Dan Stanley is a London-based illustrator and designer who will soon be launching his new range of greeting cards, buy this web Fluffy Thoughts. He graduated from the London Metropolitan University in 2007 and began setting up Fluffy Thoughts. His fanciful daydreams inspire his designs that are filled with mischievous animals and fuzzy creatures! They mix together a childlike innocence with colourful wit, website like this drawing you deeper into the mysterious world of his characters. Dan has plans to develop his character range further to include soft toys, sildenafil vinyl toys, books and clothing – he invites you now to step into his shiny, cloud-filled universe.
Tell me more about Fluffy Thoughts? ??
Fluffy Thoughts is my range of greeting cards that I designed and are soon to be launched! My initial design ideas were based around a set of creature characters that I put together while completing an Art Foundation course. The range will be available through my online shop and I am currently working towards having them stocked in shops too.
You design many surreal, fun characters. What are the biggest influences on your designs?
I love Japanese design and animation. I’m a huge fan of anything with cute or crazy characters! So I decided to create my own too and had lots of fun doing so! I had designed and produced a number of soft toy monsters and it’s great to see more of my characters come to life through Fluffy Thoughts. I love illustrators such as Alex Pardee, Bubi Au Yeung, and also illustrated brands such as Ugly Dolls and Tokidoki.?
What are your thoughts on our homegrown artists at the moment? ?
?There is a growing interest in hand drawn art and illustration, rather than computer generated art, which is fantastic. It’s shifting away from the accurate images created on computers and has moved onto more irregular and rough styles which I feel gives the artwork more of a personal identity. ? ?There is a great interest in Vinyl toys at the moment which has increased the popularity of characters within a larger age group. This is great news, I’ve always been a huge fan of character based designs which spurred me onto design my creatures. I’m a big follower of illustrated brands such as TADO, NOODOLL and LAZY OAF who are all based in London too.
?What are your other plans for the future???
Greeting cards are only the beginning. I hope to expand on Fluffy Thoughts with a clothing range and various other products. I would love to expand on some of my characters stories with illustrated books also!
I have been a Madonna fan for years and years. When I was younger it bordered on obssessional, buy information pills but has lessened now due to her ill-advised recent collaboration with super producer, page Timbaland, where she just sounded like a guest vocalist on her own album. To say I’m disappointed doesn’t even come close to an understatement. But let’s not dwell on this, as luckily, this collection does not focus on this period – but on the good old glory days, well decades actually.
Described as a collection of memorabilia, there definitely is a lot of Madonna paraphernalia on show here in the Truman Brewery. In the huge concrete car park of the brewery evidently.
The biggest draw being costumes she wore on stage and in films. However, when looking at them, something wasn’t feeling right. Look at the picture below:
At first glance you would not think this was part of an exhibition about Madonna. Yes, this collection of outfits come mainly from her conservatively dressed role in Evita, but it’s not just that. The clothes don’t fit properly on the many cheap looking identical mannequins:
I guess for an exhibition about the notorious perfectionist Madonna, you would expect the same high level of professionalism from a show dedicated to her, and that just was not evident here.
Also, considering there is a disclaimer saying that Madonna had nothing to do with it, they have copies of her record and divorce contracts, her old credit card from the 1980′s and pages from her personal diary. I know you can acquire these through auctions but you are left wondering how they have these items, you are also left wondering if, in fact Madonna is gagged and bound in one of the dark corners of the car park, as the ultimate piece of memorabilia…
Although fascinating to see on a voyeuristic fan level, there was an unsettling atmosphere to the whole experience. Perhaps it was the sparse venue, or perhaps it was because Madonna is such an icon with so much history, an exhibition dedicated to her could have and should have been spectacular. This sadly, was not.
Between January and April 1996 approximately 360 acres of land including 120 acres of woodland were cleared to make way for the building of a new road, drug the Newbury bypass. The demolition was met by one of the largest anti-road protests in history with over 7000 people directly demonstrating on the site. From July 1995 protesters began to occupy the land, pill living in tree houses and tents. It was a long hard fight and a momentous period of social history that is all the more relevant today with the increasing disparity between environmental legislation and climate deterioration, and the growth of environmental activism. Jim Hindle was in the thick of things and has written a book about his experience, Nine Miles.
What are your intentions for the book and what do you think it’s
relevance is in our present state of climactic urgency?
On the most basic level I wanted to tell the story of what happened; for history’s sake but also due to the relevance that story has now, in terms of the amount of roads being built today and also for the wider
climatic situation. Road transport in the UK accounts for more than 21% of our total CO2 emmision and is set to rise pretty fiercely without efforts to reign it in. But also, I wanted to convey something of the feeling of those times, of the sense of inspiration that was so strong in the campaigns I’ve described;
there’s a sense that that spirit can inform us now however we choose to act or the environment, or changing the world in general, or even simply how we live our lives.
How does your life now relate to your life in the 90′s? Are you still involved in activism?
I’ve had to knock activism on the head these days, for reasons that are clearer when you read the book. I did go to the first climate camp and while it was amazingly inspiring it was also pretty stressful, the kind of situation that I’m meant to be avoiding. So I limit myself to talking and writing as a way to influence the world now. I don’t live outdoors but camp and walk as much as I can in the summer. Right now I live on the edge of a small town in a converted outhouse with a firepit outdoors but can see myself back in a house or a flat before too long. Living outdoors isn’t made easy in this country but I am at least gravitating away from the middle of cities as places to be in full time.
I‘m quite interested to find out what everyone is doing now-are you still in touch?
Sarah is in the mountains in Wales with a young child. Badger is living in the West Country working as a carpenter with his wife and three kids. Tami studied maths, got a scholarship to Oxford and is now working as a website designer. Many folks are still activists in one way or another but I think everyone holds precious the memory of what happened. There’s kind of an unspoken bond.
What are your thoughts on the current wave of climate action?
I think it’s really inspiring. I’ve always felt that to be most effective direct action needs to be as intelligent and discriminating as possible and all the signs are that those involved with Plane Stupid, for instance, share this approach. It carries a big responsibility too. Certainly to see direct action as some kind of cure-all or the way to go about things in the first instance doesn’t seem like the way forward. Martin Luther King said it should only be undertaken as a last resort and it takes it’s place within a bigger picture. There’s many ways to campaign for things but I do think direct action has a vital place.
I think the climate camps have maybe been a bit gung-ho in declaring intentions to shut down power stations and the like; it kind of guarantees a full on police response but I think to be fair there are many folks involved who would agree. And they’re amazing testimonies to how far everything has come, the organization that goes into the camps is truly something else. And it carries the torch of DIY culture, to be involved; people realizing that it’s not enough to wait for someone else to do something, that we all carry responsibilty for our actions and the actions of our culture.
I do sometimes feel too that it shouldn’t be neccessary, that people shouldn’t have to put themselves through it but it raises the stakes and shakes people out of their apathy and there’s as much need for that as ever; steering society to something more sustainable is like steering some massive tanker and when
change is not apparent there’s the danger of inertia creeping in. So it’s important, if nothing else, to raise our voices on the issue, to remind the politicians that there’s everything to fight for, to help give them license perhaps to act for the climate and certainly to hold them to their responsibilities. And there’s a new generation now getting involved, which is amazing, the whole thing has evolved and there’s a freshness and an urgency, which is what we need in copious amounts…
Jim will be reading extracts from his book on 17th March at 7.30pm at The Hornbeam Centre in London and on 28th March for the Climate Camp benefit at Westhill Music Club in Brighton.
Basso and Brooke was, find without a doubt, THE worst organised show of the week. We arrived a bit late, and squeezing our way into the surging throng, rougher than any mosh pit despite the far greater average of lipstick and high heels, it transpired that they’d reached capacity in the Bloomsbury Ballroom where the show was being held and the 200-strong throng of ticket-holders outside weren’t getting in. All that practice at gigs must’ve come in handy as I proved to be a far more effective pusher and shover than our in-house fashion bitch Jenny. I managed to be the last person admitted to the show and was rushed down the stairs by the totally harassed PR going “I told him to get a bigger venue”. Forget about freebies at this one, I didn’t even get a chair.
That said, I ended up with a pretty good view of the catwalk meaning I could fully take in the Rococo ambience of the show with its sumptuous, brocaded Jackie O suits and dress and distressed hairdos, somewhere between seventeenth century wigs and sixties helmet heads. This was all sound-tracked by string versions of heavy metal songs, a tongue-in-cheek touch that raised a smile on many a frazzled fashion face. The opening notes of Sweet Child O’ Mine had an appropriately frantic urgency to it when played on a violin.
However, the music at Basso and Brooke was as nothing compared with the brilliant horror soundtrack of Ann-Sofie Back that we went to that evening. Her collection was heavily inspired by horror movies such as Carrie, and models wafted down the catwalk wearing white contact lenses, pale face makeup and wild frizz-bomb hair. Ripped denim, dream-catcher feathers and slogan sweatshirts were the order of the day although my most coveted item was a pair of red tinted aviators that turned into little blood drops at the bottom.
She was in a double bill with Peter Jensen at the Topshop showspace although I only have vague memories of his show, overshadowed as it was by the gothic offering it preceded. I’ve got a general memory of folksy, ethnic embroidery on over-the-knee white boots and boys in puffy waistcoats. Topshop also laid on a good spread of sausage rolls and champagne, although as my Topshop employee cohort pointed out, perhaps Philip Green could have directed some of those funds towards not firing some of his floor staff. Just an idea. Still, I enjoyed the posh pub spread and the ensuing shows and one thing I am definitely going to try and get hold of for this summer is a reduced-rate pair of bloody sunnies.
I have been left so in awe by the sheer quantity of auspicious talent at the Esthethica stand at London Fashion Week this month that I felt just one article would not suffice in covering this fundamental event in the fashion calender. I felt it all to hard to digest all in one sitting so I embarked on another tour of the stands having already covered Beyond Skin, malady Izzy lane and Ada Zandition.I set out to prowl for more talent. The first to lure me into his stand was sustainable fashion designer Mark Lius, doctor a man that whole heartedly deserves the title of forerunner in ethical production. His collection draws influence from the philosophy entitled ” Singularity Point”. The thesis is that a system after time becomes self aware of its own limitations and eventually devises a structure to rewrite its own rules and push itself further. Mark has miraculously achieved to produce his entire collection without the use of a sewing machine!. Astounding I know!!!
The collection oozes romance featuring a subtle palette which graduates from muted creams through to pinks and charcoals giving the collection a real sense of fluidity .Each of the dresses is beautifully crafted with such intricacy, delicate and understated prints are complimented perfectly by the elegant cut of the dresses .
The next designer to ensnare me was the pioneering label Good One. Having already worked with I-D magazine and juice magazine, and been finalists for the new designer of the year award, this brand are already making waves in the fashion sphere. Made from locally sourced recycled fabrics, Good One proves using old fabrics in your designs certainly doesn’t have to look like a sack of rags from Oxfam!.The collection exudes colour with block shapes and print to create stylish yet individual dresses.
The brand offers an online shop, which supplies the entire charity range and with prices starting from £30 it wont leave a significant dent in your pockets. To top it all off all the profits go straight back to charity, double bonus!!.
With the rise of disposable fashion Good One provides a legitimate solution to waste reduction.The brand are also expanding their knowledge to the rest of the fashion industry and have established their own consultancy to educate existing brands to tackle their own waste issues.
To summarise, Esthetica this month has been a real tour de force of talent that has left me with an overwhelming feeling of amour for our British ethical talent. Watch this space because I have an excitation that this is just the beginning of a outstanding era of success for this talented bunch………………….
Climate Rush like to do what it says on the tin, dosage so when the Landmark Hotel closed all entrances apart from one heavily guarded by police, it was obvious that a rush was needed in order to make sure that the UK NO NEW COAL AWARDS went ahead as planned. How inconsiderate of them to lock us out when we had a schedule to keep!
So, at 6.30pm on the dot we stormed through the fire exit and elegantly rushed into the Winter Garden area of the atrium, where we planned to hold our counter awards to the UK Coal industry’s annual pat on the back.
To the total bemusement of men and women in black tie stood by, not to mention the hotel staff, we sat down and began to chant “No New Coal.” Tamsin Omond and Marina Pepper, our favourite ex-page three girl, appeared at the balcony above the hall and started to hand out awards, but this being Tamsin the police were on her like a shot; whisking her off and out of the hotel even as she read out the awards. How undeserved!
As a huge banner was unfurled, bearing James Hansen’s immortal words: “COAL FIRED POWER STATIONS ARE FACTORIES OF DEATH. CLOSE THEM” by two intrepid climbers on the lintel above, Marina instead gave a rousing speech to the hundred or so present, some munching on beautifully sliced cucumber sandwiches that the crusts had been lovingly cut off.
Marina was informed that the awards had in fact been cancelled, and that the dodgy emails that Climate Rush had received, one signed by Mark Land (hoho) and one from the silly sounding Buster Gonads, were indeed bona fide missives from the hotel’s staff.
Thereafter followed some dilema, which was solved in style by consensus, when we collectively decided to politely vacate the building. This led to some milling around outside with a bunch of people in black tie who were trying to get inside, as we tried to decide if the claims were in fact true.
One guest claimed to be from BP, which led to the conclusion that we had been lied to, and so we rushed around to the back of the building where rumours of another entrance spread like wildfire. Hanging onto the gates with sheer force of will, Climate Rushers attempted to stop the police from closing us out.
Clearly perturbed by the turn of events, Landmark manager Mr. Green then invited two of our kind in on a tour of the hotel to prove that UK Coal had indeed cancelled the event – believed to have taken place during the day instead.
Marina then returned to tell us the fantastic news that the Landmark hotel have undertaken a pledge never again to entertain Climate Changing industries, and not only this, but they will attempt to push this policy out across the other 25 hotels in this luxury hotel chain. We fully expect Mr. Green to keep to his word!
With our bike sound system now powered up it was time to complete our rollcall of awards, handing out our fantastic (some might say faintly ridiculous) coalmine canaries (at least, those that hadn’t yet been confiscated by the police – paper mache can be very dangerous) So here, in no particular order, are the UK No New Coal Awards
Science Fiction award
goes to the most unbelievable technology not yet available to stop CO2 emissions, Carbon Capture and Storage.
Financial Fool award
goes to the Royal Bank of Scotland, for helping to raise $16 billion in loans to finance the worldwide coal industry over the past two years.
LIfetime Achievement award
goes to Drax coal fired power station, for the Greatest Emissions in the UK, equivalent to that of the 54 poorest countries in the world.
Best Supporting Role
goes to the biggest Climate Coward, Gordon Brown, for putting business interests before Climate Change.
goes to the next likely “factory of death”, Kingsnorth coal fired power station in Kent.
UK Coal Personality of the Year
goes to Paul Golby, CEO of energy company E.ON, for outstanding services to Greenwash (whilst plotting to build Kingsnorth)
We then danced on down the road to a local Wetherspoons (yuk) as recommended by the police, where all celebrated in red sashes, to the amusement of the other punters.
Remembering that we still had a room available in the hotel, some of us returned to continue celebrating in five star luxury, whilst we crafted a press release and uploaded our pictures. Well, it would be a shame to waste such style!
Today I woke with my heart singing, for what Climate Rush did yesterday was really rather wonderful. The power of many makes us strong – long may our adventures in stopping Climate Change continue.
Not a Feminists Art Show!
Sixteen artists will exhibit a collection of multi media art work that focuses on women without using the word Female, drug the main focus being how to create modern works of art without it being labeled as feminist especially when its regarding one genre.
Private Viewing will take place on Wednesday 4 March 19:30 – 22:30 and the Exhibition is on from 5 till the 10th of March 11:00am – 18:00pm, viagra dosage Taking place at the electrician’s shop Trinity Buoy Wharf Orchard Pl, Tower Hamlets, London E14, UK
Picasso: Challenging the Past
The National Gallery has put together an exhibition exploring Picasso’s artistic interpretation and investigation of past masters of art and their subjects, from the female nude to portraits and the female sitter.
Visitors to Trafalgar Square will be treated to spectacular illuminations covering the front of the National Gallery from 25th of February till the 4th of March. The exhibition takes place from the 25th February – 7 June 2009, room 1, admission free
On the first Thursday of every month over 100 galleries and museums in east London open until 9pm, giving visitors a chance to see some amazing art work.
Laura Oldfield Ford: Drifting through the ruins
Hales Gallery, London 2013,
30 Jan – 14 Mar 2009
Barbara Steinberg: Panoply
96a Curtain Road, Hoxton, London, EC2A
Rufus Miller: Sex N’ Death
An exhibition based around the London based artist’s reflections of life.
The Sassoon gallery, 213 Blenheim Grove Peckham
6th- 11th March
After a degree in Costume Design for the Performing Arts at The London College of Fashion Cristina began to explore costume design and illustration, she retrained as an illustrator at Camberwell College of Art and Design and as since showed and taken part in various exhibitions.
Her works are dreamy fairy tale like scenes with sharp echoes of surrealism, Art Nouveau and a touch of feminism as seen in the Illustration bellow.
Where are you based?
I’m based in North London
What inspires you in your work and why?
I got into art at college. I didn’t do a GCSE in art at school which I always regretted I chose to do a GCSE in Drama instead. I’ve always been torn between the theatre and art. When I came to choosing my A levels at college I thought that there was no way I could choose Art. So I chose psychology. I walked out of the first lesson and went straight to the art department and asked for a place. I got it, but had to prove my ability throughout the first year, before I was put forward for A level examination. It was worth the hard work, as I came out with an A and I guess the rest is history. I went on to do a foundation in art and design at Central Saint Martins, continuing by following the normal route of progression…degree to MA.
Who do you aspire to be like and who inspires you at present?
I aspire to be a great technical draughts person. I’ve always been inspired by illustrators such as Arthur Rackham, Aubrey Beardsley and slightly more obscure illustrators such as Kay Nielsen and Jan Toorop. All influential artists at the turn of the 20th century, their art tied into the arts and crafts and art nouveau movements, perhaps my favourite era in art.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
In five years from now, I see myself teaching art. I’ve been lucky to have great art teachers and feel like in the future I want to be able to inspire and encourage young people to take up art.
What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the Art?
Above all my advise to people wishing to take up art is to work hard on your basic art skills, such as colour theory, life drawing and observational drawing.
Do you have a muse and if so why?
My work is strongly emotionally focused. Sometimes my work can be literally depictive of my life events. However most of the time I use theatrical narratives to inspire me in conjunction with my emotional state of mind. I guess that life is my muse.
Stephen Jones is one of the fashion world’s greatest living milliners. His collections span the last three decades and he has collaborated with the majority of fashion heavyweights, price including John Galliano, website like this Rei Kawakubo and Vivienne Westwood.
At the V&A until May, Jones presents one of the first major exhibitions entirely and hopelessly devoted to hats, spanning headgear’s illustrious history over the past 400 years. Every type of head decoration is covered: the cloche, the cap, the head-dress, the beret, the visor, the cartwheel, the bonnet, the top, the stetson, the toque, the breton, the turban, the tricone, the hood, the mask, the tiara, the fedora, the fez… you get the idea.
The exhibition aims to chart the history of hats and hopes to provoke a revival for fashionable, often whimsical head gear. It begins with a display cabinet devoted to the two hat world staples – the bonnet and the top hat – and features Queen Victoria’s former and Prince Albert’s latter. From here, we’re led around the recently renovated Porter Gallery (fashion fans will have seen the disappointing Fashion Vs Sport exhibition here in 2008). Three sections in the exhibition space reveal hats collected together by inspiration, material or client. In theory, this should work – hats of similar materials and processes can be viewed together ranging as far back as the 15th century alongside hats from the last ten years including, predominantly, those by Jones. In practice, the exhibition is a bit of a mess. There’s actually no feeling of history (apart from a few delicious clips from the 50s during the great Salon days). It’s easy to appreciate the beauty and splendour of each hat but hard to get a feel of how things have developed and progressed.
In the Inspiration area, hats are grouped together by what has aroused particular designs to create these pieces. There’s London – which includes Piers Atkinson’s reworking of 3 New Era caps tailored to appear like Mickey Mouse ears and aptly titled Dalston. Yawn. There’s Jones’ ‘Underground’ hat that takes the form of a pillar-box hat, where the body is the tube emblem and the elastic fasteners are coloured lines like those of the public transport system. I swear this is the only exhibition ever where you’ll find a Smiffy’s plastic policeman’s helmet (2008) given the same prestige as a 1987 Harris Tweed crown (by Jones for Vivienne Westwood).
For materials, Jones collects hats together to depict how the same material has been used in varying ways over the centuries. This is alluring, but it’s easy for the eye to wander to the more striking pieces from the modern era and miss the qualities of more traditional pieces.
The Client area doesn’t give much away either, but does include a good collection of hats popularised by celebrity culture and has a voyeuristic feel rather than a studious one. There’s headgear from the hat-wearing contemporaries – JK of Jamiroquai, Sarah Jessica Parker, Camilla Parker Bowles, Erin O’ Connor and Kylie Minogue.
Wonderfully, Jones dedicates a corner of the exhibition to today’s up and coming and established milliners. This small collective with a similar base to that of Jones and Treacy (St Martins graduates, mainly) aim to push the boundaries of millinery even further. There’s Nasir Mazher’s stunning chiffon and satin veil, Justin Smith’s Winehouse-inpired ‘Amy’ creation, and Soren Bach’s pom-pom ensemble famously worn by Björk.
Hats are displayed atop mannequin heads on poles as high as 6′ – with the number of that hat at the bottom. This might work when cross referencing the hats to the information in the gallery by oneself – a luxury any of us are likely to enjoy. Instead, it’s a constant battle to fight past fellow viewers to find the corresponding card (that is, after you’ve found the bloody number of that hat all the way down). There’s also a distinct lack of imagery to accompany the pieces – our appetites are only slightly satisfied by a tiny slide show of photographs of celebrities from the last decade. It’s also a shame that 95% of the hats are on heads alone – to chart the history and recognise a particular hat’s authority and cultural position it would have occasionally been nice to see a hat presented with clothing from the time (particularly with designer collaborations where the piece has inspired the collection, or vice versa).
See Hats… if you can. It’s a fantastic exhibition which presents what can often be overlooked as a statement piece for any man or woman’s wardrobe. It’s a shame that practical layout has taken a back-seat to make way for over-aesthetic and pretentious exhibition design, but this shouldn’t put you off exploring the splendour of all things hats.
Arriving at the Gagosian on the outskirts of Mayfair feels a bit of a three-way clash. I’m a little scruffy and philosophical-looking today, buy the gallery’s doorman is impeccably dressed with one hammerhead eye out the window looking for any limousined celebs he might open the door to… and then there is the work. Approaching a Haruki Murakami is always a bracing experience. You can never have chewed enough bubblegum, try played enough video games or collected enough Pokemon cards that you might feel you belong in front of a work like Lots, cost Lots of KaiKai and Kiki. Yet, aieeeee!!!!: Here I am.
The first thing that strikes me about this is that it’s an all-over painting, similar in size and shape to a Pollock. It’s as if Pollock’s paint-stick ejaculations had each germinated into a Kiki or a KaiKai (Murakami’s two principal anime-style protagonists – a cute bunny-eared thing and a kooky tri-clops bundle of mischief). Lavender Mist gone Manga, there are well over a hundred faces here. Not one of them is merely here, however. Each is vying for my attention. Either throwing a cuddly grin at me, pulling a smug smile at me, lunging a bewildered face at me, snorting at me, shouting, screaming and going la-de-da-de-da at me. Always, intensely, insanely at me, at me, at me. The smiley flowers in the background are a little less so, but not much.
There’s either too much or not enough purity in this. Sure, it’s a haribo-overdose headache, a million cartoons at once and, of course, Murakami is a canny capitalist industry now, with a marketing department that would make Benetton long for the golden years. But it’s nice, too. You can really just melt into the superficiality of it all. For a while, I wondered if some of the grimaces on Kiki’s face were chastising the toon-world for it’s bondage, forcing innocent toon-babies to be sugar-buzzingly hyper-kerrazy all the time, but I don’t think so. If Murakami’s embrace of the Hello Kitty and Pikachu universe was ever partly sarcastic, it’s not easy to see that anymore. Especially in the show’s animated video piece. Aside from one character declaring that the city in the sky is “a little clichéd”, some remarks about Yin and Yang and the big monster’s crescendo of farting and pooping, this could be on any of the more ADHD kid’s TV channels right now. In fact, even with those things, it would get on Toonami I suspect. Oh, and the animation is just as slick as the painting, i.e. very, very, eyes-glazed-over slick.
Which is when I decide to get down to The Hayward, to try and re-elevate my IQ. The Russian Linesman is a pretty cerebral show about, so says the subtitle, Frontiers, Borders and Thresholds, curated by Mark Wallinger. Now, here’s a chap hitherto obsessed with class division and racehorses. Also, it seems, a chap who doesn’t like to be pigeonholed. Not a sign of class warfare anywhere. And there’s even a drawing by George “I draw horses” Stubbs – and it’s of a human skeleton. What a tease! So, if the subtitle doesn’t allude to class barriers and finishing lines, then what?
Whatever the answer, it must be a sign of a healthy art culture when artists don’t feel forever bound to their established gimmicks. Oh, the nailbiting back when Gary Hume gave up painting doors. There’s none of that fear here, and eclecticism is happily the show’s most obvious feature. A Durer engraving faces three stretches of conceptual twine by Fred Sandback, James Joyce’s disembodied voice recites part of Finnegan’s Wake next to a Blake, while a ballerina dances on a projected video loop round the corner. In my favourite leg of the show hangs a masterful 17th Century painting of a dead soldier, thought once to be a Velázquez. The wall on which it hangs forms part of Monika Sosnowska’s Corridor, one of those rare conceptual pieces which will have you laugh out loud and have a conversation with the laugher behind you. I really must resist spoiling the joke for you, simple as it is, but Escher would have loved it.
The centrepiece is Wallinger’s own Time And Relative Dimensions In Space, which is a full-sized polished-steel mirror replica of Dr. Who’s T.A.R.D.I.S, from which it gets the profound-sounding title. This is a thing of stunning beauty.
Part of the gag, by the way, is that as you try to look “into” it, you see an art gallery, yourself, artworks, people, thus it’s… you’ve guessed it kids, “bigger on the inside than on the outside”. Sort of. There’s something about the way the geometry of the room continues through it, that makes it kind of invisible, as though halfway through a sci-fi disappearance special effect (after all, it brings no colours of its own to the room, or geometric discontinuities or bends) but it”s also garishly, chunkily, heavily there. And the punters flock to this one. Wallinger has wisely not put anything too attention-grabbing near it, and it’s the magnet of the show. It’s also just after halfway through, so if you’ve been scratching your head a lot, wondering what’s going on, you can check that your hair’s not too badly messed up on the Tardis. Dead handy.
History creeps into the show quite a bit. Anglo-Germanic relations are central to the show’s title (the Russian linesman being the chap who decided that England’s dodgy 1966 World Cup-winning goal against West Germany was legit, allegedly admitting later that Hitler’s bloody march on Stalingrad in 1943 helped him decide). And a wall full of stereoscopic viewfinder images (how fun!) presents us firstly with the Nazi War Effort (oh…), and ends up with our own Teutonic Queen, greeting Nigerian subjects in the 1950s. Plenty of loose ends there. More impressive, however, is Ronald Searle’s set of drawings showing his experiences in Burma in the Second World War. It’s a bit of a jar perhaps, to have these painful and violent images so close to the fun of Corridor or the Tardis, but maybe that’s just another threshold to cross?
There are many ways that borders, etc come into the show. Political borders that divide people and send them to war, between reality and illusion, lines drawn between species, and poetics-of-space type boundaries, but I don’t think it’s necessary to try and see this as a coherent body of work. It’s a bric-a-brac feast, and better for it. It’s Wallinger the artist-as-curator, but, as the gallery makes clear from the outset, also curator-as-artist. The Russian Linesman is his scrapbook, providing a good deal of fresh insight into his ideas and interests. It may not all fit inside the boundaries imposed but it looks like a decent goal to me.
Murakami is at the Gagosian Davies St, 17-19 Davies St, London, W1K 3DE. The Russian Linesman is at The Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX. Don’t forget your bubblegum.
What better way to unwind after a hard day grafting in the big smoke then to retreat back to that quintessential British past time knitting. I think everyone has a fond recollection of their grandma’s knitted jumpers, approved although maybe not appreciated fully at the time.
I knit is a both a sanctuary, page shop and club for avid knitters to retreat to amidst the city hustle. They hold special groups on both Wednesday and Thursday evenings at there shop in Waterloo from 6pm and all for free. With a fully licensed bar what perfect way to juxtapose cultures then with a pint in one hand and a knitting needle in the other! The group have also fused another nostalgic past time into their events, case they hold a Sunday Knit Roast every month, so its knitting with all the trimmings!
For those complete novices out there, never fear, the group host classes every week to accommodate every level of expertise. From the basics, to the outright bizarre. The weird techniques class takes place on the 7th of March, and includes innovative new methods such as knitting backwards and cabling without a needle, to name but a few.
Of particular interest to myself was the knit fix class, I am sure the best of us have felt that sense of exasperation when they have dropped a stitch and were not in the slightest bit sure of how to retrieve it. This class will take place on Saturday the 14th of March.Then for the more accomplished knitter there is lace knitting, advanced sock knitting and raglan sweater classes to boot. All workshops start from around £30 pounds and are roughly 3 hours long.
So get your knitting needles at the ready as I knit is a event not to be missed!
Tuesday 3rd March, ask
FrYars is the chosen moniker of Ben Garrett, a 19 year old Londoner with a shed-load of talent and the vision and ambition to match. A haunting singer and inspired songwriter.
Image by Rick Pushinsky
Hoxton Hall, London
Fanfarlo, Yucatan, IVAN CAMPO
Beautiful Wonky Pop from Brit Based Sweethearts Fanfarlo with Support from the mezmerizing Yucatan and Ivan Campo. Coincides with their BBC 6 Music session with Marc Riley.
The Deaf Institute, Grosvenor Street, Manchester
Wednesday 4th March
Neo-soul / Live Electronics / Minimalist are on the menu for anyone going to see Shooting spires at Retro bar, Manchester Wednesday. Shooting Spires is the side project of BJ Warshaw of Parts and Labor so expect heart wrenching keyboard melodies with bruising drum thumps.
Retro Bar, Manchester
Thursday 5th March
One step more and you die
One of the best Club nights in Manchester. Expect all the usual noises from the likes of Nick Cave, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Thermals, LCD Soundsystem, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Low, Fugazi, Do Make Say Think, Mew, Appleseed Cast, My Bloody Valentine, King Crimson, Mogwai, Arcade Fire, Spacemen 3, The Birthday Party, Idlewild, The Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Pavement, Efterklang, Aphex Twin, M83, 13th Floor Elevators, Cave In, Bjork, Tortoise, David Bowie, Deerhoof, Battles, Slint and many more.
Tiger Lounge, 5 Cooper Street Manchester M2 2FW
When she and her compadres lay on the strings her songs assume a poppy lushness that is quite captivating. An English take on Americana.
Image courtesy of DAVID BEECH www.davidbeech.co.uk
Downtempo, Electronic act formed in 1995, playing a consistently good mix of chill out electronica for more than a decade.
Friday 6th March
Noah And The Whale
Deep dulcet tones over the sweetest melodic strings come together in Noah and the Whale. Enviably intelligent Alt. Folk with a mix of Silver Jews and Tom Waits.
Upset the rhythm Party w/ Wavves & Pens
Lo-fi noise-pop musician Nathan William, AKA Wavves embarks on a European tour, which began March the first at Glasgow’s Nice N Sleazy. Support comes from Pop Punk, Thrash all girl combo Pens.
Wavves allows some of his music to be downloaded free from http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/Wavves/music
Frankmusik + DJs Tits Of Death + Skill Wizard
Up and coming ‘Blade Runner’ pop cavalier Frankmusik (real name Vincent Frank) headlines the March installment of On The Up at The Barfly London. In conjunction with his revolutionary and completely interactive tour promoted by Channel 4 and MySpace.
Saturday 7th March
North sea Radio Orchestra
North Sea Radio Orchestra is a unique chamber group who perform music of beauty and originality that has, at its heart, lyricism and melodic richness. Featuring wind, strings, percussion, guitars, organs and voices. They live in a world cushioned by melody and harmony.
Sunday 8th March
London Word Festival
London’s only alternative literate-arts festival is back. Sunday’s event is co-headlined by Bishi and Lupen Crook. Look out for more events in the following week including a gig with Wave Machines and Serafina Steer.