Amelia’s Magazine | Tripping The Light Fantastic

Here at Amelia’s Magazine we are keen to nurture new talent as soon as we get our greedy hands on it. Fashion photographer Britta Burger is no exception to this rule. No stranger to the fashion sphere she recently made the transition from fashion stylist to photographer, viagra order illness just like Amelia’s Magazine founder Amelia Gregory. Britta even styled a shoot for Amelia’s Magazine in issue 10, ampoule which is still up for grabs by the way.


Her pictures are a haze of over saturated colours that collide to create a quixotic ambience to her pieces. Utilising pastoral settings and natural lighting Britta has a lucid expressionism to her approach. As a newcomer to the sphere her compositional awareness is mesmerizing, and her shoots have a real sense of fluidity.

I caught up with the talented lady to find out more information and get an insight into her mindset.


Tell me a little bit about yourself Britta?

I was raised in the Austrian mountains, but have lived in London for more than 7 years. I have done all sorts of fashion related jobs – writing, styling, pr, and now photography. I also teach.

What made you make the break from styling to photography?

Some shoots started to bore me, I felt like I was just waiting around while photographers sorted their light out. I also heard so many people say that you can’t really do anything new in photography, but I felt I could. I also wanted to move away from big productions with 20 people in a studio and do something a lot more intimate, with me doing the photography and the styling and not even hair or makeup people around sometimes. The results are quite raw; I’m not a big fan of an overly polished aesthetic.

What do you aim to capture within your pictures?

Youth, a mix of the everyday and the magical.


Your pictures have a rather quixotic feel, is all your lighting natural?

I only use natural light, I don’t want to control light, if it changes it changes. I do however use filters to create some colour effects.

What do you use as a main stimulus when you’re planning a shoot?

Colours, feelings, memories and the model.

What other photographers inspire you?

Wolfgang Tillmans, Venetia Scott, Jürgen Teller, Ryan McGinley, Marc Borthwick, Lina Scheynius


What camera do you use?

My new favourite is the little Panasonic FX150, it’s a digital compact camera, but with 14 mega pixels so you can do double spreads. It also has an amazing Leica lens.


So keep your eyes peeled for Britta Burger, with such an abundance of talent she will have a whole flock of avid fans chasing her tail!
Monday 30th

The lovely and enchanting voice of Polly Scattergood rises at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen for a ladies night supporting Laura Marling.
8pm. £12.50.

Polly Scattergood

Tuesday 31th

Tuesday`s greatest choice it`s at the 93 Feet East in Brick Lane where Robert Logan launches his new album full of, tadalafil what we can call, an abstract and atmospheric electro. Followed by Bass Clef and Gagarin.
7:30pm. £5 in adv / £7 on door

Robert Logan

Wednesday 1st

The songwriters showcase at Bullet Bar. Great people get together for one more Wednesday Night Showcase at the venue. Aaron Short, Ay Duncane, Lisa Dee, The Magdelaine Cays and Yellow Garage make the best signed and unsigned bands of the week.
7:30 pm. £5, flyer £4.

Ay Ducane

Thursday 2nd

Formerly known as the Third Eye Foundation, Matt Elliott brings some slick and subtle electronica next Thursday together with Revere at Bardens Boudoir.
8pm. £5.

Matt Elliott

Friday 3rd

Time to launch a new single for Ex Lovers, the girl/boy indie pop duo. At Bar Rumba.
10:30pm. £6, concs/NUS £4.

Ex Lovers

Saturday 4th

Enjoy a completely improvised set of techno, house, electro, hip hop, trance and drum ‘n’ bass with The Bays next Saturday at Koko, supported by Red Snapper.
7pm. £14.50.

The Bays

Sunday 5th

The Ruling Class, Hanjiro and The Brights at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen for some genuine indie.
7:30pm. £5, concs £3

The Ruling Class
I was introduced to Ian Stevenson a couple of weeks ago when I was reviewing the 100 Minutes of Havana draw-off (his team lost in case you were interested) and he very kindly agreed to meet me for an interview. Ian is known for his strange yet charming drawings, buy often infused with his trademark deadpan humour. One only has to look as far as his website welcome page, which opens on a SALE sign, but with the sale crossed out and “EVERYTHING FULL PRICE” scrawled in black underneath. Both funny and depressing considering our current economic climate.
I meet Ian outside Concrete Hermit on Club Row and he passes me a cardboard tube, which I discover when I excitedly rip it open, has an amazing print of his work in it. Yes Mr Stevenson, bribery will get you everywhere! We have a leisurely stroll down to Brick Lane towards The Big Chill and the icing on the (purely metaphorical) cake is when on the walk I discover that he is as lovely and funny as his drawings.

Despite now enjoying measurable success Ian Stevenson didn’t have a straightforward route to illustration. He tells me that he started on an architecture degree but quit after he found he didn’t enjoy it, “after about two weeks something clicked and I thought, this isn’t right.” He then went on to do a foundation before finally returning to do a BA at Camberwell, but in graphic design. “It wasn’t a typical course, we didn’t learn type layout and we’d get projects that were one word, so the title might be fly spray. That’s one of the things I learnt from college, how to not let having no boundaries scare you.”

After finishing university Ian worked at Airside, a graphic design company, for a few years. “It’s the best kind of graphic design job, because we designed T-shirts, animation characters and things.” Not surprisingly for such an obviously creative person Ian became disillusioned with the graphic design world and left, “I was just a bit annoyed, bored by the whole industry and how people follow trends. Not that it was anything to do with the company, but it was just so boring.”

Ian’s break came after leaving Airside when he began to draw in sketchbooks eventually putting them on a website. “A few friends said “Oh you should do some more of that” so I did some more of that. I slowly started to think that I should develop that further.” His first illustration job came when Mother advertising agency asked him to draw in the women’s toilets at their offices. “I’d never drawn on a wall before, but just said yes. Most of the time with a job even if you can’t do it you say “yes”. When someone says can you do this you say, “yes of course I can” and then you think oh, actually can I?”
Ian Stevenson doesn’t appear to have any of the usual embarrassingly bad early work like the rest of us creatives. Despite being one of the earliest illustration projects he did one can see that, while the drawings are perhaps not as developed, they are just as funny and as brilliant as his more recent work.


It wasn’t always quite as easy as it sounds to get work as an illustrator. “You do sit on your own for long periods of time thinking. “Where are they? When are they coming, where are the people?” “At the start it did hurt, because there weren’t many people doing it.” Luckily it would seem those feelings are a thing of the past as people are definitely taking notice of Ian Stevenson. He exhibits here in London and internationally, the most recent an exhibition called Pens on Paper in Paris, with Pictoplasma. “There were lots of artists invited who draw on paper and I did eight drawings. They also asked me to do some more work for another event called Pictopia so I did eighteen drawings from magazines They also screened Staring in to the Sun, a music video animation which Ian is promoting on his website.



As well as exhibiting, success can also be marked by the fact that Ian’s recently gained representation by BLUNT, who have a number of really good artists on their books. I ask Ian why he decided to get representation; he gives me an amusingly blunt answer “Even if you’re perfectly capable of the job they still like to be reassured that you’re with someone who is more adult. Someone with letter headed paper.”

But it’s not only BLUNT and the people curating exhibitions who appreciate Ian Stevenson. A quick look at The Drawing Adventure, an animation he’s posted on Youtube, unearths three pages of comments. My favourites are, “This is special stuff”, “Thank you for putting this in my life” and “Your drawings are like crack to me” high praise indeed.
“If they do appreciate it, which hopefully they do, then that’s nice because otherwise I’d be sat in a room doing it, but no one would like it and that would be quite sad. It is nice when people do like it because it means I’m not completely mental. Yeah, It makes me smile inside… can I say that?” He asks me with a smile that suggests he knows he just committed an interview faux pa.


I was first introduced to Ian’s work at his Lost Heroes exhibition he did in Concrete Hermit and I can’t resist the chance to ask the artist directly about the show, “Imagine a world which is full of Disney characters and they’re real people, but then you have to think that there is a casting for Mickey Mouse, imagine all the people that didn’t get the role as Mickey Mouse.” The result of this concept is a series of not-quite-right drawings of well-recognised characters. There’s Bambi, except he’s slightly cross-eyed and a wannabe Donald Duck but one of his legs is twice the size of the other.


In many ways it would seem Ian works in a similar way to the documentary photographers’ earnest plight to photograph the marginalised members of society. But it’s way funnier, because it’s a community reach programme for drawings. “People might say they’re weird but I might say they’re weird. What I’ve said in the past is that it’s my head, my mind on paper.” So in this way Ian is closer to a novelist constantly thinking about and attempting to understand his characters. This is further evident when we talk about another of his drawings, this time of Pacman’s brother (who works in a supermarket). Ian Explains, “He might have a brother, but he’s not famous. Pacman’s got to have a mum and dad. Doesn’t he?”


With such personal, handcrafted drawings it’s no surprise that Ian isn’t a fan of the increase of computer generated images in illustration. “I don’t like them!” He exclaims before launching into more detail, “That’s what I wanted to get away from…. these computer created characters that have no soul and anyone can do. They’re just a bunch of shapes. With uniform eyes and everything is symmetrical and I just get bored. Maybe one has a big arm, and they seem to have a bit more life…. I’d want to talk to those more than to some kind of egg with eyes that are perfect.”

To try and see what it is that Ian does like I ask him what illustrators he rates, “Can I say there is a lot of people I don’t like?” After some gentle coercing and promises that I won’t name names Ian explains a few of the things that frustrates him about the illustration scene. “Trendy things, yeah that’s bad, anyone that started doing things because it’s now more successful than it was, that’s bad… It’s bad! I draw, and I do it because that’s what I wanted to do. There wasn’t anyone doing this in their advertising campaigns and now over the last three years lots of people have started doing it and sometimes it just makes me want to stop doing it. There should be an artists/illustrators union where if someone does copy they’re brought to some kind of court. We’ll go to Gordon and say “look this is important. I know it isn’t important to you or relevant to the global economic downturn. It’s not war, but it means a lot to me!”

Ian Stevenson for Prime Minister, quick someone start a Facebook group now!
For more information and news on upcoming events check out Ian’s website. His prints are also available online.

Sheesh, adiposity bit of a last minute one this. An email comes through at approximately 7 O’clock confirming tickets to tonight’s gig leaving me with a face full of fish cake trying to sort myself and be out of the house by half 7. Knowing the roadhouse, drug the gig’ll probably finish early, pharm making way for another event straight after, so no time for pontificating. I threw my stuff in a bag and legged it for the next bus, praying the 192 journey be as kind as possible.


I got there as it happens with time to spare before the first band came on. Arficeden appeared and within seconds lunged into a blistering, pounding set of post rock brutality akin to Slint but darker, much darker. Reeling back from this wasn’t on the agenda as five minutes after this onslaught came another in the form of Worried About Satan.


Dark and disturbing techno set to the equally disturbing backdrop of Russian roulette movie 13 TZAMETI. In the film the lead character Sébastien steals an envelope containing instructions for a mysterious job that could pay out a fortune. Following the instructions, the young man unwittingly becomes trapped in a sinister and dangerous situation. I can empathize, that email I opened at approximately 7 O’clock this evening was that envelope and now I’m here embroiled in a sinister and dangerous situation of my own with only a vision of spokes lighting up the end of this tunnel.


Having just signed a contract earlier this year with Ninja Tune, they have a certain responsibility to prove themselves worthy and they do that without even breaking a sweat. Well there may be a little sweat. 45 minutes of pleasure, pain and sweat. Promoting 6-track ep ‘’ they show us a future worth looking forward to.

Monday 6th

Gary Nock brings all his sweet melancholy to 93`s Feet East stage this evening. Supported by up and coming indie youngsters Mad Staring Eyes and The Electric Riot, no rx they are certainly the best pick for the beginning of a worthy musical week.
7:30pm, tadalafil free.

Gary Nock

Tuesday 7th

Swedish married duo Wildbirds and Peacedrums bring blues` best to London and introduce their new album Heartcore at The Luminaire. Supported by American fellows Volcano! they make a perfect foreign match for a Tuesday evening out.

Wildbirds and Peacedrums

Wednesday 8th

After a little break from giging, patient The Lieutenant’s Mistress make a come back at Monto Water Rats Wednesday for a promised legendary performance leaded by The Panics and The Kits.
7pm. £6 advance or £8 on the door.

The Lieutenant`s Mistress

Thursday 9th

Acoustic Ladyland has a new album due later this summer with now added Chris Sharkey on guitar and Thursday they will be playing live in its entirety at The Lexington! Plus all the psychedelic fun from Screaming Tea Party.
7:30 pm. £8


Friday 10th

It’s a night of legends down at Twee as F*** this April where you can get an unique chance of seeing The High Llamas in a venue as intimate as the Buffalo Bar. Support comes from Gina Birch and Downdime.
9pm. £6/ 5 concessions

The High Llamas

Saturday 11th

Bird on the Wire festival at Bardens Boudoir. Three days of great music. Line up for Saturday is We Have Band DJ set, The Big Pink Dj Set, Post War Years, Master & Servant, Fenech-Soler and Papercuts.
7pm. £8 per day. 3 days £17.

We Have Band

Sunday 12th

You last chance to go check the Bird on the Wire Festival at Bardens Boudoir. This time featuring I Am Kloot, Wave Machines, Dent May, Ark People and Spaghetti Anywhere.
7pm. £8 per day. 3 days £17.

Spaghetti Anywhere

Monday 06th April


Wiwa vs Shell

A press conference on the Wiwa vs Shell trial
+ live performances from ZENA EDWARDS, thumb BREIS & BABACAR DIENG
Monday 6th April, 6.30pm
Amnesty International UK, Human Rights Action Centre, London

Entry: Free

Refreshments available


Hunger & Climate Change: Some Practical Answers?
Tuesday, 7 April 2009, 2.00 – 5.30 pm
at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, One Birdcage Walk, London SW1H 9JJ
Followed by reception for the launch of Understanding Climate Change Adaptation


Almost one billion people in the world are hungry today. And the world’s population will continue to grow until it stabilises at nine billion in the middle of this century, by which time our food systems will have to feed 50% more people than they do today. Achieving this would be a challenge anyway. The likely impact of climate change on agriculture will make the challenge even greater.
2009 is a critical year, with a new US President at the start and all eyes on Copenhagen at the end. It follows a year with a global food crisis, an energy crisis, and a financial crisis in quick succession. The underlying context of global poverty and environmental degradation is unchanged and future crises seem almost inevitable. 
But how can we develop sustainable food supplies and tackle hunger in the developing world in the face of climate instability? What would constitute a climate resilient food system? How can we secure sufficient future food supplies and reverse environmental damage?

Baghdad Shorts


Thursday 9th April 6.15pm
Insititut Francais
7 Queensberry Place
London, SW7 2DT
+44 20 70731350

Checkpoints, tanks, car bombs: so much is familiar from the TV news. But how often do we hear directly from Iraqis themselves about their lives, fears and hopes? This exceptional programme of films, two by students at Baghdad’s Independent Film and Television College, offers an uprecedented insight into the lives of ordinary Iraqis in 2007. A Stranger in His Own Country (dir. Hassanain Al Hani) profiles Abu Ali, a refugee from Kirkuk living in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Kerala; A Candle from the Shabandar Café (dir. Emad Ali) looks at the repercussions of the bombing of this favourite haunt of Baghdad intellectuals; The Singing Barber of Mosul (dir. Katia Saleh) follows the fortunes of an Iraqi barber who flies out to Beirut to take part in the Middle Eastern version of Pop Idol. ?


Arts & Awareness Festival
Date: Friday 10 Apr 2009 to Tuesday 14 Mar 2009 ?Time: day/evening (considerate hours)
Description: Five days of participation, ecology & creativity for adults & children. Intro. to Transition Town Lewes (free), green workshops, belly dance, circle dance, drumming, world music, art-play and healthy foods.
Full listings on website (click on “arts & awareness”)
Venue: Lewes New School, Talbot Terrace, BN7 2DS (and other local venues)
Contacts: Maria Gibbs 01273 475798
E-mail: Web Address:


(walk & zine launch)

?Savage Messiah zine launch: The Olympic Zone ?Saturday 11th April – walk from 3pm, launch at 7pm
Launch party for Laura Oldfield-Ford’s latest issue of her London-focussed, cult psychogeographic zine, which turns its spotlight on Stratford and the Olympic building site.  ??
We will be walking around the city of London and drifting towards Housmans where we will be having  drinks and showing films to launch the zine. Meet at Dirty Dicks Public House Liverpool Street 3pm.
Housmans Bookshop, Caledonian Road N1, from 7pm.
Issue 11 is a drift around the Olympic zone and focuses on a particular moment in the build up to the June the 18th Carnival Against Capitalism riots in the City of London. The riots happened in 1999 and were a protest against the ludicrousness of the global financial system. The zine was written after a day of walking around the perimeter fence of the Olympic zone In March 2009 and is a direct response to the mass destruction of the Lower Lea Valley.
 “I found the pub soon after that. From the outside it looked ordinary, an estate pub from the late 60s, early 70s, something of a bunker with fortress windows at the front, plastic hanging baskets and St George flags all over it. I thought at first the old man must have got the wrong place but then I could hear the thudding of the sound system inside, the frantic bpm and chaotic vocoder yelps.
As I got closer I saw all these skinhead types outside wearing tie dyed t shirts and temple of psychic youth symbols tattooed on their arms. There were groups staggering about lighting fires and breaking palettes. This party was the continuation of a Saturday all nighter at one of the massive abandoned factories on Carpenters road. They were all off it, topping up on psilosibin after a big weekend of acid and flyagaricks.”
Laura Oldfield Ford – Savage Messiah Issue 11. March 2009
?For more information about Savage Messiah please visit
This is a bit of a special edition of the Earth Listings. As we are sure you know, stomach there is plenty going on in the City of London on April 1st, and in all different parts too. Check the listings below for further details.

Monday 30th March

ASEN/Nations and Nationalism Ernest Gellner Nationalism lecture
Empire and Ethnicity in the Modern World
Time: 5.30-6.30pm ?
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street

Events Information Line
Tel +44 (0) 20 7955 6043
Fax +44 (0) 20 7955 6272

?Speaker: Professor John Darwin ?Chair: Professor John Breuilly
This lecture will examine the ways in which colonial empires promoted, exploited or repressed ethnicity; the extent to which emergent ethnicities looked to their colonial masters for protection and guidance; and some of the post-colonial consequences of this.
ASEN and Nations and Nationalism sponsor and publish this annual lecture in memory of Professor Ernest Gellner.
John Darwin is a fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford.
This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email or call 020 7955 6801.
Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press seat or have a media query about this event, email 
If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, please refer to Coming to an event at LSE

Tuesday 31st March

My Word Is My Bond? Rebuilding Trust – The G20 and Beyond

St Paul’s Cathedral, EC4M 8BX

11am – 12.30pm. Doors open at 9am. Members of the public should arrive in good time in order to clear security into the event.

On the eve of the G20, St Paul’s is hosting a high level debate about the moral questions raised by the dramatically changing world we find ourselves in.

Can opportunities for society’s good come from the economic crisis? Has there been a disconnection between morality, policy-making and practice? What are the prospects for remaking the global order, rebuilding financial systems and re-establishing trust? How will a new global order actively include development goals and address climate change?

Those on the platform will include a very senior member of the Cabinet, and the debate will be open to questions from the audience.

Doors open at 9am. Members of the public are invited to attend this event. Because it is a high-security event, no one will be admitted without photo ID in the form of passport or driver’s licence, and no large bags, rucksacks or suitcases can be brought into the cathedral. Please be prepared to have your bags searched and ensure that you arrive with plenty of time before the event begins.

This event is the first in the St Paul’s Institute 2009 major programme, Money, Integrity and Wellbeing, which continues in the autumn.

Wednesday April 1st

G20 Protests


* Climate Camp in the City. ?The Climate Camp are camping in the European Carbon Exchange, Hasilwood House, City of London 12-noon.?

On April 1st the G20 leaders arrive in London. At a time of climate crisis their response to the market meltdown is emergency loans to car manufacturers, increased spending to encourage consumption, and bailouts for the very people who got us into this mess – just the thing that will make the climate crisis worse.
Don’t let them get away with it: join our camp in the Square Mile!
We will convergence on the European Climate Exchange, Hasilwood House, 62 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AW (street view) at 12:30 exactly.
Bring a pop-up tent if you’ve got one, sleeping bag, wind turbine, mobile cinema, action plans and ideas…let’s imagine another world.

Climate Camp in the City, London (

G20 Meltdown at the Bank of England (


Financial Fools Day Street Party ?Assemble
Cannon Street, Moorgate, Liverpool Street or London Bridge stations 11am to form four marching blocks heading towards the Bank of England for 12-noon, in the ‘Square Mile’ of the City of London.?See: a portable radio!

Fossil Fools’ Day, everywhere (
Times & resource links


Friday 3rd April 2009

?Fossil Fuels Day? Royal Bank of Scotland AGM?
The Royal Bank of Scotland (which owns NatWest) is two things: ?1) The UK’s private high street bank with biggest investments in fossil fuel projects around the world ?2) Over 70% owned by UK citizens. People & Planet will be taking action at the RBS-NatWest AGM in Edinburgh and at RBS’s HQ in London. We need as many people there as possible to clean up RBS-NatWest. Especially now that about 70% of the bank is in public ownership, we’ll be telling RBS-NatWest: we’ve cleaned up your finances, now stop messing up our climate.? Edinburgh: EICC, Morrison St, 12.30pm. Time to get out the feather dusters and marigolds for an RBS-NatWest spring clean, let’s tell them to stop sweeping their coal under the carpet!?
London: RBS HQ, 280 Bishopsgate, 12.00 noon. Kitted up as comedy bankers (monacles, giant top hats, and yuppie suits) we’ll expose how greedy bankers vote for a future of climate chaos.? More info here: People & Planet

Saturday 4th April
Future Foods, Science Museum

Daily 10am – 6pm
Exhibition Road, London

As nearly a billion people go to bed hungry again tonight, the question of feeding the world has never been more urgent. But is genetically modified food a good choice to have on the menu for our planet? Or does it leave you feeling queasy?

This new exhibition explores the science and technology that could boost crop yields. Do we need GM to increase food production in the future, or are there other options? Weigh up the benefits and risks – then step up to the table and have your say.

Find out more about Future Foods, an exhibition debating genetic modification.

This exhibition is supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.

(0)20 7942 4000,
(0)20 7938 8118
I’ve never been a big fan of Shepherd’s Bush Empire, viagra 40mg and no change in sponsorship (from Carling to o2) is going to change my opinion, cheap thanksverymuch. It’s not the sponsorship, visit this nor the ridiculous beer prices, it’s just the venue. Built in 1903 as a music-hall slash variety theater, its flat stall area and high back end make for terrible views.

Despite this, the venue’s top line up always draws a packed out theater, and Friday’s Noah and the Whale gig was no exception. Packed to the seems when we arrived (too late, as always) the crowd were already geared up by supporting band Jay Jay Pistolet, who sadly we missed but fellow Whalers told us were good fun. Moments later, N&TW drift slowly onto the stage without fuss, pick up their respective instruments, and Charlie takes center stage. At the back, there’s a huge ornate frame playing footage of an orchestra. A simple and short ‘Hello’ from Charlie signifies the start. Visuals are projected inside the frame (contemporary animation pieces by Future Shorts fused with 1950s Americana). It’s a nice touch, and compliments each of the songs perfectly. The band kick off and we’re hooked – from here in it’s tune after tune delivered with the casual, cocksure confidence Charlie & co are becoming famous for (and I mean this in the nicest possible sense).


Most of the album is covered and rockier versions of Give a Little Love and Rocks and Daggers are particular highlights, and far from the twee indie sound we were expecting. There’s a couple of new tracks to wet our appetites for June’s eagerly anticipated second release First Days of Spring, which have the same flavour as Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down but with a dash more confidence thrown in.

At the end of the set, eagerly anticipated Five Years’ Time is belted out and sounds just as good live as you’d expect, with footage of youtube videos of fans to accompany (a nice touch, but a little bit of sick did appear in my mouth).

A splendid gig all in all, missing only a female vocalist to supply Beating’s haunting ooos and ahs, and Five Years’ Time’s angelic love love loves. Where was Marling? Honestly.
When you see discarded and used plastic bottles littering the streets and spilling out of bins, view do you see something aesthetically pleasing to the eye? If you do, find then frankly, you have more of a conceptual vision then the average person. And Sarah Turner has not only a discerning eye and a creative imagination, she also has a strong desire to create something beautiful and environmentally friendly out of something which is one of the most un-green products on the market. Sarah makes ceiling, table and floor lamps from waste drinks bottles and recycled card. I spoke to her about this unique and ultimately positive response to the stacks of plastic bottles which pile up around us every day.


 Your work is made of recycled plastic drinks bottles – What inspired you to do this? 

-The project originally started as my dissertation whilst I was in my final year of university.  I found through these studies that only 5.5% of plastic drinks bottles are recycled here in the UK.  So I thought that I could save a few from the landfill sites and make something creative with them.  I started collecting waste bottles and did loads of experiments to see how they could be manipulated.  I melted, sanded, sawed, burnt and cut them up.  I wanted to get the most from the waste material, to see what could be achieved.  
– Where do you get the bottles from, and how many on average are used per item? Can you describe the process of how an old plastic bottle becomes a finished product?


I collect most of the bottles from local cafes here in Nottingham, plus of course contributions from friends, family.  Occasionally if I see a nice bottle littering the street I have been known to embarrass who I’m with by going over and picking it up!  Once collected I then remove the labels and clean them up, then I sandblast the bottles which if they are transparent turns the surface white.  I then cut them up transforming them into the decorative shapes, which form the basis of the lampshades.  They can be made in many different styles, I feel like I’ve turned it into a bit of an art form!  Using different coloured drinks bottles, different brands and sizes can lead to different designs too.  I make the base of the shades from recycled card, the bottles then get screwed onto this and secured using the bottle’s own top.
I have reused between 1 and 67 bottles in any individual light so far.  Two of the products I am developing currently are called ‘Cola 30′ named as it reuses 30 Coca Cola bottles and the smaller version ‘Cola 10′ reusing 10 Coca Cola bottles.  I have made a light especially for a company in London, which was a very large piece reusing 67 bottles!  The smallest light I have made is called ‘Little Oasis’ as it reuses just the one Oasis bottle. 

Are you inspired by environmental issues in general? Do you forsee your future works keeping with these themes?

-I love the challenge of making something from waste materials and it feels so rewarding too.  I like how my work makes people think about what can be achieved from recycling and how ordinary boring rubbish can be transformed into something special.   The novelty of seeing people’s reactions when they realise what the lights are made from has never worn out.  So yes I definitely shall be making many more products from rubbish in the future. 
– I have noticed on your website the Past Project and Current Ideas section. Is all of your work made from recycled materials?

Not all of my work on my website is made from recycled materials, the projects in the portfolio section are mostly past university projects from briefs that they set.  Although I did use some recycled materials during some of these projects.  For example, the garden bench I made whilst on my foundation course and is mainly made from an old willow fence.  Also the flat pack stool and Hula lights are made from polypropylene, which is often considered a more eco material.  Since graduating I have concentrated all my efforts on my bottle lights and I do intend to carry on reusing waste materials in my work in the future too.  I just find it so much of a challenge and also find it extremely rewarding saving stuff from landfills!


What has the response been to your products? 

The response has been great towards the drinks bottle lights.  They have been in several exhibitions and some retailers have offered to sell them.  They were recently on an American eco blog so that has resulted in many enquiries from the US.  One of the best opportunities I’ve had so far is the Innovation Nation Competition at The Ideal Home Show.  About 25 graduates have been chosen from all over the country to exhibit an innovative product at the show and the winner is chosen by the public vote.  So if you would like to show your support you can vote for the ReDesign Bottle Lights by clicking on this link:

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