specialising in simple, modern clothing, inspired by traditional shapes and designs – and all made in England. She quickly formed a team of knitters, all living in and around Herefordshire (where she grew up) and using their incredible skills, produced the first collection.

EDE Knitwear bramble cornflower
EDE by Jamie Wignall
EDE by Jamie Wignall.

EDE is now in it’s third year and the A/W 2012 collection is made up of two styles of men’s jumpers, two women’s and the signature item, the BIG scarf. As well as running EDE, Ellie is also the co-founder of The Flower Appreciation Society, which you can read about here. She’s a busy, multi-talented lady, but I caught up with her to find out a bit more behind her second inspiring enterprise.

Ede Clothing Knitwear by Dom&Ink
Ede Clothing Knitwear by Dom&Ink.

How did you find your knitters?
I advertised in the local paper and put notices up in post offices and corner shops. 

EDE Knitwear Valentine and fisherman rib
They are all over 60 – do you think that despite the current renaissance in knitting most knitting is still an “old” pastime? Are we losing skills?
I think knitters who are over 60 approach it in a different way, it’s much more a part of their lives than for my generation who see it more as an occasional hobby. All my knitters need to knit, they’ve done it all their lives, it a bit of an addiction. They also grew up in a time when you knitted to clothe your family, it was the norm. Unlike today where the majority of people pop down to Primark instead. Saying that lots of my friends knit and even more want to learn to knit. Re-learning skills is definitely on the up! 

EDE Knitwear by Wiji Lacsamana
EDE Knitwear by Wiji Lacsamana.

Where do you sell your jumpers?
I sell through my website and this Christmas I am selling exclusively through the YCN shop.

Ede Clothing Knitwear Man by Dom&Ink
Ede Clothing Knitwear Man by Dom&Ink.

You’ve had some high profile press – for instance Little Mix looked super stylish in your jumpers for an editorial – did your previous jobs in fashion help to develop good contacts? How do you ensure good press? 
Not really, I’ve worked really hard at getting press. If you have a product which you believe in and you’re proud of then it’s easy to approach the press with it and sell yourself. It also helps a lot having wonderful friends like Fred Butler who constantly put you forward for things! 

EDE Knitwear Moss jumper
What is special about your big scarf?
Well probably that it’s so big and soft oh and also the colour choices. I always wanted a plain, block colour scarf which was a bit like a blanket and couldn’t find one anywhere so thought i should make one.  

EDE Knitwear bramble jumper
How do you manage both businesses at the same time? What are your top tips for an easy life?
Managing both businesses is a bit of a juggling act at times, you have to be pretty organised, which i’m working on!! I couldn’t do it with out the support of my wonderful flower partner, Anna. My top tips for an easy life are to make sure you are happy in your working environment – moving studios has changed my life and made working so much more productive and enjoyable. My other top tip is to swim in a lido as often as you can, it makes you feel wonderful.

EDE Knitwear moss
What inspires you when you are designing?
Colour and old things.  

EDE Knitwear By Lucy Freegard
EDE Knitwear by Lucy Freegard.

What next? Any other business plans? 
My next plan is to develop printing on to knit and i’m going to start doing ‘little EDE’, my kids range, again.

Sod Little Mix, I can’t wait to see what Little EDE will bring!

EDE Knitwear by Shy Illustrations
EDE Knitwear by Shy Illustrations.

Categories ,A/W 2012, ,Claire Corstorphine, ,Dom&Ink, ,Ellie Jauncey, ,Fred Butler, ,Herefordshire, ,Jamie Wignall, ,knitwear, ,Little EDE, ,Little Mix, ,Lucy Freegard, ,Manchester Metropolitan University, ,Sheilagh Tighe, ,Shy Illustrations, ,The Flower Appreciation Society, ,Wiji Lacsamana, ,YCN

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Jewellery Designer Kate Sibley, talking about her ‘Future Jewellery’ Collection

Kate Sibley Jewellery by Laura Griffin
Kate Sibley Jewellery by Laura Griffin

When I first looked at images of Kate Sibley’s stone ‘paper’ Future Jewellery I was reminded of a gorgeous book I fell in love with a few years ago called ‘The Paper Jewelry Collection: Easy to wear and ready to make pop out artwear’. It features beautiful patterns printed on variously shaped paper which you can remove from the book and fold in different ways to create eye catching jewellery pieces. I still have this book and, like Kate Sibley’s jewellery, find it hugely inspiring. Both push boundaries in terms of what form jewellery pieces can have and what materials they are made of – the latter being especially crucial at the moment in terms of sustainability. The limited edition pieces by Kate Sibley are transitory and deliberately have a short lifespan, agreeing with the fast fashion trend. Yet the jewellery, made from non-toxic stone ‘paper’, can be infinitely recycled or safely composted at the end of its life, leaving no negative imprint on the environment. Here Kate Sibley shares with us a little about the context, inspirations and processes behind her origami-like jewellery collection.

Kate Sibley Jewellery Necklaces group

You started out as a graphic designer, how did you become interested in jewellery design specifically and decide to do an MA at Central Saint Martins?
My undergraduate degree was in eco design and design studies at Goldsmiths College where my final piece was in fact a jewellery collection. The graphics route was purely by chance and a result of the experience I gained on work placements while still at university. It became a logical career path upon graduation as it gave me the opportunity to make money as a practicing designer. After several years of full time employment I took the step to become a freelance graphic designer which enabled me to focus more on other creative interests including my jewellery. I then applied to continue my studies at Central St Martins as it would provide me with a network of mentors and place me in a stimulating environment to further develop my ideas.

Kate Sibley Necklace
Kate Sibley Necklace
How does your graphic design background influence your jewellery collections?
My decision to work with paper for my latest collection was born out of my desire to question the fast fashion industry and explore sustainable materials and systems. After a year of intensive materials research the logical path took me to the stone paper I use today. Having a deep knowledge of graphics and print enabled me to really explore a unique approach to my jewellery where I had very few restrictions. I could explore, colour, tone, pattern and form in a way that you can’t with traditional jewellery making processes. It also had its problems as it makes it incredibly hard to make decisions when your options are endless so you need to be confident in your ideas and follow them through with conviction.

Kate Sibley Jewellery by Isher Dhiman
Kate Sibley Jewellery by Isher Dhiman

Could you tell us a bit more about the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ theory and closed loop systems and the influence they’ve had on your work?
The term Cradle to Cradle refers to a designed system where commercial productivity and sustainability can co-exist and benefit one another. This is achieved by ensuring that products and materials are designed to fit onto a biological and/or a technical system – closed loop. A biological system refers to materials that can harmlessly decompose and return to the earth providing nourishment rather than toxic landfill, whereas a technical system is one based on materials being reprocessed repeatedly without degradation or any loss in quality. Cradle to Cradle has influenced my work greatly. What I like is that it provides a rational and practical solution to a sustainable future whilst celebrating abundance and creativity. Rather than the consumer being half-heartedly encouraged to change their consumer behavior, the ball is firmly in the court of designers and manufacturers to design better products. It is a challenge, but designers like myself thrive on creative challenges.
My current collection is designed with materials that fit within both a biological and a technical cycle.

Kate Sibley Pin
Where do you source the paper from which your current collection is made?
I source the paper from a supplier in Europe as it is not available in the UK.

v
Kate Sibley Jewellery by Polly Stopforth

Where did you learn to fold so beautifully and by what process do you apply the eye catching patterns and colours on the pieces?
Strangely I’ve always had a fascination with folding paper. I think it’s something to do with pushing a material to its limits and really exploring it’s potential. The techniques and folds I’ve used to produce this collection have all been developed by myself as a way to overcome design issues and to form the shapes and structures I wanted. The colour and patterns are screen printed by myself.

Kate Sibley Necklace
You are the co-director of the design studio Sibley Grove with your husband Jeremy Grove. How do the other design disciplines the studio is involved in impact your jewellery work? Is working with diverse worlds helping your creative juices?
Running the design studio alongside developing my jewellery collections is hard work, but I enjoy it as I thrive on being busy and productive. We work across several disciplines, interior design, architecture, graphics and product, and I find all of these areas inspire my jewellery because they expose me to materials and processes I might not otherwise come across. The jewellery also positively influences the rest of the work our studio does, because it is a platform to be more experimental and try new things, but on a smaller scale.

Kate Sibley Future Jewellery Necklace by Shy Illustrations
Kate Sibley Future Jewellery Necklace by Shy Illustrations

In terms of fashion and jewellery design what are your inspirations?
My inspirations for this collection have mainly come from the art deco architecture of downtown Manhattan, where I am particularly attracted to the repeat patterns that are made with tiling, patterns cast into building facades and the forms made by railings and ironwork. In general though, my inspirations can come from anywhere, from the detailing on a train seat, to the beauty of an insects wing.

Kate Sibley Earrings
Kate Sibley Earrings
Kate Sibley Earrings
For your near future collections do you plan to explore more folding techniques and continue the use of ‘paper’ or can you reveal some more sustainable materials you have in mind using?
This collection of earrings will evolve into other shapes and colours, which will be released each fashion season, but all future pieces will fit into the universal earring clasp. I am interested in exploring other ways of printing on and texturing the surface of the paper material, and feel there is great potential to explore this further. I intend for the collection to grow and to release necklaces, bangles and brooches in the future. I am always researching new and interesting materials and have a growing collection which I will certainly experiment with in the future.

Kate Sibley Jewellery by Katie Allen
Kate Sibley Jewellery by Katie Allen

How could one become the owner of one of your beautiful pieces?
At the moment I am accepting commissions to produce bespoke pieces of any scale. This specific collection will be launched for sale in the new year and you will be able to buy pieces through a number of galleries and shops. You can contact us through our website www.sibleygrove.com, or at studio@sibleygrove.com to be added to our mailing list for further updates, or to talk about commissioning possibilities.

Categories ,Central Saint Martins, ,colour, ,Cradle to Cradle, ,Designer’s Block, ,Earrings, ,Eco-Design, ,fashion, ,Fast Fashion, ,Folding, ,geometric, ,Gold Leaf, ,goldsmiths, ,Graphic Design, ,Isher Dhiman, ,jewellery, ,Jewellery Collection, ,Kate Sibley, ,Katie Allen, ,Laura Griffin, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Necklaces, ,origami, ,paper, ,pattern, ,Polly Stopforth, ,Printing, ,screenprinting, ,Shy Illustrations, ,Sibley Grove, ,Stone Paper, ,Sustainable Fashion, ,Sustainable Materilas

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Amelia’s Magazine | Growing Stuff: An Alternative Guide To Gardening


Art Against Knives

4th-5th May 2009

The creme de la creme of East London’s artists and designers come together for Art Against Knives: a 2 day event and exhibition to raise awareness of knife crime in the community and to raise money for the medical treatment of Oliver Hemsley the 20 year-old Central St Martins student, shop buy who was left paralysed after being stabbed multiple times on Boundry Street.
Art Against Knives promises to be inspiring both artistically and socially.
art_against_kniveslistings.jpg

Art Against Knives, price this Monday and Tuesday only, approved see website for locations.

Flatland
ends 16th May 2009

Interesting 2 dimensional works and film sculptures from British artist Elizabeth McAlpine.
flatlandlisting.jpg

Flatland, until 16th May 2009, Laura Bartlett Gallery, 10 Northington Street, London.

Fresh Meat, The First Cut
10th May from 7pm

Evening of live illustration, animation screenings, raffle brought to you by art whizz kid Rose Blake and the rest of the This Is It Collective to raise money for their degree show at Kingston. There will be DJs as well as live music from Sheeps and Arthur Delaney. General fun will be provided in abundance.
freshmeat.jpg

Fresh Meat, The First Cut, 7pm until midnight 10th May, Notting Hill Arts Club, 21 Notting Hill Gate London.

Art in Mind
ends 11th May 2009

Eclectic collaborative show at the lovely Brick Lane Gallery featuring 13 contemporary artists. You can see our review here.
artinmindlistings.jpg

Art in Mind, until next Monday, The Bricklane Gallery, 196 Brick Lane, London.

The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition
6-9pm, 10th May 2009

Pan-generational artists, activists and thinkers validate the position of feminism in modern society through provocation, performance and debate.
410159.jpg

The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition, this Sunday, Bethnall Green Workingmen’s Club, 44-46 Pollard Row, Bethnall Green, London.

Fleur Oakes- The Glass Pingle “In My Garden I am Quenne”
showing now

A simply beautiful piece mixing embroidery and corsetry by Fleur Oakes illuminates the front window of knitters’ paradise Prick Your Finger. Review and interview with Fleur to follow this week in the mean time check out the knitting projects here.
corset.JPG

“In My Garden I am Queene”, Prick Your Finger, open Monday – Saturday, 260 Globe Road, London.

Beneath the pavement… The beach

Sexton (London) & Dominique Lacloche (Paris)
The exhibition consists of new work by the two artists work.

Art wars project space, 23 – 25 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ
1st Apr – 5th May 2009

artwar1.jpg


Swine flu art masks- an exhibition of plague masks

Exquisite masks made due to the media hysteria regarding Swine flu, These masks are hand stitched and made as delicate collectable art object.

Hepsibah Gallery, 112 Brackenbury Road, London W6 0BD
30th Apr – 6th May 2009

flu1.jpg

Constellation

Clay Perry
The exhibiton showcases the photographers images of the 60′s avant-garde art scene.

England & Co
, 216, Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2RH
Tuesday, 5 May from 11:00 – 18:00
Free entry

phot1.jpg


Etchings (Portraits)

Glenn Brown
A new collection of etchings from the artist.

Karsten Schubert, 5-8 Lower John Street,London W1F 9DR
Ends on the 8th May 2009, Monday to Friday 10am – 6pm

dark1.jpg


An exhibition of works by Paul Bennett and Ellie Good

Paul Bennett: expressionist paintings using oil and graphite on canvas.
Ellie Good: In this series of oil paintings and portraits exploring light.

Lauderdale House
, Highgate Hill, London N6 5HG
28th Apr – 10th May 2009, Tue – Fri 11-4pm, Sat 1.30-5pm Free entry

blueee.jpg

Art Against Knives

4th-5th May 2009

The creme de la creme of East London’s artists and designers come together for Art Against Knives: a 2 day event including exhibition to raise awareness of knife crime in the community and to raise money for the medical treatment of Oliver Hemsley the 20 year-old Central St Martins student, approved who was left paralysed after being stabbed multiple times on Boundry Street.
Art Against Knives promises to be both inspiring both artistically and socially.
art_against_kniveslistings.jpg

Art Against Knives, malady this Monday and Tuesday only, discount see website for locations.

Flatland
ends 16th May 2009

Interesting 2 dimensional works and film sculptures from British artist Elizabeth McAlpine.
flatlandlisting.jpg

Flatland, until 16th May 2009, Laura Bartlett Gallery, 10 Northington Street, London.

Annette Messager
ends 24th May 2009

Textured textile temptation at the Hayward’s retrospective of French feminist artist Annette Messager.
annette.jpg

Annette Messager, until 24th May 2009, The Hayward, Southbank Centre, London

Art in Mind
ends 11th May 2009
Eclectic collaborative show at the lovely Brick Lane Gallery featuring 13 contemporary artists.
artinmindlistings.jpg

Art in Mind, until next Monday, The Bricklane Gallery, 196 Brick Lane, London.

The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition
6-9pm, 10th May 2009
Pan-generational artists, activists and thinkers validate the position of feminism in modern society through provocation, performance and debate.
410159.jpg

The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition, this Sunday, Bethnall Green Workingmen’s Club, 44-46 Pollard Row, Bethnall Green, London

Isa Genzken: Open Sesame!
ends 21st June

Berlin- born Isa Genzken brings her colourful sculptures to the newly refurbished, East London favourite- Whitechapel Gallery
isa_genzkenlis.jpg

Isa Genzken: Open Sesame! Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London


Art Against Knives

4th-5th May 2009

The creme de la creme of East London’s artists and designers come together for Art Against Knives: a 2 day event including exhibition to raise awareness of knife crime in the community and to raise money for the medical treatment of Oliver Hemsley the 20 year-old Central St Martins student, ampoule who was left paralysed after being stabbed multiple times on Boundry Street.
Art Against Knives promises to be both inspiring both artistically and socially.
art_against_kniveslistings.jpg

Art Against Knives, this Monday and Tuesday only, see website for locations.

Flatland
ends 16th May 2009

Interesting 2 dimensional works and film sculptures from British artist Elizabeth McAlpine.
flatlandlisting.jpg

Flatland, until 16th May 2009, Laura Bartlett Gallery, 10 Northington Street, London.

Annette Messager
ends 24th May 2009

Textured textile temptation at the Hayward’s retrospective of French feminist artist Annette Messager.
annette.jpg

Annette Messager, until 24th May 2009, The Hayward, Southbank Centre, London

Art in Mind
ends 11th May 2009
Eclectic collaborative show at the lovely Brick Lane Gallery featuring 13 contemporary artists.
artinmindlistings.jpg

Art in Mind, until next Monday, The Bricklane Gallery, 196 Brick Lane, London.

The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition
6-9pm, 10th May 2009
Pan-generational artists, activists and thinkers validate the position of feminism in modern society through provocation, performance and debate.
410159.jpg

The Red Room Platform Presents: Women’s Edition, this Sunday, Bethnall Green Workingmen’s Club, 44-46 Pollard Row, Bethnall Green, London

Isa Genzken: Open Sesame!
ends 21st June

Berlin- born Isa Genzken brings her colourful sculptures to the newly refurbished, East London favourite- Whitechapel Gallery
isa_genzkenlis.jpg

Isa Genzken: Open Sesame! Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London

The spirit is there, check but where are the green fingers? When I was little I used to love watching my mum tending to the garden. I remember the pride and excitement she would feel when her flowers were in full bloom. As I got older, information pills I imagined that the desire to start growing plants, flowers and veg would manifest itself….. but it never really bloomed. It doesn’t help that my ‘garden’ is a small concrete balcony in East End London, and I had always imagined that gardening was essentially a bit of a chore. Then I realized that I was approaching this issue completely the wrong way. Gardening is not just about allotments, trips to garden centres on a Sunday afternoon, and Radio 4 playing in the backround (not that there is anything wrong with these things), its about having fun – creating produce; eating it, drinking it – you won’t disagree when you see the recipe for Grow Your Own Mojito – fundamentally, it is about achieving that sense of intense satisfaction when you realize… “I made that!”. With this newfound understanding, I could see that my lack of gardening space excuse was pretty flimsy. When you grasp that the world is your oyster, you can also see that it is your flowerbed as well.

With this in mind, the imaginative people behind “Growing Stuff – An Alternative Guide To Gardening” have put together a how – to guide to everything horticultural. With sections on guerilla gardening, growing carrots in Wellington boots, and the aforementioned guide to making your own mojito’s; this is not your typical gardening book. There are contributions by ‘punk’ gardeners, ‘worm farming junkies’, teenagers and artists, which makes ‘Growing Stuff’ as accessible as you could hope for. Absolutely every person, no matter their level of gardening skills – or lack of – will be able to grow stuff after reading this book.
I spoke with two contributors to Growing Stuff recently about their involvement with the book, as well as their other activities. Emily Hill and Will Gould are also artists who create ‘living sculptures’ that aim to walk a line between the man-made and the wild.

Hey Emily, I like the suggestions that you and Will have done in Growing
Stuff. There is definitely an element of fun and whimsy to your
gardening ideas; like Cartoon Cress, and Carrot Wellies. Is this the
style in that you two both work? And do you feel that this is the best way to
initiate would be gardeners?

Emily: Life’s too short, get out there and get your hands dirty, just give it a go! Of course it should be fun, and if it isn’t, it’s time to take a minute to think about what’s out of balance in your life; gardening’s a great leveller, and can really help you work things out. There’s nothing like a home-grown cherry tomato bursting in your mouth to cheer you up!
Will: There are plenty of books out there which describe how to grow plants but they are not necessarily accessible to people who don’t see themselves as gardeners. By making the growing a bit more fun and whimsical we hope to de-mystify the growing of stuff. Plants want to grow and if you give them half a chance they will, so we feel it is better to have fun and be creative while trying to grow something. After all even if you fail to grow anything, you’ve had some fun.

What other easy-peasy suggestions might you have for gardening
novices- especially ones in an urban sprawl?

Will: Just try buying a packet of salad seeds-lettuce and coriander are dead easy, plant them on top of some moist compost in a pot and put them on your windowsill. It’s hard to go wrong.
Emily: Tease out a passion, try growing something bright purple, or something that smells nice, or both! You don’t have to do much, just buy a plant and water it! I started with French Lavender on my balcony.

Do you think that growing stuff is becoming more of a young persons
game now?

Will: It’s about time, why miss out on all those glorious years of growing.
Emily: It’s definitely something that has caught our generation’s imagination, maybe its something to do with our collective childhood memories. I remember picking raspberries with my granddad; it was like finding little ruby coloured droplets of edible treasure at the bottom of the garden!

How did you and Will get into gardening, and how did you end up
collaborating with this book?

Will: I grew up in a small house with a big garden, so it kind of came naturally. The book came from a request for artists who work with living things to submit ideas.
Emily: We both grew up in the country, all neglected and wild! For me, artistry came naturally, getting into gardening came later, when I found a bit of outdoor space to cultivate. We saw an advert on the Arts Council’s website and just went for it!

I have read that you two create ‘Living Structures’ – can you tell me a
little about this? What future projects are you working on?

Emily: We started off by making a portable composting toilet for our allotment with old bits of shed and two huge cartwheels; we made a cubicle that looked like a Victorian beach hut and planted a garden on the roof and gave it two window boxes full of flowers. We wanted to recycle ourselves, so we mixed our own wee with rainwater collected from the roof, and created a system to pump the mixture around the plants to feed them, anything left over drained into a reed bed at the back of the structure. It was quite charming really, and very popular…have a look, its called ‘The Jakes’ and was submitted for Margate Rocks last Spring (www.margaterocks.com).
Will: We are both interested in structures, which have a life of their own. For us, this involves growing plants, which either make up the structure, or contribute to the working of a functional building.
We are currently working on outdoor environmental projects in schools and incorporate the growing of stuff wherever possible and it is always possible!

Artist AJ Fosik’s sculpted characters look like your high school mascot that went AWOL and ended up at a full moon party in Thailand. Or perhaps the stuffed and mounted head of some big game he vanquished in a spirit dream and was able to sneak back under the border patrol of consciousness (quite a feat really I hear they’re rather tight). His technicolor wooden sculptures certainly carry the sense of having seen the otherside and with their hypnotic fluorescent eyes they seem all too than eager to take you there as well.

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According to his myspace page AJ Fossik is 66 years old. Sure, unhealthy maybe on his second time round on the carousel of life. perhaps wise beyond his years, what is for certain is that this Philadelphia born artist is onto something. Currently exhibiting printed works at Giant Robot Gallery in NY, it is his psychedelic sculptures which have really roared onto the scene. Made of hundreds of small, individually cut and hand painted wood, his animal effigies and their symbolism strike a chord with the collective consciousness, especially in the US. Aside from being the California state animal, a campsite mischief, cartoon character and omnipresent sports team icon, the bear is one of the largest and most regal North American animals, a reminder of the vastness and awesome natural beauty experienced by the earliest pioneers.

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A country whose experience at the moment consists of what is referred to as a “bear market”, one in which stockholders, all in the same blind panicked, decide to sell! sell! sell!, driving the value of stocks deep into the ground (sounds familiar). Not that far off really from the wooly winter hibernator’s image of reclusion and introspection. To Native American shamans the bear represents qualities of steadfastness and patience making excellent teachers. In dreams, bears represent a healing cycle, where the dreamer has retreated into himself in order to regenerate and to create something new and valuable in his life.

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For this particular breed of artist the road out was not a conventional one. After years as a teenage urban nomad on the streets of Philadelphia, a city often at odds with itself, Fosick eventually drifted to NY where he obtained a degree in illustration from New York’s Parson’s and a 2007 solo show in the city’s Jonathan Levine Gallery. The name he goes by he adopted from an Australian “verb to describe the act of people sifting through mine washings or waste piles to look for any gold that might have been missed; sorting through the garbage to find gold.” However, like many things in our global soup it apparently seeped into another language where it means something different altogether. “From what I can gather,” he says with a good natured appreciation of irony, “the spelling I use means ‘to shit oneself’ in Hungarian.”

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A peek into the global origins of this furry ursine idol is just as intriguing. In Hindu mythology the bear’s name “riksha”
(also in Sanskrit, Celtic, Greek and Latin believe it or not) derive from the word for star, which in turn comes from the word light, shine, illuminate. Ahhhha.
The term for Great Bear, “sapta riksha”, is also the symbolic dwelling of the Seven Rishis, whose name is related to “vision” and are called the Seven Luminaries. It was through them that the wisdom of the past was transmitted to the present. A rich past for the unassuming bear.

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AJ Fosick is an artist who, one could argue, has an abnormal fixation with carving his own path through the great unknown. No wonder then that he refers to his pieces as “existential fetishes”. And hey, who couldn’t use one of those? And perhaps the missing little league mascots and unemployed stockbrokers of the world have joined Albert Camus on a beach somewhere in South East Asia and are doing some soul searching. In my dreams.

The spirit is there, look but where are the green fingers? When I was little I used to love watching my mum tending to the garden. I remember the pride and excitement she would feel when her flowers were in full bloom. As I got older, ask I imagined that the desire to start growing plants, physician flowers and veg would manifest itself….. but it never really bloomed. It doesn’t help that my ‘garden’ is a small concrete balcony in East End London, and I had always imagined that gardening was essentially a bit of a chore. Then I realized that I was approaching this issue completely the wrong way. Gardening is not just about allotments, trips to garden centres on a Sunday afternoon, and Radio 4 playing in the backround (not that there is anything wrong with these things), its about having fun – creating produce; eating it, drinking it – you won’t disagree when you see the recipe for Grow Your Own Mojito – fundamentally, it is about achieving that sense of intense satisfaction when you realize… “I made that!”. With this newfound understanding, I could see that my lack of gardening space excuse was pretty flimsy. When you grasp that the world is your oyster, you can also see that it is your flowerbed as well.

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Photographs by Rosie French

With this in mind, the imaginative people behind “Growing Stuff – An Alternative Guide To Gardening” have put together a how – to guide to everything horticultural. With sections on guerilla gardening, growing carrots in Wellington boots, and the aforementioned guide to making your own mojito’s; this is not your typical gardening book. There are contributions by ‘punk’ gardeners, ‘worm farming junkies’, teenagers and artists, which makes ‘Growing Stuff’ as accessible as you could hope for. Absolutely every person, no matter their level of gardening skills – or lack of – will be able to grow stuff after reading this book.
I spoke with two contributors to Growing Stuff recently about their involvement with the book, as well as their other activities. Emily Hill and Will Gould are also artists who create ‘living sculptures’ that aim to walk a line between the man-made and the wild.

Hey Emily, I like the suggestions that you and Will have done in Growing
Stuff. There is definitely an element of fun and whimsy to your
gardening ideas; like Cartoon Cress, and Carrot Wellies. Is this the
style in that you two both work? And do you feel that this is the best way to
initiate would be gardeners?

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Photograph by Rosie French

Emily: Life’s too short, get out there and get your hands dirty, just give it a go! Of course it should be fun, and if it isn’t, it’s time to take a minute to think about what’s out of balance in your life; gardening’s a great leveller, and can really help you work things out. There’s nothing like a home-grown cherry tomato bursting in your mouth to cheer you up!
Will: There are plenty of books out there which describe how to grow plants but they are not necessarily accessible to people who don’t see themselves as gardeners. By making the growing a bit more fun and whimsical we hope to de-mystify the growing of stuff. Plants want to grow and if you give them half a chance they will, so we feel it is better to have fun and be creative while trying to grow something. After all even if you fail to grow anything, you’ve had some fun.

What other easy-peasy suggestions might you have for gardening
novices- especially ones in an urban sprawl
?

Will: Just try buying a packet of salad seeds-lettuce and coriander are dead easy, plant them on top of some moist compost in a pot and put them on your windowsill. It’s hard to go wrong.
Emily: Tease out a passion, try growing something bright purple, or something that smells nice, or both! You don’t have to do much, just buy a plant and water it! I started with French Lavender on my balcony.

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Do you think that growing stuff is becoming more of a young persons
game now?

Will: It’s about time, why miss out on all those glorious years of growing.
Emily: It’s definitely something that has caught our generation’s imagination, maybe its something to do with our collective childhood memories. I remember picking raspberries with my granddad; it was like finding little ruby coloured droplets of edible treasure at the bottom of the garden!

How did you and Will get into gardening, and how did you end up
collaborating with this book?

Will: I grew up in a small house with a big garden, so it kind of came naturally. The book came from a request for artists who work with living things to submit ideas.
Emily: We both grew up in the country, all neglected and wild! For me, artistry came naturally, getting into gardening came later, when I found a bit of outdoor space to cultivate. We saw an advert on the Arts Council’s website and just went for it!

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I have read that you two create ‘Living Structures’ – can you tell me a
little about this? What future projects are you working on?

Emily: We started off by making a portable composting toilet for our allotment with old bits of shed and two huge cartwheels; we made a cubicle that looked like a Victorian beach hut and planted a garden on the roof and gave it two window boxes full of flowers. We wanted to recycle ourselves, so we mixed our own wee with rainwater collected from the roof, and created a system to pump the mixture around the plants to feed them, anything left over drained into a reed bed at the back of the structure. It was quite charming really, and very popular…have a look, its called ‘The Jakes’ and was submitted for Margate Rocks last Spring (www.margaterocks.com).
Will: We are both interested in structures, which have a life of their own. For us, this involves growing plants, which either make up the structure, or contribute to the working of a functional building.
We are currently working on outdoor environmental projects in schools and incorporate the growing of stuff wherever possible and it is always possible!

Categories ,Books, ,Eco-Design, ,Garden, ,Organic

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Amelia’s Magazine | Non-Nuclear Spring Clean


All illustrations by Andrea Kearney.

It is March and the daffodils are in full bloom. London is drunk on sunshine. There is talk of vest tops and the unbearably exciting prospect of leaving the house without a coat. March also means that the light has started illuminating my smudgy windows and the dust that had collected under my radiators over winter. Yes. It’s probably time to think about Spring cleaning. For someone who is slightly anal (ok, click very anal), information pills you’d think I would find the prospect of a spring clean satisfying and wholesome. This would be wrong. I do it as little as I can get away with and secretly long for a cleaner (my bookshelves though, are neurotically ordered according to colour).

My aversion to cleaning doesn’t mean that I don’t think about it. During my unemployment 18 months ago, a particularly low point came when I had exhausted Homes Under the Hammer and resorted to How Clean Is Your House. Kim and Aggy were all vinegar and lemon juice and elbow grease and baking soda and impossibly blonde chignons; and I was converted. As I sat on the sofa in my pyjamas, I thought to myself, if it’s good enough for Kim and Aggy, its good enough for me. It would take me another year and a half to act on this (ahem); fast forward to New Years Eve 2009. Maybe it was something to do with spending the last day of 2009 up to my elbows in ‘tetrasodium pyrophosphate’ (bleach, apparently) but that night I drunkenly resolved that 2010 would finally be the year that I would reduce the chemicals in my home.

A look in my cleaning cupboard, and in fact in most average cleaning cupboards, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were entering a nuclear zone. ‘Irritating to skin, toxic, risk of serious damage to eyes, harmful, keep locked up and out of the reach of children, if swallowed, seek medical attention immediately and show this container.” Yikes. I realised that there was something wrong with sloshing substances around my home that could literally burn my hands off.

The first hurdle in my new year’s resolution was not being able to find big enough quantities of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. My initial web searches yielded nothing, but just before I was about to spend £14 buying 6 tiny boxes of bicarb, I came across the wonderful Summer Naturals* web shop which stocks industrial quantities of everything you’d need to make your own cleaning supplies.

I began with surface spray. Mine had run out so I washed out the bottle and gathered my supplies around me. An air of anticipation settled in the kitchen. I’m not going to lie, it began dreadfully. Like an excited 9 year old I decided to slosh a bit of everything in there and make a ‘potion’. I must have been otherwise engaged during my school science lessons (vinegar + bicarb = volcano!) because attempt number one ended with a frothy white layer of goo covering my kitchen surfaces. Attempt number 2 was slightly more restrained but still an unmitigated fail. Putting any sort of powder in to a bottle with a nozzle will just clog it. I went back to the Summer Naturals website with my tail between my legs and found a much more functioning recipe for a surface cleaner (vinegar, water, Dr Bronmers castile soap and orange essential oil, if you were wondering) and the rest has sort of snowballed from there.

The Benefits:

• At the risk of sounding like a sad housewife, you can do most, if not all, household tasks with a few chemical free ingredients. This includes drains, toilets, floors, dishwasher powder and washing powder.
• I have saved a fortune. Domestos Grotbuster Bleach Gel will set you back £1.97! Cillit bang Degeaser Power Cleaner will cost you £3.07! Cif Power Cream Bathroom Spray; £3.66! My Summer Naturals stash cost about £20 and will last me years.
• It’s safe. If I spill a bit of my floor cleaner on my hands (borax, water, scented oil) the worst that will happen is that I will smell pleasantly of lavender.
• It works. I live in a ‘hard water’ area so I know that I need to add more vinegar than usual to help the lime scale breakdown, which it does
• My home smells amazing. Essential oils are needed to mask the vinegar smell, or your home will smell like a chip shop. French Lavender and juniper berry scented floors? Peppermint and rose scented surfaces? Oh yes please. The oils add an antiseptic quality too.
• Cleaning has become (dare I say it?) more enjoyable for both me and my mister, and it’s even slightly more regular too. Boom. Give it a go. And give it some time. It’s not quite as quick as squirting some Domestos Grotbuster Bleach Gel down your loo, but the process is much more satisfying and the results are pretty darn good too.

You can read more of my blogs here.

Categories ,Andrea Kearney, ,Bleach, ,cleaning, ,Domestos, ,Eco-cleaning, ,Eco-Design, ,ecology, ,Hannah Bullivant, ,Summer Naturals, ,Vinegar

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Amelia’s Magazine | Redesign the Royal Bank of Scotland for Sustainability

Having spearheaded the new London folk scene with their debut album, there medical Noah and the Whale are back with their hands full up, releasing a new single, album and film out this summer. We talk school plays, Daisy Lowe, weddings, gardening, Werner Herzog in the studio with the effortlessly charming frontman, Charlie Fink.

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Photos by Katie Weatherall

Amelia’s Mag: You’ve got a whole host of new releases coming up – single, album, film – how are you feeling about it all, happy/nervous/excited?

Charlie Fink: All of the above… I dunno, we did the album so long ago… From the last album, I realised the only satisfying feeling you’re going to get is the feeling you get when you’ve finished it and you think it’s good, that’s the best it gets. Reading a review of somebody else saying it’s good is good to show off to your mum, but it doesn’t really mean anything. Likewise, if there’s something you believe in and someone says it’s bad, you’re still going to believe in it.

AM: And the live shows must add another dimension to that?

CF: Yeah. What I’m excited about really is that this record realises us as a band more than the previous one. So that’s going to be really exciting to go out and play that live to people.

AM: And is there anything in particular that has done this or has it been the natural progression of the band?

CF: It’s a million small things, from us playing together more, us growing up, learning our trade a bit better, from what happens in lives and the records you listen to. I very much try to rely as much as I can on instinct and satisfying myself. And this is not a selfish thing because the only way you can supply something worthwhile to somebody else, is if you’re totally satisfied with it yourself. Doing the right things for us and hoping that’ll transfer to the audience.

AM: Was there anything in particular you were listening to whilst making the record?

CF: The things I’m listening to now are different from the things I was listening to when I wrote the record. When I first started the record, I was listening to ‘Spirit of Eden’ by Talk Talk, which is a different sounding record to what we did. Nick Cave, lots by Wilco

AM: So tell me about the film, ‘The First Days Of Spring’, that accompanies the album (of the same name)… which came first?

CF: The first thing was the idea of a film where the background and the pace was defined by an album. But it totally overtook my whole life. It’s one of those things you start for a certain reason and then you keep going for different reasons. The inspiration was sort of how people don’t really listen to albums anymore, they listen to songs. We wanted to try making an all emersive record where the film puts people into it. We’re not dictating that this should be the only way people listen to music, we just wanted to offer something alternative. On a lot of records these days, you don’t feel like the unity of the album gives it more strength than each individual song. Whereas with this record, the whole thing is worth more than the individual parts. That’s how I see it anyway.

The First Days Of Spring Teaser from charlie fink on Vimeo.

There’s this quote from I think W. G. Collingwood that says, ‘art is dead, amusement is all that’s left.’ I like the idea that this project, in the best possible way, is commercially and in lots of other ways pointless. It’s a length that doesn’t exist. It’s not a short film or a feature, it’s 15 minutes and the nature of it is that it’s entirely led by its soundtrack. It’s created for the sake of becoming something that I thought was beautiful.

AM: And Daisy Lowe stars in it, how was that?

CF: She’s an incredibly nice and intelligent person. I met with her in New York when we were mixing the album and I told her I was doing this film… She was immediately interested. And her gave her the record as one whole track which is how I originally wanted it to be released. Just one track on iTunes that had to be listened to as a whole and not just dipped into. She sent me an email two weeks later, because she’s obviously a very busy person. With her listening to the album, a kind of live feed of what she thought of it. Making a film and having her was really good because she kept me motivated and passionate. She genuinely really took to this project. The whole cast as well, everyone really supported it and it was a pleasure to make. I had to fight to get it made and understood. It’s one of those things that people either passionately disagree with or agree with. From thinking it’s absurdly pretentious or beautiful. Fortunately all the people working on the film were passionate people.

AM: So is film making something you want to continue with?

CF: Yeah, definitely! At some point I’d like to make a more conventional film. The thing that really stuck with me about making a film was surround sound. When you’re mixing a film, you’re mixing the sound in surround because you’re mixing for cinemas. You realise the potential of having five speakers around you as opposed to just two in front of you. The complexity of what you can do is vast. So I’d love to something with that. If you record in surround sound you need to hear it in surround sound, so maybe some kind of installation… Then another film after that…

AM: You’ve been put into a folk bracket with your first album, is that something you’re ok with?

CF: I like folk music, I listen to folk music but then every folk artist I like denies they’re folk. It’s one of those things, it doesn’t really matter. We played last year at the Cambridge Folk Festival and I felt really proud to be a part of that. It’s a real music lovers festival. That was a really proud moment so I can’t be that bothered.

AM: I recently sang your first single, ‘5 Years Time’, at a wedding, do you ever imagine the direction your songs may go after you write them?

CF: Wow. That’s really funny. I’ve had a few stories like that actually. It’s touching but it’s not what I’d imagine.

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AM: Do you write songs in that way? Some bands set out to write a love song, dance song etc…

CF: I can’t really remember how I write… I was writing last night but… do you drive?

AM: I just recently failed my test.

CF: Perfect! Well, you know when you start driving you have to think through everything – put my foot on the clutch, take it off the clutch etc. Then when you’ve been doing it a while, you just do all those things without even knowing you’ve done them. That’s how it feels with songwriting, I can’t really remember doing it. It just happens how it happens. Or like gardening… you’ve just gotta chop through and it’ll come.

AM: Is being in a band everything you imagined it to be?

CF: For me it’s more about being creative. I do some production for people, the band, the writing and now the film. I just love what I do and just keep doing it. I follow it wherever it goes. The capacity I have for doing what I do is enough to make it feel precious.

AM: So are there any untapped creative pursuits left for you?

CF: At the moment what I’m doing feels right. I never had any ambitions to paint. I don’t have that skill. I think film and music have always been the two things that have touched me the most.

AM: So how about acting?

CF: I did once at school when I was 13. I played the chancellor in a play the teacher wrote called ‘Suspense and a Dragon Called Norris.’ Which had rapturous reactions from my mum. I don’t think I could do that either. When you direct though you need to understand how acting works. It’s a really fascinating thing but I don’t I’d be any good at it.

AM: Do you prefer the full creative potential a director has?

CF: The best directors are the ones that build a character. Building a character is as important as understanding it. It needs major input from both the director and the actor. You can’t just give an actor the script and expect it to be exactly right. You need to be there to create the little details. The way they eat, the way they smoke… That’s an important skill.

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At this point, Charlie asks me about a note I’d made on my reporter’s pad, which was actually a reminder about a friend’s birthday present. Which draws the conservation to a close as we recite our favourite Werner Herzog films. Turns out, he shares the same taste in film directors as my friend.

Monday 24th August
Mumford and Sons
The Borderline, more about London

UK’s answer to Fleet Foxes, online Mumford and Sons, visit this celebrate their music video to the first single off their debut album in North London tonight.

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Tuesday 25th August
Wilco
The Troxy, London

If Charlie from Noah and the Whale tells us he likes Wilco, then we like Wilco. It’s as simple as that. It’s time to get educated.

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Wednesday 26th August
The Hot Rats
The Old Blue Last, London

Otherwise known as half of Supergrass plus hot shot Radiohead producer, The Hot Rats get their kicks taking pop classics by, amongst others, The Beatles and The Kinks and infusing their own alt-rock psychedelica – worth a gander.

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Thursday 27th August
KILL IT KID
Madam Jo Jos, London

Their blend of durge blues, barndance and freestyle frenzy jazz blues make KILL IT KID a gem to behold in a live setting.

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Friday 28th August
Swanton Bombs
Old Blue Last, London

If you like your indie adorned in Mod and brimming with angularity, then Swanton Bombs will be pushing the trigger on your buttons.

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Saturday 29th August
South East in East Festival – Teenagers In Tokyo, Tronik Youth, Ali Love, Publicist
Vibe Bar, London

It’s all about South East London – full stop. In this cunning event, it up sticks to East London, where synth-pop Gossip descendents, Teenagers In Tokyo headline a night of New X Rave.

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Sunday 30th August
The Gladstone Open Mic Night
The Gladstone, London

As it’s Bank Holiday Weekend and all the bands are at Reading/Leeds Festival, London is starved of big gigs. No fear, The Glad is here – A little known drinking hole in Borough that continually serves up a plethora of folkey talent… and pies!

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Sunderland born designer Rosie Upright is truly passionate about design. Aren’t we all I hear you say? Well, health she’s up, recipe all hours, medical day or night… cutting away with her trusty stanley knife… stopping only when her numb fingertips plead for rest. Do your fingertips bleed? I thought not! Rosie developed her unique hand-crafted techniques whilst at university in Epsom, where she learnt all the usual computer design programs… and then decided to steer clear of them. She’s fled the suburbs of Epsom now, to live in London town with all the other hopeful new freelancers. She spends her days photographing, drawing, organising balls of string… and deciding what hat to wear.
We caught up with Rosie for a little chat…

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Hi, how are you today?

I’ve got a bit of a sore throat coming on, the irritating children over the road are noisily playing some kind of shooting game, a car is beeping its horn continuously just below my window, itunes is refusing to play anything other than Billy Idol (which I’m not in the mood for), my coloured ink cartridge has just ran out, I’ve got a blister from my favourite pink shoes, an uninvited wasp is stuck in my blinds, my ginger hair has faded to a weird brown, I forgot to buy milk and Ronnie Mitchell is still crying on Eastenders – but apart from that I’m topper thanks.

What have you been up to lately?

Fingers in pies, fingers in pies!
Including…cross-stitch and a week in a cottage in Norfolk (no telephone signal or internet connection, bloody lovely!)

Which artists or illustrators do you most admire?

I don’t think I would have done a degree in graphic design if my ever-encouraging parents hadn’t taken me to a Peter Saville exhibition at the Urbis in Manchester many moons ago. Made me see the ideas process at its very best and the crucial-ness (that’s not even a word!) of initial doodles and sketchbooks.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Where would any of us be if it weren’t for Dr Seuss?
I really love a bit of Russian Constructivism, in particular Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova, bloody genius.
Mr Vaughan Oliver, for making us all think differently about where to crop the image, for being an ongoing influence and for that opportunity.
Harry Beck, Robert Doisneau and most recently Philippe Petit.

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If we visited you in your hometown, where would you take us?

Stroll down to Seaburn beach because when you don’t live next to the sea anymore you really miss it, and it has really nice sand. Then to my very best friend Sarah Bowman’s house, to play with Peggy Sue the kitten, have mental vegetarian sandwiches off a cake stand, and a glass of red wine, ice cubes and coke. We should pop to an art shop in Darlington and then to The Borough, the best pub for tunes, a pint of cider and a Jaeger bomb.

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Who would most love to collaborate with creatively?

Mike Perry and YES art studio please. Thank you.

When did you realise you had creative talent?

When some hippy artist came into my junior school to create banners for some event at the local library with us. I was told after five minutes of colouring it in that I had to go away and read because I couldn’t keep within the lines.

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If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

A teenage Mam or an actress, haven’t decided which yet.

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

I’d like to be the designer than graphic design students hate because their tutors always tell them to get their book out of the Uni library. And I’d quite like to have my own shop in London, Brighton or maybe Newcastle (or all three, and maybe Paris then if we’re going crazy) selling things made by me!

What advice would you give up and coming artists such as yourself?

Take other peoples advice but make your own mistakes, don’t be a dick and always colour outside of the lines.

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How would you describe your art in five words?

Hand made/ typography/ narrative/ personal/ I’d like to say idiosyncratic too but don’t want to sound like a twat.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Seeing people fall over.
(and cake)

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If you could time travel back or forward to any era, where would you go?

It was horrific enough moving away to University and into London and trying to find a job and start my life up. I think if I had to go backward or forward to another era I would probably just straight up die. Having said that though I would like to be a highwayman’s assistant.

Tell us something about Rosie Upright that we didn’t know already.

I can’t wait till I’m an old lady so I can wear those lacy nighties from Marks & Sparks and I love animals in clothes.

What are you up to next?

Going to make a cuppa tea, kill this wasp and then take over the world.
While most of us at the tender age of 19 rooted our existence in smacking down vodka jelly shots at the bar with kebabs at four in the morning and the Hollyoaks omnibus on a Sunday, pilule some people, of course, are born to shine in different ways. Take, for instance, London College of Fashion student Millie Cockton, somebody who has already had their work featured in a shoot for Dazed and Confused, styled by Robbie Spencer.

As a lover of clean lines and beautiful silhouettes, Millie looks for the wearer to bring their own identity to her gender non-specific pieces. At the moment under new label Euphemia, with her AW09/10 about to be stocked in London boutique and gallery space Digitaria, after being chosen to be the first guest designer at the Soho store. Check out the Dazed piece to see some brilliant Shakespearian-style ruffs that Millie has also created working with paper (a material proving popular as with Petra Storrs, who I featured last week).

Each to their own, mind you. I could totally do all that, if I wanted to.

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At the age of 19 you’ve already received quite a lot of attention – how has that been?

It’s been great so far! It’s very flattering but its also very daunting! I am on a constant learning curve and my work is developing all the time so although the attention is great it creates a lot of pressure!

Describe your design aesthetic in three words.

Clean, sculptural, understated.

Who do you see wearing your designs? Are they reflective of your own personality?

I like to think of a real mixture of people wearing my designs. I love the way that the same garment can look completely different on different people- for me its all about the individual and how they carry themselves, bringing their own identity to the piece.

I don’t think that my designs are necessarily a true representation of my personality and personal style. I feel that my designs are more of a reflection of the aesthetic that i find desirable and aspirational.

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Thinking about the ruffs featured in Dazed, people have touched on the theatrical nature of your designs – is the idea of performance important to you in fashion?

The idea of performance within fashion is something that interests me but I wouldn’t say that it’s a key element within my own designs. I like the notion of a performative element within a piece or a collection as i think that it helps gain a further understanding and insight of the designers thought process and inspiration.

What else do you respond to?

I am constantly discovering new sources of inspiration, being so young I know that I still have so much to learn!

Who are your fashion icons?

Yves Saint Laurent, Katherine Hepburn, Grace Jones.

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Is craft something else you’re interested in too?

I like to use elements of craft within my designs, such as origami style folding. Craft elements can add interesting details to simple pieces.

What are your plans for the future? Who would you like to work for?

I am about to launch my new collection which will be stocked in Digitaria, recently opened on Berwick St, Soho. I have just started to work with Digitaria’s creative director , Stavros Karelis and stylist Paul Joyce on some future projects which are really exciting and I am thoroughly enjoying. I want to continue learning and developing my ideas, challenging myself and most importantly keep having fun!

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‘Having fun’ of course might well translate to ‘becoming future fashion empress of the galaxy’. This is a talent to watch out for.

Photographs:George Mavrikos
Styling: Paul Joyce
Model: Antonia @ FM models

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Image by Mia Overgaard

The Camp for Climate Action 2009 is almost upon us – now’s the time to gather ourselves and prepare to swoop. Convinced that the response to climate change needs more? Ready to share skills, stomach knowledge and experiences? To be part of the grassroots swell of people demanding a difference? To get out there and do something?

Climate Camp is for you.

Be ready next Wednesday, 12th August, from noon, in London. We’re going to swoop on the camp location together. The more people the better. Secret until the last moment, you can sign up for text alerts and join one of the groups meeting scattered about central London before moving together to the camp.

Why Camp? We can all meet each other and learn stuff – reason enough? – I mean, an enormous, public, activist-friendly child-friendly student-friendly climate-friendly gathering with an ambitious and well-prepared programme of workshops covering all things from Tai Chi for those of us up early enough, through histories student activism, DIY radio, pedal-powered sound systems, legal briefings, stepping into direct action, singing, dancing, jumping and waving.

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Why London? Climate Campers have listed ten reasons to focus on London – right up the top of that list is : tall buildings and low flood plains. London is big corporate central, the City square mile itself accounting for a huge proportion of the UK economy, that FTSE100-flavoured slice of barely accountable, shareholder driven pie. And yet, as the Thames Barrier should always remind us, the whole city sits low on the ground. Just check out what the centre looks like with a few metres rise in sea level.

So what’s first? The Climate Camp Benefit party/shindig/jamboree/palooza/knee’s-up/gala ball/discotheque/rave/soiree at RampART, 9pm-3am this Friday 21st August. Consisting of fun/revelry/ribaldry/tomfoolery/jocularity/jive/merriment/high kinks, low jinks, jinks of all stature/cheer/gambol/horseplay & frolic. With bands & DJ’s including Rob the Rub & Sarah Bear & those amazing skiffle kids ‘The Severed Limb’. That’s at:

9pm-3am
rampART, 15 -17 Rampart Street,
London E1 2LA (near Whitechapel, off Commercial Rd)
Donations on the door much appreciated (and needed!) – all going straight to Climate Camp

And then? The Swoop – Night Before – Londoners and out-of-town visitors are welcome to ‘the night before the swoop’ – near the bandstand in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 7-8.30pm, Tuesday 25th August – for any last minute info, a legal briefing and an opportunity to join an affinity group and get excited. Lincoln’s Inn Fields is just behind Holborn tube station – this map here might help.

Awesome. See you soon.

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Ctrl.Alt.Shift dropped us a line to let us know about a comics-making competition so get your promarkers and layout pads at the ready. Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmarks Corruption is giving you the opportunity to design a unique comic style story. Ctrl.Alt.Shift is the experimental youth initiative politicising a new generation of activists for social justice and global change. The competition hopes to raise awareness of the Ctrl.Alt.Shift and Lightspeed Champion goals and views by inspiring this generation of designers to work together.

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Oscar nominated Marjane Satrapi, medical V V Brown and Lightspeed Champion are amongst the judges for the Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption competition launched today. Corruption is both a cause of poverty, and a barrier to overcoming it. It is one of the most serious obstacles to eradicate.

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Entrants to the competition will be in with the chance to create a unique comic style story in collaboration with acclaimed musician and writer Dev Hynes aka Lightspeed Champion. After the first round of judging at the end of September, shortlisted entrants will be given Lightspeed Champion’s comic script as inspiration and asked to create a visual adaptation of the story.

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The winning commission will be published in a comic alongside new work exploring the issue of Corruption by some of comic’s greatest talents. The work will also be showcased as part of a new exhibition, Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption, later this year at Lazarides Gallery, Soho.
To enter the competition please send relevant examples of your visual work along with your contact details to Ctrl.Alt.Shift by Friday 25th September by visiting www.ctrlaltshift.co.uk/unmaskscorruption.

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Five short listed artists will then be given a comic brief to respond to and a winner chosen by a panel of judges including: Marjane Satrapi (Writer and Director of Academy Award Nominated Animated Film Persepolis) Paul Gravett (Comica founder), V V Brown and David Allain (Musician and Comic Book Writer/Artist duo), Lightspeed Champion and Ctrl.Alt.Shift.

The competition is restricted to UK Residents only
For further information about the competition please contact John Doe on 020 7749 7530 or Hannah@johndoehub.com / Jo.bartlett@johndoehub.com
Brooke Roberts is my favourite new designer. Why? Well, more about after exchanging several emails with her over the last few weeks, for sale for a young designer making such waves in the industry, her witty and playful personality has impressed even via my inbox! Having worked with such characters such as Louise Goldin and Giles, her avant- garde aesthetic really shines through in her highly tailored and retro-feel designs. Miss Roberts is going places, and she’s more than willing to take us along with her!

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What made you want to be a designer? What’s your design background?

I’m definitely not one of those designers who always knew that’s what they wanted to do. I did a degree in Applied Science at Sydney University (I’m from Australia) and worked as a radiographer for a year before moving to London to find out what I wanted to do. I did some work as a stylist with a fashion photographer (random hook-up). I knew his girlfriend and she knew my massive extensive collection of vintage clothes and shoes. My mum had a boutique when I was growing up and I loved clothes – I just never knew it was going to be my career.

I did a few jobs in London (pub, bank – more randomness) before realising I wanted to study fashion. I went to London College of Fashion and Central St.Martins (graduated 2005) wanting to be a pattern-cutter or tailor. I really wanted to create, rather than design. I get most satisfaction from making beautiful things and being involved in the whole process. I have a close working relationship with my suppliers, and go to the factories to develop my garments. I cut them all myself, which is probably bordering on control freakery, but I feel it shows in the final product and I can realise my designs exactly as I imagine them.

I’m waffling. I worked for Giles for two seasons after I left Uni, and started with Louise Goldin when she launched her label. We worked together for three years (until last October when I launched my label).

What are your inspirations for your collections?

I get lots of inspiration from my radiography job (I do that part-time to fund my label). So I’m running between the hospital and my studio all the time. I have used CT (cat) brain scans this season to create knit fabrics and digital prints. My obsession with reptile skins never seems to go away, and I have worked with Anwen Jenkins (awesome print designer) to create skull slice python skin prints. Basically, the python scales are replaced with multi-dimensional skull slices.

Apart from that, I research at museums and LCF Library. This season went to the British Museum and discovered Yoruba sculpture and traditional costumes. I researched these for silhouette and style lines. I also looked at Niger garments. They’re beautifully colourful, vibrant and flamboyant.

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What are your favourite pieces from your latest collection?

Umm. I wear the cat suit most. I actually met my boyfriend the first time I wore it. So I’m renaming it Lucky cat suit. I also love the Flex jacket in red snakeskin. The razor sharp points make me feel like I am ready for world domination!

What was it like working with Giles Deacon and Louise Goldin? What did you learn from them?

I learnt that I hate taking orders from others! I’m really not one to toe-the-line. I am a perfectionist and this drives other people mad sometimes. I was a pattern-cutter at Giles, doing mostly tailoring, which suited me fine. Most people wanted to do the showpieces, but I was most happy cutting jackets. Giles is a really lovely bloke. Working with him was really my first experience of doing shows and the pressure and stress of getting everything done.

With Louise, my job was broader because in the beginning it was just the two of us. I learnt so much, I can’t even write it down. I worked in the London studio and the knitwear factory in Italy. I had the opportunity to learn knitwear programming, selecting yarns and cutting and constructing knit. I still work in the factory for my own label and really love it. The other big thing was learning about running a business and starting from scratch. The hoops you have to jump through, the process of getting sponsorship, doing shows, sales and production… It’s a massive undertaking starting your own label. And I still chose to do it! Bonkers.

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Who do you think are the most important designers of your generation?

Hmm. Well, I like the work of Tina Kalivas and Gareth Pugh. If we’re talking most important, it has to be Gareth.

I’m really a lover of 80′s and 90′s designers. I find the work of Gianni Versace, Thierry Mugler and Rifat Ozbek most relevant to my style and most exciting.

What do you think are the problems facing young designers at the moment?

The biggest problems are funding and dealing with suppliers, particularly for production. Creating a beautiful product that you can reproduce is actually really difficult! You need to understand the technicalities of fabrics and construction (or hire someone who does) otherwise it all goes wrong.

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What’s next for Brooke Roberts?

In fantasy land, what’s next for Brooke Roberts is a holiday. In reality, I’m working hard on marketing and sales for London Fashion Week. I’m collaborating with jewellery designer Chris Edwards and shoe and bag designer Laura Villasenin on side projects for the label. Look out for skull slice stacked rings and metal bone-fixation embellished super-soft bags for SS10!!

Find Brooke stocked at the King and Queen of Bethnal Green.

Not slim tomatoes, viagra dosage narrow cucumbers or squashed, um, squashes – no, we’re talking about digging for victory in our own meagre abodes. With allotment waiting lists stretching beyond a century in Hackney and not many of us owning the half-county some how-to books seem to assume, options on grow-your-own approaches might look limited. But before you get the howling fantods at the piling impossibilities. As those of you who read the Amelia’s Magazine review of Growing Stuff (an Alternative Guide to Gardening) will know well, even the meagrest city apartment can burst forth in cornucopic life.

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Illustrations by Maxime Francout

And but so then it seems the thing to do is simply to get a pack of seeds and a container and get growing, no hesitation about it. If a brief pause in favour of screenreading sounds like it could lead to better inspiration, I entreat you, read on. There’s a glut of blogs and enthusiasts all over the place to speak to or read up upon. Here are just a few of our favourites.

Life on the Balcony tells Fern Richardson’s encounters with gardens small and smaller, great for fresh faces and old hands alike, with an awesome friendly dirt cheap ways to garden.

Carrie, of Concrete Gardening blogging fame (true in a juster world), digs organic urban gardening, and has gotten into gardening without the erm, garden, since buying a house in the city (Philadelphia) and sees all the possibilities of planting up, sideways and over – just recently blogging about taking things to the next level and climbing up on her roof to plant out veggies, seedlings to sit and soak up sun.

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Herbs and Dragonflies is written by a group set up by Kathy Marshall back in 2008 for the Pudsey Carnival and have been creatively, craftily planting since, encouraging others to get their green fingers dirty – doing activities with children and volunteering about the place. Most recently, they encouraged us blog-readers to leave the comfort of plastic planters and terracotta pots – most anything can sit with some soil in it. They suggest novelty Cadbury’s Fingers tins, I’ve used fancy jamjars, and seen anything from skips to wellington boots enlisted in the service of greenery.

Emma Cooper (I’m cribbing now from the ‘Growing Stuff’ contributor biogs page) lives in Oxfordshire with two pet chickens – Hen Solo and Princess Layer – and six compost bins. She has written an ‘Alternative A-Z of Kitchen Gardening’, which Karen Cannard The Rubbish Diet reckons is ‘an inspirational tour of an edible garden that can be recreated in the smallest of backyards. An essential guide for a new generation of gardeners who are keen to join the kitchen garden revolution.’And she blogs about anything from compost to pod plants to the future of food…

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Madeleine Giddens loves herbs, which I guess you’d guess from the name of her blog – Mad About Herbs. But there’s nothing off the wall about any of it, she’s plunged into an obsession and come out smelling of roses and lavender, buzzing about bees too, recently, and their favourite flowers.

So there you have it, just a few spots and pointers. Good evening, and wishes for a fruitful weekend from Amelia’s Magazine.
The Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS. Formally known with pride as the “oil and gas bank” due to their close alliance with the fossil fuel industries. What on earth would I have to do with them? They may have lost the unfortunate moniker, treat partly due to a hugely successful campaign by People and Planet student activists who launched a spoof ad campaign and website named the Oyal Bank of Scotland before delivering a host of greenwashing awards – but they’re certainly not due for any special ethical mentions yet.

Not yet.

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There was of course a massive £33 billion bank bailout from the taxpayer for RBS last year. But RBS didn’t spend the money on anything worthwhile. Oh no, the truth is that RBS still has oily blackened hands. Most people will remember the Fred Goodwin debacle, he who managed to retire at the age of 50 on a £16 million pension funded by taxpayers. But that’s not the whole of it – since the bailout some of our money has been used to arrange loans for the fossil fuel industries worth a staggering £10 billion, including a substantial sum for E.ON, the company that wants to build a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth. Despite the best efforts of activists –  there was an impromptu snowball fight during the winter, Climate Rush held a luncheon dance and Climate Camp set up camp down the road at BishopsgateRBS continues to invest in unsustainable resources.

But the good news is there is hope for change!

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As I’ve got more and more involved with activism I’ve got to know members of PLATFORM, who together with People and Planet and the World Development Movement have launched a legal challenge against our government to make sure that public money used for bailouts is put towards building sustainability. PLATFORM is an organisation that combines art with activism, research and campaigning, so in many ways we are perfect partners and I was really excited when they recently approached me to collaborate on an exciting new project at the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol.

As part of a wider festival named 100 Days, PLATFORM will be co-producing over 50 events, installations, performances, actions, walks, discussions and skill shares over a period of two months. This season is called “C words: Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture” and is intended to highlight what needs to be done to change the world in the run-up to the incredibly important (but unlikely to solve anything) COP 15 conference (think Kyoto 2 – it failed first time around so why would it succeed now?) in Copenhagen in December.

Your part in this audacious experiment?

We’re going to re-envision RBS as a bastion of sustainability – the Royal Bank of Sustainability in fact. And it will be down to you to create the artwork… once more I will be running one of my becoming-somewhat-regular open briefs. We would like you to submit either a logo or a poster (or both) that will suggest a swing in the direction of all things sustainable in the most imaginative way possible. Around ten of the best artworks will be shown for a week at the prestigious Arnolfini gallery in Bristol as part of the whole shebang, culminating with a public judging and prize-giving overseen by yours truly and helped out by the folk at PLATFORM and no less than the Marketing Manager of the Arnolfini, Rob Webster, and Fiona Hamilton of Soma Gallery (Bristol), a woman with great taste in the arts who runs a cult art shop that has been a long standing supplier of my print magazine. We might even invite someone powerful from RBS! (invite being the operative word) After the event PLATFORM will profile you on their website with links to yours, and prior to the actual event I’ll be posting the best entries onto my website – one good reason to get your artwork in as quickly as possible.

If you are interested read on:

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What you need to know:

Ideas:
Yeah yeah – we all know wind turbines are great news and polar bears are having a terrible time, but for this brief we’d like you to think a bit outside the box. We’ll be looking for the most refreshing ways of thinking about how we can live in the most sustainable way possible, and most importantly how RBS could play a possible role in aiding this transition to a low carbon world. Don’t forget that we, the taxpayers, own 70% of RBS – why not make it into the people’s bank? You should make clear in your chosen design the re-imagining of the old RBS into the new. Instead of investing in carbon-intensive industries the new RBS will serve the public interest by investing only in socially conscious, ethically driven, and environmentally sound projects.

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Style:
Think serious or earnest, kitsch or ironic, warm and fluffy, abstract or illustrative; whatever best communicates the concept and appeals to the broader public, the press and perhaps even people in government. It should engage and inspire. You can collage photography on your computer or paint with your fingers and toes – what matters is the outcome. We want to see imagery that speaks of something new, radical and POSSIBLE. Think positive social force. We love the Obama image that was used in the run up to his election – the reworking of his image in a simple pop art style somehow speaks volumes about new, positive change – and has fast become an iconic piece of graphic design, so we thought we’d use it here to demonstrate that you don’t have to be too literal in your interpretation of the brief to create a successful image. If you choose to create a poster remember that it could be made as an advert.

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Technical specifications:
your image should be created to these sizes and scannable or put together on a computer:
A1 for the poster.
A2 or squared off A2 for the logo.
Please send me a lo resolution version but make sure you work to these sizes. We will arrange for the printing of your image should it be chosen.

Deadline:
We need your submissions to reach me by Monday 2nd November. Please send lo res versions of your design to info@ameliasmagazine.com

Future projects:
Please bear in mind that if we really love your work we might want to use it in further literature and exhibitions. Just think, your work really could persuade RBS to change course at a pivotal point in our history. What a fabulous idea!

Join the facebook event here to stay in touch with updates
And join the “Stop RBS using public money to finance climate change” facebook group here

Below is a list of links you might want to peruse for inspiration:

PLATFORM’s website
Transition Towns
Centre for Alternative Technology
Zero Carbon Britain
Post Carbon Institute
the Oyal Bank of Scotland
Capitalists Anonymous
Britain Unplugged
Climate Friendly Banking
Banca Etica
GLS Bank

Get scribbling folks! Any queries please contact me directly via email rather than on the comments below.

Categories ,activism, ,arnolfini, ,Eco-Design, ,environment, ,Open brief, ,platform, ,RBS, ,sustainability

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Amelia’s Magazine | Redesign the Royal Bank of Scotland for Sustainability

Having spearheaded the new London folk scene with their debut album, there medical Noah and the Whale are back with their hands full up, releasing a new single, album and film out this summer. We talk school plays, Daisy Lowe, weddings, gardening, Werner Herzog in the studio with the effortlessly charming frontman, Charlie Fink.

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Photos by Katie Weatherall

Amelia’s Mag: You’ve got a whole host of new releases coming up – single, album, film – how are you feeling about it all, happy/nervous/excited?

Charlie Fink: All of the above… I dunno, we did the album so long ago… From the last album, I realised the only satisfying feeling you’re going to get is the feeling you get when you’ve finished it and you think it’s good, that’s the best it gets. Reading a review of somebody else saying it’s good is good to show off to your mum, but it doesn’t really mean anything. Likewise, if there’s something you believe in and someone says it’s bad, you’re still going to believe in it.

AM: And the live shows must add another dimension to that?

CF: Yeah. What I’m excited about really is that this record realises us as a band more than the previous one. So that’s going to be really exciting to go out and play that live to people.

AM: And is there anything in particular that has done this or has it been the natural progression of the band?

CF: It’s a million small things, from us playing together more, us growing up, learning our trade a bit better, from what happens in lives and the records you listen to. I very much try to rely as much as I can on instinct and satisfying myself. And this is not a selfish thing because the only way you can supply something worthwhile to somebody else, is if you’re totally satisfied with it yourself. Doing the right things for us and hoping that’ll transfer to the audience.

AM: Was there anything in particular you were listening to whilst making the record?

CF: The things I’m listening to now are different from the things I was listening to when I wrote the record. When I first started the record, I was listening to ‘Spirit of Eden’ by Talk Talk, which is a different sounding record to what we did. Nick Cave, lots by Wilco

AM: So tell me about the film, ‘The First Days Of Spring’, that accompanies the album (of the same name)… which came first?

CF: The first thing was the idea of a film where the background and the pace was defined by an album. But it totally overtook my whole life. It’s one of those things you start for a certain reason and then you keep going for different reasons. The inspiration was sort of how people don’t really listen to albums anymore, they listen to songs. We wanted to try making an all emersive record where the film puts people into it. We’re not dictating that this should be the only way people listen to music, we just wanted to offer something alternative. On a lot of records these days, you don’t feel like the unity of the album gives it more strength than each individual song. Whereas with this record, the whole thing is worth more than the individual parts. That’s how I see it anyway.

The First Days Of Spring Teaser from charlie fink on Vimeo.

There’s this quote from I think W. G. Collingwood that says, ‘art is dead, amusement is all that’s left.’ I like the idea that this project, in the best possible way, is commercially and in lots of other ways pointless. It’s a length that doesn’t exist. It’s not a short film or a feature, it’s 15 minutes and the nature of it is that it’s entirely led by its soundtrack. It’s created for the sake of becoming something that I thought was beautiful.

AM: And Daisy Lowe stars in it, how was that?

CF: She’s an incredibly nice and intelligent person. I met with her in New York when we were mixing the album and I told her I was doing this film… She was immediately interested. And her gave her the record as one whole track which is how I originally wanted it to be released. Just one track on iTunes that had to be listened to as a whole and not just dipped into. She sent me an email two weeks later, because she’s obviously a very busy person. With her listening to the album, a kind of live feed of what she thought of it. Making a film and having her was really good because she kept me motivated and passionate. She genuinely really took to this project. The whole cast as well, everyone really supported it and it was a pleasure to make. I had to fight to get it made and understood. It’s one of those things that people either passionately disagree with or agree with. From thinking it’s absurdly pretentious or beautiful. Fortunately all the people working on the film were passionate people.

AM: So is film making something you want to continue with?

CF: Yeah, definitely! At some point I’d like to make a more conventional film. The thing that really stuck with me about making a film was surround sound. When you’re mixing a film, you’re mixing the sound in surround because you’re mixing for cinemas. You realise the potential of having five speakers around you as opposed to just two in front of you. The complexity of what you can do is vast. So I’d love to something with that. If you record in surround sound you need to hear it in surround sound, so maybe some kind of installation… Then another film after that…

AM: You’ve been put into a folk bracket with your first album, is that something you’re ok with?

CF: I like folk music, I listen to folk music but then every folk artist I like denies they’re folk. It’s one of those things, it doesn’t really matter. We played last year at the Cambridge Folk Festival and I felt really proud to be a part of that. It’s a real music lovers festival. That was a really proud moment so I can’t be that bothered.

AM: I recently sang your first single, ‘5 Years Time’, at a wedding, do you ever imagine the direction your songs may go after you write them?

CF: Wow. That’s really funny. I’ve had a few stories like that actually. It’s touching but it’s not what I’d imagine.

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AM: Do you write songs in that way? Some bands set out to write a love song, dance song etc…

CF: I can’t really remember how I write… I was writing last night but… do you drive?

AM: I just recently failed my test.

CF: Perfect! Well, you know when you start driving you have to think through everything – put my foot on the clutch, take it off the clutch etc. Then when you’ve been doing it a while, you just do all those things without even knowing you’ve done them. That’s how it feels with songwriting, I can’t really remember doing it. It just happens how it happens. Or like gardening… you’ve just gotta chop through and it’ll come.

AM: Is being in a band everything you imagined it to be?

CF: For me it’s more about being creative. I do some production for people, the band, the writing and now the film. I just love what I do and just keep doing it. I follow it wherever it goes. The capacity I have for doing what I do is enough to make it feel precious.

AM: So are there any untapped creative pursuits left for you?

CF: At the moment what I’m doing feels right. I never had any ambitions to paint. I don’t have that skill. I think film and music have always been the two things that have touched me the most.

AM: So how about acting?

CF: I did once at school when I was 13. I played the chancellor in a play the teacher wrote called ‘Suspense and a Dragon Called Norris.’ Which had rapturous reactions from my mum. I don’t think I could do that either. When you direct though you need to understand how acting works. It’s a really fascinating thing but I don’t I’d be any good at it.

AM: Do you prefer the full creative potential a director has?

CF: The best directors are the ones that build a character. Building a character is as important as understanding it. It needs major input from both the director and the actor. You can’t just give an actor the script and expect it to be exactly right. You need to be there to create the little details. The way they eat, the way they smoke… That’s an important skill.

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At this point, Charlie asks me about a note I’d made on my reporter’s pad, which was actually a reminder about a friend’s birthday present. Which draws the conservation to a close as we recite our favourite Werner Herzog films. Turns out, he shares the same taste in film directors as my friend.

Monday 24th August
Mumford and Sons
The Borderline, more about London

UK’s answer to Fleet Foxes, online Mumford and Sons, visit this celebrate their music video to the first single off their debut album in North London tonight.

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Tuesday 25th August
Wilco
The Troxy, London

If Charlie from Noah and the Whale tells us he likes Wilco, then we like Wilco. It’s as simple as that. It’s time to get educated.

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Wednesday 26th August
The Hot Rats
The Old Blue Last, London

Otherwise known as half of Supergrass plus hot shot Radiohead producer, The Hot Rats get their kicks taking pop classics by, amongst others, The Beatles and The Kinks and infusing their own alt-rock psychedelica – worth a gander.

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Thursday 27th August
KILL IT KID
Madam Jo Jos, London

Their blend of durge blues, barndance and freestyle frenzy jazz blues make KILL IT KID a gem to behold in a live setting.

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Friday 28th August
Swanton Bombs
Old Blue Last, London

If you like your indie adorned in Mod and brimming with angularity, then Swanton Bombs will be pushing the trigger on your buttons.

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Saturday 29th August
South East in East Festival – Teenagers In Tokyo, Tronik Youth, Ali Love, Publicist
Vibe Bar, London

It’s all about South East London – full stop. In this cunning event, it up sticks to East London, where synth-pop Gossip descendents, Teenagers In Tokyo headline a night of New X Rave.

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Sunday 30th August
The Gladstone Open Mic Night
The Gladstone, London

As it’s Bank Holiday Weekend and all the bands are at Reading/Leeds Festival, London is starved of big gigs. No fear, The Glad is here – A little known drinking hole in Borough that continually serves up a plethora of folkey talent… and pies!

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Sunderland born designer Rosie Upright is truly passionate about design. Aren’t we all I hear you say? Well, health she’s up, recipe all hours, medical day or night… cutting away with her trusty stanley knife… stopping only when her numb fingertips plead for rest. Do your fingertips bleed? I thought not! Rosie developed her unique hand-crafted techniques whilst at university in Epsom, where she learnt all the usual computer design programs… and then decided to steer clear of them. She’s fled the suburbs of Epsom now, to live in London town with all the other hopeful new freelancers. She spends her days photographing, drawing, organising balls of string… and deciding what hat to wear.
We caught up with Rosie for a little chat…

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Hi, how are you today?

I’ve got a bit of a sore throat coming on, the irritating children over the road are noisily playing some kind of shooting game, a car is beeping its horn continuously just below my window, itunes is refusing to play anything other than Billy Idol (which I’m not in the mood for), my coloured ink cartridge has just ran out, I’ve got a blister from my favourite pink shoes, an uninvited wasp is stuck in my blinds, my ginger hair has faded to a weird brown, I forgot to buy milk and Ronnie Mitchell is still crying on Eastenders – but apart from that I’m topper thanks.

What have you been up to lately?

Fingers in pies, fingers in pies!
Including…cross-stitch and a week in a cottage in Norfolk (no telephone signal or internet connection, bloody lovely!)

Which artists or illustrators do you most admire?

I don’t think I would have done a degree in graphic design if my ever-encouraging parents hadn’t taken me to a Peter Saville exhibition at the Urbis in Manchester many moons ago. Made me see the ideas process at its very best and the crucial-ness (that’s not even a word!) of initial doodles and sketchbooks.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Where would any of us be if it weren’t for Dr Seuss?
I really love a bit of Russian Constructivism, in particular Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova, bloody genius.
Mr Vaughan Oliver, for making us all think differently about where to crop the image, for being an ongoing influence and for that opportunity.
Harry Beck, Robert Doisneau and most recently Philippe Petit.

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If we visited you in your hometown, where would you take us?

Stroll down to Seaburn beach because when you don’t live next to the sea anymore you really miss it, and it has really nice sand. Then to my very best friend Sarah Bowman’s house, to play with Peggy Sue the kitten, have mental vegetarian sandwiches off a cake stand, and a glass of red wine, ice cubes and coke. We should pop to an art shop in Darlington and then to The Borough, the best pub for tunes, a pint of cider and a Jaeger bomb.

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Who would most love to collaborate with creatively?

Mike Perry and YES art studio please. Thank you.

When did you realise you had creative talent?

When some hippy artist came into my junior school to create banners for some event at the local library with us. I was told after five minutes of colouring it in that I had to go away and read because I couldn’t keep within the lines.

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If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

A teenage Mam or an actress, haven’t decided which yet.

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

I’d like to be the designer than graphic design students hate because their tutors always tell them to get their book out of the Uni library. And I’d quite like to have my own shop in London, Brighton or maybe Newcastle (or all three, and maybe Paris then if we’re going crazy) selling things made by me!

What advice would you give up and coming artists such as yourself?

Take other peoples advice but make your own mistakes, don’t be a dick and always colour outside of the lines.

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How would you describe your art in five words?

Hand made/ typography/ narrative/ personal/ I’d like to say idiosyncratic too but don’t want to sound like a twat.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Seeing people fall over.
(and cake)

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If you could time travel back or forward to any era, where would you go?

It was horrific enough moving away to University and into London and trying to find a job and start my life up. I think if I had to go backward or forward to another era I would probably just straight up die. Having said that though I would like to be a highwayman’s assistant.

Tell us something about Rosie Upright that we didn’t know already.

I can’t wait till I’m an old lady so I can wear those lacy nighties from Marks & Sparks and I love animals in clothes.

What are you up to next?

Going to make a cuppa tea, kill this wasp and then take over the world.
While most of us at the tender age of 19 rooted our existence in smacking down vodka jelly shots at the bar with kebabs at four in the morning and the Hollyoaks omnibus on a Sunday, pilule some people, of course, are born to shine in different ways. Take, for instance, London College of Fashion student Millie Cockton, somebody who has already had their work featured in a shoot for Dazed and Confused, styled by Robbie Spencer.

As a lover of clean lines and beautiful silhouettes, Millie looks for the wearer to bring their own identity to her gender non-specific pieces. At the moment under new label Euphemia, with her AW09/10 about to be stocked in London boutique and gallery space Digitaria, after being chosen to be the first guest designer at the Soho store. Check out the Dazed piece to see some brilliant Shakespearian-style ruffs that Millie has also created working with paper (a material proving popular as with Petra Storrs, who I featured last week).

Each to their own, mind you. I could totally do all that, if I wanted to.

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At the age of 19 you’ve already received quite a lot of attention – how has that been?

It’s been great so far! It’s very flattering but its also very daunting! I am on a constant learning curve and my work is developing all the time so although the attention is great it creates a lot of pressure!

Describe your design aesthetic in three words.

Clean, sculptural, understated.

Who do you see wearing your designs? Are they reflective of your own personality?

I like to think of a real mixture of people wearing my designs. I love the way that the same garment can look completely different on different people- for me its all about the individual and how they carry themselves, bringing their own identity to the piece.

I don’t think that my designs are necessarily a true representation of my personality and personal style. I feel that my designs are more of a reflection of the aesthetic that i find desirable and aspirational.

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Thinking about the ruffs featured in Dazed, people have touched on the theatrical nature of your designs – is the idea of performance important to you in fashion?

The idea of performance within fashion is something that interests me but I wouldn’t say that it’s a key element within my own designs. I like the notion of a performative element within a piece or a collection as i think that it helps gain a further understanding and insight of the designers thought process and inspiration.

What else do you respond to?

I am constantly discovering new sources of inspiration, being so young I know that I still have so much to learn!

Who are your fashion icons?

Yves Saint Laurent, Katherine Hepburn, Grace Jones.

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Is craft something else you’re interested in too?

I like to use elements of craft within my designs, such as origami style folding. Craft elements can add interesting details to simple pieces.

What are your plans for the future? Who would you like to work for?

I am about to launch my new collection which will be stocked in Digitaria, recently opened on Berwick St, Soho. I have just started to work with Digitaria’s creative director , Stavros Karelis and stylist Paul Joyce on some future projects which are really exciting and I am thoroughly enjoying. I want to continue learning and developing my ideas, challenging myself and most importantly keep having fun!

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‘Having fun’ of course might well translate to ‘becoming future fashion empress of the galaxy’. This is a talent to watch out for.

Photographs:George Mavrikos
Styling: Paul Joyce
Model: Antonia @ FM models

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Image by Mia Overgaard

The Camp for Climate Action 2009 is almost upon us – now’s the time to gather ourselves and prepare to swoop. Convinced that the response to climate change needs more? Ready to share skills, stomach knowledge and experiences? To be part of the grassroots swell of people demanding a difference? To get out there and do something?

Climate Camp is for you.

Be ready next Wednesday, 12th August, from noon, in London. We’re going to swoop on the camp location together. The more people the better. Secret until the last moment, you can sign up for text alerts and join one of the groups meeting scattered about central London before moving together to the camp.

Why Camp? We can all meet each other and learn stuff – reason enough? – I mean, an enormous, public, activist-friendly child-friendly student-friendly climate-friendly gathering with an ambitious and well-prepared programme of workshops covering all things from Tai Chi for those of us up early enough, through histories student activism, DIY radio, pedal-powered sound systems, legal briefings, stepping into direct action, singing, dancing, jumping and waving.

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Why London? Climate Campers have listed ten reasons to focus on London – right up the top of that list is : tall buildings and low flood plains. London is big corporate central, the City square mile itself accounting for a huge proportion of the UK economy, that FTSE100-flavoured slice of barely accountable, shareholder driven pie. And yet, as the Thames Barrier should always remind us, the whole city sits low on the ground. Just check out what the centre looks like with a few metres rise in sea level.

So what’s first? The Climate Camp Benefit party/shindig/jamboree/palooza/knee’s-up/gala ball/discotheque/rave/soiree at RampART, 9pm-3am this Friday 21st August. Consisting of fun/revelry/ribaldry/tomfoolery/jocularity/jive/merriment/high kinks, low jinks, jinks of all stature/cheer/gambol/horseplay & frolic. With bands & DJ’s including Rob the Rub & Sarah Bear & those amazing skiffle kids ‘The Severed Limb’. That’s at:

9pm-3am
rampART, 15 -17 Rampart Street,
London E1 2LA (near Whitechapel, off Commercial Rd)
Donations on the door much appreciated (and needed!) – all going straight to Climate Camp

And then? The Swoop – Night Before – Londoners and out-of-town visitors are welcome to ‘the night before the swoop’ – near the bandstand in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 7-8.30pm, Tuesday 25th August – for any last minute info, a legal briefing and an opportunity to join an affinity group and get excited. Lincoln’s Inn Fields is just behind Holborn tube station – this map here might help.

Awesome. See you soon.

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Ctrl.Alt.Shift dropped us a line to let us know about a comics-making competition so get your promarkers and layout pads at the ready. Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmarks Corruption is giving you the opportunity to design a unique comic style story. Ctrl.Alt.Shift is the experimental youth initiative politicising a new generation of activists for social justice and global change. The competition hopes to raise awareness of the Ctrl.Alt.Shift and Lightspeed Champion goals and views by inspiring this generation of designers to work together.

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Oscar nominated Marjane Satrapi, medical V V Brown and Lightspeed Champion are amongst the judges for the Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption competition launched today. Corruption is both a cause of poverty, and a barrier to overcoming it. It is one of the most serious obstacles to eradicate.

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Entrants to the competition will be in with the chance to create a unique comic style story in collaboration with acclaimed musician and writer Dev Hynes aka Lightspeed Champion. After the first round of judging at the end of September, shortlisted entrants will be given Lightspeed Champion’s comic script as inspiration and asked to create a visual adaptation of the story.

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The winning commission will be published in a comic alongside new work exploring the issue of Corruption by some of comic’s greatest talents. The work will also be showcased as part of a new exhibition, Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption, later this year at Lazarides Gallery, Soho.
To enter the competition please send relevant examples of your visual work along with your contact details to Ctrl.Alt.Shift by Friday 25th September by visiting www.ctrlaltshift.co.uk/unmaskscorruption.

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Five short listed artists will then be given a comic brief to respond to and a winner chosen by a panel of judges including: Marjane Satrapi (Writer and Director of Academy Award Nominated Animated Film Persepolis) Paul Gravett (Comica founder), V V Brown and David Allain (Musician and Comic Book Writer/Artist duo), Lightspeed Champion and Ctrl.Alt.Shift.

The competition is restricted to UK Residents only
For further information about the competition please contact John Doe on 020 7749 7530 or Hannah@johndoehub.com / Jo.bartlett@johndoehub.com
Brooke Roberts is my favourite new designer. Why? Well, more about after exchanging several emails with her over the last few weeks, for sale for a young designer making such waves in the industry, her witty and playful personality has impressed even via my inbox! Having worked with such characters such as Louise Goldin and Giles, her avant- garde aesthetic really shines through in her highly tailored and retro-feel designs. Miss Roberts is going places, and she’s more than willing to take us along with her!

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What made you want to be a designer? What’s your design background?

I’m definitely not one of those designers who always knew that’s what they wanted to do. I did a degree in Applied Science at Sydney University (I’m from Australia) and worked as a radiographer for a year before moving to London to find out what I wanted to do. I did some work as a stylist with a fashion photographer (random hook-up). I knew his girlfriend and she knew my massive extensive collection of vintage clothes and shoes. My mum had a boutique when I was growing up and I loved clothes – I just never knew it was going to be my career.

I did a few jobs in London (pub, bank – more randomness) before realising I wanted to study fashion. I went to London College of Fashion and Central St.Martins (graduated 2005) wanting to be a pattern-cutter or tailor. I really wanted to create, rather than design. I get most satisfaction from making beautiful things and being involved in the whole process. I have a close working relationship with my suppliers, and go to the factories to develop my garments. I cut them all myself, which is probably bordering on control freakery, but I feel it shows in the final product and I can realise my designs exactly as I imagine them.

I’m waffling. I worked for Giles for two seasons after I left Uni, and started with Louise Goldin when she launched her label. We worked together for three years (until last October when I launched my label).

What are your inspirations for your collections?

I get lots of inspiration from my radiography job (I do that part-time to fund my label). So I’m running between the hospital and my studio all the time. I have used CT (cat) brain scans this season to create knit fabrics and digital prints. My obsession with reptile skins never seems to go away, and I have worked with Anwen Jenkins (awesome print designer) to create skull slice python skin prints. Basically, the python scales are replaced with multi-dimensional skull slices.

Apart from that, I research at museums and LCF Library. This season went to the British Museum and discovered Yoruba sculpture and traditional costumes. I researched these for silhouette and style lines. I also looked at Niger garments. They’re beautifully colourful, vibrant and flamboyant.

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What are your favourite pieces from your latest collection?

Umm. I wear the cat suit most. I actually met my boyfriend the first time I wore it. So I’m renaming it Lucky cat suit. I also love the Flex jacket in red snakeskin. The razor sharp points make me feel like I am ready for world domination!

What was it like working with Giles Deacon and Louise Goldin? What did you learn from them?

I learnt that I hate taking orders from others! I’m really not one to toe-the-line. I am a perfectionist and this drives other people mad sometimes. I was a pattern-cutter at Giles, doing mostly tailoring, which suited me fine. Most people wanted to do the showpieces, but I was most happy cutting jackets. Giles is a really lovely bloke. Working with him was really my first experience of doing shows and the pressure and stress of getting everything done.

With Louise, my job was broader because in the beginning it was just the two of us. I learnt so much, I can’t even write it down. I worked in the London studio and the knitwear factory in Italy. I had the opportunity to learn knitwear programming, selecting yarns and cutting and constructing knit. I still work in the factory for my own label and really love it. The other big thing was learning about running a business and starting from scratch. The hoops you have to jump through, the process of getting sponsorship, doing shows, sales and production… It’s a massive undertaking starting your own label. And I still chose to do it! Bonkers.

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Who do you think are the most important designers of your generation?

Hmm. Well, I like the work of Tina Kalivas and Gareth Pugh. If we’re talking most important, it has to be Gareth.

I’m really a lover of 80′s and 90′s designers. I find the work of Gianni Versace, Thierry Mugler and Rifat Ozbek most relevant to my style and most exciting.

What do you think are the problems facing young designers at the moment?

The biggest problems are funding and dealing with suppliers, particularly for production. Creating a beautiful product that you can reproduce is actually really difficult! You need to understand the technicalities of fabrics and construction (or hire someone who does) otherwise it all goes wrong.

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What’s next for Brooke Roberts?

In fantasy land, what’s next for Brooke Roberts is a holiday. In reality, I’m working hard on marketing and sales for London Fashion Week. I’m collaborating with jewellery designer Chris Edwards and shoe and bag designer Laura Villasenin on side projects for the label. Look out for skull slice stacked rings and metal bone-fixation embellished super-soft bags for SS10!!

Find Brooke stocked at the King and Queen of Bethnal Green.

Not slim tomatoes, viagra dosage narrow cucumbers or squashed, um, squashes – no, we’re talking about digging for victory in our own meagre abodes. With allotment waiting lists stretching beyond a century in Hackney and not many of us owning the half-county some how-to books seem to assume, options on grow-your-own approaches might look limited. But before you get the howling fantods at the piling impossibilities. As those of you who read the Amelia’s Magazine review of Growing Stuff (an Alternative Guide to Gardening) will know well, even the meagrest city apartment can burst forth in cornucopic life.

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Illustrations by Maxime Francout

And but so then it seems the thing to do is simply to get a pack of seeds and a container and get growing, no hesitation about it. If a brief pause in favour of screenreading sounds like it could lead to better inspiration, I entreat you, read on. There’s a glut of blogs and enthusiasts all over the place to speak to or read up upon. Here are just a few of our favourites.

Life on the Balcony tells Fern Richardson’s encounters with gardens small and smaller, great for fresh faces and old hands alike, with an awesome friendly dirt cheap ways to garden.

Carrie, of Concrete Gardening blogging fame (true in a juster world), digs organic urban gardening, and has gotten into gardening without the erm, garden, since buying a house in the city (Philadelphia) and sees all the possibilities of planting up, sideways and over – just recently blogging about taking things to the next level and climbing up on her roof to plant out veggies, seedlings to sit and soak up sun.

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Herbs and Dragonflies is written by a group set up by Kathy Marshall back in 2008 for the Pudsey Carnival and have been creatively, craftily planting since, encouraging others to get their green fingers dirty – doing activities with children and volunteering about the place. Most recently, they encouraged us blog-readers to leave the comfort of plastic planters and terracotta pots – most anything can sit with some soil in it. They suggest novelty Cadbury’s Fingers tins, I’ve used fancy jamjars, and seen anything from skips to wellington boots enlisted in the service of greenery.

Emma Cooper (I’m cribbing now from the ‘Growing Stuff’ contributor biogs page) lives in Oxfordshire with two pet chickens – Hen Solo and Princess Layer – and six compost bins. She has written an ‘Alternative A-Z of Kitchen Gardening’, which Karen Cannard The Rubbish Diet reckons is ‘an inspirational tour of an edible garden that can be recreated in the smallest of backyards. An essential guide for a new generation of gardeners who are keen to join the kitchen garden revolution.’And she blogs about anything from compost to pod plants to the future of food…

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Madeleine Giddens loves herbs, which I guess you’d guess from the name of her blog – Mad About Herbs. But there’s nothing off the wall about any of it, she’s plunged into an obsession and come out smelling of roses and lavender, buzzing about bees too, recently, and their favourite flowers.

So there you have it, just a few spots and pointers. Good evening, and wishes for a fruitful weekend from Amelia’s Magazine.
The Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS. Formally known with pride as the “oil and gas bank” due to their close alliance with the fossil fuel industries. What on earth would I have to do with them? They may have lost the unfortunate moniker, treat partly due to a hugely successful campaign by People and Planet student activists who launched a spoof ad campaign and website named the Oyal Bank of Scotland before delivering a host of greenwashing awards – but they’re certainly not due for any special ethical mentions yet.

Not yet.

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There was of course a massive £33 billion bank bailout from the taxpayer for RBS last year. But RBS didn’t spend the money on anything worthwhile. Oh no, the truth is that RBS still has oily blackened hands. Most people will remember the Fred Goodwin debacle, he who managed to retire at the age of 50 on a £16 million pension funded by taxpayers. But that’s not the whole of it – since the bailout some of our money has been used to arrange loans for the fossil fuel industries worth a staggering £10 billion, including a substantial sum for E.ON, the company that wants to build a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth. Despite the best efforts of activists –  there was an impromptu snowball fight during the winter, Climate Rush held a luncheon dance and Climate Camp set up camp down the road at BishopsgateRBS continues to invest in unsustainable resources.

But the good news is there is hope for change!

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As I’ve got more and more involved with activism I’ve got to know members of PLATFORM, who together with People and Planet and the World Development Movement have launched a legal challenge against our government to make sure that public money used for bailouts is put towards building sustainability. PLATFORM is an organisation that combines art with activism, research and campaigning, so in many ways we are perfect partners and I was really excited when they recently approached me to collaborate on an exciting new project at the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol.

As part of a wider festival named 100 Days, PLATFORM will be co-producing over 50 events, installations, performances, actions, walks, discussions and skill shares over a period of two months. This season is called “C words: Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture” and is intended to highlight what needs to be done to change the world in the run-up to the incredibly important (but unlikely to solve anything) COP 15 conference (think Kyoto 2 – it failed first time around so why would it succeed now?) in Copenhagen in December.

Your part in this audacious experiment?

We’re going to re-envision RBS as a bastion of sustainability – the Royal Bank of Sustainability in fact. And it will be down to you to create the artwork… once more I will be running one of my becoming-somewhat-regular open briefs. We would like you to submit either a logo or a poster (or both) that will suggest a swing in the direction of all things sustainable in the most imaginative way possible. Around ten of the best artworks will be shown for a week at the prestigious Arnolfini gallery in Bristol as part of the whole shebang, culminating with a public judging and prize-giving overseen by yours truly and helped out by the folk at PLATFORM and no less than the Marketing Manager of the Arnolfini, Rob Webster, and Fiona Hamilton of Soma Gallery (Bristol), a woman with great taste in the arts who runs a cult art shop that has been a long standing supplier of my print magazine. We might even invite someone powerful from RBS! (invite being the operative word) After the event PLATFORM will profile you on their website with links to yours, and prior to the actual event I’ll be posting the best entries onto my website – one good reason to get your artwork in as quickly as possible.

If you are interested read on:

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What you need to know:

Ideas:
Yeah yeah – we all know wind turbines are great news and polar bears are having a terrible time, but for this brief we’d like you to think a bit outside the box. We’ll be looking for the most refreshing ways of thinking about how we can live in the most sustainable way possible, and most importantly how RBS could play a possible role in aiding this transition to a low carbon world. Don’t forget that we, the taxpayers, own 70% of RBS – why not make it into the people’s bank? You should make clear in your chosen design the re-imagining of the old RBS into the new. Instead of investing in carbon-intensive industries the new RBS will serve the public interest by investing only in socially conscious, ethically driven, and environmentally sound projects.

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Style:
Think serious or earnest, kitsch or ironic, warm and fluffy, abstract or illustrative; whatever best communicates the concept and appeals to the broader public, the press and perhaps even people in government. It should engage and inspire. You can collage photography on your computer or paint with your fingers and toes – what matters is the outcome. We want to see imagery that speaks of something new, radical and POSSIBLE. Think positive social force. We love the Obama image that was used in the run up to his election – the reworking of his image in a simple pop art style somehow speaks volumes about new, positive change – and has fast become an iconic piece of graphic design, so we thought we’d use it here to demonstrate that you don’t have to be too literal in your interpretation of the brief to create a successful image. If you choose to create a poster remember that it could be made as an advert.

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Technical specifications:
your image should be created to these sizes and scannable or put together on a computer:
A1 for the poster.
A2 or squared off A2 for the logo.
Please send me a lo resolution version but make sure you work to these sizes. We will arrange for the printing of your image should it be chosen.

Deadline:
We need your submissions to reach me by Monday 2nd November. Please send lo res versions of your design to info@ameliasmagazine.com

Future projects:
Please bear in mind that if we really love your work we might want to use it in further literature and exhibitions. Just think, your work really could persuade RBS to change course at a pivotal point in our history. What a fabulous idea!

Join the facebook event here to stay in touch with updates
And join the “Stop RBS using public money to finance climate change” facebook group here

Below is a list of links you might want to peruse for inspiration:

PLATFORM’s website
Transition Towns
Centre for Alternative Technology
Zero Carbon Britain
Post Carbon Institute
the Oyal Bank of Scotland
Capitalists Anonymous
Britain Unplugged
Climate Friendly Banking
Banca Etica
GLS Bank

Get scribbling folks! Any queries please contact me directly via email rather than on the comments below.

Categories ,activism, ,arnolfini, ,Eco-Design, ,environment, ,Open brief, ,platform, ,RBS, ,sustainability

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Amelia’s Magazine | Anna Glowinski’s AnaNichoola – Girls Allowed!

anna-pic-left-with-design-tAll photographs courtesy of ananichoola.co.uk

AnaNichoola, stuff a label created by avid cyclist Anna Glowinski, is fast growing fashion brand with a simple idea; attractive, affordable and convenient fashion for female cyclists. With the growing popularity of cycling as a means of exercise, being eco friendly, and indeed for fun, her range of clothing and accessories has catered to a market close to her heart. As Anna explains; ‘We (female cyclists) don’t want to apologise for who we are, or hide our pony tails under our helmets; feminine style doesn’t mean kissing goodbye to performance, and that is what AnaNichoola is trying to embrace.’ I met up with Anna to chat about her designs and passion for the sport.

What made you start designing cycle fashion for women?

It was sort-of an accident, I mean, I’ve always had conversations with women about the lack of nice, practical female cycle clothing. It was always just too practical. So I handmade some fun bits and pieces – the LoveLocks and SPD heels for fun, and people loved them, so I decided to try and do more stuff. Once I committed myself to the plan, the ideas kept on coming! It was obviously a suppressed desire from being a vain lady cyclist my whole life!

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With all the media attention you have been getting, have you noticed an increase in sales?

Yes, I have. AnaNichoola is still in the baby stages, so sales are often an after thought. The press happens, the hits to my website go up, someone important e.g. a shop, asks me about my ability to mass produce, I start thinking about that, and then suddenly a member of the public wants something and I’m like, oh yeah, that’s what this is about. Up to Christmas sales increased so I reckon people who saw AnaNichoola two months ago probably held off until later to buy. Ultimately, I’m really glad for the press coverage because for one, it is nice that they believe in my products, and for two, I can’t afford any advertising right now.

Do you have new designs for combating these winter months?

I launched my technical designs at this year’s Cycle Show in October, so it’s quite a funny time to launch. I have tried to think about who will be buying right now, for example, Harrods stock The Curve jacket, but I changed the lining from the one at the show to have a more thermal winter lining. My next range is aimed at Spring/Summer, although some pieces will simply have the technical aspects of the same designs changed.

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With people trying to be more environmentally friendly, what would you advise new cyclists, especially when travelling around cities?

I’d advise any new, or experienced, cyclist to get cycle training. I’ve ridden on the roads my whole life and was very confident going for training rides as a young teenager on fast moving roads, but I had cycle training when I was 20 and I can’t bear to think about how I used to ride before! Cycle training was developed after a group of people looked at the stats of cycle incidents, deaths and injuries and they worked out strategies for cyclists to avoid dangerous situations. I think that every cyclist should have it. If they don’t, then the biggest thing I would recommend is never, ever undertake a lorry or a bus- they can’t see you!

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Where do you get inspiration for your designs from?

The technical side comes from my experience as a racing cyclist; when you ride hard or for long hours it becomes very evident what a “bad” piece of cycle clothing is. I want my things to be technical, to perform and to look good. I keep up to date with mainstream fashion trends and try to combine that with the performance. I also get inspired by things I like; there is no market strategy, it’s just a thought that I like it, my Mum likes, and my mates like, then I’ll go with it.

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What is your personal favourite piece from your collection?

AHHHHH! I don’t know! The things I wear that fit best with my day-to-day living is the Curve Jacket, ball-bearing earrings and a bamboo base layer. However, I feel super cool when I wear the high-heeled SPDs or one of Shannon’s (accessories designer at AnaNichola) lairy belt buckles.

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What would be your all-time dream bike to own?

Good question! I want one bike for each type of cycling. I want it to always be ready to go, with no punctures and the correct pedals on it. I need a good off-road bike right now, as I’ve been doing the season on a road bike with knobbly tyres. I need a new set of wheels, and some curly handle bars. I wouldn’t mind a tandem for going on holidays with my boyfriend. I want to re-spray my road bike pink and gold. I need to get the rust off my BMX. I want a lighter jumps bike and a newer track bike. Ooh, I also badly want a Dutch bike, or a Pashley. And maybe an electric bike for when I’m tired. And a friendly talking bike, that knows the route and sings songs to me, that can fly sometimes….

AnaNichoola designs are on sale in Harrods, or www.ananichoola.co.uk where you can read more about Anna and her team.

Categories ,accessories, ,accessories designer, ,bicycles, ,BMX, ,cycle show, ,cycle training, ,cycling, ,Dutch bike, ,Eco-Design, ,ecofriendly, ,fashion, ,Fashion Clothing, ,female cycle clothing, ,Harrods, ,Pashley.

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Amelia’s Magazine | Landscape Gallery – Oriel y Parc

Monday 12th Jan
Starting today: The Voice and Nothing More is a week-long festival at the Slade Research Centre that explores the voice as both medium and subject matter in contemporary arts practices. Established artists and emerging talent will work with leading vocal performers in an exploration of the voice outside language. On Wednesday the festival culminates in a presentation of objects, pilule generic performances, order and installations that are open to the public. There will also be performances on Thursday and Friday from 6 pm.

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Wednesday 14th Jan

Now in it’s 21st year, recipe the London Art Fair begins at the Design Centre in Islington. A hundred galleries are selected to show work from the last few hundred years. This immense exhibition will encompass sculpture, photography, prints, video and installation art. It ends on the 18th of January.
There is a talk this evening at the ICA entitled Can Art make us Happy? where artists Zoë Walker and Michael Pinsky explore the notions of art as a social cure-all in times of economic and social gloom.
A new solo show from Josephine Flynn begins today at Limoncello on Hoxton Square. The Mexican was bought off a patient who was in hospital with mental health problems. When the patient talked about The Mexican she described how the process of making him had helped her – ‘healing through making’ was how she put it.

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Thursday 15th Jan
Feierabend is a collaborative installation between artists Francis Upritchard, Martino Gamper, and Karl Fritsche, bringing together a shared aesthetic in their distinctive approaches to jewellery, furniture design, and sculpture. The exhibition plays with the boundaries of art and real life – looking like a workshop abandoned at the end of a day’s work, or a sitting room left in abstracted dissary, it’s only inhabitants a set of sculpted figures who seem lost in their own meditations.
Gimpel Fils opens a new photographic exhbition from Peter Lanyon and Emily-Jo Sargent, 100 Pictures of Coney Island.
The Asphalt World is a new solo show at Studio Voltaire from Simon Bedwell. Drip paintings are made from advertising posters in an ironic twist or corporate seduction.

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Feierabend


Friday 16th

There are two exhibitions starting today at Wilkinson on Vyner Street. In Upper Gallery a, Episode III, Enjoy Poverty, is the second in a series of three films by Renzo Martens in which he raises issues surrounding contemporary image making, challenging ideas about the role of film makers and viewers in the construction of documentaries. In the Lower Gallery, there will be the fourth exhibiton from German artist, Silke Schatz. Through the conjunction of video, sculpture, drawing and found objects, Schahtz composes a personal portrait of the city of Agsburg.

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Saturday 17th Jan

We featured David Cotterrell in issue ten, where in the picturesque surroundings of Tatton Park, he explained how his visit to Afghanistan, where he was invited by the Wellcome Trust, would be likely to have a lasting effect on his future work. Aesthetic Distance is David Cotterrell’s third solo exhibition with Danielle Arnaud, and focuses on the experiences and inevitable aftermath of a flight he took in November 2007 in a RAF C17, from Brize Norton to Kandahar. He was the sole passenger in a plane loaded with half a million rounds of palletised munitions and medical supplies to join Operation Herrick 7, a strange irony not lost on the artist.

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Earth Listings

Monday 12th January, viagra 60mg 7pm

Climate Rush hits Heathrow

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To whomsoever concerned by the biggest threat faced by humanity today-that of climate change,

You are cordially invited to Dinner at Domestic Departures. Join us for an evening of peaceful civil(ised) disobedience ahead of the government’s decision over a third runway at Heathrow. Inspired by the actions of the suffragettes, we will be calling for DEEDS NOT WORDS. The government acknowledges the huge problems we face from Climate Change but they continue with business as usual. This jolly evening is intended to produce much-needed positive change and we do hope that you would join us.

Location: Domestic Departures, Terminal 1, Heathrow Airport.

Time: 7pm (when the string quartet plays their first note).

Dress Code: Edwardian Suffragette: high collars, long skirts, fitted jackets, puffed sleeves, think Mary Poppins. Sashes will be provided. * Although advisable, it is not compulsory to arrive in Edwardian dress, the most important thing is that you your friends and family join us for dinner. To add the element of surprise, it is suggested that you arrive in a large coat to conceal your costume until the stroke of 7.

Bring: Jam tarts, scones, cucumber sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, tea cakes. Picnic blankets and table cloths. Tea and elderflower cordial. No alcohol please.

Entertainment: String quartet, art tricks from ArtPort, polite conversation.

We look forward to seeing you,

The Misbehaved Ladies from Climate Rush x

Tuesday 13th January, 6pm

Art, Activism and the legacy of Chico Mendes
RSA
8 John Adam Street
London
WC2N 6EZ

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Tonight will explore the ways in which the arts can help shift society’s attitudes in the face of unprecedented climate change. Elenira Mendes, daughter of environmental activist Chico Mendes, will talk alongside panelists Jonathan Dove (award-winning composer), Greenpeace’s senior climate adviser, Charlie Kronick and fasion designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Wednesday 14th January

Wednesdays Do Matter
InSpiral Lounge, 250 Camden High Street NW1 8QS

A night of music, comedy, poetry and film (and really good vegan smoothies!) in aid of global justice campaigners, the World Development Movement. Remind yourselves why everyday matters, even Wednesdays.

Trouble the Water
ICA
The Mall
London
SW1Y 5AH

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Winner of this year’s Grand Jury prize at Sundance and announced as a finalist in 2009 Accademy Awards for Best Documentary. This is one New Orleans’ resident’s depiction of the catastrophic tragedy of Hurricaine Katrina. Shot with a (shakily) handheld camera, Kimberely Roberts’ footage starts from the weekend before the hurricaine and covers a period of a year. Michael Moore collaborators Tia Lessin and Carl Deal edit and append the tapes with their own film of the post-Katrina clean-up effort.An astounding portrayal of resilience and bravery.

Showing at the ICA 12th-15th January

Turning The Season
at The Wapping Project
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station
Wapping Wall
London
E1W 3SG

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Recent crisp bright skies have been a welcome respite from the usual drab January weather. But who knows what tomorrow may bring. Turning the Season explores the social and cultural phenomenon of the British Season. It would be fair to say that the increasingly visible effects of Climate Change have further fuelled our national fascination with the weather.
Expect 100 bird houses, a roof-top lily pond and a photo story showing the break-up of a relationship against the backdrop of seasonal events shot by fashion photographer Thomas Zanon-Larcher.

Until 28th Febuary

Amazonia at the Young Vic

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Although aimed at swarms of roaring key stage 3 schoolchildren as an educational piece on the issue of deforestation, this production from Palace People’s Projects is a true delight. Set in a traditional village in the Amazon that is eventually swayed by the ghost of Chico Mendes to not fall under the developers’ bulldozers. But not until some devastation has been wreaked first. A socio-political depiction of destruction of the Amazon with a mythical slant. All set to the music and dancing of Forro. An inventive stage (a mammoth man-made tree rather resembling an electrical pole, and pools of water seperating the audience) and brilliantly gaudy costumes by Gringo Cardia.

Until 24th January
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Monday 12th January

Dead Kids, cost O Children, erectile The Lexington, London

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Seriously energetic post-punk, sequinned and LOUD live act Dead Kids headline. No matter what you think of them on record, they’re sure to grab you live. Continuing the infant name-theme, as well as the intense post-punk sounds are support O Children.

Comanechi, Durrr at The End, London

With the ever-winning combo of Japanese girl singing drummer (also to be found as frontwoman for London band Pre) and jangular guitars, this is your best bet for a trendy sceney night out in London.

Tuesday 13th January


Banjo or Freakout
single launch party, White Heat @ Madame JoJos, London

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Part of the new-wave of ultra-hip, genre-smashing music sweeping the artier corners of the globe at the moment. Should be a celebratory atmosphere as it is his single launch party.

Wednesday 14th January

Goldie Lookin Chain, Metro, London

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Ho ho ho, GLC are sooooo funny. Free entry is promised to the gig but don’t leave your purse at home as you’ll have to pay to leave.

The Virgins, Rough Trade East, London

American New Wave tinged indie-rock.

Thursday 15th January

Wet Paint, Rough Trade East, London

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Playing this gig in anticipation of the release of their new album, they’ll be supporting Bloc Party later in the year.

Emmy the Great, 12 Bar Club, London

Intimate solo acoustic performance of debut album First Love in full, ahead of its release in February.

Push, Astoria 2, London

A massive farewell party for the Astoria 2 which will be finally demolished on Friday. Catch Cajun Dance Party live as well as DJ sets from Mystery Jets, Lightspeed Champion, Good Shoes and Neon Gold among many others and mourn the demise of the sticky-floored dingy music venue in central London.

Friday 16th January

Cats in Paris, Brassica, Braindead Improv Ensemble, The Woe Betides, George Tavern, London

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Massively hyped, bonkers 70s-ish glam-electro from Manchester.

The Golden Silvers, The Macbeth, London

Dreamy indie-pop from these regulars of the London gig circuit.

Saturday 17th January

The Bookhouse Boys, Empire, Middlesborough

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Catch this 9 piece mini-orchestra, complete with mariachi brass, duelling drummers and girl-boy vocals, for their Ennio Morricone-style soundscapes.

I Love Boxie: a web-based business in London that tailors a t-shirt especially for you based on the story you tell them. The most astute of the fashion-conscious clan know that style should reflect your spirit and not merely robotic trends. In light of this; don’t wear your heart on your sleeve– instead wear it on a t-shirt; a Boxie t-shirt.
Here, cure founder of Boxie, troche Moxie shares her views on what fashion is truly about, how her brand works and what she hopes to achieve through her t-shirts:

Tell us the story of I Love Boxie.?

Each t-shirt tells a piece of the way – a place we have been, a person we have seen. We have many lines that fit many situations and could tell a piece of your story too. If not, we offer t-spoke. You call us, tell us a story and we turn it into a line on a t-shirt. We believe everyone in the world should have an unbranded, authentic tee that sings a line of where they have been and what they have seen. We are the opposite of any company who just put a logo on a t-shirt.

?Where does the inspiration for your t-shirts come from?

?From the people who write and call in everyday with their stories. The stories are wild, heartfelt, quiet, poignant and are better than anything we could make up.

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What’s the idea behind the “half a conversation” concept?

If you think about branding for the last 30 years it’s been about distillation, reducing everything to a line eg: ‘just do it’ or ‘impossible is nothing’.
Our lines are about provoking expansion. It’s just the first line of the story, or the chapter heading. We want people to come up to someone wearing a Boxie tee – and go ‘wow, what the hell happened to you??’
?
Why do you make it purposefully hard for people to purchase your t-shirts, without contacting you directly first??

The tees are written about stupid, funny, weird, deep moments in people’s lives. All of them from the heart. They feel like they need more exchange than a credit card transaction. T-spoke especially. This is a creative collaboration that begins with the customer telling us their story. It is a strange and wonderful one off encounter between them and us. The t-shirt is their battle scar of that personal story.

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Is all your business Internet based? ?

As far as being web based goes, our tees are obviously a form of self expression and there is no greater arena for that than the web. This taps into what a tee originally was – a piece of underwear, something that wasn’t supposed to be seen but kept close to the chest and hidden like a secret.

These days, the web is a place where secrets can step out of the shade, where people can talk about things they wouldn’t usually talk about in real life. Most times, you can learn more about someone from reading their status report than talking to them for an hour in reality, because the web has taught us the language of openness and sharing.

Boxie exists in the ether as part of that fluency. More importantly those web values – openness, sharing, community – are overflowing back into real life now. So, yes, soon we’ll be on the streets in some form, although the tees will never ever be in a retail space, hanging limply on a rack.

Your favourite Boxie T-Shirt to date??

So High and Solo

How would you describe Boxie in one word??
Gonzo

Any advice for the penniless fashionista?
Everything great creatively comes from being up against it and with no cash. You can’t ever see it when you’re in it but, as far as imagination goes, you are in an infinitely better position than someone with a million dollars. Do something great with this time. And then call us to get the t-shirt. ?

Advice for those wanting to purchase something Boxie??

Write to us directly at moxie@iloveboxie.com
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New York is spawning many a catchy-tuned electro based band at the moment – meet The Discoghosts, more about firstly they have a brilliant name, look secondly, approved they do what they say on the tin, this is a disco fest. Their ethos is nicely summed up in their lyrics, “We love ladies and they love us, cos we’re cool and disco plus.”

Otherwise known as M-Boy and Tracky, they meant their album title – BAD – literally it seems, rather than a tribute to the King of 80′s pop, as they are apparently, “trying to break the taboos of “good” music, while playing with clichés of club sound like repetition, climax, stupidity, autofilter, and sound fetishism.” I see.

This album could be the OST to many an 80′s movie – it’s true, it may be the decade that taste forgot but it produced some pretty good tunes – there are obvious Ghostbusters references ie: track 2 being called Ghostbusters Busters and there’s also hints of the Beverley Hills Cop riffs in there, along with and slinky soul beats, electro voices, rubbish rapping and a guy that sounds suspiciously like the chef from South Park

That’s not to say they’re stuck in the past, their mellower synthetic beats, such as Jellyfish, track 9, have a Hot Chip vibe and that’s not a bad thing at all.

If their aim was to produce an awful album – they failed, maybe it’s just that I have a soft spot/great love for the 80′s but I very much enjoyed this, catchy, listenable songs that don’t take themselves seriously. My favourite line, from Straight but Gayish (sung by a high electro voice), “your boyfriend’s hetro but he looks homo.”

And they dress like this to perform:

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How could you not love them?
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It was legitimate for us to feel nervous. With indiscreet bullying from BAA and no knowledge as to how the police were planning to receive us, sick we tucked our dresses beneath our over-coats and shuffled through the throngs of intimidating fluorescent jackets at Heathrow Departures, illness passports at the ready and an impromptu conversation about flight times – very subtle. I wish I could have seen the briefing, look out for pretty girls in dresses and large jackets.

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Once in, all subtleties were abandoned, a charming sight when the order of the day was Edwardian dress and dinner, an evening of very civil (ised) disobedience. Instruments, top hats, high collars and puffy sleeves – all were revealed as the clock struck seven, the string quartet took to its first note and picnic blankets were unfurled for the beginning of the Climate Rush organized party, Dinner at Domestic Departures.

Music played, food passed cordially from plate to plate, and sashes were handed out. It was not long before currents rippled through the crowd into cheers, claps, and chants, “Deeds Not Words”, “Trains not Planes” and, “No Third Runway”, with a contingency singing to the tune of 90′s classic There’s no Limit. The complete transformation of Zone C was helped along by Artport, a collective of artists working in collaboration with Cilimate Rush to redefine the space as we know it. Green all-in-one clad waiters weaved through the crowd with a planet for a cake and planes for spoons, whilst a parachute game bounced a blow-up earth from edge to edge.

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In amidst this electric and elevating atmosphere, it was a spectacular delivery of a serious message. Climate Change is a very real threat and many people feel let down by the powers that be to address this threat.

We don’t want a third runway and call for cheaper train fares and better transport hubs instead of domestic short-haul flights. It is of course just part of a bigger picture: the greater threat of Climate Change of which aviation expansion is just a part, and the wider feelings of concern and dissatisfaction amongst citizens for whom civil disobedience is also, just a part.

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Describing herself as an ex-Camden townie, link the self-taught illustrator, Zarina Liew, has thrown her arms up at the big smoke and a career in marketing; and has chosen instead the serenity of the Cambridgeshire countryside, pencils, watercolours, and strange lonely creatures ridden by lust and self-ruin.
Her Hunter Series, eight inked paintings which exhibited at the Shoreditch Shuffle Festival, started life as a 24-page graphic novel. It tells the story of a gramaphone and a lonely creature, who forms an unlikely friendship with three musicians. She is driven by a need for company and music, they are captured by her beauty and seduced by her authority. The musicians fall into her charm and into her gramophone where they are trapped and eventually perish, singing songs of solidarity and love.

Over a virtual cup if Green Tea, we ask Liew a bit more about her curious creatures of emotional turmoil, her illustrative inspiration and whether or not she misses Camden.

Tell us about the Hunter Series.

I wanted The Hunter Series to be an extension of the original story both visually and metaphorically – a story within a story. You get a sense of the narrative from the different pieces, but as a whole, you see the Hunter for who she is – a hungry, lonely and melancholic being. It’s an illustration of lust and self-ruin; both the musicians and the Hunter are acting on impulse, blind to their terrible fates. Even though she is the one to end the men’s lives, the Hunter does not get what she wants. With no one to listen or play with, she’s alone again.

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Where do you draw information for your characters from?

I draw most of my information from observing the people around me. I never assume that what you see in someone is what you get – everyone has a hidden interior of ambition and desire. Music plays a large part as well. I found the musicians for The Hunter listening to an unsigned band playing at the Dublin Castle in Camden – the Parallel Animals. After falling in love with them – and the front man! – I offered to sketch them during rehearsals and help out at their gigs. Seeing how hard local bands work at this music business, and how ruthless the whole industry is, gave me a sense of direction in depicting the musician’s fate in my artwork.

The emotional context of the characters is strong; the nature of lust and self-ruin… is this an expression of your own emotional turmoil?

I suppose yes – in a sense that all of my work is an expression of myself, my feelings and thoughts. I wouldn’t say that I am strongly affected by the nature of lust and self-ruin though, let’s just say that I am extremely aware of it in myself, and all too conscious of letting myself go, or losing control of who I am. As I mentioned earlier we all have a hidden interior of ambition and desire – acting on lust however (whatever the desire – money, sex, fame) can only lead to self-ruin. Sometimes I wonder if I’m making the right choices, I question why I did certain things and what is behind my motivations. It’s a constant cycle of self-reflection.

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And finally, Camden vs Cambridge countryside… who wins?

This is a real toughie. Can I be wayward and say that weekdays are for Camden and weekends are for Cambridge?
During the week I get a lot of inspiration from the Camden kids, lovely hidden-away galleries and sweaty underpriced indie nights. By the weekend though it’s full of puffy tourists and very long queues for nothing.
That’s when I retreat to the gentle Cambridge countryside. It’s perfect for lethargic country strolls and relaxing afternoon teas; this is also where I get a lot of my inspiration down onto paper and start to paint. All the week’s bustle leaves my mind ready to draw in peace and quiet!

You can see more of her work here, or catch her at the Alternative Press Fair on Sunday 1st February where she will be featuring the Hunter Storybook alongside other homemade creations, and apparently, lots of Green Tea.

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Why is it no-one tells you that when you leave uni, approved your life will have a huge vacuum and those 3 years you spent studying illustration suddenly seem wasted when all the available jobs are in call centres? What to do? Give up the creative dream? Not if you’re Brighton girl Anna Wenger. She decided that if there was no jobs out there, adiposity she’d start her own business, viagra dosage and Sacred Stitches was born. Her idea of stitching classic tattoo designs onto clothes and homewares has really taken off in recent months, and she’s kindly chatted to us about it:

How did your business come about?
I needed to give my family and friends Christmas presents but without spending much money, so made everyone cushions. I got a lot of attention from these cushions and created more and more and now embroider onto everything I can lay my hands on!

Who are your favourite designers?
I love Angelique Houtkamp, her work mixes classic tattoo imagery with Hollywood romance and her eye for style is very inspirational.
Others include Inka Tattooist James Robinson, Alex Binnie, Jon Burgerman, Tara McPherson and Crush Design Studio.

How would you describe your personal style?

A very modern graphic twist on an old school tattoo style. I like to think that with my designs everyone can appreciate the art form of tattoos without having to get one.

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Do you wear your own designs?
Oh yes, and so does my boyfriend, his friends, my flatmates. My flat is completely covered in sacred stitches cushions!

Who or what inspires you? (i know the obvious answer here is tattoos –
but if there’s anything else!)

I live with a tattooist who influences my work; magazines and art exhibitions are good for getting new ideas. My boyfriend and friends are covered in tattoos and will come home with a new piece of art on their skin, so its hard not to be inspired when your surrounded by moving artwork.


Have you got any tattoos?

No, the design is still in progress.

Do you have a favourite tattoo design / what’s the best you’ve seen so
far?

My favourite so far is by Judd Ripley of an amazingly haunting pirate ship. (pictured below)

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Do you still love Brighton/can you see yourself living anywhere else?
I am originally from Brighton and moved back here after University, as it’s a creative city. I do love Brighton as it’s a very receptive place for my designs because people here like to buy from small businesses.

Can I have a t-shirt please?
Yes, what size are you, xxl?!?

How very dare you. A medium at the very most!
Thanks for your time Anna. Talent and ambition, the best combination.
Contact Anna about getting hold of your own personalised tattoo(ed piece of clothing) here.

So it may have looked like I was deserting my post last week, cheap swanning off to Paris to slide down hills on the ice and hibernate in nice restaurants. However, whilst my trip may have involved quite a lot of that sort of fun, I was not just being a bone-idle holiday-monger. Au contraire. I also had my ears opened to some great new music and had this excellent first EP by Hold Your Horses! thrust into my sweaty and eager palms (fine it was in a nice restaurant that this transaction took place but we were just following the model of most international business).

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Most recent French bands seem either to do an excellent line in electronica or a terrible one in punk rock – you just can’t do attitude if your beige converse match your cashmere v-neck and your hair is cleaner and shinier than a Pantene advert. Hold Your Horses! have most in common with the second school, essentially a guitar band augmented with some strings and wind. However, perhaps the fact that they are a motley crew of diplobrats and true Frenchies contributes to the broader and more interesting range of influences discernible in their music. Sure, The Strokes are probably in every single member of the band’s record collection and at moments on this record, if you were to replace singer Flo’s Chrissie Hinde delivery with a Casablancas drawl, you would be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped back to Strokes-fever 2003, but this is really just what provides the catchy backbone of these songs. There’s a pleasantly shambolic tone – perhaps a little too shambolic at times due to the slightly rough-around-the-edges self-done mix – and when the boy vocals kick in partway through track two, a vaguely Celtic edge emerges.

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Opener Cigarettes and Lies, the strongest song on the record, fanfares its arrival with a blast of trumpets before launching into a danceable meditation on youthful lust and confusion. After that, the titles get longer and the violins more prominent as they have a bit of an Irish-ska moment (fine that’s not like, an official genre but listen and you’ll know what I mean) before ending on the sultry Argue and the sweet Flo’s Folk. Although not perfect or polished, this EP is really promising and tips HYH! as a band it’s definitely worth catching live when they hopefully make it to this side of the Channel.

Click hereto get hold of a copy.

Now you see him now you…hang on, search is that? Yep a giant bunny in a smoking jacket who is theatrically drawing my portrait and grimacing at the fur collar of the girl standing next to me. ‘It’s mink!’ she frantically mimes through Wieden & Kennedy’s shop window on Hanbury Street. ‘Minks are bastards’ he mouths back.

I’m witnessing some of the day-to-day activity taking place outside Imaginary Friends, medicine a rather bizarre shop front exhibition that takes me back to long days spent in the airing cupboard as an only child. Back then, store my imaginary friend was a replica of the devilish dog that encouraged Tintin’s canine companion Snowy to do naughty things (don’t worry, no one else understood that either).

From now until Sunday your imagination takes the form of a wine glugging, abusive life size bunny rabbit (aka recent Central St. Martin’s graduate Jack Bishop).

I managed to catch him on a carrot break.

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LJ: I say ‘carrot’ you say?

IF: Parrot? Ok it is the main component of one’s diet but I much prefer Beef Wellington. I shall not be marginalised.

L.J. Can you be taken for walks?

I.F. Of course I can darling. I’m imaginary after all, I can go anywhere you chose. Usually down the local.

L.J. Do you get along with cats?

I.F. So-so. We have a mutual respect for one another.

L.J. Do you breed well with Holland Lops?

I.F. Most definitely. Although my ideal breeding partner would have to be Jessica Rabbit.

L.J. Of course what a babe, got any celebrity bunny mates or rabbits in high hutches?

I.F. Well Harvey is a dear friend as we’re very alike. I used to be drinking buddies with Bugs but…(he drifts) he said a few things about me…said I drank too much. Lightweight.

L.J. Oh dear, well hopefully you’ll settle your differences over a good carrot or a nice seed selection. What are your thoughts on the following high-profile bunnies?

L.J. Peter Rabbit?

I.F. Wet lad.

L.J. Easter Bunny?

I.F. Fatty boy (all that chocolate).

L.J. Energizer Bunny?

I.F. Nympho.

L.J. Thumper?

I.F. Good Kid.

L.J. Nesquick Bunny?

I.F. He’s sold out. Such a shame. Corporate bastard now.

L.J. Got any plans for Easter?

I.F. (He humphs dismissively) I’m not the religious type. I’ll most probably be alone listening to Smokey Robinson and Sam Cook, drinking fine wines.

L.J. That sounds fun, I’ll be your friend if you want.

I.F. You fool! I can’t chose to be someone’s friend, I’m imaginary, they decide what I am to them, it’s annoying. Sometimes I feel degraded. I’d much rather be on my own.

With that he lolloped back down Brick Lane.

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CarrotMobbing! No it’s not a bunny invasion in the run up to Easter, sick it’s the new consumerist activism from San Francisco. The idea is to sway more businesses to adopt greener habits. An alternative to boycotting, more about CarrotMobbing operates in a way that appeals to businesses by offering cash rewards.

In return for a percentage of a day’s takings to be spent on environmentally-friendly practises (e.g. better energy-efficient appliances, organic produce) a CarrotMob will descend on the establishment on a certain day and spend, spend, spend.

It is the brainchild of American environmentalist Brent Schulkin and it is unique in working alongside businesses that could be greener by offering them the ‘carrot’, as opposed to the ‘stick’ approach of boycotting or picketing.’We recognize that corporations must keep profit as their top priority.Historically, this fact has meant that the environment has suffered. We hope to change that by putting rewards in place that will make environmental responsibility the more profitable choice.’

The concept has already started to make an impact over here. The first UK Carrotmob was in September 2008 at the Redchurch bar in East London and since then carrotmobs have sprung up around the country including the restaurant La Ruca in Bristol.

When I proposed the idea to local cafe Yummy’s, Jason and his brother were really keen! Stay tuned for an Amelia’s Magazine CarrotMob expected to take place in a couple of weeks time.

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Bristol’s Thekla is a down-with-the-kids venue by anyone’s standards. The ship is moored in a floating harbour, approved featured in Skins, shop has been played by Massive Attack and was once graffitied by Banksy. To see a band there tipped as number two in the BBC’s ‘ones to watch 2009′ is incredible. White Lies quite literally rock the boat.

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Anticipation crackles in the air before they mount the stage. I’d fallen deeply in love with the singles months before: deathly, desperate melodies with the lyrics of a romantic poet born in the 80s set to gut-grinding electronica. And I’m praying they won’t let me down. In a swell of turbulence, the band storm on with Unfinished Business liquefying into To Lose My Life. Later, Farewell to the Fairground also stands out as a stark winner, perhaps a forthcoming single?

Harry McVeigh haunts his audience, both in voice and form. Recalling the two great Ian’s of post-punk, McCulloch and Curtis, he’s skinny with a voice that’s anything but. Glimpse him between the strobe lights and he’s a beautiful alien visitor. And the possessor of a truly spectral set of vocal chords.

Through White Lies’ unique ability to craft tangibly spooky scenes with their lyrics, as each new song rumbles into being, I’m by turns walking in an abandoned fairground at night, taking off in an aeroplane, wrestling a ghost in a dream. Captivating. Sound groans in the iron belly of the ship, the guitar rips through thundering drums and Harry wails into the watery deep. There’s no banter, no real movement and yet everyone’s rapt because they’re witnessing something really special.

A few technical hitches mar the proceedings and drown out the vocals, but not to worry, the finale is Death and we’re all singing along. White Lies have mesmerized their crowd good and proper and we pursue them from the boat like crazed rats into the night. Drunken fan’s yelps of ‘yes this fear’s got a hold on meeee’ follow me all along the dark waterfront home.

It’s half way through January – a long way from pay day and you want some new clothes. It’s the only thing that can cheer you up in this depressing month. Visiting an actual shop is out of the question, decease you can barely afford the bus fare there, visit this let alone any of the goods for sale inside the shop.
So here’s an idea – acquiring new clothes without having to actually spend a penny (on the clothes) – via the medium of clothes swapping.
This can be done in many ways, buy more about the first is attending this event:

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However, if the idea of not having complete control over what you actually end up with isn’t exactly what you had in mind, then try this, a swishing event – yes it is £5 entry but for countless amounts of clothes, well worth it. It’s a similar idea to the flyered event above but you can choose what you pick.

If you don’t fancy actually leaving your house, then Bigwardrobe.com is an online swapping platform which is similar to e-bay in that you put your unwanted clothes online and people buy them off you – it’s better than eBay as it has a swap function and it gets even better than that! – you can get actual cash for your unwanted xmas goodies or fashion mistakes of the past. You can use a combination of money and swapping to barter for goods, eg:, “ I’ll give you this blouse and £3 for your skirt,” or something along those lines.

In these lean times, clothes recycling is the best way to update your wardrobe.

St Davids, website on the far south-western tip of Wales, viagra approved is a city of contradictions. Being the smallest city in the UK, it is really more of a village with a great big cathedral plonked down at one end. It is a tranquil little place but alongside the tea-and-scones brigade is a growing community of surfers who ride the waves on the beautiful beaches nearby all year round. Beyond the shoppers rummaging through baskets of souvenir tea-towels are legions of walkers and nature-lovers who explore the coast paths, the sea and the cliffs in between in search of puffins, seals and the delicate, beautiful Manx Shearwater birds that migrate past the headland every summer. Even the visitor centre (known as Oriel Y Parc, which means ‘the park gallery’) is an odd mixture, for if you walk through the coffee shop and past the leaflets on local attractions you will find yourself in a world-class gallery.

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The gallery, a recent addition to the visitor centre, is itself beautifully harmonious in form and content. The environmentally sustainable building that houses it heralds what we can expect from a gallery in the 21st century. The graceful arc shape of the building catches the sun all day, keeping heating costs to a minimum. The ceilings are insulated with lamb’s wool and a green roof with its swaying grasses also brings warmth and helps to regulate the demand on the drainage system. Rainwater is used for the toilet cisterns and solar energy panels heat water for the kitchen. Recycled and second-hand materials have been used wherever possible – much of the stone for the walls comes from old derelict buildings.

Perhaps it is when you see what is on display inside the gallery that you truly understand the importance of all this low-impact building and energy conservation: to preserve the precious Pembrokeshire landscape that has inspired so many artists including London-born painter Graham Sutherland. Sutherland loved the landscape around St Davids, painting it again and again, and when he died in 1980 he left a great body of work to the people of Pembrokeshire.

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Sutherland’s work will form the permanent central focus of the gallery’s exhibitions. For those used to gentle water-colour scenes of the Welsh coast, Sutherland’s paintings are a hand grenade assault on the senses – fierce, energy-filled evocations of the landscape, both challenging and fascinating.
For Oriel Y Parc to be given permission to exhibit the bequest it had to meet a stringent list of standards, including careful regulation of the humidity and temperature in the air and a complex and highly sophisticated security system. Meeting this criteria has meant that the gallery has been awarded ‘Class A’ status, which means that the work by Picasso and Rembrandt that is displayed alongside Sutherland’s paintings in the current exhibition will be the first in a long line of world-class international art to be shown at the centre.

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Prompted by Sutherland’s extraordinary visions of the surrounding countryside, the gallery plans to use future exhibitions to investigate art’s relationship with the landscape and with nature. Brendan Burns a Cardiff-based painter has been making paintings of the Pembrokeshire coastline for about fifteen years. Being the first artist-in-residence at Oriel Y Parc is, he says, ‘so exciting because everything is new. It feels important, like you’re part of something major.’ He is thrilled by his proximity to his subject, as until now he has had to make the 100-mile journey home before he began to paint. He is also pleased to have Sutherland’s work in the next room, where he can pop in and refer to it whenever he pleases, and says he particularly draws inspiration from the photographs, drawings and writing in the bequest.
He can’t predict how the residency will affect his work, but says he is starting out by ‘taking walks on new beaches’.

• The work produced by Brendan Burns during his residency at Oriel Y Parc will be shown at Oriel Y Parc or the National Museum in Cardiff, towards the end of 2009.

Categories ,Art, ,Brendan Burns, ,Eco-Design, ,Graman Sutherland, ,Landscape Gallery, ,Oriel Y Park, ,Recycle, ,Wales

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