Amelia’s Magazine | Tree Twists Make Trees Grow

LuckyPDF is a new artist-led project based in Camberwell and Peckham, this web search South East London. LuckyPDF aims to promote and support new artists and creative talent within the area by finding innovative and effective ways to produce and exhibit work.

Recently taking up residence in the UNITY centre on the busy Peckham High Street, LuckyPDF will play host to a series of exhibitions, events and happenings over coming months, working within the restrictions of this unique space and around the other groups that share it.

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The current Exhibition features Molly Smyth’s Sculptures which tackle the difficult subject of fear in relation to the recent attacks in Mumbai. I asked her what initially inspired her;

“I originally wanted to create an overtly violent exhibition which highlights the horror of the terror attacks in Mumbai towards the end of last year. That’s however not what materialized. It became more to do with the fear involved.”

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An integral part of the show is a large piece entitled ‘Continuo’ which both propels the art to another level but also acts as an invasive field for the viewers.

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“It’s based on the the Basso Continuo rhythm within Baroque music which lies underneath the melody and both propels and holds back the music.”

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The exhibition continues tonight and tomorrow night @ UNITY, 39 Peckham High Street.

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The Norwegian artist Lise Bjorne Linnert has created a project in response to the tragic, viagra and ongoing situation in the Mexican border town of Juarez, discount which sits on the border of the USA. It is difficult to comprehend, sales but the statistics are chilling – over 560 women have been murdered, hundreds more have disappeared, their whereabouts forever unknown, but it is suspected that they have been kidnapped for trafficking.

Desconocida:Unknown has to date, traveled through 22 countries. The project is very much a participatory affair. Those who come to the exhibition are encouraged to become involved, and embroider two labels; one baring the name of one of the murdered women, and one with the simple word – ‘unknown’. These name tags are added onto a wall which becomes the central medium of the project. Until March 22nd, it will be showing at The Gallery at University for the Creative Arts Epsom. Here, visitors can embroider whilst watching a documentary about the situation, called Threading Voices, also made by the artist.

descondida4resized.jpgFrontera 450+, at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston Texas. A show dedicated to the women of Juarez and their situation. This inspired me to start the project. i had moved back to Norway at the time and I wanted to create a project that somehow diminished the distance, the physical distance to the place and the psychological distance to take in information of such difficult issues. I wanted to create a connection, because violence towards women is a global issue, happening in every society, rich or poor, far or near.The situation in Juarez is extremely complex and very difficult to describe using just a few words. But I think it is very important to share that despite the horror that still are happening and the increasing violence towards both men and women due to a war on drugs in the city, the women and the community I have seen and collaborated with is not a victimized community, it is a community of an enormous strength and ability to fight back and with a believe in change. Believe in change through working with the youth, education, support of the families so they can speak for themselves. It is all organized with the smallest means and in an environment of violence and mistrust. The government’s attempts on improvements are described by the activists as cosmetic.”

What inspired you to choose to have participants embroider the name of the murdered women onto the labels?

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” The idea of the embroidered nametags came after a long time researching and thinking. I wanted to use a female activity as a way to protest against the violence, I did not want to celebrate the violence. I wanted to establish a connection that would enable us to see the women and hear the stories told, see them as individuals. I also wanted an activity that had connections back to Mexico but yet were global, which embroidery is. We all have a relationship with names, it is the first thing we learn to write and by embroidering the names we would remember that name. By being embroidered, the mass of names each take on an identity again, a dual identity, that of the named and that of the embroiderer.”

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Other than the labels, have you been using any other art forms alongside the embroidery, and how to you feel that this compliments?

“The project has inspired me to work using different art forms. After visiting Juarez in 2007, I decided to go back to tell the story of Marisela Ortiz Rivera and the organization Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa. I wanted to share the power and strength the women are fighting with and made the short documentary Threading Voices. When exhibiting the project I also show the video “Missing young women” by the Mexican filmmaker Lourdes Portillo. This film shares the stories about the murders, following the families in their search for their daughters and for justice.
For me it has been very important to show that women are not victims but have strength to fight back. During the openings of exhibitions where Desconocida has been shown, I have done a voice performance, Presence, where I give a tone, and then I give silence. I take away the words, the relation to music and this leaves the viewer and I with the purely the voice, the note and the silence, and I think this brings presence forward. There are “no escapes”
For the opening at the Gallery at the University for Creative Arts, Epsom, I made a sound installation based on my performance idea.”

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What has the response been to this project, and where would you like to see this project going (apart from bringing justice to these women, of course).

“The project has grown much larger than I imagined when I started this, it has almost taken on a life of its own. I have decided that as long as people want to be part embroidering and the situation in Juarez remains the same, the project will continue to run its course. I hope more venues would like to show the project and by this engage more communities. It is important for me though that the labels eventually do not end their journey in a drawer in my studio. I am currently researching different ideas of how to bring the labels back out to the communities where they have been created, and doing so through an action/performance in Ciudad Juarez.”
What do you do when even the charity shops turn their noses up at your second hand freebies? Have them stripped for parts just like you would your bike! Tracey Cliffe, find with a background in costume design, information pills knows exactly how to spin fresh dresses out of frocks non-grata. Check out her popping new boutique in Afflecks Place in Manchester.
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Polly Scattergood

Rough Trade

Saturday 28th Feb, approved 2009

The ethereal Polly Scattergood performed a short set at Rough Trade East on Saturday evening to a small but attentive crowd. Whether they had wandered in from hearing her sound or were hardened followers was difficult to determine, pharmacy but all were enthralled by what Scattergood had to offer.

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Scattergood is an open and candid storyteller with the adorable quirkiness of Kate Bush and the timid vulnerabilty of Bat for Lashes. Part vocal, part soliloquy, Scattergood‘s songs are honest and real. She was a little nervous on Saturday, resplendent in an metallic puffball number with slightly tousled blonde locks. Her vocals wavered, but it’s a bold move presenting your music in a space as stark as a record shop. There’s no production, no flashy lighting, and there are customers wandering aimlessly trying to find their would-be purchases.

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In between haunting melodies, Scattergood gave little away apart from song titles. From one track to another, she kept a rapid pace, backed by a three-piece band who spend far too much time looking in a mirror (I’d imagine). The songs are original, though – and her dulcet spoken tones blend smoothly with her powerful voice (she dips like a young Moyet and peaks like a more mature Goldfrapp). She has a fresh indie sound with a scrumptious catchy pop twang, best detected on the balladic Unforgiving Arms. Scattergood is also onto a winner with the short show’s closing track, Nitrogen Pink, born with a whisper and maddening as it reaches its climax.

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April sees Polly embark on a comprehensive tour around the UK, with the album Stateside Releases expected to hit the shops this week. With a nod, a huge smile and a timid curtsy, Polly‘s off, safe in the knowledge that she’s served up a teatime treat.
Aussie by heart, for sale New Yorker by nature, pills Deanne Cheuk is at the vanguard of her field in fashion illustration. Her work has already graced the pages of Nylon, ampoule Dazed and Confused,Vogue and Tokion.She is showered with accolades, recently she featured as one of the top “50 creative minds in the world” by Face Magazine.

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Cheuk’s utilises a myriad of mediums that beautifully unite to create ethereal and dreamy pieces.Whisking you away from the realms of reality into the fairy tale-esque utopia of Deanne’s mind. Like a trip to the realms of Willie Wonker’s chocolate factory her visions are inhabited by mushrooms and a whole spectrum of colours, rather reminiscent of hundreds and thousands ,yum!!!

I have to concede I am so utterly besotted by Deanne Cheuk that even the thought of approaching her made me blush. But I am pleased to say I shook off my anxieties and hunted down this astonishingly talented lady to squeeze in a quick chat!.

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1.What other artists inspire you?

I’m always inspired by what my friends are doing, artists like Chris Rubino, Rhys Lee, Dmote, Suitman, Rostarr, Jose Parla, photographers like Jason Nocito, Juliana Sohn, Coliena Rentmeester, Davi Russo

2. In the past few years you have worked more in fashion illustration, was this a natural progression?

Yes it was a natural progression, I started out with drawing the Mushroom Girls series, and then ended up getting commissioned to do variations on that style for fashion magazines and fashion brands. I don’t really do alot in the Mushroom Girls style anymore as it started to get copied alot and a really tacky shoe company on the West Coast ripped it off as their branding. I’ve been doing alot of textile prints for different designers including my favorite designer Sue Stemp.

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3. You published a book a few years ago entitled the Mushroom Girls Virus Book, is there any chance of this going back into press?

Unfortunately there isn’t much chance of my book getting re-printed. The embroidered covers were all hand glued and that was incredibly time consuming for the printers to put together, it took a long time to produce. Though, regardless of that, I’d be more interested in making a new book than revisiting something that was already out there.

4. Alot of your work features mushrooms, do you have a fungal fetish at all?

I’ve always absolutely loved the under-sides of mushrooms, how delicate, intricate and soft and unique that part is. I’m also fascinated by the incredible varieties of mushrooms and amazing colors that are found in nature – so yes there is some fetish there for sure!

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5. Alot of your work is multi-media based, what mediums do you usually use when you work?

I nearly always start with pencil and watercolor on paper and finish up in photoshop on the computer, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and like to be able to retouch and control the final image in that way.

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6. Are their any plans to publish any more books?

Yes, I have a bunch of ideas for a typography book, and an art book and some kids books.

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7. Have you been to any interesting exhibitions recently?

I went to the Works On Paper show in New York this week at the Park Avenue Armory, my work is all on paper so it was really inspiring to see . My favorites were old Warhol’s and Lichtenstein’s’.

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You get a awe-inspiring sense from Cheuk of her passion for design, ,not content in conquering merely the fashion sphere she has set her intentions further a field in the world of children’s literature and graphic design. I for one can’t wait to see how these ideas materialise!
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Going from a magazine to an online blog; we at Amelia’s Magazine know all about the wonders of the internet. However until an email from Mousse Magazine landed in my email box I had no idea how much the process has moved on. Although the magazine is printed in runs of 30, viagra sale 00 and available from museums and galleries across the world it’s also available to download entire issues (and back issues) online. The best bit is that it’s completely free!

Founded in 2006 and distributed internationally since 2008 Mousse Magazine is a bimonthly and bilingual, written in English and Italian, review “that contains essays, interviews, conversations, exclusive artists projects and columns by correspondents from the international art capitals.” They aim to, “surf the trends, offer in depth analysis meet with the hottest artists, and capture the latest currents and developments in the international scene.”

Eager to see whether I could give up the thrill of flicking through the glossy pages of an art magazine I downloaded Mousse straight from the website (no visit to the shop necessary!) and had a look.

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Ok so it doesn’t smell the same as a new printed magazine, but I was pleased to see that there were still lots of lovely images of art for me to treat my eyes to. These pictures are accompanied by over 100 pages of articles about big contemporary artists such as Phillip Lai and meaty interviews with people such as Peter Coffin. The only issue is that reading the magazine on Adobe Acrobat is a bit of a challenge if you don’t have a massive computer screen. But think about the trees you’ll be saving!

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Over the last three months, treat I’ve done a lot of traveling. I toured with a band for three weeks around America and Canada. I turned that band on to Deer Tick by playing “Art Isn’t Real” for them as we drove through Ohio. After the tour, mind I went to visit friends in Brighton, England, Scotland, and Wales. I listened to “Standing at the Threshold” on the train to Brighton. I woke up blissful on my best friend’s living room floor to the tune of “Ashamed” and I cried, listening to “These Old Shoes” the entire plane ride home from England back to New York. For three months I was continually barraged with new things, new cities, new friends, new sights, sounds, and tastes, with one constant – Deer Tick was with me the entire time. I had their album “ War Elephant” piping through my headphones, regardless of where I was. All of these facts I “forgot” to share with the boys of Deer Tick, seeing as how I’m a shy person, and slightly embarrassed about my ‘superfan’ status. I did, however, manage to find out a bit more when I nervously found myself face to face (to face to face – because there are four of them!) with the band at a Chinese food restaurant around the corner from Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom, where they were about to play a headlining show, the first night of a 6 week tour around America.

Deer Tick had very humble beginnings,” explains John McCauley, Deer Tick‘s mustached front man. “A few years ago I started writing songs like this and recording them with my friend, Paul, on drums, and that kind of fizzled. I kept trying to create the band that I had named Deer Tick. It was kind of me for a while and I really didn’t like it that way. I didn’t like to be known as a singer songwriter with a moniker, I thought that was kind of stupid, but I was really patient and made sure I waited to find the right group of guys to play with.”

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John’s patience paid off and resulted in the formation of the band in its modern day incarnation: Dennis Ryan on drums, Andy Tobiassen- to whom James Felice refers as “the cute one”- on guitar, soft-spoken and self described “post-adolescent, geeky looking kid” Chris Ryan on base and of course, John himself is responsible for guitar and lead vocals as well as penning all of the group’s lyrics.

While “War Elephant” is the work Deer Tick is best known for at the moment, their upcoming album, “Born on Flag Day” will be the first that these 4 have played on together. “It sounds way different than War Elephant, and, stylistically, I think it’s much better than War Elephant too. War Elephant, to me, feels more like a greatest hits rather than an actual album, and this one feels like an album to me, and I’m really glad that I got to record it with a band, rather than multi-track mostly everything myself, which was the case with War Elephant.”

Deer Tick has received positive reactions to both their album, and their live shows. At the near sold out Bowery show, the crowd is singing along, and everyone I talk to in the crowd is genuinely excited to be there, indicative of Deer Tick‘s growing fan base. While the media is desperately trying to pigeonhole Deer Tick‘s sound (terms like “freak-folk,” indie-folk,” and “lo-fi” plague any literature you might find about them, as well as attempts to lump them in with other emerging Brooklyn bands, as John, originally from Providence, Rhode Island, is now living in Brooklyn) John insists that “We can fit in anywhere, from a dive bar to the Bowery Ballroom, like tonight. We’re not trying to be anything, I’m just writing songs in a variety of styles and they get pinned down as folk. And then you can’t just call anything done by a young person ‘folk’ anymore, you have to call it something stupid like “freak-folk.” I just don’t get a lot of labels that people give us. I like to think that rock and roll encompasses everything we do, and that’s where my heart is.”

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“Born on Flag Day” is scheduled for release in June 2009.

The world of neckwear has never looked so exciting. So say goodbye to the days of that tedious and generic tie lurking in the bottom of your wardrobe. I think as a general consensus every male has one, information pills right? Yes, sildenafil the one that only raises its ugly head for job interviews, weddings, or funerals. Well, cast that aside and end his tragic existence. Instead say hello and embrace the innovative, hopelessly stylish and nonchalant new accessory line from design collaborative Timo. Fashion Designer Timo Weiland originates from the bustling sidewalks of the Big Apple. He is no newcomer to the fashion sphere, having already enjoyed cult acclaim nationwide for his distinctive wallet designs and environmental conscious design ethos.

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Their kitsch Manhattan style exudes chic, and the brand have become regulars in hip fashion magazines such as Super Super. After the roaring success of the wallet designs ,Timo decided to set his sites higher and break into the broader world of accessories. Utilising a myriad of different fabrics from satin to cashmere the new AW O9 features beautiful and opulent neckwear.

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Weiland draws influence from all facets of design and genres. Reinvigorating class silhouettes from the bowtie to the skinny tie, and then racing up the spectrum to highly architectural draped collar pieces evoking a distinctly Elizabethan air. Then to top it all off he throws some traditional southern American western in for good measure.

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The unique feature of Timo’s designs is there ultimate use as a cross functional accessory. So that bland dress that hasn’t been out of solitary confinement for months could suddenly be unleased on the unsuspecting world with a whole new look.

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Weiland blurs the lines between gender with many unisex styles, so keep a close eye on that boyfriend of yours if you want to keep your bowtie to yourself!.
Prepare yourselves for quirky design group KIND! Injecting a healthy dose of cool to knitwear. The latest installment to their eccentric collections makes no exceptions fusing conceptual art with fashion, medicine in a burst of colour and activity.

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The Design collaborative are no newcomers to the knitwear sphere and have been in production since 2005. Each collection showcases new and innovative styles, continually pushing the boundaries in conceptual yet functional knitwear design. KIND have been avid followers of ours here at Amelia’s magazine and vis versa, we even featured them in issue 7 ( which is still available to get your mits on by the way!) We just can’t get enough of them, so I thought it important to unleash their new S/S collection on you. So prepare your eyes for a visual feast!

The new collection banishes all recollection of winter embracing the joyous arrival of summer with a myriad of warm colours and shapes.

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The brand are heavily involved in photography, interbreeding art with fashion is of paramount importance to these cool cats. Just one look at their S/S 09 lookbook validates this statement. Pieces are set against vivid tapestries reminiscent of the fundamental cubist painter Henri Matisse.

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KIND’s
focus is on functional and wearable clothing. The collection offers all your staples from dresses,tanks, to jumpers, all in lightweight cashmeres. So perfect for those cross seasonal periods, when its too cold for a t-shirt yet too warm for a jumper.

Kind has enjoyed universal success, having stocked their collections in Labour of Love, Tatty Divine, Liberty, Collette in Paris, UK style in Moscow, Isetan in Tokyo. Gosh its making me breathless just listing them all…….

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So keep your eyes open for KIND, I have a sneaking suspicion we haven’t seen the last from this eccentric bunch!
With a repertoire that boasts Blonde Redhead, page Stereolab, buy Pixies and the Cocteau Twins, approved 4AD rarely disappoint. The latest signing from the cult indie label, Kent four piece It Hugs Back, are no exception.

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Photo by Steve Double

Initially, you can’t help but notice how very young they all seem, which makes it all the more satisfying when they launch into such a mature set, cultivating a sound that is much older than their twenty three years.

Beautifully blended rhythmic guitars and soft Thurston Moore-esque vocals, they are clearly a group who have spent a lot of time cooped up in their bedrooms listening to shoegaze records. Although in essence, It Hugs Back are a product of their influences, this is not such a bad thing when your influences are so definably Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Yo La Tengo and potentially Wilco.

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Photo Coutesy of http://www.ithugsback.co.uk

Indeed, it’s their appreciation for music and sound that makes them so enjoyable and strangely refreshing. Clearly identifiable ‘Daydream Nation’ moments like in ‘Now and Again’ are juxtaposed with much more subtle melodies in tracks like ‘q’, where looped riffs and jangling guitars meet more industrial feedback sounds. In fact, many of the songs are indistinguishable, as they play with structure, breaking down more definable song narratives, so that the music remains continually listenable.

Definitely ones to watch.

‘Inside your Guitar’ is out on 6th April
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The Guinness World Record for it is 11 inches. Countless circus curios and lunchladies everywhere have caused us to stare guiltily at theirs over the years.
But not until illustrator Emily Mackey’s embroidered pieces have we seen such glorious and bewildering ladies’ beards. Argued to symbolize anything from wisdom and a pioneering spirit to shiftiness and eccentricity the beard remains a statement accessory. We speak with the artist about pistols, adiposity beards and women’s work.

Where did the idea for the bearded ladies originate?
I grew up in several different places, cialis 40mg locally and abroad, and constantly had to leave friends and make new ones. With each new environment I met a diverse range of people and their initial perceptions of me varied wildly. The bearded ladies are stating that people are not always what they appear to be. An initial perception of someone can be misleading, but if you take the time to look closely, you can usually see the truth in who they are.

Truer now than ever with the current cult of celebrity. Approach with caution though readers, in case the moustached madames are carrying one of these…

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What got you stitching the pistol series?
I abhor guns. They’ve brought horror to the human race. I’ve put images of guns through the process of a ‘women’s’ craft and converted them into harmless decoration.

We much prefer yours, and love the idea of subverting weapons into delicate threadwork. Where do you look to for inspiration and ideas?

From the age of ten, I’ve taken photo’s everywhere I go, so I have my own archive of images that I like to work from. I generally work from subjects that evoke my emotions. One my new projects will consist of a range of very powerful pieces that derive from a subject that I feel passionately about.

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Sounds mysterious and evocative, keep us posted!
How did you begin working with stitch?

I come from generations of weavers, embroiderers and lace makers, so as I was growing up, was often given a needle and thread to keep me occupied. I trained as a weaver and started to incorporate embroidery with my weaving…I got involved with free-machine embroidery about four years ago.

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Do you look to somewhere specific for inspiration or ideas?

My great grandmother has been a great inspiration to me. She used embroidery as a means of survival. She taught it to girls in the orphanage that she had grown up in and later set up many more orphanages that taught embroidery, among other things, to enable women to sell their work and earn a living.

How do you feel the medium relates to the subject matter?

What I love about stitching is that it can be such a controlled medium – ordered and solid and it can also be used in a loose, sketchy, expressive way. It can hold more depth than paint or pen and is more malleable.

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Where can we see your work?
I have a website www.maxemilia.com where you will be able to see examples of my work, past and present. I will soon be selling limited runs and one off woven, embroidered and printed pieces through the site too. I have some exhibitions planned for later this year – details will be posted on my website. A selection of my work is going to be published in ‘Illustration Now Vol.3‘ which will be out in the summer.

Thanks Emily, we will definitely keep our eye out for the book and can’t wait to see your upcoming show!
Three members of the Amelia’s Magazine team went down to the amazing venue Village Underground on Great Eastern Street yesterday to check out ‘100 minutes of Havana’, purchase a one off art battle. When we showed up a lovely lady from Havana Club, here who sponsored the event, no rx whisked us past the queue and handed us some drinks vouchers. After getting our rum on at the bar we went off to see the real reason we were there. A 200 foot white wall!

The group behind this event, Secret Wars, arrange guerrilla live art battles across the world. At this event the rules were simple. Two groups, Monorex and Intercity, battle it out to cover the massive wall with drawings, using only marker pens and coloured acrylic paint. While Monorex were the more experienced group, having done live shows for Secret Wars before, I didn’t fancy their chances against Intercity, which comprised of Concrete Hermit , and Amelia’s Magazine favourites Ian Stevenson and Andrew Rae.

At Half past seven the crowd counted the artists down from ten and then they were off! Team Intercity rather ingeniously attached a pen to some string in the centre of the wall and created a massive circle, which they hurriedly painted with red acrylic. While team Monorex got out the marker pens and started with some free style drawings.

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The event aimed to bring to life “the passion of contemporary Cuba to a London audience”. In honour of Cuba then, we headed to another bar for some free rum tasting and then looked around the venue at the other art works. Havana Club got some great illustrators to decorate some of their rum bottles and the results ranged from the sublime to the downright bizarre.

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With ten minutes left of the clock team Intercity pulled out all the stops and started firing paint bombs at their work covering their lovely doodles in watery red paint. The winner was decided by a combination of two guest judges and a crowd vote – whoever got the loudest cheers won!

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Monorex emerged victorious and Sabrina and I, fuelled on Mojitos and sheer cheekiness, went in search of some illustrators to grill.

While Sabrina headed off to chat up Josh Sutterby on the Monorex side.

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I went over to talk to the guys from the Intercity team.

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Despite being the losers the artists were in high spirits and had even sneaked some beers into the venue (there’s really only so much rum you can drink!). I grabbed Robbie Wilkinson for a chat and he told me that he got involved in the night through being one of a hundred artists to design a Havana bottle for a recent exhibition. The question I really wanted an answer to though, was, “Why do you think your wall is better than their wall?” Robbie confided in me that he wasn’t a fan of the graffiti style of Monorex.

I went over to talk to Andrew Rae and he told me that although he thought that the other team’s mural was one image that worked together, Intercity’s was much more fun to watch and “more of a performance”.

Next on my list were Andy Forshaw and Austin From New. They showed me their drawings and explained the idea behind the paint bombs was just to create a lot of mess and that they wanted the performance to be “Like a children’s party with jelly and ice-cream!”

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I’ll admit I got a little star struck when I finally found Ian Stevenson. I’m a massive fan after seeing his solo exhibition at Concrete Hermit in 2007.

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He was the most diplomatic of the group refusing to trash talk about Monorex but he did tell me about his next exhibition with Pictoplasma where 50 artists are taking part in a festival across the city of Berlin in March. Ok so we can’t all afford tickets to go to Berlin, but you can go and see the result of the nights events at The Village Underground until Tuesday 10th March.
It’s astounding what you can unearth when you delve through flickr. I exposed a complete hidden gem this week amidst the urban jungle of the internet. My gem came in the form of Italian Photographer Polly Balitro, treat and to tell the truth I have been left utterly in awe since my discovery. Her photos have a overwhelming quixotic feel, as if you have unintentionally stumbled upon her cherished diary. Every picture exudes sentimentality, charting Balitro’s exploration of love, loss and identity.

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Alas much to my displeasure I couldn’t warrant a trip to Italy for a interview with Polly so I decided a virtual email would have to suffice.

Your work seems very multi media based, what mediums do you usually use when making your work?

I am working mainly with analogic processes, darkroom printing and polaroid transfers, because I believe that art photography is a sort of performance that requires the rituals that just analog can give. But I always scan my work to put on social networks like facebook, myspace and flickr, to get people to know my pieces easily.

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What other artists have inspired you in your work?

I usually get inspiration from young unknown artists around me. I spend lots of time surfing the web through pages like flickr, deviant art and myspace. Young artists are fresh have really innovative and experimental ideas. I love how the combination between images, music and perfomance work perfectly together.

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Your work is quite nostalgic, do any of the images have particular sentimental value to you?

My work is certainly extremely nostalgic, because it’s totally based on feelings coming from my inner soul. I am currently working on my final thesis, for the end of my 3 years at photography school. It will be very intense work centering around the feeling of being hunted by someone. My photography aims to talk about some sort of ghostly presence that never leaves me totally alone, people from my past, present and future that are constantly affecting my mood and my action, even though they’re not actually here with me. I think this maybe can explain why I am truly attached to all of my images.

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You use a very subtle colours in your work, is there any particular reason for this?

The subtle colours in my work come with my love for the northern countries. I am strongly affected by the scandinavian taste for low saturation in colours, and I am extremely attached to my black and whites that I always process in my darkroom. I feel like low saturation and black and white make a perfect union with the theme of my photography.

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You work has a certain ethereal quality to it, would you agree with that interpretation?

The certain ethereal quality comes along with the soul theme of my whole work, as I said before: I am trying to speak about something that goes beyond the everyday material experience, to give away a sense of unknown and ethereal matters.

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What advice would you give emerging photographers to do if they want to break into the industry?

I really wouldn’t know what advice to give people like me. I am still trying to make my way to the world with my art works, and I don’t think it will be easy to get well known. I guess, the best you can do is to try hard and keep on believing that sometime you will find your place. A good way to start out is to try to get as much “audience” as possible: social networks are extremely good for that.

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It’s apparent Balitro has an abundance of talent within her sphere far beyond her years, I for one am going to keep my beady eye on her flickr account!
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Everyone loves a Rush don’t they? Well I do at least, search being a recent convert to the antics and actions of Climate Rush. Still it’s hard to not want to be involved in this particular case. When dear old RBS, in their infinite wisdom, gifted Sir Fred ‘The Shred’ with £16 million pounds of what amounts to taxpayers money, they couldn’t have possibly imagined the public outrage. And rightly so!

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I am one of the many millions who pays taxes, and I can’t remember being asked if my money could go towards one man’s pension. Or to help bail out a bank who have given £16 billion towards the dirty coal industry. (Did you know that 50% of CO2 in the atmosphere has come from coal?) This sordid scenario is just the kind of thing that makes Climate Rush‘s blood boil. If there are a few things that make them mad, it is irresponsible governments and a complete disregard for the environment. So when I found out that Climate Rush were popping down to the RBS building in the City to quite understandably ask for their money back, I felt that it was my duty to put on a sash and join them!

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Anticipating our arrival, the London police force had turned out in droves – on horses, in vans, on foot, and posted around the entrance of the RBS building. Still, I like to think that they were more on our side than on the banks. After all, it’s their taxes too that are going towards one mans retirement scheme. And how could they fail to be charmed by us? Many came dressed up, some as suffragettes, some as cleaners, a few as bank robbers. Everyone was good natured and friendly. And while we were obviously passionate about our rush, there is no reason to stop for lunch, so we all sat cross legged on a blanket eating bagels and biscuits while we were regailed with songs and speech. Now this is my kind of action group! At one point I noticed all the RBS workers inside watching us, and being the friendly girl that I am, I gave them a cheery wave, but no one waved back. How rude! I can imagine that many were curious about the commotion outside, perhaps they would have even wanted to come out and join us, and wouldn’t that have made for a good picture?

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After the lovely Amelia, Tamsin and Marina said some words about the reasons why we were all here, we gave out an award (shaped in the form of a dead canary) to Sir Fred – and he turned up to accept and say a few words! What a thoughtful man. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really him; the real Sir Fred was far away, counting his pots of money I would imagine, but the stand in got plenty of cheers.

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There was some more dancing to tunes with the theme of money, (plus Supergrasses Caught By the Fuzz; our way of doffing our cap to the rozzers)and afterwards, we disbanded. I walked through Spitalfields proudly wearing my sash, and I did notice that I was given a wide berth by plenty of business men who looked at me with slight alarm. What exactly did they think I was going to do to them? I left inspired, and feeling very much part of the group, the action, and the sentiment.
Born in Texas and living in New York City, seek via London Diego Vela has collaborated on a variety of fashion and art related projects. He found his calling and freedom with sculpture, clinic the sculptures in their own subtlety dictate the end results; the materials (paper mache’, what is ed plaster, glue, paint and found objects) give certain characteristics that inform that process. His work is a living process, rather than bodies of works in a form of a series; each new sculpture adds to the lexicon of his visual language. Currently, and for the next six months Diego will be focusing on new paintings.

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What inspires you in your work?

Most of my inspiration I draw from nature, I like to take walks and look for the natural world even in places like the middle of NYC, where man tries so hard to shelter itself from nature, and yet you see its effects always…grass growing in between side walks, cracks in walls caused by rain, and wind…it’s all so beautiful and scary. I tend to be drawn to the darker side of the natural world, drawn to things that some may not see as beautiful, of course which is a matter of opinion…and my opinion and aesthetic tends to be romanced by the underbelly of nature and the natural world.

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How did you get into art?

Art drew me in, like a moth to a flame…that is the romantic side of it, I studied it in uni, after many attempts at rational majors, majors that would probably have made a good steady career, with employment and everything that comes with it, but art finally won my heart in the end.

Who do you aspire to be like and who inspires you at present?

I aspire to be like many glamorous ladies of the past, Anita Berber, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn, at least the on screen persona, oh, the list goes on and on… recently I have been inspired by my mother, and men who I have fallen desperately in love with, but of whom I am left pining…I suppose I have been mostly inspired by my own desire…I have been inspired by passing boys on subway cars, who for a moment mend my little heart from all of that passion unreturned… my, I am dramatic, how could I not have been an artist.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

Satisfied, and doing exactly what I want to do…preferably, in Berlin or London

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What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the art?
Work hard! Always keep an open mind, you can find inspiration in everything… and look for your opportunities… Learn to balance your artistic romantic nature with the realistic business aspect of the art world…But most of all work hard!

Do you have a muse?

At the moment I do not have a muse, there have been many mini muses that have come and gone, but my muse tends to be a person that my romantic heart is attached too, well on second thought, I suppose at the moment there is a reluctant muse…it’s complicated…But he does inspire me…it’s so complicated.

For more information have a look at the artists website or blogspot.

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If you’re a wannabe illustrator or even just a secret bedroom doodler Lazy Oaf wants to hear from you!

Gemma Shiel has been creating wonderful illustrations for her label Lazy Oaf since 2005. In them inanimate objects (bananas, ambulance milk cartons, cupcakes, boomboxes!) come to life with rosy cheeks and smily faces. Or animals get a fun screen print make-over with googly eyes and cheeky pink tongues. If you fancy trying to take Gemma on at her own game this is the competition for you!

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To celebrate the launch of their much anticipated Spring/Summer collection Lazy Oaf are hosting The Lazy Oaf Drawing Club on Thursday 23rd April from 6-8pm. On entry to the to the event, which is being held at their shop in Kingly Court, visitors will be given one of three postcards specially designed for occasion. After your given a ‘picture frame’ all you have to do is fill it with your scribbles and then hand it in. Everyones pieces of art will be displayed proudly in the shop window and the owners of the best five entries will win “extra special prizes”. If you want to make extra sure that you do a good job the postcards can be downloaded from the Lazy Oaf website soon and you can pick them up now from the Kingly Court store now.

Even if you don’t know a pen from a potato head down to the store anyway as Lazy Oaf will be offering 20% off everything all night – just because they’re nice like that!

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Monday 9th March

Franz Ferdinand

Pop favourites and Glasweigan Lovies Franz Ferdinand wanna take you out, sildenafil of your house, and shuffle on to the Hammersmith Apollo. With Support from Californian Soft Pack before their appearance at SXSW.

Hammersmith Apollo

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Tuesday 10th March

Videopia with Shock Defeat!

Ever wanted to star in miniature versions of Hollywood classics? ‘What like in that film?’ Yeah. Then make sure you get yourself to Notting Hill Arts Centre nice & early this tuesday. However if the thought of being on screen turns your stomach settle it down with the chocolate fountain & candyfloss machine, and watch your pals corpse and bumble the night away.

Followed by live music & DJs including Shock Defeat! and The Momeraths.

Notting Hill Arts Club

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Night Fever II: Cosmic Jebubu’s Soul Noodle House Vs. Panjeen’s Rap Village

Noodles a plenty from 12pm at Jebubu’s Soul Noodle House (supplied by DIY apparel company) with some African funk and ethiojazz by Panjeen rap village DJ’s and Live music later on from Bangerz n Mash and Chechnya blast.

Unity, Peckham High Street

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Wednesday 11th March

Jeremy Jay (K records) + Lord Auch

Jeremy Jay of K records, Calvin Johnsons celebrated indie label, plays his only UK show at the Macbeth! Plus witness a special acoustic show from Lord Auch.

The Macbeth, Hoxton Street

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Thecocknbullkid

19-year-old Anita Blay aka Thecocknbullkid graces the mall stage at the ICA this wednesday bringing along her own vibe of sleazy synth pop. With support from a whole bunch of people including Plugs (LIVE) Your Twenties (LIVE) Florence and the Machine (DJ SET) NYPC (DJ SET), FRANKMUSIK(DJ SET) and SPARKLEMOTION.

Mall Stage, ICA, London

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Photo by Dan WIlton

Thursday 12th March

Up the Racket & WOTGODFORGOT present… Crystal Antlers

Fuzzy, lo-fi garage noise with the skill and integrity that so many others lose in the fug. All the way from Long Beach Crystal Antlers create a live experience only too rare in this climate. Support from Sycamore and Plank!

Retro Bar, Manchester

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Illustration by Mr Hallows

A Team present… Squallyoakes Fanzine Launch Night

The A Team Brings You: Wasp Display LIVE. Plus TDJ Sets From: DJ FTW, DJ Julio, Lord Rockingham XV and of course The A Team.

Catch, London

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Photo by James Smith

Friday 13th March

Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest) with Live Band

Old school legend Q-Tip is back with his new album The Renaissance. Support from DJ Tu-ki.

The Button Factory, Dublin

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Freitags
Joining the dots between Kraut, Baltimore Club, Techno, House, Indie, Electro, Outsider Pop, Disco, Cosmic Nonsense and forgotten gems with Manchester favourite DJ Wesley (Up The Racket)

Common Bar, Manchester

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Saturday 14th March

OK Crayola w/ Party Horse

Anglo Dutch comboParty Horse are in Manchester with support in the form of Thom Stone and the debut solo show of the awesome Matthew Ashworth (A Middle Sex).

Fuel Cafe Bar, Manchester

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Sunday 15th March

DOVES

Manchester stalwarts The Doves are back with a new album and on the road after over 3 and a half years. See them this week in Warrington (12th), Middlesborough (13th) and Glasgow (15th).

The ABC, Glasgow

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Rebecca Warren

The exhibition gives a twist to the traditions of sculpture, here she throws away its old typical associations with the human figure and introduces an abstract and almost child’s way of shaping clay. She’s the first to confess that her art is “not pretty”, Rebecca is a London based artist who was nominated for the Turner price in 2006, this will be her first major solo exhibition.

Serpentine Gallery, 10th- 1st April free admission

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Hussein Chalayan: Debate

A chance to see the ‘British Designer of the Year’ and find out more about his international fashion business and how he is still influenced by London, he will be joined by other key designers who are also based in London.

Shoreditch Town Hall £15, Wednesday 11th March, 7.15pm,

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Tonico Lemos Auad
: Cast graphite and burnt bread
Born in Brazil, studied at Goldsmiths college in London, the exhibition focuses on dimension and perception

Stephen Friedman Gallery, 13 March – 18 April 2009

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Dr Gunther Von Hagen: Body world and the mirror of time

The Doctor is back, as if the first time around wasn’t gruesome enough! With all the controversy surrounding the doc who freezes bodies and displays them, its a must see but not for the faint hearted. Your eyes continuously try to convince your brain that it can’t all possibly be real but after the second person in the exhibition faints it all gets a little too much to take in. The reality is that it’s all just a little too pristine and over varnished with an horror movie feel to it, is it science. Is it art? I’m still undecided but every time he is in town I can’t help but get curious and double check if I really did see, what I thought I saw last time.

The O2 Bubble SE10, the exhibition is on until Aug 23, £12, concs £9

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William Hunt: Perfomance
The Camden Arts center, 6.30pm 11th of March

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The Masques of Shahrazad
: Evolution and revolution through three generations of Iranian women artists.

A collection of masks from 28 Iranian women artists whose works span over three generations in the history of Iran. The works trace the development of Iranian art and artists over the past four decades during which Iran has gone through some dynamic changes. This exhibition is a very rare chance to see works by these respected women artists; it’s also been an opportunity for them to voice their opinion on issues that have concerned them over the last few years.
Artists include Golnaz Fathi, Shideh Tami, Maryam Shirinlou and Farideh Lashai.

Candlestar Gallery Hammersmith, 9 – 14th March 2009,

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Women in photography: South of the river

Celebrating the works of varied women photographers in South London, the exhibition is linked to International Woman’s Day (March 8th) and shows a worldwide celebration of women’s achievements aiming to reflect creativity and progression via photography.

Lewisham Art House New Cross, 11 – 22th of March 2009

Private View: Wednesday 11th March 2009, 19.00-21.00
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Featured Illustrator/ Artist

A G Brock

Born in 1970 in Fort Worth Texas US, Brock began drawing at a very young age using it to escape a childhood of bullying at school. Later on he was expelled from college after producing what teachers referred to as a “suggestive painting”, basically a painting of two women looking into each others eyes.

At 25 he was diagnosed with severe dyslexia and later in his 30′s found out that as a child he had a slight case of autism that had since manifested itself into O.C.D.
This diagnoses at least explained the communication problems he’d gone through growing up. Throughout the years he focused on art and used this talent as a means to escape various difficulties in his life.

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What inspires you in your work and why? Dynamic images, colours, sensuality, and of course martini

How did you get into Art? I was born like this its more of an addiction. I have a disorder called agoraphobia, which is an anxiety disorder that can lead to panic attacks so I rarely leave my home

Who do you aspire to be like and who inspires you at present? I guess Michael Angelo, or Da Vinci I don’t really follow the modern art world

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? Probably right where I am, I don’t know how to sell art; most of my paintings are rolled up in the closet at home

What advice would you give to someone trying to get into Art? I think you’re either born this way or you’re not, its a difficult way of life sometimes

Do you have a muse? Oh yes, my enchanting wife she gave me three beautiful children and the finest life I could ever have imagine

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Forget the weekend, click Thursdays are the big night out in the London art scene. While Sabrina headed off to glamorous Vyner Street for First Thursdays I headed to the depths of East London to Peckham, dosage for the private view of Rufus Miller’s new show at The Sassoon Gallery. The gallery is much easier to get to than you would imagine. It’s right next to Peckham Rye station and just a short bus ride away from New Cross Gate station.

To get to the gallery you first walk through Bar Story, a lively little bar full of Camberwell students. This threatens the unwritten code of the private view free beer, but luckily Bar Story has a rather impressive cocktail list to make up for the lack.

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Photography by Fabiana Delcanton

The Sassoon Gallery is under the new curatorial partnership of Holly Simpson and Katherine Finnimore and they tell me that their aim is, “to support and promote emerging young artists from a wide range of mediums”. Despite having only been involved in the gallery from January of this year the pair have already built up a good collection of young artists. Up now is the week long exhibition of recent Goldsmiths graduate Rufus Miller.

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I see Rufus looking very smart in a shiny new suit as I near the gallery. He’s with a group of people sat outside the gallery keeping warm in front of a fire. Private views at The Sassoon Gallery are among the most relaxed and mellow I’ve ever been too, precisely because of this. Having space outside the gallery means that people can socialise and make a mess there, leaving space and quiet inside the gallery for really looking and understanding the artwork.

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The lovely space is actually in a tunnel under a railway line so the ceilings are curved and everything rumbles when a train goes overhead. Rufus‘ paintings are like the dark sketches that goth kid in your class draws in the back of his exercise book. An image the artist actively encourages in his press release stating “These are shit paintings. I don’t paint. I just draw, like everone does. Someone wanted me to do a show so I just did the drawings bigger. In paint. Skulls are just an easy thing to do.” Going on to say, “What do you get from an enlargement of something done offhand, half-arsedly? Nothing, nothing more, just a disappearance of what I meant in the first place: Killing time.” Sucessfully demystifying the act of painting in a show of paintings? Rufus Miller is my hero.
After a perplexing hunt down various side streets I eventually chanced upon this bizarre venue. I think its safe to say an old fire station is a rather unorthodox choice of location. Upon arrival it was apparent that was not going to be the kind of gig to accumulate in a raucous . Gaggles of children in karate outfits greeted me, unhealthy not the usual cliental for a Wavves gig. My powers of presumption led me to the conclusion that this was a community centre and not a gritty underground music venue. Not surprisingly there was no bar, viagra 60mg I happened to notice a few gig goers gingerly slipping in with clanking blue plastic bags. So I decided to follow suit and headed out to the nearest corner shop to stock up!

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The location had all the atmospheric qualities of a school disco; the wooden benches, drugs the wonky banners, the copious amounts of balloons. The first band up to the microphone were Mazes, exuding 90′s nostalgia these northern lads sound is a concoction of Pavement-esque melodies fused with the vocals of the likes of Beat Happening and the infamous Lemonheads. Songs such as “bowie knives” shows a return to the depths of the 90′s grunge phenomena, erratic, fuzzy vocals are teamed with ranging baselines, this is timeless pop at its finest!

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Then came the turn of the energetic London three piece Pens, to say they brought flair and vigor to the evenings proceedings would be an understatement. Bursting into their set with furious drums, droning melodies all set against aberrant vocals and hap hazard key boards. Tracks such as “High in the Cinema” allures you into a trance with its repetitive vocals and abrasive guitars exuding all the dynamism of Soft Cell. The audience suitably revved up, out came Wavves to provide a perfect accumulation to the evening injecting a healthy dose of lo-fi pop melodies from Californian based singer songwriter Nathan Williams. Songs such as “So Bored” were uncontrollably catchy exuding a west coast surf grunge feel, with undercurrents of The Breeders and Sonic Youth.

Here at Amelia’s Magazine we managed to wangle ourselves some time with lively three piece Pens during their exciting tour.


How much did your parent’s record collection influence you and your music?

Amelia- My mum listens to all the girly stuff like Winehouse and Adele now, but growing up she listened to a lot of Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Leornard Cohen. I can remember requesting songs and spinning in the kitchen to it while she was cooking, probably has had an effect on what i listen to now, but don’t know how.
Helen – The three things I really remember from being little are Leonard Cohen (80s era), Terence Trent D’Arby and Fine Young Cannibals! I do have a massive soft spot for 80s production but I can’t really see that coming out in our music.
Stef – Well my ma only listened to 60s Italian pop songs (still does). My dad loves the Beatles, Buddy Holly & Roy Orbison, but I also remember him listening to Enya & Abba. Hmmm. I don’t think we sound like Enya.

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Do you think it’s fair to say the nofi scene seems to have a real sense of camaraderie, despite the fact that all the bands are spread out over the globe?

A- Yes, definelty. I think it’s great, and it’s nice to meet people that you look up to in music and hear their thoughts on your stuff. Also it works for like helping each other out, like when they come over here or us going to other countries. Looking after each other and stuff.
H – Yeah totally, I really think “DIY” or whatever you like to call it has a sense of “we give a shit about what we’re doing, and we know it’s rad to help other people out”. It’s not some stadium-rock, get-signed get-paid get-first-on-the-bill thing, it’s about sharing the bill with other bands you respect.
S – Yes that’s fair, i suppose it’s like a community cos it’s not so much about getting famous & making bucks but more about having fun with your friends & meeting new people. Also, one good turn deserves another.


How do you ladies spend your free time when you’re not doing music?

A- I like reading, drawing and vhs nights, but my favourite thing of all time is eating out with friends. i do that a lot.
H – Eating out has got to be one of my faves too. Particularly milkshakes, cheesy chips and good meat. Otherwise I take dumb SLR photos, and try and write whatever comes to mind. More free time please.
S – As above, plus added headbanging with friends, minus the photo-taking.

You’ve released several split records all ready, how goes the writing for the album? Any surprises in store?

A- Probably, i’m not really sure. The album is written and ready to roll. I think some songs are like crazy different and some are what people would expect. we mainly just write songs on how we’re feeling at the time based on who we like or dislike and that’s reflected in the songs. Haha.
H – I want to see what people think, we feel that we have a few different ‘sounds’ but people might be expecting us just to stay on one tip. We’re still a new band so we’re not getting formulaic.
S – Currently loving our new songs. Second album here we come!

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Who are your current tips? What are you listening to?

A- Oujia – some american lofi grunge punk it’s awesome and cute. The dude sent us the lyrics and now i’m hooked and singing it all the time.
H – I’ve been listening to SALEM a lot, dark electronic stuff. I bought their EP last year but I think I melted it by the radiator, which is upsetting.
S – The ones in our top friends

I’m looking forward to seeing you on tour with Wavves soon. How have you found touring so far? Any good stories? Have you found yourselves eating garage food and kebabs?

A- I can’t wait to play with Wavves. I’m so happy he’s getting good press over here because he’s the best band around at the moment in my opinion. We’ve only been on a short tour with a band called Friendship, was fun to ‘get in the van’ for the first time. the first night ended with a hella lotta jagerbombs and an icing sugar fight. messy.
H – I finished Amelia’s Pot Noodle on our South Coast trip, I think this is a bad omen ’cause I haven’t had one of them in years and we were only away for like a day.
S – The short trip with Friendship was tons of fun, so I’m really excited to be going on an extended road trip with my best friends.

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Riotgrrrl and third wave feminism were very vocal in the early 90′s, there’s nothing quite so forward right now. Do you think things finally balanced out?

A- Maybe, I reckon girls just have different things to rant about now, and i think women in all girl bands can be as tough as boys.
H – Not really. I have a huge amount of ranting in me, but there’s a certain degree of wanting to be known as a band first before coming out with my opinions on all and sundry.
S – I dunno, i think a part of me is (figuratively) sticking two fingers up to whoever makes me angry.

Jade Goodie has this week hinted her death will be filmed and broadcast by Living TV, will it also be the footnote in that kind of celeb media or a new dawn in awful?

A- I’ve never really disliked Jade that much. i think i was probably the only person who thought she wasn’t a racist just a little ignorant. I feel really sorry for her at the moment. i mean, what’s she’s going through is tough for anyone, especially if your a mum. I read in the paper that she is doing it to raise money for her kids after she’s gone. i won’t be watching it, but i do kinda respect her of her choices.
H – If people want to see it, then there’s not much you can say. I don’t think Jade has created anything by herself, the demand is there so why not exploit it? People are massively screwed up, but that said I really don’t get what 90% of the population does for entertainment so I’m not out to try and understand it. This is the stuff of a million undergrad Media dissertations though…
S – It’d be weird if it was shown on TV. But her haters are possibly forgetting that she’s leaving 2 very young children behind, & those kids are gonna grow up without a mum, so perhaps people should just have a little bit of consideration for her as she’s trying to generate a future for them while she still can.

On Valentine’s day I drank too much energy drink and ended up spending my evening asleep in the bath. Did you have a better one then me?

A- My valentines day was sick. Helen and i woke up and went for a burrito, followed by a trip to oxfam where we found Edward Sissorhands. Then we went back home to watch it in bed. haha. we ended the night by going to a Male Bonding and Graffiti Island show at the lexington. was pretty fun.
H – Yeah as above except I was totally ill, had to go home early and almost got run over on the way to AND from The Lexington. Pretty HML stuff but I’d forgotten it was Valentine’s Day by then.
S – I ate, napped, spooned, & played Pictionary.

So if you want to see these cool cats in action, they are playing Smash and Grab in London this thursday, you will be in for a treat!.
The ethereal Pumajaw are back with retrospective album “Favourites” with the label, malady Fire. It follows last years “Curiosity Box” album, and is no less wierd and wonderful than the previous four records released by band members Pinkie Maclure and multi-instrumentalist/ producer John Wills themselves.

“Favourites” is an eclectic compilation of fourteen of the duo’s own favourite tracks and, if you had to describe Pumajaw in fourteen tracks this would be it. Pinkie’s bewitching voice sails over the haunting, earthy melodies of Will’s musical talents. Pumajaw kick off the album with a melting pot of eerie noises, conjuring up feelings of wonderment, and images of being in quite another place than a smoky grey city. “The Wierd Light” is an eerie howl of a Siren over what seems like animal calls and screeches, yet it’s not scary. In a way it is calming and peaceful and undoubtedly beautiful. Later down the album listing is “Downstream”, a sea-shanty love song, but true to the nature of Pumajaw, is distorted by squealing guitars and what can only be described as a didgeridoo drone.

The Scottish-duo present something akin to a Pagan travelling guide through the highlands of the country. It is rythmic, melodious and trancey and has echoes of nothing you have heard before. I tried to find something to liken them to, but in all honesty it is a near impossible task. They branch out to the outermost confines of the wierd and wonderful, think psychedelic folk music in the middle of the woods, and you’re there. In the last track on the album, “Outside it Blows”, Maclure asks “how many like us in the world,” and the answer is most probably none.

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It wasn’t surprising to find Passion Pit listed as one of the buzz-bands at last years CMJ festival in New York. Their bleepy twinkling electro is just the thing to get any nu-raver moving their neon hi-tops. The Chunk of Change EP was written by front-man Michael Angelakos as a Valentines Day gift for his (now ex-) girlfriend. It’s sweetly romantic in a child like “follow-me-as-we-run-through-the-city” kind of way.

We kick off the record with I’ve Got Your Number, this site a zappy little number which sounds like a young Broken Social Scene, patient not as complex but delightful in its simplicity. It’s got a kind of euphoric mystical quality to it, decease and Angelakos’ trembling falsetto really does get you dancing.

Further down the list we move to cutesy Cuddle Fuddle. It’s soft like a pink mohair jumper and the lyrics are the epitome of high school romance awkwardness, “now I feel silly, selfish and dizzy/ I’ve got this feeling, that you’ll forgive me…”

The final tune on the EP is Sleepyhead, which I must add has been remixed several times and all are fantastic. It starts of with Kanye West-esque sampling but then swiftly dives into a sort of euphoric Japanese sounding cyber feel. It’s music to smile to. The sparkling xylophone and constant drumbeat make it an instant dancing classic.

Overall the EP has everything, and although it incorporates existing elements of music, it manages to achieve a very unique sound. It’s not quite electro, it’s not quite pop, it’s not quite indie. It’s bloomin’ superb is what it is, if you are loving the Go! Team or MGMT right now you will love this.

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Here at Amelia’s Magazine we don’t just zone in on our homegrown talent, viagra 40mg we scout our overseas counterparts in search of innovative new creatives. As always our quest bore fruit in the shape of Parisian based freelance graphic designer Sandrine Pagnoux. Living right in the centre of Paris’s artistic epicentre between The Musee Picasso and the Centre Pompidou, price Pagnoux isn’t short of artistic inspiration. It’s easy to see how this culturally diverse area manifests in Sandrine’s work.

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Her work has a distinctly raw feel that synthesises popular culture. It draws influence from the many facets of post-modernism from art, order music and literature. Sandrine is heavily influenced by music, which she claims is the core stimulus for her work, distinct favourites being the punk rock femme fatale Patti Smith and the serene obscurity of Bjork to name but a few. In conjunction with music, the works of the late Oscar Wilde are a constant influence to the romantic moodiness of Pagnoux’s work.

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Pagnouxs is not only causing a stir back home but is making waves internationally. Boasting features in such a extensive list of publications it’s hard to cram them all in. There’s Wig Magazine, Marie Claire, Zoot, Blond, and XLR8R. Her most commercial being for Le Coq Sportif Not content on conquering merely the fashion sphere Pagnoux has set her sites further a field recently doing in advertising, publishing and record labels.

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Sandrine’s work is a myriad of multi media, fusing calligraphy, photography and illustration to create pieces that exude urban cool. The pieces have a distinct textural quality that insinuates an almost two dimensional feel to her work. Her work evokes a sense of reality that isn’t over polished, it’s intuitive often violent and authentic.

With such an innovative approach to illustration and ability to adapt her skills to so many facets of design, I think it’s safe to say we haven’t seen the last of Sandrine Pagnoux. I think this lady has got a whole lot more hidden up her sleeve.
Intra-band love is always a joy to behold. Ike and Tina. The Carpenters. The usual mechanics of musicians performing with each other is converted by the mind’s gossip-gland into a lusty, cialis 40mg passionate romp-and-roll across the futon of musical possibilities.
Omer and Carole are in love. He stands and strums. She wiggles and sings and fingers the synth. Then they glance at one another. The laptop likes to watch. And later, website after the show, dosage we presume they go and make love, while listening to themselves on an iPod dock adorned with discarded undergarments.
And it’s good to see (I mean the first bit). They are both partial to a sincere wail of yearning. Hers is coquettish, with eyelash-fluttering pitch-bends as she writhes about. His is a growly shout, like a horny panther who’s waited too long. With a few costume-changes and a bit of a plot, you could easily make an opera out of this pair.
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An alt-electro opera, that is. Influences are not hidden here. It’s an overt celebration of the dark furrows of the 80s synth-twiddling scene (think of early Tears For Fears and Depeche Mode), filtered through some more recent song-screwdriving a la dEUS or the Dresden Dolls. Each song develops artfully, with peaks and troughs on each spectrum. The gentle sultry singing over bowow basslines accumulates percussive taps, then hi-hats, then a catchy chorus, then synth arpeggios, things dropping in and out all over the shop. Their cover of Paul Young’s Stay For Good This Time (that’s right, Young Paul do a Paul Young song) is beautiful. They’ve changed the chorus melody into a sinister evocation of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and it works scarily well. Carole takes over for a lovely, bloody song called Mock Kiss, which has a Sneaker Pimps kind of hateful independence feel to it. Majore is a strange tune that grumbles and growls and eventually turns into a faintly-Ibiza dancefloor heave. There’s nothing background about any of this. It’s a work of communication, not just mood-providing. And some of it is really dry and intense – you’re either hypnotically staring into the abyss on a neuromantic vampire trip, or you’re a townie with a puzzled look on your face, muttering “eh?” and “what?” and “piss off!”.
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What I really enjoyed about seeing Young Paul was that lack of compromise. They’ve found their darkly pop, crowd-dividing identity, they really mean it, and they’re sticking with it. Young Paul is a brilliant toxic shock of sci-fi future TOTP, delivered playfully and integrally by two young lovers. Surrender yourself.

You can see Young Paul for free at Zigfrid on Wed 8th April, or at The Legion on Wed 22nd. And you can hear their demos on the ol’ myspace.
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Monday 09th March. 7pm

The Nature Darwin Debate 2: What Price Biodiversity?

Kings Place
90 York Way
London
N1 9AG

Part of Words on Monday 
Curated by Nature
Professor James Lovelock, sildenafil independent scientist, tadalafil author of “Revenge of Gaia.”? , dosage Michael Meacher, MP (Labour) & former Minister of State for the Environment, ?Sir Crispin Tickell, Director of the Policy Foresight Programme at the James Martin 21st Century School at Oxford University
We pay for our food, water, healthcare and energy, so why not pay for the many ‘services’ currently obtained for free from biological diversity? Services such as insect-pollination, central to food production; or healthy forests, which we need for clean water and to stop soil erosion. Shouldn’t we invest now in our biodiversity in order to secure our future needs? Join three leading names from science and politics as they debate the need to put a price on the Earth’s ecosystem services. Organized by Nature, the leading international weekly journal of science, in association with Kings Place.

http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/spoken-word/words-on-monday/the-nature-darwin-debate-2-what-price-biodiversity

Tickets cost £9.50. Call 0207 841 4860 for more details

 Tuesday March 10th
7.45pm

Greenwash and Garters
OneWorld UK
Orange Tree Theatre,
1 Clarence Street,
Richmond, Surrey, TW9 2SA

Greenwash and Garters is a political farce, complete with custard pie and didactic dialogue.

The set up is fine: a high-level US public relations guru who works for Big Oil (“that’s just above child molester”) falls for an environmental activist, and hosts a small gathering to help her alcoholic brother, a former presidential hopeful.

The subject matter is worth tackling: the values and meaning of US democracy, and the role of corporate interests

Go to http://www.orangetreetheatre.co.uk/ for more details

Wednesday 11th March – 7pm.
‘Cranks and Revolutions’ with Mark Gold

Housmans Bookshop
5 Caledonian Road
LONDON,
England
N1 9DX,
UK

Mark Gold discusses the inspiration behind his latest novel, “Cranks and Revolutions” a light-hearted drama-documentary of the last fifty years of radical protest in the UK. ? ?Cranks and Revolutions is a light-hearted drama documentary of the last fifty years of radical protest in the UK. It is a funny and sympathetic book, full of quirky and amusing events and characters – such as unreconstructed Marxist Aunt Helen, kindly, radical vicar Tony Swallow, suburban High Priestess Denise Oakley and zealous vegan anarchist Septimus the Severe. An alternative political history in the tradition of John O’Farrell’s ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ or Jonathan Coe’s ‘The Closed Circle’. ??About the Author – Mark Gold was Director of Animal Aid for eleven years and still works part-time for the organisation. He also works for Citizens’ Advice.
Call 020 7837 4473 for further details

Thursday 5 March 2009,
6-9pm
EAST 2009 HISTORY
Geffrye Museum,
Kingsland Road,
London E2 8EA

?Credit Crunch Kitchen?.
? An opportunity to visit the museum after hours and listen to a talk exploring how to be thrifty in our gardens and kitchens this spring. Go to Geffrye Museum for further information.


Friday 13th Marc
h
12.45pm -2pm
Centre on Global Change & Health
50 Bedford Square, WC1, Room G3
Talk:
Climate Change and Global Food Security: Even Worse News For The Poor?,
by Dr Colin Butler. Info: 7927 2937/ ela.gohil@lshtm.ac.uk

Saturday 14th March
2pm -9pm
GATEWAY to PEACE

Eton Road, nr Chalk Farm tube,
London

NEW TOOLS FOR PEACEWORKERS: Experiential workshop exploring how the arts can support peace and reconciliation processes. Elements include song, movement, poetry and nonverbal communication.
Trish Dickenson works with the Ministry For Peace and leads workshops in nonviolent communication and conversation cafés. Stefan Freedman is celebrated worldwide for intercultural events with dance and song, particularly bringing together Jewish and Arabic traditions.
 
Price
£25 – £45

Contact Person
Stefan Freedman
Contact Telephone
01473 415496
Contact email
stefan@freedmans.fsbusiness.co.uk

Saturday 14th (9.30-5.30) and Sunday 15th March (9.00-5.00)
Caribbean Community Centre,
416 Seven Sisters Road, Manor House,
London N4 2LX
Cost: £100 per person

Training for Transition: 

How to set up, run and maintain a transition initiative

Learn the essential tools to make a thriving and resilient Transition Initiative.

• Understanding the context for transition
• The Transition Towns model – from inspiration to working groups
• Identify the main steps of transition
• Plans for yourself and your locality
• Inner and outer aspects of transition
• Provides the elements of an inspiring talk on Transition Towns

The Trainers:

May East – member of the community at Findhorn, May is an activist for the Brazilian social change movement and has many years experience in the environmental movement.

Ann Lamont – From the Centre for Alternative eneryy in Machynlleth in Wales, co-founder of Transition Bro Ddyfi Trawsnewid.

Booking: please contact Jo Homan, tt@jo.homan.me.uk
I will admit that until a few years ago, ask I was slightly cynical about the concept of planting trees as a carbon emissions offset, erectile or as a novel ‘gift’. I imagined that at best, it was a case of too little, too late, and at worst, a gimmicky concept dreamt up by London advertising boys, keen to cash in on the green theme. But in these strange days of global unrest, the gentle notion of planting a tree now seems like one of the most effective and simple ways to counteract the chaos. Personally, I still feel that pledging to plant a tree to make up for a round the world plane trip is a bit pointless (it will take more than a couple of trees to make up for that damage!) However, TreeTwist, and their partner Trees For Life have come up with a way that we can all contribute towards planting tree’s – and we get a gift out of it too! (I’m all for altruism, but I do like to receive as well as to give.)

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Put simply, TreeTwists are fabric handmade designs, which can be used in multiple ways; as accessories for bags or clothes, worn as jewellery, even to adorn fire places or Christmas trees. They come in vivid, strong colours, and are charmingly playful. Behind the gentle whimsy of wearing a TreeTwist is this fact – a tree or seedling will be planted in the Caledonian Forest on your behalf when you purchase it.

I asked the founders of TreeTwist, Kate and Sez to explain a little more about this concept;

Why was TreeTwist established?
 
“We launched TreeTwist in an attempt to do our bit for the planet.  We didn’t feel that as consumers we were being offered the opportunity to do something simple and effective, which could be easily absorbed into our everyday lives.  Present giving was a particular frustration.  Several Christmases with entirely disposable presents and without the option of giving something different, stylish and good for the world highlighted the opportunity. TreeTwist is based on the premise that small steps make a difference.”

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“TreeTwist Ltd was established in 2007 to help everyday individuals and families do something positive to help combat climate change by making it easy to plant a tree.  We are different because not only do we plant the tree, we acknowledge the purchase by giving a TreeTwist to act as a talisman and a reminder of the tree.
 
The trees are planted by TreeTwist partners, Trees for Life in the Caledonian Forest in the North West Highlands of Scotland.  Trees for Life are multi award-winning and recognised as world experts in reforestation.  In addition, Trees for Life propagate seedlings gathered on the forest floor for TreeTwist allowing the cycle of life to continue.
 
Put simply, every TreeTwist represents a tree. Our success criterion is the planting of many, many thousands of trees.”

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The TreeTwist’s themselves are also locally conceived and created as well?

“Yes, We have managed to create an entirely UK based project: the TreeTwists are designed and made in the UK and the trees planted in the UK.
 
Our current TreeTwists are designed by Ingrid Tait of Tait & Style, and handmade largely by outworkers in the Shetland and Orkney Islands.  The collection includes woollen scarves, bracelets and clips each with leaves, bobbles flowers or hearts.  Colours vary from earthy and masculine to the most vivid shades.  The scarves in particular have never been seen before – metre long tubes of wool.
 
Using British designers is a mandate for TreeTwist along with the use of sustainable materials. Although this is a UK based project, sales of TreeTwists are global.  Countries we have delivered to include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Denmark, Bahrain, Slovenia and Spain.”

Categories ,Caledonian Forest, ,Ingrid Tait, ,Tree Twists, ,Trees For Life

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Amelia’s Magazine | Weatherproof bunting tutorial

For someone who is supposed to be all eco and stuff, I have an embarrassing amount of plastic bags spewing out from underneath my sink. So I decided that my first upcycling project would involve plastic bags.

This project is super easy.
All you need is: Old plastic bags, An Iron, Grease proof paper, A big ish needle, String/thread, Scissors, A Triangle template, Assorted bits to melt inside

1) Open your windows. Seriously. Go and do it now. I am pretty sure that I was more intoxicated during this process than I have been for a looooong time. So be careful. Unless you want to get high (in which case don’t say I never give you anything…)
2) Cut open your bags so they are roughly the same shape. Cut off any ratty, knotted or bunched bits. Lay the bags on top of each other. Between 3 and 6 layers worked best for me. Fewer layers will give a thinner end product with holes. Layering more bags will create a stiffer sheet at the end.
3) Sandwich the bags between 2 sheets of grease proof paper. This bit is really important and will protect your iron.


Iron over the paper, keeping it moving at all times. Watch the edges as the plastic shrinks and sucks inwards. Its weirdly satisfying and engrossing. Or maybe that was the effect of the fumes.

My iron was on the hottest setting but it is ancient, so maybe start cooler then turn up the heat if you need too. You will need to run the iron over the layers a few times to make sure they are bonded together properly. If the iron touches the plastic directly it will sizzle, release a plume of intoxicating fumes, and may ruin your iron. Consider yourself warned.

Allow it to cool a little then lift the grease proof paper and check that the bags have formed 1 sheet of plastic (magic!) and that it is totally smooth. Then remove the grease proof paper…

…Voila you have bonded plastic sheets! Admire your recycled craftiaicious handiwork and give yourself a pat on the back. Or a glass of wine. Although I’m not sure how healthy it is to mix wine and plastic bag fumes.

I learned by accident that you can also melt things into the plastic. Bits of other bags! Sequins! Thread! Love hearts!

You could melt allsorts of other cool stuff between the layers too- like dried flowers, bits of paper or fabric…

6) Make a triangle template then trace triangles onto your plastic sheets and cut them out.

7) Make two holes in the top of each triangle with a sharp object. A hole punch would have been very useful, but apparently I’ve lost mine. The holes need to be big enough to allow the triangle to move in the breeze.

8 ) Thread your string/ thread/ whatever you fancy through the holes.

9) Hang the bunting in your garden on a sunny day (or even a rainy one as they are weatherproof!) and sip cocktails whilst watching your colourful recycled bunting undulate in the afternoon breeze.


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Watch this space for more recycling ideas soon!

Categories ,bunting, ,carrier bags, ,craft, ,diy, ,DIY culture, ,garden, ,Intoxication, ,ironing, ,Making, ,needle and thread, ,plastic bags, ,recycle, ,Robert Dyas, ,Tesco, ,tutorials, ,upcycle, ,weatherproof

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

spaguetti.jpg
Spaghetti Anywhere

Monday 06th April

1Wiwa-vs-SHELL-e-flyer_final.jpg

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

RSVP ben@remembersarowiwa.com

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

480capitalism-1.jpg

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

baghdad-shorts.jpg

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. ?

1meeting_flyer_jan.jpg

Friday
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: mariajgibbs@yahoo.co.uk? Web Address: www.worldance.org

SavageMessiah.jpg

sat
(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.  ??
Walk
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.
Launch
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 http://savagemessiahzine.com/
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
London
WC2A 2AE

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 nations@lse.ac.uk 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 pressoffice@lse.ac.uk 
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.
http://www.stpauls.co.uk/institute

Wednesday April 1st

G20 Protests

ClimateCamp.jpg

* 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 (www.climatecamp.org.uk/g20)?

G20 Meltdown at the Bank of England (www.g20meltdown.org)?

G20%20Money%20money-1.jpg

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: http://www.g-20meltdown.org/?Bring a portable radio!

Fossil Fools’ Day, everywhere (www.risingtide.org.uk/fossilfoolsday2009)?
Times & resource links http://earthfirst.org.uk/actionreports/node/22258

Fossil%20Fuels.jpg

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
London
SW7 2DD

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.

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/antenna/futurefoods/

Contact
(0)20 7942 4000,
(0)20 7938 8118
sciencemuseum@nmsi.ac.uk
www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
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).

NTW_1.jpg

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.

Sarah%20Turner%20Close_Up.jpg
 

 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?

Sarah%20Turner%20Cola_30_Ceiling-1.jpg

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. 

Sarah%20Turner%20Examples-1.jpg
 
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!

 Sarah%20Turner%20Cola_30_Table.jpg

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: http://www.idealhomeshow.co.uk/ideas/innovation-nation/concept-products-2009-vote/

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Amelia’s Magazine | Welcome, Snarfle Monkey

Snarfle Monkey by Sam Parr
Snarfle Monkey by Sam Parr.

Yesterday I finally registered the birth of my first child, a gorgeous little boy named Lucian Indigo whom I gave birth to 6 weeks ago. It’s taken me a good month to put thoughts to screen, and I’m still a little unsure of what I am going to say in this blog – and as those who know me will testify it’s not often that I am lost for words.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
This blog won’t become a baby centred place, but I feel I need to share his coming into my world because it has affected and will continue to affect how I can maintain this website – after all his needs come first and there are times when I just can’t work. In fact, as I have discovered, that’s quite often already… although I am getting adept at typing one handed as the little man breast feeds or kips between me and the computer on a pillow. And I am discovering a whole new world of baby stuff, some of which may make an appearance on here: for instance, illustrated reusable nappies?! Now that’s something I like.

Amelia & Lucian by Gilly Rochester
Amelia & Lucian by Gilly Rochester.

So briefly: Lucian Indigo, otherwise known as Snarfle Monkey, was born in the Royal London by emergency C-section – which was the exact opposite birth to the one I had hoped for. I had been booked into the Barkantine birth centre in the Docklands, but when my waters broke and then I didn’t go into labour that was out of the question. A day later (I stalled quite a bit, hoping to avoid induction) I found myself hooked up to a monitor in the hospital labour ward. Everything seemed fine for a few hours and I had almost convinced the doctor to let me go home when suddenly my baby’s heartbeat went haywire. Within half an hour (sign here!) I was in theatre having a spinal block whilst my partner looked as though he might faint: I personally think it was worse having the needle in my back. Just a few minutes later Snarfle was born, heaved out of my insides, checked over, cleaned and plonked on my chest. I was so drugged up that I barely registered they were still ferreting around in my stomach to stitch me up. All in all a long way from the natural Hypnobirthing water birth I had planned for.

Snarfle Monkey birth hospital April 2012
Snarfle Monkey by Karina Järv
Snarfle Monkey by Karina Järv.

Because of worries about infection, and then his weight, we ended up staying in the Royal London for 12 days. During which time I became just a bit too familiar with the post natal ward staff, not to mention the disgusting food (Jamie Oliver, do hospitals please!) It’s bad enough dealing with a newborn’s round the clock feeding requirements without constant interventions from well meaning doctors and nurses, usually just when I had managed to fall into some much needed sleep, but eventually we got out and started our somewhat belated life together in the outside world.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
Snarfle Monkey by Sarah Jayne Draws
Snarfle Monkey by Sarah Jayne Draws.

So here we are, Snarfle, father and me… adjusting to our new lives as a family. Unlike many other new mums I of course don’t have official maternity leave, and my baby is what is known as *high needs* meaning that he doesn’t sleep much and wants constant attention day and night, so we’re having fun working together as the PR requests keep rolling in.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
Snarfle by angela lamb
Snarfle by angela lamb
Snarfle by Angela Lamb.

Snarfle Monkey 23rd May 2012
I will be there for my boy whenever he needs me, but I love my work too so we’ll see how it all pans out. For now I am knackered but happy…

Snarfle_monkey by simon mclaren
Snarfle Monkey by Simon Mclaren.

Categories ,Angela Lamb, ,Barkantine Centre, ,Birthing Experience, ,C-Section, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Hypnobirthing, ,Jamie Oliver, ,Karina Jarv, ,Natural Birth, ,Royal London, ,Sam Parr, ,Sarah-Jayne Draws, ,Simon Mclaren, ,Snarfle Monkey, ,Water Birth

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Amelia’s Magazine | TwitterKnitter warms up Camden

Johnny Flynn by Jennifer Oliver
Illustration by Jennifer Oliver

“Hello! Erm…Welcome!” says Johnny Flynn as he takes to the stage for this homecoming show, erectile cialis 40mg and the Sussex Wit’s biggest ever headline gig. This is definitely the politest gig I’ve ever been to. The air of restraint is only reinforced by the fact that, no rx patient due to the Shepherd’s Bush Empire’s cloakroom having reached it’s maximum capacity of bags, I am forced to carry a Marks & Spencer carrier bag for the entire gig.

However Amelia’s Magazine favourite Mr Flynn is nothing if not a captivating performer, and the whole crowd is mesmerised as he starts the gig with the low-key Lost and Found, a highlight from second album Been Listening. One thing that’s immediately obvious is how good his band are. They’ve been on the road pretty much non-stop since the summer festivals and it shows. During a blistering Been Listening, they chug away like vintage-era The Band, adding a real live punch to the powerful honesty of Johnny’s voice and guitar.

Johnny Flynn by Graham Cheal
Illustration by Graham Cheal, from photograph by Lauren Keogh

So much so, that when they play the afro-beatish single Kentucky Pill sans its main trumpet riff, it’s hardly noticeable. And this is the order of the day – although the live renditions often differ considerably from the recorded versions, Johnny and the Wit always do justice to the songs, in true troubadour style. On the magnificent Hong Kong Cemetery, Johnny switches between a trumpet in the choruses and a guitar in the verses. Later the horn section parts of Cold Bread are approximated with a flute. Throughout the night Johnny will also play the mandolin, banjo and the fiddle.

YouTube Preview Image

“This is my sister Lily, she just got here”, he says, signalling the first of two guest appearances, as his younger sibling takes the stage to sing backing vocals. “Now we have ginger symmetry”, he jokes, standing flanked by Lily, and the equally raven-haired keyboard player James Mathe, who later admits “We need to work on our banter”.

Then Johnny whips out, like, an electric guitar! Is this going to be his Bob Dylan “Judas” moment? Not quite, but he does inform us “You can bop to this one if you like”, before breaking out into an almost calypso-tinged version of the lovelorn Churlish May, which does indeed get the crowd moving.

Johnny Flynn by Dee Andrews
Illustration by Dee Andrews, from photograph by Lauren Keogh

The more traditionally folky songs from debut album A Larum generally receive the biggest responses, with stomping singles Leftovers and The Box provoking medium-scale hoedowns. But the most enduring moment comes from an unexpected guest appearance from old friend Laura Marling. The crowd, which up to this point has been pretty reserved, goes bananas. Delicate and pale, the almost ghostly spectre of Marling adds to a haunting rendition of The Water, Johnny’s paean to H2O.

YouTube Preview Image

I’m actually surprised at how many people are here, but as I look around the sold-out Empire, it’s clear that Flynn has a strong and adoring fanbase. During a rare quiet moment a girl behind me shouts “I love you Johnny!” – a couple of seconds of silence pass and then the man next to her shouts “I love you as well, Johnny!”

YouTube Preview Image

Flynn, playing in front of a patchwork backdrop based on the trees from the cover of Been Listening, ends the set with a breathless version of the banjo-led Eyeless in Holloway. After only a couple of minutes he returns to the stage with Lily, saying “Did we do that right – the going off and coming back on bit?” It’s this kind of bafflement with the rituals and clichés of rock and roll that makes his approach so endearing.

Johnny Flynn 2 by Graham Cheal
Illustration by Graham Cheal

After a tender and stripped down duet with Lily on Amazon, the rest of the band come back on. “We’re gonna play one more, and then everything else happens…like life and stuff”, he says, before ending with rapturous fan favourite Tickle Me Pink. I leave the venue, Marks & Spencer bag in hand, feeling like I’ve witnessed something truthful and blessedly untainted by cynicism.

YouTube Preview Image

When the folk resurgence started a few years ago, Johnny Flynn seemed like the boy most likely too. However in terms of sales, he since been outstripped by the world-beating sound of Marling and the ubiquitous Mumford and Sons. But while Marling and Mumford may have the arena tours and Mercury nominations, it’s clear from tonight that Johnny still has the heart and soul, and vitally, the sense of humour.

Illustration by Avril Kelly

‘Does my neck look fat in this?’ ‘My other scarf is an alpaca.’ ‘Under this scarf is a lovebite from Santa.’ Have a look at the #warmupcamden hashtag on Twitter and watch the tweets stream in. The best will be turned into scarves, nurse which will be handed out to the homeless and other cold inhabitants of Camden this Christmas.

Once a suggestion has been accepted, the eager TwitterKnitter volunteers will tweet back, and the contributor can watch their phrase being made into a scarf in a live web feed.


Illustration by Antonia Parker

TwitterKnitter combines knitting, an old craft that has proved its worth through the ages, with the relatively new invention that is Twitter. Ventures such as TwitterKnitter is proving that Twitter can have a purpose other than telling your friends what you had for dinner, boding well for it being more than a fad. We will probably see new and unexpected uses pop up, but the network is already starting to prove it can be valuable for gathering support for a cause, as Amelia Gregory described in her article about the UKuncut demonstrations.

As volunteers from the London School of Fashion continue knitting at breakneck speed, the team will accept suggestions for six more days. The initiative, a brainchild of creative agency Saint@RKCR/Y&R, has proved very popular after kicking off earlier this month, according to the agency. The scarves will be distributed across Camden on 20th and 21st December. ‘Keep warm and carry on.’


Illustration by Avril Kelly

Contribute to TwitterKnitter by submitting a suggestion on the website, or send a tweet to #warmupcamden.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Avril Kelly, ,camden, ,charity, ,knitting, ,london, ,London School of Fashion, ,Saint@ RKCR/Y&R, ,twitter, ,TwitterKnitter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Welcome, Snarfle Monkey

Snarfle Monkey by Sam Parr
Snarfle Monkey by Sam Parr.

Yesterday I finally registered the birth of my first child, a gorgeous little boy named Lucian Indigo whom I gave birth to 6 weeks ago. It’s taken me a good month to put thoughts to screen, and I’m still a little unsure of what I am going to say in this blog – and as those who know me will testify it’s not often that I am lost for words.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
This blog won’t become a baby centred place, but I feel I need to share his coming into my world because it has affected and will continue to affect how I can maintain this website – after all his needs come first and there are times when I just can’t work. In fact, as I have discovered, that’s quite often already… although I am getting adept at typing one handed as the little man breast feeds or kips between me and the computer on a pillow. And I am discovering a whole new world of baby stuff, some of which may make an appearance on here: for instance, illustrated reusable nappies?! Now that’s something I like.

Amelia & Lucian by Gilly Rochester
Amelia & Lucian by Gilly Rochester.

So briefly: Lucian Indigo, otherwise known as Snarfle Monkey, was born in the Royal London by emergency C-section – which was the exact opposite birth to the one I had hoped for. I had been booked into the Barkantine birth centre in the Docklands, but when my waters broke and then I didn’t go into labour that was out of the question. A day later (I stalled quite a bit, hoping to avoid induction) I found myself hooked up to a monitor in the hospital labour ward. Everything seemed fine for a few hours and I had almost convinced the doctor to let me go home when suddenly my baby’s heartbeat went haywire. Within half an hour (sign here!) I was in theatre having a spinal block whilst my partner looked as though he might faint: I personally think it was worse having the needle in my back. Just a few minutes later Snarfle was born, heaved out of my insides, checked over, cleaned and plonked on my chest. I was so drugged up that I barely registered they were still ferreting around in my stomach to stitch me up. All in all a long way from the natural Hypnobirthing water birth I had planned for.

Snarfle Monkey birth hospital April 2012
Snarfle Monkey by Karina Järv
Snarfle Monkey by Karina Järv.

Because of worries about infection, and then his weight, we ended up staying in the Royal London for 12 days. During which time I became just a bit too familiar with the post natal ward staff, not to mention the disgusting food (Jamie Oliver, do hospitals please!) It’s bad enough dealing with a newborn’s round the clock feeding requirements without constant interventions from well meaning doctors and nurses, usually just when I had managed to fall into some much needed sleep, but eventually we got out and started our somewhat belated life together in the outside world.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
Snarfle Monkey by Sarah Jayne Draws
Snarfle Monkey by Sarah Jayne Draws.

So here we are, Snarfle, father and me… adjusting to our new lives as a family. Unlike many other new mums I of course don’t have official maternity leave, and my baby is what is known as *high needs* meaning that he doesn’t sleep much and wants constant attention day and night, so we’re having fun working together as the PR requests keep rolling in.

Snarfle Monkey and friends May 2012
Snarfle by angela lamb
Snarfle by angela lamb
Snarfle by Angela Lamb.

Snarfle Monkey 23rd May 2012
I will be there for my boy whenever he needs me, but I love my work too so we’ll see how it all pans out. For now I am knackered but happy…

Snarfle_monkey by simon mclaren
Snarfle Monkey by Simon Mclaren.

Categories ,Angela Lamb, ,Barkantine Centre, ,Birthing Experience, ,C-Section, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Hypnobirthing, ,Jamie Oliver, ,Karina Jarv, ,Natural Birth, ,Royal London, ,Sam Parr, ,Sarah-Jayne Draws, ,Simon Mclaren, ,Snarfle Monkey, ,Water Birth

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Amelia’s Magazine | Two wheels good: London’s Borisbike cycle hire scheme proves its worth

Kotki Dwa gig
london borisbike by daria hlazatova
Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

To be honest, remedy I was skeptical of the idea of a bike rental scheme before the launch. If we are going to spend £140 million on cycling I’d rather see we build more bike lanes, cheap I thought. London needs to make roads safer for cyclists, and in my experience, this is the number one reason why people are put off getting bikes.

But in the weeks since 30 July’s launch, when 6000 solid, bright blue bikes where installed in 315 docking stations, my objections have been put to shame. Now, as I roll into London Bridge every morning on my trusty hybrid bike, I invariably find myself accompanied by city workers scurrying around on rental bikes. And I swear the number of ‘regular’ bikes have increased as well – the profile of cycling has shot up as everyone loves the ‘Borisbike’.

Borisbikes by Mina Bach
Mayor Boris Johnson by Mina Bach

While the need for more bike lanes prevails, there is safety in numbers as every extra bike on the road makes it safer to cycle. Over a million rides were made on the Borisbikes in the first three months, the Greater London Authority declared as it held the first appraisal of the scheme on 12 October. Once implementation costs are covered within three years, the scheme is expected to become profitable – in fact it will then be the only London transport system not to run at a loss. Only five bikes have so far been stolen, a fact the Police Cycle Task Force attributes to a sense of ‘community ownership’ among Londoners. And I think that’s true – having spoken to numerous people about this, there is a feeling that these are ‘our’ bikes. In a sometimes very anonymous city like London, where being spoken to on the tube by a stranger can actually feel intrusive, the bikes are becoming a symbol that after all, we are all Londoners.

london bike rental by genie espinosa
Illustration by Genie Espinosa

Mayor Boris Johnson‘s introduction of the bike scheme grants London a place in a worldwide club of bike rental cities. But the Borisbikes, and the the 12 cycle ‘superhighways’, were actually the suggestion of former mayor Ken Livingstone, following a visit to Paris to see the city’s ‘Vélib’ cycling scheme. This is the biggest in the world with 17,000 bikes, suggesting this is only the beginning for London’s 6000 bikes. Our numbers are soon to reach 8000, however, as the system expands beyond central London to cover all of Tower Hamlets and more of Hackney, in time for the 2012 Olympics. The bikes themselves are identical to Montreal’s ‘Bixi’ rental bikes; 23 kilos would be excessively heavy for a regular bike, but for a rental it makes it a very stable and durable ride, plus very unattractive to steal. Vandals are further deterred as most of the wires have been placed inside the frame, and the bikes also boast extra-strong tires and dynamo lights.

London bike scheme by Carla Bromhead
Cycle superhighway by Carla Bromhead

So as Londoners get on their bikes – here’s a quick guide to safe cycling in traffic:

* Claim your space. Make sure drivers can see you, and ride a good foot’s distance from the kerb. Signal clearly and look behind you before turning, and they will respect you for it.

* Watch out for cars turning left. If you see vehicles indicating to the left, stay behind, or, if there’s time, get far in front where they can see you.

* Overtake on the right if you can. Instinct will have you overtake queuing vehicles on their left – this places you in a blind spot so only do this if there’s plenty of space.

* Avoid lorries. Stay behind, or overtake on the right. But as statistics dictate that if you get injured while cycling it will be from a lorry, it’s best to just steer clear.

* Follow the traffic rules. Cyclists who plow into pedestrians to get ahead give us all a bad name. But every now and again, it might just be safer to get ahead of heavy traffic by jumping a light. But be extremely sure before you do this – and mind those pedestrians.

boris johnson by daria hlazatova
Mayor Boris Johnson by Daria Hlazatova

Sign up for the London bike hire scheme here. Read more about the scheme in Amelia Wells’ article about the launch, or have a look at our tips for getting ready for winter cycling here.

Categories ,bike rental, ,Bixi, ,Boris Johnson, ,Borisbike, ,Carla Bromhead, ,cycle superhighway, ,cycling, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Genie Espinosa, ,Greater London Authority, ,hackney, ,Ken Livingstone, ,london, ,Mina Bach., ,Montreal, ,Olympics, ,paris, ,Tower Hamlets, ,Vélib

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Amelia’s Magazine | Welcome to Camellia’s Teahouse…

Book Jacket for Eradicating Ecocide, information pills information pills

What is Ecocide?
Has the formation of laws and legislation had unforeseen and possibly disastrous consequences?
Has the protection of the environment been abandoned by the law?
What can we do?

These are the questions Eradicating Ecocide, generic a new book by Polly Higgins sets out to answer.

Polly Higgins is a Barrister, viagra a Human Right’s Lawyer and author of Eradicating Ecocide. On her blog The Lazy Environmentalist Higgins defines Ecocide as the “damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.

Published in 2010 by Shepeard-Walwyn, Eradicating Ecocide, is a carefully considered polemic on the consequences of leaving environmental concerns at the sidelines, (the destruction of the rainforest, tar sands, deep sea drilling, Global Warming) in favour of infinite growth and unregulated capitalism. Higgins believes that the “law as it currently stands is not fit for purpose. It rarely protects the wider earth community interests of both people and planet. Instead, all too often it is the interests of the very the few that are protected, of those with ownership. This causes great injustice at both micro and macro level.” In short, Eradicating Ecocide is a call to arms, an appeal to the protection of the environment in the face of wanton and needless destruction.

Humanity is at a Crossroads by Abi Daker

Eradicating Ecocide opens with a contemporary reminder about the consequences of runaway ecocide and unregulated industry; the 2010 BP Oil Spill in the Mexican Gulf. Higgins’ arguement implies that as it stands both law making and the planet are being held to ransom by profit-driven corporations.

For Higgins the environment is all too often neglected in favour of short term profit, pointing out that part of the problem lies with “Governments, driven by the obsessive pursuit of economic gain, often undervalue subsequent ecological losses that can arise out of profit making activity… Myopic financial policy takes preeminence over longer term damage and destruction, by keeping the focus firmly on the short-term, problems mouth for others to address at some indeterminate later date.” Not only do we need to fight big business, we need to take the challenge to our own blindfolded Governments.

In her calm and through exploration of the unforeseen consequences of law making,? Eradicating Ecocide takes us through the convoluted changes in law and the pivotal court cases that lead to the development (in law) of corporations being held to account for damages made to the environment as “fictional persons” The example Higgins cites is the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad trial of 1886, where for “the first time that the word ‘person’ in the fourteenth Amendment was presumed to include corporations.” See Eradicating Ecocide for further details on the outcome of this pre-trial statement.

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

Eradicating Ecocide also focuses on the development of ‘compromise laws’ by big business and the law courts in order to pacify pollution concerns. The subsequently formed ‘compromise legislation’ merely side steps environmental responsibility whilst failing to provide any real deterrence against the destruction of the planet. The biggest failure in compromise recently was at Cop 15 in Copenhagen. Desperate to end the conference with some form of good news, politicians’ delivered the “The Copenhagen Accord“. As this document is not legally binding, nothing within this treaty has yet to be implemented in local or worldwide politics, as of yet there is no binding successor to equally compromised Kyoto Protocol.

For myself, em>Eradicating Ecocide highlights that the problem with placing profit over all else is that monetary worth becomes the barometer against which all ‘worth’ is measured. Subsequently the earth and its ‘resources’ become a mere asset. Once the earth is seen as an asset, it ceases to be alive and once it ‘dies’ it becomes easier for the bio habitat to be seen as singular commodities (a trend which began with the Industrial Revolution). Subsequently we, the citizens of the planet, must fight to save the planet as a living organisim in its entirety, not solely the sections we personally inhabit.

The Destruction of the Tar Sands by Gareth A Hopkins

A brave book, Eradicating Ecocide takes the stance that by allowing the “commercial exploration and destruction of resources” to take “precedence over the obligation of the sacred trust”, corporations have become the colonisers of the 21st Century. Within the UN framework, the concept behind the sacred trust is to ask for “community interests to be placed over private and corporate decisions.” (p.57)

Eradicating Ecocide is an inspiring, informative read and an incredible history lesson on the role of law (so often seemingly abstract from our lives) in shaping our society, our business and the way we view the earth. Personally, the book is incredible for its demand that we use that which is already present within the UN – The development of International Criminal Law in the wake of World War Two and the concept of Trusteeship- to implement these necessary changes. Because the framework for Crimes against Peace already exists, Ecocide could be included without the need to create any new organisations.

The book’s brilliance is that it functions as a template for what both citizen and state can do to protect the environment. Eradicating Ecocide contains useful advice on how we, citizens of the world can implement change. For example, by joining existing climate change networks or starting your own, we can apply pressure on Governments to recognizing Ecocide as a breach against peace. We have the power of the multiple and the power of the streets on our side. With an ever-increasing population, we need to accept the earths resources’ are finite and move away from a market driven economy.

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

For an update on the Climate Change debate in the wake of Cop 15, I recommend reading Higgins’ account of Cancun (Cop 16) and her summery of the RED++ deal; “The commercialisation of forests into the hands of the corporate sector to make money out of supposedly saving forests.”

A brilliant book and one that needs to be read, especially in the light of the recent news that oil companies plan to resume deep sea drilling.

If middle England can stand up against the Coalition’s plans to sell 15% of British Forests, we can ALL stand up against a destruction on a far wider scale -the loss of “the Earth’s lungs”- too.

For further information please visit the book’s website: This is Ecocide’s.

Book Jacket for Eradicating Ecocide, sale

What is Ecocide?
Has the formation of laws and legislation had unforeseen and possibly disastrous consequences?
Has the protection of the environment been abandoned by the law?
What can we do?

These are the questions Eradicating Ecocide, illness a new book by Polly Higgins sets out to answer.

Polly Higgins is a Barrister, shop a Human Right’s Lawyer and author of Eradicating Ecocide. On her blog The Lazy Environmentalist Higgins defines Ecocide as the “damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.

Published in 2010 by Shepeard-Walwyn, Eradicating Ecocide, is a carefully considered polemic on the consequences of leaving environmental concerns at the sidelines, (the destruction of the rainforest, tar sands, Oil, Global Warming) in favour of infinite growth and unregulated capitalism. Higgins believes that the “law as it currently stands is not fit for purpose. It rarely protects the wider earth community interests of both people and planet. Instead, all too often it is the interests of the very the few that are protected, of those with ownership. This causes great injustice at both micro and macro level.” In short, Eradicating Ecocide is a call to arms, an appeal to the protection of the environment in the face of wanton and needless destruction.

Humanity is at a Crossroads by Abi Daker

Eradicating Ecocide opens with a contemporary reminder about the consequences of runaway ecocide and unregulated industry; the 2010 BP Oil Spill in the Mexican Gulf. Higgins’ arguement implies that as it stands both law making and the planet are being held to ransom by profit-driven corporations.

For Higgins the environment is all too often neglected in favour of short term profit, pointing out that part of the problem lies with “Governments, driven by the obsessive pursuit of economic gain, often undervalue subsequent ecological losses that can arise out of profit making activity… Myopic financial policy takes preeminence over longer term damage and destruction, by keeping the focus firmly on the short-term, problems mouth for others to address at some indeterminate later date.” Not only do we need to fight big business, we need to take the challenge to our own blindfolded Governments.

In her calm and through exploration of the unforeseen consequences of law making,? Eradicating Ecocide takes us through the convoluted changes in law and the pivotal court cases that lead to the development (in law) of corporations being held to account for damages made to the environment as “fictional persons” The example Higgins cites is the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad trial of 1886, where for “the first time that the word ‘person’ in the fourteenth Amendment was presumed to include corporations.” See Eradicating Ecocide for further details on the outcome of this pre-trial statement.

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

Eradicating Ecocide also focuses on the development of ‘compromise laws’ by big business and the law courts in order to pacify pollution concerns. The subsequently formed ‘compromise legislation’ merely side steps environmental responsibility whilst failing to provide any real deterrence against the destruction of the planet. The biggest failure in compromise recently was at Cop 15 in Copenhagen. Desperate to end the conference with some form of good news, politicians’ delivered the “The Copenhagen Accord“. As this document is not legally binding, nothing within this treaty has yet to be implemented in local or worldwide politics, as of yet there is no binding successor to equally compromised Kyoto Protocol.

For myself, em>Eradicating Ecocide highlights that the problem with placing profit over all else is that monetary worth becomes the barometer against which all ‘worth’ is measured. Subsequently the earth and its ‘resources’ become a mere asset. Once the earth is seen as an asset, it ceases to be alive and once it ‘dies’ it becomes easier for the bio habitat to be seen as singular commodities (a trend which began with the Industrial Revolution). Subsequently we, the citizens of the planet, must fight to save the planet as a living organisim in its entirety, not solely the sections we personally inhabit.

The Destruction of the Tar Sands by Gareth A Hopkins

A brave book, Eradicating Ecocide takes the stance that by allowing the “commercial exploration and destruction of resources” to take “precedence over the obligation of the sacred trust”, corporations have become the colonisers of the 21st Century. Within the UN framework, the concept behind the sacred trust is to ask for “community interests to be placed over private and corporate decisions.” (p.57)

Eradicating Ecocide is an inspiring, informative read and an incredible history lesson on the role of law (so often seemingly abstract from our lives) in shaping our society, our business and the way we view the earth. Personally, the book is incredible for its demand that we use that which is already present within the UN – The development of International Criminal Law in the wake of World War Two and the concept of Trusteeship- to implement these necessary changes. Because the framework for Crimes against Peace already exists, Ecocide could be included without the need to create any new organisations.

The book’s brilliance is that it functions as a template for what both citizen and state can do to protect the environment. Eradicating Ecocide contains useful advice on how we, citizens of the world can implement change. For example, by joining existing climate change networks or starting your own, we can apply pressure on Governments to recognizing Ecocide as a breach against peace. We have the power of the multiple and the power of the streets on our side. With an ever-increasing population, we need to accept the earths resources’ are finite and move away from a market driven economy.

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

For an update on the Climate Change debate in the wake of Cop 15, I recommend reading Higgins’ account of Cancun (Cop 16) and her summery of the RED++ deal; “The commercialisation of forests into the hands of the corporate sector to make money out of supposedly saving forests.”

A brilliant book and one that needs to be read, especially in the light of the recent news that oil companies plan to resume deep sea drilling.

If middle England can stand up against the Coalition’s plans to sell 15% of British Forests, we can ALL stand up against a destruction on a far wider scale -the loss of “the Earth’s lungs”- too.

For further information please visit the book’s website: This is Ecocide’s.

Book Jacket for Eradicating Ecocide, treat

What is Ecocide?
Has the formation of laws and legislation had unforeseen and possibly disastrous consequences?
Has the protection of the environment been abandoned by the law?
What can we do?

These are the questions Eradicating Ecocide, remedy a new book by Polly Higgins sets out to answer.

Polly Higgins is a Barrister, link a Human Right’s Lawyer and author of Eradicating Ecocide. On her blog The Lazy Environmentalist Higgins defines Ecocide as the “damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.

Published in 2010 by Shepeard-Walwyn, Eradicating Ecocide, is a carefully considered polemic on the consequences of leaving environmental concerns at the sidelines, (the destruction of the rainforest, tar sands, Oil, Global Warming) in favour of infinite growth and unregulated capitalism. Higgins believes that the “law as it currently stands is not fit for purpose. It rarely protects the wider earth community interests of both people and planet. Instead, all too often it is the interests of the very the few that are protected, of those with ownership. This causes great injustice at both micro and macro level.” In short, Eradicating Ecocide is a call to arms, an appeal to the protection of the environment in the face of wanton and needless destruction.

Humanity is at a Crossroads by Abi Daker

Eradicating Ecocide opens with a contemporary reminder about the consequences of runaway ecocide and unregulated industry; the 2010 BP Oil Spill in the Mexican Gulf. Higgins’ arguement implies that as it stands both law making and the planet are being held to ransom by profit-driven corporations.

For Higgins the environment is all too often neglected in favour of short term profit, pointing out that part of the problem lies with “Governments, driven by the obsessive pursuit of economic gain, often undervalue subsequent ecological losses that can arise out of profit making activity… Myopic financial policy takes preeminence over longer term damage and destruction, by keeping the focus firmly on the short-term, problems mouth for others to address at some indeterminate later date.” Not only do we need to fight big business, we need to take the challenge to our own blindfolded Governments.

In her calm and through exploration of the unforeseen consequences of law making,? Eradicating Ecocide takes us through the convoluted changes in law and the pivotal court cases that lead to the development (in law) of corporations being held to account for damages made to the environment as “fictional persons” The example Higgins cites is the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad trial of 1886, where for “the first time that the word ‘person’ in the fourteenth Amendment was presumed to include corporations.” See Eradicating Ecocide for further details on the outcome of this pre-trial statement.

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

Eradicating Ecocide also focuses on the development of ‘compromise laws’ by big business and the law courts in order to pacify pollution concerns. The subsequently formed ‘compromise legislation’ merely side steps environmental responsibility whilst failing to provide any real deterrence against the destruction of the planet. The biggest failure in compromise recently was at Cop 15 in Copenhagen. Desperate to end the conference with some form of good news, politicians’ delivered the “The Copenhagen Accord“. As this document is not legally binding, nothing within this treaty has yet to be implemented in local or worldwide politics, as of yet there is no binding successor to equally compromised Kyoto Protocol.

For myself, em>Eradicating Ecocide highlights that the problem with placing profit over all else is that monetary worth becomes the barometer against which all ‘worth’ is measured. Subsequently the earth and its ‘resources’ become a mere asset. Once the earth is seen as an asset, it ceases to be alive and once it ‘dies’ it becomes easier for the bio habitat to be seen as singular commodities (a trend which began with the Industrial Revolution). Subsequently we, the citizens of the planet, must fight to save the planet as a living organisim in its entirety, not solely the sections we personally inhabit.

The Destruction of the Tar Sands by Gareth A Hopkins

A brave book, Eradicating Ecocide takes the stance that by allowing the “commercial exploration and destruction of resources” to take “precedence over the obligation of the sacred trust”, corporations have become the colonisers of the 21st Century. Within the UN framework, the concept behind the sacred trust is to ask for “community interests to be placed over private and corporate decisions.” (p.57)

Eradicating Ecocide is an inspiring, informative read and an incredible history lesson on the role of law (so often seemingly abstract from our lives) in shaping our society, our business and the way we view the earth. Personally, the book is incredible for its demand that we use that which is already present within the UN – The development of International Criminal Law in the wake of World War Two and the concept of Trusteeship– to implement these necessary changes. Because the framework for Crimes against Peace already exists, Ecocide could be included without the need to create any new organisations.

The book’s brilliance is that it functions as a template for what both citizen and state can do to protect the environment. Eradicating Ecocide contains useful advice on how we, citizens of the world can implement change. For example, by joining existing climate change networks or starting your own, we can apply pressure on Governments to recognizing Ecocide as a breach against peace. We have the power of the multiple and the power of the streets on our side. With an ever-increasing population, we need to accept the earths resources’ are finite and move away from a market driven economy.

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

For an update on the Climate Change debate in the wake of Cop 15, I recommend reading Higgins’ account of Cancun (Cop 16) and her summery of the RED++ deal; “The commercialisation of forests into the hands of the corporate sector to make money out of supposedly saving forests.”

A brilliant book and one that needs to be read, especially in the light of the recent news that oil companies plan to resume deep sea drilling.

If middle England can stand up against the Coalition’s plans to sell 15% of British Forests, we can ALL stand up against a destruction on a far wider scale -the loss of “the Earth’s lungs”- too.

For further information please visit the book’s website: This is Ecocide’s.

Book Jacket for Eradicating Ecocide, ampoule

What is Ecocide?
Has the formation of laws and legislation had unforeseen and possibly disastrous consequences?
Has the protection of the environment been abandoned by the law?
What can we do?

These are the questions Eradicating Ecocide, order a new book by Polly Higgins sets out to answer.

Polly Higgins is a Barrister, a Human Right’s Lawyer and author of Eradicating Ecocide. On her blog The Lazy Environmentalist Higgins defines Ecocide as the “damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.

Published in 2010 by Shepeard-Walwyn, Eradicating Ecocide, is a carefully considered polemic on the consequences of leaving environmental concerns at the sidelines, (the destruction of the rainforest, tar sands, Oil, Global Warming) in favour of infinite growth and unregulated capitalism. Higgins believes that the “law as it currently stands is not fit for purpose. It rarely protects the wider earth community interests of both people and planet. Instead, all too often it is the interests of the very the few that are protected, of those with ownership. This causes great injustice at both micro and macro level.” In short, Eradicating Ecocide is a call to arms, an appeal to the protection of the environment in the face of wanton and needless destruction.

Humanity is at a Crossroads by Abi Daker

Eradicating Ecocide opens with a contemporary reminder about the consequences of runaway ecocide and unregulated industry; the 2010 BP Oil Spill in the Mexican Gulf. Higgins’ arguement implies that as it stands both law making and the planet are being held to ransom by profit-driven corporations.

For Higgins the environment is all too often neglected in favour of short term profit, pointing out that part of the problem lies with “Governments, driven by the obsessive pursuit of economic gain, often undervalue subsequent ecological losses that can arise out of profit making activity… Myopic financial policy takes preeminence over longer term damage and destruction, by keeping the focus firmly on the short-term, problems mouth for others to address at some indeterminate later date.” Not only do we need to fight big business, we need to take the challenge to our own blindfolded Governments.

In her calm and through exploration of the unforeseen consequences of law making,? Eradicating Ecocide takes us through the convoluted changes in law and the pivotal court cases that lead to the development (in law) of corporations being held to account for damages made to the environment as “fictional persons” The example Higgins cites is the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad trial of 1886, where for “the first time that the word ‘person’ in the fourteenth Amendment was presumed to include corporations.” See Eradicating Ecocide for further details on the outcome of this pre-trial statement.

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

Eradicating Ecocide also focuses on the development of ‘compromise laws’ by big business and the law courts in order to pacify pollution concerns. The subsequently formed ‘compromise legislation’ merely side steps environmental responsibility whilst failing to provide any real deterrence against the destruction of the planet. The biggest failure in compromise recently was at Cop 15 in Copenhagen. Desperate to end the conference with some form of good news, politicians’ delivered the “The Copenhagen Accord“. As this document is not legally binding, nothing within this treaty has yet to be implemented in local or worldwide politics, as of yet there is no binding successor to equally compromised Kyoto Protocol.

For myself, Eradicating Ecocide highlights that the problem with placing profit over all else is that monetary worth becomes the barometer against which all ‘worth’ is measured. Subsequently the earth and its ‘resources’ become a mere asset. Once the earth is seen as an asset, it ceases to be alive and once it ‘dies’ it becomes easier for the bio habitat to be seen as singular commodities (a trend which began with the Industrial Revolution). Subsequently we, the citizens of the planet, must fight to save the planet as a living organisim in its entirety, not solely the sections we personally inhabit.

The Destruction of the Tar Sands by Gareth A Hopkins

A brave book, Eradicating Ecocide takes the stance that by allowing the “commercial exploration and destruction of resources” to take “precedence over the obligation of the sacred trust”, corporations have become the colonisers of the 21st Century. Within the UN framework, the concept behind the sacred trust is to ask for “community interests to be placed over private and corporate decisions.” (p.57)

Eradicating Ecocide is an inspiring, informative read and an incredible history lesson on the role of law (so often seemingly abstract from our lives) in shaping our society, our business and the way we view the earth. Personally, the book is incredible for its demand that we use that which is already present within the UN – The development of International Criminal Law in the wake of World War Two and the concept of Trusteeship– to implement these necessary changes. Because the framework for Crimes against Peace already exists, Ecocide could be included without the need to create any new organisations.

The book’s brilliance is that it functions as a template for what both citizen and state can do to protect the environment. Eradicating Ecocide contains useful advice on how we, citizens of the world can implement change. For example, by joining existing climate change networks or starting your own, we can apply pressure on Governments to recognizing Ecocide as a breach against peace. We have the power of the multiple and the power of the streets on our side. With an ever-increasing population, we need to accept the earths resources’ are finite and move away from a market driven economy.

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

For an update on the Climate Change debate in the wake of Cop 15, I recommend reading Higgins’ account of Cancun (Cop 16) and her summery of the RED++ deal; “The commercialisation of forests into the hands of the corporate sector to make money out of supposedly saving forests.”

A brilliant book and one that needs to be read, especially in the light of the recent news that oil companies plan to resume deep sea drilling.

If middle England can stand up against the Coalition’s plans to sell 15% of British Forests, we can ALL stand up against a destruction on a far wider scale -the loss of “the Earth’s lungs”- too.

For further information please visit the book’s website: This is Ecocide’s.

Lubna Madan by Alexandra Rolfe
Lubna Madan by Alexandra Rolfe

It was three minutes past ten, dosage meaning I was three minutes late (as ever…) for my meeting at Camellia’s Teahouse in Soho. As the bus crawled another inch up the Strand, troche I began to wonder if I would ever get there in respectable time (and also if the lady sitting in front of me was wearing a toupee – yes, viagra 60mg people, a toupee – but that’s entirely beside the point).

I hopped off the 23 on Regent Street, sauntered down the ever-charming Carnaby Street and after a few minutes of genuine confusion and cursing myself for not planning ahead better – my general view before visiting somewhere new is ‘hey, I don’t need to look at a map: I know the area, how hard can it be?’ – I finally found Camellia’s, nestled on the top floor of an outdoors shopping precinct.

KatieByrne
Photography by Ajit Madan

Before Lubna Madan bought the premises with her brother Ajit in 2007, the shop was a vintage clothing store, and the likes of Amy Winehouse used to pop in to browse. Indeed, Amy came into Camellia’s on the shop’s first day of opening (‘She didn’t buy anything,’ Lubna tells me quickly.) Other famous visitors include actor Jonathan Rhys Meyer and Shizuyo Yamasaki and Chinatsu Wakatsin, two of Japan’s biggest stars who loved it so much that Camellia’s is now featured in Japanese guidebooks of London. Situated near a stone’s throw from the raucous crowds of Regent and Oxford Street, Camellia’s is to the thirsty shopper, I imagine, rather like a waterhole to a lost explorer in the desert. Except cleaner, and with friendly staff and chairs.

If, like me, you are a bit of a tea addict, chances are you will be stunned into silence when you first step into Camellia’s. The bookcases containing around 120 different jars of tea were so impressive that they put me in mind of the library in Beauty and the Beast, and each caddy was neatly labelled, listing the benefits of the tea enclosed.

Tea by Ashley Fauguel
Illustration by Ashley Fauguel.

Alas, I didn’t have the chance to be stunned into silence – although I’m pretty sure there were at least three seconds when I stood motionless with my mouth hanging open – as I was instantly meeted and greeted (well, it sounds better than ‘met and gret’) by Lubna, Ajit and their P.R. chap Ian. Ian left shortly afterwards, and I began to quiz the Madans about their business, starting with the most difficult question first.

‘What’s your favourite tea?’ I asked, with a challenging raise of the eyebrow. Paxman, eat your heart out.

Surprisingly enough, they were both able to answer; Ajit plumped for White Apricot (which I tasted a cup of – trust me, it’s delicious) and Lubna opted for Beautiful Skin tea, a tasty blend of rosebuds, elderflower and a host of other yummy goodies. Lubna and Ajit talked me through some of their most popular teas, some of which are believed to help medical ailments such as stress (Bobby Marley blend), acne (the afore-mentioned Beautiful Skin tea) and a huge range of other problems.

AjitMadan
Photography by Katie Byrne

All of the teas are blended by Lubna herself, who, with a background in homeopathy, has an extremely vast knowledge of the health benefits of everything she puts into her teas. ‘All the recipes are my own,’ she tells me. ‘Tea excites me – it’s my passion. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night shaking, as I’ll have just dreamt up a new recipe.’

There are also slabs of cake, slices of pie and quiche, sandwiches and other teatimes favourites available – some of which are made with tea (e.g. green tea muffins). Alas, my steely Lent resolution meant that I restrained myself, but if you visit then please do have some cake on my behalf.

Tea House by Madi
Tea House by Madi

Ajit and Lubna then asked me if I’d like to try making my own blend. I began nodding so enthusiastically that I must have looked like one of those toy dogs that sit in the back of cars.

Armed with a spatula and a dozen or so different teas, I began to concoct my ‘Kay-tea’. A bit of lavender…a scoop of ‘Very Berry’…some lemon peel…a pinch of star anise…a bit of liquorice…a touch of rosehip… Basically I got a little carried away and used a bit of everything. Once I had finished – i.e. there was nothing left for me to use – Ajit took the blend away to brew it. Three minutes later, he returned.

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Photography by Ajit Madan

I was a little nervous. What if it tasted awful? Then I could mark tea-making as yet another career that I would never be able to pursue (I am still a little tender after my GCSE Chemistry teacher told me that my ‘dream’ of being a dentist was impossible owing to my scientific ineptitude. And I’ll never forget the time I got rejected following a job interview at Woolworths). Ajit poured us each a cupful and I tentatively took a sip.

I was very pleasantly surprised – it was lovely; or, to use my original verdict of it, ‘Ribena-y’. It was indeed fruity, but I could pick up the other flavours too meaning that it was a real taste-sensation. The cherry on top was that Ajit and Lubna liked it too!

I have to be perfectly honest. I loved the shop, and if I lived closer I would probably become an irritatingly frequent customer. I am 100% behind any company that is brave enough to stick to its own guns and refuse to conform to what the masses dictate (such as The People’s Supermarket), and I think Camellia’s really does make a refreshing change: expertise, personality and affordability, all under one roof.

Whereas I am normally more than happy to swing by Starbucks for a green tea (although Starbucks green tea never really tastes that green…) I really relish the idea of tea being an event rather than just something that comes with a paper cup and a little wooden stick. Camellia’s, with its vintage china, acres of choice and emphasis on health and well-being, is a million miles away from the current chain-coffeehouses. You should definitely visit – I think it would be just your cup of tea.

Camellia’s Teahouse can be found on the Top Floor, 2.12 Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London ?W1B 5PW

Categories ,Ajit Madan, ,Alexandra Rolfe, ,Ashley Fauguel, ,Camellia’s Teahouse, ,Carnaby A, ,Chinatsu Wakatsin, ,Jonathan Rhys Meyer, ,Kingly Court, ,Lubna Madan, ,Madi, ,Madi Illustrates, ,Oxford Street, ,Regent Street, ,Shizuyo Yamasaki, ,Starbucks, ,tea, ,The People’s Supermarket

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Amelia’s Magazine | Uncivilisation 2011, The Dark Mountain Festival: Preview interview with Dougald Hine

Dark Mountain issue 2 cover by Rima Staines
Dark Mountain issue 2 cover by Rima Staines.

What have you been doing since the last Uncivilisation Festival? It’s been over a year and I presume you’ve been suitably busy…

Yes, viagra last year’s Uncivilisation does feel like a long time ago. I think it’s safe to say that neither Paul Kingsnorth nor I had ever imagined we’d find ourselves running a festival. It happened by accident. We were writers, we’d written a manifesto with the idea of starting a journal of stories and ideas — and then we got invited to use this venue in Llangollen for a weekend to bring together all these people for whom the manifesto meant something. It was an intense experience. (Read our post 2010 festival interview with Dougald Hine.)

Afterwards, we took some time out to reflect and decide what we wanted to do next. We started to hear from people who were running their own Dark Mountain events, which was very cool, and from bands who were releasing records inspired by the project. It’s a humbling experience, seeing other people respond to something you’ve written and take it to completely unexpected places, and do something beautiful with it.

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Cernunnos – from Dougie Strang’s Liminal.

We knew we were going to do another book. We had writers getting in touch who we’d really admired, people like David Abram and Naomi Klein, and new writers sending us amazing work that spoke from the middle of the chaos we’re living through, or from the wild places at the edges. And as Issue Two came together, we realised we had to do another festival. There’s only so far you can go in print, or online. Beyond a certain point, you need to create spaces for people to come together face to face, to have conversations, to laugh and cry and hold onto each other. So yes, Uncivilisation is back, another gathering of stories and ideas, performances and encounters.

mark-boyle at last year's Dark Mountain
Mark Boyle at last year’s Dark Mountain Festival.

What are your feelings about climate change thinking and activism at the moment in the UK and worldwide? And in terms of the other associated problems we face? A lot has changed since May 2010…

It feels like there’s a new conversation opening up, with a rawness and an honesty to it. I’m thinking of the piece Shaun Chamberlin wrote after Just Do It the film came out, and also of an article of George Monbiot‘s from a couple of months ago. You compare that to the debates we had with George in the first year or so of Dark Mountain, which feel pretty sterile to me in retrospect, and there’s a sense that even as the situation becomes more desperate, in many ways, people are reaching deeper into themselves.

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The roundwood timber frame classroom at the Sustainability Centre built by Ben Law. Photo courtesy of Permaculture.

And meanwhile, I think it’s dawning on many more people just what a multi-layered mess we’re in. The entanglement between the ecological crisis and the social and economic unravelling of the world we grew up in. I’m struck by how fast history seems to be moving these days, how quickly the ground of “normality” is shifting. Even in mainstream politics, the fabric is wearing thin, the gap between the official version of reality and people’s lived experience becomes more obvious.

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Huckleberry Mockingbird.

What will be different about this year’s festival?

It feels like we’re consciously approaching it as a journey that people go through. You arrive and you’ve left behind your everyday life, and you need permission to enter into this other kind of space, where it’s safe to feel things and have conversations you might not do with your colleagues or your friends back home. So the first night is full of magical performances, feral choirs and storytellers and lyrical boat-dwellers and music by lamplight.

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Marmaduke Dando.

Then the Saturday daytime is where we can have big conversations about the past and the future, going into the ways people have made life work and made life meaningful in difficult times. By the Saturday night, you need to let your hair down, so we’ve got some real party music with bands like Merry Hell. Then on Sunday, as you’re turning for home, there’s more space for sessions about practical projects building parallel infrastructure and ways of getting involved in things back in the day-to-day world that have an edge of deep resilience, that allow you to take back some of the meaning and perspective that Dark Mountain is hopefully making room for.

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What special new speakers and activities are you particularly excited about and why?

Personally, I’m looking forward to Tom Hironsstorytelling on the Friday night, and the Collapsonomics panel on the Saturday morning. That’s going to be a group of speakers who have personal experience of living through economic and social crisis — in the USSR, in Ireland and Iceland. They’re also all people who have an inside understanding of how the systems we depend on work, financial systems, tech systems. I’m expecting to learn a lot from that conversation.

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Graph to show life expectancy and financial equality, from Vinay Gupta’s website.

And there are a couple of people who really stood out last year, who I’m really delighted are coming back. Vinay Gupta, who I’ll be interviewing on the Saturday afternoon, who’s this extraordinary hybrid between a Scots engineer and an Indian mystic, talking about these deeply practical projects he develops for working in the aftermath of disasters, but also the roots of his ability to think clearly about this stuff in the tradition of the ‘kapilika’, ‘the bearers of the skull bowl’, constantly facing your own mortality. And Jay Griffiths, who was one of the most moving speakers last year, she’ll be back to talk about the songlines and dream-shrines of West Papua.

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Why did you choose to host this year’s Uncivilisation Festival at the Sustainability Centre? How many people do you hope will attend?

One thing we learned from last year is that the festival is as much about the people you meet as the speakers or the bands you see. So we wanted a venue with lots of space for conversations, walks in the woods, gatherings around campfires. We’re expecting about three hundred people, this time. It’s important to us that it’s a human-scale event, that there’s chance for us to meet people and hang out with them.

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The philosophy of Dark Mountain has been described as moody, poetic and a bit devoid of hope. How do you respond when people say this to you?

To be honest, I know this is an impression people sometimes have at second- or third-hand, but it’s not something I get asked much by people who’ve actually had any contact with us. If you check out the video of people at last year’s festival, ‘hope’ is actually one of the words that comes up when people try to describe what they’ve experienced.

Now, that might seem strange, given that the starting point for Dark Mountain is admitting how deep a mess we’re in — letting go of the fantasy that we can take control of this reeling world, which, for all the wonders of science, we only partly understand. But hope is a strange thing — it’s not the same as optimism, or having a plan. It’s an attitude, a way of being in the world, treating each other well and finding meaning, even in the dark times. Go back to the Greek myths, and the last thing out of Pandora’s Box, after all the evils of the world, is hope.

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Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

What’s next for the Dark Mountain Project?

We’re going to take some time out this autumn, before we come back and start working on the next book and the other plans we’ve been brewing. For me, it will be a time to weave some of the threads from Dark Mountain into the other things I’m working on — The University Project, where we’re creating new pockets and pathways for the cultivation of knowledge, and Space Makers, and the patchwork of other people and projects I’ve been stumbling across which share this search for what works and what makes life meaningful, when the future hasn’t turned out the way the grown-ups said it would.

See my full listing for Uncivilisation here. Anyone who is interested in positive ways that we can tackle multiple crises together should put the dates in the diary right now: 19th-21st August, and book those tickets now.

Categories ,Cernunnos, ,Collapsonomics, ,Dark Mountain, ,David Abram, ,Dougald Hine, ,Dougie Strang, ,ecology, ,Financial Crisis, ,George Monbiot, ,Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly., ,Huckleberry Mockingbird, ,Indian, ,Jay Griffiths, ,Just Do It, ,Liminal, ,Llangollen, ,Mark Boyle, ,Marmaduke, ,Marmaduke Dando, ,Merry Hell, ,Naomi Klein, ,Pandora’s Box, ,Paul Kingsnorth, ,Rima Staines, ,Scottish, ,Songlines, ,Space Makers, ,storytelling, ,sustainability, ,The University Project, ,Uncivilisation Festival, ,Vinay Gupta, ,West Papua

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Amelia’s Magazine | Who Are You Calling Stupid?

Most music lovers have certain labels that they follow, information pills price awaiting releases, viagra 100mg excited by the new directions the people behind these labels have chosen to take. Warp and Planet Mu are two such labels for myself. Years of solid, this web progressive releases have meant I trust their taste – and once again, I think they may have succeeded.

Tim Exile‘s new album bends and shifts between tracks, layering genres from trip-hop to jungle with aspects of punishing techno all combined with stiffly melodic vocals hanging over the top of it all. Each track rolls around almost drunkenly, though perpetually rolling forward – something only possible through the albums astounding production.

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There is something about the vocals that don’t strike me as truly necessary. They don’t reach out and suck you in enough and at times and you feel like they’re just sort of there, almost unnecessarily. The tracks speak for themselves; they don’t need Tim’s mutterings splashed across them – often just cheapening the melodies created by his impressive range of synth sounds.

What works much better can be seen in a youtube video of Tim Exile remixing Micachu live. Such an obscure combination that you just know that it could work perfectly, and it does. Well, kind of. It’s interesting.

My highpoint of the album surprisingly comes in the form of ‘Family Galaxy’. It springs from Exile’s past as a Drum and Bass producer (albeit a rather experimental one). On mass, I hate drum and bass. It really is quite ridiculous how much guff can be produced week after week, tirelessly, systematically presenting itself as the same thing. This track however just seems to play with your senses, drawing you in. Then you realise you’re listening to drum and bass and you just have to commend the man. ‘Carouselle’ is also well worth a listen. Truly uplifting experimentations with sounds and melodies it has a kind of dramatic theatricality to it.

This is an album fans of the obscure corners of electronica will enjoy, but not hold up as an album everyone should care about. Intelligent Dance Music is a genre I try to distance myself from (a recent evening spent in a room with Aphex Twin actually scared me away from the genre). This album however seems to bring quite a colorful and enjoyable feel to a genre that seems to thrive in the horrific side of music.

It has to be said I am still trying in vain to establish myself as savvy online shopper. A string of failed eBay purchases led me to become rather despondent about the whole word of online retailing. However recently I found a shop that wholeheartedly restored my faith in the otherwise online abyss.

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Hip London based retailer Youreyeslie have emerged on the scene with a shed load of innovative new designers to get our online juices flowing. Branding themselves with the comical slogan “bad taste is better then no taste” its clear to see these guys are not ones for conventional clothing. Featuring everything from bake well tart rings to t-shirts brandishing Nuns with red noses. Their kitsch designs for men and women are sure to make you stand out amidst the city crowds.

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The t-shirts feature an eclectic range of styles to suit all tastes from the grunge rockers, hospital the whimsical bohemians to the new rave eccentrics. The site are keen on promoting hand illustration so all t-shirts are beautifully intricate. My favourite has to be the delicate printed tiger oversized t-shirt, I think you will agree he is a handsome beast! I definitely want to take him home.

My Achilles’ heel of the entire website has to be the accessories. They got the entire Amelia’s HQ resorting to excited childish giggles. Each of us tried to conjure plausible excuses to buy a whole bundle of their adorable pendants.The whimsical designs are brilliantly kitsch, taking you on an imaginative whirlwind tour through the fairground, with marching band and tambourine pendants. Then it’s on to the tropical jungle with exotic birds and butterflies and if that’s not enough excitement you’re then catapulted into the realms of outer space with a rocket pendant.

My favourite has to be this bird pendant of two Bluetits, (see a pastoral upbringing has its distinct advantages, well for bird classification at least!) Anyway as an avid bird fan myself these beautifully delicate feathered friends get the thumbs up from me, I happen to think they would be very content perched on my neck.

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So give your wardrobe that new leash of life it craves, with free delivery over orders above £50 there is no excuse not to go mad, well that’s my reasoning anyway! Send us stuff by the barrel load, here at Amelia’s we are well and truly hooked on YEL!
I’m sure that all our our wonderful Amelia’s Magazine readers have got a viewpoint on animal testing being conducted for cosmetic products. And I would like to think that the viewpoint is that it is JUST PLAIN WRONG! (Seriously, page what other viewpoint is there?!) I don’t know about you, hospital but I have been under the illusion that we were all in agreement about this, and so were the suits behind all legislations that decided upon animal testing. Apparently I was wrong. Because R.E.A.C.H had got there first. Under this law ( also known as Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), many more animal tests are taking place as the scientists try to work out which chemicals can harm us. Alarmingly, these include chemicals found in cosmetics and toiletries.

Having found out that one of my favourite brands, Lush, have been campaigning heavily against this, I spoke with Andrew Butler, Lush’s Campaign Manager at Lush H.Q to find out more about this situation.

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Andrew, I can’t get my head around this.

“This whole R.E.A.C.H thing is horribly convoluted situation, and a lot of people don’t know about it. R.E.A.C.H is already a reality, people have been fighting it for years, but it went through, largely because its something that people didn’t fully understand, It has been too complicated for the media to follow. R.E.A.C.H affects all products. It is a piece of legislation that is about 10 years in the making, and here’s the backround: consumer and health organisations were concerned that there were chemicals on the market that were potentially harmful, either through direct contact or consumers, or via the environment, and concerned that things were getting into the soil or the water, and getting into food chain or affecting wildlife. The kind of concerns in question were if the substance was an irritant, or carcinogenic, or a endocrine disruptor, – i.e it upset the hormonal balance. and so R.E.A.C.H was designed to be a catch all, and pull together all the diverse different bodies that dealt with chemicals in Europe into one central body and pull together existing information and fill in any blanks that there may be, and this was why R.E.A.C.H came to pass.”

But it sounds laudable, in theory?

“Absolutely, we should be ensuring that dangerous chemicals are not in the marketplace, and anything that is either cancer causing or disruptive of hormone systems should be heavily restricted or banned. But it is the way that the data is collected, and the sorts of data is used to ascertain whether something is safe or not. . And that was something that was not asked of the people who proposed the legislation. The groups were concerned about the chemicals, but not necessarily how the safety would be assessed. Traditional toxicology and eco toxicology involves animal tests, and that has always been the case. Pretty much everything that you can imagine from the carpet under your feet to the painting on the walls has been tested on animals somewhere by someone. Almost everything has been through a lethal dose 50 test which is where a group of animals is force fed a substance until 50% of them die. Its something that is done for virtually everything.

Companies who are concerned with safety testing but also don’t want to use animals have been concerned with the ingredients so there are various mechanism that companies can put in place so animal testing is not used. They can set a cut off date after which ingredients are not tested on animals, or they won’t do business with companies that are testing on animals. There are grave questions about the validity of animal testing, not just the ethics. The animal testing data is not really applicable to people.

As R.E.A.C.H was being developed there was pressure to not rely on animal test data. We ran a campaign in our stores, we collected postcards to MEPS urging them to not rely on animal tests under R.E.A.C.H, we collected 85,000 of those and sent them to MEPS. Many groups, such as Animal Aid and PETA were also campaigning against R.E.A.C.H. In the six years that the legislation was being passed, there were provisions put in place. For example, if animal test data already existed for a particular ingredient, that should be used in place of any new data. So provisions were put in place to minimise it, but not do away with it entirely. ”

I’m sure we already know it, but what is Lush’s stand on animal testing?

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Lush goes into the stocks

“For us as a company, we have an objection to animal testing – both because it isn’t ethical to inflict suffering and kill animals in order to assess safety, and we don’t believe that animal tests will result in accurate info, we feel that the animal test data is inconclusive. Generally speaking, animal tests offer an accuracy rate of 40%, whereas the non animal tests are accurate 70- 80%. We are opposed to animal tests being mandatory in R.E.A.C.H. We need to ensure safety without suffering, with modern, non animal testing methods that will give us much more accurate results. ”

When did R.E.A.C.H come into effect, and what kind of ingredients are being tested?

“The legislation passed in 2007, and it has been implemented over the last couple of years. R.E.A.C.H legislation presides over anything that has undergone a chemical process – so e.g. a lavender flower isn’t included, but lavender essential oil would be considered a chemical, because it has undergone a chemical process. Anyone manufacturing or importanting any material in Europe that is over a tone of materials have to register it to R.E.A.C.H, and collectively, almost everything comes under these guidelines. And the deadline for this was December 2008 and the European Chemicals Agency were meant to have sift through all of these registrations, come up with a final list and set deadlines for the testing to be done. 140,000 materials need to be tested and be given safety information. If the data doesn’t exist, animal testing needs to be done. There is a huge degree of uncertainty – how much of that data already exists? How much animal testing needs to be done? Potentially, millions of animal experiments will need to be done. And it tends to be the more natural substances, like essential oils that don’t have all of the data. They are the ones who are going to end up being having to have their products tested; this will be done against their will.”

This is all so bleak! Is there a possibility of a positive outcome?

“We are struggling at the moment, because of the degree of uncertainty. But there is a silver lining. There is the European Cosmetics Directive, which came into force on March 11th 2009, it is an amendment to the cosmetics directive. It says that you cannot test any ingredients for cosmetics on animals in Europe. You can’t even market a product in Europe containing ingredients that have been tested on animals anywhere in the world. So on the one hand you have this, and on the other, you have R.E.A.C.H. ”

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Before the last draft of R.E.A.C.H was passed, Lush paid a visit with a manure truck

So which one gets the say so on testing?

“That is a good question! It’s something that has to be tested in court. The whole cosmetics industry sees that there is clearly a conflict. What we need is for more companies to stand up and start questioning this, and to get the British Government to stand up and say that we are questioning this. So our campaign right now is awareness raising. R.E.A.C.H spells the end to cruelty free cosmetics. So if you care about this, you need to be aware of this, you need to start talking about this, and you need to ask other companies what they are doing about this. What are the British Government doing about this? They stood up in 1998 and said no more animal testing. Well they have signed us up to the biggest animal testing programme in Europe’s history, what’s that all about? Lush can engage corporate disobedience, and refuse to toe the line but thats not enough, if everyone is complying with R.E.A.C.H then animal testing will still go ahead. It needs to be collective. And the British public need to get involved too!”

Is there information readily available in Lush stores about this?

“Until the end of Easter there is information in all the stores, it’s being run as an in store campaign. The aim after Easter is to get a more comprehensive leaflet that will be available if you ask for it. There is also always going to be information on our website (www.lush.co.uk/reachout/ ) We are hoping to produce letters to MP’s and other companies, specifically about this issue.”

How has the feedback been from your Lush customers?

“We have had a really strong response. We have run plenty of campaigns about packaging, shark finning, human rights in Guantanamo, all sorts of things and this is one of the strongest customer responses, people have been shocked – they had no idea that this was happening. A lot of the responses have been that this is contrary to my rights, this should be going through the European Human Rights Courts because it should be my right to say, no I am not going to be alright with animal testing.

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Information booth outside Lush

R.E.A.C.H is a law, there is not one particular thing that you can do to stop it, but if we do lots of things; if we at least start talking about this, and get large companies to stand up and say that we are not happy about this situation, then we stand a chance.”
If you haven’t come across Etsy before, treatment a bank holiday weekend is a good time to start exploring, find as you could very easily wake up Tuesday morning and find that’s all you’ve done for the last 4 days. www.Etsy.com is kind of like Ebay, but only for handmade items – from cookies to soap, socks to coffee tables – if it can be made, chances are you’ll find someone on Etsy who’s made it. Painter, carpenter and photographer Rob Kalin created the site after failing to find anywhere he could sell his products online. In 2005,the year the site was launched, $166,000 worth of goods were sold. This year, they had already sold $32 million worth by March. The ethos behind the site is responsible for it being such a massive hit in the States, and its starting to become better known worldwide- everyone is reacting against our culture of mass-production and supporting small, home-run businesses where people make things by hand. The following statement fromt the company explains it all…

With the global economic crisis putting finances in a squeeze, Etsy is a great way to maximize a budget. There is an endless variety of unique, quality handmade gifts at affordable prices. Besides being memorable, these gifts are also valuable. They’re made to last a lifetime, not just until next year’s version comes out. Which means less trash for landfills, and more savings for shoppers. Plus, each purchase on Etsy directly supports independent artists and designers.

To ease you in gently, I have picked out some affordable works of art that would be a wise investment and more importantly, might brighten up your home. If you like a seller’s work, click on their ‘Favourites’ tab on the right hand side of the Etsy web page, which will take you to all the sellers they like..and so on until before you know it your cyber basket is full!

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Rebellious by Carrina Rothwell
Embroidery is huge on Etsy- these witty pieces really make me laugh.

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Aqua interior print by Annechovie
Anne’s amazing paintings of interiors are just gorgeous- if you have a chair, rug or room that you particularly love, commission a painting of it so you can take it with you wherever you go.

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I’m afraid I can’t help it by JKLDesign
These paintings are part pop art, part fashion shoot. Check out the photography from this seller too.

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Tea Fairy by Winonacookie
Lots of artists on Etsy use old images from vintage photographs and books to create new collages or ‘altered art’. Winonacookie is my favourite, though she’s obviously gained a fair following and her originals are a tad pricey now. Remember- the prices shown are in dollars though- they change it when you check out.

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Two photographers making really special work are
Lightleaks and Capree (below).

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Their work would look perfectly at home on the pages of Dazed and Confused or Vogue. Nab a print before they make it big.

You can view my favourite spring fashion buys from Etsy by clicking here.
Who would have thought that so close to Oxford Street, information pills headache-inducing caricature of the nation’s identikit high streets that it is, Great Marlborough Street would reside, a civilized and calm conduit of the Capital’s finest culture creators. Culture creators with smart suits and serious rosé habits, who have long since outgrown their boho-clobber. And right between these parallel universes, on the barely-noticeable Ramillies Street, we find the new home of The Photographers Gallery. It is a very efficient three-tier cuboid of display. If Muji did art galleries, they’d be like this.
The prize exhibition began on the 20th of February, and for a few nail-biting weeks of suspense, we wondered where the fickle finger of fate would land, and what arguments we would have to have about it, while the winner went off to Jessop’s to fritter away their £30,000.

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The winner, it turns out, is Paul Graham. Graham’s work is pure uninterventionalist America-watching, with a dark profundity to it. A fat man in America pulls on a cigarette like he really needs it outside a drab white building. He’s shuffling about, going nowhere until the end of his fix. And he’s doing the the same again. And again. And again. Some trees in America do nothing. And again. And again. The book that led to his nomination is entitled A Shimmer Of Possibility. It’s all as dry as this, yet strangely moving. A sequence of the book depicts one hard-on-his-luck chap striding across New York tensely, again with a cigarette, yet each shot is followed by a shot of a magnificent, yet naturally composed North Dakota sunset. It’s just the very idea that one man’s drab life and lack of purpose coexists with the world’s beauty. A beauty that cares not at all, but still offers a redemptive temple for prayer. It’s inevitable that this will be compared with Robert Franks’ The Americans. It’s a valid comparison, since critical distance is the backbone of each body of work. But A Shimmer Of Possibility is not an update, but more a change of gear, with all dynamism and gusto drained from The Land Of The Free, the better to imprison them within our gaze. But that’s the book.
The exhibition space doesn’t really have room to display a significant proportion of Graham’s slow narratives. The small selection here should be taken as an existentialist aperitif, and is not necessarily the most potent of his output.

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Moving up two floors, you’ll find the three runners-up. Tod Papageorge is responsible for taking pictures of people in Central Park constantly for twenty-two years (1969-1991). These are bizarre little vignettes situated within the expanse of Manhattan’s great lawn. It’s a bit like zooming into a Watteau and finding little scenes depicting the strangeness of twentieth century life. A young couple stretched out on a blanket in the sun. A scruffy man combs his son’s hair in a clearing. In a very compelling shot, a black man lies in repose before a chessboard. The black pieces are his. The white pieces belong to the gallery-going public. Is this a meaningless chance happening, or composed confrontation? It drives right to the core of what apparently out-on-the-prowl photography can be, asking the viewer what they can see, and are they right to see it.

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The next encounter is with the work of Taryn Simon. I found her the most fascinating exhibitor here. These photographs constitute a very focused project, to catalogue aspects of America that are normally hidden or unfamiliar. The hydroponic marijuana room at a licensed research lab. A cryopreservation unit that holds the bodies of the wife and mother of cryogenics expert Robert Ettinger. A couple of thousand nuclear waste capsules sitting at the bottom of a watery containment facility in Washington State. A Braille edition of Playboy magazine. Finches in quarantine. The seized contraband room at JFK airport, full of tropical plants, odd food, diseased vegetation, and bushmeat, all awaiting incineration. These glimpses off the radar, though all beautifully captured, lack a consistent visual style. The subject is paramount, to a documentary degree, and each must be captured on its own terms. Simon is really allowing her issues to speak for themselves, be it with humour, disgust, or merely what Stephen fry would call Quite Interesting-ness. It’s a glimpse behind the curtain, bringing your conspiracy theory gland into the real world, for each composition is an altercation between your notions of real and normal, usually wedded, now in uncomfortable stand-off. The most powerful piece is a heart-wrenching portrait of Kenny, a white tiger, residing at an animal refuge, selectively inbred as a status pet by Arkansas half-wits, themselves perhaps inbred. Kenny has breathing difficulties, malformed bones and teeth, and cannot close his jaw. His siblings are even worse off, apparently. Looking into Kenny’s eyes and wondering, identifying, is overwhelming. Elsewhere on the spectrum is an interior of the CIA’s art collection offices. Simple yet sinister, this makes you wonder about all the things you still can’t see, all the dirty interventions by Intelligence Agents in our beloved realm of culture.

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Simon’s project is almost journalistic, and the photos need to be accompanied by the little text labels, which explain these otherwise very disparate images. However, if that constitutes a dilution of the definition of a photographer, it’s nothing next to Emily Jacir’s deviation. She presents an archive of the life of Walter Zuaiter, a Palestinian intellectual who was assassinated in Rome by Israel’s Wrath Of God Operation in 1972, after they linked him, perhaps falsely, to the Munich Olympics massacre.
Jacir would have been two years old at the time, and I’m assuming she didn’t take the photos herself. She is an archivist, perhaps a curator, likely an artist, certainly a fangirl, but I can’t see how she could be called a photographer. Photography Prize, remember? It’s easy to redefine art for found objects, but the word photography is a bit more specific than that. I suppose that’s just semantics. It may not be in the right place, but it is worth seeing, and is a tragic memory of this intriguing life. She displays a selection of paperbacks that he had read, along with letters, and old photographs as a way to create some space for the personal amidst the political, the human amongst the historical. And it’s good that not everything here is about America.

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The show overall is a pretty still, meditative, even modest affair. Beauty abounds. And thought. The Deutsche Börse Prize turns all of this into a big discussion about art and value. To award one prize is a shame, and probabilistically, only a quarter of people would agree with the choice of Graham, but art, at least, wins on the ground floor, and the second floor. The filling to this Photography sandwich is a shop for photography books and prints and coffee. The hordes of Oxford Street will never know. Don’t be one of them.

The Exhibition runs until April 12.
Monday, what is ed 13th

Enough with the chocolate eating! Music can be delicious as well, so go enjoy your last holiday evening with Bombay Bicycle Club (the band, not the restaurant silly!) at KCLSU (King’s College Student Union). They are launching a very yummy single called “Always Like This” which is the leader one from their new album due this summer.
7:30 pm. £8.50.

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Bombay Bicycle Club

Tuesday, 14th

Some Swedish romanticism can`t hurt, right? Well, Loney Dear is back celebrating the release of their fifth album ‘Dear John’ with a full band show at Scala, fresh from an extensive tour around America.
On support duties, welcome Snowbird, a brand new and rather bewitching collaboration from Stephanie Dosen and Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins, Bella Union) playing songs of the old and new variety. As if that’s not enough, there`s also the full lavishly appointed and luxuriously hand-tooled 8 piece version of The Leisure Society, a fast rising orchestral folk-pop band whose tour will culminate at this very show.
7:30 pm. £11.50

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Loney Dear

Wednesday 15th

Acclaimed indie pop trio The Wave Pictures release their latest album ‘If You Leave It Alone’ on the 4th May. The band is currently on tour in the UK and London fellows can check out the homonym single at ICA this Wednesday.
7:30pm. £8.50.

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The Wave Pictures

Thursday 16th

OK, so far it`s been impossible not to go out every single evening in the week. The musical orgy continues on Thursday with all the Berlin coolness of The Whitest Boy Alive, fronted by Erland Oye, formerly Kings Of Convenience. The will be playing “Rules”, the new album, at Scala.
7:30 pm. £15.

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The Whitest Boy Alive

Friday 17th

Temper`s Trap new release Science Of Fear is due to 20th April and a preview will be performed this Friday at Koko.
9:30PM. £5.00.

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Temper Trap

Saturday 18th

Great music for free? Here we come! To celebrate Record Store Day, Pure Groove will be hosting three gigs where you’ll be able to see Graham Coxon performing live, along with our own Dan Michaelson and Patrick Wolf.
10am to 6pm. Free.

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Graham Coxon

Sunday 19th

Everybody is all around talking about “Two Suns”, Bat For Lashes new album. Honestly? When we first listened to it at the office here we all flipped out.
They are playing a second night at Sheperd`s Bush Empire so guarantee your Sunday ticket before it sells out.
7:30 pm. £15

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Bat For Lashes

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How strong are the bricks and mortar that hold your house together? Chances are they are flimsier then you would think. Especially if you have ever fallen behind on a rent check, sick mortgage payment, drug or found that your job no longer exists, pharm or that your employers can’t afford to keep you on. These scenarios are affecting thousands of people every day, in every party of Britain. Millions of people are trapped in a vicious cycle of spiralling costs, a precarious job market and a serious shortage of funds – all which are contributing to a level of uncertainty that has not been experienced in our life time. When this all hits, it hits hard and its impact is usually centered on whatever place that you call home. It’s at this moment that you realise how fragile your home really is. Suddenly, the idea of becoming homeless doesn’t seem so far removed from your reality. Right now, there are 1.9 million households on council housing waiting lists and repossessions are predicted to rise to 75,000 in 2009. And right now, the entire housing market seems as fragile as a house of cards. Which is why Amelia’s Magazine would like to help raise money for Shelter. Read on for the design brief.

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DESIGN BRIEF:

Amelia’s Magazine has been asked to produce a piece of artwork for an exhibition that Shelter will be putting on in the summer. Other designers and artists who will be contributing to the exhibition include Stella Vine, Basso and Brooke and Rachel Whiteread. The final artworks will be auctioned to raise money for Shelter, and it’s a great honour to be asked to contribute to this. I’ve been given the TWO OF HEARTS, and the plan is to put together a patchwork quilt of cards in many different styles and designs, all depicting the TWO OF HEARTS. But I am not going to do this alone; in keeping with the way that I have produced the magazine this patchwork will be made up from contributions from illustrators. So I need your submissions! The best playing card designs will be added to the quilt and your name will be credited in the exhibition which you will also be invited to attend.

TECHNICAL DETAILS:

SIZE: Please design to standard playing card dimensions but larger scale. Your design should therefore be 126mm x 176mm and in jpg, psd or tiff format.

RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)

MY STYLE: I am looking for decorative, colourful interesting designs on the theme of TWO OF HEARTS. I’m excited, I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

SENDING IN YOUR DESIGN: Send your design to info@ameliasmagazine.com on an email clearly headed SHELTER CARD QUILT any time before this closing date.

CLOSING DATE: Please send your design into me by the end of June. Closing date for entries is Monday 29th June. If your design is picked to be used on the quilt I will be in touch at some point after the closing date to let you know.

UPDATE: WE NOW HAVE A FACEBOOK EVENT FOR THIS: CHECK THIS WEBSITE FOR THE BEST NEW DESIGNS AS THEY ARRIVE IN MY INBOX!
Fabstraction

Ian Davenport

This will be the artist’s second solo show at the Alan Cristea Gallery and will include 30 new works.

Alan Cristea Gallery
34 Cork Street, viagra sale London W1S 3NU
4th Mar 2009 – 17th Apr 2009

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Ad Nausea

Guy Denning
– solo show
A collection of powerful, website like this dark expresive Images depicting people at their
best and worst.

Signal Gallery, page 96A Curtain Rd, EC2A 3AA
Open to public: 27th March – 25th April 2009
Tuesday – Saturday 12 – 6pm

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New Work

Ron Arad
The exhibition will include some experimental pieces from the designers newly completed selection.

Timothy Taylor Gallery, 15 Carlos Place, London W1K 2EX
8th April- 9th Maf 2009
Monday to Friday 10am — 6pm
Saturday 10am — 1pm

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Prophecies and Deceits

Sousan Luqman
The show tackles concealment, transparency and hidden messages. The artist brings a personal insight into current global issues such as religion, war and politics,

Red Gate Gallery

10th Apr – 16th Apr 09
Opening Hours: Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon – Wed 2.30 pm – 6.30 pm
Last day of exhibition: Thursday 16th of April from 11 am to 5 pm
Free

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Mimetes Anonthe

Alastair Mackie
The lone chimpanzee lost in the urban concrete formed city jungle.
The artist’s sculptures often explores and questions the need to socially and economically race towards a better future. In this case the chimpanzee forces us to face our distant animal past.

The Economist Plaza, 25 St. James’s Street, London , SW1A 1HG
19th February – 17th April 2009

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The Quiet Men

Bernard Canavan, Daniel Carmody, John Duffin, Dermot Holland and Brian Whelan
The exhibition is a visual exploration of the experiences of five Irish immigrant artists in London.

PM Gallery & House, Mattock Lane, Walpole Park, London W5 5EQ
11th Mar – 18th Apr 09

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Here at Amelia’s Magazine we were left so in awe by the spectacular vintage emsembles we witnessed at last weeks Affordable Vintage Fair when contributer Robyn got in touch with this interview with 40′s pin up Fleur De Guerre, link we just couldn’t resist the chance to get our mits on all the trade secrets to her immaculate get up!

As a fully fledged vintage enthusiast, Fleur de Guerre was more then keen to act as hair stylist to the masses at this years Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair in Bethnal Green, London. A part time pin up model who dresses daily in full 1940′s regalia, Fleur states “it’s the hair done in rolls and curls, red lipstick and the eyeliner that makes my look”. Something that has come in handy for the 27 year old from Surrey who has straightened, curled and victoria rolled her way through a hoard of customers at The Queens of Vintage stall at the fair this afternoon.

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Fanning her face as she walks down the street towards a park opposite the FymFyg Bar where The Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair is hosted, Fleur exclaims “I stayed at my boyfriends house last night. He had forgotten to set his alarm clock forward from last weekend and I woke up an hour late. I rushed all the way here and haven’t stopped since. Im so hot and bothered, it was crazy in there.” Lowering herself onto the grass, Fleur crosses her legs and moves her face away from the sun commenting “I’ve such pale skin, I wish I had of brought my sunglasses, it’s such a lovely day. I think this is the first time I have sat in a park this year.”

Dressed in chocolate brown, high waisted sailor trousers with a pale green and white striped shirt, Fleur looks every bit the preened and perfectly turned out model. Her style is sophisticated and modest, complimenting her good posture and manner. Speaking about the fair Fleur comments “these fairs, there brilliant but they don’t usually have the kind of thing I like” she says in reference to the abundance of 70s and 80s vintage garments at the fair. Instead she says that “very late 30s, early 40s cotton sun dresses and suits are my thing, I probably won’t buy anything today”.

Fleur de Guerre, real name Fleur McGuerre is not a fan of her own name “it rhymes in a sort of embarrassing fashion.” Instead she adopted the alias Fleur de Guerre “when I introduced myself to somebody and they misheard me and thought, oh “Fleur of War”, thats a really cool name. So when I started doing pin up modeling I had a ready made name which fitted in well with my 1940s look. Fleur de Guerre is your war time undercover name, it works.”

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Although she has now been modeling for a year and a half, Fleur hasn’t always been so stylish. Picking at the grass in front of her she declares “I’d be lying if I said my mother didn’t think the way I dressed when I was in my late teens wasn’t completely awful.” Remembering really baggy jeans, dreadlocks and heavy metal Fleur states “I had two nose piercing, I was just really unfeminine basically.” Even in her younger years Fleur clearly adored all things unusual “I can distinctly remember the things I really loved. I had this really wacky pair of trainers in the late 80s with these sparkly pink laces, I also had this ra-ra skirt that I absolutely loved.” It was during her middle teens that Fleur’s style took on a much more individual approach, when she was 14 she “started getting into the whole alternative thing. I started to customize my jeans, I would cut up the side to put extra fabric in them.” Fleur’s mum still did not approve “she just wished that I’d wear a pair of jeans that fitted me properly. She was fine, to a certain extent she would encourage my individuality, help me out with my hair do’s when I was younger. She really approves of the way I dress now.”

After studying a degree in English Language and Literature at Kingston University, Fleur now works at The Readers Digest as a full time marketing copywriter. The job pays well enough for Fleur to enjoy suitably niche hobbies such as swing dancing to taking drives with her boyfriend in his collection of vintage cars. However it is modeling that fills the majority of Fleur’s spare time, although she insists with animated excitement “it wasn’t something that I ever thought I would do.” Fleur was introduced to the world of modeling through a friend who took her to a shoot for The Boudoir, a company that offers girls the opportunity to be dolled up in full vintage style hair and make up before taking part in a themed photo shoot. The shoot included 11 other girls who acted as examples of what customers could buy into before the company was fully launched, enabling Fleur to sample the world of fashion modeling for free. Not only did the experience give Fleur her first images on which to build a portfolio, it was also a great confidence boost. Recalling the shoot she exclaims “I did it and it was brilliant. I had a really great time, really enjoyed it, really like the photos.”

Other favourite photo shoots of Fleur’s include a shoot with Tony Rizzetti for lingerie brand What Katie Did in which she learned the traditional pin up poses. Jumping into each pose as she retells the experience Fleur explains “he’s funny because he goes “put your leg in front, you know like that, do an “ooh” for me” and he’ll do it too and put you totally at ease. It’s really helped me get more work”.

However as much as she enjoys her hobby, Fleur doesn’t see it turning into a full time career stating “if I could, I would” however not all her modeling experiences have been positive. So far this year the model hasn’t done much work, she explains looking pensive “by the end of last year I’d kind of killed my social life by going out modeling every weekend. I would be too tired to go out after a shoot in the evening. I didn’t have any more outfits, new outfits, because I don’t like wearing the same thing more than twice, once if I can get away with it.”

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Mixing her clothing is something that Fleur is quite accustomed to, she explains that while she prefers not to she “will occasionally be found in Primark. I get an attack of guilt when I come out and am like ‘Oh no! Child Labour!.” The Make Do and Mend ethics of the 1940s is something that Fleur would like follow “I wish I would learn to sew so I can perpetrate the whole Make Do and Mend thing myself, but in theory I support it.”

But for now she is concentrating on the present day, her schedule is waiting to be filled up with photo shoots and events. In the mean time she would like to concentrate on her blog “it is going really well, my readership is going up a lot. I wouldn’t say that I’m aiming for a career as a blogger but I’d like to see if it could get a bit more noticed.” She continues “I would like to try and grow and write some more informative articles about vintage”. However Fleur accepts the limitations of her chosen style “it’s very restricting but I’ve found my niche really, my calling.”
Tuesday 14th April

ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD/Q&A
6.20pm, sales
Renoir Cinema,
Holborn,
London, WC1N 1AW

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Certificate:
U
Duration:
99 minutes
Exclusive Preview and Q&A of this Oscar-nominated documentary from Werner Herzog on 14 April at Renoir Cinema. We welcome Clive Oppenheimer, the volcanologist featured in the documentary.
The long awaited new documentary from the director of Grizzly Man and Rescue Dawn, this critically acclaimed film was recently nominated for an Oscar. Winner of the best doc at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2008, this is the story of an outsider who, for the first time ever, is admitted to the Antarctic community of McMurdo station, and into the heart of one of the most remote places on earth.

Friday 17th April
MST Film Screening

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(image courtesy of Lea Jaffy; leajaffy_1@hotmail.com)

doors 7.30pm
Passing Clouds
corner of Kingsland Road
E8 4AA
MST: Landless farmers and the biggest march in Brazilian history , screening of a new film about the MST (Movimiento Sem Terra) in Brazil, to mark International Landless Day, plus Q&A with the director; music til late downstairs
Info: Movimientos/ movimientosuk@gmail.com
http://www.movimientos.org.uk/sitio/

UK AWARE 09 – Ideas for Greener Living
Date: Friday 17 Apr 2009 to Saturday 18 Apr 2009
?Time: 10am-6pm daily
Venue: Olympia Exhibition Centre
Hammersmith Road
London
W14 8UX

Description:
The two day exhibition will offer you hundreds of products, services and ideas that will help you lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Everything from the latest in ethical fashion to the fastest and most ingenious eco cars, from travel options to energy solutions will be there for you to discover.
The event will also include a symposium area, Green Screen Cinema, interactive areas, an ethical business start up surgery and over 40 ‘Green Machines’.
UK AWARE 09 promises to help save you money and cut your carbon emissions without compromising your modern lifestyle.
Venue: Olympia Exhibition Centre
Contacts: UK AWARE team
E-mail: info@ukaware.com?Web Address: www.ukaware.com

Sat April 18th

Turning The Tide

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(image courtesy of Lea Jaffy; leajaffy_1@hotmail.com)

Friends House
?173 Euston Road ?London,
NW1 2BJ?
United Kingdom

10am -5.15 pm
Cost: £25.00
Info: Turning the Tide
denised@quaker.org.uk
tevew@quaker.org.uk
phone: 020 7663 1061/1064

* Campaigners do it together! How we can make change, one-day Workshop,
Nonviolence for a change
All over the world, people join together to challenge injustice, overcome oppression and make a more just and peaceful society.
 
Turning the Tide promotes the understanding and use of nonviolence to help such groups become more effective.
 
Active nonviolence is a way of confronting injustice – not doing nothing, not responding violently, but struggling creatively to transform the situation.
 
Turning the Tide takes its inspiration and learning from effective nonviolent movements including those of Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, Greenham Women, environmental and economic justice movements, land rights nonviolent activists and many more. We offer workshops, speakers, literature, a journal and advice.
Remember last Tuesday when we all had to come back to real life after a long weekend of sugary indulgences? Well, information pills I had a really busy work day, visit but what relieved me was the fact that I had my name on the list for a great gig later that evening, site and that was The Leisure Society playing at the Scala, which I had spent the entire previous week looking forward to.
Seeing them live was sort of like reading a book and then watching the film adaptation: all the images (well in this case vibrations) I had in mind took seconds to became concrete. An enchanting sound fell on stage and all the countless amount of instruments they make use of guaranteed an impeccable performance.

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Their latest album, ‘The Sleeper’, holds a lot of great instrumental techniques and varies in the musical genres. The homonym single has a soft romantic feel with the acoustic guitars playing a sequence of music with accompanying glockenspiels in the background to make the sound really interesting. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Nick Hemming plays the sounds from the ukulele, mandolin, banjo, guitar; accompanying alongside him, the keyboardist Christian Hardy forms the core of the group, with impressive arrangements also featuring strings, flute, pedal steel, glockenspiel, thumb piano, among other instruments. It’s clear that the band all share the same vision for music. The piece is sung in synchronisation throughout, by various voices as it would sound. Taking lead vocals, Hemming’s voice is pleasant to listen to, and is clear he has had influences from bands such as ‘The Kinks’ with his use of tones.

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It’s a combination played with soft, gentle sounds; it’s a very English song but has some American influences as well. The violins play smooth melodies over the bouncy rhythm of the guitars, and the gentle beat of drums play in the background. Forget counting sheep, the lyrics are repeated throughout, but as it’s called ‘The Sleeper’ you can just need something repeated over and over again to make you fall asleep.

The entire album is just beautiful and serene. Country and Western influences are clear throughout, you can really visualise an image in your mind of how and where the song would be performed and would be set-out.

Their latest single, ‘A Matter of Time’, is a fantastic and captivating song made up with a number of layering instruments all playing melodic and memorable tunes. Obviously it gets a lot better when played live, so that`s the part where we show you a piece of the gig. Enjoy!


A long time ago, purchase I saw David Goo as a solo artiste for perhaps the fifth time, and wondered “What is you?” I’d never known such a hard-working jobless fella. If i went to a mini-festival, he was there, singing and strumming. An open-mic night, he was hosting it. Every other night I went to, there he was. And always giving it the utmost of his energy, always with the audience in the palm of his hand. His humourous ditties never grew tired or stale. No word ever died on the man’s lips. And it was all from a genuinely off-the wall, wacky headspace. Bizarre ideas floating in a general insanity stew. And still, it always worked, and sounded fresh. Where could all this exuberance be coming from?
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And then he started to multiply, and multiply more, much like mogwai. New band members sprang forth, and bopped around a lot, and did whatever David told them to. Bands are, of course, very different territory to the solo gig. Would it work? Can you spread that kind of energy around? Would it not thin? Would the stew not turn to broth? I decided to find out for myself at 93 Feet East last night, while the band still numbers in single figures (Seven, at time of writing).
The magic ingredient in David Goo’s expansion to The David Goo Variety Band is drumkit conductor, Gregory De Carte. Dead sharp and precise, yet also ready to ebb and flow in perfect synchronicity with David’s handiwork. They are one. And crucially, said drummer has just as much energy as his lord and master. Energy he uses to stab gentle verses, birth sudden ska-grooves or reggae-bounces, and push rock-out sections to bursting, explosive climax. The bassist is just as tight with these organic grooves, though less dominant, and leaves himself enough resource to generally dick around and pull faces like the band’s self-appointed goon. Bravo.
Sadly, the sound at 93 was such that most of the time, I could only clearly hear one other band member, Angel De Marco, who is a kind of cross between Bez and the rap guy from Linkin Park. You’re probably thinking that sounds awful, but I should mention a tricky subject for the DGVB: genre.
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There’s only one musician I’d feel at ease comparing David Goo to, and that is Frank Zappa. Does humour belong in music? asks Zappa. And Goo replies by singing of the lovelife of a black marketeer who specializes in body parts. And by prophesying that a maggot will become the biggest star in the world. I reckon we can take that as a loud “yes, humour does belong in music”.
Genre-wise, then, let’s start with Comedy, then mention Mr.Goo’s slight flamenco touch, the overall folk flavour, the circussy diversions, the high speed vocals with hip-hop back-up, the yodelly melodies, and the strangely metal feel that often accrues, and the party-party feel that comes from the gang-chants. (pause for breath) Then there’s the upper strata of the band, poking through occasionally. A cellist who provides a klezmer relief in the anthemic Keep On Wishing, hunching over his Yiddish melodies with plenty chutzpah. A pale skinny waif-boy gives it some beginners’ jazz on the sax, then turns to a synth for spots of happy hardcore kids’ TV themes. And they have enlisted the help of Miss Jo Williams (genius in her own right with her rather more earnest songs), here providing a sweet, airy backing vocal, as well as some kitsch dance moves.
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So it often comes across as parody music, but really I think that’s just a side effect of Goo’s willingness to sound like woteva for a few bars until he gets bored and decides to sound like woteva else. He just throws it around with an it’s-only-music attitude, and three minutes later, you’ve been to hell, Catalonia, The Wailing Wall, Compton, Shoreditch and back.
And that’s why the audience submits. He tells them they should dance, and they realise that they should, and then they get wild, and silly, and it looks a bit like the hokey-cokey for a second. When I arrived, these people were cool. They are now reduced to Stimpy-mode. Idiotic rapture through obedience. In another world, trust me, David Goo is a cult leader, with thousands of devotees happily sacrificing their daughters and taking part in bloody ceremonies. Luckily, in this world, he has chosen to lead his disciples to the Temple of Rock, and London is much better off for it.
Where Goo fundamentally differs from Zappa is the accessibility. Obviously, nobody is exactly identifying with his lyrical protagonists, but these ludicrous fables are presented with such musical gusto and spirit of fun that you can’t avoid infection. While Zappa left many confused faces in his wake, Goo leaves a trail of happy-clapping converts, grinning like Hare Krishna geeks on MDMA and Jelly Babies.
Obviously, I’m going to have to see them again. For one thing, I shall need to review the twelve band members they will probably have by Autumn. But also because it’s such a lush hit of sheer enjoyment, and there is much cause to expect the throng to swell. Talk of a record deal, recent exposure on the omnipotent Rightmove ad, and a new batch of recordings are raising the alarm, and it’s exciting.
Double exciting because there’s no fear of selling out or growing mould. Goo is the genuine gush that never dries, I’d stake my hair on it, so roll up, check it out and do what the leader says: wig out. It’s only music. It’s only fun.

You can get Goo’d at Dragon’s Ball, The Green Dragon, Croydon on May 6 or Dingwall’s, Camden on June 4.
Have you seen The Age of Stupid Yet? If you say yes, viagra then I’m sure that you will have been in parts blown away and devastated, tadalafil and hopefully, galvanized into action to fight climate change. If you haven’t seen it yet, you will soon have a novel and inspired way of doing so.

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In keeping with the way that the film was ‘crowd funded‘ and was debuted at ‘People’s Premieres‘, the way that it will soon be able to be screened will be equally as meritocratic. From the guideline of May 1st (exact date is still to be confirmed), the people behind ‘The Age Of Stupid’ will be launching ‘Indie Screenings“, which concept goes a little like this; you (yes, you) rent a copy of the film in DVD format from the team, and pay a screening fee – which is going to be set on a sliding scale; if you are the head of a huge company in the city (well, you might be!) then you will be paying more than if you want to screen it for a local scout group. Then you print off a license, set up your event, and show a copy of the film to your mates!

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The key issue with this concept – and how it sets itself apart from most other films is that the team behind the film have made it free of licensing restrictions; so it can pretty much be shown anywhere. The possibilities are endless; schools could rent copies for assembly screenings, local councils could hold screenings in their offices (especially if they are active in the Low Carbon Communities campaign) or pubs,libraries, university campuses, restaurants and village halls could be rented out. Personally, with the summer months approaching, organising an outdoor screening is something that has prompted me to get my thinking cap on. While you will have to pay the screening fee, you can make the money back from ticket sales if you charge for this. Any money that you make will be yours to keep (but I’m sure that you will be putting it towards your climate change campaign, right?)

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If you are interested in organising a screening, all you need to to is send an email over to addtolist@ageofstupid.net, with your details, where you would like to show it, a rough guide of how many people that you would like to show it to, etc. And be creative! You could invite guest speakers along – after I had seen the film I had so many questions, so it was fortunate that I attended a screening which had a Q+A from the producer of ‘The Age Of Stupid’, Lizzie Gillett. Do your homework before you decide to hold a screening – think numbers, technicalities- like how the sound and visual equipment will work in the venue, how you will wish to advertise it to your buddies (that’s when Facebook will come in handy). The film, and the message behind it is too important to be missed, and needs to be shared. And this is the perfect way to share it!

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