Amelia’s Magazine | Supermarket Sarah meets Fred Butler for London Fashion Week 2009

I’ve been on the road with Climate Rush, more about erectile with 3 horses, erectile a couple of caravans, cheapest plenty of publicity and a heck of a load of energy. We’ve been on a mission to raise awareness about the threat of climate change.



On the tour of the rural South West, the group has been focusing on solutions to the looming climate chaos and towards positive initiatives rather than looking to attack the corporations and government. The starting point of the month-long journey was the village of Sipson, under threat from the third runway we talked to concerned locals and held activity days for the community.


At an impromptu kids activity, we made some amazing potato faces sourcing all the veg from the Green plot allotment.cr8.jpg
…which also provided our meals for the 3 days we camped, thanks to the dedication of some of the local residents.


We also held a tea party and provided daily evening entertainment for the local community.
Peggy Sue, who recently headlined the Secret Garden party, was a highlight. Our caravan stage was a unique experience for the locals and the band alike, and with a full moon over us it was a night to remember.
Climate Rush have roped in a range of guests to join them along the route with climate scientists, comedians, politicians and plenty more special guests. Workers from the Vestas wind turbine factory who were sacked after it closed down came to offer their experiences and views as well as representatives from the welsh climate camp. Locals also showed their grievances and it was heartening to see how people can become so radicalised when the threat from corporate expansion and climate change affects them.
Today we are in Aylesbury and have held our very own Green fair in the centre of the town, with screen printing, music and free fruit, we’ve chatted to a fair few locals and hopefully spread our message a little further. Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP,also joined us to speak to the locals about the threat of climate change and outlined the importance of community led action and debate.


Climate Rush are ending their journey at Totness at the end of the month, it is a ‘Transition Town’ model where the community has looked at how to live in a post-oil world and it feels like a fitting way to end the journey, especially with the motto “Deeds not words” used by the climate suffragettes.
If you can’t make it to Totness, fear not, there are a host of place you can catch up with the group, they are planning to hold a demo at Oxford airport to protest against the planned airport expansion and will also be in Bristol for the International Peace day as well as joining in with‘Co-mutiny’ hosted by the city. Check the website for the whole route and I really recommend joining them at some point. There is always space around the fire, blankets to go around and a great learning and rewarding experience to have. Never thought I would be learning how to put a bender tent up or learning how to groom a horse in the few days I’ve been with Climate Rush.


As always the police have been keeping a watchful eye and often seem to know more about our plans than we do ourselves. Luckily the rambling Climate Rush party haven’t yet ruffled too many feathers apart from the long line of cars and lorries we manage to accumulate behind the 5 mile an hour caravans. But watch this space to see how things progress and are getting on later on this month.
Supermarket Sarah is a lovely online shop with an intriguing alternative homepage to the usual multiple image interface popular with online shopping websites. The website loads a picture of Sarah’s living room wall decorated with vintage and recycled items looking for a new home. After having great fun perusing the wall and hovering the mouse over bottles transformed into lamps and carefully selected vintage dresses. The viewer can select their favourite item, viagra approved by clicking the mouse and hey presto! be taken into Sarah’s shop to examine the chosen item. The wall display changes regularly and is often themed check out the red and white version of the Sarah’s Wall!



For Fashion Week September 2009 Fred Butler, designer extraordinaire has designed Supermarket Sarah’s wall. Amelia’s Magazine are particularly excited to see the result having previously featured Fred Butler’s innovate designs. View her film for February’s London Fashion week here. .


Hello Sarah! Where did the inspiration for Supermarket Sarah come from?

It’s a supermarket with a personality. I guess it’s a fun spin on consumer culture. In today’s world of homogenous brands this is a shop where items have no sell-by date and everything is a one of a kind. It’s my selection of weird and wonderful things and great young talent.

I worked as a creative online and really wanted to touch and feel the real world again. I started doing Portobello market and loved meeting people and really interacting with the world again. I was also assisting top stylists and getting a feel for my own style. My boyfriend Henrik Delehag is an artist and helped me to find my voice.
For Fashion week I asked the extraordinary props stylist and accessories designer, Fred Butler, to guest curate my supermarket wall and I’m so excited with the result. It is a blast of colour and creativity! I aim for my wall/homepage to occasionally be a canvas for artists that I admire and I couldn’t have hoped for anyone else to kick-start the guest curation. The ‘Browse’ section will continue to be populated with my finds and new designers.

In today’s world of homogenous brands Supermarket Sarah is all about putting a fun spin on consumerism. All items are a ‘one of a kind’ with a story to tell. Fred’s work really resonates with me, as her creativity is idea based and full of humour. I felt Fred’s work really fitted with the Supermarket Sarah ethos as she often works with recycled every day objects like J-cloths and sponges to create beautifully crafted work. I love these hairpieces By Fred Butler for Kate Phelan / Tim Walker.


They are made of recycled J-cloths. They are such fun and beautifully crafted. I think when you work with odd materials like this, attention to detail is so important otherwise it might just look like rubbish. This is definitely my kind of recycling!
What makes Fred so unique is that she is conceptually brilliant but is also is an amazing crafter. A true creative genius!


We have some super guest curators and super Sarah walls coming up so keep checking in! I aim for the wall/homepage to act as a gallery that will keep changing with the idea being to inspire and surprise users on every visit. There is no time limit on the walls online presence. Some may be up for a day; some might be available to view for a month, the idea being that you have to be quick as items sell out. The ‘browse’ section will be populated regularly and acts like the inside of the shop. We have a great Art Wall coming up to coincide with Frieze Art Fair.


Art Director Fred Butler is a props stylist and accessories designer based in London. See examples of her designs in the above still from La Roux’s latest video. Her fashion collection A/W08 won official sponsorship for A/W09 and Fred will officially be opening Fashion week on the 18th September at 10 Downing Street! Find Fred here.

Categories ,consumerism, ,Fred Butler, ,La Roux, ,LFW, ,online, ,shopping, ,Supermarket Sarah

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Amelia’s Magazine | Westfield Stratford City: an Olympic Legacy to be proud of or ridiculous Temple to Consumerism?

Westfield Development by Sniff Chatfield
Westfield Stratford City by Sniff Chatfield.

So, story amidst great fanfare the brand new Westfield Stratford City megamall was finally opened today, with the help of plenty of sheeny shiny celebrities: Nicole Scherzinger, Kelly Brook and erm, Boris Johnson. Yes, a bunch of loons queued for hours to get in and grab the hyped up First Day bargains, but what will be the reality of this huge shopping centre a few years down the line? I don’t doubt that the 2012 London Olympics will bring big revenues as punters are forced through the Westfield shopping funnel in order to get to the games, but what then?

Westfield Stratford City by Sniff Chatfield
Westfield Stratford City by Sniff Chatfield.

All the talk is of a lasting legacy, but this part of east London is a notoriously deprived area where communities are fractured and desire to own the latest goods drives people into dire debt. Is Westfield Stratford City the best legacy the Olympics could possibly leave? Not new homes, or, god forbid, facilities to support healthy communities? Yes, apparently creating space for hundreds of chainstores and the UK’s largest casino is a legacy to be proud of, destined to enrich this community. Let’s hope those much trumpeted jobs last long after the Olympic torch is gone and the gleaming surfaces start to lose a bit of their sheen.

Categories ,2012, ,Boris Johnson, ,consumerism, ,Kelly Brook, ,Megamall, ,Nicole Scherzinger, ,Olympics, ,Shopping Mall, ,Sniff Chatfield, ,Westfield Stratford City

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Amelia’s Magazine | Julian Sayarer – round the world on a bike

This Saturday, information pills pill The Land Is Ours collective will occupy some disused land near Hammersmith. An eco-village will take root, viagra sale peacefully reclaiming land for a sustainable settlement, and getting in touch with the local community about its aims. In a year when nearly 13,000 Britons lost their homes to repossessions in the first three months, eco-villages point the way to a more down-to-earth lifestyle.

Back in May 1996, the same collective took over a spot on the banks of the Thames in Wandsworth, in a land rights action that grew up over five and a half months into the Pure Genius community, based on sustainable living and protesting the misuse of urban land. Here are some photos from that project.


The Land Is Ours channel the spirit of the Diggers , a group of 17-century radicals who picked out and dug over a patch of common land in St George’s Hill in Walton-upon-Thames back in the day. They were led by Gerard Winstanley, who thought any freedom must come from free access to the land.

Here’s a little more from ‘Gerard Winstanley’ about this weekend:

What’s the first thing you’ll do when you get there?
Have a meeting. One of the first priorities is to leaflet the local area in order to inform the local people of what we are doing. Another priority is the construction of compost toilets.

Do you have lots of plans for sheds, vegetable patches and compost toilets?

Yes. Due to the nature of the site (ex-industrial) we will likely be using raised beds to grow vegetables and buckets for potatoes. It being London, there should be a good supply of thrown away materials from building sites and in skips. Compost toilets are pretty essential.

?What kinds of people are you expecting to turn up?
All sorts. Hopefully a mixture of those keen to learn and those willing to teach. ??


?I read the Chapter 7 manifesto. Have you notified the council or planning authority of your plans, or are you keeping to the idea that once you’re there, with homes under construction, it’s difficult to evict?
We haven’t notified the council yet- but we have a liaison strategy in place for when we’re in.

On that note, how long do you hope to be there?
The longevity of the Eco-village depends on how committed its residences and just as crucially how the local urban populus respond to our presence. If we receive the support we need, the council will likely think twice before embarking on an unpopular eviction (at least that’s the theory!).


Could this realistically become a permanent residence, or is it more likely to be valuable simply as campaigning?
Hopefully it can be both. There is no reason why this site cannot sustain a core group of committed individuals and serve as a brilliant awareness raiser to the issue of disused urban land, lack of affordable housing and the a sustainable way of living that is friendly to people and planet and liberating.


?Can I come along?
Of course, we are meeting at Waterloo Station at 10AM this Saturday (underneath the clock).

What might I need to do?
Bring a tent, sleeping bag and some food and water. You may be interested to read an article written by a journalist from the Guardian concerning the eco-village.


So dig yourself out of bed this Saturday, and go discover the beginnings of London’s newest eco-village.
If the dark shades of under-duvet hideouts dominate the colour of your Sundays then you need to wake up and get greened. Arcola Theatre in East London hopes to be the first carbon neutral theatre in the world and has been appointed as the secretariat for the Mayor of London’s Green Theatre plan, this which aims to deliver 60 percent cuts in theatre carbon emissions by 2025.

Illustration by Faye Katirai

As part of this environmental drive, the first Sunday of every month is a Green Sunday at Arcola Theatre. June’s event is part of Love London, the biggest green festival in Europe and looks at ethical consumption, promising ‘entertainment and inspiration for the ecologically curious’. From 3pm there’s a swap shop market plus cakes and tea to take you through the evening of Senegalese percussion, cool short and feature-length films, starting from 4.30pm. As the afternoon turns to evening, there will be a discussion with Neil Boorman, author of Bonfire Of The Brands, an account of his journey from shopping and brand addiction to a life free from labels. As part of the project, Neil destroyed every branded product in his possession, incinerating over £20,000 worth of designer gear in protest of consumer culture. This will be chaired by Morgan Phillips.

Neil and Morgan will later be joined by Richard King from Oxfam to talk about their 4-a-week campaign- encouraging shoppers to do their bit for sustainability each week.

Then at 7pm – Feature length film presented by Transition Town Hackney
A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash


I spoke to the sustainability projects manager at Arcola Theatre, Anna Beech, to find out more about Arcola’s arts world-changing philosophies:

All at Arcola must be extremely proud that a theatre founded only 9 years ago – and on credit cards! – is well on the way to becoming the first carbon neutral theatre in the world. Can you tell us a bit about how and why you made the decision to lead the green theatre movement?

Since 2007, Arcola has launched many high-profile green initiatives (including the pioneering use of LEDs and the on-site installation of a fuel cell to power bar and stage lighting). There are a number of reasons for this – because it contributes to reducing Arcola’s carbon emissions and resource use, because it makes financial sense – reducing energy bills; because it supports funding applications; because it integrates Arcola into the local community; allows Arcola to reach a wider audience and stakeholder base; and provides an effective platform upon which to publicise the name ‘Arcola’ – as a hub of creativity and sustainability.

Sustainability is part of Arcola’s core unique business model, alongside professional theatre and our youth and community programme.

Have you found that arts and science professionals are eager to integrate and come up with exciting ideas and actions or has it been difficult to bring the two fields together?

Arcola’s ArcolaEnergy has had considerable interest from technology companies and brokers, including the Carbon Trust. As a reocgnised innovator in sustainability in the arts, Arcola has been able to broker extremely advantageous relationships with private sector companies – who have provided the theatre with free green products, including LED lights – as well as other theatres and arts organisations (National Theatre, Arts Council, Live Nation, The Theatres Trust), and Government bodies like the DCMS and Mayor of London’s Office. Arcola’s reputation as a sustainable charity has created these partnerships and allowed them to grow and develop into mutually advantageous relationships. So this demonstrates that the arts and sustainability worlds can come together to form mutually advanteous relationships. However, there is plenty of work to be done.

So far, what has been the most successful pioneering energy practice you’ve introduced?

The installation of Arcola’s fuel cell in February 2008 made the venue the first theatre in the world to power its main house shows and bar/café on hydrogen. The Living Unknown Soldier gained reverence as London’s most ecologically sustainable show, with the lighting at a peak power consumption of 4.5kW, a reduction of 60 per cent on comparable theatre lighting installations.


Previous Green Sunday events at the Arcola Theatre

Arcola’s ‘greening’ goes from the stage to the box office. Among other things, we produce ‘green’ newsletters for staff, we recycle, we provide free tap water to audiences (to lessen use of bottled water), we serve fairtrade, organic and local produce wherever possible (including organic vodka and whiskey!), we host Transition Town meetings, we installed a cycle enclosure for staff in 2009 and try to incentivise both staff and audiences to use public transport more and their cars less.

How do you think the technical creativity of sustainability has significantly shaped any of the plays Arcola has produced?

One example of the ‘greening’ of Arcola’s shows and working closely with production companies took place during the pre-production and staging of ‘Living Unknown Soldier‘ in 2008. The production explored the use of more energy efficient lanterns, including LED moving heads and batons (see Fig. 1) florescent tubes and some other filament lanterns such as low wattage source 4′s and par 16s. The crew tried to travel by public transport wherever possible, use laptops rather than PCs, limit phone use, source sustainable materials and managed to keep energy requirements low in order to use Arcola’s fuel cell to power the show.

‘‘The idea is that once you expose people to this stuff and they know you for doing it, they’ll gravitate towards you. Ultimately we should end up with some really good art about sustainability and some really good ideas about how to do art sustainably.” – Ben Todd, Executive Director and Founder of Arcola Energy.
Illustration by David Elsley

Why do you think its particularly important for the arts to become more involved in green issues?

Because the arts have the power to influence behaviour change. Whilst the theatre industry itself has a relatively small carbon footprint (2% of total carbon emissions in London), and thus its capacity to deliver direct carbon emission reductions is relatively small; the power of theatre and the wider arts/cultural sectors to rapidly and effectively influence public behaviour and policy makers to drive significant indirect carbon emission reductions is very large (entertainment related activity accounts for up to 40% of travel emissions).

However, theatres and other arts venues must first address the ‘greening’ of their venues and practices in order to communicate climate change and environmental messages to audiences effectively and with impact.

Green Sundays is a great idea, how do you hope to see it develop in the future months?

We have a variety of themes in mind for future events, including a focus on the climate talks in Copenhagen in December, a water theme, ethical business, natural history and a Green Sunday programme tailored to children and young people.

So get over your hangover, get on your bike and cycle down to Dalston on Sunday to help spread the word about arts and sustainability coming together to communicate environmental messages to your local community.

To find out more about Green Sundays and the Arcola Theatre go to:
Continuing our odyssey of festival previews, page I bring you the amazing Green Man!

I don’t keep it secret that I’ve had a crush on Jarvis Cocker since I was 10 and first heard Common People, I suppose announcing it on a blog was just the next logical step in my snowballing lust for the bespectacled one. Imagine my delight when I saw he was headlining as a solo outfit at this year’s Green Man Festival.

Green Man 2006

Jarvis Cocker

All the other festivals will be green with envy over Green Man’s line-up, one of the most exciting and diverse of the summer. Alongside Jarv, Animal Collective will also be headlining and having seen them a couple of times over the past few years they are really not to be missed live, their shows can only be described as being in an underwater topsy-turvy world where you can feel the rhythm wash over you in waves.

Animal Collective

Green Man is in no short supply of indie darlings and big names, with Wilco, Bon Iver, Gang Gang Dance, the delicious Beach House and Grizzly Bear; who I’m gagging to see live after finally getting a copy of their amazing second album Veckatimest. Not to be transatlantically out down; Green Man boasts an impressive array of home-grown talent- including Four-Tet, national treasures British Sea Power, and to woo the romantic in you; Camera Obscura.
Ex- member of my favourites Gorky’s Zygotic Mynki Euros Childs, Andrew Bird, 6 Day Riot and James Yuill also stand out as bands (as well as the above mentioned) not to be missed.

Beach House

Whilst Green Man has managed to pull in such an awesome line-up, it has a reputation for a boutique-y intimacy and a friendly atmosphere. Green Man is most definitely a festival for music lovers, and one that I won’t be missing!

Green Man Festival 2007

Green Man Festival takes place amidst the Breacon Beacons from 21st to 23rd August. Click here for ticket information.

Thumbnail by Roisin Conway
Some people have the knack for discovering those amazing pieces in charity shops – it’s generally the preserve of both the patient and the fashion-savvy who are content to rummage away until they emerge with some designer find that leaves you flapping your arms and wondering why it wasn’t you.
Now ten minutes in Topshop – that’s a quick fix. Why bother buying something old when you can buy something new? If last week’s Style Wars was only a half-formed idea, generic intent to float and suggest a concept, but not to follow through, TRAID (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development) has articulated the remaking and reselling of used clothes as an ethical necessity. Citing the whopping £46 billion spent on clothes and accessories every year, TRAID highlights the colossal wastage resultant of constantly changing trends that are both cheap and easily available. The ease of shopping on the high street seems to problematise the feeling that the act of recycling is an almost paradoxical idea for an industry that is by name and nature grounded in an obsession with the new and the innovative.
Here lies the problem in normal charity shop shopping. The dowdy and stale image affixed to them is arguably (however unfortunately) justifiable, and TRAID has been taking the steps to rebrand the public perception of recycled clothing by actually joining the dots between the environment, recycling and fashion itself. Charity and fashion are practically mutually alienating concepts in most people’s minds. In short, charity shops aren’t trendy, so how do you turn that around? Chief Executive Maria TRAID recognises the problem and goes straight to the heart of it, saying “we have worked incredibly hard to change the face of charity retail by ensuring that our shops are stylish and affordable”, two words you might associate with the high street.


TRAID has 900 textile recycling banks across the UK, and the company take the donations and sort by quality and style to then sell in one of their charity shops – clothes that are stained or torn are deconstructed and redesigned into a bespoke garment by the company’s own fashion label TRAIDremade.


In a way it’s an absolute no-brainer: to take things people don’t want and make them something they do, especially as they follow high street trends, crafting sexy asymmetric dresses, bags cut from old leathers, signature hand printed tees and flirty dresses.



Two weeks ago TRAID opened their tenth shop in their tenth year in Camden, which as well as being an area that’s a promising resource in terms of fashionable finds, is a landmark for a really inspirational company. To date TRAID has donated £1.4 million to help fight global poverty, supporting charities by funding projects in Malawi and Kenya amongst others. TRAID has ten shops located across London and Brighton, and TRAIDremade is available on

Monday 8th June

The End of the Line

Imagine a world without fish. Released in cinemas across the country to coincide for World Ocean Day, medical an inconvenient truth about the devastating effect of overfishing.

Opens today, check your local cinema for screenings.


Lambeth Green Communities Open Evening

Organised in partnership with Transition Town Brixton, Hyde Farm CAN and ASSA CAN, this is a chance to celebrate Lambeth’s Green Communities and be inspired to reduce your community’s environmental impact.

18.30-21.00 drop-in to Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton
Contact – Susan Sheehan, Ssheehan (at)

Tuesday 9th June

The Great British Refurb
Housing for a low carbon energy future – a talk at the The Royal Society

A talk by Professor Tadj Oreszczyn, chaired by Professor Chris Rapley. Theoretical carbon reductions have often been slow to materialise, new buildings can use up to twice the energy predicted, and energy use can actually go up when efficiency increases. This lecture will look at the possibilities for new building, and whether technology can solve our energy use problems. Tadj Oreszczyn is Professor of Energy and Environment and Director of the Energy Institute at UCL.


This lecture is free – no ticket or booking required. Doors open at 5.45pm and seats are first-come first-served. Lecture starts at 6.30pm, The Royal Society

This lecture will be webcast live and available to view on demand within 48 hours of delivery at

Wednesday 10th June

Illustration by Kerry Lemon

GM Crops and the Global Food Crisis

Dominic Glover, Erik Millstone, Peter Newell talk about possible solutions to the encroaching global food crisis – how will GM crops fit in to the struggle to raise yields, and could they be part of a truly sustainable answer?

6pm, Committee Room 10, Palace of Westminster.
Contact – c.matthews (at)

Thursday 11th June

Walking on the Edge of the City

Join a popular walking group on a stroll around this fascinating part of London. There’s no charge and no need to book. Do get there ten minutes before the start time, wear comfortable shoes and bring a small bottle of water.

11am – 12.15pm, meeting at St Luke’s Centre, 90 Central Street, London, EC1V

Clothes Swap at Inc Space

Daisy Green Magazine and ethical stylist Lupe Castro have teamed up to host what is hoped to be the UK’s biggest ever clothes swap. Nicola Alexander, founder of, said, “It’s like a fashion treasure hunt!”

The evening will kick off at 6.30 and, as well as the swish (apparently the ‘scene’ word for a clothes swap), it will feature an ethical styling demonstration by Lupe Castro, music from top green band, The Phoenix Rose, burlesque dancing and shopping opportunities from ethical fashion brands including Bochica, Makepiece, Bourgeois Boheme, and natural beauty company, Green People.

Tickets are £10 in advance and £15 on the door.
More information can be found on our facebook page
From 18:30 at INC Space in Grape Street, London WC2

Illustration by David Elsley.

Friday 12th June

Compost Clinic and Recycling Roadshow

Redbridge Recycling Group are running a friendly information stand all day. Want to bin the bags and green your shopping habits? Fancy making your own compost or confused about packaging labels? Pop along any time of day to have your questions answered and find out how to make the future waste free.

11am – 4pm, Ilford High Road, opposite the Town Hall/Harrison Gibson

Saturday 13th June

World Naked Bike Ride

Taking place all over the country, all over the world, the World Naked Bike Ride protests against oil dependency and car culture, celebrating the power of our bikes and bodies. Every June, more than a thousand cyclists gather in London to take part. The easy 10 km route passes through London’s busiest and best known streets. Bring your bike and body (decorate both of these ahead of time)


Assemble from 3pm in Hyde Park (South East section, near Hyde Park Tube) – east of the Broad Walk, south of the Fountain of Joy, and north of the Achilles Statue.

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June


Sustainability Weekend

Celebrate the Love London, Love Your Planet Festival 2009 at the London Wetland Centre this weekend. Check out TFL’s new hybrid bus, see the Richmond shire horses and get a load of green tips and tricks. There will also be face painting for the kids, the Richmond cycling campaign and other environmentally friendly organisations.

11am-4pm, Saturday and Sunday
WWT London Wetland Centre, SW13 9WT
Maaaan, pilule those bloomers are HOT!

My morning started bright and early on Monday 1st June: called upon as I was to document a Climate Rush action at Chatham House just as the E.ON sponsored conference began: Coal: An Answer to Energy Security? (like, drug duh… NO!)

As I was sitting in the very pleasant St James Square to avoid undue police annoyance (there were vehicles parked right outside the entrance) I found my eyes drawn to the undergrowth in the thicket of vegetation at the edge of the park. I should have been looking for activity outside the venue, but instead I found myself engaged in a dance between two Robins. I always thought Robins were solitary birds, but a quick google ascertains my reasoning that this pair must have been mates, although I’m fairly sure Robins don’t scavenge at ground level. There was also a young Blackbird, happily scrabbling around in the undergrowth for some nice tasty worms (I’m guessing… but that sounds like the perfect breakfast for a Blackbird) As I sat there wondering what was to pass in the street beyond I felt my heart sing. Here, even in the centre of our grubby and concreted capital city – nature finds a way. This is what I’m fighting for, I thought! The sheer joy of the natural world.

a Blackbird in the undergrowth

And then, I noticed two coppers striding towards me. Would they find my Climate Rush badges? And pre-emptively arrest me for possible crimes against cotton with a badge pin? Asking why I was acting suspiciously by peering into the bushes I replied, “why, I’m taking photos of the birds” and showed the officers the photos on my camera playback. But they weren’t having it, and asked for my ID, which I refused. It’s not illegal to refuse to show your ID, but they took this as admission of guilt – a typical ploy of the police and one which I must check up on the legality of. They then searched me “because you must have something to hide if you don’t want to give us your name Angela Gregory” Ah!!! Clever officer! He’s been reading his little FIT watch spotter card and cribbing up on Climate Rush central. Only the trouble is, I’m not Angela Gregory – clever but not so clever officer. I’d love to see what they use as my mugshot – I hope it’s flattering.


When I questionned the validity of their reason to search me, one officer told me that “you are believed to be a member of a group called Climate Action, no that’s not it… Climate Rush, and they have committed criminal damage on buildings.” Wrong again Mr. Officer! Our parliament gluers have been bailed away to return to charges of possible criminal damage, for one drop of glue that fell on the statue in parliament. Glue that washes away with one dab of a damp cloth. Like that’s got a rat’s chance in hell of standing up in court.

Still – they got my name right after a cursory search of my camera bag, which revealed an old business card that had been lurking in a side pocket for at least three years. But they didn’t find the badges, even though they were rattling like bastards. I knew they wouldn’t, the MET not being the brightest cookies in the biscuit jar. Oh, I will be in trouble the next time we meet! Woops! If they had discovered the badge stash they would have found not only climate rush badges but also E.ON F.OFF ones from the Climate Camp campaign – that would have got them very excited no doubt, given the sponsor of said Coal Conference.


As usual I’ve gone off on a tangent… not long after the police accosted me there was a loud commotion the other side of the St James nature reserve, and the police and I were off like a flash to find out what was going on. Across the road a bunch of white clad people were trying to hold onto a bike sculpture, as the police tried to tussle it off them. Within moments the police had gained the upper hand, and instead the eleven protesters were trying to pull sashes from Deeds Not Words bags, and unfurl a lovely red banner reading No New Coal, before the police frogmarched them across the road and threw them into the “pen”.


I dashed off home in the hopes of getting some images into the London papers – alas my speed was not rewarded with any success, but our actions did reach the attendees of the conference – one academic at the conference apparently spoke with a protester, and agreed that direct action was pushing matters in the right direction (he was a specialist in CCS, but held out little hope for it’s implementation, given the probable massive costs) Score one massive point to us! I hope that E.ON and their cronies were suitably rattled, even if the press didn’t feel see fit to publicise the action. In the end five activists were arrested but most were released within hours. One brave Climate Rusher was refused bail after glueing herself onto the Chatham House railings (you go girl!) and the judge at her hearing the next morning allegedly told her that our protest had been pointless, since it had not garnered any press – before slapping a massive 40 hours community service on her for aggravated trespass. We think not…

the bike sculpture lies forlorn on the pavement

In recent weeks we’ve attracted a lot of interest from film makers, and by the time I arrived at Tamsin’s house to get ready for the Bike Rush that afternoon (and to hastily knock up one more pair of bloomers) there were cameras everywhere I turned. It’s not a sensation I particularly like, and have thus far managed to stay out of the current crop of films – leaving it to the more exhibitionist members of Climate Rush to hog the limelight. I worry that it is easy to manipulate our actions in the editing suite, and portray us in a way with which we will ultimately be unhappy and out of our control. But I guess it’s a situation that I need to grow used to – many of our sort – as well as being involved with an undoubtedly exciting group – are very attractive, garrulous and media savvy – an irresistable combination to a film maker. Me? I much prefer to stay behind the lens…

finishing off the flags

As soon as the drawstring was threaded into the last pair of bloomers it was time to hit the high roads of Kilburn – seven of us on various bikes, none of which, I noted disappointingly, were even vaguely Edwardian-esque. Instead we had Geeky Rushette on a fold-out Brompton with a helmet. And we had Virgin Rushette with wispy blonde locks and billowing white damel-in-distress dress over her bloomers, and Not-Very-Good-on-a-Bike-in-London Rushette on a crappy mountain bike with a rusty chain that nearly fell off before we even set off.


I was dressed in a simple black dress in the hope that my vintage hat from Hebden Bridge would be enough of a distraction and provide the right elegant touch – which was exciting as it tipped over both my eyes and my camera. We made a right merry site gunning down the bus lane towards Marble Arch, flags flapping behind as people turned to gawp at us. After taking a short cut through Green Park we traversed the Mall and came to a screeching halt at our destination, where we were seriously outnumbered by police. But blimey did we look good!

gathered in Green Park as we approach!


As we pulled sashes and t-shirts and badges and stickers from our panniers people began to arrive in their droves. The sun shone down as the cyclists spilled from the pen into the road and the police did little to resist.


Tim cranked up Pedals, the bike sound system, and I chatted to people – it was great to discover that people had come from afar on the strength of joining our facebook group – ah, I do love to feel vindicated on the subject of social networking. I was also very pleased to see lots of children along for the ride, suitably togged up with sashes and of course helmets.

maybe our youngest Rusher?

And a lot more customisation of sashes, which have suddenly found new lives as headbands on hats, ties around bike baskets, cumberbund style belts and a whole host more. Marina just opted to pile a whole load on, and looked a treat for it.

a basket full of skipped flowers gets the sash treatment


my fabulous vintage visor-meets-pie hat!

Then the Hare Krishnas arrived with a mighty noise that had the whole gathering swivelling their heads; a whole band seated in two trailers behind bicycles. I was astonished to see that a drum kit could indeed be transported this way (plus a rather large drummer).


Once several hundred people had gathered in place there were a few false starts before it was time to take off for a ceremonial circuit of the square, wooping all the way before we stopped off at our first destination, just yards from the starting point – BP’s head offices – they of the infamous byline “Beyond Petroleum“. And fact fans, you’ll no doubt be interested to hear that BP have in fact spent more on the whole Beyond Petroleum (as if!) advertising campaign than they have in fact spent on alternative energy. Brilliant! Why pour money into researching renewables when you can instead rape and pillage the earth for a fraction of the cost? And spend any extra cash on greenwashing instead. Fabulous plan; congratulations BP.


With that it was onwards on a winding route up to Piccadilly Circus, and from there up Charing Cross Road to Oxford Street, that grand bastion of consumerism -one of the biggest drivers of Climate Change. Tim gave a running commentary from the backseat of his tandem as we hollered our way down London’s flagship shopping street, before coming to a grand halt in the late evening sunshine smack bang in the middle of Oxford Circus. What a grand feeling! Many people seemed amused and even happy to see us, a grand diversion from the glittering goods in the windows.

stopped in the centre of Oxford Circus

As we sailed downhill along Regent Street I spotted a Lush store, still with our Trains Not Planes banner proudly displayed in the window. A bike-bound copper looked on worriedly as someone went closer to take a look. Duh! They’re our friends – just take a look at the Evening Standard-alike banner outside the shop. We love Lush. We’re not about to do anything naughty!

hmmm, the Queen’s residence ahead in the late evening sun…

On our second stop at Piccadilly Circus Tim cheekily waited until the lights went red “cos us cyclists always run red lights” before leading us across the main junction and down towards the Mall, where we sallied into the sunshine up to Buckingham Palace. I met the naked cyclists, who I’d been promised were attending. The girls had bikinis on and they all wore lots of paint, the better to cover up with, but they still looked rather fetching, if slightly less than wholely naked. And despite rumours to the contrary they were happy to sport a sash to protect their modesty as well.


It was then but a short hop down to Victoria, where we paused to consider the headquarters of BAA – boooooooo. And then on past BERR, where, funnily enough, Neil “the weasel” FIT photographer was waiting for us. We all waved “hi” to him as he lowered his massive equipment and smiled slightly sheepishly at us. You know who we are Neil, and we all know who you are too. Why don’t you just get a better job? One in which you are helping to protect a better world for all, not just the interests of the few? Still, I have to commend the actions of the police who came along for the ride – for once they really did seem to be protecting the rights of protesters – having cross words with impatient drivers revving their engines and generally preventing overly aggressive behaviour from motorists.

wave to Neil everyone!

Oh god, this has turned into a bit of an opus as usual, and I haven’t even mentioned all of our stopping off points! The fact is that unless you were right down the front near the sound system it was pretty impossible to hear the guided tour. And anyway, everyone was just so happy to be commandeering the streets of London – there’s nothing like reclaiming our public highways to feel empowered – that it didn’t matter if our tour was a little haphazard in the end (and we left our notes at home anyway, so it was a bit of an ad-lib).

solidarity with the Tamils

And then we were at Parliament Square – the police momentarily blocked our entrance onto the roundabout, but then decided better as we filtered around them anyway. Soon we were level with the Tamils, who seemed somewhat bemused by our peace signs in solidarity. But oh what an inspiration they have been! Such tenacity. And then onwards to Westminster Bridge, where we turned in a big loop near the junction on the north side and stopped. Perhaps this would be an opportune place for that picnic we promised? A statement of our intent right next to the very seat of power that is failing us? The suggestion was met with amusement as it dawned on our riders that this was what we had in mind.

that bike sign on the road has gotta mean “stop” right?



Some clearly were not expecting it, but almost everyone was soon dropping their bikes to the road and pulling out their picnic blankets and food. As the sunset on Big Ben above us we raised our bikes aloft in joy, unfurled banners aplenty, and stood our ground. The police didn’t know what to do – FIT finally made it down from BERR, and climbed on top of a barrier right above where I’d left my bike. Weirdly the bamboo pole holding up my lovely Climate Rush flag was latter found snapped in two shortly afterwards. I hate to make accusations but…


what a marvelous family!

bike aloft



As a bendy bus made an awkward 360 degree turn on the bridge passersby continued to stream past, snapping away and generally beaming at our audacity. A string of brightly coloured bunting cordoned off our blockade.

fun with a bendy bus!



The soundsystem was commandeered by a variety of eloquent speakers and Mark played us a tune or two. Sadly the promised celidh didn’t happen – our erstwhile fiddler had failed to materialise yet again and I was too busy running around like a headless chicken (taking photos) to figure out an alternative. I do apologise – multitasking got the better of me again.

astride Boudicca

gawping at their nerve

And then three Rushettes mounted the huge emblematic Boudicca statue in their stripey bloomers! One climbed right up to place a sash around Boudicca’s neck, before returning to sit astride one of the great beasts in a gesture of defiant victory. The first attempt to fly a flag from the horses’ hooves failed, but no matter, we’d been prolific in our banner making and another one was soon unfurled. Deeds Not Words. I think that powerful queen would have approved.

bike blockade

on a tandem

Shortly before 9pm the police approached us politely and charmingly (someone must have had words with them in recent weeks) to say that they would eventually have to move us on. We decided that it would be best to go out on a high and declared our intentions to the crowd, with an accompanying recommendation to come join us in a nice pub on The Cut by Waterloo. As we cycled off across the bridge I was amused to find tourists sitting in the middle of the road – thrilled with the lack of cars and the unexpected reclamation for bipedal human use.

enjoying the reclaimed bridge

At the pub we laid out our picnic blankets again and enjoyed the warm balmy night in the company of many new friends. I was particularly thrilled to speak with new Rushers and especially to those who had not expected our final destination to be quite so spikey, but who had welcomed the unexpected turn of events with open arms. Inspiring mass direct action – it’s what we do best… so join us on our next action against the dirty palm oil biofuel business; responsible for massive environmental degradation, huge contributions of CO2 to the atmosphere, and the loss of 90% of the orangutans since the Suffragettes first walked this land. Don’t let those in power decide the future of our planet!

This Saturday, ailment The Land Is Ours collective will occupy some disused land near Hammersmith. An eco-village will take root, peacefully reclaiming land for a sustainable settlement, and getting in touch with the local community about its aims. In a year when nearly 13,000 Britons lost their homes to repossessions in the first three months, eco-villages point the way to a more down-to-earth lifestyle.

Back in May 1996, the same collective took over a spot on the banks of the Thames in Wandsworth, in a land rights action that grew up over five and a half months into the Pure Genius community, based on sustainable living and protesting the misuse of urban land. Here are some photos from that project.


The Land Is Ours channel the spirit of the Diggers , a group of 17-century radicals who picked out and dug over a patch of common land in St George’s Hill in Walton-upon-Thames back in the day. They were led by Gerard Winstanley, who thought any freedom must come from free access to the land.

Here’s a little more from ‘Gerard Winstanley’ about this weekend:

What’s the first thing you’ll do when you get there?
Have a meeting. One of the first priorities is to leaflet the local area in order to inform the local people of what we are doing. Another priority is the construction of compost toilets.

Do you have lots of plans for sheds, vegetable patches and compost toilets?

Yes. Due to the nature of the site (ex-industrial) we will likely be using raised beds to grow vegetables and buckets for potatoes. It being London, there should be a good supply of thrown away materials from building sites and in skips. Compost toilets are pretty essential.

?What kinds of people are you expecting to turn up?
All sorts. Hopefully a mixture of those keen to learn and those willing to teach. ??


?I read the Chapter 7 manifesto. Have you notified the council or planning authority of your plans, or are you keeping to the idea that once you’re there, with homes under construction, it’s difficult to evict?
We haven’t notified the council yet- but we have a liaison strategy in place for when we’re in.

On that note, how long do you hope to be there?
The longevity of the Eco-village depends on how committed its residences and just as crucially how the local urban populus respond to our presence. If we receive the support we need, the council will likely think twice before embarking on an unpopular eviction (at least that’s the theory!).


Could this realistically become a permanent residence, or is it more likely to be valuable simply as campaigning?
Hopefully it can be both. There is no reason why this site cannot sustain a core group of committed individuals and serve as a brilliant awareness raiser to the issue of disused urban land, lack of affordable housing and the a sustainable way of living that is friendly to people and planet and liberating.


?Can I come along?
Of course, we are meeting at Waterloo Station at 10AM this Saturday (underneath the clock).

What might I need to do?
Bring a tent, sleeping bag and some food and water. You may be interested to read an article written by a journalist from the Guardian concerning the eco-village.


So dig yourself out of bed this Saturday, and go discover the beginnings of London’s newest eco-village.
Those of us who have grown up in this country have it built into our subconscious from an early age that summer does not automatically equal sun. Summer holidays from school would be six restless weeks of pleading with the clouds to part for just long enough that we might be able to leave our houses, pharmacy get to the park and partake in an activity and hopefully home again all before the heavens open and the rain chucks it down. We accept and expect a lack of skin-bronzing ice cream-melting sun rays during June, website July and August just as we have learnt to accept and expect that December, information pills January and February make no guarantees for snow.


So it makes it even more endearing that a west coast American, Elizabeth Jaeger, accustomed to the balmy climate of San Francisco would take it upon herself to pen a gently begging letter to the weathermen and women of England asking them to do all they can to ensure her project that takes place this weekend in Victoria Park is not going to be rained off. So excited is she that her creative get together is a success this weekend, copies of her preparatory pleading have made it into the hands of meteorologists in Britain this week.


Dear Weatherman,

I hope this finds you well.

First and foremost, I would like to say thank you. Your advisories’ predictions of the upcoming weather have been impeccable as of late – I really do appreciate knowing when to bring my umbrella.

I am writing you, Mr. Weatherman, because I have a small favor to ask. I am planning to have a picnic in Victoria Park on Saturday, 6th June, 2009, and it is simply imperative that we have good sunny weather in London. You see, we will have delicious food, a spin party, a chalk party, and music, and it would be devastating if it happened to rain – as the food might get soggy, the spinning might have to be at a very slow pace, the chalk might not stick, and the rain might ruin the instruments. I am inviting picnic goers from near and far, and I would not want them to arrive to find only mud.

I ask you then, Mr. Weatherman, if you could plan on having sunshine all day on 6th June, that we may fully enjoy our delicious picnic. I would also like to ask that there be good weather for performance going on Sunday, 7th June 2009. A performance will take place at the gallery space of Ken, and it would be such a shame if the viewers were not able to come in their Sunday best (floral dresses, dress trousers, khaki shorts, collard shirts, sunglasses, and smiles). If you think this request might need to be forwarded on to other weathermen who deal with locations upwind of London – could you please, if you wouldn’t mind, make some suggestions of whom?

I hope that this request is not too much to ask of you, as I imagine you are very busy finishing off with the spring.


Elizabeth Jaeger


As a co-founder of the delightfully pro active group ‘Do It Together Projects’ (DIT) and dabbler in the mediums of sculpture, photography, drawing, painting and craft, creativity may as well be her middle name. She is also partly responsible for the annual exhibition in Oregon with the Miranda July-esque title ‘I love you here is what I made’, and at only 21 years old this all deserves more than a little adoration.
‘Perfect Day’ is a two parter, only one of which relies on the lack of precipitation. Once the ‘picnic’/chalk party/spin party has drawn to a close on Saturday, the gaggle will reconvene under the shelter of Ken for continued performance and jollity.


Her own prediction for the day is that it may turn out to be ‘horribly horribly pleasant’ and on reflecting just how the day will take structure she humbly offers that Im not sure if what i am doing is actually an art performance, but ‘bread, cheese and wine will be served, so maybe it would be fun to come along. ‘
If her previous DIT gatherings in the States such as card making, book writing and mask making are anything to go by, no amount of English rain will make this event a wash out.


Saturday 6th June

2pm Victoria Park
Grove Road
London E3 5SN

Sunday 7th June

7pm Ken
35 Kenton Road
London E9 7AB


We have our fingers and toes crossed that Elizabeth Jaeger gets her weather wish, and we hope you do too.
The Summer Exhibition 2009
Royal Academy
6 Burlington Gardens
London W1S 3EX

8th June – 16th August
10am-6pm Everyday except Friday 10am-10pm
Entry: £9/8


This exciting annual show continues to be the largest of it’s kind in the world, stomach displaying new work from established as well as unknown artists under an open-submission policy with the curator appointed theme ‘Making Space’. With 241 years experience in bringing sculpture, approved photography, more about architecture, painting and printmaking to the public, they are clearly still on to a good thing.


Russell Maurice ‘Given Up The Ghost’
Dray Walk, The Old Truman Brewery
91 Brick Lane
London E1 6QL

11th June – 28th June
Tuesday – Sunday 11:00am – 7:00pm


Since the mid 90′s, British born Maurice has produced paintings, prints, collages, sculptures and installations that reflect the spontaneous and informal nature of graffiti writing and have explored the recurring themes of energy, growth patterns and cycles in nature. This collection of new paintings, small-scale sculptures and installations, take these themes forward into new realms – to consider theories regarding the spirit world, the physical and metaphysical, consciousness and death.


1001 Nights – An exhibition of Fabric Graffiti Screen Prints
Rarekind Gallery
Downstairs @ 49 Bethnal Green Road
London E1 6LA

Monday – Saturday 10am – 6.00 pm
11th June – 28th June


Due to the huge success of this exhibition at Bristol’s Studio Amour, Rarekind is bringing the highly skilled and beautiful mix of traditional fabric printing methods with exciting cutting edge graffiti to London. Proving that both artistic mediums demonstrate dedication, physical input and love, Rarekind exhibits prints, hanging fabrics, room dividers and cushions including coveted one off prints by Ponk and Amour , Nylon, Pref, Fary, Kid Acne, Elph, Dibo, Dora, Paris & Solo One.


Invisable Library
Tenderpixel Gallery
10 Cecil Court
London WC2N 4HE

12th June – 12th July
Monday – Friday 10:30apm – 7:00pm
Saturday 11:00am – 7:30pm
Sunday 1:00pm – 6:00pm


INK is an illustration collective that is holding the reigns at Tenderpixel Gallery for the next month for a busy schedule of events, talks and exhibitions. The Invisible Library is issuing an open invitation for cultural and musical figures as well as gallery visitors to write an opening or closing page of a ‘hidden novel’, the results of which will be published and exhibited.


Golden Lane: The Super Estate
20 Goswell Road
London EC1M 7AA

Until 30th June
Monday by appointment Tue – Fri: 11am – 6pm Sat: 11am – 5pm Sun: CLOSED


“As part of the Golden Lane Estate’s 50th anniversary celebrations (1957-1962), EXHIBIT at Golden Lane Estate is commit to work with 13 artists in 10 ideas and 20 months. Inspired by the confluence of modernist design and community mission, EXHIBIT aims to create a legacy for the cultural future of the Estate, an archive developed through the interaction of artists and designers with the community mediated by EXHIBIT to celebrate this modernist design masterpiece and encourage an ongoing creative conversation that keeps the community at its heart.”


Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair 2009
Old Truman Brewery
146 Brick Lane, E1 6QL

Sunday 14 June 2009
12pm – 6pm
Entry: £3


Pitching themselves as the ultimate ‘Recessionista’ event of 2009, Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair at the Truman Brewery is set to be epic. Highlights for us include Secret Wars winners and all round adorable couple Ed Hicks and Miss Led who will be customizing anything and everything brought before them. Anyone who showed up for last year’s fun packed day will recognize Miss Led from her incredible live car commission. Look out for a preview of this event later in the week.


Stop, Look & Listen
Subway Gallery
Until 30th June
open Monday – Saturday 11am – 7pm


Somewhere beneath Edgware Road where it meets Harrow Road is a 1960′s glass walled kiosk that three years ago was transformed by artist/curator Robert Gordon McHarg into a unique gallery space. Stop, Look & Listen is an exhibition about the space and it’s environment reflecting on the past shows and artists. They are also passionate about public interaction and interpretation, keen to spread the word about taking unused public space and using it for a creative outpost.


Wagner Pinto– Floating
Concrete Hermit
5a Club Row
E1 6JX

Until 4th July
Opening Times: 10am – 6pm Mon – Sat


“Taking influence from the mix of religions and influences across South America such as candomble – a religion which melds Catholicism and African traditions Pintos paintings materialize forces of nature, mythology and religious icons, imaginary situations, mental impulses and fine energies. The idea is to bring to the surface, to the senses and to the view of visitors a floating universe, where even waves of thoughts have a rhythm, harmony, body and color, making the invisible visible to the human eye and in this way, to try to give a new direction to abstract art.”
Monday 8th June
Lissy Trullie at the ICA, visit this site London

New York’s lovely long-legged Lissie Trullie plays the ICA tonight, pill she sings of lost loves and first kisses in sultry world weary tones, with hooky bass lines and post punk-y drum beats in the background, not dissimilar to the Strokes. Her songs manage to be both wise and witty whilst endearingly naive. A refreshing take on a pretty male dominated music scene.


Tuesday 9th June
Kid Harpoon at Enterprise, London

Kid Harpoon makes me swoon! A regular fixture on the London indie scene having supported Mystery Jets to name but one. Kid Harpoon is also a talented musician in his own right, with his intelligent and disarmingly unassuming folk rock, a troubadour of our times!


Wednesday 10th June
The Fall and Buzzcocks at The Forum

Wednesday’s gig choice is an epic one this week…The Fall and Buzzcocks play The Forum! Mark E. Smith may be as mad as a bag of cats but there is no denying that The Fall are one of the most seminal and brilliant bands around, their live shows never fail to impress so I’ve heard. Plus who could resist dancing to Buzzcocks’ Never Fallen in Love and pretending to be 18 again?!


Thursday 11th June
Chad VanGaalen at ICA

Chad VanGaalen sounds like a lovely man, he makes his music in his basement in Alberta, and he draws. There is a real homemade quality to his creative process (home recorded CDs with hand drawn art) that is audible and his dreamy music evokes the most awed oohs and aahs . VanGaalen has been compared to everyone from Daniel Johnston to Ben Gibbard.


Friday 12th June
Vivian Girls at Cargo

I bang on a lot about the Vivian Girls at work (sorry other interns!) but they are genuinely very good indeed, which is why I’ll be heading to Cargo to see them this Friday, come on down and dance with me (because none of the other interns will…) to their all girl lo-fi surf punk!


Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June
Meltdown Festival, Southbank Centre, London

Ornette Coleman is curating this year’s Meltdown Festival and it’s an eclectic mix, this weekend catch The Roots, Yoko Ono and Cornelius. It continues into the beginning of next week, so it is with a note of mystery that I end this week’s listings:
“To be Continued…”



By the early afternoon this Sunday, what is ed the sun had begun to shine. Hooray! Where better to spend such glorious afternoon than in a pitch-black, advice gloomy tent saddled in between a couple of old dears wearing cheap perfume whilst their make-up runs down their faces?

Cheeky! It could only be one place – Graduate Fashion Week 2009!

Forgive my introduction. I arrived to see the Edinburgh College of Art show in a bit of a state – and to make matters worse, case it was boiling inside. The move from Battersea to Earl’s Court last year might have aided things, but not entirely. Regardless, the show itself was excellent. Well produced and structured with 11 of ECA’s elite womenswear designers, cherry picked to delight us with their collections. Not a single one disappointed.

Raine Hodgson opened the show, with a flamboyant display of Russian folk-inspired costumes. Models wore bearskin-style furry hats, teamed with patterned trousers and long capes, in vibrant colours. Sheepskin, leather and silk were combined to create a luxurious wintery collection.



Mairi Dryden toned things down slightly, with a muted colour palette. This isn’t to say that the collection was boring – far from it – constructivist-inspired bronze printed dresses were teamed with voluminous tailored jackets and tapered trousers, providing a more sophisticated and fashion-forward look.



Amelia Hobson‘s cosmopolitan collection included oversized pants with paper-bag waists, worn loose around the thighs, creating interesting silhouettes and promoting the female form. Colonial elements such as huge loose knots and large wooden jewellery complimented discrete hints of animal prints.



Sarah Martin‘s intriguing but delightful collection consisted of ‘clean minimal silhouettes’ wearing basic tailoring, contrasting with bold ‘playful’ bright yellow accents in the form of rubber-like coats and accessories.



The stand-out collection in this show was Natalie Morris‘s stunning all-black numbers. Art Deco-shaped fascinators were teamed with bold silhouettes, enhancing the female shape. Soft wools were married with stiffer fabrics, suggesting a hint of kink. Morris’ models sure got sex appeal.



Overall, Edinburgh proved that they are a force to be reckoned with at Graduate Fashion Week. The shortest show I saw yesterday, it still packed the same punch as the larger university collections, and in a struggling financial climate it is great to see that nobody shyed away from fabulous, flamboyant, forward fashion. Edinburgh have produced a plethora of talented womenswear designers who will no doubt move on to big things.


Northumbria University whipped up a storm at Graduate Fashion Week on Sunday – to nobody’s surprise, frankly. Year after year the university never fails to deliver intelligent, fresh and innovative collections.

As UNN alumni, I am indeed biased. I cannot help but gush about the quality of fashion that Northumbria produces each year, so this is more of a love letter than a write-up. The show steals my heart and leaves me reeling.

Shakespearian amore aside, the show kicked off with Nicola Morgan’s top-notch tailoring accompanied by thumping music. The soundtrack is always so loud at GFW, sometimes too much, but it tends to add to the intesity of the event, and each song is selected as a suitable accompaniment to each student’s collection. Morgan’s innovative garments each comprised of individual pieces of fabric which interlock – breaking the boundaries of fashion and making clothing adaptable by the user. The technique, however subtle, still lended itself to producing fashion-forward garments.


Ruth Davis’ vibrant knitwear came soon after. Worn for winter, hooded tops, scarves and dresses bore large-scale graphic patterns in the brightest hues…


Sliding back to sophistication, Marie McDonagh presented an all black collection, redolent of the fabulous forties. High gloss materials complimented slick tailoring, and this geometric jacket was a winner – it’s sporadic shiny squares accenting the bejewelled detailing on a simple yet elegant dress.


Steph Butler’s interesting use of layered, laser-cut material to create statement tops, pants and coats created interesting shapes and the models bore bold silhouettes.


Rio Jade Maddison’s aim is to create ‘thought-provoking, creative’ garments with sex appeal. This she did. A sleek, mostly all-black collection, Maddison created sexy slim-line shapes. Models wore skull caps and ruffs, teamed with dresses embellished with shiny studs and spikes, for a hint of kink…


Juxtaposed with Maddison’s slick and sexy collection was Holly Storer, who presented elegant dresses using a warm palette, heavily reliant on a gradient of red. Short yet demure dresses were decorated with pretty origami roses to create a glamorous yet sophisticated look.


Finally, it is a given that the menswear at Northumbria is always of a very high standard, so it was no surprise to see Maxwell Holmes’ fantastic tailoring that any sartorial dresser would snap up in a flash. High-waisted tailored trousers were worn with brightly coloured braces, tartan bow-ties and smooth shoes, referencing a decades of classic menswear. The craftsmanship here is delectable and wouldn’t look out of place on a London Fashion Week runway ? in fact, I’ve seen much worse there! This embroidered dinner jacket doesn’t break any new ground, but boy is it hot… and the model’s not bad either…


Until next year, Northumbria. I love you.

Maybe it was the heat. Yes, viagra dosage that’s it. The heat. The heat that caused the Old Blue Last‘s normally reliable PA to pack up for most of the evening, leaving an expectant throng, marinading in lager and gin, to bask in the receding sunlight whilst the sound engineer banged his head against a wall. The heat that made it seem like an eternity (well, to those of us who had unwisely not booked in advance for a ticket) as, once normal service was resumed, said throng dutifully filed in to fill the less than cavernous upstairs bar in a fashion that would suit a sardine. The heat that created a sweat-soaked (if you were stood at the front) fervour rarely seen on a Monday night. Still, it was worth it.


As for Matt and Kim themselves. Well, where to begin? Mid-global tour to promote their new long-player, Grand, they rock up in deepest Shoreditch on their sole UK date and immediately tear a new one in this earnest heartland of skinny jeans and silly hairdos. With Kim mercilessly bashing the skins like a latter-day Moe Tucker, wearing a grin as wide as a Cheshire cat, and Matt pounding at his keyboards with wild abandon, the Brooklyn duo treated us to some (occasionally Ramones-velocity) nuggets such as Daylight, Yea Yeah and, of course, the gem that is Silver Tiles (sounding even more like the song Brandon Flowers would have given his last Britpop compilation for to have crafted).


They meld spunky New Wave rhythms, the dirtiest end of DIY electro-pop and a whole lot of enthusiasm to create a heady brew.
And we had incident. Kim’s drum stool broke halfway through the set. We had crowd surfing. In fact, Kim had a brief crowd surf herself, accompanied by Matt playing the introduction to Sweet Child O’ Mine, to a roar of approval from the crowd.


We also had a brief rendition of the synth riff to Europe‘s Final Countdown. It just seemed such a perfectly natural thing to do. And Matt and Kim seemed genuinely bowled over by the riotous reaction of the crowd. Ah, yes the heat. It was worth it.


Photos appear courtesy of Richard Pearmain

If you’re not careful, website after some time spent gazing at one of Femke Hiemstra’s illustrations you may start to notice that everything in your periphery has gone fuzzy, the antique spoon you were stirring your coffee with is grinning at you and the gingerbread man you were going to dunk and nibble has got a little bloodlust in his eye. This cadre of anthropomorphic objects and smoking creatures has me hypnotized and now ‘who to befriend?’ and ‘what are they up to?’ are the only things I care to contemplate. Unfathomably skilled and allegorically gifted, Femke paints the childplay of our subconscious onto antiques finds like books and cigarette tins. She has an appetite for description and reclaims vintage treasures as her canvases. Currently exhibiting in Lush Life at Washington’s Roq la Rue Gallery and a new book Rock Candy coming out this year and, from her home in Amsterdam, Femke Hiemstra tells us more about what goes into this pop surrealist’s soup.


What’s the reason for using inanimate objects as characters?
Why an apple or a mikshake cup? I’m not quite sure, but I think that I’m appealed to the shape at first and I also see characters in them and want to put those personalities on a canvas. Also, I think that drawing a car would bore me.

So much of your work is about light and dark, a shadowy world of storytelling. For all the worlds you describe are there any worlds/places you would like to explore?
I look at things differently, through my own ‘high sensitive’ glasses so to say. In a way I’m already in another world.

The facial expressions in your characters are amazing, what do you refer to when you’re painting them?
I think my inpsiration comes from the ‘enlarged personalities’ I see on the big screen or read in comics. French and Belgian ones mostly. All the ones my dad read like Obelix & Asterix and Lucky Luke.


That and the great adventurer TinTin of course! I ADORE the “Japanese Mountain Lady” piece. Sinister old ladies are always appearing in Asian stories.
Thanks so much! It was a piece I made for the Fantagraphics Beasts book. This is a compilation of illustrated cryptozoological curiosities. I choose to draw a Japanese Mountain Woman, a female demon who roams japanese hills in search of lonely travelers who she attacs and devours. When I read the story I first thought of the mountain woman as a young but creepy Japanese beauty in a lovely kimono. But when I did my research I found out that the ‘Yama-uba’ was actually an old hag in rags. I could have changed her appearance and take the artistic freedom to make her young and pretty but I choose to go with old bat version. This piece is an example of a digital work. I first made a graphite drawing, scanned it and coloured it digitally in Photoshop.

You mentioned some of the themes you draw from are strong emotions like battles, a hunt, a lost or tragic love or the ‘romantic’ death. Do you see those in the world today?
Well, yes, but my work is not about modern stories, politics or anything else that takes place in this century. And though the ‘actors’ I paint may be recent I beam them to other times. My interest goes to a time where everything had it’s own pace, where there was time for rituals. I do stand with both feet in modern times (except perhaps, that I don’t Skype), but ‘vintage’ with all the scratches that comes with it breaths more life and just appeals to me more.


I couldn’t agree more that there is a void where value used to exist. Disposable objects, obsessions with the new and therfor youth. The absence of rituals, as you mentioned is a very good example of that. We’re too busy running about to notice and acknowledge something’s significance. Do you see any examples around you these days that some of that IS still around?
Im fascinated by smoking, even though Im not a smoker myself. I’m very attracted to the power of it, the Hollywood-esque forms it can have when a hunky bloke or a femme fatale lits a cigarette. It’s not what you’d call a ritual nowadays though, but it played an important role in older times, used in negotiations or to get in contact with the spirit world. In the Victorians days, certain gentlemen would put on a velvet or cashmere smoking jacket and a beautifully embroideried smoking cap to enjoy a cigar or pipe.
But other modern rituals? Not close to me I guess. But you can re-create them yourself. After reading The Devil’s Picnic, a book by Taras Grescoe on modern day taboo’s, I got into drinking Absinthe. It’s just a small ritual, but still a great thing to do. It begins by finding the right glasses or buying a beautiful absinthe spoon and then at home follow the steps to get that opalescence ‘louche’ drink.

Is there some of that represented in your work?
I’ve been inpspired by rituals for a while now. By burial or religious rituals, eating and drinking rituals… Today I went to see a wonderful Exhibition of Haitian Vodou in one of Amsterdam’s ethongraphic museum ‘The Tropenmuseum’. It was brilliant. A mix of African rituals and Catholic aspects blended into a religion with no dogma or hierarchy. You bet you’ll find influences of that in my future works.


You’ve painted on everything from cigarette tins to holy water basins. Where do you find your lovely treasures?
Fleamarkets, second hand book stores and collectors fairs. And small town bric-a-brac’s that are run by the village idiot.

What object have you dreamed of one day painting on?
An antique bible with metal corners.

Every artist need a bit of release during their day…what’s the last song you danced to? Sang out loud to?
I sing out loud every day to all kinds of music! (I work at home. It’s a big advantage if you’re an ‘along singer’ like me). The last song must have been something from Iron Maiden or that last Elbow album, those are the two cd’s I listened to today. The last song I danced to was Death to Los Campesinos by Los Campesinos.

You must have incredible dreams! What was the last dream you remember having?
Oh man, I have the weirdest dreams sometimes. I’m not really drink much alcohol and don’t do drugs which, perhaps, makes it all even weirder, but every now and then I can wake up from a dream and be thinking ‘… did that all just happen in MY head?’ But dreams are fun. Today a friend of mine told me she found herself crying over her bike that got its ‘head’ chopped off on a bicycle battefield. Woooo… weird!


Is there somewhere you’ve traveled that has influenced you. Is there some place you’d like to visit, bottom of the ocean, back alley in Shanghai, your neighbor’s attic…?
Russia, or more presicely, Moskow. I love to see that one day. I’ve read this book about it written by a Dutch correspondent who lives there and it must be such a contradictional place. That I just have to see for myself. And Japan, of course! Characters galore on every street corner and in every vending machine. Seeing the polar lights up north is also on my wishlist.

I could so easily see how your work could be translated into motion or animation. Has anyone ever approached you about that?
Disney wanted me to make a proposal for a tv animation short. Of course I was thrilled and I dropped everything I was working on to focus on it. But once I showed my first proposal this assignment with ‘total creative freedom’ turned into one of the biggest brain drains of my creative career. I wrote about it on my blog. (read about it) So animation… I dunno! I’m not exactly jumping of joy. But Disney’s sitll a bit fresh, for now I’m very happy painting.


I just saw your badges/pins and was wondering if they are actually hand painted?
No, those are printed. Sometimes a bunch of collegues and me are invited to do live badge drawing at the Lowlands (alternative) music fesitval in Holland, together with our badge producer Buzzworks. People can make their own badges or have an artist draw one for them. It’s like a school trip for artists, amidst cool visitors and cool music. It’s always a lot of fun.

Wahoo, let’s all pile into to the school bus and make for the Dutch Lowlands, who’s with me? Femke’s skills as an illustrator/storyteller are razor sharp. Just so happens she’s incredibly fun to interview too. Hmmm, now what sinister playmates does that remind me of?

Recently Femke’s fantastical work has garnered the attention of an unlikely admirer in the form of a counterfeiter!!! Good grief, is no one safe?
Sunday 7th June, erectile 2009

Spare a thought for the student designers at Graduate Fashion Week. They’ve had innumerable sleepless nights and they’ve sewn into the small hours. Their reward? To stand up at GFW for over nine hours day, pharmacy grinning deliriously and trying their best to woo potential employers.

After a gruelling day on Sunday, prescription you can understand why people were starting to look forlorn. BUT what better way to cheer up than the University of East London show – an effervescent romp through the Capital’s latest talent? First out to get our pulses racing was Sam Hoy – presenting masculine tailoring juxtaposed with soft feminine shapes. Sport-inspired body-con tops were teamed with shiny gloss metal embellishments for dramatic effect.


Shireen Shomaly’s collection focussed on the assembly of objects. Intricate geometric shapes in leather and suede were layered up to define the appearance of garments, whilst delicate laser-cut forms had the reverse effect on contrasting pieces. Shomaly’s use of rich purples and greens gave the collection a welcomed luxurious edge.


Next, Ayroza Dobson’s collection came bounding down the catwalk to the sounds of MIA‘s Bucky Done Gun (the third time we’d heard this track this afternoon). Short dresses were plastered with large discs bearing graphic symbols, and one dress – one of my favourite pieces this year – had a sequinned ‘cheeky postcard’ illustration on the rear of a striking yellow dress.


Sevda Salih’s sophisticated and mature collection featured structured blazers with masculine shoulders and a gorgeous combination of rich silks, married with gold PVC, providing accents on an otherwise monochromatic palette. Salih’s pièce de résistance was a voluminous hexagonal cape, drawing inspiration from architecture. Not one for the office, but fabulous nevertheless.


Caelie Martha Jones presented some intriguing menswear – dressing models in bold baggy trousers paired with graphic prints. I’d bag this Smurf-illustrated shirt in a flash…


One of my favourite collections of the show, by Natasha Goff, featured bold statement pieces bearing graphic prints. Inspired by dance, models wore asymmetric and maxi dresses featuring hand painted pictures. Vibrant, playful colours made this collection a winner.


Kerry Louise Hobbs showed a mature collection which drew inspiration from original African dressing. Dynamic shapes with exaggerated features, such as huge blouson sleeves, accentuated the female silhouette. Hobbs also made great use of rural colours, and simple but effective prints.


Closing the show was Lucy Bryan. Taking us back to black, Bryan’s collection was confident and sleek. Galvanised by the beauty of black swans and ravens, Bryan’s models wore structured dresses with a nod to conceptual designers. Jackets were structured to accentuate the shoulders for a more dynamic figure and pieces fitted tight around the waistline and then buckled around the buttocks. The show piece – a shell-like cape which hid the model’s figure and was adorned with a row of feathers, captivated the audience and was the perfect climax.


I caught up with a couple of the students after the show to find out a little bit more…



Where did the ideas for your collection come from?

Dance was a big part of my childhood – ballet, tap. I wanted to feature this huge influence in my collection.

How were the outfits created?

I used dancers and projected images onto the pieces. All the designs are hand painted, using a projector to define the image onto the fabric. Some were projected onto the garments when they had been constructed, some I projected onto the fabric first. This allowed for different effects to come through.

You worked for Siv Stodal during your placement year – how was that?

Great. I worked there for one a day a week, assisting her with her show and looking at things like sampling.

Has that influenced your collection?

Definitely. It was great to work in that kind of highly creative, East London studio-based environment. I also did a very commercial placement [Courtaulds UK] which was very different but just as enjoyable.

Which other designers do you admire?

I like designers who have combined art and fashion – Hussein Chalayan, who incoroprates sculpture into his work – for example. I also adore John Galliano – I love his use of colour and statement dressing.

What’s the plan for the immediate future?

I haven’t started looking yet! Definitely design – I’d like to work with a high-end designer where there’s more freedom, and you’re not restricted so much by money and figures.

‘Revenge of the Birds’


Why birds?

Well, ironically, I’m scared of birds! I did loads of research, and started collecting images I liked and the research went on a journey which led me to birds.

How did this develop?

The main inspiration came from birds wings, in particular black swans. I used the wings on the female form to see what sort of silhouettes they made, which gave me the shapes for the collections.

Did you enjoy the show?

It was pretty stressful before hand, but watching the show was really exciting and it’s great to see your garments come to life.

Which designers do you look to for inspiration?

Gareth Pugh’s collections are always amazing, and his structural pieces have been the biggest influence on my collection. I also love Chloé and Lanvin.

What does the future hold?

I have no idea! I’d love to work in design or buying. [Lucy interned at Ralph Lauren as a buyer’s admin assistant] I guess I’ll just see what happens!

I’m no Londoner – so when my fellow Amelia’s Magazine Earth Editor Cari sent me off to Brixton Ritzy Cinema, medical a glance at the tube map sent me off into untested waters at the end of the Victoria line.


Caught in the rush – swimming with the stream – I saw Electric Avenue and assumed a cinema should be that way. Asking a fishmonger for reassurance, I was pointed in the opposite direction, and bashfully walked past the bus queues I had hurriedly blanked moments before. The first hints of something fishy reached my tube-heat-addled brain when a clear signpost at the station pointed me back another way once more. Was the fish man out to lure me away from Brixton’s brighter lights, an anglerfish of these parts? Was he planted by the fishing lobby to prevent this very report? How far did the tentacles of this conspiracy extend?

Squeezing into my cinema seat (sparing you the obvious sardine pun) I reflected on the currents that had brought me here. The film was introduced by a local Greenpeace activist, with the true-hearted exhortation : to come out of this film inspired to build a better and more sustainable world.

Before I get into it, here’s what to do :

Ask before you buy – only eat sustainable fish.

Tell the politicians – respect the science, cut the fishing fleet.

Join the campaign – for marine protected areas and responsible fishing.


Opening with a theme tune somewhere between Jaws and Harry Potter, the mixed tone of imminent danger, mystery and optimism is well set for the rest of the film. Based on the book of the same title, ‘The End of the Line’, written by Daily Telegraph journalist Charles Clover, the film sweeps the viewer from place to plaice across the world, backed up by scientists, fishermen and fishermen-turned-investigators who clearly lay out the argument around the exhaustion of the world’s fish stocks and what to do now.

The story starts in Newfoundland, Canada, in 1992, when John Crosbie, then Canada’s Minister for Fisheries and Oceans, announced a total stop on cod fishing. The inexhaustible ocean, where cod were once so abundant that it was said you could cross the Atlantic walking on their backs, the ocean was exhausted.

Boris Worm then published a study of the fish we fish at the moment, predicting that they will all be gone by 2048 if nothing changes.


The obvious solution is to fish less. In Europe, the EU fisheries commission takes charge of this, which sounds lovely until you look at the figures. WWF scientists consider 15 thousand tonnes a year the maximum to avoid total collapse, and 10 would allow the fish to recover. The commission set the limit of 29.5, which was then almost totally ignored by the industry, who fished 61 thousand tonnes in one year.

The West Coast of Africa is particularly affected by the economics and politics of fish quotas. Adalu Mbegaul, an artisanal fisherman from Senegal, feels betrayed by his government as they sell the fishing rights for their waters to foreign boats. These boats come in from Europe, and more and more from Asia, with industrial capacity that swamps anything he can put out. Adalu has a young daughter, and is considering taking to the sea for the dangerous trip to Europe, where there might be a future for her – ‘It is safe there and it is not safe,’ he says, and of course, ‘Our fish are welcome in Europe, but our people are not so welcome.’

It’s not just a matter of stopping eating fish – 1.2 billion people around the world depend on it as their main source of protein. But particularly for the richer people in the world, the trend to eat salmon and tuna, and rarer fish, in the quantities that we do, is harmful. The Marine Conservation Society have a certification scheme for supermarket-sold fish : look out for their oval blue sign, which is a step towards consumers being able to make informed choices about the sustainability of the fish we buy.


Farming fish, which sounds great, is actually not wonderful. Farmed salmon, for example, takes 5kg of anchovy fish-meal to make 1kg of salmon – so the wild stocks are just depleted indirectly.

The other thing to do is to set up protected areas, which cover less than 1% of the ocean today. The film calls for 20-30% coverage by 2012, which would cost an estimated $12-14 billion yearly to set up and patrol, comparable to the $15-20 billion of fisheries subsidies which are currently paid out each year. In the UK, there’s an early day motion calling for a Marine Reserves Bill which would set up the network of marine protected areas necessary to rebuild UK commercial fish stocks and stop the damage being caused to the ecosystems. You can check who has signed it here and get in touch with your MP easily at

Finally, Greenpeace marine biodiversity campaigner Andy Tate gave a welcomingly unbeardy q&a session after the film, dispelling the dooooom-laden air of some questions, and happily recommending that we all ask awkward questions the next time we’re down the chippy.
It’s true what they say – the journey is as important as the destination. As all commuting Londoners can appreciate, order anything that brightens, stomach lifts or eases that (in some cases) hour or two spent each day trudging back and forth from home to work and back home again is a true blessing. Waiting morning after morning on overcrowded platforms for overcrowded trains to arrive, abortion only to then spend your travels involuntarily nuzzled into someone’s already moist armpit or being subjected to an individual’s morning mega mix on their Ipod they can’t control the volume of, whilst paying above the odds for the pleasure of it all, can be trying a the best of times. If only the Underground system could offer us something in return; just a little ‘I’m on your side’ token of gratitude for sticking it out and soldiering on. Something that says ‘It hasn’t all been in vain.’

Amanda Taylor

The answer to our prayers comes in the form of Art Below, an organisation which holds the belief that public space can and should be utilised as exhibition space. Working with galleries, universities and other art organisations Art Below has infiltrated the tube stations and surrounding areas of London, Tokyo and more recently, Berlin with fresh engaging cutting edge creativity. What makes them different from Art on the Underground that also promote the swap of advert space for artwork is that Art on the Underground is a charity, and have an educational slant in that they use work by more established artists, and the theme of the underground and travel features heavily.

Sahatarch Pittarong

Ben Pentreath

It has been a busy 4 years for Art Below, with over 480 artists and designers involved in showcasing photography, art, illustration and fashion in spaces that would otherwise be occupied by corporate advertising. It’s a scheme that cleverly benefits all involved; the public are entertained, the anti consumerists bask in one less billboard trying to sell us stuff we don’t want or need, and naturally the artists themselves gets the best exposure and promotion they could hope for, their work reaching an audience that may not have the time or inclination to visit galleries or museums.

Art Below in Tokyo

Art Below in Tokyo

Who, what and where to exhibit is decided in coalition between Art Below and the submitting artist. Ben Moore, one of the key figures in creation of Art Below tells me that not all art works on the tube, and not every tube station works for every artist. For example Gloucester Road is particularly well lit, and Finsbury Park can work as an entire platform. Ben is keen to point that “The concept is far more important to us that aesthic beauty; we want art that is here and now, with something to say, a message. We deal with artists that use current affairs and can be provoking.”

Matt Black

Once the artists are selected, their work stays up for 2 weeks and as it has been estimated that over 150,000 people use the tube in London every hour, that is clearly an amazing opportunity. Ben adds that “each piece is a one off, and that makes us different from groups like Art Underground who reproduce a poster 25 times. With us, there is an element of it being a rarity and therefore an excitement that unless you go through that station every day, you won’t see that piece anywhere else.” Art Below are constantly on the lookout for artists that interest them personally and have approached people they admire to produce commissions. They are proud to consider themselves responsible for the discovery of big talents like Sarah Maple and Oliver Clegg.

Sarah Maple

Art Below operates like any other business. For their money the artists receive a service; their work is printed, exposed, distributed and sold. Anyone who does exhibit gets a spot on the website too, and a chance to sell prints of their posters through the online shop, with a handsome cut of the sales. Ben explains “This whole project started as a mobile phone with £5 credit on it, and a borrowed laptop. And now we hire other people, we work from a Chelsea art space; we are making art history, in a way. If Art Below keeps on expanding the way it has been doing, then we really will be making a mark and that’s what it’s all about.”

Art Below in Berlin

Art Below in Berlin

When we discuss how Art Below transfers to audiences abroad, Ben tells me that London is not in anyway typical. “Berlin is very easygoing, more so than London. Anything goes, you know. And the reaction was amazing. You leave London you free yourself from so much conformity, and the hierarchical structure this city has. In Germany and in France (where Art Below are hoping to head next) doors for creativity like this are opening.” However, when the project headed to Tokyo, things took a lot longer to happen. ‘They (Japan) are very strict with content. Some things that were rejected we had no idea why. Also the process was slower; the authorities want work submitted way ahead of time. It was expensive, but they are highly organised and the quality is amazing.”

Josh McKible

Art Below and the examples they are setting deserve global domination as far as I’m concerned. They are altering the way we think, feel and appreciate public space as something we, the public, rightfully own and empowering us to chose what use to make of it. Party on.

What did you see on the tube today?

Thumbnail by Anardeep Sian
So it’s the second day of Graduate Fashion Week and I’m just about getting into the swing of things and had a look into a couple of the less anticipated shows with interest – Salford, capsule Salisbury and Central Lancashire. With regard to Salford and Salisbury (who shared a show) there was some interesting work, health although the Central Lancashire show was disappointing (and, nurse dare I say, slightly hellish, with a 45-minute soundtrack of classic rock and saxophone solos, coupled with the heat, served to exacerbate my already negative reaction to the uninspiring designs).

Salisbury’s Francesca Lombardi produced a resort-inspired, overtly feminine collection with a soft colour palette of peach and baby blue, and attractively printed silk dresses and harem pants covered in cartoon images of seaside life. I felt it was a well-constructed idea of luxury that could have easily been on the wrong side of mature, but Lombardi infused her designs with a youthful humour, with some modern tailoring made classic by neckties and headscarves.




The standout closing collection from the Salford graduates was Gemma Clements’s, a strange and disquieting set of designs that married the freakishness of the New York Club Kids with the suburban feel of the Stepford Wives.



Each model was entirely incarcerated from head to toe in block floral fabric, with grotesque poses and matching umbrellas enforcing an idea of a hyperbolic version of femininity that seemed to be straight out of an Angela Carter novel.


As the models stormed down the catwalk together in the finale, the fetishised image of 1950s suburbia drew a strong reaction from the crowd and reminded me of Alexander McQueen’s own wish to empower women by making them frightening to us as well as alluring. Amongst a selection of designs that seemed to play it safe it was nice to see something so forcefully conceptual – even though it’s an idea that’s arguably a little dated. Fashion has traditionally been a good platform to explore gender roles but I think it’s an idea that’s certainly becoming less relevant over time.

As a general rule, though, the BA shows are notorious for outlandish designs so the tameness of a lot of the collections on show left me a little jaded, but with any luck Day 3 should send me into freefall…

As a menswear specialist, more about it is irrevocably informative to look at the work of designers who specialise in other areas. Imagine my delight then, abortion as I sat through two shows at Graduate Fashion Week consisting entirely of womenswear, and having loose connections with both, I was looking forward to the Somerset College show and De Monfort.

First up was DeMontfort, with the opener an ethnic inspired collection from Zathew Zheng. Reds and yellows highlighted the monochrome base and plated accessories did the job of setting up high expectations for a decent show.


Looking through the names in the running order in the delay (who expects a fashion show to start bang on time, anyway, even at GFW) I was trying to sniff out talent purely on the grounds of a good name. Bromleigh Budd’s particularly caught my eye and correspondingly (in fact, inevitably) it was one of the best collections: dark and beautiful but simultaneously relaxed, with wonderful devoree dinosaurs and sparkling perspex discs.


Another favourite of mine came in the form of a Jonathan Saunders-esque designs of digitally printed sports/lounge/eveningwear from Nicky Leung, a relaxed collection of soft colours and fluid shapes.


Next up was Somerset College. Being a Somerset boy myself, I was eagerly anticipating a show that might remind me of the pastoral pleasures of home that somehow elude the smog of East London, and, as if reading my mind, the first on the runway was Paula Fisher’s collection, an evening wardrobe of a sharp-dressing sheepshearer.


She showed some interestingly cut feminine sheepskin coats in navy and cream that my great uncle Ed (owner of a sheepskin factory, oh yes) would have been proud of. In fact as the collections continued to come out it was apparent that the Somerset students set store by a veritable investment in their rural surroundings, inasmuch as the London students will invariably produce overtly urban-centric designs. There was a fair whack of tweed sent out, and one of one of my favourite instances was the ‘Structured Elegance’ of Toni Rogers’ architecturally inspired collection.


Also running with the theme was Lisa Edwards, whose Welsh inspired ‘Country Heritage’ collection had a muted colour pallet mixed with leather and plaids contrasted so well by the striking ‘pink’ of the hunter-inspired final outfit.


Having seen one of Sam Elliot’s creations on display at the Ethical Fashion Stand at GFW I was intrigued to see her use of organic and reclaimed fabrics, and delicate prints and bias cut silk dresses flowing down the catwalk showed how it should be done.


I thought both shows provided a useful blueprint for how fashion can be successful (gasp!) beyond the confines of London – but with Manchester School of Art tomorrow will they be blown out of the water?


Schlepping across a rainy, information pills sodden London to Pure Groove was quite the uninviting prospect yesterday, what is ed but Brighton-born Curly Hair certainly provided a ray of sunshine to the grizzly grey back streets of Farringdon with their delicious lunchtime in-store.


The 3 piece mostly use keyboard, page drum and guitar with support from all sorts of lovely folky nick-nacks; like the glockenspiel, a tambourine and of course hand claps. Their boy-girl vocals cascade perfectly off each other and definitely deserve comparisons to Stuart Murdoch and Isobel Campbell, their use of voice skips and dances nicely over and around their structured instrumental arrangement.


So, the big question is with all this abundance of quirk and sweetness ; how do Curly Hair manage to avoid slipping into the realm of the sugary tired twee which is seemingly in overabundance in the British anti-folk scene at the moment?
I suppose that Curly Hair balance things out by using a certain quick wit and a dark humour like all the best quintessential British eccentrics. They have a rather sad-funny song about missing the horror of all eleven year olds the 11-plus, and another about a brother with a speech impediment, stories worthy of the mighty Miranda July.


After they decamped from the stage with their instruments and stood around the shop singing their final song, I left the shop with a smile and sunny skip in my step, thinking to myself that Curly Hair is rather lovely music to hold hands to…


Photos by Robert Felix
Yesterday evening, help I find myself outside the magnolia-columned Royal Society buildings in Carlton House Terrace for a talk on a hot topic of the moment – housing for a low carbon energy future.

A girl comes round the queue with leaflets and stickers labelling us ‘WLTH’ – I feel like I’m on a dating website. We process in through red-carpeted halls past a sweeping stairway to the lecture hall, website where an infrared camera is set up for the best demonstration of the greenhouse effect I’ve ever seen.

Illustrations by Julien Ferrato

It’s nothing too dramatic to look at, the demonstration with which Professor Tadj Oreszczyn opens the lecture. Just a man sat next to a jug of hot water, filmed by this infrared camera and projected on to the screen behind. Then he puts a plastic bin bag over himself (don’t try this at home, kids..) which was opaque to visible light, but lets all the heat radiation right through – we still see him clearly on the camera. It does get better, though. A bag full of air in front of the camera diffuses the heat a little. A bag full of carbon dioxide, filled from a fire extinguisher, absorbs and reflects back a lot. Simple as it is, this is the first time I’ve *seen* carbon dioxide being a greenhouse gas. You should be able to find it streamable here

Professor Oreszczyn is head of the Energy Institute at University College London, and after the demonstration, he got on to the focus of his talk : the ‘Great British Refurb’. If we are going to hit the UK targets for carbon reduction, making our buildings much more energy efficient is going to be huge. The government projections reckon that, by 2050, half of our carbon reduction will come from carbon capture, renewables and nuclear energy, and the other half from reduction in demand and increase in efficiency at the point of use.


Getting a clear idea of what energy is used in a house is really quite difficult, though. Electricity, gas, wood, coal and sunlight all come in – and we use them in all sorts of ways. We spent an average 3% of household expenditure on energy bills in 2000-2006, which is half of 1980 spending. In real terms, energy is cheap. If you wanted a human/bicycle-powered house, though, you’d need 8 athletes pumping away 24/7 – at minimum wage, that’s £400 000 a year.

The Warm Front Scheme has been set up to improve the health and comfort of low-income homes by improving energy efficiency. They received £350 million in 2007/8, refurbishing about 170 000 homes. They monitored 3000 of them, and the inside temperature went up, mould went down, energy bills went down, people felt more comfortable and this presumably helped mental health and avoided winter deaths (there are still, shockingly, about 20 000 excess winter deaths in the UK).

‘In theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice, they’re not.’

The physics is always right, says Professor Oreszczyn, we just apply it wrong. The Warm Front houses used a third more energy after being redone – very strangely. Partly, people took the improvements as more warmth and comfort, rather than less energy, which was at least partly the point of this project. Also, draughtproofers went all round the houses blocking up cracks, then central heating was put in, putting a lot of new holes throughout, undoing some of the other work. And in terraced houses, the party walls were never thought of as places where heat could be lost – but for years now they’ve been built with a cavity for soundproofing, which heat just shoots straight up through to the roof.

There are some good projects in the real world now, like this old victorian house which was refurbished in Camden to reduce its carbon use by 90% and is being continuously monitored.

There’s a lot of information out there, if you want to find out more. The Lancet recently ran a series on Energy and Health, and the Sustainable Energy Academy or the Energy Saving Trust are both good places to start.
When the commercial art world starts to take itself a tad too seriously it’s a relief to find folk who can inject a bit of carefree fun and frivolity back into the creative proceedings. I call to the stand those behind the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair, erectile which takes the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane by storm this Sunday for the fifth year running.


In their own words “The Art Car Boot Fair was an idea that grew out of a desire to pick up where Joshua Compston’s ‘Fete Worse than Death’ and Gavin Turk‘s ‘Livestock Market’ and Articultural Shows’ blazed a trail in the 90′s. The Art Car Boot Fair is an original event concept devised by Karen Ashton and developed since its inception in London in 2004 through invaluable collaborations with Helen Hayward, store Vanessa Fristedt and, viagra buy since 2008, Debbie Malynn.” They include in their fundamental aims of the day encouragement of “direct interface between artists and their audiences in a playful and amusing fashion. We aim for the Art Car Boot Fair to be a day when the artists let their hair down and for all-comers to engage in a totally informal way, and to pick up some real art bargains to book!”


I am delighted to say that my very favourite partners in crime, Miss Led and Hicks54, will be present at the annual knockout knees up this weekend. The duo will be going to head to head in a customizing battle to end all battles, taking what the public gives them, from pencil cases to parasols, and creating hot pieces of one off art. Be sure to save up for pocket money for the original canvases, beautiful cut outs, prints, and hand painted bags that will also be on offer. The happy couple will be only two of over a whopping 80 artists taking part at the Old Truman Brewery, with other big deal names such as Gavin Turk, Peter Blake, Pam Hogg and Natasha Law.


Miss Led, that’s Joanna Henly to you and me, is no stranger to the event. Last year she spent the sun soaked afternoon straddling a kindly donated automobile from Vauxhall, working her illustrative magic in front of a heaving crowd. In fact, Miss Henly is no stranger to the art scene at all. Since winning a scholarship to set up shop as her own brand in 2007 she has not sat still; designing for Reebok, crowned the very first Queenie of Secret Wars, drawing live as part of Best Joined Up at Cargo, a Diesel instore wall design and a Selfridges Window as well as exhibiting all over London and countless private commissions for high profile celebs.. the list goes on and on.



Miss Led’s style has self-evolved to become highly identifiable. No shrinking violet and not for the prudish, Henly enthusiastically celebrates the female form in a lot of her work, with pin up lovelies and burlesque beauties flaunting themselves provocatively, shamelessly but with an overall ‘you don’t own me’ sort of attitude. These alluring ladies that pop up in her illustrations, paintings, drawings and graphic work fairly represent Henly’s own self-assured pro-female stance as a now well-established confident young artist competing in an art genre previously dominated by bigger boys.



When you see her creating these large canvasses live with a time constraint and under a spotlight only then can you appreciate the sheer extent of her talent. These highly skilled pieces are often larger than life size in scale, and in an age of photoshop over reliance it’s wonderful to know there are still artists perfecting the old school way and doing it by hand.



Her work is reminiscent of Barcelona female ‘graf star’ Miss Van, and there’s a playful sense of fairytales, childhood memories and daydreams, all tinged with just enough wicked and naughty undertones to make her work adult rather than adolescent.

Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair
Sunday 14th June

The Old Truman Brewery
Brick Lane
London E2 6QL

Entry: £3

What would you pay to have the lovely Miss Led or her charming gentleman boyfriend slash rival Ed Hicks customize this Sunday? Don’t just wonder! Get yourself down to The Old Truman Brewery on Sunday and turn your tat into treasure.
Every now and then, pharmacy I come across an illustrator, thumb or a photographer or a sculptor that makes me think “Damn, I’m on the wrong side of the Dictaphone.” Writing about art is a huge pleasure and a privilege, but occasionally I meet artists so talented I struggle to resist the urge to swap pen for paintbrush and run away to join those I interview in the kool kid klub.


George Mitchell is one such artist. This guy can seriously draw. The thing that gets me the most is that Mitchell makes it look so instantaneous and easy which I openly envy as someone that can’t freeform doodle in anything but pencil so that I can repeatedly rub it all out and start again.
I swallowed my art envy pride, and caught up with George for a chat and a bit of Lucky 13.


Hey, George Mitchell, what makes you so awesome?
Hello, I don’t really know what makes me so awesome? Maybe it’s my boney arms and my jacked muscles?

How did you get into drawing?

I got into drawing from a young age mainly through boredom at my grandma’s house waiting for Sunday dinner. At school I used to just switch off and doodle in my diary and art became my best subject so I decided that was the path I would take, instead of being a builder or a footballer.


What influences your style?

Skateboarding has influenced my lifestyle greatly, pushing me towards different music and a whole different look on life. Somehow my brain must of digested the art in the Punk and Hip Hop cd’s I would buy from a young age and the skateboard graphics on the boards I’d use.

Which illustrators/artists do you most admire?

I like outsider art mostly. The untrained artists with a real D.I.Y feel to their work that is impossible to create if you’re properly educated. (Raw Vision magazine is the best example of this)


What training have you had?

I went to Lincoln University to do illustration and here I am now trying to pursue this as a career. I’d like to sum up my illustrations as quirky and fun, not too serious, Illustration to me is about putting a smile on the viewers face but at the same time making them think “oooh this is clever!”

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

If I could travel back in time I’d go back to England in the early 90′s and tell everyone how crap they are at life. Then I’d go forward in time to witness aliens landing on earth and I’d make them the worst cup of tea ever and play them some awful 90′s dance music so they just leave us alone. I’m not horrible or anything it’s just that I really don’t want aliens sucking my insides out.


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

I’d probably still be doing something creative or different to the norm. Maybe I’d be in a sick band. Or maybe just a plumber, but i’d only wear a cardboard outfit and a fisherman’s hat whilst working. I cant ever picture myself being normal…

Who or what is your nemesis?

Chavs who get in the way at skateparks and fight you for no reason. Worst people on Earth.

What piece of modern technology could you not live without?

The best modern invention made is obviously the skateboard!! If i had to live without it, i’d become one of those grumpy old blokes in the pub.


Tell us something about George Mitchell we might no know already.

I was once paralyzed from head to toe for two days straight due to me having a rare genetic disease named HypoKalemicPeriodicParalysis. Oh and i love cats.

What advice would you give to up and coming artists?

Never give up with what you’re doing! Ever! Progress ‘your own’ visual signature and push it out there into the open! “Keep your mind on the shit you want, and off the shit you don’t.”


What would be your pub quiz specialist subject?

I’d specialise in guessing!

What band past or present would provide the soundtrack to your life?

I’ve always said I wanted Black Flag’s ‘Fix Me’ playing at my funeral when they lower my coffin. The song is about 30 seconds short so it would fit perfectly!

I say Modern Art is Rubbish, you say..?

Has the kettle broke?


Who would be your top 5 dream dinner guests? Who would do the washing up?

I’d have Ray Mears because he loves food so much, Steven Seagal in a massive coat, Ghostface Killah straight maxin like Santa, Johnny Kingdom, and last of all Conan the Barbarian. No one would have to do the washing up because we’d be round at Seagal’s yard and he’s got a nice new dish washer!


What is your guilty pleasure?

I eat so many sweet’s my teeth are nearly see-through!

Perhaps it does make sense that we all stick with what we do best. So for now at least, I am going to stick with writings the words and let people like the sublime George Mitchell do the visuals; he does manage a pretty good job of it after all.

What do you do best?

The first time I met Julian he asked if I was a banker. I can confirm that this is the first and only time that this has happened to me, unhealthy and can only imagine that it must have been something to do with the fact that I was wearing my black woolen winter coat (since retired to certain moth doom for the summer months) This is in fact the first sensible coat that I’ve ever owned – courtesy of my generous (and exasperated) mother – who finally decided that I did actually need said coat now that I’ve hit my mid thirties and am properly an adult. (Well, recipe officially anyway.)

I have to say I was relatively affronted since it’s not like I ooze city trader mannerisms is it?! But then again, erectile I was sitting outside the Foundry pub in Old Street – a favourite hangout for activists, couriers and anyone else looking for a proudly down-at-heel independent and artsy bar. Maybe I did stand out that day. It’s a sociable place and Julian got chatting to us, charming me once we got beyond his mistaken ideas about my career. And I didn’t even have to rip open my coat like Superman, to reveal the bright coloured garms that I was most certainly wearing underneath. (Did I mention that I was not allowed to appear in a piece for the news about Climate Camp – they wanted a few bods to place in the background of a talking head, but I wasn’t allowed. Too bright, they said, and I might have been distracting! Hurumph.)

Julian, where was I? It wasn’t long before I discovered Julian’s plan to cycle around the world, something which my ex-boyfriend has harped on about for years, but will surely never do. It’s something I would love to do too, and so of course I was entranced immediately. So we decided to meet more formally for a chat – and thus it came to pass – over a ginger beer in my local pub.


Julian, I think, would be happy to describe himself as an angry young man. Yet he is self aware enough to realise why he’s cross with modern life – with our over dependence on a consumerist capitalist society and the lack of meaning many of us feel – and instead of descending into the meaningless drug and alcohol consumption that so many people choose he has instead decided to channel his frustrations into an ultimately more rewarding venture. Yesterday, on 10th June 2009, Julian left on his attempt to break the world record for circumnavigating the world on a bike… riding off from his chosen starting point of Rouen cathedral in France “because Gustav Flaubert lived there, and he was a genuis.” (For those less literary than Julian, Flaubert wrote Madame Bovary – don’t worry, I’m a total pleb and I didn’t know either.) “Leaving from the UK would be an anticlimax,” he explained, “cos I would have to stop and cross the channel straight away. There will be a few mates and family to see me off in France, but a big part of my preparation has been not getting a girlfriend!” Girls, always a distraction eh?!


As Julian criss-crosses the globe, he will be chasing the adrenalin high that has engulfed him, since he first learnt to ride as a small boy on the asphalt behind some garages. In order to break the world record he will have to beat the previous record of 194 days, which was set by Mark Beaumont last year, and he will also be up against James Bowthorpe, who set out in March this year and is still en route. The difference is that he won’t be doing it under the sponsorship of any companies that are not totally ethical in their credentials (Mark Beaumont became an ambassador for Lloyds TSB – that bastion of sustainability). Julian is a man of morals! “I’ve had help from Bikefix in Lambs Conduit Street – the owner just loves bikes and wants to see their full integration into society. He delivers food for the cafe over the road for payment in kind, so it’s a barter system.” Since our interview he’s gained other sponsors, but they have all been heavily vetted for ethical practice. “I believe that bikes are really important for both social and holistic reasons but you can’t tell people what to think, so it’s best to show them through actions rather than words. I am hoping to show that the bike is an excellent means of transport, and whether that makes someone want to cycle the world or just cycle to work once a week, either is a good outcome – I just hope they will be inspired. But I don’t want a corporate face; that is sacred to me.”


Julian graduated from Sussex University a year ago, and since then he’s been working as a bike courier, of course! “I love the minutae of life.” Clearly couriering is the perfect profession for someone thus inclined. “Working as a courier is great for social observation – sometimes I sit on Bond Street opposite Cartier, just watching the shoppers and pitying them. But then again, they probably look at me in my rags and pity me. I get paid £2.50 to go across London for one delivery, yet we hold Bentley drivers in high esteem. It’s ridiculous!”

Like me (and the Buddhists), Julian believes that the journey is more important than a destination. “We have divorced meaning from process,” he explained. “Bread is an ideal example – we just buy it off a supermarket shelf with no thought for its creation. With travel, you can just buy your destination on the high street. Travel used to be intrepid, but now it’s just marketed as another product.” I think it’s fairly certain that Julian’s trip will be full of adventure – it’s probably why it appeals to me, no stranger to risk and excitement myself. But what about the day to day tedium of getting from A to B? “I’ll probably get up at 6 or 7am every morning and cycle for 3-4 hours at a time until 7 or 8pm, when I’ll stop to pitch my tent, write or sketch, and look at my map so that I can gauge where the nearest town to buy food is. I’ll be in bed by the time the sun goes down at 10pm.” I wondered whether he might get lonely? Wild camping in the middle of god-knows-where, with only the stars for company. “Previously my longest trip was a month, so I will probably get lonely!” With a partner he rode down to Turkey, and has done many other shorter journeys since he was a teenager. “But you go through stages of emotion in cycles – from uncertainty to doubt to euphoria and back to normalcy – I can feel these within the space of a month or a day. And I like the solitude – being on my own up in the alps for hours on end is such a beautiful pure mental space it’s a bit like meditation.” He might get a bit smelly though. “I usually wash in rivers every 3-4 days, but this time I might spend a bit of money on hotels. I’ve got a budget of £10 a day, and £1800 for whole trip.”


In a way the plan to break a world record has given Julian’s trip a reason, but he didn’t seem too bothered about actually breaking the record. “It’s not really a specific aim!” I have no doubt though, that as the competitive male spirit kicks in he’ll become more determined to actually do so. He loves writing and will write a book on his return, although it will be more of a social commentary than a “bland narrative.” Apparently bookshop shelves are already groaning under the weight of deathly dull cycling tour literature.


Despite being a self-confessed luddite, Julian is connected up to a state of the art GPS system that is feeding his location onto a google map conveniently posted to his website as you read this. He’s also endeavouring to engage with such modern social networks as facebook, twitter and an online blog. You can follow his adventures here: on his website and on twitter.

But remember, this is not for charity – if you are inspired by Julian’s quest to cycle the world then the best thing you can do is dig out your bike and get on it wherever you are. Or delve deeper into the organisations that inspire Julian the most – NEF, Tax Justice Network, the London Cycling Campaign and Camra.
(Because, after all, what would life be like without a really nice pint at the end of the day?!)

Categories ,activism, ,bicycle, ,capitalism, ,consumerism, ,meditation, ,travel

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

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Su Kyung Lee's The Imaginative Battle
Detail from Su Kyung Lee’s The Imaginative Battle.

The Central Saint Martins MA in Communication Design graduate show was held earlier this summer in the spacious rooms of the high ceilinged Rochelle School. The quality was of an exceptional standard throughout, site and there were informative descriptions helpfully placed next to all the work.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Su Kyung Lee's The Imaginative BattleCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Su Kyung Lee's The Imaginative BattleCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Su Kyung Lee's The Imaginative Battle
Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Su Kyung Lee's The Imaginative Battle
Su Kyung Lee‘s The Imaginative Battle explored patterns of protection and destruction, website focusing on the visual aesthetics of destruction and chaos through patterns. Cells and germs became the camouflage, web splattered across and fired from tanks, rendered in glorious neon brights. An apt subject in these difficult times.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Matt NicholsonCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Matt NicholsonCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Matt NicholsonCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Matt Nicholson
Matt Nicholson showed his work half spat out of a digital printer. Inspired by his desire for high status objects he can’t afford Matt reproduced them for free, using printed paper patterns to create giant wall sculptures. They even retain functionality: the Lieca camera takes photos via a pinhole. Follow Matt Nicholson on Twitter.

Kanitta Meechubot six feet under yew treeCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Kanitta MeechubotKanitta Meechubot searchingCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Kanitta MeechubotCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Kanitta Meechubot
Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Kanitta Meechubot
I was totally enraptured by Kanitta Meechubot‘s enchanting collages. A Garden of Illuminating Existence repeated and matched the branching nerves and veins of the body in trees and natural forms: merging memories and landscape. ‘To produce a map of experience through the internal landscape which changes with the seasons, is to capture the beauty of the illimitable renewals and decays of our existence.’ The real beauty of these pieces, with names like Six Feet Under Yew Tree and The Season of The Soul, was the fine detail used to build delicate pictures in 3D, including not only old photos and engravings, but real dried flowers and paint splats.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Sarah LangfordCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Sarah LangfordCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Sarah LangfordCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Sarah LangfordCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Sarah Langford
Sarah Langford was inspired by the movement of water, it’s necessity and destructive capabilities. Using scientific measurements she created beautiful textures to produce abstracts: parts and fragments of rock formations, shells, glimpses of the landscape being ripped and shredded by the passage of time.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Gareth BarnettCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Gareth BarnettCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Gareth Barnett
Gareth Barnett was inspired by Brutalist architecture (my favourite, though not to live in myself…) and the hellish writings of the Marquis de Sade to create an investigation into the power structures and systems of control within an urban environment. The resulting 20 pictures were splayed across the wall, interlaced with projections. With names like Climax in Concrete and Fuck Me Building there was no escaping the ruptured baseness of his conclusions.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Carl PartridgeCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Carl PartridgeCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Carl PartridgeCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Carl Partridge
Carl Partridge looked to a place he’s never visited: America, believing that it’s easier to buy into the idealisation of America if you’ve never been. Using tiny shreds of paper and stickers, holographic beads, parts of adverts and marbled plastic he created delicate collages that seemed to question our love of consumerism. Follow Carl Partridge on Twitter.

Beth Salter CSMCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Beth Salter CSMCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Beth Salter CSMCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Beth Salter CSM
For marvellous hand done typography look no further than Beth Salter. She was inspired by private conversations overheard in public surroundings. Me too, I love them! But mainly her bright letters were just a lot of fun. Follow Beth Salter on Twitter.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Ann-Kathrin SchubertCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Ann-Kathrin SchubertCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Ann-Kathrin Schubert
For The Fear of Life Ann-Kathrin Schubert had decorated discarded plastic bottles to become the most tropical of fish, tribal in their boldness.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Jesus Madrinan Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Jesus Madrinan
Jesus Madrinan had taken a series of portraits in London nightclubs: Good Night London featured some suitably inebriated yet oddly disillusioned creatures.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Golbanou Moghaddas
Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Golbanou Moghaddas
Golbanou Moghaddas was influenced by Arthur Schopenhauer‘s philosophy of existence typified by unrest. Strange fattened figures tumbled from a bony etched pelvis filled with birds. Painterley strokes combined with fine etching skills.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Alexa Galea
Alexa Galea was inspired by human desire to control and tame nature and the wild, particular with reference to European folk art and ritual.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Oat Montien
Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Oat Montien
Oat Montien explored the relation between ritual and identity in contemporary interpretations of Thai traditions.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Paraskevi FerentinouCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Paraskevi Ferentinou
Paraskevi Ferentinou explored the ‘agency of furniture‘ in the role of children’s growth.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Ying-Chen LuCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Ying-Chen Lu
Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Ying-Chen Lu
Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Ying-Chen Lu
Ying-Chen Lu worked with 3D papercutting to create exploding type and depth in landscapes.

Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Aindri ChakrabortyCentral Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Aindri Chakraborty
Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Aindri Chakraborty
Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Aindri Chakraborty
Central Saint Martins Communication Design Degree Show 2011 Aindri Chakraborty
I could easily have missed Aindri Chakraborty‘s work which was nestled in a grimy corner, but I’m glad I didn’t as it was really rather wonderful: Heritage through Glass explored how the glass cabinets in museums separate the tangible object from the intangible visitor, and how stories are passed down the generations. People Tree and Conversations with Baba featured frantic truncated shapes, fire people and vomiting heads.

Categories ,3D Papercutting, ,A Garden of Illuminating Existence, ,Agency of Furniture, ,Alexa Galea, ,America, ,Ann-Kathrin Schubert, ,Arthur Schopenhauer, ,Beth Salter, ,Brutalism, ,Camera, ,Carl Partridge, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Climax in Concrete, ,collage, ,Communication Design, ,consumerism, ,Conversations with Baba, ,Folk Art, ,Fuck Me Building, ,Gareth Barnett, ,Golbanou Moghaddas, ,Good Night London, ,Graduate Shows, ,Heritage through Glass, ,illustration, ,Jesus Madrinan, ,Kanitta Meechubot, ,Last and Found, ,Leica, ,ma, ,Marquis de Sade, ,Matt Makes Stuff, ,Matt Nicholson, ,Oat Montien, ,Paraskevi Ferentinou, ,People Tree, ,Ritual, ,Rochelle School, ,Sarah Langford, ,Six Feet Under Yew Tree, ,Su Kyung Lee, ,Thailand, ,The Fear of Life, ,The Imaginative Battle, ,The Season of The Soul, ,typography, ,Ying-Chen Lu

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Amelia’s Magazine | Affluenza Exhibition

Pop-Up Shop

14 Bacon Street, erectile E1 6LF, page 11th-18th December


The pop-up shop does what it says on the tin, buy appears in a different location for a limited time, so you have to be quick to get in and see what’s inside. But make the effort as you can find a plethora of goodies from new designers and artists, hand picked from exotic locations all around the world. The store also supports the East End charity Kids Company, so you’ll be doing your bit to help as you shop.

Brick Lane Late Night Shopping

Thursday 11th December

Enjoy an evening of late-night shopping on London’s trendiest street, as well as rumageing through all that vintage, there will be refreshments on hand and special Christmas gifts available only on this night.

The Bizarre Bazaar

Sunday 21st December


Monday 8th December
Joan as Policewoman, Thekla, capsule Bristol
Ex-Antony and the Johnsons collaborator touring in support of her new album. Expect mesmerising vocals and heart-rending tunes.

Boss Hog, Luminaire, London
Jon Spencer (as in Blues Explosion) and his wife Cristina Martinez front this long-standing blues-rock outfit.

Tuesday 9th December

Kong, Buffalo Bar, London
Art-noise, cool as Manchester band, heavy on the guitars.

The Miserable Rich, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Folky, orchestrated Brighton group, with links to Lightspeed Champion.

Sixtoes, Big Chill House, London
Cinematic, spooky blues-folk with a melancholy Eastern European edge.

Wednesday 10th December

Little Death, Club Fandango @ 229, London
Cool, cosmopolitan London band playing psychadelic tinged noise-pop.

Land of Talk, Water Rats, London
Canadian indie-rock.

Thursday 11th December

Good Books, Proud Galleries, London
Danceable indie-electro.

Mike Bones, Old Blue Last, London
One man and his guitar.

Friday 12th December

Rose Elinor Dougall, Barfly, Cardiff
Pretty girl music from this ex-Pipette. Still very pop but less of the sixties girl group rip-offs.

Free Fridays: Brute Chorus, La Shark, Josh Weller, 93 Feet East, London
Bonkers hair (Josh Weller) and outfits (La Shark) will abound at this FREE night featuring up-and-coming bands including Brute Chorus who will presumably play new single ‘She Was Always Cool’.

Saturday 13th December

Herman Dune, The Deaf Institute, Manchester
Perennial Parisian folksters on tour to promote new album ‘Next Year in Zion’.

Glissando, Holy Trinity Church, Leeds
Dreamy and ethereal. Should be lovely in a church.

Sunday 14th December

King Khan and The Shrines, Hoxton Bar and Grill, London
Wild soul stage show.

Stereolab, Black Box, Belfast
Long-standing lounge/electronic post-rock with female French singer.

Getting up at 6am on a cold Saturday morning may be unthinkable to some -but for myself and fellow fashion enthusiasts, information pills the Angels Vintage and Costume clothing sale was more than enough motivation for the long, look early trek over to Wembley….or so we thought. The queue turned out to be VERY long… a 3 to 4 hour wait we were told. Despite our earlier determination, it was too long for us and we gracefully admitted defeat, leaving behind a growing queue of seriously hardcore shoppers.

One of those hardcore shoppers was’s very own Music Editor, Prudence Ivey, here’s her take on it, “Leaving the house at 6.30am, we were in the queue by about 7.15am and, although in the first 500, we were nowhere near the front. Some people – vintage shop buyers – had been there since Friday afternoon. There was a really friendly atmosphere, you could tell these people were true vintage fiends, as there was not a scruffbag in sight, it was all red lipstick and glamourous outfits despite the ungodly hour.


When we were allowed in, after just over an hour of wating, there was virtual silence and heads down as people rifled through the cardboard boxes packed with clothes on the floor. A cloud of dust filled the room after about 10 minutes, most of the clothes were in a bit of a state and everything I ended up with turned the water black when I put it in to hand-wash, not to mention my black snot… A quick sort through, try on and swapping session with my friend, along with some excellent packing meant that I left with 18 items of pretty decent, some of them really excellent, vintage finds for a measly £20. One of my favourite shopping trips EVER.” (above and below is Prudence modeling her two of her wonderful buys)


So now I wish I had stayed in the queue – but my day was not wasted, I found a far more inviting alternative, which boasted the benefits of being a. inside and b. no queue! It was the first London edition of New York magazine BUST‘s Christmas Craftacular.

Set in the St. Aloysius Social Hall in Euston, a mixed group of cool crafty kids, cute guys and even grannies filled the aptly dated-yet-cozy bar, and the Shellac Sisters played classic retro tunes on their wind-up gramophone, which added to the kitsch atmosphere. Having taken off in New York over the last 4 years, the Craftacular event has now come to British shores and brings together craft sellers, knitting circles, badge making stations and of course, lots of cake!


Tatty Divine turned into doctors for the day and set up their very own ‘craft clinic’ offering advice and tips to craft novices or lovers.


An ArtYarn Guerilla Graffiti Knitting Crew even set up a training camp, where boys sat happily next to their teachers, learning how to knit one, pearl one and Random Monkey Designs offered lessons in cross stitch.


With a packed out venue and buzzing crowd, it’s likely that (and we hope) the Craftacular event will become a regular date in the British calendar.

Monday Dec 8th
It seems most exhibition spaces in this area begin like this, drugs in someone’s flat. Every day this week at 79a Brick Lane, viagra 100mg there will be an exhibition of seven separate artists (one for each day) alongside a selected feature film, including the likes of Saturday Night Fever, North by Northwest, and The Truman Show. It starts at eight and ends when the film does. For a more detailed itinerary, check here. Admission is free.


Tuesday Dec 9th
A Family in Disguise, by Yu Jinyoung has been extended at Union on Teesdale Street and is worth a look, if not only for the fact that entering the exhibition is a surreal experience in itself. Not a curator to be seen, and with a camera that links the room to their gallery in Ewer Street, you are alone in a haunting room with this disparate family of forlorn faces. Ring the buzzer and take a look.


Wednesday Dec 10th
Indian Highway is the new exhibition starting today at the Serpentine, describing itself as a snapshot of the vibrant generations artists working across the country today, well-established artists shown besides lesser known practitioners. Using a array of medias they are threaded together with a common engagement with the social and political, examining complex issues in contemporary India such as environmentalism, religious sectarianism, globalisation, gender, sexuality and class. It runs until Feb 22nd.


Thursday Dec 11th
Hermetic Seel is a new exhibition by Shane Bradford opening on Wednesday at the Vegas Gallery. It might just be satisfying to see fourteen historical art encyclopedias subjected to Bradford’s “post-Pollock” dipping technique.


Friday Dec 12th

Here’s what one of our writers said of Omnifuss’ last exhibition: In the heart of Dalston, down the end of a small alley road was a large garage with a little door. Through this door, a group of 24 artists showcased their work. Sculpture, music, performance and photography took place in the old car workshop that was far away from the usual pristine white walls of gallery spaces and created a rustic, and inspiring location for this exhibition. With flame heaters to warm those tootsies, and the symphonious sound of a violinist haunting the open rooms, I found myself immersed in the eclectic furniture and art… Downstairs is their new exhibit, an exploration of domesticity in its rawest states through sound, sculpture, video and installation, and by the sounds of it is worth a visit.


Saturday Dec 13th
Awopbopaloobop. Artists listen to music, everyone listens to music. Lyrics are etched into our minds whether we want them there or not, and we can’t help but allow them to inform our everyday. Awopbopaloobop (I just like saying that word) is an exhibition at, asking a host of artists to produce based on a favourite song lyric. This exhibition is coming to an end, (21st of Dec), so go and see it if you haven’t already. The space itself is worth the trip, and it’s fun to walk around a gallery with a song-sheet in your hands!



Brian Aldiss’ short story, drugSuper-Toys Last All Summer Long”, this to which the exhibition “Super-Toys” makes reference, abortion tells the story of a mother and her android son in the overcrowded world of the future who, however hard they try, cannot find a way to love each other. It makes love seem like a human malfunction, a flaw which can never be imitated. But moreover it captures the feeling of dismay when two people who know that they should love each other realise they can’t – that they fundamentally don’t know how. The android boy, who questions whether or not he is real, seems more humane than his human mother; who sends him to be repaired for the flaw from which she herself suffers. Love cannot be programmed; but is a lover not someone who says all those things that you want to hear, like an automated machine?



So with high expectations of an exhibition dealing with the strange interaction between humans and machine, fantasy and reality, love and compromise; what I found was initially disappointing. The notions the story had alluded to, the emotions and the complexity of them, were not to be found. Machine ducks floating in a pond, a room of human shaped stuffed objects lying mundanely on the floor; flashing machines dancing in a square box; all interesting to look at, but lacking explanation. The most interesting part of the exhibition was the nightmarish, garish and lurid room that followed, full of toys ripped apart: toys with two head, toys mutilated and deformed by visitors, and all in the name of art. With shelves and window ledges packed already, I was invited to create my own monster from a pile of rejected toys. There was something sinister about being instructed to rip the head off a teddy bear; glue Barbie legs where paws should be; and to work at a designated workstation. Despite the visual pleasure and hands on aspect of super-toys, it seemed to be an exhibition full of concept without real content. But maybe that’s what it allows you to do; to explore you own memories of love, childhood, playfulness and ultimately rejection; and realise that everyone else feels the same way too.



Anne Collier
Dispersion is a patchy affair. Curated by the director of the Chisenhale gallery Polly Staple, hospital it features seven artists working from different locations, view tied together under the banner of an examination of the ‘circulation of images in contemporary society….in our accelerated image economy’. This seems a fairly sound starting point, although a bit nebulous and too wide in the sense of the number of artists that could be described as grappling with these issues.

Recycling and colliding of images is examined most clearly in Anne Collier’s photographs. Iconic posters, complete with creases, walk the line between multiple realities; but unlike other work in the show, the centre of power lies not in some theoretical hinterland but in the jarring sensation between seeing the photograph of the image and the image itself. Again this is hardly a new idea but it is well executed. The twin set of images a box of photos of the sea provides a further layer of tension between the natural and man-made.

Anne Collier

Seth Price

Most of the the other works are films. Seth Price’s ‘Digital Video Effect:Editions‘ (2006) , juxtaposing high and low cultural references (such as those barriers still exist), feels like an early 90′s MTV insert in its scope and complexity. Mark Leckey, now with the epithet ‘Turner Prize Winner’, is due to give a one off lecture/live performance ‘Mark Leckey in the Long Tail‘ in January tackling the similar ground, hopefully to better effect.

A better example of the film work on display is Hito Steyerl’s fascinating ‘Lovely Andrea’ (2007). This is an engaging documentary-esque look at a Japanese bondage artist, cut with scenes fom Wonder Woman cartoons and ‘backstage’ footage of the creation or recreation of scenes, calling the whole film’s authenticity into question. This could have led to a horribly self reflexive pile of mush but is actually a taut and gripping set of mixed narratives.

Henrik Olesen’s computer printed images mounted on blackboards, ‘some gay-lesbian artists and/or artists relevant to homosocial culture V,VI.VII’(2007), a collection reappropriated around queer history, touched on interesting ideas; a collection of female portraits by female artists from Renaissance onwards, for example. But the sum of its parts felt lazy and, like the rest of the show, he veers into hectoring or frustrating silence instead of fostering conversation between the work and viewer.

This is a problem, but one the ICA can absorb better than other cultural centres. The institution was founded as an ‘adult playground’ and this remit naturally involves risky and challenging work, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Dispersion is a perfect encapsulation of this.

The disjointed art punk of San Fransisco’s Deerhoof is pretty brilliant on record but I’d heard it was even better live and so couldn’t wait to see them at ULU on their only UK date this year. Their music is disarmingly simple sounding, online loved by music aficionados and 10 year old girls alike – my kid sister loves Panda Panda Panda and Milkman almost as much as any Girls Aloud single. Perhaps I should have sent her along to review the show. It would have been easier for her to convince the people on the door that she was called Prudence Ivey (the name I was under on the list) than a scruffy and definitely male reviewer. They thought I was a street-crazy.

Achieving such wide-ranging popularity is an impressive feat considering that, sick underneath that childlike simplicity, their songs consist of complex structures alongside fragments of dissonant guitar thrash/twang and improvisation. However, seeing Deerhoof is no overblown, intellectual chore. They manage to be simultaneously clever, loud and cartoonishly entertaining and enlivened ULU with a set that encompassed a lot of new album material alongside some stuff to keep the old school fans happy.

The crowd were particularly receptive to old favourite Milkman, along with the Yo La Tengo-in-a-parallel-universe sounds of new album Offend Maggie – a title that always gives me the mental image of an outraged, pre-dementia Margaret Thatcher. There were clipped drums ahoy, along with Deerhoof’s twinkling wire to fuzz guitar textures. Satomi’s vocals, all coy and Japanese, were accentuated by goofy hand gestures – a fitting accompaniment to her surreal and playful subject matter. The whole band were really tight and surprisingly enthusiastic after fourteen years playing together. I can’t wait to see them again.

For anyone wanting to brush up on their climate science, drugs I thoroughly recommend this charming animation by Leo Murray.
The friendly and clear narration takes you steadily through the various chemical processes that are happening on our planet in it’s present climatic state. Without being overly ominous, the film warns how these processes, unchanged for millions of years, are being disturbed by man-made CO2 emissions and may be heading towards a tipping point where we will be plummeted into a place of no return. This definitely ‘isn’t about polar bears anymore!’
I found it really helpful for clarifying some terminology, the science bits- told in a simple way- are up- to- date, and it projects a statement of encouragement, not one of doom. The prospects are scary but we’re lucky to be the generation who could prevent them from happening.
To vote for Wake Up Freak Out then Get a Grip in the Aniboom Awards 2008 click here.
For anyone wanting to brush up on their climate science, buy information pills I thoroughly recommend this snappy animation by Leo Murray.
The friendly and clear narration takes you steadily through the various chemical processes that are happening on our planet in it’s present climatic state. Without being overly ominous, the film warns how these processes, unchanged for millions of years, are being disturbed by man-made CO2 emissions and may be heading towards a tipping point where we will be plummeted into a place of no return.
I found it really helpful for clarifying some terminology, the science bits- told in a simple way- are up- to- date, and it projects a statement of encouragement, not one of doom. The prospects are scary but we’re lucky to be the generation who could prevent them from happening.
To vote for Wake Up Freak Out in Aniboom Awards 2008.
No Equal clothing are a company who don’t pander to press agendas and celebrities, sick instead they are refreshingly focused on working with new and exciting design talent and helping charities.
They also know how to throw a party – and it was good cause central. In the first room of The Russian Club Studios was a display of logoed t-shirts and hoodies, website like this made in collaboration with three emerging illustrators– Yann Le Bec, Thibaud Herem and Jean Jullien.



10% of the sales – not just profit – of this No Equal apparel are being donated to three charities, which No Equal Clothing are supporting, Kidsco, Addaction and XLP. To mix up the mediums and give some background to the collaborations, there was also a video installation showing the three artists at work.

In the second room, as part of their desire to champion new designers, No Equal clothing held a silent auction (of which all profits go to Kidsco, Addaction and XLP) for the London College of Fashion. Seven of LCF’s undergraduate students working for the college’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion created collections that were environmentally and ethically conscious and these were being sold.
The auction is also a possible reason for the eclectic mixture of guests. East London kids hung out with men in suits (in separate groups obviously) in the sparse concrete venue created an unusual atmosphere, you could have been in an underground club, art gallery or exclusive couture shop.


The students collections were varied and interesting, Michela Carraro (pictured below) used hemp based fabrics sourced from small family run businesses to create a romantic chiffon-esque collection, while Manon Flener created deconstructed / reconstructed garments made of pieces of fabric pieced together with studs. She says her motivation for the collection was to reduce waste in fashion; each piece can be put together in a different way to make many garments.


Supporting the Fashioning the Future programme at LCF, which encourages designers to think about the environmental imapct of their work, No Equal clothing are actively championing eco-friendly designers of the future and with their own clothing label, bucking the greedy fashion trend by giving a percentage of profits to charity. Good work all round.
Last week the Earth team at Amelia’s Magazine went along to the Friends House in Euston to listen to a report made by the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC). The issue was climate change and the information it uncovered was alarming.
As a self-confessed newbie to these sorts of events I must admit to harboring uneasiness about feeling out of place in a room full of swampys. But my silly preconceptions were immediately flattened.
Lead by a panel of speakers expert in their field, story the atmosphere at the Friends House was alive with people from all manner of backgrounds but united in the opinion that climate change is a matter of urgency.
Chairing the debate was Christian Hunt who kicked off by asking the audience a few questions. 99% raised their hand when asked whether they would describe themselves as environmentalists. Roughly 70% would say they had some knowledge of climate change while roughly 20% would say they had lots of knowledge on the subject. 99% of us responded yes we did like his t-shirt that read ‘don’t give up.’
The first to speak from the panel was Kevin Anderson from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. He started with a clear message: the question of climate change is a humanitarian one. While the U.K. and E.U’s definition of a dangerous climate change as 2°C per annum may be an adequate threshold for us in the western world, it is not nearly small enough to safeguard the rest of the world.
It is the southern hemisphere, containing the world’s poorest, that is targeted the most by global warming in it’s present state, with people dying on a daily basis. Therefore it is an ethical decision about how much we care about the world’s weakest as to how and when we go about dealing with the climate.
He went on to say that the entire climate change debate needs an urgent rethink when taking into account the latest emissions data. The planet is heating up at an even faster rate than we thought, and our government seems to be denying this is happening by following the miscalculated advice from the Stern Report and not pumping in nearly dosh needed to implement a strategy that will radically cut back our emissions.
But Kevin Anderson pointed out there may be a silver lining to retrieve from the present economical situation. History has shown us that larger emission reductions occur when there is economic turmoil. I guess this has something to with cut backs in industry forced by a plummeting economy. When the Soviet Union collapsed, for example, there was a record drop of 5% per annum.

Tim Helweg-Larson, the director of Public Interest Research Centre bounded onto the platform next. So this is where it gets rather technical but don’t worry, Tim’s clear and straightforward delivery meant that even my mind didn’t drift into thinking about what I might eat for tea.
He showed us a series of images showing the levels of sea ice in the arctic in 1979 and in 2007 and I was taken back to those pretty pictures in my school science lab…Predictably the more recent images contained a much larger surface area of dark gloominess.
These dark regions absorb more heat. This additional heat penetrates 1500km inland across a plain of perma-frost. This stuff is harmless if left untouched but once melted, its carbon content-which is twice the amount of the entire global atmosphere-is released into the air. Yep that means even more bad stuff is added to the high intensity of CO2 that started this whole malarkey.
The knock-on effect going on in the arctic-known as the triple melt- is steadily destroying the climatic state of the entire planet. Soon we will reach the point where we will no longer be within the realm of temperatures that enable things to grow and humanity to survive (known as the middle climate). If this isn’t scary enough this tipping point is likely to peak sooner than we thought; as early as 2011 to 2015.

George Momboit was next to speak. Hello. His exuberance for the cause was exciting…ooh la…did you know he has been shot at, shipwrecked and pronounced clinically dead? Well he was very much alive that evening as I listened – intently- to his practical, if ambitious, advice to the government to stop fannying about and introduce a ‘crash program of total energy replacement.’
He whizzed through a series of steps geared to cut our emissions by 20% by 2012 and more thereafter. But those wild curls, brisk demeanor and air of academic brilliance were just a little distracting. Without getting too carried away I managed to jot down the key points of this radical plan:
1. To train up a green army of builders that is equipped to build more energy efficient homes
2.A mass subsidy program to re insulate homes
3.Replacement of power plants
4.Re engineering of roads to cater better for cycles and coaches
5. To Cap number of landing spots for airports so that by 2030 the maximum number of flights is 5% of current levels.
6.Agriculture should be devoted to the most efficient carbon saving schemes
7.He summed up with the statement that lowering demand for fossil fuels should happen simultaneously with lowering their supply and we need to dramatically cut oil and gas exploitations.
Pretty rousing stuff…
Solar energy pioneer, Jeremy Leggett gave us a more buisnessy slant on what can be done for climate change especially in this current state of economic upheaval and an encroaching energy crunch (the I.E.A. predicts 5 years time). With people becoming increasingly disheartened by the government’s spending priorities, now’s the time to duck in and make a collective effort to re-engineer capitalism. He enforced the notion that money needs to go into building a carbon army of workers that would create 10 thousand new jobs and…cost a measly half a billion squid

Caroline Lucas, MEP for South East England and Leader of the Green Party, disheartened by the inertia of our government, shocked us all by urging ‘a massive campaign of civil disobedience.’ This prompted uproar amongst the audience and I must say it felt pretty inspiring .She went on to talk about Climate Rush, an activist group who take their inspiration from the Suffragette movement. Like the women who were denied the vote, their rush on parliament really is a demand for life itself. They also dress-up in fancy Edwardian petticoats, which sounds fun. But their theatricality is not without sincerity, direction and a passion to change the injustices that climate change is causing on humanity. Caroline Lucas’ speech stirred an energetic drive to ‘do something’ in me. She reminded us of the words of Emily Pankhurst ‘to be a militant is to be a privilege’ and something hit home. We are very lucky to not be totally powerless in this situation, as so many people across the world are, and it is possible to make our government listen to us, albeit with a bit of hard work. To find about the next climate rush action click here.

So I’ve dipped my toe into the murky sludge of our current climate. All the facts and figures might not have filtered through into this article but I hope if, like me, you previously thought this issue was for only for really clever people and maybe just a little put off by dreadlocks, you’ve realized that this is something we should all be aware of whether we want to listen to it or not, including our government.
As I left the Climate Safety talk to cycle home, I felt almost grateful for never bothering to learn to drive as perhaps in a small way it might make up for that stomach-sinking feeling of how terribly selfish I had been for only vaguely paying attention to news of melting popsicles and greenhouses.
The truth is I felt safe in the view that the really scary things won’t happen for a very long time, well after I’m buried in the ground and used for compost. Well I was wrong, it’s not our grandkid’s grandkid that’s going to feel the full force of climate change-it’s us.
We’ve searched online for hours to find these wonderful gift ideas for Christmas this year! Including solar powered fairy lights, advice recycled wrapping paper, rx sew-it-yourself dresses, fairtrade teddies and handmade jewellery.


Kate Slater
First up on our list, and featured in Issue 10 of Amelia’s Magazine, we have wonderfully talented illustrator Kate Slater. She is one of many artists currently selling her work on etsy in the form of these gorgeous little accessories that she has made. Kate‘s illustrations come alive through the use of collage, mixed papers and wire for relief work.
Furtive Pheasant Brooch
Kate’s collaged pheasant has been remade into this lovely brooch. The original illustration has been printed onto durable shrink plastic and bejeweled with green diamantes. We love the idea of being able to wear Kate’s illustrations!
Buy the Furtive Pheasant Brooch here

Flighty Pheasant EarringsThese gorgeous quirky earrings also from original illustrations by Kate, made in the same way the brooch (above).They measure 6.5cm from the tail to the head and 7cm from the tip of one wing to the other. These earring hooks are nickel free.
Buy the Flighty Pheasant Earrings here.

Vegan Star Necklace
This cute necklace is made from recycled sterling silver, and the star is made of recycled copper. It is hand-stamped and perfect for all vegan stars!
Buy the Vegan Star Necklace here.

Recycled Aluminium Eco Chick Pendant
Made from recycled lightweight aluminium and also hand stamped! The metal chain and clasp are all from ethical sources too.
Buy the Recycled Aluminium Eco Chick Pendant here.

Golden Seduction Earrings by Amisha
Amisha is a new independent ethical jewellery label and we love these snake earrings made from gold plated recycled silver with blue sapphire eyes. All of Amisha’s jewellery is ethical and ten percent from each sale goes to the ‘Garden of Angels’ charity; a charity in Bahia in Northern Brazil set up to help with the pre-school care of poor children living in the Favellas.
Buy the Golden Seduction Earrings by Amisha here.

Large Cross Stitch Bicycle Badge
This lovely handmade cross stitch badge comes in four different colours (shown above). The button measures approx 2.5 inches across.
buy the Large Cross Stitch Bicycle Badge here.


Organic ‘Film Noir’ Knit Dress by Lovelina
Green is definitely the new black! Lovelina are currently selling their beautiful clothes though and the ‘Film Noir’ Knit Dress is our particular favourite! Sweatshop-free and made from a blend of organic cotton and soybean, this wonderfully vintage inspired dress comes in many colours and makes a wonderful eco-Christmas Party dress!
Buy the ‘Film Noir’ Dress here.

Butterfly Dress Kit
Gossypium is a great place to buy gifts from! All the clothes on their site are high quality, fairtrade and made from biodegradable materials. They’re one of the great sites working with the idea of a zero-impact on the environment, and we’ve love this Butterfly Dress Kit. It is a sew-it-yourself organic cotton kit that comes with a lovely printed fabric and easy instructions to create one of three garments. You can make a blouse, a dress or a smock with or without pockets, and have the option of long or short sleeves; with nine different styles to choose from you are in total control of how your finished product looks!
Buy the Butterfly Dress Kit here.

Alpaca Fairtrade Slippers
These wonderfully warm fluffy slippers are the best way to keep your feet cosy this season. Handmade in Peru by a small co-operative, the local workers receive a high percentage of what you pay.
Buy the Alpaca Fairtrade Slippers here.


Solar Helicopter
This little toy is perfect as a desk ornament, and is loads of fun for kids and grown ups! Working with as little light as from a desk lamp, the solar cells demonstrate how efficient modern eco technology is.
Buy the Solar Helicopter here.

Fairtrade Low Cut Sneakers by Ethletic
These 100% Organic Cotton Shoes come with a tough rubber sole made form FSC certified Rubber (the FSC stamp is on every sole)
They come in different colours including black and white low cut, white low cut , and green high top too!
Buy the Etheletic Sneakers here.

The Hemp Trading Company
Runner up at the RE:Fashion Awards this year for their environmental work, THTC produces ethical, eco-friendly clothing featuring designs by renowned graphic artists. And until the 18th of December they’re taking 25% off all orders when you use the code ‘GREEN CHRISTMAS’! Below are three of their newest designs, made from 70% bamboo and %30 organic cotton.
For more information visit

Men’s T-Shirt “All you can eat”
womens version:

Men’s T-Shirt “Evil Mac”
womens version:

Men’s T-Shirt “Fear Trade”


Biome Christmas Crackers
These Eco-Seed Crackers from are perfect. The exterior is made from handmade seed paper– which contains wildflower seeds inside the paper that can be planted once you’re done with them! Inside you get an eco-tip, a paper christmas hat, and a small handmade gift. The little fairtrade gifts are made by a co-operative of women in Kathmandu out of chemical-free felt and include brooches, finger puppets and christmas decorations.
Order you own set of Biome Eco-Seed Crackers here.

Outdoor Solar Powered Christmas Fairy Lights
These all-year-round lights are a great way to bring some green sparkle to your home! They’re waterproof and come with 8 different settings including flashing, continuous light patterns! The lights only come on when it’s dark (so about 3:30pm…) and the solar panel uses high grade Kyocera Solar cells that store enough energy to run for 10 hours, even on winter days! These lights are a bargain too at only £19.99!
Buy your Solar Powered Fairy Lights here.

Recycled Wrapping Paper

These 100% recycled wrapping papers are by Lisa Jones and come in many different styles! They are modernist and brightly coloured using vegetable inks.
Get some Recycled Wrapping Paper here.

Cardboard Cutting Table
This 100% Icelandic made brilliant cardboard table can be used as a meeting table, a cutting table (it comes with a laminated white surface top), a dinner table and a baby changing table! It’s portable and folds away to save space! (and comes with a handy 18% discount for design students!).
Buy the Cardboard Table here.


‘Woodsy The Owl’ Bib
This adorable bib is by etsy seller ‘cocoandmilkweed‘, consisting of Evan and Lila Maleah- a husband and wife team intent on creating lovely products for little and big people!
Woodsy has been handmade in a dark brown eco-felt that has been made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, and sewn onto a soft cotton woodgrain fabric. the entire bib has been backed with organic cotton flannel and lined with organic cotton and bamboo for extra absorption! All this detail has added to its appeal, and it even has a snap closure to make sure its little wearer isn’t able to yank it off!
Buy a ‘Woodsy The Owl’ bib here.

Dala Horse Stocking
The Christmas tradition of stocking has been brought into the 21st century by Erin ‘sewsewsuckurtoe‘ by using the folk art inspired Dala Horse. It is constructed out of eco-felt which is made from recycled plastic bottles and lined in cotton to make it strong enought to hold as many things as possible!
Buy a Dala Horse Stocking here.

Kenana Fairtrade Jungle Animal Teddies
(£16 each; Monkey, Zebra, Lion, Elephant and Leopard)
These cute fairtrade teddies are from a project which started in Njoro, Kenya in 1998 to provide income for women who were able to knit and spin wool. For more information about the project click here.
The teddies meet CE safety standards and about 11-12 inches long.
Buy a Kenana Fairtrade Jungle Animal here.
Amelia’s brother Sam Gregory is the Program Director of a human rights group Witness, viagra and this inspiring collective are front page YouTube news today, information pills in honour of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with a video asking you what image or images have opened your eyes to human rights?

Witness are a group, based in New York, that use video and online technologies to expose human rights violations all over the world. By making videos of victim’s personal stories, they direct attention to injustice and promote public engagement and policy change.

Sam’s first up on the video (below), telling us that the images of a school teacher in East Burma hiding out in a forest with her children is one of the images that shows us we need to go further with our actions to help those whose human rights have been severely violated.
A video producer, trainer and human rights advocate, Sam’s videos have been screened at the US Congress, UK Houses of Parliament, The UN and in film festivals worldwide.

The group are also launching an online channel for these videos called The Hub. This is a new multi-lingual online portal dedicated to human rights media and action. It provides the opportunity for individuals, organizations, networks and groups around the world to bring their human rights stories and campaigns to global attention.

To find out more about Witness ( click here.
The non-existent morality faeries that do not sit either side of my head were in a fluster last Thursday. I took them down to a police auction in Bethnal Green, salve and for the entirety of my pedal there, they could not be resolved: surely there is something fundamentally wrong with capitalising on the lost and stolen goods of hapless victims, or worse still, liquidated assets, urgh! But then again, stolen … and retrieved; lost … and found. Where else would these items, long since departed from owners, go? I have nothing to say about liquidated assets, but apparently that’s next time – this week was reserved to lost and stolen goods only, courtesy of the metropolitan police; thanks.



Once we arrived, debates were dispelled and there was nothing to fluster about – it did not seem in the least bit seedy. This fortnightly event, put on by Frank G. Bowen Ltd Auctioneers and Valuers, two men both of whom are very friendly, one of whom looks like Santa Clause, takes place in an old air raid shelter, making for a strangely intimate and cosy affair. Potential bidders arrive early to browse, an advisable precaution seeing as nothing can be returned once purchased. I felt like the passer-by who steps into a regulars-only pub, my obvious excitement an instant give-away; but I tried my best to look like this was routine, and nestled myself in amongst the clutter on Lot 135, 1 wooden kitchen-table chair. Pensive brow in place, I concentrated on my catalogue sheet, my mind now settling to the bewildering list before me …




An initial glance reveals nothing of a surprise: bicycles, phones, cameras, and mp3 players; but it’s not long before you start to wonder … who steals a kitchen chair? A cupboard? An oak mirror overmantle (Lot 379)? The clothing list is the strangest of all: Lot 4: A pair of Ladies sandals, size 40; Lot 58: (non-specific) Ladies Clothing as bagged. One Lot contained a pair of jeans, a jacket, and a pair of trainers – all stolen from a single owner? How did that happen?

Against all inclinations, we ended up describing the place and the experience as a gem. Don’t go expecting to find vintage treasures, but there are amenities at a good price (surely I need a quad bike). And a few pointers: don’t let the excitement of bidding make you go for things for no other rational reason than the pleasure of raising your hand; careful of the man who will out-bid everyone for bikes; and don’t take a lunch break in the middle, thus missing that one item you’d circled in red that you were willing to spend forty quid on, and ended up going for under twenty, pah.



Don’t miss this excellent event tonight:


Cheshire Street Christmas Shopping

Friday 12th December

This Friday, case pop down to Cheshire Street as the whole street will be open to 10pm, cost so you can get your quirky Christmas gifts till late(ish) into the night and enjoy wine and nibbles while you do it. The shops will be offering exclusive discounts also, including 20% off on the night at I Dream of Wires. Amazing.

Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Fair
Sunday 14th December

Frock Me! vintage fashion should not be confused with the questionable television show of the same name hosted by a certain over-exposed designer and TV presenter. It is in fact a fabulous vintage fashion fair, and this Sunday, in the swanky surroundings of the Chelsea Town Hall you can pop down and pick up a genuine vintage garment.
They even have their own tea-room. What more could you want?


Open: 11am – 5.30pm
Admission: £4 (students £2 with ID)
Nearest Tube: Sloane Square / South Kensington

Christmas singles, diagnosis still the preserve of naff novelty acts, pill pop stars in trendy coats and X Factor winners, or newly fertile ground for acts that are unlikely to even get a sniff at the bottom of the charts? As the Top 40 becomes less and less of a barometer for success and following much-loved Christmas releases from the likes of Low and Sufjan Stevens, this year it seems that more and more indie bands are joining in on the act. But are any of them actually any good? And how to stop them seeming like lame commercial cash-ins in the style of the Christmas tunes of yore?

1. One way to quash accusations of rabid commercialism is to give your single away for free as Slow Club (see above) have done, with ‘Christmas TV’ offered as a free download in a spirit of seasonal goodwill to all mankind. A sweet little folk pop tune about travelling home for Christmas and snuggling in front of the Vicar of Dibley or some such, this is good for anyone feeling the pangs of seasonal separation. The boy/girl vocals chime prettily together in a song that has thematic echoes of ‘Driving Home For Christmas’.

2. Stay true to your signature style. If you’re usually a grumpy old misery guts, Christmas is no time to suddenly become cheerful just for the hell of it so why not whack out a truly miserable Christmas EP a la Glasvegas? A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss) is the one to pull out when your Dad forgot to turn the oven down, your mum’s sobbing into her charred potatoes and your granny’s being cantankerous.

3. Restrict your mentions of the season to atmospherically wintery weather references a la The Leisure Society with their pretty waltz ‘Last of the Melting Snow’. Cinematic strings, romantic lyrics and a slightly more upbeat B-side in the form of ‘A Short Weekend Begins With Longing’. It’s available to download but it would be far more festive to buy one of the limited edition handmade copies in the spirit of wonky gingerbread men and glitter-glued everything.

There’s just one thing we’re a little bit worried about. Where are all the sleighbells???????

Now I know I sound like a purist, medicine but sometimes I wish Photoshop had never been invented. After seeing the ingenuity of the post-war artists featuring in Estorick’s ongoing exhibition, rx Cut & Paste: European Photomontage 1920-1945, I longed for the days when you could actually tell something had been done by hand. When skill was quantifiable – based on precision, patience and masterfully cut and mounted shapes; not down to your aptitude with adjustment layers, clipping masks and liquify tools. Of course these arguably require a well-honed set of digital skills within themselves, but Photoshop has cheapened photography to a certain extent. Unimaginably cool things can be done on it by anyone with a shard of creative impulse, so we can’t help but lose the eensiest bit of respect for the end product, no matter how groundbreaking this may be. Don’t you think?


Regardless, this is a little gem of a show. Small – with only around 25 pieces – it looks at the modernist manipulation of photomontage (in which cut-out photographs and fragments of newsprint from illustrated journals were pasted into drawings and paintings) by the Cubists, Futurists and Dadaists. There’s also a healthy dose of angular Russian Constructivism in there, so for such a small exhibition, they have all the seminal art movements of the early 20th Century well and truly covered.
Developed towards the end of the First World War by the Dadaists in Berlin (the word ‘photomontage’ was taken from engineering and film editing practices) it was a way of making art with a new kind of conceptual clarity. And grit. It was powerful and playful – there is one untitled image of Hitler and a devilish-looking Churchill quaintly enjoying a cup of tea together – and mixed mediums in a way which made people stop and look. And they still have that affect today.


All the works are beautifully balanced and composed. Italian Futurist Enrico Prampolini’s Broom (1922) is a punchy little piece with huge red circles and chunky text overlaid on a photo of a massive machine, while Gustav Klucis’ Spartakiada Moscow / All-Union Olympiad (1928) is packed with movement and angles so sharp you could cut your fingers on them.
Curated by Lutz Becker, Cut & Paste showcases work made almost a century ago, but which feels surprisingly fresh and modern. It’ll make you turn off your computer, pick up a pair of scissors and start attacking The Daily Mail like there’s no tomorrow. I think that’s always a good thing.
I’m not a person who wins things; Lady Luck is not my friend. Never has my name been picked from a raffle or hat, discount scratch cards always defeat me, and even when I tried to Derren Brown the ticket man at Walthamstow Dogs, “Look into my eyes, this is the winning ticket”, I still came away empty handed. So when my name was electronically selected for the Time Out Bus Tour, a heavily over-subscribed perk to First Thursdays, I was veritably excited.


I’m not sure what I imagined, a day of musing amalgamated in something entirely inconceivable bearing reference to the Playbus and set firmly beyond the realm of reality. This is the description from which I fabricated: Each month, join leading curators, writers, academics and artists on a guided bus tour visiting a selection of First Thursdays Galleries; and that’s precisely what it was, but I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed when I saw a very ordinary looking bus waiting outside Whitechapel Gallery, a bit health & safety and sanitised, OAP visit to Hastings anyone?

If you were in fact there for a guided bus tour with leading academics, curators, and artists, and not for a bus of dreams, then you’d probably be satisfied. Four selected galleries, a talk from a curator in each, and the wealth of information that only a guided tour can give, adding much more depth to your engagement with the work. My favourite part was a six-strong bowling team that unofficially tagged along, following the bus in a Transit, and innocuously joining the talks wearing matching blue team shirts, names on the breast. I did feel a pang of jealousy at the scores of people casually strolling between galleries on Vyner Street, drinks in hands, hmmms and ahhhs at the ready. I’ll opt for a home made bicycle tour next time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t recommend this.

If you’re planning on going to any of these events, sale or have something you want to write an article about for the Earth Blog, email us:!

Now here’s a lovely story: One felt-making coffee morning in South London, three suburban mums discover a shared hoarding habit, a joy in rummaging through rubbish and a desire to make pretty things (with or without the use of felt). Out from the discarded chicken-shop boxes and begrudged lotto tickets emerged, not Oscar the Grouch (think Sesame Street) but The Skip Sisters.
These ladies really know how to make-do-and-mend, rescuing shabby bits and bobs found in skips and attics and revamping them into something truly lovely. 100% eco-friendly.
From now until Christmas Eve the Skip Sisters will be selling all sorts of treasures from the debris at 14 Northcross Road in East Dulwich. (Not open Mondays).
Clocks made out of tins…found in a skip!
Jewelry…found in a skip!
Necklaces made with real human hands…found in a skip!

At 3am on the morning of the 7th of December two mini buses, thumb a 1960s fire engine and just over 50 cold, eager and very excited protesters turned up at a gate near the long stay car park of Stansted airport. Calmly and attentively we piled out of the mini buses and began to swarm around the entry point. A security vehicle happened to be passing just as we arrived, which instilled some nervous butterflies in our stomachs, but there was no stopping us. Once through the fence panel with our wire cutters we marched, as if to a temporary ark of safety (which we were to construct), two by two, carrying the tools and materials we were to need. Our objective was to reach the taxiway and setup a Harris fence enclosure around us to which we would lock-on to for as long as possible. After 6am, which was when the first flight was scheduled for take-off, every minute was to count as extremely important – directly stopping the release of ridiculous amounts of CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere.


We were all so pleased to be doing something so direct; the feeling was one of pride in knowing that we were helping to facilitate discussions, raised levels of awareness, and aid to those directly suffering as a result of raised CO2 emissions in developing countries around the world. It really won’t be long before we are seriously suffering from our selfish actions, we need to look and focus on long-term rewards not short term ones. In reading the press coverage after the action I have been surprised to read a few comments by people who were disrupted – one man was quoted to say “Why couldn’t they have waited a few hours?” if we all adopt that approach where will we be left?
I will go on to strongly encourage non-violent direct action to be taken by as many of you reading this as possible, it feels so great to be there, in the heart of potential change, to be able to say “I have tried my hardest”. It is our future generation who will suffer, and personally I don’t want my children to be struggling as much as they will be if no “green” systematic changes occur.





At The Climate Safety Talk delivered at Friends House, Euston, a few weeks ago I became scared – and directly inspired by that very fear to act, with others feeling the same way, as soon as I could, as this seems to have the most impact. I am newly accessing this level of climate science through living with some of the most inspiring women I have had the pleasure to meet and we discuss this issue of climate change daily, and innovatively focus most of our energy in the direction of raising awareness and creating social change methods and access points. Tamsin Omond lives upstairs and is helping to organize another suffragette style Climate Rush at Heathrow on Jan 12th, which I invite everyone to attend. Beth Stratford, Mel Evans, who spoke to the press after the Stansted protests, and Clemmie James from the Drax 29 also inhabit this eco-warrior house.
This action came as an opportunity for myself and others to not just discuss what is happening, but directly and physically respond, and gain immediate results – we stopped 86 flights from leaving the airport and acted as a catalyst for many many discussions.

Stansted has on average at least one flight leaving its runway every minute during working hours generating a shocking 4.2 tonnes of CO2 every single minute! Aviation is the fastest growing source of emissions and already contributes at least 13 per cent of the UK’s total climate impact. In October controversial plans for an expansion of Stansted Airport were given the go-ahead by the Government. Airport owner BAA wants to increase passenger numbers from 25 million to 35 million a year and flights leaving the airport from 241,000 to 264,000 a year. Objectors say an expansion would damage the environment, but some unions said the proposal could bring new jobs. Do we really need new jobs in this sector, should the Government not be pushing for new green jobs to go along with its emissions reduction target? The target that has been broadly accepted by many bodies including our own Government is that a rise in global average temperature of more than 2C above its preindustrial value must not be allowed. If this airport expansion is really given the go-ahead there will be very little chance of us being able to achieve the targets.
Aviation is the fastest growing cause of climate change and a major threat to the earth and everything living on it. But rather than reining the industry in and trying to reduce demand for flying, the government is promoting it through tax breaks and through its plans for massive expansion at our airports: the equivalent of a new Heathrow every five years!

Plane Stupid demands a fundamental rethink of the government’s 2003 Aviation White Paper which predicts that air travel will treble by 2030: an increase in annual plane journeys from 180 million to 501 million.

We, as Plane Stupid want to see airport expansion plans scrapped, and an end to short haul flights and aviation advertising.

Discussions and presentations are important, as the information and science needs to spread as far and wide, and touch as many people as possible, but we need to follow contact with this information with direct action as nothing else seems to be getting the results we need as soon as we need them. The Government has been making empty promises of reductions in the levels of CO2 emissions, and as nothing has happened yet we want to directly affect this ourselves.


It’s Saturday and everything at the Eco-Design Christmas Fair in the Old Truman Brewery, pilule Brick Lane, is daubed in gloominess. Thanks to the amazing British weather, the Christmas spirit is not in the air as greyness bears down through the skylights and umbrellas drip a murky trail behind each visitor. We all gravitate towards a stall selling mulled wine, but the smell – delicious at first – soon mixes with the sickly sweetness of organic soap and incense.

The fair, now in its fifth year, brings together designers whose work is centered on sustainability and kindness to the environment, the products on sale range from clothing, jewellery, toys and furniture to edible shoe polish.

The best find of the day is Finnish designer Minna Hepburn. Hepburn looks and sounds like she is channelling Claudia Schiffer, and is selling her leftover designs from London Fashion Week’s eco-sustainable show ,estethica. Her clothes, all creamy Scottish lace and organic or fair trade silk embellished with found brooches, buttons, outshine neighbouring designs. (pictured below)



Around the relatively small space, recycled jewellery stalls clamour for attention. Rosie Weisencrantz‘s display is by far the most elegant; some of her work is even framed and mounted on the wall. (pictured below) Weisencrantz was a weaver for 25 years before becoming a jewellery designer, and her pieces hang on intricately woven string. She also likes to root around at markets and on ebay for antique brooches, which she transforms into one-off, textured necklaces.


Using an altogether different approach, Kirsty Kirkpatrick buys enormous bags of old jewellery and spends hours sifting through, detangling chains and picking out gems, before reassembling them into new designs. She uses recycled materials too, making geometric necklaces from wine and biscuit boxes. Kirkpatrick has a quick smile and soft Scottish accent, and is obviously proud of her “anti-landfill” label. (pictured below)


After Minna Hepburn, the rest of the clothing at the fair is a bit of a let down. T-shirts are in abundance, most sporting slogans and stencilled graphics like those by design collective Edge. (Their ethos: “We will make eco-fashion cool if it kills us”). (pictured below)


Overall, there was far more here for the eco-jewellery enthusiast than anyone else.

Karolin Schnoor has contributed some illustrations to our upcoming Earth blog ‘Tipping Point’. We loved them so much we decided to make her our illustrator of the week! Her work is being featured in this week’s issue of TimeOut.

Below are a few examples of her work, here and a little bit about her!


Reindeer Illustration (Part of a series of illustrations by Karolin appearing in TimeOut)

“I am originally from Germany and came over to London to study Illustration with a 5 month stint at a Parisian school in my third year. In my illustration work my main interest is narrative and characters and lately I have really enjoyed labouring over intricate folk-like patterns to contrast with my two-dimensional and quite simplistic drawing style.”


A recent Christmas card design

“I used to play it quite safe when it came to colours, physician using mainly pencil and occassional bits of red until I had a tutorial in my first year and my tutor called out rather exasperatedly: “What is missing here is colour! Colour!!” Since then I have gone a bit overboard sometimes but I think I am feeling more comfortable with colour now.


“Norwegian Wood” Illustration of the famous Beatles song
(screenprinted for Karolin’s degree show).

I was also rather obsessed with screenprinting at college and really miss it, but I think the process still informs the way I build my illustrations. At the moment I am freelancing, drawing, designing websites and I might be designing a book next year which I am very excited about.”


‘Conversation’ a piece by Karolin for our blog!

Visit Karolin’s Website, click here!

Monday Dec 15th

800feet is the new exhibition at sale 89490, see en.html”target=”_blank”>Space in Portsmouth, exhibiting the work of over 20 Portsmouth based artists, including painting, sculpture, photography, and film. Established in 1980 by graduates of the then Portsmouth Polytechnic, Art Space Portsmouth will soon celebrate 30 years of supporting, nurturing and retaining creative talent in the City.


Tuesday Dec 16th

Museum 52 hosts a one-off festive grotto beginning today and running until Saturday the 20th. The grotto will pool in a breadth of work, with over 30 artists exhibiting unique hand-made works from tea-towels to comics, films, and scarves. A percentage of all profits will go to shelter.


Wednesday Dec 17th
Lost in the Neutral Zone is an all day music and arts event. It runs between 2pm and 2am at the London and Brighton Pub on Queens Road in Peckham. There will be live music, spoken word, and zine stalls.


Thursday Dec 18th

“The Greatest sleeptalker in recorded history?” I would not imagine such a category to exist; who I wonder, is the second greatest sleeptalker in recorded history. I pointed you in the direction of Seventeen last week, but that was before I knew about the happenings in the basement, which is why I’ll recommend you to go again. So Somniloquent leads you into a dark basement of low ceilings and cubbyholes, where you are invited to sit back and listen to the surreal world as incarnated by Dion Mcgregor. Bizarre narratives and entire worlds were conjured by this man, only to be forgotten upon awakening, until somebody finally decided to put a tape recorder to the purpose. It runs until the 24th of January.


Friday Dec 19th

Head down to St Johns Church in Bethnal Green this Friday for Ghost, hosted by the Belfry Project and guest-curated by Sarah Sparkes and Ricarda Vidal, a spooky project that plays on the 1953 artwork by Marcel Duchamp entitled “A Guest + a Host = a Ghost”. The show will spread over the entire space, spilling from the cobwebbed dark alcoves of the belfry into the entrance hall, past the red velvet curtains and into the church. There will be performances, video, sound and scent installations, and later on, a program of artists’ films. Mulled wine and mince pies too!



Every good Christmas dinner needs musical accompaniment, visit so while feasting with my housemates, I put Band Aid on pause for 4 minutes 46 seconds to have a listen to Veronica’s Veil by Fan Death.

According to the fountain of knowledge aka Wikipedia, ‘Fan death is a South Korean urban legend which states that an electric fan, if left running overnight in a closed room, can cause the death of those inside.’ Interesting… Whether this was the inspiration for the band name, I don’t know, but I do know that their tune, with its 70′s funky strings and Debbie Harry-esque vocal, mixed with 80′s synth beats, went down well in the party mix.

Our thoughts about the song were that, although it was fine accompaniment to our turkey and stuffing, it wasn’t a highly distinctive or original tune. As my housemate put it, “I’d dance to it if it was on in a club, if I was drunk, but I wouldn’t be bothered otherwise.”

I think she was being a harsh judge, although not groundbreaking, produced by club king Erol Alkan (who also provides a remix) Veronica’s Veil is a solid electro pop tune that interestingly merges the key sounds of my two favourite musical decades and deserves to be more than just background music.

Monday 15th December

Ipso Facto, viagra HTRK, sildenafil This Tawdry Affair, capsule The Lexington, London

Celebrate a goth Christmas headlined by bowlcutted eyeliner queens playing a weird and wonderful fusion of 60s and 80s guitar sounds in excellent monochrome outfits. Dark pop disco support.

The Boy Least Likely To
, The School, Mia Vigour, Hoxton Bar and Grill, London

Christmas party from dreamy whimsical pop gang who are releasing a Christmas single this year.

Jason McNiff, First Aid Kit, 12 Bar Club, London

Amazingly precocious folk support from Swedish sisters with a combined age of all of about 11. The video of them singing and strumming in the woods is just beautiful.

Tuesday 16th December

Comet Gain, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Liechtenstein, Old Blue Last, London

Britpop stalwarts who’ve been around for at least a decade break out the indie, with support from up-and-coming, poppy Brooklynites TPOBPAH playing songs from their new album, out next Feb.

Fee Fie Foe Fum: Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons, Johnny Flynn, Jay J Pistolet, Peggy Sue and the Pirates, Cargo, London

New folk extravaganza with performances from as many up-and-coming and up-and-come young folk stars as you can fit in one room. Many of them are either featured in the new issue of the magazine (out now!), or have been featured in the past.

Wednesday 17th December

A Thompson Family Christmas, Royal Festival Hall, London

More of a loosely interpreted folk family than blood relations (although it does feature his mother Linda and sister Kami), Teddy Thompson has organised this extravaganza in aid of Amnesty International.

David Cronenburg’s Wife, Candythief, The Cedars, The Windmill, London

Fall-inspired anti-folk, with psych-grunge support from Candythief and bluegrass.

James Yorkston, Luminaire, London

Part of the Scottish Fence Collective that also includes King Creosote and spawned KT Tunstall.

Thursday 18th December

The Black Angels, ULU, London

Fresh from their stint as Roky Erikson‘s backing band, this Texan quintet are bound to bring some warped Southern musical weirdness to ULU. Expect dark, driving stoner-rock sounds.

The Broken Family Band
, The Accidental, End of the Road @ Cargo, London

Whistful, unassuming country-tinged tunes with a sense of humour.

Duncan Lloyd, Screaming Tea Party, Old Blue Last, London

Maximo Park guitarist playing material from his new solo album with an early Graham Coxon jangly lo-fi feel. Screaming Tea Party also offer more of their bonkers but sweet pop tinged punk sounds.

Friday 19th December

Dead Pixels, Bar Academy, London

Gloomy electro-pop with deadbeat female vocals.

Billy Childish
and the Musicians of the British Empire, Boston Arms, London

Garage punk favourite returns with a new band but most likely a reassuringly familiar lo-fi sound.

Folk Idol: Nancy Wallace, Eva Abraham, James Macdonald, Laurel Swift, Downstairs at the King’s Head, London

The rules say wear a beard and sing a classic folk song in this presumably much calmer take on the annual autumnal hell that is X Factor.

Saturday 20th December

Gogol Bordello, The Roundhouse, London.

Everyone, including Madonna’s, favourite gypsy punk band tend to play pretty explosive sets, often culminating in Eugene Hutz crowd-surfing on a drum and other scrape and bruise inducing antics.

Metronomy, The Scala, London

An ideal Saturday night gig. Dress up, go out and dance dance dance to these electro faves.

Sunday 21st December

Sensible Sundays @ Lock Tavern: The Wild Wolves, The Social, Helouisa, Lock Tavern, London

The perfect end to the weekend/ beginning of real Christmas at this folky acoustic afternoon to evening. Look out for Helouisa, a uke-toting trio with the voices of angels, influenced by the likes of Emmy the Great and Peggy Sue and the Pirates. But then we would say that as the Luisa of their name is our very own art girl.


Joan Wasser – Singer, find songwriter, and violinist, and seemingly omnipresent force in the New York indie scene. Starting her post-music-school career in the Damnbuilders, Those Bastard Souls and Black Beetle, she has since racked up a very impressive CV. In 1999 she became a ‘Johnson’, featuring on the Mercury winning ‘I am a Bird Now’, Anthony Hegarty being a dramatically positive and calming influence on her both personally and musically.

The mishmash of folk milling around the Empire typifies Joan’s broad appeal. Clearly her talent knows no boundaries or subcultures which can’t be won over, which creates a delicious mix of middle-aged couples, muso types and uber-trendy lesbians.

She commands the stage with her sultry New York sassiness, giggling at the irritating and oh-so British heckles that makes you wish you could sod off and see her properly in New York. The first few songs, although technically perfect, seem to be missing something until suddenly, the weighty silence that fell in the fist few bars of ‘To be Lonely’ hit. Effortlessly, she pours the melody into the piano keys, which melt with the words and take you to her world. In fact, Joan’s world is very much Joan’s music. As an artist she is intrinsically linked to her history, her story, and it’s the subjectivity of her music that makes her so appealing. One of the most exhaustive sets I have ever seen, she pretty much played her entire back catalogue, including ‘Eternal Flame’, ‘Christobel’ and incredible Elliot Smith tribute ‘We Don’t Own It’.

Joan breathes, bleeds, feels and loves. Her solo work is very much her new beginning and the performance has this wonderful amalgamation of an accomplished, qualified, and experienced musician with something so fresh, tender, and pure. She’ll make you laugh, cry and fall in love all at the same time.

This was an event for the lovers of fun, more about performance, website like this spectacle, fascination and interaction, and was it all of the above…oh yes, most definitely!
Decompression celebrates the reuniting and collaboration of like-minded artistic individuals who are familiar with Burning Man and/or No-Where festival(s). They refer to the gathering as a reunion. The on-site setup lasts a mere two days, but artists, performers and choreographers work for just over a month in preparation for this one night. Decompression, Burning Man and No-Where describe their holistic key principles as:
• Self-expression: The freedom to BE in a creative and liberating space.
• Radical self-reliance: YOU are responsible for YOURSELF.
• No commerce: Bring it because you can’t buy it, give it because you can.
• Leave no trace: Create something from nothing, and leave nothing behind.
• Participation: Get involved, this is not an event for spectators.

I haven’t attended Burning Man or No-Where, but what I’ve heard from those who have is always so positive and inspiring. The two events have been said to be life changing, and are also said to stay within the hearts of all participators for life. The key principles lay down the ideals held centrally by most successful communities, and I feel this is really the way we need to all begin living.
Within a community you have so much support, so much strength-brought from everybody’s unique sets of gathered and nurtured skills and their desire to share them, a sense of shared purpose and the ability to achieve great things through all of the above points collectively. Greenpeace have published an Energy (R)evolution report which talks of energy solutions coming from local opportunities at both a small and community scale. Their focus is on us all working together to produce a sustainable model of living, and I feel that these events inspired by Burning Man, and Burning man itself of course, are celebrated examples of what it is to be and function within that method of collective habitation, energy production (homemade solar panels and water purifiers being a common site within the festivals), food and waste management. Theses spaces, allowing a coming together of similarly focused creatives, also allow a lot of focused discussion around important topics, and being an important topic, sustainable models of living get spoken about a lot. These people are trying to break down the barriers between people and to re-focus energy on shared living, creativity and innovation.
Burning Man (Nevada desert, California), No-Where (The site is situated in the region of Aragon in northern Spain between Zaragoza and Lleida desert, Spain) and London Decompression are events linked through concept, predominantly focusing on shared experience and expression, with an overwhelmingly strong foundation of creativity. There is a leave no trace concept, which after a week of partying and artistic workshops in the middle of the desert with thousands of other people can, as you will imagine, takes a little time-combing every square foot-they are not happy to leave a single sequin!




images from Genevive Lutkin-Burning Man 2007

I was working alongside three really good girl friends of mine to produce a recycled elephant sculpture, whose body acted as a tent and projector screen, and which offered an educational journey thought the mandala painting techniques originating from South India. Our elephant was exploring what you could create with rubbish, and how you could turn it into something beautiful, making people think about what they throw away. Wire coat-hangers, hanging baskets, stripped electrical wire and plastic milk bottles made up the body structure. The tent and 4 costumes were made from a few meters of bought fabric, but decorated with sections of old sari fabric we had been collecting for the last few years, the floor underneath the elephant was covered with saris, on which lay pots and pots of the brightest rangoli paint, 4 blackboards and lots of rangoli stencils.
Rangoli, also known as Alpana, Kolam and by other names is a traditional art of decorating courtyards and walls of Indian houses, places of worship and sometimes eating-places. The powder of white stone, lime, rice flour and other paste is used to draw intricate and ritual designs.
Although Rangoli art is Maharashtrian in origin, it has become quite popular all over the country. Each state of India has its own way of painting Rangoli. One characteristic of Rangolis is that it’s painted by commoners. On some special occasions like Diwali it is painted in every home, with or without formal training in Rangoli art. The art is
typically transferred from generation to generation and from friend to friend.


images from Monique Gregson-Hampi, South India, 2005




images supplied by Yolanda Yong-Decompression 2008

Sophie Rostas, of Café Cairo (a nomadic decorational and tea party troupe who put on beautiful nights at changing venues, since their South London site burnt down a few years ago) created a greatly entertaining performance based instillation called ‘Feast of Fools’, for which I aided her in costume making. The feast was held at a huge wooden table, constructed especially for the event, on which a dance was held, then a lavish feast of skipped food spread. A precession of fools in costume led an inquisitive crowd to the table. After a ballet performed by two beautiful dancers hatching our of eggs on the table, the performance began…an eager and excitable king sitting at the head of the table on a chair raised to be on-top of the table stomped a steady beat to which 8 dancers circled the table in rich, exquisite costume. The circling slowly declining from an orderly chair swap to hectic table clambering and mass interaction, not just with the other members of the dance, but with the onlookers, and as the order dropped the kings beat quickened pace, with him becoming more and more excited by the movement of his fools. It ended up with his passing out and being carried off the table, to return with a broom sweeping up the scraps of the feast a little later.



images from Joie De Winter-Decompression 2008

The Café Cairo nomadic troupe

The transformation for Decompression is quite incredible with its pace, transforming old railway arches, now used as car parks, into a rich artistic exploration. The artists can apply for funding directly from the organizers, who will try and cover up to 70% of their total spending on materials. This allows artists the freedom to work without being hindered by material costs, although a lot of the participating artists work with reclaimed materials, scavenged from here and there, the budget helps with necessities needed for the pieces. Imagine the space if you will…dark, large and cave like with each corner, section of the ceiling, large open space and doorway covered or filled with a different instillation, from huge art cars, costume camp, to water tanks for underwater ballet performances in gas masks, a tunnel of lust and love full of projections and erotic sounds, a photographer and his plush set awaiting visitors in extravagant and curious fancy dress in the corner of one room, a Drawing Booth by Interactive Instillation artist Joie De Winter and too many more instillations and art pieces to mention.
Joie’s Drawing Booth is a highly interactive performance based piece featuring set, concept, performance and makeup. It offers up an environment, which encourages social exploration through creative engagement. Rather than relying on the capturing of a moment and memory within a photo booth, she creates a richer version of this experience and celebrates the art of drawing as a social tool.

image from Joie De Winter-Decompression 2008

If jewellery is your gift of choice this year, page thanks to the internet there is an abundance of quirky and beautiful necklaces etc to get your hands on. If you want to make your choice extra festive, order here are some places that have brought out exclusive Christmas pieces. Snap them up fast as last postage date to places in the UK is the 19th December.

Tatty Devine

Tatty Devine haven’t disappointed with this festive collection:

Flying Fawns Earrings
, abortion £36


Parcel Bow Necklace, £33


Parcel Bow Earrings, £33


This Charming Girl

If you love to wear a necklace and have people admire it saying, “where did you get that from?” This is the place to go. Anyone would be very happy with a unique trinket from here, especially this seasonal necklace:

Ribbon Necklace
, £9


Eclectic Eccentricity

Perfectly named, this charming online boutique has delicate and special items at very reasonable prices, including these gems:

Winging My Way back To You
, £16.00


Dear Ones, £13.50


Prick your Finger

Now, although not strictly jewellery, these had to be included as they’re the epitome of Christmas cuteness!

Naori Priestly‘s animal pin cushions, £19.99 each


So go on, get the lady in your life a Christmas trinket she will treasure all year round.


Wetdog thrive on the chaotic; their debut longplayer Enterprise Reversal is a head-spinning, web giddy joyride of layered chants, sick sharp guitars and thick, viagra 60mg reverb-laced bass lines, all pushing, shoving and fighting each other for room on each of the record’s 22 tracks. But amid all of the pandemonium, there is a strong, swaggering melody to keep things ticking over and entrancing, jabbering lyrics that verge on inaudible, but still deviously drag you ear-first into the commotion.


Continually changing tempo from track to track, the record sways between the raucous and the slower, more sprawling thumps, but retains a definite style, neatly affixing the assortment of songs together as a whole. ‘8 Days’ swings between thudding bass and chanting multi-vocals and ‘Zah und Zaheet’ conjures up memories of Nirvana during the Bleach-era (if they had a yelling girl group in tow).

With most of the tracks never pushing past the 2 minute mark, Wetdog undoubtedly won’t be to everyone’s taste, but their strident and unabashed style and jumbled sound of The Slits stumbling over The Fall is certainly attention-grabbing and deserving of a listen.

With unduly brilliant timing the Climate Change secretary Ed Miliband called for a Suffragette-type movement to push forward political change on the very same day as the Plane Stupid Stansted protest.


“When you think about all the big historic movements, recipe from the suffragettes, physician to anti-apartheid, to sexual equality in the 1960s, all the big political movements had popular mobilisation,” said Miliband, quoted in the Guardian on December 8th. “Maybe it’s an odd thing for someone in government to say, but I just think there’s a real opportunity and a need here.” So, in the spirit of the Suffragettes we at Climate Rush thought it would be nice gesture to invite Ed Miliband and some of his governmental cohorts along to Dinner at Departures, at Heathrow on the 12th January at 7pm. (Terminal One, y’all) After all, shouldn’t he be supporting us?


So, today I toddled off to Westminster to meet my fellow Climate Rushers with the aim of hand-delivering a few invites to our Dinner, which is, of course, open to all. Tamsin was instantly recognised by a ‘friendly bobby‘ who merrily told us that the last time he saw her was on the top of Parliament.


Photocall with the Evening Standard done we headed off to Downing Street. Which was when we realised that hand delivering invites is clearly worthy of police intimidation; two coppers were soon tailing our every move.


Maybe they felt it was a good use of tax payer’s money to capture the features of our youngest recruit, who delivered a festive invite for Gordon Brown. (why not invite them all?!)



Next up was Ed Miliband himself, over at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. We weren’t allowed much further than reception, but had time to admire the big TV screen showing images of penguins and cute seals (endangered….. ahhhh) and oil rigs (hmmmm) I hope he gets his invite.


On our way up to see Geoff Hoon over at the Department for Transport (who will make the final decision over whether the 3rd runway goes ahead) we passed a hair salon with an entirely appropriate name.


For some reason the security guards seemed a bit wary of us, making sure that the door was firmly closed and bolted when we delivered the invite.


Not so over at Defra, where environment secretary Hilary Benn‘s personal secretary came down to meet us in reception and accept the invite – she asked who she could rsvp to and we realised we hadn’t included an address – woops! Perhaps we weren’t quite expecting such personal attention.


We have done our best to invite the people we think should come to our Dinner at Departures – the people who will ultimately decide whether a new runway goes ahead. Now it’s up to you to make your own statement about what you think should happen – join us, dress Edwardian, and bring food to share. More information can be found here and on facebook here.


An example by Maria Sagun.

In collaboration with the Samaritans, visit photographer Hege Sæbjørnsen (herself a Samaritans volunteer) is organising the Affluenza Exhibition.

The aim of this project is to, sildenafilinspire debate and awareness about the destructive impact of consumer values on the emotional wellbeing of society.” Through the medium of art.

The exhibition will take place between 16th – 27th of March 2009 and currently there is a call for artists, so if you are any kind of visual or performing artist and think that you would find it a satisfactory challenge, here is the brief and requirements:


* Painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.
* Placing a high value on money, possessions, appearances (physical and social) and fame, a failure to distinguish between what we need and what we want.

Consider that the excessive wealth seeking in consumerist nations lead to the unhappiness of its citizens and higher rates of emotional and mental distress.

The work

The exhibition is submission based with a solid panel of high profile judges including author and psychologist Oliver James, Jonathan Barnbrook (Barnbrook Design) and Michael Czerwinski (Design Museum) who will assess the work and decide on the final entries.

We encourage performance, sound pieces, sculpture, photography and broad based visual arts. Entrants are invited to submit a proposal for work to be completed or existing work.
We will need

* A brief biography/CV
* Artist statement
* Samples of work: CD or digital pdf is preferred, but we will accept up to 10 images, 35 mm slides. (Please include a self-addressed envelope if you need the work returned.)
* Proposal including dimensions and technical specifications

Submit your entry by 30th January 2009 for the chance to be included in the exhibition. To submit work contact Hege Sæbjørnsen on 07734944685 or e-mail

Categories ,Affluenza, ,Consumerism, ,exhibition, ,Hege Sæjønsen, ,Maria Sagun, ,Samaritans

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