Amelia’s Magazine | The Great Climate Swoop 2009: A retrospective

jerwood drawing prize6
The Jerwood Drawing Prize is back again for another year and 2009’s hopefuls won’t disappoint. The longest running annual exhibition has been going since 1994 and is dedicated to promoting and rewarding excellence in contemporary drawing in the United Kingdom.

kate russo

Spaced over two rooms, more about the first piece I come to is by artist Kate Russo, side effects whose two works sit on top of one another. The first, shop “Dissolving Symmetrically” and the second, “The Key Is Repetition”. Both pieces are done on graph paper, working in the confines of grids. Amongst the mass of verticals and horizontals, Russo has rendered an extremely intricate network of minute coloured squares. Using coloured pencil and graphite she has systematically filled in alternate boxes to eventually build up a repeat pattern that you can only distinguish from a distance. It is clear that time and dedication has been taken to carry through this task she has given herself. It is interesting because the outcome of this drawing was predetermined by the system she chose to follow to colour in the squares. As I look closer the tiny dots almost look as if they’re vibrating, bouncing off one another like molecules in an atom. Or perhaps they even appear to be working ants, busying themselves around a nest. This is quite a satisfying piece of art to study, especially if you have a thing for mathematics, rules or systems.

kate russo2

The work of Catherine Nicholson is quite arresting as my gaze moves over to the next piece. “After The Storm” is in pen and ink on a large canvas. It is the most intrinsically rendered drawing of a collection of apparently decomposing branches, leaves and foliage. On closer inspection you see that Nicholson must have used an extremely fine nibbed pen to achieve the level detail, from the veins of the fern leaves, the cracking of the bark on the branches to the areas where the leaves are starting to decompose. At first this may appear to be a very well executed study of nature but the title makes it take on a new meaning. “After The Storm” makes you think that these are the debris of a natural disaster maybe. Where they all once growing peacefully somewhere in an undisturbed habitat? Perhaps now ripped from their surroundings and discarded in the dirt by the storm.

jerwood drawing prize2

Another two drawings by Japanese artist, Yumi Shimada are displayed to my far left. One sitting on top of the other, “Self Portrait 2008” is drawn in black ink on paper, showing an unknown formless being in the centre of each frame. The undeterminable origin of this creature, no visible facial features and its forthright position on the page is quite confrontational. The surface is made up of dark, black cross-hatching to give a sense of a thick, dense mass. The first drawing shows it slumped over the length of a small table, almost as if it can longer take it’s own weight. The second is far more disturbing, depicting the creature sending itself through a mangle and turning itself into a black, viscous liquid on the other side. The scene described is actually quite disturbing. It appears that it is performing this act of it’s own will. I am brought to mind the ‘stink-spirit’ character, Okusare, in Spirited Away – a sloth-like, sluggish being. I try to work out the connection between the two pictures. There is perhaps a sense of despair in the first, which may consequently lead to the macabre finality of the second. Shimada says that the portrait shows her squeezing negative thoughts through the mangle, somehow disposing of them. The world that this creature inhabits is not one I recognise. The influence from Japan and the Japanese fantasy genre is apparent. The ominous nature of it and connotations of the dark under-belly of somebody else’s imagination does not make for particularly comfortable viewing. At the same time, I have conflicting feelings that it is strangely compelling. A morbid curiosity to look at something you know will scare you.

jerwood drawing prize

The final artwork that I come to is also my favourite. The most reserved of all the pieces on show in size and yet the most monumental in its stature, Samuel Kelly’s “Tokyo Aero-abstraction 7” is quite awe-inspiring. If I had thought the previous drawings had a good eye for detail, it doesn’t compare to this. Drawn on a tiny square of paper, dimensions probably no more than 4cmx5cm, it appears to show an aerial view of a city or road system. Even standing at a normal distance away, it just looks like a grey block of colour. You are invited to stand much, much closer – my face is literally inches from it. Only then can you really see a tiny network of roads and buildings and appreciate its complexity. It is so tiny in fact, that I can only imagine that Kelly would not have been able to draw this with a pencil nib any finer than the point of a pin. I have to say, without delving any deeper into its underlying meaning, it is easily impressive enough as it is. The modest frame seems mammoth in comparison. It allows it so much space, emphasizing even more it’s miniscule proportions. There is something quite impressive about creating work on a microscopic level, like the artist who makes objects to fit on the head of a needle.
samuel kelly

There are many more notable examples of drawing on display today, even in a relatively small gallery space; you could spend hours soaking in the extraordinary talent showcased. This is the last week of the exhibition’s run, so head over soon to avoid disappointment.
Last weekend a thousand protestors descended on Ratcliffe-On-Soar power station to protest against the continued use of coal power, see which is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions.


The weeks leading up had been filled with outreach and preparation with neighbourhoods, thumb groups and individuals working tirelessly towards making the Great Climate Swoop a monumental event.

The action was a huge success for the movement, more about fences were scaled, camps were made, banners dropped, a railway blockaded, and the power station was effectively seiged for 24 hours.  With one of the prominent aims to create a social movement, the Climate Camp also showed it is a force to be reckoned with, as hundreds of people were prepared to use direct action and face arrest to make their point.


The weekend didn’t have the best start with the police using preemptive measures to arrest an activist from Leeds and charging him with conspiracy. Plane Stupid were also called and threatened with arrest if they attended the protest, which was a sign that the police were not even prepared to allow people to think about taking meaningful action.

Undaunted, on Friday night and Saturday activists from all over the country arrived at and around Ratcliffe. As the sun rose and the helicopter circled, huddled groups came across each other in woods and the surrounding area. Giving each other a nod and a grin at the impending action, people from the two blocs, ‘Take back the power’ and ‘False Solutions’, then made their way to the muster point.


At the same time, a few miles away, the bloc ‘False Solutions’ was being created with hundreds of protestors, as well as a critical mass of cyclists arriving at Nottingham train station.


At one o’clock everybody, organised, excited and nervous, swooped to the power station. Hundreds of protestors descended from the woods on mass, splitting up at the fences, some tearing, climbing and pulling down the barriers.


A handful of activists even managed to get over several fences and into the power station before they were arrested. With E.ON spending 5 million on new electric fences weeks before, as well as bringing out an injunction to give the police powers to arrest anyone they felt like, it was never going to be an easy task.


A procession with banners, bikes, chants and noise rallied further around and made their voices be heard. Second swoops, rallies, makeshift camps and actions continued throughout the day and the £600,000 police force were kept on their toes whilst using riot gear and letting dogs off their leads to tackle the protestors. Dog bites only added to the range of injuries and concussions inflicted by the police. Medical care was very slow to come, if ever. Apart from the one police injury where a helicopter was quickly scrambled and zoomed off to create a cleverly crafted PR campaign for the London based media sitting in their offices.

A cat and mouse game continued through the evening and into the night, with 300 protestors managing to camp overnight, keeping a vigil on the power station. They were kept in spirits by Veggies who did an amazing job of providing food and drinks to the camp.


The movement is being replicated all over the world, with actions in Australia, that we covered here at Amelia’s Magazine, as well as in Denmark and beyond. Climate camps are being set up all over the world creating grassroots movements essential to combat the rise of climate change by putting pressure on governments and corporations.


The recent back out by E.ON from creating two new coal power stations at Kingsnorth as well as the end to plans for a 3rd runway at Heathrow, which were coincidentally both venues for past Climate Camps, show that we can really make change.

At the weekend activists from around the world also met in Copenhagen to finalise plans for similar actions during the UN climate talks taking place in December. These talks are seen as the stage for social movements worldwide to show a precedent to governments around the world that we need to take action into our own hands. The Camp for Climate Action will be there, so should you.


Categories ,action, ,banner, ,Climate Camp, ,Climate Change, ,coal power, ,Copanhagen, ,Direct Action, ,dog bite, ,E-On, ,False Solutions, ,fences, ,helicopter, ,injury, ,march, ,Pictures, ,police, ,protest, ,Ratclife-On-Soar Power Station, ,Ratcliffe On Soar, ,social movement, ,swoop, ,The Great Climate Swoop

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Amelia’s Magazine | Earth Listings: 5th – 11th October


Turner Prize

Enrico David, price treatment Roger Hiorns, search Lucy Skaer and Richard Wright are the lucky shortlisted ones on the Turner Prize’s notepad this year and it’s been noted that the Prize has gone for less shock and awe than usual, buy information pills resulting in a more thoughtful set of works on show. You will probably have at least heard of Roger Hiorns via his incredible work coating an entire flat in blue crystals.But it’s not about the fame of course. From Tuesday, you can go along to the Tate Britain and see for yourself.


Booker Prize
Announced Tuesday

The 2009 Booker prize shortlist is full of big-hitters, in the form of Sarah Waters (The Little Stranger), JM Coetzee (Summertime) and A.S. Byatt (The Children’s Book), as well as historical fiction from Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall) and lesser known authors Adam Foulds (The Quickening Maze) and Simon Mawer (The Glass Room). If you’re not sure what to read next the Booker shortlist is always a good place to get ideas outside of lists of the 100 Greatest Books of All Time. If you’re quick enough to have read them all already, look out for the winner announcement on Tuesday to see if you, in your wisdom, agree with the judges’ decision.


Grayson Perry’s Walthamstow tapestry

Grayson Perry is trying his hand at something other than ceramics with his “Walthamstow Tapestry”, an amazing, detailed piece of work a bit like a Bayeaux Tapestry for 2009. They cared about war, we care about shopping, it seems. Perry examines our consumerism but has also made something that is anti-consumerist: a one-off object that is the opposite of fast fashion or instant gratification.


Dance Umbrella

In recent years we’ve all rediscovered how amazing it is to watch and do dancing that is more involved than shuffling from one foot to the other while hoping that person over there will notice you. A big part of this change, other than Strictly of course, is Dance Umbrella. The influential dance festival-makers annual season kicks off this week, with the theme “African Crossroads”. They are staging performances and “days out” where you can get a little taster of lots of the shows going on around London over the next few weeks.

origin london craft fair

Origin London Craft Fair

There’s something special about an item that’s been made with love by another human being and not just generated by a machine or made under duress in a sweatshop. All the 300-odd artisans at this craft fair at Somerset House make beautiful pieces that are worth treasuring or just getting inspiration for your own Autum projects from.

Goodone clothing is a classic example of super-apt naming. Only ‘good conscience, online good clothing’ would be a more fitting term. The clothing brand based in the fashion mecca of East London designs quirky pieces all girls want to wear, discount sourced from recyclable materials that everyone’s conscience can appreciate (must be why they are stocked at Fashion Conscience, approved that emporium of ethical fashion). Everything is that most coveted of all must-have clothing qualities- individually hand-made and therefore one off, not to mention, kickass and street-cool.

Goodone 3

Recently short listed for the ‘Re-new Designer of the Year’ Award. Goodone are aiming to shake up people’s expectations of ‘recycled’ clothing, with designs that are not obviously second-take or old-hat. Instead Goodone offer fresh, modern pieces made through reusing existing fabrics (aptly coined upcycling). By working closely with other retailers and designers, the Goodone team are able to provide (and champion!) a way of creating sustainable fashion from other people’s ‘waste’. Good not just in the quality then, but in heart, you can see what I mean about perfect naming. ‘Rubbish’ has never looked so good.


Featured in street-bible i.D magazine, Juice magazine and shown at London Fashion Week through collaboration with NOKI NHS at Fashion East. Goodone certainly seem to cater to their target audience; fashion conscious, ethic conscious, bright young things set to change the world.


It’s no surprise then that shop-gods Asos have snapped up some pieces for sale from next month. One glance at Goodone’s online shop currently and our drool glands are in overflow, so it’s no wonder that Asos have jumped on the game. The team design on-trend 80s bodycon dresses in black and white (made from recycled Breast Cancer T-shirts and to raise money for the same charity). As well as futuristic t-shirt dresses with playful coloured breast detail – these are pieces a girl would drop dead for in Topshop – and that’s meant as a compliment! Coming in several different colour schemes, some including extra designs, there’s definitely a dress to suit everyone, with slouchy jumper bodycon to cross-over long sleeved designs. It’s all very reminiscent of youth-hero Christopher Kane with the fluro and the bodycon, and we
like it.


There are basics-a-plenty in store. The WWF hoody is a highlight, taking on the world in a boxer-esque manner in neon-fluro-brights. The panelled-body is another case in point, providing solid clothing we can move in, perfect for those ethical rallies and climate change demonstrations! These guys aren’t afraid to design wearable clothes – its street style gone ethical and completely in tune with what we want. Take a look at the knot back tee and the diamond slouch dress and you’ll see what we mean.

Goodone 1

It’s not only Asos who have pricked their ears to Goodone. Japanese-version-of-the-BBC, NHK, have been following the gang around with cameras to make a soon to be aired documentary entitled ‘Inspirational European Lives’. It seems then that these East-Londoners with hearts of gold are going to get the rewarding recognition their endeavours deserve all too soon. Watch this space and keep checking Asos for their stuff!


Despite last year’s reports of the economic sky falling and gathering clouds sending buyers scurrying for safe ground, website one designer stood defiantly against the whipping winds of change, scanning the skies for a little golden sunshine. And gold he found….caves of the stuff!


Designer Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi found refuge in the troves of religious iconography, mosaics and relics housed in the massive hull of the Royal Academy of Art’s exhibit Byzantium. Al Qasimi explains the concept behind the armor-like boleros and rippling sheaths, “It’s based on Byzantine women who have been woken up from a crypt and hauled on to the catwalk”. Wish I looked that good when I woke up, not to mention after a 2,500 year long catnap! What he has awoken is an appetite for unabashed opulence.


Qasimi presented a legion of angular gold boleros crowning regal sheaths in tomato and turquoise along with luxe ivory jodhpurs. His glazed, ‘Midas touch’ eyelids and halos of jutting jackets transformed models into saintly icons. His integration of geometry in this collection was inspired by 84 yr old Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian who encorporrates mirrored mosaics and reverse-glass painting in Islamic geometric patterns.




Qasimi enlisted the skills of British jewellery designer Scott Wilson, who has worked with groundbreaking designer Hussein Chalayan, to collaborate on the project. One of the most enticing of which were the bejeweled (and interchangeable!) spats.


The bubble of Byzantium existed in the Dark Ages, in may ways not disimilar to tremors we’re experiencing these days. While the Roman Empire disintegrated around them, plunging Europe into the Dark Ages, the rich island nation of Byzantium continued to pour money into the arts by commissioning religious works . While the safety and priveleges enjoyed by some evaporated to be replaced by a constant state of danger and uncertainty, others simply exchanged one set of miseries for another. A fitting era to look to for clues. “I wanted to create something optimistic to lift us from all the financial doom and gloom,” said Al Qasimi.


Byzantium continued to advance the arts in a cloak of spirituality when the lights went out in the rest of the world and it helps to remember that there would have been no Renaissance without it.



Currently in talks with leading department stores to produce a capsule evening-wear line aimed at Middle Eastern women we can just imagine Dubain princesses licking their lips for these Faberge dresses.


One person whose eye it pays to catch is that of Dazed and Confused creative director Nicola Formichetti. The style whisperer has already slipped Lady Gaga into a Qasimi creation for her new video and has tempted vocal vixen Florence Welch, from Florence and the Machine, into a new look by the designer.


Qasimi’s elevated tastes, if not perspective, never disappoints. So while we nibbled on foil-wrapped chocolates in the cavernous Old Sorting Building it was hard not to believe that luxury and limitless optimism were still kicking around out there somewhere.


Swoop, advice swoop, yep the buzz word of the time. But only for a couple more weeks. If you don’t manage to come across some outreach for the The Great Climate Swoop this week, you aren’t going to the right places.

Bloom In Bloomsbury
Tuesday 6th October

A students gathering to tackle the problem of climate change and a chance to engage those minds out there. The gathering will enable university green groups to see how they can add a bit of bite, there will also be a chance to learn practical skills to pass on to others. A marquee will be jam packed with people, workshops, music and food all united though an aim of addressing the state of our planet.

illustration_earth_final_small copy
Illustration by kotryna zukauskaite

Workshops include:
1-2pm  Introduction to the Camp for Climate Action & a guide to Direct Action
2.30-3.30pm The Great Climate Swoop and Copenhagen 
4-5.30pm  London student plotting: what can we do together to make a difference?
Alongside these, there’ll be other workshops on bike maintenance, ClimArt and Guerilla Gardening as well as:
Bike Doctor
SOAS Food Co-op (whole foods at cost price)
Info and stalls from associated campaigns.
All-you-can-hear open mic for words and music.
Live, danceable music to take us into the evening.

Time: 12 noon ’til dusk
Venue: Torrington Square, near SOAS, London WC1H 0XG
Transition Camden Town
Tuesday 6th October 2009 ?

Following from the growing amount of Transition towns across the country, this initiative by Camden council is aimed at engaging the local community to become more green. The venue, inSpiral lounge will be showing powerful documentaries. “The Power of Community” – A classic film about life after oil and urban food growing in Cuba & “A Farm for the Future” – An inspiring film from the BBC about farming without oil. Come and enjoy this evening of conscious entertainment and try some of inSpiral’s food and drinks

Time: 7pm
Venue:inSpiral Lounge, Camden

Kingsnorth: The Great Debate
Wednesday October 7th 2009

An evening of exhibits, discussion and debate about dirty new Kingsnorth coal.
Burning coal is the biggest single cause of climate change, yet the government is still considering giving the go-ahead to a series of dirty new coal power stations, the first of which is proposed for Kingsnorth.
This public event will give YOU the chance to quiz the experts and find out what dirty new Kingsnorth coal would mean for the environment, for jobs, and for global justice.
A range of speakers will be joining us, including:
Tim Jones – Head of Climate Policy, The World Development Movement
Sean Furey – Deputy Director, CPRE – Kent
Claire Fauset – Researcher, Corporate Watch

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Venue: Rochester, Medway, Kent
The Roffen Suite, 41 New Road

The Great Climate Ceilidh
Friday 9th October 2009 ?


Swoop down the isles with rig ‘n’ jeelers Green Kite Midnight while raising funds for the Climate Camp. If you missed them at Blackheath Climate camp, where they entertained hundreds in the biggest Ceilidh I’ve ever seen, make sure you get there for a night of frantic fun.

Time: 8pm-11pm
All welcome. £7/£5 (sliding scale)
Venue: Hackney Round Chapel

9-12 October

Young people from all over the UK will be heading to the Institute of Education in London. They’ll be ordinary people. Taking time out from their jobs or their studying. Traveling the length of the country just to get there.
Organised by young people, for young people, Power Shift marks a new chapter in youth action on climate change.


Climate Camp Brighton presents The Climate Swoop Info and Training day
Saturday October 10th
swoop copy

Learn more about the Great Climate Swoop! A national day of mass action against the catastrophic coal industry and climate criminals Eon, at the big ‘n’ dirty Radcliffe on Soar power station in Nottingham. Come and meet other people who are going on the action- Find out whats being planned for the day of action – Find out about transport plus Non Violent Direct Action training 4 – 6pm

Time: 2 – 7pm
Venue: Brighton, Westhill Hall, Compton Avenue, 7 Dials

Electric Circus for Gaza
Saturday October 10th

Brought to you by Skandalous, Fluorotrash and Naked underground party crews – proceeds will go towards purchasing and delivering precious medicines needed by the people of Gaza. With Zion Tain, DJs, cabaret acts, pole dancers, mutant walkabouts, circus performers, acrobatic arts, VJs.

Time: 10pm – 6am
Venue: Scala, Kings Cross London ?Price: £8.50 adv, £12 on door

Categories ,action training, ,Bloom in Bloomsbury, ,brighton, ,Celilidh, ,coal power, ,Copanhagen, ,corporate watch, ,discussion, ,ebvironment, ,Electric Circus, ,Gaza, ,Green Kite Midnight, ,swoop, ,transition Camden

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