Amelia’s Magazine | R. D. Franks – R.I.P?

Our Broken Garden Golden Sea
Ashley Dean by Russty Brazil
Ashley Dean, thumb as depicted by Russty Brazil.

I recently reviewed the superb second album from Our Broken Garden, page so when Ashley Dean got in touch to tell me he was making their latest video Garden Grow I couldn’t resist taking a peek… it’s a delightful lo-fi Fraggle Rock inspired few minutes that should tickle even the coldest of hearts, and here’s the story of how it was made…

What inspired the treatment for the video? 
The starting point for this video was a suggestion by Simon Raymonde of Bella Union. He said he’d love to see Anna of Our Broken Garden performing in a Muppet Show style set. It was this video that inspired him, so we started off from there… I love the Muppet Show, but my favourite Jim Henson creations are Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. They were big inspirations for the look of this video and it was a challenge to do justice to these great fantasy works, but lots of fun at the same time.

The little beasties are great… where did you get the idea from them from?
The three main puppets (the Spider, the Bird and the Tree Beast) were based on the Guitarist, Bassist and Drummer from Our Broken Garden; Søren, Moogie and Poul. My collaborator, Kevin Roper did some great concept sketches of the guys as animals and we ended up making the models pretty close to those original drawings. The little white things in the mines (we called them ‘Pale Moles’) were inspired by the Doozers from Fraggle Rock. I wanted to create a rich and detailed world for Anna to perform in; these creatures were a another layer of the eco-system, and an excuse for me to do some animating..!


The video for Garden Grow by Our Broken Garden.

Who made the little knitted spider monsters?
The jumper that the Spider wore was knitted by my Mum over 20 years ago! I thought it would look great on Søren so Kev cut it up and re-made it with 8 sleeves. I sculpted Søren’s face in clay and cast it in latex, then we used all kinds of techniques to bring the puppets to life. I like to use recycled materials in my work; Moogie is a big bundle of old clothes coated with feathers from a discarded pillow. 

How did you make the video, and where was the studio set? 
We worked in a old flax mill in Leeds called Temple Works. It is an amazing, vast place and they have big plans for the future of it. 
It took myself, Kevin and my parents a week to construct the set. The trees took a long time, with Kev spending several days coating the skeletons I made with wall paper paste and brown paper. We bought out the entire stock of gaffer tape at the local Maplin, I think we got close to consuming a mile of the stuff! On the last day of the set build, Graham Pilling from Army of Cats came to the set and painted the background scenes then my wife, Lydia helped me finish everything off on a final, exhausting Saturday. There were so many details that had to be designed and manufactured on site, I was amazed when we were finally ready to light and shoot the video! I brought in Danny North to be Director of Photography (a long time collaborator with Amelia’s Magazine:Ed) and Tim Blackwell was my assistant director and puppeteered Søren. My parents were in charge of the catering. There was a great community feel during the whole process.

What was it like to work with Anna?
Anna Bronsted came over from Denmark to star in the video. She was a pleasure to work with and was willing to try out any of the shots and effects we had planned. We she feints amongst the apples, she is leaning against a step ladder that I gradually let fall backwards… That required a lot of trust from Anna and there are a lot of out-takes where I was a bit too enthusiastic with the simulated fall. 

Any funny stories from the shoot that you can tell us about?
Although Kev didn’t find it at all funny, it was a very peculiar atmosphere on set when everyone was operating their puppets. My Dad was making Moogie bounce around on his branch, Tim was hidden behind a tree, straining to put his hand up the back of Søren, and Kev was dressed in the Poul Costume, crouched behind another tree in a horribly painful position. When all the puppets came to life, it was a magical sight and we shot dozens of takes of the ‘band’ all playing together. Eventually we took a break so that everyone could relax, but as we were getting a coffee, an anguished groan came from the set. I had totally forgotten Kev was still in his costume and he had almost passed out from the pain he was in and couldn’t move (or take his mask off, which was tied on to his head). His legs didn’t work properly for days afterwards and he cursed the day he offered to go in the Poul suit. He didn’t like it when I became Poul for a scene in his absence though, so I get the impression he was at least quite proud of his exertions…

Garden Grow Group shot
The whole ‘Garden Grow’ crew on set with Anna Bronsted of Our Broken Garden.

Do you have any plans to work with Our Broken Garden again?
I would love to. It will depend on both our schedules, but the rest of the album is great and Anna is a fantastic creative force to work with. She did mention that she wanted to make some more trees and characters to take with her on tour, but they will have to be a lot less fragile than the ones we made for the shoot!

You used to be in iliketrains, which I love (and were featured in the printed version of Amelia’s Magazine many a moon ago). Why did you leave the group?
It was the band’s decision. Our label Beggars Banquet had recently dissolved and they wanted a new start, and I think they thought it was a bit of a luxury to have a projectionist as a full time member of the group. I was quite relieved when we had the final conversation; I would have never had the heart to leave, but my film making ambitions were starting to clash with the schedule of the band and in the end, it was the best option for us all. I still have a good relationship with the guys, and I’m pleased to see how well their recent Pledge campaign (to raise money for the new album) went. I’ll just be sorely jealous when they play Glastonbury or shoot a video in the Bahamas…

Are you still making your own music?
My cornet is gathering dust under a table, just like it did in the years between school and joining the Trains… But I do have a couple of (barely) musical projects on the back burner. One involves making my own instruments and singing in Japanese. Me and Guy from iLT recorded 3 songs together years ago and I would love to bring the idea back to life one day…

What other stuff are you working on with your company Broken Pixel?
My next project is with Napoleon IIIrd. We are going to make some crazy, mashed-up projections using all kinds of old technology. I’ll be trying to bring my Super8 projectors back to life and we’ve got some old OHPs to play with. It should be a fun day out. I’ve got a couple of long term film projects in production and I’m always interested to work with new bands. I recently got a part time job as a chocolate taster (seriously!) and I’m about to launch a range of miniature sets, built into the back of canvases and inscribed with a fragmented, intertwined narrative.

My brain doesn’t sleep.
Our Broken Garden Golden Sea

Our Broken Garden is fronted by vocalist Anna Bronsted, troche sometime keyboardist with Efterklang, this web the Danish group fabled for the same lush orchestrations that sweep throughout her second album Golden Sea. It was recorded in the countryside with friends Søren Bigum on guitar/keyboards, Moogie Johnson on bass and assorted other musicians when needed.

The ebb and flow of the ocean has influenced not just the name of Golden Sea but the entire rhythmical feel of the album, over which Anna’s luscious vocals float like the call of a modern day siren. It opens with the undulating notes of The Departure, a gentle wash of sound like the sleek undertow of waves, then moves into a more grandiose classical feel in the rich production of The Fiery and Loud, where choppy strings set the tone to create a dramatic backdrop for the staccato vocal. It’s as if the swell of the sea has picked up. “I’m all on fire… burns and blood…” Anna’s lyrics do not always make conventional sense, but the fluidity of English as a second language is poetically evocative.

In Garden Grow the beats have become more tribal. “Rip out my heart, if you have to…” Behind the angelically sweet notes there’s the dramatic threat of lurking doom but by Nightsong all is calm again as Anna channels the ethereal lyrics of Bat For Lashes, sighing of moons and tears… Share hypnotises with an intensely beating heart and The Darkred Roses ends with the lyrics “and the black waters arising…” before the eery sounds of a church organ emerge gently as if from the sea mists.

A totally hypnotic album to soundtrack those long winter nights. Golden Sea by Our Broken Garden comes out today on Bella Union.

Listen to it streamed on Sound Cloud here, or check out their myspace. They have just announced their biggest UK headline show at St. Giles-In-The-Fields, the parish church in the heart of London’s West End, on Wednesday 17th November. Tickets can be bought here.

The Departure by Our Broken Garden:
YouTube Preview Image


Illustration by Paul Shinn

R. D. Franks has, sale since 1877, visit this site been a hub for fashion students and journalists alike. The store, which recently relocated to Winsley Street, stocked everything a fashion fan could desire: every international edition of Vogue, rare trend magazines, the latest coffee table books and a whole load of reference literature for budding fashion designers.

So it came as a bit of shock a few days ago when R. D. Franks curiously sent Twitter users into a frenzy, tweeting ‘R. D. Franks is now closed until further notice. Kindest regards to all our lovely customers.’ Are they closed for refurbishment? Are they closed for good? Maybe they’re just swishing up their opening hours, which were bizarre enough anyway – closed on Saturdays? Ridiculous!

I’m currently putting together a feature of the best places to buy fashion literature in London, and R. D. Franks was to be top of the list. It was a big supporter of Amelia’s Magazine when we were in print, flogging many copies despite being difficult to deal with (Amelia’s words, not mine!) It was the one-stop-shop for research and bagging those hard-to-find copies of books and magazines that you couldn’t source anywhere else. I’d asked our fantastic contributor Paul to illustrate the stores I’d selected and R. D. Franks was the first one he produced, so this is somewhat of a sneaky opportunity to also showcase his brilliant drawing.

If they are closed for good, it’s a real shame, but not the world’s greatest surprise. Their stocklist had declined slightly in previous months and the few times I’d been in recently there was never much of an atmosphere. Add to the mix difficult opening hours and your business isn’t going to flourish.

So, R. D. Franks – if this is the end, thanks for being there and we’re sorry to see you go. You will be missed! (If it isn’t, what the hell is going on?)

If you know any more, do let us know!

Categories ,books, ,fashion, ,literature, ,Magazines, ,Paul Shinn, ,RD Franks, ,RIP, ,students, ,twitter, ,vogue, ,Winsley Street

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | R. D. Franks – R.I.P?

Our Broken Garden Golden Sea
Ashley Dean by Russty Brazil
Ashley Dean, thumb as depicted by Russty Brazil.

I recently reviewed the superb second album from Our Broken Garden, page so when Ashley Dean got in touch to tell me he was making their latest video Garden Grow I couldn’t resist taking a peek… it’s a delightful lo-fi Fraggle Rock inspired few minutes that should tickle even the coldest of hearts, and here’s the story of how it was made…

What inspired the treatment for the video? 
The starting point for this video was a suggestion by Simon Raymonde of Bella Union. He said he’d love to see Anna of Our Broken Garden performing in a Muppet Show style set. It was this video that inspired him, so we started off from there… I love the Muppet Show, but my favourite Jim Henson creations are Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. They were big inspirations for the look of this video and it was a challenge to do justice to these great fantasy works, but lots of fun at the same time.

The little beasties are great… where did you get the idea from them from?
The three main puppets (the Spider, the Bird and the Tree Beast) were based on the Guitarist, Bassist and Drummer from Our Broken Garden; Søren, Moogie and Poul. My collaborator, Kevin Roper did some great concept sketches of the guys as animals and we ended up making the models pretty close to those original drawings. The little white things in the mines (we called them ‘Pale Moles’) were inspired by the Doozers from Fraggle Rock. I wanted to create a rich and detailed world for Anna to perform in; these creatures were a another layer of the eco-system, and an excuse for me to do some animating..!


The video for Garden Grow by Our Broken Garden.

Who made the little knitted spider monsters?
The jumper that the Spider wore was knitted by my Mum over 20 years ago! I thought it would look great on Søren so Kev cut it up and re-made it with 8 sleeves. I sculpted Søren’s face in clay and cast it in latex, then we used all kinds of techniques to bring the puppets to life. I like to use recycled materials in my work; Moogie is a big bundle of old clothes coated with feathers from a discarded pillow. 

How did you make the video, and where was the studio set? 
We worked in a old flax mill in Leeds called Temple Works. It is an amazing, vast place and they have big plans for the future of it. 
It took myself, Kevin and my parents a week to construct the set. The trees took a long time, with Kev spending several days coating the skeletons I made with wall paper paste and brown paper. We bought out the entire stock of gaffer tape at the local Maplin, I think we got close to consuming a mile of the stuff! On the last day of the set build, Graham Pilling from Army of Cats came to the set and painted the background scenes then my wife, Lydia helped me finish everything off on a final, exhausting Saturday. There were so many details that had to be designed and manufactured on site, I was amazed when we were finally ready to light and shoot the video! I brought in Danny North to be Director of Photography (a long time collaborator with Amelia’s Magazine:Ed) and Tim Blackwell was my assistant director and puppeteered Søren. My parents were in charge of the catering. There was a great community feel during the whole process.

What was it like to work with Anna?
Anna Bronsted came over from Denmark to star in the video. She was a pleasure to work with and was willing to try out any of the shots and effects we had planned. We she feints amongst the apples, she is leaning against a step ladder that I gradually let fall backwards… That required a lot of trust from Anna and there are a lot of out-takes where I was a bit too enthusiastic with the simulated fall. 

Any funny stories from the shoot that you can tell us about?
Although Kev didn’t find it at all funny, it was a very peculiar atmosphere on set when everyone was operating their puppets. My Dad was making Moogie bounce around on his branch, Tim was hidden behind a tree, straining to put his hand up the back of Søren, and Kev was dressed in the Poul Costume, crouched behind another tree in a horribly painful position. When all the puppets came to life, it was a magical sight and we shot dozens of takes of the ‘band’ all playing together. Eventually we took a break so that everyone could relax, but as we were getting a coffee, an anguished groan came from the set. I had totally forgotten Kev was still in his costume and he had almost passed out from the pain he was in and couldn’t move (or take his mask off, which was tied on to his head). His legs didn’t work properly for days afterwards and he cursed the day he offered to go in the Poul suit. He didn’t like it when I became Poul for a scene in his absence though, so I get the impression he was at least quite proud of his exertions…

Garden Grow Group shot
The whole ‘Garden Grow’ crew on set with Anna Bronsted of Our Broken Garden.

Do you have any plans to work with Our Broken Garden again?
I would love to. It will depend on both our schedules, but the rest of the album is great and Anna is a fantastic creative force to work with. She did mention that she wanted to make some more trees and characters to take with her on tour, but they will have to be a lot less fragile than the ones we made for the shoot!

You used to be in iliketrains, which I love (and were featured in the printed version of Amelia’s Magazine many a moon ago). Why did you leave the group?
It was the band’s decision. Our label Beggars Banquet had recently dissolved and they wanted a new start, and I think they thought it was a bit of a luxury to have a projectionist as a full time member of the group. I was quite relieved when we had the final conversation; I would have never had the heart to leave, but my film making ambitions were starting to clash with the schedule of the band and in the end, it was the best option for us all. I still have a good relationship with the guys, and I’m pleased to see how well their recent Pledge campaign (to raise money for the new album) went. I’ll just be sorely jealous when they play Glastonbury or shoot a video in the Bahamas…

Are you still making your own music?
My cornet is gathering dust under a table, just like it did in the years between school and joining the Trains… But I do have a couple of (barely) musical projects on the back burner. One involves making my own instruments and singing in Japanese. Me and Guy from iLT recorded 3 songs together years ago and I would love to bring the idea back to life one day…

What other stuff are you working on with your company Broken Pixel?
My next project is with Napoleon IIIrd. We are going to make some crazy, mashed-up projections using all kinds of old technology. I’ll be trying to bring my Super8 projectors back to life and we’ve got some old OHPs to play with. It should be a fun day out. I’ve got a couple of long term film projects in production and I’m always interested to work with new bands. I recently got a part time job as a chocolate taster (seriously!) and I’m about to launch a range of miniature sets, built into the back of canvases and inscribed with a fragmented, intertwined narrative.

My brain doesn’t sleep.
Our Broken Garden Golden Sea

Our Broken Garden is fronted by vocalist Anna Bronsted, troche sometime keyboardist with Efterklang, this web the Danish group fabled for the same lush orchestrations that sweep throughout her second album Golden Sea. It was recorded in the countryside with friends Søren Bigum on guitar/keyboards, Moogie Johnson on bass and assorted other musicians when needed.

The ebb and flow of the ocean has influenced not just the name of Golden Sea but the entire rhythmical feel of the album, over which Anna’s luscious vocals float like the call of a modern day siren. It opens with the undulating notes of The Departure, a gentle wash of sound like the sleek undertow of waves, then moves into a more grandiose classical feel in the rich production of The Fiery and Loud, where choppy strings set the tone to create a dramatic backdrop for the staccato vocal. It’s as if the swell of the sea has picked up. “I’m all on fire… burns and blood…” Anna’s lyrics do not always make conventional sense, but the fluidity of English as a second language is poetically evocative.

In Garden Grow the beats have become more tribal. “Rip out my heart, if you have to…” Behind the angelically sweet notes there’s the dramatic threat of lurking doom but by Nightsong all is calm again as Anna channels the ethereal lyrics of Bat For Lashes, sighing of moons and tears… Share hypnotises with an intensely beating heart and The Darkred Roses ends with the lyrics “and the black waters arising…” before the eery sounds of a church organ emerge gently as if from the sea mists.

A totally hypnotic album to soundtrack those long winter nights. Golden Sea by Our Broken Garden comes out today on Bella Union.

Listen to it streamed on Sound Cloud here, or check out their myspace. They have just announced their biggest UK headline show at St. Giles-In-The-Fields, the parish church in the heart of London’s West End, on Wednesday 17th November. Tickets can be bought here.

The Departure by Our Broken Garden:
YouTube Preview Image


Illustration by Paul Shinn

R. D. Franks has, sale since 1877, visit this site been a hub for fashion students and journalists alike. The store, which recently relocated to Winsley Street, stocked everything a fashion fan could desire: every international edition of Vogue, rare trend magazines, the latest coffee table books and a whole load of reference literature for budding fashion designers.

So it came as a bit of shock a few days ago when R. D. Franks curiously sent Twitter users into a frenzy, tweeting ‘R. D. Franks is now closed until further notice. Kindest regards to all our lovely customers.’ Are they closed for refurbishment? Are they closed for good? Maybe they’re just swishing up their opening hours, which were bizarre enough anyway – closed on Saturdays? Ridiculous!

I’m currently putting together a feature of the best places to buy fashion literature in London, and R. D. Franks was to be top of the list. It was a big supporter of Amelia’s Magazine when we were in print, flogging many copies despite being difficult to deal with (Amelia’s words, not mine!) It was the one-stop-shop for research and bagging those hard-to-find copies of books and magazines that you couldn’t source anywhere else. I’d asked our fantastic contributor Paul to illustrate the stores I’d selected and R. D. Franks was the first one he produced, so this is somewhat of a sneaky opportunity to also showcase his brilliant drawing.

If they are closed for good, it’s a real shame, but not the world’s greatest surprise. Their stocklist had declined slightly in previous months and the few times I’d been in recently there was never much of an atmosphere. Add to the mix difficult opening hours and your business isn’t going to flourish.

So, R. D. Franks – if this is the end, thanks for being there and we’re sorry to see you go. You will be missed! (If it isn’t, what the hell is going on?)

If you know any more, do let us know!

Categories ,books, ,fashion, ,literature, ,Magazines, ,Paul Shinn, ,RD Franks, ,RIP, ,students, ,twitter, ,vogue, ,Winsley Street

Similar Posts:






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


Art Against Knives

4th-5th May 2009

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

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

Flatland
ends 16th May 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Art in Mind
ends 11th May 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beneath the pavement… The beach

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

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

artwar1.jpg


Swine flu art masks- an exhibition of plague masks

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

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

flu1.jpg

Constellation

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

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

phot1.jpg


Etchings (Portraits)

Glenn Brown
A new collection of etchings from the artist.

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

dark1.jpg


An exhibition of works by Paul Bennett and Ellie Good

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

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

blueee.jpg

Art Against Knives

4th-5th May 2009

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

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

Flatland
ends 16th May 2009

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

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

Annette Messager
ends 24th May 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isa Genzken: Open Sesame!
ends 21st June

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

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


Art Against Knives

4th-5th May 2009

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

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

Flatland
ends 16th May 2009

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

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

Annette Messager
ends 24th May 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isa Genzken: Open Sesame!
ends 21st June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aj%20fosik1.jpg

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

aj%20fosik3.jpg

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

aj%20fosik5.jpg

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

aj%20fosik4.jpg

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

aj_fosik_2.jpg

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

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

attempt1growingstuff.jpg

growingstuffbicycle.jpg
Photographs by Rosie French

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

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

growingstuffcress.jpg
Photograph by Rosie French

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

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

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

growing%20stuff1Carnivorous%20plants.jpg

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

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

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

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

growingstuffEmily%20Hill-Will%20Goulds%20window.jpg

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

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

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

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Amelia’s Magazine | ‘Local Food’: Rob Hopkins returns

Cat Morley

If you had asked me in high school what I wanted to be when I was older, prescription I wouldn’t have been able to give you a straight answer. Today, prescription I’m 24, no rx living in London (my favourite city in the whole wide world) and somehow I’ve ended up with my dream job.

While I was at university in Scotland, I started a blog called Cut Out + keep where I would post tutorials for the crafts I was making. After posting over 250 projects, the site had become really popular, so with the help of my web designer boyfriend Tom, we turned the site in to a community where everyone could make and share step-by-step tutorials.  By the time I graduated, CO+K had become a full-time job and today, the site hosts over 15,000 projects for making every imaginable type of craft – cooking, sewing, paper craft, jewelery, fashion… you name it! Every morning I wake up to discover all the amazing new projects that have been added over night and I’m still amazed by how unique and creative they are.

I have always love being crafty and creative. When I was young, I used to help my Mum sew my Halloween costumes and loved cooking up a storm in the kitchen and feeding my family. When I went to university, I studied computer art and got really in to film making. I also started working as a journalist and photographer for a couple of music magazines. When I started CO+K, I wanted to combine all of my passions, so with the help of a bunch of super creative writers I had found online, we started Snippets, an online entertainment magazine to accompany the site. Snippets has allowed me to meet some amazing people and interview my heros, including bands like Placebo, Chicks On Speed and Ladytron, comedians Adam & Joe, and even my favourite comic book character, Emily Strange.

Our members tend to be young, hip and love to show off their individual style. We get a lot of tutorials for revamping and customising clothes, making personalised gifts and recycling and re purposing junk and unwanted items. The most popular projects have been a recipe for baking rainbow coloured cupcakes , turning a jumper in to a skirt , a tutorial for sewing a guitar shaped bag and melting a vinyl record in to a bowl. The nice thing about the site is there is a project that everyone can make, from really complex sculpting to simply applying homemade designs to t-shirts, shoes and accessories to personalise their wardrobe. We also have a section called Crafty Superstars, where creative celebrities and the big names of craft share some of their expert projects.

I really love living in London, it’s so vibrant and exciting and there’s always something going on. I like to hunt through the event listings in Time Out and head to all the free events. I also love walking and seeing where I end up and what new places I discover. I live in Maida Vale, which is so pretty with the canal running through it and there’s lots of good brunch spots (check out Plan 9 – an American run cafe that does tasty pancakes on a Tuesday). I also love hanging out in Soho, the South Bank and shopping in Camden and Brick Lane.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2010 will bring for the site – hopefully thousands of amazing projects, interviews with exciting celebrities and maybe a couple of adventures overseas. I have never been or wanted to be a businesswoman and never thought that I would end up working for myself. I would encourage anyone and everyone to peruse their dream job, because if I can do it anyone can!

What Cat likes:

Art: There’s an amazing Parisian artist called Nathalie Lecroc who is painting women handbags and their contents. She plans to paint 1001 and then publish a book of them all.

Music: Bright Eyes, Ben Kweller, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Martha Wainwright and the Manic Street Preachers.

Blog: 1000 Awesome Things

Website: Stumbleupon.com – it leads to so many wonderful finds (I have mine set to show crafts and recipes).

Shop: Muiji – it always has such awesome stuff and it has made me really organised.

Food: Sushi.

Drink: Absinthe, root beer or alcoholic hazelnut milkshakes.

Papers or printed magazines: Bust, Venus & Amelia’s Magazine of course.

What I would like for Christmas is: A Vivienne Westwood tiara, which is a pair of horns encrusted with crystals.
If you had asked me in high school what I wanted to be when I was older, side effects I wouldn’t have been able to give you a straight answer. Today, medicine I’m 24, more about living in London (my favourite city in the whole wide world) and somehow I’ve ended up with my dream job.

While I was at university in Scotland, I started a blog called Cut Out + keep where I would post tutorials for the crafts I was making. After posting over 250 projects, the site had become really popular, so with the help of my webdesigner boyfriend Tom, we turned the site in to a community where everyone could make and share step-by-step tutorials.  By the time I graduated, CO+K had become a full-time job and today, the site hosts over 15,000 projects for making every imaginable type of craft – cooking, sewing, papercraft, jewellery, fashion… you name it! Every morning I wake up to discover all the amazing new projects that have been added over night and I’m still amazed by how unique and creative they are.

I have always love being crafty and creative. When I was young, I used to help my Mum sew my Halloween costumes and loved cooking up a storm in the kitchen and feeding my family. When I went to university, I studied computer art and got really in to filmmaking. I also started working as a journalist and photographer for a couple of music magazines. When I started CO+K, I wanted to combine all of my passions, so with the help of a bunch of super creative writers I had found online, we started Snippets, an online entertainment magazine to accompany the site. Snippets has allowed me to meet some amazing people and interview my heros, including bands like Placebo, Chicks On Speed and Ladytron, comedians Adam & Joe, and even my favourite comic book character, Emily Strange.

Our members tend to be young, hip and love to show off their individual style. We get a lot of tutorials for revamping and customising clothes, making personalised gifts and recycling and repurposing junk and unwanted items. The most popular projects have been a recipe for baking rainbow coloured cupcakes (http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/rainbow_cupcakes), turning a jumper in to a skirt (http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/jumper_skirt_out_of_a_tshirt), a tutorial for sewing a guitar shaped bag (http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/guitar_shaped_bag_2) and melting a vinyl record in to a bowl (http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/vinyl_record_bowl). The nice thing about the site is there is a project that everyone can make, from really complex sculpting to simply applying homemade designs to t-shirts, shoes and accessories to personalise their wardrobe. We also have a section called Crafty Superstars, where creative celebrities and the big names of craft share some of their expert projects.

I really love living in London, it’s so vibrant and exciting and there’s always something going on. I like to hunt through the event listings in Time Out and head to all the free events. I also love walking and seeing where I end up and what new places I discover. I live in Maida Vale, which is so pretty with the canal running through it and there’s lots of good brunch spots (check out Plan 9 – an American run cafe that does tasty pancakes on a Tuesday). I also love hanging out in Soho, the South Bank and shopping in Camden and Brick Lane.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2010 will bring for the site – hopefully thousands of amazing projects, interviews with exciting celebrities and maybe a couple of adventures overseas. I have never been or wanted to be a businesswoman and never thought that I would end up working for myself. I would encourage anyone and everyone to peruse their dream job, because if I can do it anyone can!

Art: There’s an amazing Parisian artist called Nathalie Lecroc who is painting women’s handbags and their contents. She plans to paint 1001 and then publish a book of them all.

Music: Bright Eyes, Ben Kweller, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Martha Wainwright and the Manic Street Preachers.

Blog: 1000 Awesome Things – http://1000awesomethings.com

Website: Stumbleupon.com – it leads to so many wonderful finds (I have mine set to show crafts and recipes).

Shop: Muiji – it always has such awesome stuff and it has made me really organised.

Food: Sushi.

Drink: Absinthe, root beer or alcoholic hazelnut milkshakes.

Papers or printed magazines: Bust, Venus & Amelia’s Magazine of course.

What I would like for Christmas is: A Vivienne Westwood tiara, which is a pair of horns encrusted with crystals.
Rob-Hopkins
Illustration courtesy of Valerie Pezeron

Nothing satiates a foodie quite like the first forkful of their best-loved grub, treat but reading about it comes close. For those gastronomes who believe that food’s role reaches far beyond basically fuelling our existence – that it’s integral to community bonds, economies of every scale and our relationships with our environment, as well as our physical wellbeing – the new book from Tamzin Pinkerton and Rob Hopkins (yes, he of Transition Culture fame) will have you salivating over the nosh-related possibilities that a little ambition, curiosity and organisation can create close to home.‘Local Food: How to Make it Happen in Your Community’ (Transition Books) shadows Hopkins’ inspiring ‘Transition Handbook’, training the spotlight on the integral subject of our food and what we can do to go back to the literal roots of the good life – and stay there. While written against the unnerving but inescapable global backdrop of peak oil, food security and climate change crises, ‘Local Food’ incites excitement about the potential of a carefully considered future, both long and short term, rather than fear of a hopeless one. With the onus on the ‘local’ part of its title, the book encourages a proactive, fun approach to sustainability by profiling a huge and diverse range of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) initiatives based all over the world.

 

LOCAL_FOOD_cover 
Image courtesy of Transition Culture

“The kind of community engagement facilitated by CSAs generates and harnesses passionate enthusiasm among the people who participate in it,” write Pinkerton and Hopkins, “and this is due, in no small part, to the sheer thrill that comes from being able to shape and engage with the food system that feeds us.” From legitimate legume growers to dig-by-night guerrilla gardeners, the teams and organisations featured in ‘Local Food’ not only explain their motivations for picking up tools, but reveal the thrills, difficulties, surprises and benefits that they have faced since they did.

 Hopkinspic
Image courtesy of Stephen Prior

Unsurprisingly, the majority of these people are driven by a passion for good food, and a respect for and desire to greater understand the environment that provides it. However deeply they’re involved in the food production within their community – be it founding community gardens or filling their fridges with farmers’ market fodder – the individuals highlighted in ‘Local Food’ prove how attainable a sustainable lifestyle is, whether you want to get muddy or not. And, if you do want to have direct involvement in and influence over what ends up on your plate, there’s even a contacts section to introduce you to your nearest initiatives. As the authors put so succinctly, “We can have our affordable, local, organic cake, and eat it too”.

Categories ,books, ,community, ,CSA, ,farmers, ,Food, ,Rob Hopkins, ,Tamzin Pinkerton

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Amelia’s Magazine | The School of Life open day

Graham Carter’s joyful prints reference many of the most loved images in modern culture: the characters from Star Wars or the eerie but manageable magic of Spirited Away. The artistic sensibilities stop these nostalgic influences from turning into twee: the gorgeously rendered digital art glows with vibrant colours and many of the works are made 3-dimensional with painstakingly applied wood veneers, find sale or cut-out perspex shapes that lend shadows to a noir city scene.

This is the kind of art you’d love to have in your own house (I made enquiries! Prices average at around £150). The small details show wit and add a lovely personal feeling to the prints: a towerblock soars above a city landscape but is made friendly by a pair of eyes and a winning smile. When you spot a tiny figure peeping out of the digital grass you fall in love with the world in the picture. Each picture tells a story that you can imagine going on far beyond the edges of the frame, like that of the little girl and her huge Samurai friend, pictured below.

seeking%20samuraiblog.jpg

Amelia’s Magazine interviewed the artist to find out more.

AM: Tell me a bit more about the title of the exhibition, “East Meets West”.

GC: It was an intentionally open title really, to try and represent my current fascination with Eastern culture whilst also allowing me to continue experimenting with elements of early American design, which have been creeping into my work of late. I should point out that my work is never extensively researched (as you can probably tell) as I prefer to make things up – or put my own spin on things. The world as I would like it to be and not really how it is…
Towards the end of its development I wanted the show to almost be a kind of travel diary/scrapbook; a couple of recurring characters making their way from one city to the next (New York to Tokyo, via New Yokyo, a hybrid of the two). And in some pictures in the distance you can spot elements of previous images (something I always tend to do).

Ever%20Redblog.jpg

AM: You are obviously inspired by screen culture (especially Sci Fi!) Could you tell me about why these influences appeal to you? The original influences are quite tech-y and macho but your works are really whimsical and beautiful, they remind me more of Hayao Miyazaki than Michael Bay.

GC: I’ve always loved sci-fi films so I guess it was only a matter of time before elements crept into my work. It’s largely the machines that fascinate me rather than the action. My favourite parts of the film are usually when the protagonists are just sitting around/hiding/waiting inside their pods/spaceships without the stress of battle!
I have been watching a lot of Miyazaki of late. He and Wes Anderson are my favourite film makers as they have created their own little worlds that seem to make perfect sense despite all the unusual happenings on screen.
I’m also a sucker for a robot.

New%20Yokyo%20Air%20Bugblog.jpg

AM: Some of your works are printed on wood or made of inlaid wood. What is it about wood as a material that appeals to you? Is it very hard work getting the solid wood pieces manufactured? How are they made?

GC: A phase I am going through largely, but one I am constantly fascinated with. From getting one thing laser cut, it has opened me up into a whole new way of seeing my work and the possibilities are pretty huge.
The texture of wood appeals to me and also the ‘natural’ connotations. I love the idea that someone may have constructed a working robot from found wood for example. Wood also has that old-fashioned appeal. I’m more enamoured with the look of bygone toys and their clock-work components than anything sleek and soulless.
I worked with a company called Heritage Inlay on the laser cut images and the inlaid pieces. Usually I design them and they construct them. But in some cases I like to order the separate components and put them together myself as in the case of the 3 images composed of laser-cut perspex, silkscreen backing and screen-printed glass [see image below].

cenral%20parkblog.jpg

AM: I loved the perspex “landscape” pieces. Is it very different creating something 3D to making a print?

GC: I treat the process the same way as a 2D piece really. They all start out life as a digital layered file on my computer so I can see roughly how they will work. I’m never entirely sure how the 3D piece will work until I have a finished one, due to unforeseen elements such as shadows running over parts of the background print etc. That’s why I find it an exciting way to work.

Graham Carter@The Coningsby Gallery
www.coningsbygallery.com
August 31 – September 12
30 Tottenham Street , London, W1T 4RJ

If you’d like to see an online array of Carter’s works, investigate e-gallery Boxbird.

When scouring the latest releases for something worthy of talking about, unhealthy an album opener of the primary school rhyme to remember Henry VIII’s wives, is going to catch your attention. Recently signed to Andy Turner‘s ATIC Records, The Witch and the Robot are a treasure trove of oddities waiting to assault and bemuse your senses with their first release ‘On Safari.’

TheWitchAndTheRobotPressShot.jpg

Aforementioned opener, ‘Giant’s Graves’, introduces a theme that runs throughout the album of pagan chanting, psychotic percussion and bizarre lyrics. With a name check to philosopher, St. Thomas Aquinas, in the following track, lead singer Andrew Tomlinson screams: “God is mackerel” against an array of fowl (as in bird) noises.

Standout track, and title for that matter, ‘No Flies On Me (Jam Head)’ is an example of the alluring world that the band create, rich in competing layers of sonic beauty. If you were wondering, it’s about wealthy golfers who employ a man to take the bait of flies by covering his bonce in the sticky stuff.

on%20safari3.jpg

Live performances are known to emulate some kind of terrifying children’s party with helium balloons, cream pies, fighting and bunting all playing a part. In addition to putting out the most unique blend of folk, psychedelia and prose heard this year, the band run a night where each punter is entered into a compulsory meat raffle. They explain: “We sometimes play surrounded by raw meat on stage. It’s referencing our own mortality, the fragility of life, it’s visceral, sexual even, but also it is nicely weird.”

on-safari.jpg

At this stage, you’re probably wondering where a band of such peculiar entities are from… That picturesque, romantic stretch of idyll, the Lake District of course… That same region of the UK that has inspired the poems of Keats, Collingwood and Wordsworth to name but a few. This could perhaps explain the spoken word entry on ‘Sex Music(Beef on Music)’, which does narrate a meeting of the sexes but in a less romantic context than our nineteenth century forefathers. Their eccentric yet catchy sounds have caught the attentions of fellow Cumbrians and Amelia’s Magazine faves, British Sea Power and they were asked to open their festival in north Yorkshire.

onsafari.jpg

If you can’t make your mind up whether they are performance art with access to a recording studio or actually have the intention of being a band at all, De-Nihilism should answer this for you; a sprawling rock track that transports you to the Arizona Desert, but there you’d most probably be wearing a silly outfit and singing a shanty.

This album is humorously fun yet dark and mysterious all delivered with a conviction and musicianship that compels another listen… “Divorced, beheaded, died/Divorced, beheaded, survived.” Just in case you’d forgotten.

Less of a protest than a gentle nudge, physician the aim of the 10:10 campaign is to sign members of the public up to a pledge to reduce their carbon emissions by 10% by the end of 2010. A star-spangled event at Tate Modern encouraged thousands to sign up to make this change. It was a very different approach from the grassroots events at the Climate Camp last weekend and had an entirely different goal: to get ordinary people to make small changes to save the world.

1010-campaign-launches-at-001.jpg

But hasn’t this message been preached for years with little result? I always refuse carrier bags at the supermarket but this does not appear to have yet halted global warming. Support in reducing my consumption of resources in all parts of my life is very welcome and, patient having signed up, cheap I’m going to take up some of the tips on offer such as going vegan three days a week. I’m a lazy environmentalist: I care and I know what needs to be done, but I find it hard not to fly, as many people do with relatives who live abroad. I get confused as to whether this cancels out all of my efforts on the recycling and public transport front. There are many of us out there, and still more who find it hard to get motivated when the problem seems so big.

1010_tomwhitehead.jpg

Campaigns like 10:10 often draw mixed responses from the green movement. Many of those who have informed themselves about climate change and have made meaningful changes to their lifestyle will be puzzled by the half-measure of asking people to take one less flight a year. It’s frustrating to see 10% held up as a magic figure when in reality we need to be drastically reducing our use of resources to avoid being the most reviled generation in the history of mankind. We don’t need to switch off a light every now and then; we need to stop using freezers and eating meat. These aren’t sacrifices that the majority of people are willing to have prized from their cold, dead hands, so instead they do nothing. That’s why it is necessary to have well-promoted and unintimidating ventures like 10:10, because otherwise instead of 10% it will be 0%.

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However, with all the best intentions, it’s not realistic to rely on individual decision-making and a small change in some lives won’t make enough of a difference. International politics and the Western economic model, which views increased consumption and growth as the only positive outcome, make it very hard for governments to lead the way. And if they did try to radically change the way the average Briton lives it would be hard for us to stomach. But we can’t have our cake and eat it. There are very difficult decisions to be made and at the moment they are being taken by a vanishingly small minority. It can’t be one lightbulb: it must be everyone’s lightbulb, every night, forever.

Both Climate Camp and 10:10 show that green campaigning can be given a high profile in the media through well-designed websites and using new modes of communication such as Facebook and Twitter. The mainstreaming of climate change awareness can only be a good thing, and it’s important to normalise making big changes in lifestyle. Living a “green” life needs to be seen as less expensive and we need to cultivate a better array of things to do in Britain that don’t require a car or a credit card. What is required is a paradigm shift in the way the majority of the population lives and going green needs to be seen as “just something you do”. Soon enough, owning more than one car will become embarrassing rather than a status symbol, but by the time the sea is lapping at everyone’s front door, it will be a little late to argue about who was the best environmentalist in 2009.

It can be done. It just needs to be done at a slightly quicker rate. Going green needs to be cheap and cheerful and to be made easier psychologically. Efforts like 10:10 help with this, but at the end of 2010, the bar needs to be set a little higher. We need to knock off another 10% in 2011, and then another. Asking for more all in one go won’t work but perhaps turning up the heat a little at a time will.
It’s all about looking forwards, website loads of opportunities to learn about the current climate chaos and our government-led impending doom and chances to get involved in taking action and planning what on earth we can do.

Green Jobs and the Green Energy Revolution: is the government doing enough?
Date: Monday 07 Sep 2009 ?

An opportunity for people to get together to discuss the UK’s future direction in the ‘green sector.’ There are talks from Green party and Labour candidates as well as Union directors and workers from the Vestas factory who lost their jobs when the government closed down a wind turbine factory.
This meeting also comes as part of the build up to the next “Save Vestas” National Day of Action on Thursday 17th September.
morningsounds%20copy.jpg Illustration by Katy Gromball
Time: 19:00
Venue: Conway Hall, site Red Lion Square, Holborn
E-mail: info@campaigncc.org?
Website: www.campaigncc.org

No New Coal Stopping Kingsnorth
Date: Wednesday 09 Sep 2009

A post Climate Camp meeting to keep the ball rolling on the planned actions and campaigns throughout the Autumn. Greenpeace will be outlining their forthcoming campaign ‘The Big If’ which asks supporters to make pledges as to what they will do if Ed Miliband gives the go-ahead for a new dirty coal power station at the Kingsnorth site in Kent. Climate activist Jonathan Stevenson will be looking back at last week’s Climate Camp and other actions that have raised awareness of the government’s lack of initiatives in reducing the UK’s carbon footprint.
There will also be film screening and a chance to discuss future strategies in combating the expansion of other coal power stations as well as Kingsnorth.
?Time: 7pm till 8.30pm
powerstation.jpg
Venue: Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX
Contacts: Nik Gorecki, 020 7837 4473
E-mail: nik@housmans.com?
Website: www.housmans.com

Making rustic furniture
Date: Friday 11 Sep 2009 to Sunday 13 Sep 2009

A workshop held over next weekend in Sussex where people can learn how to make their own furniture and craft their own objects from wood. It is run by people from the Low-Impact Living Initiative (LILI) which is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to help people reduce their impact on the environment, improve their quality of life, gain new skills, live in a healthier and more satisfying way, have fun and save money.
The course will also teach people to understand the different characteristics and uses of wood and hopefully come back with an elegant and unique piece of furniture for the house.

Venue: Wholewoods, Sussex
Contacts: 01296 714184
E-mail: taryn@lowimpact.org?
Website: www.lowimpact.org
?
Spitalfields Show & Green Fair
Date: Sunday 13 Sep 2009

This weekend sees the start of the Green Fair which includes home-made produce and handicrafts plus a whole range of stalls run by groups and organisations with Fairtrade goods, healthy food, healing therapies and projects raising environmental awareness. Make sure to check out the Mobile Allotment designed by artist Lisa Cheung. The fair is run by Alternative Arts, which is an innovatory arts organisation based in Spitalfields, East London. They invest in new artists and new ideas and aim to make the arts highly accessible to the public.
suzyGillustration.jpg Illustration by Suzy Phillips
Venue: Allen Gardens & Spitalfields City Farm, Buxton St. E1
Time: 12 noon – 5pm
Contacts: 020 7375 0441
E-mail: info@alternativearts.co.uk?
Website: www.alternativearts.co.uk

Disarm DSEi 2009
Date: 8 September

The worlds largest Arms fair is due to take place in the next couple of days, at DSEi 2007, there were 1352 exhibitors from 40 different countries with a total of 26,5000 visitors. The trade fuels conflict, undermines development and creates poverty around the world.
DISARM DSEi are calling for people to join together to unstick these institutions, expose the devastation they cause, and hold them to account for their actions.
Disarm DSEi call on people to come with love and rage; music and militancy; desire and determination and hope to show the government that we should no longer tolerate the death and destruction the arms trade causes.
Disarm DSEi will be meeting at 12 noon on Tuesday 8th September outside the Royal Bank of Scotland on Whitechapel High Street, near Aldgate East Tube, before going on to visit several companies in the City of London that invest in the arms trade and care little about the consequences for the victims of war.
P9067026.JPG
A flash mob at the Fourth plinth today got things going with people people handing out leaflets and raising awareness by lying ‘dead’ on the ground along side a banned unfurled on the plinth, part of Antony Gormley’s One and Other project.

Meet 12 Noon Near Aldgate East Tube
Website: www.caat.org.uk

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair
Date: 12 September

Much more than a bookfair, the event hosts a range of debates, discussion meetings, film showings and gives a chance for people to meet and learn from each other. There is even a cheap vegan cafe to get stuck into. 35 stalls will be set up with an extensive range of radical and alternative books, pamphlets, zines, music, badges, dvd’s, t-shirts, merchandise and free information on a range of different topics.

The Island, Bridewell Street, BS1 2PZ
10.30-6.00 Free entry
Website: www.bristolanarchistbookfair.org
From next Monday Amelia’s Magazine will be running between various fashion related events before the opening of London Fashion Week 2009 on Friday 18th September at Somerset House. Below are some of the events occurring as the capital turns its attention towards the Strand.

Tuesday 8th September

simonfoxtonthephotographersgallery.jpg

Earlier this month Amelia’s Magazine visited the When You’re a Boy exhibition at the Photographer’s Gallery and recommends you take the chance to visit before the 4th October. The show refreshingly celebrates men in fashion and focuses on menswear stylist Simon Foxton, order who will be talking at The Photographers Gallery on Tuesday 8th September at 7pm. See the previous article here.

prickyourfinger.jpg

Prick your Finger appear at Howies shop in Carnaby Street tomorrow night to discuss the increase in hand knitting through the story ‘Cast Off Knitting Club For Boys and Girls’ and the rise of knitting in public back. Prick your Finger will move onto discuss how they established their shop and the promotion of craft as a constructive past-time alongside promoting an awareness of the textile industry.

Doors open at 7.15 and it is a free event.

Thursday 10th September

Pop up shops are spreading like a rash across the London landscape in the run up to Fashion Week. Most are money-spinners disguised as concepts taking their cue from Dover St Market and the idea that investing in a limited edition is a more acceptable version of consumerism. It is not, order please think before you buy how many times you will wear garment and how you will dispose of it, hospital once you are bored and fashion has ‘moved’ on.

gap-garance-dore1.jpg
Garance Dore Photography

Carnaby Street appears to be the hotspot destination for the pop up shop, starting with Beyond the Valley’s pop up store, continuing with Gap’s 40th Denim anniversary shop opening this Thursday to the music of VV Brown and a collaboration with fashion blogger extraordinaire Garance Dore, to the forth coming ‘Wish you were here’ London and New York Boutique swap
in October.

Sunday 13th September

Dazed%2BConfused_jpg

Dazed and Confused Magazine pre-empts the opening of SHOWstudio’s Fashion Revolution with their Fashion In Film showcase as part of the onedotzero season at the BFI. Hand picked by the editorial team this showing promises to be an interesting example of documenting fashion in film.

Thursday 17th September

However, the one pop up store to watch out for is On|Off’s boutique which opens on the 16th September and runs until the 22nd. Apart from featuring the wide range of designers who have shown at On|Off during the past twelve season, the boutique will provide visitors to the shop the opportunity to watch live catwalk feed and backstage interviews with designers.

8 Newburgh Street, W1

Friday 18th September

showstudiosommersethouse.jpg

To coincide with London Fashion Week’s move to Somerset House, SHOWstudio (the online fashion site established by Nick Knight) have organised the Fashion Revolution exhibition which will open to the public on the 17th September. The exhibition will showcase the methods used by the website in collaboration with stylists, photographers, fashion designers and cultural figures to develop the methods through which fashion is communicated. Mainly concentrating on capturing fashion on film, these explorations of interaction between clothing, body and audience will be documented in the show under the titles: ‘Process’, ‘Performance’ and ‘Participation’.

showstudio.jpg

RichMixFashioonFilmseason.jpg

If Fashion on Film is a particular interest do not forget Rich Mix’s Fashion on Film Season starting on Sunday 20th September. To find out more about the Rich Mix Season you can visit previous posts here and here.

creative%20review%20ma%20show.jpg

This week’s arts happenings, cheapest as recommended by Amelia’s Magazine.

Tonight until Thursday

Creative Review Graduate Show

This “graduate show” has a difference as, salve rather than graduating from a school, salve these are new artists who have already been featured in the pages of the learned Creative Review. There are six contributors:

Tom Lovell
Mark Boardman
James Callahan and Joe Kiers
Tomomi Sayuda
Eilin Bergum
Matt Robinson and Tom Wrigglesworth

james%20callahan%20joe%20kiers.jpg

The exhibition is on at Mother London until Thursday September 10.

nine_ninety_nine.jpg

Wednesday
$9.99 @ the onedotzero festival

Onedotzerois known for bringing an eclectic but well-edited mix of cinema from film-makers of many nationalities, dealing in shorts, animation, documentary and music video. New filmmakers and established artists show alongside one another, but all work is brand new and there is an almost overwhelming amount and variety to see. Amelia’s is intrigued to see the animated film “$9.99”, based on the short stories of Etgar Keret. Based on what one has read in his books “Kneller’s Happy Campers” and others, it promises to be full of sex (as you can see from the screenshot, above), slightly bleak but also very funny and clever, and sometimes even poignant when it comes to family and the failings of one’s parents.

ross%20sutherland.jpg

Friday 11 September, 7.30pm, free

Salon Closing Night ft. Ross Sutherland & The Sunday Defensive

The closing night party for the pop-up arts project Salon London features writer Ross Sutherland, whose collection of poems “Things To Do Before You Leave Town” got him onto the Times’ list of Top Ten Literary Stars of 2008. His star is still rising, so hear him read at Salon, and while you’re listening to his wordplay, think up some clever heckles to throw at The Sunday Defensive, a comedy duo just back from the Edinburgh Fringe and therefore no doubt ready with a witty comeback.

mother%20courage%20fiona%20shaw.jpg

All week 9-30 September
Mother Courage and Her Children

Fiona Shaw takes the title role in this influential play by Bertholt Brecht. It’s the story of a woman wheeling and dealing her way to profit while her children fall sacrifice to the war machine. Recent world history has shone a light on the toll in young lives that war takes while the older generation look on and, in some cases, profit. The show also features new music from The Duke Special. The magnificent Shaw starts her run as Mother Courage from Wednesday September 9.

Monday 7th September
Gemma Ray and The Rayographs
The Lexington, nurse London

gemma%20ray.jpg

Pop noirette Ray plays stomping Americana with an Essex drawl, opening London trio, Rayographs are equally as alluring.

Tuesday 8th September
Lemonade
The Social, London

lemonade.jpg

Brooklyn via San Francisco trio, Lemonade, have a passion for cowbells and Balearic house are making party waves across the pond and play their only UK gig (apart from Bestival) right here.

Wednesday 9th September
Herman Dune, Eugene McGuinness, Gaggle, Neil’s Children and An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump
229, London

hermane%20dune.jpg

Opening night of the Fistful Of Fandango fest kicks off a treat with Israeli lo-fi french poppers, Herman Dune, heading the bill of an excellent line-up of robust acts.

Thursday 10th September
Peter Broderick
Bush Hall, London

pbroderick343243.jpg

Classically trained Broderick, has delighted festival crowds this summer with his multi-layered, lush tracks. There will also be a screening of short film ‘The White Door’, the directorial debut by Jason ‘My Name Is Earl’ Lee.

Friday 11th September
The Waterson Family and The Eliza Carthy Band
Southbank Centre, London

Waterson-Family.jpg

One look at 1960s footage of this clan and you’ll realise why folk is most definitely cool again. What started with The Watersons has been effortlessly handed down to the youngest Carthy.

Saturday 12th September
Tune-Yards, Jeremy Jay and more
Old Blue Last, London

TuneYards.jpg

DIY, experimental folk solo act, Tune-Yards, is the new signing to 4AD and is joined on the night byhttp://www.myspace.com/jeremyjay Jay and other acts of an avant-folk bias.

Sunday 13th September
Dirty Projectors and Tune-Yards
Scala, London

dirtyprojectors.jpg

Challenging and beguiling art-poppers, Dirty Projectors, play their mix of post punk, avant pop, nu-jazz and Afro pop in this one-off London show. If you didn’t catch her at the Old Blue, Tune-Yards opens.

Climate Camp was held over last week on Blackheath Common at a site with a history of English protest, view notably during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. This time there was a more middle-class revolt, link although in aid of an equally good cause.

CC1.jpg

With the aim of raising awareness about the corporations and governments who are intent on destroying the world with irreversible climate change through their capitalist greed, tadalafil the Camp was also to train and mobilise people for the climate swoop in October and the impending Copenhagen talks in December. The camp was a form of direct action in itself, where we aimed to live differently to the world of Canary Wharf and the city we could see in the distance. The camp was consensus- and volunteer-led, where everybody chipped in and could offer their opinions at the regular if not hourly meetings. Given the four hour meeting on the opening day it was a wonder to me we managed to achieve so much in the week.

The first morning began by anticipating the camp location, and, after the initial rush and stress of setting up, with the perimeter fences and tripods in place we were ready for the influx of the swoopers.

cc2.jpg

Putting up the first fences
Looming clouds welcomed the first stream of cyclists who were closely followed by different groups from various locations across London, specifically chosen to highlight ecological or social issues; from the oil corporations BP and Shell to the sites of the deaths of Jean Charles de Menezes and Ian Tomlinson.

cc3.jpg

On defense it soon became apparent that the police weren’t taking too much interest and so I was left to direct my attention towards setting up the neighborhoods; with a combination of efforts the marquees were soon up. After only a few hours the camp was taking shape with a few compost toilets in place and hay-bales in the hundreds.

Throughout the camp the police mainly kept their distance which meant that everybody was able to keep their focus away from the police and towards the issue at hand. This differed pleasantly from certain protests in the past taking place in Heathrow, Kingsnorth, and Drax, not to mention the recent G20.

cc5.jpg

Each day there were plenty of workshops to observe, be active in, or have a siesta to. The sheer amount of subjects and speakers was overwhelming, which made it difficult to stay in one place for too long without considering all the other things you were missing out on. Certainly a highlight was the the direct action training, which consisted of daily games in which people could get trained up in different tactics such as using lock-ons and tripods as well as advice on how to cope with stressful environments. Amongst the numerous talks by a range of inspiring speakers, Bicycology held workshops about pedal power and there was an opportunity to learn about wind turbines from the V3 collective.

By Sunday the camp was in full swing with up to five thousand people passing through the gates, but despite the obvious benefits it was somehow just a bit too nice. It was meant to be a camp wholly to promote climate action but many attendees appeared to see it largely as a means for personal enjoyment as opposed to wide and active social change. Don’t get me wrong, the community giving their support was totally a positive element, but to bring down the capitalist state something more was definitely needed.

Monday saw the first day of actions take place with a flash mob at the city airport. Again the police were on their best behaviour, which just felt a bit too calculating for my liking.
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Flash mob at City Airport
On Tuesday a large proportion of the camp headed into the city, where with banners, flyers and animal masks we boarded the tube and headed to the bank of England.

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Spiky fluff or fluffy spike, I’m not quite sure how to describe the day of action, the temporary shutting down of RBS and the naked invasion of the E-on PR offices but the day had some prominence and there was even some limited media coverage. I’m sure we managed to turn at least a few heads.

cc9.jpg

For a camp that was billed as not looking to provoke too many disagreements with the police it definitely kept to its word with only one arrest during the whole week. However, with climate catastrophe around the corner I feel it’s time to up the ante and I look forward to some more spiky stuff at the Climate Swoop in October.

For information about the Climate Swoop, keep checking the Amelia’s Magazine Earth section, we will be blogging about it soon!
The%20School%20of%20Life.JPG

The School of Life describes itself as dealing with the grand problem of “how to live wisely and well.” All the little itches that modern life brings can lead to feeling depressed, mind demotivated, order or just not doing any of the things you hoped. It’s easy to be so exhausted by your job that you go home, microwave something and slump over, essentially staring at the wall until you fall asleep. But at some point it will get better, right?

school%20of%20life%20shopfront.JPG

The School is designed to help us stop thinking this way and start living, but without the cheesy self-help mantras. Far from being scary like a course of therapy, they come up with lighter, more fun ways to explore yourself and to improve your day-to-day living. I had been meaning to go for ages but couldn’t quite get over the hurdle of thinking it was going to be either intimidating or some kind of twee Brownie-pack for New Agers. At their open day last weekend, however, I sampled a few mini-versions of what they have to offer and ended up staying for hours.

school%20of%20life%20mural.JPG

I signed up for the “bibliotherapy” sessions and was soon seated next to a lovely and very knowledgeable man whose job was to help me find the authors and books I could be reading, based on what I already like. He listened to me reel off the none-too-exciting books I had been reading, and what I liked to read as a kid and what I feel like I’m missing. I left with a little list of unexpected writers, plus one I’d been meaning to start reading for a while. All his recommendations got bumped to the top of my mental list of Books To Read In My Life. After all, these were chosen just for me. Please note, these sessions are intended for everyone from those who have read Ulysses and feel like there is nothing left in life to conquer to someone who read one book five years ago and that was Jordan’s autobiography.

red%20velvet%20therapy%20couch.JPG

Second up was the “conversation café”. I saw at least one nervous gentleman bolt for the door when he heard what it was about: you’re given a card printed with a conversation topic, a free cup of tea and a plate of cake and matched with a stranger with whom you are to discuss subjects like “advice you would give your past self” or “when did you stop being a child?” As I don’t suffer from pathological shyness, I found it interesting. As I went with a friend there was also some hysterical laughter over what advice we would give ourselves and each other as sixteen-year-olds. “Don’t go out with him!” was a theme.

I had such a good time and it wasn’t just the free cake. I packed a few unusual experiences into the afternoon and I felt really comfortable in the cosy carpeted and mural-painted surroundings. Having someone listen to what you have to say was pleasantly indulgent, but I also felt like I was challenging myself to think a little harder about myself and what really makes me feel good in life. It seems to be rooted in the idea of spending time and money on experiences instead of things. I’m booking myself in for one of their lectures this autumn – perhaps on “How to spend time alone” – and maybe a longer session with my kindly book advisor.

Categories ,books, ,happiness, ,philosophy, ,The School of Life

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Amelia’s Magazine | ‘The Year of the Flood’, Margaret Atwood


charlielemindu

After witnessing a whole lot of jolly sensible fashion trends being bandied about – think short, page sleek, sophisticated and feminine – we were thrilled to see a total vision of insanity at the Blow Presents… show where the models barely human, let alone feminine. Ladies and gents, meet the new woman of 2010: the Fembot.

blowpresentsfembot

Wigmaker Charlie le Mindu’s collection made Danielle Scutt’s hairstyling look positively placid: models were bombing down the catwalking with “haute coiffure” teetering atop their tiny heads, like a warped modern paraphrase of 18th century wigs.

BlowpresentsCharliedelemindu

Squeezed into flesh-coloured PVC bodysuits, these were pneumatic bodies that resembled genetically mutated Barbies, with the hairpieces swelling into jackets (bearing a strong resemblance to Margiela’s two seasons ago) or even shoulder pads, evidently a trend that translates into the most avant-garde of arenas.

charlie

Margiela reared his head again with Gemma Slack’s collection, who by masking her models also evinced a preoccupation with the concealing of the face. With pieces constructed from leather and suede, it was a bold collection that turned the models into superheroes and warriors, with the conical bras making another resurgence as seen with Louise Goldin’s latest offering.

The inclusion metal studs and slashed leather also made it profoundly sexual – with the oppressive metal-plated umbrella and circular skirts mechanising the body, a territory previously explored, of course, by Hussein Chalayan. Unlike Chalayan this mechanisation was also sexualised, with the constant sado-masochistic details (even the traditional Burmese neck rings looked more like dog collars) in line with uncomfortable images of fetishised modernity that J.G Ballard expressed in Crash.

IMAGE

Next up was Lina Osterman, with a show styled by Robbie Spencer, with a evocation of Victoriana repression playing with the effects of concealing the body – a difference so far for a series of shows that has been all about long, bare legs.

IMAGE

A completely androgynous collection, there were undertaker-style long tailored jackets paired with trousers and shorts, with Osterman manifesting the Victorian secret obsession with sex, like Slack, with bondage-like details and choices in fabric. Lurking underneath all the bravado, however, was a surprisingly soft and wearable collection, with some fabulous knits and grandpa shirts both for the boys and the girls.

IMAGE

Finally upping the drama stakes was Iris van Herpen, with a slow and intense collection of sculpted leather and rubber – heavy and cumbersome pieces that were inspired by radiation waves around the body, results of collaboration with artist Bart Hess.

IMAGE

Proving a fantastic metaphor as a means of highlighting parts of the human body, this was true craftsmanship, with sequins and reflective panels catching the catwalk lights – as the models lined up together for the final few moments they seemed like soldiers with armour constructed from artwork.

A rather fascinating foursome on show, then, and at least Lady GaGa will have some new things to wear with those big pants of hers – well until next season anyway.


charlielemindu

After witnessing a whole lot of jolly sensible fashion trends being bandied about – think short, page sleek, order sophisticated and feminine – we were thrilled to see a total vision of insanity at the Blow Presents… show where the models barely human, let alone feminine. Ladies and gents, meet the new woman of 2010: the Fembot.

blowpresentsfembot

Wigmaker Charlie le Mindu’s collection made Danielle Scutt’s hairstyling look positively placid: models were bombing down the catwalking with “haute coiffure” teetering atop their tiny heads, like a warped modern paraphrase of 18th century wigs.

BlowpresentsCharliedelemindu

Squeezed into flesh-coloured PVC bodysuits, these were pneumatic bodies that resembled genetically mutated Barbies, with the hairpieces swelling into jackets (bearing a strong resemblance to Margiela’s two seasons ago) or even shoulder pads, evidently a trend that translates into the most avant-garde of arenas.

charlie

Margiela reared his head again with Gemma Slack’s collection, who by masking her models also evinced a preoccupation with the concealing of the face. With pieces constructed from leather and suede, it was a bold collection that turned the models into superheroes and warriors, with the conical bras making another resurgence as seen with Louise Goldin’s latest offering.

gemmaslack

The inclusion metal studs and slashed leather also made it profoundly sexual – with the oppressive metal-plated umbrella and circular skirts mechanising the body, a territory previously explored, of course, by Hussein Chalayan. Unlike Chalayan this mechanisation was also sexualised, with the constant sado-masochistic details (even the traditional Burmese neck rings looked more like dog collars) in line with uncomfortable images of fetishised modernity that J.G Ballard expressed in Crash.

fw_sat19_8

Next up was Lina Osterman, with a show styled by Robbie Spencer, with a evocation of Victoriana repression playing with the effects of concealing the body – a difference so far for a series of shows that has been all about long, bare legs.

fw_sat19_8

A completely androgynous collection, there were undertaker-style long tailored jackets paired with trousers and shorts, with Osterman manifesting the Victorian secret obsession with sex, like Slack, with bondage-like details and choices in fabric. Lurking underneath all the bravado, however, was a surprisingly soft and wearable collection, with some fabulous knits and grandpa shirts both for the boys and the girls.

mummyblowpr

Finally upping the drama stakes was Iris van Herpen, with a slow and intense collection of sculpted leather and rubber – heavy and cumbersome pieces that were inspired by radiation waves around the body, results of collaboration with artist Bart Hess.

fw_sat19_3

Proving a fantastic metaphor as a means of highlighting parts of the human body, this was true craftsmanship, with sequins and reflective panels catching the catwalk lights – as the models lined up together for the final few moments they seemed like soldiers with armour constructed from artwork.

IMG_0678

A rather fascinating foursome on show, then, and at least Lady GaGa will have some new things to wear with those big pants of hers – well until next season anyway.


charlielemindu

After witnessing a whole lot of jolly sensible fashion trends being bandied about – think short, visit sleek, mind sophisticated and feminine – we were thrilled to see a total vision of insanity at the Blow Presents… show where the models barely human, let alone feminine. Ladies and gents, meet the new woman of 2010: the Fembot.

blowpresentsfembot

Wigmaker Charlie le Mindu’s collection made Danielle Scutt’s hairstyling look positively placid: models were bombing down the catwalking with “haute coiffure” teetering atop their tiny heads, like a warped modern paraphrase of 18th century wigs.

BlowpresentsCharliedelemindu

Squeezed into flesh-coloured PVC bodysuits, these were pneumatic bodies that resembled genetically mutated Barbies, with the hairpieces swelling into jackets (bearing a strong resemblance to Margiela’s two seasons ago) or even shoulder pads, evidently a trend that translates into the most avant-garde of arenas.

charlie

Margiela reared his head again with Gemma Slack’s collection, who by masking her models also evinced a preoccupation with the concealing of the face. With pieces constructed from leather and suede, it was a bold collection that turned the models into superheroes and warriors, with the conical bras making another resurgence as seen with Louise Goldin’s latest offering.

gemmaslack

The inclusion metal studs and slashed leather also made it profoundly sexual – with the oppressive metal-plated umbrella and circular skirts mechanising the body, a territory previously explored, of course, by Hussein Chalayan. Unlike Chalayan this mechanisation was also sexualised, with the constant sado-masochistic details (even the traditional Burmese neck rings looked more like dog collars) in line with uncomfortable images of fetishised modernity that J.G Ballard expressed in Crash.

fw_sat19_8

Next up was Lina Osterman, with a show styled by Robbie Spencer, with a evocation of Victoriana repression playing with the effects of concealing the body – a difference so far for a series of shows that has been all about long, bare legs.

fw_sat19_8

A completely androgynous collection, there were undertaker-style long tailored jackets paired with trousers and shorts, with Osterman manifesting the Victorian secret obsession with sex, like Slack, with bondage-like details and choices in fabric. Lurking underneath all the bravado, however, was a surprisingly soft and wearable collection, with some fabulous knits and grandpa shirts both for the boys and the girls.

mummyblowpr

Finally upping the drama stakes was Iris van Herpen, with a slow and intense collection of sculpted leather and rubber – heavy and cumbersome pieces that were inspired by radiation waves around the body, results of collaboration with artist Bart Hess.

fw_sat19_3

Proving a fantastic metaphor as a means of highlighting parts of the human body, this was true craftsmanship, with sequins and reflective panels catching the catwalk lights – as the models lined up together for the final few moments they seemed like soldiers with armour constructed from artwork.

IMG_0678

A rather fascinating foursome on show, then, and at least Lady GaGa will have some new things to wear with those big pants of hers – well until next season anyway.


charlielemindu

After witnessing a whole lot of jolly sensible fashion trends being bandied about – think short, medical sleek, find sophisticated and feminine – we were thrilled to see a total vision of insanity at the Blow Presents… show where the models barely human, side effects let alone feminine. Ladies and gents, meet the new woman of 2010: the Fembot.

blowpresentsfembot

Wigmaker Charlie le Mindu’s collection made Danielle Scutt’s hairstyling look positively placid: models were bombing down the catwalking with “haute coiffure” teetering atop their tiny heads, like a warped modern paraphrase of 18th century wigs.

BlowpresentsCharliedelemindu

Squeezed into flesh-coloured PVC bodysuits, these were pneumatic bodies that resembled genetically mutated Barbies, with the hairpieces swelling into jackets (bearing a strong resemblance to Margiela’s two seasons ago) or even shoulder pads, evidently a trend that translates into the most avant-garde of arenas.

charlie

Margiela reared his head again with Gemma Slack’s collection, who by masking her models also evinced a preoccupation with the concealing of the face. With pieces constructed from leather and suede, it was a bold collection that turned the models into superheroes and warriors, with the conical bras making another resurgence as seen with Louise Goldin’s latest offering.

gemmaslack

The inclusion metal studs and slashed leather also made it profoundly sexual – with the oppressive metal-plated umbrella and circular skirts mechanising the body, a territory previously explored, of course, by Hussein Chalayan. Unlike Chalayan this mechanisation was also sexualised, with the constant sado-masochistic details (even the traditional Burmese neck rings looked more like dog collars) in line with uncomfortable images of fetishised modernity that J.G Ballard expressed in Crash.

fw_sat19_8

Next up was Lina Osterman, with a show styled by Robbie Spencer, with a evocation of Victoriana repression playing with the effects of concealing the body – a difference so far for a series of shows that has been all about long, bare legs.

fw_sat19_8

A completely androgynous collection, there were undertaker-style long tailored jackets paired with trousers and shorts, with Osterman manifesting the Victorian secret obsession with sex, like Slack, with bondage-like details and choices in fabric. Lurking underneath all the bravado, however, was a surprisingly soft and wearable collection, with some fabulous knits and grandpa shirts both for the boys and the girls.

mummyblowpr

Finally upping the drama stakes was Iris van Herpen, with a slow and intense collection of sculpted leather and rubber – heavy and cumbersome pieces that were inspired by radiation waves around the body, results of collaboration with artist Bart Hess.

fw_sat19_3

Proving a fantastic metaphor as a means of highlighting parts of the human body, this was true craftsmanship, with sequins and reflective panels catching the catwalk lights – as the models lined up together for the final few moments they seemed like soldiers with armour constructed from artwork.

IMG_0678

A rather fascinating foursome on show, then, and at least Lady GaGa will have some new things to wear with those big pants of hers – well until next season anyway.

Year of the Flood

It could be a sequestered, dosage slimy corner of any 21st century metropolis, order the “small square yard where the trash bins were kept – the ones for the carbon garboil trash and the other kind. Then there was a board fence, approved and on the other side of it there was a vacant lot where a building had burned down. Now it was just hard earth with pieces of cement and charred wood and broken glass, and weeds growing on it.” But, for a group of kids in the un-located urban ‘pleebs’ of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Year of the Flood’, this grim patch is school. Here, they’re engrossed in their Predator-Prey Relations class one day, and stumbling on the corpse of a woman the next, her dumped body still bearing the glossy green scales of the costume that once glistened as she swung from the trapeze in the strip joint next door.

‘The Year of the Flood’ makes for uneasy albeit enthralling reading, and not just because both the city and society depicted in it are, but for a few glinting exceptions, beyond ugly. What’s really unnerving is that they’re so familiar. And that’s just why Margaret Atwood’s ‘Year of the Flood’ is so potent, why the Canadian author’s crown as one of the most important writers of contemporary fiction remains fixed 40 years after she published her first novel, ‘The Edible Woman’: her apocalyptic visions are too close for comfort for us to ignore.

Atwood_London

Defying critics’ attempts to crack the bones of her work and fold it neatly into a single, constricted literary genre (in her case, Science Fiction), Atwood once told The Guardian that “science fiction has monsters and spaceships; speculative fiction could really happen,” and, in ‘The Year of the Flood’, Atwood’s speculative muscles are given a damn good flex. The novel’s ‘waterless flood’ epidemic mows mankind down in a tidal wave of airborne ferocity, and the reactions of its characters to that event, each other and the world that it creates holds a distant mirror to the reader and our reality. Reflected are real-life recent health hysterics and individuals’ behaviour in the light of them, plus the tales – both heroic and horrific – that still float on the wake of modern-day disasters such as 2005’s New Orleans floods.

Preachy? Undoubtedly some will see it that way, but at least Atwood can’t be accused of not putting her messages into practice. The tour that accompanies ‘The Year of the Flood’s publication has been a carbon-neutral, veggie-vowing, community-centric, eco-conscious green sweep, with local performers joining Atwood to bring the book’s characters and their songs (yes, you read that right…) to life at each stop. If you missed it, the author has been chronicling the trip, its trials and its triumphs at her blog.

Whatever messages readers absorb from Atwood’s tales, they’re always coated by a tasty narrative dripping with juicy characters to help them slip down more easily. A post-graduate pole-dancer with a penchant for wearing feathers, a woman who flits from her horrific burger-flipping job to defending a fortress in the shape of a top-end spa, and the man who makes it his job to save mankind from itself – these are the people who act as the eyes, ears and mouths of ‘The Year of the Flood’. The fictional foreboding that they dish up in turn adds Atwood’s voice to the likes TckTckTck, Greenpeace and Climate Rush, the active chorus hoping to inspire us to reassess the choices we make, through protest or performance. Atwood, as always, does it by the book.

Categories ,books, ,Margaret Atwood, ,The Year of the Flood

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Amelia’s Magazine | Review: London College of Communication Green Week, 6th-10th February 2012

LCC Green Week 'Urban Farming Installation' by Deborah Moon

Urban Farming Installation by second year Interaction & Moving Image students as part of LCC Green Week illustrated by Deborah Moon

Within an atmosphere of playfulness and improvisation the London College of Communication organised a Green Week between the 6th and 10th of February – part of the nation wide People and Planet Green Week. It was packed with workshops, pop-up installations, film screenings and talks aiming to encourage students to share ideas for improving sustainability in their creative practice and at home. Under the motivational general title ‘You Can Make a Difference‘ the week explored the themes of ‘found’, ‘upcycle’, ‘change’, ‘waste’ and ‘activism’. Every day of the week the upper galleries of the college hosted both student led initiatives and the work of invited creatives.

LCC Green Week Sarah Bagner from Supermarket Sarah with plastic bags quilt photo by Maria Papadimitriou

As the designer of Plastic Seconds – a jewellery line that uses recycled plastic and other found materials – I was invited by Sarah Bagner from Supermarket Sarah to make a wall on the first day of the event and talk to the students about the usage of ‘rubbish’ we do not often think to use anew in design… Sarah, even though still jet-lagged from a trip to Tokyo photographing local ‘walls’ for her upcoming book, played a major part in the event making installations and collaborating with the students throughout. On the third day of the week she teamed up with Tiziana Callari and created a quilt made out of discarded plastic bags – seen above.

Supermarket Sarah for London College of Communication Green Week by Jo Ley

Supermarket Sarah for London College of Communication’s Green Week by Jo Ley

Plastic Seconds wall installation at LCC green week photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Plastic Seconds display

LCC Green Week Skip Sisters

Sarah Bagner had also invited the super fun Skip SistersJulia Burnett, Edori Fertig, Liz Honeybone, Pia Randall-Goddard and Helen Turner who search the skips of South London for raw materilas and then turn them into sculptural objects, clocks, jewellery and textiles. Apart from the installation above the Skip Sisters also rummaged through the college’s printing studios for discarded paper which they transformed into beads for jewellery making.

LCC Green Week Veja Shoes photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Veja was another sustainable brand Sarah Bagner had invited to the event.

LCC Green Week Face Shields by Jody Boehnert at EcoLabs

Some of the most striking – and possibly emotionally charged – objects on show were these ‘Face Shields‘ from Climate Camp 2007, designed by Jody Boehnert at EcoLabs, which were used as part of a mass action at Heathrow against the proposed third runway.

'Face Shields' Time2Act Climate Camp 2007 Green Week LCC by Lizzy Holbrook

Face Shields by Lizzy Holbrook

Wooden Objects by Gregor Garber LCC Green Weekphoto by Maria Papadimitriou

I was quite taken by these really well made and well presented reclaimed wood toy kits made by the college’s 3D technician Gregor Garber, who salvages good quality wood from shelving or broken easels. He thinks it a shame that maquettes by interior design students can look rather samey because of the standard materials they use, so during his workshops he encourages students to use all sorts of more interesting and varied looking reclaimed materials – as in the examples below.

reclaimed wood interior design models by Gregor Garber LCC green week photo by Maria Papadimitriou

LCC Green Week pop-up bicycle powered cinema by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

LCC Green Week pop-up bicycle powered cinema by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

The collective Magnificent Revolution brought into the college their bicycle powered cinema!

London College of Communication Takeaway LCC Green Week photo by Maria Papadimitriou

During my visit on the last day of the events I was happy to see LCC students’ Azra Bhagat and Laura Carless ‘Green Takeaway’ stall where they displayed tons of reclaimed takeaway coffee cups – along with these ceramic mugs and glasses – which they had turned into tiny city flower pots by adding seeds.

LCC Green Week Furniture Upcycling 1 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Also on the last day unused and ignored furniture from around the college was given pretty make-overs by the students and the resulting pieces will be auctioned on the Supermarket Sarah website!

Book Swishing at LCC Green Week photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Throughout the week there was a book swishing point, accompannied by this lovely hanging books display, where students could bring a book in and take one away.

LCC Green Week 'my apple is jetlagged' wall painting photo by Maria Papadimitriou

In terms of more student led events this wall painting highlighting the issue of food miles was created by a team of them as the week unfolded.

Other highlights were Garudio Studiage creating a ‘Lucky Skip’ interactive installation where all those unattractive Christmas presents could be put to good use or passed on to someone else, and Food for Good, an initiative by three graphic and media design students who pick up left over food from restaurants, bakeries and supermarkets and trasnport it to charities. Finally there was a lot of extra cycling related activity in the middlele of the week, which I unfortunately missed, including letterpress artist, poet and cyclist Dennis Gould exhibiting his work as featured in Boneshaker Magazine and talking about his love of cycling.

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou.
Skip Sisters photo by London College of Communication.

Categories ,activism, ,bicycle powered cinema, ,books, ,Charities, ,cinema, ,Climate Activism, ,Climate Camp, ,Deborah Moon, ,ecolabs, ,Film Screening, ,Food for Good, ,Food Miles, ,Found, ,Furniture, ,Garudio Studiage, ,Green Week, ,Gregor Garber, ,Heathrow Airport, ,Heathrow third runway, ,installation, ,Interior Design, ,Jet-Lagged, ,jewellery, ,Jo Ley, ,Jody Boehnert, ,LCC, ,Leftovers, ,Lizzy Holbrook, ,London College of Communication, ,Magnificent Revolution, ,Maquettes, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,painting, ,people and planet, ,People and Planet Week, ,plastic bags, ,Plastic Seconds, ,recycling, ,Sarah Bagner, ,Skip Siters, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Supermarket Sarah, ,Swishing, ,talks, ,Tiziana Callari, ,Toys, ,Upcycling, ,Urban Farming, ,Veja, ,Walls, ,Waste, ,wood, ,workshops

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Amelia’s Magazine | Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review: Books, Food, Comedy, Craft & Fashion

Port Eliot Festival by Maia Fjord
Port Eliot Festival by Maia Fjord.

I’ve been meaning to take in Port Eliot festival for several years but it has always been just that little bit too far away. This summer we were able to attend, thanks to a holiday in Cornwall with family.

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Once more we were blessed with a weekend of near perfect sunshine, ideal for wild and muddy swimming in the adjacent river, and the grassy banks were packed when we arrived on Friday afternoon. It’s a relatively small festival, which meant that we could pop up our tent quite close to the action. Beyond the main tented areas we traversed overgrown rhododendron paths, frolicked in a full sized maze and emerged with a spectacular view of the impressive aqueduct beneath which a couple of stand up paddle boarders were dwarfed.

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Port Eliot is not your average festival; here the usual music takes a back seat to other offerings: literary, foodie, comedic, crafty and fashionable. Thanks to some well placed connections it has built a bit of a reputation as the fashionistas’ festival, and despite the distance from London the big names return year after year. It was telling that (in comparison to my adventures at Green Earth Awakening) all the people I ran into on the site were friends I know from working in fashion.

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I liked the mix of activities, but it took awhile to get used to the workings of this festival, where queueing is a prerequisite for popular talks and workshops (I am very bad at queues, and never more so now that I have a toddler in tow). My partner tried to hear Martin Parr speak on several occasions (about his new film, which was also showing) before we finally tracked him down on the Sunday at the Dovegrey Reader tent, where the audience could sit out on the grass (and knitting is de rigeur). Lucky then that Martin Parr was speaking so many times! And obviously taking the opportunity to snap away at this most middle class of festivals. The favourite thing I took from his talk was his admission that he takes huge amount of photos, because most of them are crap. I have always believed it’s all in the edit so it was good to hear that Martin thinks so too.

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0013
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0017
I didn’t have so much luck joining an Anthropologie workshop, having arrived at the allocated time to book a class, only to find they were already full. Instead I learnt how to crochet (at last!) with Ros Badger at The Badger Sett.

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0021
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0010
Plenty of authors were on hand to talk about and then sign books but I only caught small parts of many talks due to toddler demands. Viv Albertine talked very engagingly about her new book Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys which I am desperate to read (Luella Bartley spotted in the audience), and I enjoyed listening to Richard Benson talk about rural life and his new book The Valley, but not so much Gruff Rhys on his US adventures (he didn’t engage). Susie Bubble was front row for a chat with fashion designer Simone Rocha and I bought a signed copy of Babette Cole’s new children’s book, inspired by her lodger, pictured above in dreadlocks and bunny ears.

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0008
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0007
In the beautiful Walled Garden the fashion set held arty sewing workshops and a catwalk show for tweenies. I admired a clever bunting made from colourful hair weaves and the dexterity of The Flower Appreciation Society, ensuring that many ladies at the festival sported beautiful real floral headdresses.

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Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0012
Every time we tried to get to the kids’ Hullabaloo area I got lost in the winding labyrinth of paths. Once there we discovered plentiful crafty workshops, theatre productions, a bouncy castle, puppet shows and comedy. Speaking of which, I managed to contain Snarfle for long enough to hear most of Robin Ince’s genius set.

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The main house was home to displays of crocheted tea cosies, cakes, flower arrangements and scarecrows. We didn’t visit the foodie tent but admired the stage set up from afar. Instead we frequented the Hix pop up in the Orangery, with food supplied by Fortnum & Mason. It was a pricey meal but we enjoyed the incongruous silver service. Elsewhere we dined on Cornish seafood, wood fired pizza and local ice cream. Food was a definite highlight!

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-the odd folk
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-love nor moneyy
Port Eliot Snarfle and Sheepie
In the early evenings Snarfle and I headed to the smallest music tent, where he jumped around to the ramshackle and rather brilliant The Odd Folk one night and electro powered drum n bass anthems from sister act Love Nor Money on the next. He is now obsessed with ‘rock guitar’ as well as banjo. Thank goodness his Sheepie doubles as a guitar/banjo/ukelele stand in.

Categories ,2014, ,Anthropologie, ,Babette Cole, ,books, ,Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys, ,comedy, ,Cornwall, ,craft, ,crochet, ,Dovegrey Reader, ,fashion, ,festival, ,Food, ,Fortnum & Mason, ,Green Earth Awakening, ,Gruff Rhys, ,Hix, ,Hullabaloo, ,knitting, ,Love Nor Money, ,Luella Bartley, ,Maia Fjord, ,Martin Parr, ,Orangery, ,Port Eliot, ,review, ,Richard Benson, ,Robin Ince, ,Ros Badger, ,Sheepie, ,Simone Rocha, ,Snarfle, ,Susie Bubble, ,The Badger Set, ,The Flower Appreciation Society, ,The Odd Folk, ,The Valley, ,viv albertine, ,Walled Garden

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Amelia’s Magazine | Lazy Gramophone Press: The Book of Apertures

teebobmarley

All Images Courtesy of African Apparel

After recieving African Apparel’s Freddie Mercury T-shirt for Christmas I became interested in the company. I liked the playful name and the artwork that they have on their t-shirts. I got in touch with them and find out a little bit more about the label.

Andy Devine. African Apparel originally started as a band, thumb what happened to that?

African Apparell. Our act still exist under different names, see lately we’ve been called Postman Pat and Goblin Comb . We started the project as we wanted to play raw fucked up ethnic music. I got into the Sublime Frequencies label thing and was researching loads of different folk music from around the world but what I prefer was always the raw stuff, viagra buy old tribal chief grawling playing a one string luth. The real stuff, no pissing about. So we tried to recreate that in our own style. It sounds funny but we’re pretty serious about  it.

DSC_1626

AD. Is the name just a dig at American Apparell or is there something else behind it?

AA. Well I needed a name for this band. Our music doesnt sound anything near what guys who are into American Apparel would like  so I  just thought African Apparel would be a good name for it so yeah I guess it is a dig  in a way

FREDDIE 1

AD. Was it always intended to become a clothing label or did it happen organically?

AA. Not at all, it was only when I posted the Bob Marley design online and everybody asked me where they could buy it , that I decided to print it. From then, I used the cash to print other shirts from others artists I like. It was more our band t shirt at the beginnning.

DSC_1686

AD. Is there any sort of philosophy behind the label?

AA. Put out tees by artists I like who do stuff differently. Taking risks.

emperortee

AD. How/why did you choose the artists/designs you’ve released so far?

AA. Some of them are people I know and like, some of them are people I have discovered through zines, net or books. There is not a recipe, just people who I think are good and do things their own way.

emperor teee

AD. Could you tell us a little bit about the two new designs you have coming out?

AA. I have three actually. One by Milo Brennan, a piece he did for an exhibition which is a collage inspired by Beavis & Butthead called SkullRockDeath. Another design is by Belgian Artist Brecht Vandenbroucke, I really dig his stuff,  awesome paintings and drawings. Google him! Finally, the third one by Ryan Riss a.k.a Craptical from Seattle who is really pissed off cos Lil Wayne has been jailed. Same again google him, mindblowing stuff.

AD. Do you think you’ll start producing other clothing items other than t-shirts?

AA. I’m not sure really, I’m thinking of having sweaters too and balaclavas but dunno when that’ll happen. I like to keep it simple.

newborn

AD. Can any artists submit ideas to you or do you have a specific idea of who you want to work with next?

AA. Well, I do have a specific idea of what I want but if people think they’ll fit they can submit stuff  but we’re already collaborating with others artists for upcoming releases.

AD. If they can where would they send them?

AA. Afroapparatus@gmail.com

lil weezy

AD. How succesful have you been so far, I own two of the three t-shirts you’ve done so far and they always get a great reaction from people?

AA. I’m not sure what you mean by “successful”. We’ve been selling our tees around the globe from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo, Moscow , Berlin , NY , Melbourne, Paris etc… So i guess people do like them and its pretty satisfying to think people are wearing your tees around the world . Financially I get enough money to get new tees done and promoting them, thats all that counts so far.

All T-shirts can be purchased from the African Apparel site here.

teebobmarley

All Images Courtesy of African Apparel

After recieving African Apparel’s Freddie Mercury T-shirt for Christmas I became interested in the company. I liked the playful name and the artwork that they have on their t-shirts. I got in touch with them and find out a little bit more about the label.

Andy Devine. African Apparel originally started as a band, order what happened to that?

African Apparell. Our act still exist under different names, cost lately we’ve been called Postman Pat and Goblin Comb . We started the project as we wanted to play raw fucked up ethnic music. I got into the Sublime Frequencies label thing and was researching loads of different folk music from around the world but what I prefer was always the raw stuff, old tribal chief grawling playing a one string luth. The real stuff, no pissing about. So we tried to recreate that in our own style. It sounds funny but we’re pretty serious about  it.

DSC_1626

AD. Is the name just a dig at American Apparell or is there something else behind it?

AA. Well I needed a name for this band. Our music doesnt sound anything near what guys who are into American Apparel would like  so I  just thought African Apparel would be a good name for it so yeah I guess it is a dig  in a way

FREDDIE 1

AD. Was it always intended to become a clothing label or did it happen organically?

AA. Not at all, it was only when I posted the Bob Marley design online and everybody asked me where they could buy it , that I decided to print it. From then, I used the cash to print other shirts from others artists I like. It was more our band t shirt at the beginnning.

DSC_1686

AD. Is there any sort of philosophy behind the label?

AA. Put out tees by artists I like who do stuff differently. Taking risks.

emperortee

AD. How/why did you choose the artists/designs you’ve released so far?

AA. Some of them are people I know and like, some of them are people I have discovered through zines, net or books. There is not a recipe, just people who I think are good and do things their own way.

et

AD. Could you tell us a little bit about the two new designs you have coming out?

AA. I have three actually. One by Milo Brennan, a piece he did for an exhibition which is a collage inspired by Beavis & Butthead called SkullRockDeath. Another design is by Belgian Artist Brecht Vandenbroucke, I really dig his stuff,  awesome paintings and drawings. Google him! Finally, the third one by Ryan Riss a.k.a Craptical from Seattle who is really pissed off cos Lil Wayne has been jailed. Same again google him, mindblowing stuff.

AD. Do you think you’ll start producing other clothing items other than t-shirts?

AA. I’m not sure really, I’m thinking of having sweaters too and balaclavas but dunno when that’ll happen. I like to keep it simple.

newborn

AD. Can any artists submit ideas to you or do you have a specific idea of who you want to work with next?

AA. Well, I do have a specific idea of what I want but if people think they’ll fit they can submit stuff  but we’re already collaborating with others artists for upcoming releases.

AD. If they can where would they send them?

AA. Afroapparatus@gmail.com

lil weezy

AD. How succesful have you been so far, I own two of the three t-shirts you’ve done so far and they always get a great reaction from people?

AA. I’m not sure what you mean by “successful”. We’ve been selling our tees around the globe from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo, Moscow , Berlin , NY , Melbourne, Paris etc… So i guess people do like them and its pretty satisfying to think people are wearing your tees around the world . Financially I get enough money to get new tees done and promoting them, thats all that counts so far.

All T-shirts can be purchased from the African Apparel site here.

5All images courtesy of Lazy Gramophone Press

Two years in production, cost The Book of Apertures is the fourth publication by Lazy Gramophone Press; an arts collective whose emphasis lies embedded in collaboration – as a process to produce original, nurse personal, prescription and pragmatic works – by any aspiring artist or writer who feels like getting involved.

1

At the launch of The Book of Apertures, there was an honest and reverent sense of a team effort, with a mutual respect for each contributor’s offering; be it a short story, an illustration, or a poem. As Phil Levine, a founding member of Lazy Gramophone explained of the project, “it feels like everyone has had their own part in it, like an original hand-made arts and crafts feel.” And it is this sort of grassroots method that has combined and juxtaposed creativity to make for a wonderful environment of ideas and imaginings.

4

The premise of the group’s new book was that each contributor was given the theme of the unexplainable; focusing on elements of life that just don’t make sense… and to run with it. What was produced were some fantastically remarkable works. Some to make you laugh – The Kidnapping of Little Wallet, by Guy J Jackson had me giggling away in inappropriate circumstances; and some will make you cry, or muse, or just smile (the opening poem, Moment’s Notice by Helena Santos is just lovely). It is this variety that makes the book – the personality of each contributor is exhumed, as Levine reflected proudly (and rightly so). “There is such a wide variety of people that everyone’s got their own style so you can’t directly compare any of the stories, they are all very individual.”

3

Sam Rawlings, who edited the collection, was equally beaming with the end result. Of particular significance seemed to be the fluidity with which the whole process evolved. Speaking at the launch, Rawlings elucidated that “the idea went out and we didn’t know how many people would respond, it could have been one or two or it could have been more – it turned out that we had about 22 or 23 people, so it was great. It wasn’t everyone at the start – people heard about what was going on and kind of joined in half way, and it started growing and morphing.”

2

Illustrated throughout, The Book of Apertures combines artists renditions; another dais by which talent seeps from the pages. The book is aesthetically pleasing to the extreme, a myriad of perfectionists jigsawed together amidst a slightly obscure semiotic whole. Dan Prescott, who designed and typeset the book, has produced an impeccable labour of love.

6

The Lazy Gramophone group as a collective have demonstrated a remarkable and inspiring ethos throughout this project, and their willingness to provide a means of expression is second to none – as Levine said: “there should be a platform for where it would be easier to put work out there, so our work can get out to a wider audience… The emphasis is really on collaborations, anyone who wants to get involved, be it the creative side, the technical side, or even the business side, anything, a mixture of people doing their own thing, and we want as many people involved as possible.”

7

Several of the writers in The Book of Apertures will be holding readings in and around London prior to the official on sale date, April 6th. Filled with intricacies, I would happily recommend the book to anyone. On asking about their next project, it appears there are more collaborative projects to come – however, as Rawlings joked, “this took two years so don’t hold your breath!”

Categories ,Arts, ,Arts Collective, ,book launch, ,books, ,illustration, ,illustrators, ,Lazy Gramophone, ,limited edition prints, ,literature, ,poetry, ,press, ,print, ,Sam Rawlings, ,Small press

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Amelia’s Magazine | Lazy Gramophone Press: The Book of Apertures

teebobmarley

All Images Courtesy of African Apparel

After recieving African Apparel’s Freddie Mercury T-shirt for Christmas I became interested in the company. I liked the playful name and the artwork that they have on their t-shirts. I got in touch with them and find out a little bit more about the label.

Andy Devine. African Apparel originally started as a band, thumb what happened to that?

African Apparell. Our act still exist under different names, see lately we’ve been called Postman Pat and Goblin Comb . We started the project as we wanted to play raw fucked up ethnic music. I got into the Sublime Frequencies label thing and was researching loads of different folk music from around the world but what I prefer was always the raw stuff, viagra buy old tribal chief grawling playing a one string luth. The real stuff, no pissing about. So we tried to recreate that in our own style. It sounds funny but we’re pretty serious about  it.

DSC_1626

AD. Is the name just a dig at American Apparell or is there something else behind it?

AA. Well I needed a name for this band. Our music doesnt sound anything near what guys who are into American Apparel would like  so I  just thought African Apparel would be a good name for it so yeah I guess it is a dig  in a way

FREDDIE 1

AD. Was it always intended to become a clothing label or did it happen organically?

AA. Not at all, it was only when I posted the Bob Marley design online and everybody asked me where they could buy it , that I decided to print it. From then, I used the cash to print other shirts from others artists I like. It was more our band t shirt at the beginnning.

DSC_1686

AD. Is there any sort of philosophy behind the label?

AA. Put out tees by artists I like who do stuff differently. Taking risks.

emperortee

AD. How/why did you choose the artists/designs you’ve released so far?

AA. Some of them are people I know and like, some of them are people I have discovered through zines, net or books. There is not a recipe, just people who I think are good and do things their own way.

emperor teee

AD. Could you tell us a little bit about the two new designs you have coming out?

AA. I have three actually. One by Milo Brennan, a piece he did for an exhibition which is a collage inspired by Beavis & Butthead called SkullRockDeath. Another design is by Belgian Artist Brecht Vandenbroucke, I really dig his stuff,  awesome paintings and drawings. Google him! Finally, the third one by Ryan Riss a.k.a Craptical from Seattle who is really pissed off cos Lil Wayne has been jailed. Same again google him, mindblowing stuff.

AD. Do you think you’ll start producing other clothing items other than t-shirts?

AA. I’m not sure really, I’m thinking of having sweaters too and balaclavas but dunno when that’ll happen. I like to keep it simple.

newborn

AD. Can any artists submit ideas to you or do you have a specific idea of who you want to work with next?

AA. Well, I do have a specific idea of what I want but if people think they’ll fit they can submit stuff  but we’re already collaborating with others artists for upcoming releases.

AD. If they can where would they send them?

AA. Afroapparatus@gmail.com

lil weezy

AD. How succesful have you been so far, I own two of the three t-shirts you’ve done so far and they always get a great reaction from people?

AA. I’m not sure what you mean by “successful”. We’ve been selling our tees around the globe from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo, Moscow , Berlin , NY , Melbourne, Paris etc… So i guess people do like them and its pretty satisfying to think people are wearing your tees around the world . Financially I get enough money to get new tees done and promoting them, thats all that counts so far.

All T-shirts can be purchased from the African Apparel site here.

teebobmarley

All Images Courtesy of African Apparel

After recieving African Apparel’s Freddie Mercury T-shirt for Christmas I became interested in the company. I liked the playful name and the artwork that they have on their t-shirts. I got in touch with them and find out a little bit more about the label.

Andy Devine. African Apparel originally started as a band, order what happened to that?

African Apparell. Our act still exist under different names, cost lately we’ve been called Postman Pat and Goblin Comb . We started the project as we wanted to play raw fucked up ethnic music. I got into the Sublime Frequencies label thing and was researching loads of different folk music from around the world but what I prefer was always the raw stuff, old tribal chief grawling playing a one string luth. The real stuff, no pissing about. So we tried to recreate that in our own style. It sounds funny but we’re pretty serious about  it.

DSC_1626

AD. Is the name just a dig at American Apparell or is there something else behind it?

AA. Well I needed a name for this band. Our music doesnt sound anything near what guys who are into American Apparel would like  so I  just thought African Apparel would be a good name for it so yeah I guess it is a dig  in a way

FREDDIE 1

AD. Was it always intended to become a clothing label or did it happen organically?

AA. Not at all, it was only when I posted the Bob Marley design online and everybody asked me where they could buy it , that I decided to print it. From then, I used the cash to print other shirts from others artists I like. It was more our band t shirt at the beginnning.

DSC_1686

AD. Is there any sort of philosophy behind the label?

AA. Put out tees by artists I like who do stuff differently. Taking risks.

emperortee

AD. How/why did you choose the artists/designs you’ve released so far?

AA. Some of them are people I know and like, some of them are people I have discovered through zines, net or books. There is not a recipe, just people who I think are good and do things their own way.

et

AD. Could you tell us a little bit about the two new designs you have coming out?

AA. I have three actually. One by Milo Brennan, a piece he did for an exhibition which is a collage inspired by Beavis & Butthead called SkullRockDeath. Another design is by Belgian Artist Brecht Vandenbroucke, I really dig his stuff,  awesome paintings and drawings. Google him! Finally, the third one by Ryan Riss a.k.a Craptical from Seattle who is really pissed off cos Lil Wayne has been jailed. Same again google him, mindblowing stuff.

AD. Do you think you’ll start producing other clothing items other than t-shirts?

AA. I’m not sure really, I’m thinking of having sweaters too and balaclavas but dunno when that’ll happen. I like to keep it simple.

newborn

AD. Can any artists submit ideas to you or do you have a specific idea of who you want to work with next?

AA. Well, I do have a specific idea of what I want but if people think they’ll fit they can submit stuff  but we’re already collaborating with others artists for upcoming releases.

AD. If they can where would they send them?

AA. Afroapparatus@gmail.com

lil weezy

AD. How succesful have you been so far, I own two of the three t-shirts you’ve done so far and they always get a great reaction from people?

AA. I’m not sure what you mean by “successful”. We’ve been selling our tees around the globe from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo, Moscow , Berlin , NY , Melbourne, Paris etc… So i guess people do like them and its pretty satisfying to think people are wearing your tees around the world . Financially I get enough money to get new tees done and promoting them, thats all that counts so far.

All T-shirts can be purchased from the African Apparel site here.

5All images courtesy of Lazy Gramophone Press

Two years in production, cost The Book of Apertures is the fourth publication by Lazy Gramophone Press; an arts collective whose emphasis lies embedded in collaboration – as a process to produce original, nurse personal, prescription and pragmatic works – by any aspiring artist or writer who feels like getting involved.

1

At the launch of The Book of Apertures, there was an honest and reverent sense of a team effort, with a mutual respect for each contributor’s offering; be it a short story, an illustration, or a poem. As Phil Levine, a founding member of Lazy Gramophone explained of the project, “it feels like everyone has had their own part in it, like an original hand-made arts and crafts feel.” And it is this sort of grassroots method that has combined and juxtaposed creativity to make for a wonderful environment of ideas and imaginings.

4

The premise of the group’s new book was that each contributor was given the theme of the unexplainable; focusing on elements of life that just don’t make sense… and to run with it. What was produced were some fantastically remarkable works. Some to make you laugh – The Kidnapping of Little Wallet, by Guy J Jackson had me giggling away in inappropriate circumstances; and some will make you cry, or muse, or just smile (the opening poem, Moment’s Notice by Helena Santos is just lovely). It is this variety that makes the book – the personality of each contributor is exhumed, as Levine reflected proudly (and rightly so). “There is such a wide variety of people that everyone’s got their own style so you can’t directly compare any of the stories, they are all very individual.”

3

Sam Rawlings, who edited the collection, was equally beaming with the end result. Of particular significance seemed to be the fluidity with which the whole process evolved. Speaking at the launch, Rawlings elucidated that “the idea went out and we didn’t know how many people would respond, it could have been one or two or it could have been more – it turned out that we had about 22 or 23 people, so it was great. It wasn’t everyone at the start – people heard about what was going on and kind of joined in half way, and it started growing and morphing.”

2

Illustrated throughout, The Book of Apertures combines artists renditions; another dais by which talent seeps from the pages. The book is aesthetically pleasing to the extreme, a myriad of perfectionists jigsawed together amidst a slightly obscure semiotic whole. Dan Prescott, who designed and typeset the book, has produced an impeccable labour of love.

6

The Lazy Gramophone group as a collective have demonstrated a remarkable and inspiring ethos throughout this project, and their willingness to provide a means of expression is second to none – as Levine said: “there should be a platform for where it would be easier to put work out there, so our work can get out to a wider audience… The emphasis is really on collaborations, anyone who wants to get involved, be it the creative side, the technical side, or even the business side, anything, a mixture of people doing their own thing, and we want as many people involved as possible.”

7

Several of the writers in The Book of Apertures will be holding readings in and around London prior to the official on sale date, April 6th. Filled with intricacies, I would happily recommend the book to anyone. On asking about their next project, it appears there are more collaborative projects to come – however, as Rawlings joked, “this took two years so don’t hold your breath!”

Categories ,Arts, ,Arts Collective, ,book launch, ,books, ,illustration, ,illustrators, ,Lazy Gramophone, ,limited edition prints, ,literature, ,poetry, ,press, ,print, ,Sam Rawlings, ,Small press

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