Amelia’s Magazine | Christmas Gift Ideas 2012: Best Artist Prints for the Wall

Back-to-the-old-house-by-C86.
There are so many to choose from, where on earth do you start when you set out to buy a print for the wall? Well, here’s my run down of personal favourites – including work from artists I’ve known since college and fresh discoveries that have won me over recently. Hopefully something will please you too.

French website L’affiche moderne has lots of bright art which is particularly suitable for kids. I love this psychedelic print, Back to the old house, by UK based illustrator C86, aka Matt Lyon.

Tiger Island print by Craig Yamey
Craig Yamey can always be counted upon to create something unique and eye catching: I’ve already got his Mystical Magical Tiger Island Print in a frame.

Midnight Foxes By Dieter Braun
Midnight Foxes by Dieter Braun is a bestseller on East End Prints.

telegramme studio bat_for_lashes poster
I don’t think you have to be a Bat for Lashes fan to love this print by Telegramme (though it would help).

Simone Lia-Wheel-of-Death
From Simone Lia‘s infamous Chip and Bean series, this Wheel of Death print is a real bargain, from Tinta Prints.

sanna annuka tonttu_print
I adore new prints by Finnish designer Sanna Annukka, which are a pure celebration of colour and pattern. Choose from Tonttu (meaning ELF) and Papatti (meaning FIRECRACKER).

ShopVon2012_Bird14
Von is selling some beautiful fine art prints that focus on a fascination with the intricate structure, geometry, grace and beauty of birds.

I am always right by Andy Smith
This is a brilliant typographic print by Andy Smith at Soma Gallery – I wonder, does this fit your domestic set up? (we have a version of this up in our house… need I say more).

marinamuun Forest-Chill-Time_Print
For something a bit more whimsical how about this Forest Chill Time print by Marina Muun.

theworld_jackteagle
Whenever Jack Teagle releases a new print my partner is on it like a rabid (art obsessed) rabbit – this latest one is already on our wall, and a bargain at £12.

amie howarth shoes print
If you would rather get something a bit more bespoke, Amie Howarth will draw you or your loved one’s favourite shoes to order.

Ether print by Sherrie Webb
On Studio No.44 Brighton based printmaker Sherrie-Leigh Webb‘s Ether Landscape series features fantastical environments in imagined worlds.

matt sewell bullfinch print
If you read my interview with Matt Sewell a few months ago you might have seen images from his recent book Our Garden Birds – from which he has produced a series of bird prints. Here’s a bullfinch – will you find your favourite? Read my interview with Matt Sewell here.

Autumn Red Print by Petra Borner
If you are after a really large decorative print then look no further than Petra Borner, who is selling some stunning new artworks influenced by the colours and shapes of the seasons. Read my interview with Petra Borner here.

Made by Morris red bus print
Finally, discovered in a friend’s house, a paen to my local no.8 bus (sadly no longer available): by Claudia Morris (Made By Morris). Does your local bus feature in her limited edition prints, available from Not on the High Street?

Gosh I heart them all – if only I had the wall space.

Categories ,Amie Howarth, ,Andy Smith, ,Back to the old house, ,Bat for Lashes, ,c86, ,Chip and Bean, ,Claudia Morris, ,Craig Yamey, ,Dieter Braun, ,East End Prints, ,Ether, ,Ether Landscape, ,Forest Chill Time, ,Jack Teagle, ,L’affiche moderne, ,Made By Morris, ,Marina Muun, ,Matt Lyon, ,Matt Sewell, ,Midnight Foxes, ,Mystical Magical Tiger Island Print, ,Not On The High Street, ,Our Garden Birds, ,Papatti, ,Petra Borner, ,Sanna Annukka, ,Sherrie-Leigh Webb, ,Simone Lia, ,Society6, ,Soma Gallery, ,Studio No.44, ,Telegramme, ,Tinta Prints, ,Tonttu, ,Von, ,Wheel of Death

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Amelia’s Magazine | Christmas Gift Ideas 2012: Best Artist Prints for the Wall

Back-to-the-old-house-by-C86.
There are so many to choose from, where on earth do you start when you set out to buy a print for the wall? Well, here’s my run down of personal favourites – including work from artists I’ve known since college and fresh discoveries that have won me over recently. Hopefully something will please you too.

French website L’affiche moderne has lots of bright art which is particularly suitable for kids. I love this psychedelic print, Back to the old house, by UK based illustrator C86, aka Matt Lyon.

Tiger Island print by Craig Yamey
Craig Yamey can always be counted upon to create something unique and eye catching: I’ve already got his Mystical Magical Tiger Island Print in a frame.

Midnight Foxes By Dieter Braun
Midnight Foxes by Dieter Braun is a bestseller on East End Prints.

telegramme studio bat_for_lashes poster
I don’t think you have to be a Bat for Lashes fan to love this print by Telegramme (though it would help).

Simone Lia-Wheel-of-Death
From Simone Lia’s infamous Chip and Bean series, this Wheel of Death print is a real bargain, from Tinta Prints.

sanna annuka tonttu_print
I adore new prints by Finnish designer Sanna Annukka, which are a pure celebration of colour and pattern. Choose from Tonttu (meaning ELF) and Papatti (meaning FIRECRACKER).

ShopVon2012_Bird14
Von is selling some beautiful fine art prints that focus on a fascination with the intricate structure, geometry, grace and beauty of birds.

I am always right by Andy Smith
This is a brilliant typographic print by Andy Smith at Soma Gallery – I wonder, does this fit your domestic set up? (we have a version of this up in our house… need I say more).

marinamuun Forest-Chill-Time_Print
For something a bit more whimsical how about this Forest Chill Time print by Marina Muun.

theworld_jackteagle
Whenever Jack Teagle releases a new print my partner is on it like a rabid (art obsessed) rabbit – this latest one is already on our wall, and a bargain at £12.

amie howarth shoes print
If you would rather get something a bit more bespoke, Amie Howarth will draw you or your loved one’s favourite shoes to order.

Ether print by Sherrie Webb
On Studio No.44 Brighton based printmaker Sherrie-Leigh Webb’s Ether Landscape series features fantastical environments in imagined worlds.

matt sewell bullfinch print
If you read my interview with Matt Sewell a few months ago you might have seen images from his recent book Our Garden Birds – from which he has produced a series of bird prints. Here’s a bullfinch – will you find your favourite? Read my interview with Matt Sewell here.

Autumn Red Print by Petra Borner
If you are after a really large decorative print then look no further than Petra Borner, who is selling some stunning new artworks influenced by the colours and shapes of the seasons. Read my interview with Petra Borner here.

Made by Morris red bus print
Finally, discovered in a friend’s house, a paen to my local no.8 bus (sadly no longer available): by Claudia Morris (Made By Morris). Does your local bus feature in her limited edition prints, available from Not on the High Street?

Gosh I heart them all – if only I had the wall space.

Categories ,Amie Howarth, ,Andy Smith, ,Back to the old house, ,Bat for Lashes, ,c86, ,Chip and Bean, ,Claudia Morris, ,Craig Yamey, ,Dieter Braun, ,East End Prints, ,Ether, ,Ether Landscape, ,Forest Chill Time, ,Jack Teagle, ,L’affiche moderne, ,Made By Morris, ,Marina Muun, ,Matt Lyon, ,Matt Sewell, ,Midnight Foxes, ,Mystical Magical Tiger Island Print, ,Not On The High Street, ,Our Garden Birds, ,Papatti, ,Petra Borner, ,Sanna Annukka, ,Sherrie-Leigh Webb, ,Simone Lia, ,Society6, ,Soma Gallery, ,Studio No.44, ,Telegramme, ,Tinta Prints, ,Tonttu, ,Von, ,Wheel of Death

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Amelia’s Magazine | Micachu and the Shapes – Live Review

micachu by michael maitland2

Illustrations by Michael Maitland

Micachu and the Shapes have provided one of 2009’s strongest growers in debut album, stuff sales Jewellery. On first listen, pill splattered with on-trend DIY sounds of vacuums and other found objects, pills it is amiable. But if hastily allowed, it falls inside the bracket of most East London output that perpetually dreams of nailing the ultimate C86 sound by foolishly bashing their assortment of instruments. Only when you really give it the listening attention it deserves do you realise what a skilfully crafted piece of recording it is, elevating the Guildhall trained trio from the toilet circuit to something resembling an award winning act.

micachu and the shapes1

We featured them in the printed magazine during their salad days, and since then they have in most people’s eyes been promoted to the latter with a near miss on a Mercury nod. Now at a well-deserved pinnacle, Mica Levi and her school chums headline London’s Scala with fellow purveyors of noise, The Invisible and justify their pole position.

micachu by michael maitland

To surmise, Micachu and the Shapes deliver. In a live setting, the favourites play out with a tightness and flexibility that befits these classically trained musicians. The idiosyncrasies of each track are giving room to breathe and Levi’s unfaltering commitment to her Bow accent gives her vocals an alluring authenticity. She is flanked by her trusty comrades on keyboards and drums, who nail their parts, delivering an added energy to the performance as opposed it simply being a Mica plus session musicians show. Their matching white t-shirt stage outfits are a similarly unifying symbol, removing any ego or hierarchy within the band.

Micachu and The Shapes

All in all, there are no criticisms. Apart from the lacklustre reaction in the audience, which can probably be explained by the sizable guest list queue, no doubt to celebrate the band’s homecoming. Said queue, caused me to regrettably miss The Invisible’s set but luckily a representative of theirs in the gigantic, shadow casting form of David Okumo joined The Shapes on a track. So at least I got proof of their existence.

If, like me, you stuck with Jewellery and let it bore a Micachu shaped hole in your heart, then I recommend you catch a live performance and give them the almighty holler they deserve.

Categories ,c86, ,diy, ,gig, ,Micachu and The Shapes, ,the invisible

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Amelia’s Magazine | Kotki Dwa, Still Corners and Twin Sister at the Lexington: Live Review

Since the first protest over two weeks ago -to use a slightly naff cliche- there has been something in the air; occupation, troche malady occupation, buy occupation! Across Britain students have left the streets and occupied their university halls in protest against the outcome of Lord Browne’s report: tuition fees to rise, the abolishment of EMA’s and the suggested removal of the state funding received by Universities to aid their research and teaching. At the beginning, in the face of the Coalition’s seemingly never ending barrage of cuts, there have been the inevitable attempts to label the student protests as self indulgent, (though what is self indulgent about fighting to preserve access to higher education for all in perpetuity?!) I was disappointed to see this article from Polly Toynbee, personally we should avoid turning the terrifying breadth and width of the cuts into a hierarchical system of which are more deserving to be saved. Yet the students are proving their opposers wrong, one of the demands of the UCLOccupation is for everyone who works in the university to be paid the London Living Wage, which is to be two pounds higher than the minimum wage. The inclusion of this demand has lead to increased support from Toynbee, as they are using their platform not only to campaign for themselves, but to join forces with other groups protesting against these draconian, unnecessary and dogmatic cuts.

Personally, I completely support the occupations of Universities, I’ve tasted the education cuts proposed by the Coalition and the impact they had on my student body was terrible, morale was low, people questioned why there were plunging into debt when they were receiving so little. Which is the inevitable problem when turning education into a market rather than a social right – it becomes about outcomes and fixed measurable points, rather than the continued development and sharing of knowledge. Maybe I was idealistic at what university would offer, but a sly cut in teaching, space and access to workshops was not what I was expecting. During my second year at Goldsmiths we spent the year fighting bigger class sizes on a third of the teachers, the loss of workshops and the loss of studio space to the point where people stopped coming to the studios because there was no room. Goldsmiths was the second university I tried, I left my first in protest against their education cuts. I bring up my experiences because despite Clegg’s lame protestations, it is not only the higher fees that would put me off if I was applying now, it is the slow destruction of our higher education system. The forcing of universities to act like businesses is not working and nor should it. Education is not a marketable commodity and we need to protect it alongside our incredible welfare state (the first hospital has already been all but privatised – Andrew Lansley’s white paper is a slippery slope), why are we allowing free universal access to medical care slip through our fingers? No-one in the Cabinet paid for their higher education and they experienced the best it had and still has to offer. We need to support the student occupations, we need to support the preservation of higher education.

I visited the UCL occupation on Saturday and it was amazing hive of activity (as I am sure all the occupied universities are). This weekend the Slade are mobilising art against the cuts, you can see their manifesto here.
Since the first protest over two weeks ago -to use a slightly naff cliche- there has been something in the air; occupation, illness occupation, approved occupation! Across Britain students have left the streets and occupied their university halls in protest against the outcome of Lord Browne’s report: tuition fees to rise, the abolishment of EMA’s and the suggested removal of the state funding received by Universities to aid their research and teaching. At the beginning, in the face of the Coalition’s seemingly never ending barrage of cuts, there have been the inevitable attempts to label the student protests as self indulgent, (though what is self indulgent about fighting to preserve access to higher education for all in perpetuity?!) I was disappointed to see this article from Polly Toynbee, personally we should avoid turning the terrifying breadth and width of the cuts into a hierarchical system of which are more deserving to be saved. Yet the students are proving their opposers wrong, one of the demands of the UCLOccupation is for everyone who works in the university to be paid the London Living Wage, which is to be two pounds higher than the minimum wage. The inclusion of this demand has lead to increased support from Toynbee, as they are using their platform not only to campaign for themselves, but to join forces with other groups protesting against these draconian, unnecessary and dogmatic cuts.

Personally, I completely support the occupations of Universities, I’ve tasted the education cuts proposed by the Coalition and the impact they had on my student body was terrible, morale was low, people questioned why there were plunging into debt when they were receiving so little. Which is the inevitable problem when turning education into a market rather than a social right – it becomes about outcomes and fixed measurable points, rather than the continued development and sharing of knowledge. Maybe I was idealistic at what university would offer, but a sly cut in teaching, space and access to workshops was not what I was expecting. During my second year at Goldsmiths we spent the year fighting bigger class sizes on a third of the teachers, the loss of workshops and the loss of studio space to the point where people stopped coming to the studios because there was no room. Goldsmiths was the second university I tried, I left my first in protest against their education cuts. I bring up my experiences because despite Clegg’s lame protestations, it is not only the higher fees that would put me off if I was applying now, it is the slow destruction of our higher education system. The forcing of universities to act like businesses is not working and nor should it. Education is not a marketable commodity and we need to protect it alongside our incredible welfare state (the first hospital has already been all but privatised – Andrew Lansley’s white paper is a slippery slope), why are we allowing free universal access to medical care slip through our fingers? No-one in the Cabinet paid for their higher education and they experienced the best it had and still has to offer. We need to support the student occupations, we need to support the preservation of higher education.

I visited the UCL occupation on Saturday and it was amazing hive of activity (as I am sure all the occupied universities are). This weekend the Slade are mobilising art against the cuts, you can see their manifesto here. Since visiting the protestors marched again on tuesday and there are many excellent accounts of what happened available on the internet, this Saturday sees a national day of action against the cuts and I believe there is another protest happening on the 9th. These occupations matter because the students are using their platform to join forces with other public sectors impacted from the lose of Mental Heath workers to the drastic cuts in legal aids that are happening at the same time as the benefit system is being overhauled. This was a banking crisis, this is a banking crisis, the government bailed out the banks and are still paying the price. This type of capitalism continually fails to work, unregulated markets failed. Why would we let people involved in this crisis, advise us that the best model for Universities is one based on the market??

Rather disappointingly UCL Lawyers have been called in to secure an injunction to evict the students. On the 9th December another day of protest – this time with parents and teachers joining in- will be held to oppose the Government’s to raise tuition fees.

During my visit to UCL I caught the end of Billy Bragg, saw the support of the National Union of Journalists in support of the occupation, sat through a book reading and the tutor’s support for the plight of students across Britain and had the opportunity to listen to David Wearing and Dan Hind discuss the history of capitalism and … It was a rather amazing day and if you are free this weekend or at any time, please check out an occupation near you events and the opportunity to speak to the students.
Since the first protest took place over two weeks ago -to use a slightly naff cliche- there has been something palatable in the air; occupation, capsule occupation, stuff occupation! Across Britain students have left the streets and occupied their university halls in protest against the outcome of Lord Browne’s report: tuition fees to rise, what is ed the abolishment of EMA’s and the suggested removal of the state funding received by Universities to aid their research and teaching budgets.

In the face of the Coalition’s seemingly never-ending barrage of cuts targeting every section of the welfare state, there have been the inevitable attempts to label the student protests as self indulgent, (though what is self indulgent about fighting to preserve access to higher education for all, in perpetuity?!) I was disappointed to see the always readable Polly Toynbee state: personally we should avoid turning the terrifying breadth and width of the cuts into a hierarchical system of the most deserving. Yet the students are proving their opposers wrong, one of the demands of the UCLOccupation is for everyone who works in the university to be paid the London Living Wage, which is to be two pounds higher than the minimum wage. The inclusion of this demand has lead to increased support from Toynbee, as they are using their platform not only to campaign for themselves, but to join forces with other groups protesting against these draconian, unnecessary and dogmatic cuts.

Personally, I completely support the occupations of Universities, I’ve tasted the education cuts proposed by the Coalition and the impact they had on my student body was terrible, morale was low, people questioned why there were plunging into debt when they were receiving so little. Which is the inevitable problem when turning education into a market rather than a social right – it becomes about outcomes and fixed measurable points, rather than the continued development and sharing of knowledge. Maybe I was idealistic at what university would offer, but a sly cut in teaching, space and access to workshops was not what I was expecting. During my second year at Goldsmiths we spent the year fighting bigger class sizes on a third of the teachers, the loss of workshops and the loss of studio space to the point where people stopped coming to the studios because there was no room. Goldsmiths was the second university I tried, I left my first in protest against their education cuts. I bring up my experiences because despite Clegg’s lame protestations, it is not only the higher fees that would put me off if I was applying now, it is the slow destruction of our higher education system. The forcing of universities to act like businesses is not working and nor should it. Education is not a marketable commodity and we need to protect it alongside our incredible welfare state (the first hospital has already been all but privatised – Andrew Lansley’s white paper is a slippery slope), why are we allowing free universal access to medical care slip through our fingers? No-one in the Cabinet paid for their higher education and they experienced the best it had and still has to offer. We need to support the student occupations, we need to support the preservation of higher education.

I visited the UCL occupation on Saturday and it was amazing hive of activity (as I am sure all the occupied universities are). This weekend the Slade are mobilising art against the cuts, you can see their manifesto here. Since visiting the protestors marched again on tuesday and there are many excellent accounts of what happened available on the internet, this Saturday sees a national day of action against the cuts and I believe there is another protest happening on the 9th. These occupations matter because the students are using their platform to join forces with other public sectors impacted from the lose of Mental Heath workers to the drastic cuts in legal aids that are happening at the same time as the benefit system is being overhauled. This was a banking crisis, this is a banking crisis, the government bailed out the banks and are still paying the price. This type of capitalism continually fails to work, unregulated markets failed. Why would we let people involved in this crisis, advise us that the best model for Universities is one based on the market??

Rather disappointingly UCL Lawyers have been called in to secure an injunction to evict the students. On the 9th December another day of protest – this time with parents and teachers joining in- will be held to oppose the Government’s to raise tuition fees.

During my visit to UCL I caught the end of Billy Bragg, saw the support of the National Union of Journalists in support of the occupation, sat through a book reading and the tutor’s support for the plight of students across Britain and had the opportunity to listen to David Wearing and Dan Hind discuss the history of capitalism and … It was a rather amazing day and if you are free this weekend or at any time, please check out an occupation near you events and the opportunity to speak to the students.
Since the first protest over two weeks ago, buy information pills there has been something palatable in the air; occupation, viagra approved occupation, approved occupation! Across Britain students have left the streets and occupied their University halls in protest against the outcome of Lord Browne’s report: tuition fees to rise, the abolishment of EMA’s and the suggested removal of the state funding Universities receive to aid their research and teaching budgets.

In the face of the Coalition’s seemingly never-ending barrage of cuts targeting every section of the welfare state, there has been the inevitable attempts to label the student protests as self indulgent (though what is self indulgent about fighting to preserve access to higher education for all, in perpetuity?!). I was disappointed to see the always readable Polly Toynbee state: personally we should avoid turning the terrifying breadth and width of the cuts into a hierarchical system of the most deserving.

Yet the students are fighting back against charges of indulgency, one of the demands made by the UCLOccupation is for all University employees to be paid the London Living Wage. The inclusion of this demand has lead to increased support from Toynbee and her more recent article signaled a change in approach. The Studetns are using their platform of occupation not only to campaign against sweeping changes to the perception of Higher Education, but to join forces with other groups (NHS, Library Workers, Legal Aid etc) to protest against these draconian, unnecessary and dogmatic cuts.

Personally, I completely support the occupations of Universities, I’ve tasted the education cuts proposed by the Coalition and the impact they had on my student body was terrible, morale was low, people questioned why they were plunging into debt when they were receiving so little in return. It made many students question the worth of their courses, which is exactly what this report wants to achieve. Education is not about financial worth, society will quickly become lacking if this thinking becomes the norm.

For me, this is the inevitable problem when turning education into a competitive market rather than an individual’s choice – it becomes about outcomes and fixed measurable points, rather than the continued development and sharing of knowledge. Maybe I was idealistic at what university would offer, but the sly cuts in teaching, space and access to workshops was not what I was expecting. During my second year at Goldsmiths we spent the year fighting against bigger class sizes on a third of the teachers, compounded by the loss of workshops and studio space so small, people stopped coming into the studios. Luckily for our third year, we managed to claw back studio space and instigate a system of visiting tutors, but the depth of knowledge we lost with tutors was unmistakable.

Goldsmiths was the second university I tried, I left my first in protest against their education cuts. I bring up my experiences because despite Clegg’s lame protestations, it is not only the higher fees that would put me off if I was applying now, it is the slow destruction of our higher education system. The forcing of universities to act like businesses is not working and nor should it. Education is not a marketable commodity and we need to protect it alongside our incredible welfare state (the first hospital has already been all but privatised – Andrew Lansley’s white paper is a slippery slope), why are we allowing free universal access to medical care slip through our fingers? No-one in the Cabinet paid for their higher education and they experienced the best it had and still has to offer. We need to support the student occupations, we need to support the preservation of higher education.

I visited the UCL occupation on Saturday and it was amazing hive of activity (as I am sure all the occupied universities are). This weekend the Slade are mobilising art against the cuts, you can see their manifesto here. Since visiting the protestors marched again on tuesday and there are many excellent accounts of what happened available on the internet, this Saturday sees a national day of action against the cuts and I believe there is another protest happening on the 9th. These occupations matter because the students are using their platform to join forces with other public sectors impacted from the lose of Mental Heath workers to the drastic cuts in legal aids that are happening at the same time as the benefit system is being overhauled. This was a banking crisis, this is a banking crisis, the government bailed out the banks and are still paying the price. This type of capitalism continually fails to work, unregulated markets failed. Why would we let people involved in this crisis, advise us that the best model for Universities is one based on the market??

Rather disappointingly UCL Lawyers have been called in to secure an injunction to evict the students. On the 9th December another day of protest – this time with parents and teachers joining in- will be held to oppose the Government’s to raise tuition fees.

During my visit to UCL I caught the end of Billy Bragg, saw the support of the National Union of Journalists in support of the occupation, sat through a book reading and the tutor’s support for the plight of students across Britain and had the opportunity to listen to David Wearing and Dan Hind discuss the history of capitalism and … It was a rather amazing day and if you are free this weekend or at any time, please check out an occupation near you events and the opportunity to speak to the students.
Since the first protest over two weeks ago, store there has been something palatable in the air; occupation, occupation, occupation! Across Britain students have left the streets and occupied their University halls in protest against the outcome of Lord Browne’s report: tuition fees to rise, the abolishment of EMA’s and the suggested removal of the state funding Universities receive to aid their research and teaching budgets.

In the face of the Coalition’s seemingly never-ending barrage of cuts targeting every section of the welfare state, there has been the inevitable attempts to label the student protests as self indulgent (though what is self indulgent about fighting to preserve access to higher education for all, in perpetuity?!). I was disappointed to see the always readable Polly Toynbee state: we should be avoiding the desire to turn the terrifying breadth and width of the cuts into a hierarchical system of the most deserving.

Yet the students are fighting back against charges of indulgency, one of the demands made by the UCLOccupation is for all University employees to be paid the London Living Wage. The inclusion of this demand has lead to increased support from Toynbee and her more recent article signaled a change in approach. The Students are using their platform of occupation not only to campaign against sweeping changes to the perception of Higher Education, but to join forces -as I learnt whilst visiting UCLOccupation- with other groups (NHS, Library Workers, Legal Aid etc) to protest against these draconian, unnecessary and dogmatic cuts.

Personally, I completely support the occupations of Universities, I’ve tasted the education cuts proposed by the Coalition and the impact they had on my student body was terrible, morale was low, people questioned why they were plunging into debt when they were receiving so little in return. It made many students question the worth of their courses, which is what The Browne report wants to achieve – the commodification of learning. Education is not about financial worth and society will quickly become lacking in innovation and discussion if this thinking becomes the norm.

This is the inevitable problem when turning education into a competitive market rather than an individual choice about whether or not to further their learning. Maybe I was idealistic at what university would offer, but the sly cuts in teaching, space and access to workshops was not what I was expecting. During my second year at Goldsmiths we spent the year fighting against bigger class sizes on a third of the teachers, compounded by the loss of workshops and studio space so small, people stopped coming into the studios. Luckily for our third year, we managed to claw back studio space and instigate a system of visiting tutors, but the depth of knowledge we lost with the axed tutors was unmistakable.

Goldsmiths was the second university I tried, I left my first in protest against their education cuts. I bring up my experiences because despite Clegg’s lame protestations, it is not only the higher fees that would put me off if I was applying now, it is the slow destruction of our higher education system. The forcing of universities to act like businesses is not working and nor should it. Education is not a marketable commodity and we need to protect it alongside our incredible welfare state (the first hospital has already been all but privatised – Andrew Lansley’s white paper is a slippery slope), why are we allowing free universal access to medical care slip through our fingers? No-one in the Cabinet paid for their higher education and they experienced the best it had and still has to offer. We need to support the student occupations, we need to support the preservation of higher education.

I visited the UCL occupation on Saturday and it was amazing hive of activity (as all the occupied universities will be). This weekend the Slade are mobilising art against the cuts, you can see their manifesto here. Since my visit the protestors marched again on tuesday and ran circles around the police’s attempt to kettle them or in the words of newspeak, ‘detain.’ There are many excellent accounts of what happened available across the internet or join twitter for live updates.

Rather disappointingly UCL Lawyers have been called in to secure an injunction to evict the students, a move being instigated no doubt by all Universities currently occupied. It would be a breath of fresh air for the University bodies to support the students who fill their halls.

Do check out what events are happening at the various spaces, during my visit to UCL I caught the end of Billy Bragg, saw the rousing support of the National Union of Journalists, sat through a book reading and the tutor’s rallying support for the plight of students across Britain and had the opportunity to listen to David Wearing and Dan Hind discuss the history of capitalism and …

For me the Occupation’s summerise Education, the ability to move between disciplines and try out new lectures on whatever subject that interests you. It should not be the continued separation of courses or a separation of thinking between the Humanities and the Sciences. We should strive for a University model in which debate happens across disciplines.

This Saturday (4th) sees a national day of action against ALL cuts proposed by the coalition and another protest with teachers, students and parents is being planned for the 9th. This was originally and remains banking crisis, a crisis of capitalism, we can negotiate a new space if we work together. The government bailed out the banks and populations across the world are paying the price. This type of capitalism continually fails as do the unchecked belief in unregulated markets. Why would we let people involved in this crisis, advise us that the best model for Universities is one based on the market??
Since the first protest over two weeks ago, discount there has been something palatable in the air; occupation, sildenafil occupation, occupation! Across Britain students have left the streets and occupied their University halls in protest against the outcome of Lord Browne’s report: tuition fees to rise, the abolishment of EMA’s and the suggested removal of the state funding Universities receive to aid their research and teaching budgets.

In the face of the Coalition’s seemingly never-ending barrage of cuts targeting every section of the welfare state, there has been the inevitable attempts to label the student protests as self indulgent (though what is self indulgent about fighting to preserve access to higher education for all, in perpetuity?!). I was disappointed to see the always readable Polly Toynbee state: we should be avoiding the desire to turn the terrifying breadth and width of the cuts into a hierarchical system of the most deserving.

Yet the students are fighting back against charges of indulgency, one of the demands made by the UCLOccupation is for all University employees to be paid the London Living Wage. The inclusion of this demand has lead to increased support from Toynbee and her more recent article signaled a change in approach. The Students are using their platform of occupation not only to campaign against sweeping changes to the perception of Higher Education, but to join forces -as I learnt whilst visiting UCLOccupation- with other groups (NHS, Library Workers, Legal Aid etc) to protest against these draconian, unnecessary and dogmatic cuts.

Personally, I completely support the occupations of Universities, I’ve tasted the education cuts proposed by the Coalition and the impact they had on my student body was terrible, morale was low, people questioned why they were plunging into debt when they were receiving so little in return. It made many students question the worth of their courses, which is what The Browne report wants to achieve – the commodification of learning. Education is not about financial worth and society will quickly become lacking in innovation and discussion if this thinking becomes the norm.

This is the inevitable problem when turning education into a competitive market rather than an individual choice about whether or not to further their learning. Maybe I was idealistic at what university would offer, but the sly cuts in teaching, space and access to workshops was not what I was expecting. During my second year at Goldsmiths we spent the year fighting against bigger class sizes on a third of the teachers, compounded by the loss of workshops and studio space so small, people stopped coming into the studios. Luckily for our third year, we managed to claw back studio space and instigate a system of visiting tutors, but the depth of knowledge we lost with the axed tutors was unmistakable.

Goldsmiths was the second university I tried, I left my first in protest against their education cuts. I bring up my experiences because despite Clegg’s lame protestations, it is not only the higher fees that would put me off if I was applying now, it is the slow destruction of our higher education system. The forcing of universities to act like businesses is not working and nor should it. Education is not a marketable commodity and we need to protect it alongside our incredible welfare state (the first hospital has already been all but privatised – Andrew Lansley’s white paper is a slippery slope), why are we allowing free universal access to medical care slip through our fingers? No-one in the Cabinet paid for their higher education and they experienced the best it had and still has to offer. We need to support the student occupations, we need to support the preservation of higher education.

I visited the UCL occupation on Saturday and it was amazing hive of activity (as all the occupied universities will be). This weekend the Slade are mobilising art against the cuts, you can see their manifesto here. Since my visit the protestors marched again on tuesday and ran circles around the police’s attempt to kettle them or in the words of newspeak, ‘detain.’ There are many excellent accounts of what happened available across the internet or join twitter for live updates.

This Saturday (4th) sees a national day of action against ALL the cuts and another protest with teachers, students and parents is being planned for the 9th. These occupations matter because the students are using their platform to join forces with other public sectors impacted from the lose of Mental Heath workers to the drastic cuts in legal aids that are happening at the same time as the benefit system is being overhauled. This was a banking crisis, this is a banking crisis, the government bailed out the banks and are still paying the price. This type of capitalism continually fails to work, unregulated markets failed. Why would we let people involved in this crisis, advise us that the best model for Universities is one based on the market??

Rather disappointingly UCL Lawyers have been called in to secure an injunction to evict the students, a move being instigated no doubt by all Universities currently occupied. It would be a breath of fresh air for the University bodies to support the students who fill their halls.

Do check out what events are happening at the various spaces, during my visit to UCL I caught the end of Billy Bragg, saw the rousing support of the National Union of Journalists, sat through a book reading and the tutor’s rallying support for the plight of students across Britain and had the opportunity to listen to David Wearing and Dan Hind discuss the history of capitalism and …

For me the Occupation’s summerise Education, the ability to move between disciplines and try out new lectures on whatever subject that interests you. It should not be the continued separation of courses or a separation of thinking between the Humanities and the Sciences. We should strive for a University model in which debate happens across disciplines.
kotkidwa by daria h
Illustration by Daria Hlazatowa

It was a cold Thursday night twixt Angel and Kings Cross, link but about to warm the cockles of our hearts were Kotki Dwa, order opening a sold out RockFeedback night at the Lexington. This was their second “comeback” gig in the space of a week (having appeared at the Hobby Horse the previous Saturday), price after a spot of extra-curricular activity by the trio. I’d never caught Kotki Dwa (so named after a Polish lullaby involving two little kittens) before, though I know that regular readers of Amelia’s Magazine will be familiar with them (they also contributed a song to the Amelia’s Tunes compilation a couple of years ago).

With singer and guitarist Alex Ostrowski bedecked in a decorated waistcoat (possibly homemade, as I believe the guys are a bit partial to the DIY approach), Kotki Dwa kicked off the proceedings in a typically quirky fashion. Musically, they energetically mix up the guitar chops with some beep-tastic synth action, occasionally resulting in some spectacular freakouts, such as on frenetic Kiss and Make Up. I was really impressed by them, and they were cheered on by the faithful who crowded to the front of the stage ahead of the other bands sets. We even got a cordial invitation to a free Wycinanki workshop that they’re running at the Topolski Century Gallery on the South Bank! See our listing here.

still corners singer
Photo courtesy of Still Corners.

Still Corners provided quite a contrast when they took the stage. With the lights down low and myriad images being played behind them, this was a band going for atmosphere with a capital A. And, to be fair, they succeeded. With a lead guitar so drowned in reverb that it sounded like it was coming from another dimension, Still Corners purveyed a woozy kind of 60’s influenced psychedelic pop, like Some Velvet Morning by Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra covered by My Bloody Valentine. Like Kotki Dwa, they too are no strangers to Amelia’s Magazine, having recently been caught supporting Our Broken Garden.

The Lexington had really started to fill up by this point, and the newcomers were treated to the ethereal delights of songs like Don’t Fall In Love and Endless Summer, the latter eerily recalling Joy Division’s Decades. There was even an instrumental number which allowed the band a bit of a Neu! styled workout. Still Corners are being hotly tipped at the moment, and they certainly stand out from the current crop of bands riding the C86 revival. Most definitely worth checking out live, if you get the chance.

Twin Sister by Matilde Sazio
Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Another hotly tipped band are Long Island’s Twin Sister, currently in the midst of a jaunt around Europe. The five-piece took to the stage with breathy-voiced singer Andrea Estella adorned in a voluminous green wig (for reasons never actually explained) and the bass guitar of Gabel D’Amico sporting what looked like a bit of shrubbery.

Twin Sister are a bit more difficult to pigeonhole than a lot of their US contemporaries, navigating a path between the 60’s garage sound of Vivian Girls or Dum Dum Girls and the My Bloody Valentine influenced indie pop of Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Playing a selection of tracks from the EPs Vampires with Dreaming Kids and Color Your Life, they mix up cool guitar pop with an electronic edge though, if anything, they reminded me of the Cardigans (I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not!). Current single All Around and Away We Go throws in another stylistic twist, with a New Wave disco beat sounding not unlike Blondie produced by Barry White. A packed out Lexington was certainly getting its collective groove on by this point, whilst onstage guitarist and co-vocalist Eric Cardona proved to be a master of multi-tasking by taking on some electronic drum pads.

I think there were a few doubters in the audience to begin with, and I certainly didn’t know what to expect as I wasn’t that familiar with them, but after seeing Twin Sister in action, I think they can certainly justify the excitement that’s followed them cross the Atlantic.

Categories ,Barry White, ,blondie, ,c86, ,Cardigans, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,disco, ,Dum Dum Girls, ,Hobby Horse, ,Indie Pop, ,joy division, ,Kotki Dwa, ,Lee Hazelwood, ,Lexington, ,Matilde Sazio, ,My Bloody Valentine, ,Nancy Sinatra, ,neu!, ,new wave, ,Our Broken Garden, ,Pains Of Being Pure at Heart, ,psychedelic pop, ,RockFeedback, ,Still Corners, ,Topolski Century Gallery, ,Twin Sister, ,Vivian Girls, ,Wycinanki

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