Amelia’s Magazine | The Secret Emporium at The Secret Garden Party Festival 2012

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The Secret Emporium by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

This year The Secret Garden Pary, which took place between the 19th and 22nd of July, had chosen for its 10th birthday celebrations the theme ‘Standing on Ceremony’. More than ever before this famously flamboyant festival encouraged all kinds of rituals, ceremonies, initiations and carnivals to be abundantly created, attended and enjoyed by the gardeners. As the charming Secret Garden Party guide from this year explained, the aim of the above, and of the Garden as a whole, was to ‘bind us together’ and ‘emphasise matter over mind’. I felt that both these aims were most certainly achieved not only by the colourful activities, but also the huge amounts of mud which challenged us, bonded us as if with gooey, brown glue and made sure that ‘matter’ took centre stage indeed…

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Bannersphoto by Maria Papadimitriou

I found myself part of this mud world because I was one of the designers taking part in the Secret Emporium. For a few years now The Secret Emporium has been sourcing independent, underground and out of the ordinary designers during the winter and taking them to festivals over the summer – as well as organising various other pop up events during the year, such as The Secret Emporium Christmas Market, featured previously in Amelia’s Magazine. The often theatrical pieces by The Secret Emporium designers are especially suited to a playful festival, like The Secret Garden Party, and it was most fun witnessing people all around being at their most willing to dress up and give in to a bit of embelishment. Below are just a few of my favorite looks and designs from The Secret Emporium festive marquee…

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party EABURNS photo by Maria Papadimitriou

A wonderful shoulder piece, headband and pendant from EABurns by the very talented Lizzie Burns.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Veronique wearing SJSSTYLE and Every Cloud has a Silver Lining photo by Maria Papadimitriou

I think a few jaws dropped when the beautiful Veronique – a Secret Emporium intern – modeled this onesie by SJSSTYLE and long statement necklace by Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Key-Lime-Pie cape+bow photo by Maria Papadimitriou

A lovely festival look consisting of cape, bow hairpiece and bum-bag by Key Lime Pie.

Secret Emporium Tell Tails by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Tell Tails by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Hapuska photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Hapuska’s headpieces were perfect for a bit of drama – and notice the cute red bows make up by In Your Dreams mentioned below!

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Feathersmith photo by Maria Papadimitriou

More feathery, tribal headwear by Feathersmith.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Camille Walalaphoto by Maria Papadimitriou

The super lovely Camille Walala, whose colourful stall I had the pleasure of having immediately opposite me, dressed glamorously every day in her own designs.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party The Poundshopphoto by Maria Papadimitriou

I totally loved the forces behind The Poundshop, Sara and George, who were, like myself, recipients of one of the very generous Secret Emporium scholarships. From their greatly designed wooden kiosk on wheels they represented a host of designers via their super affordable and witty products.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Plastic Seconds photo by Maria Papadimitriou

This lady was very excited about just purchasing this headpiece made from found objects by Plastic Seconds – which is my jewellery line.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Hathor photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Elegant and sparkly one-off headpieces by Hathor.

Secret Emporium BangBangCrash by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Bang Bang Crash by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Of course The Secret Garden Party is very clear about its desire to bring out the animal side in a Gardener so Bang Bang Crash were there to provide various animal suits…

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party JobeeJo Creations photo by Maria Papadimitriou

And felted animal ear hats by JoBee Jo Creations were helping along.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party In Your Dreams photo by Maria Papadimitriou

In Your Dreams catered for all our ‘out there’ make up needs and were deservedly very popular.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Tell Tales 2 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Tell Tails photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Also very popular – both with kids and adults! – were the fabulous tails from Tell Tails.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Merrimaking

The Merrimaking stall, as always, was full of cleverly designed and fun promoting items.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party SJSSTYLE photo by Maria Papadimitriou

SJSSTYLE made sunglasses with all sorts of weird and wonderful additions to them!

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Lucy Peacock photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Lucy Peacock, who is helping to run The Secret Emporium, also displayed her geometric jewellery.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Grace Du Prez photo by Maria Papadimitriou

I have long admired Grace du Prez’s jewellery design and at The Secret Emporium she was also my delightful neighbour.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Gilbert Grotto and Grace Du Prezphoto by Maria Papadimitriou

Here is one of Grace du Prez’s hair pendants worn on a Gilbert Grotto tee!

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Fuudhoods photo by Maria Papadimitriou

The cockerel in me loved these head turning hoods by Fuud Hoods.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Leftover photo by Maria Papadimitriou

More found objects headpiece action by Leftover.

Secret Emporium at Secret Garden Party Umbrellas decorations photo by Maria Papadimitriou

The Secret Emporium team had made these bright and colourful umbrellas to decorate the interior of their euqally bright and colourful marquee.

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou.

Categories ,BangBang Crash, ,Camille Walala, ,EABurns, ,Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining, ,Feathersmith, ,festival, ,Fuud Hoods, ,Gilbert Grotto, ,Grace Du Prez, ,Hapuska, ,Hathor, ,In Your Dreams, ,JoBee Jo Creations, ,Key Lime Pie, ,Leftover, ,Lucy Peacock Jewellery, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Merrimaking, ,Plastic Seconds, ,Secret Emporium, ,Secret Garden Party, ,SJSSTYLE, ,Tell Tails, ,The Poundshop, ,The Secret Emporium, ,The Secret Garden Party

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Amelia’s Magazine | My Best Friend’s (Eco) Wedding

Hannah Marshall by Naomi Law

This September London Fashion Week enters it’s third season within the courtyard of Somerset house. To enter the spirit of things Amelia’s Magazine will previewing on, sildenafil off schedules and the presentations, abortion naming the designers we think you should be keeping your eyes firmly on.
Here are Amelia’s Magazine’s ‘on schedule’ ones to watch.

Hannah Marshall – dark bold shapes, holding the tickets in our hands to HM’s SS10 collection (September 09) my colleague and I could barely contain our glee. Sitting down in the old post office building in Holborn Hannah’s models stalked through the space the inky blue errevensent in the dim lighting. AW 10 saw …. and …

Mary Katrantzou

Meeralee

Michael Van Der Haam’s Andy Warhol inspired designs influence were easily spotted in some of this year’s MA crop. For SS 11 Van Der Haam is presenting at ….

Louise Gray

I love Louise Gray – I love how her stalls in the New Gen exhibition section start off almost bare and before you know are infected with riotious colour as the exquisite detritus from her presentations take their place. For SS10 Gray presented both women and menswear occupying a small vault in Fashion East’s installation spaces. I am more than excited for her SS11 Catwalk Show.

Holly Fulton sharing a catwalk at … with David Koma, a designer Amelia’s Magazine was privy to his first two seasons presenting off schedule at ones to watch. (see previous coverage here and here)

Fashion East

Felicity Brown and Simone Rocha by Gareth A Hopkins

For the last six years Fashion East has reliably spotted recent graduates who go one to become sought after designers. This year’s crop sees Heikke Salone, Simone Rocha and Felicity Brown.

Heikki by Gemma Randall


Mr and Mrs Collingham, what is ed illustrated by Krister Selin

When my oldest pal Lydia announced her engagement and subsequent wedding, I struggled to imagine her having a generic do with a meringue dress and posed pictures. Her list of likes include folk and rock music, vintage fashion and living a sustainable day-to-day life. So it was no surprise when she declared that her wedding would take place in the woods.

I apologise in advance if this article may seem a little self-indulgent, and the truth is, it probably is. Well, sod it.


Lydia and Nathan


Photograph by Paul Saxby

Lydia and Nathan’s day began at the local town hall, with a low key ceremony. I had been so nervous about my continous blubbing throughout, but as The Beatles’ Love Me Do skipped on an old portable CD player, my tears turned to laughter. Lydia entered in a floor length Grecian-inspired dress with an artificial pose of sunflowers. Blimey, these civil ceremonies don’t last long do they? Before I knew it, they were Mr and Mrs Collingham and we were ushered outside to pose on the lawn. (Is it a civil ceremony when you get married at a registry office? I hope so).


Camping! Illustrated by Natasha Thompson

Anyway, the festivities began. Car-sharing had been arranged prior to the day (unfortunately there isn’t any easier way of getting around our small network of tiny villages) and guests had been discouraged from travelling from overseas. We arrived at the reception, set in our friend Alice’s beautiful garden. Lydia and Nathan are really fortunate to have such lovely friends who already take sustainability and climate change very seriously. The newlyweds had tried to create a festival vibe, whilst keeping carbon emisions to a minimum. We were all camping! A little camping area had been set up at the entrance to the woods, where tents had been pitched, and for a split second I could have been at any of the summer festivals – coloured tapers adorned the trees and homemade signs with directions had been painted.

Next up – food and booze. The food was incredible, and all locally sourced to reduce environmental impact. Organic elderflower champagne was provided as a reception drink, served with delicious vegan canapés. A delicious hog roast, provided by local butchers, was layed on for the meat eaters, but the menu was, by and large, vegan. Lydia’s mum had made a gorgeous mushroom en croute to accompany Ecoworks’ delicious selection of salads and nut roasts, and some of the vegatables had been sourced right here from the gardens!




The food! Illustrated by Kayleigh Bluck


Every method of recycling was taken care of!

Ecoworks is a community organisation based in Nottinghamshire with ‘the interests of people and the environment at its heart’. They work on conservation and restoration projects and run the FRESH project, which champions regeneration, education in sustainability and health.

They also run courses that encourage people to grow the good stuff and eat sustainably. Their Harvest Café van (a gorgeous converted vintage Citroën H van, no less) caters at festivals and events and specialises in vegetarian and vegan food, They provided spuds in the evening, with chilli or dahl, and a veggie breakfast the following day. I didn’t manage any of the latter because I had the world’s worst hangover, but I’m told it was a delight…

Lydia and Nathan’s dog Polly even managed to get in on the action, dressed to the nines in a ruffle of sunflowers…

Illustration of Polly by Naomi Law


I’m always hot for a Stella McCartney shoe – especially sourced on eBay at a bargain price. You can put the girl in the woods, but she’ll still wear hot shoes. AND Stella would have been proud. Sorry, I couldn’t resist… arrrrr!


Illustration by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

And so, very quickly, the afternoon turned to the evening and it was time to party, after taking a visit to one of the garden’s many eco loos. A total shock for many, this was. Wails of ‘Is that really where I go to the bloody lav?’ could be heard in the camping area, but just about everybody got used to it pretty quickly. One guest, who shall remain nameless, was even caught photographing down one…

Hay bales covered in vintage blankets created space for guests to mingle, while the epicentre was The Dome.

This recycled space appeared like a vision of the future from the 1960s, and Alice’s mum kindly informed me that it used to operate as a swimming pool cover. It was in here that local live bands played, including the wonderful 10 O’clock Horses – a suitable blend of folk, rock, roots and punk. Lydia and Nathan had their first dance to this band’s first song (as I stood aghast) and then we all had a good ol’ jig.


10 O’clock Horses, illustrated by Jaymie O’Callaghan

Candles lit the gardens, which was a bit of a struggle to begin with but we all soon got used to it and danced into the small hours. And so after a few too many organic beers and far too much shameful dancing on my behalf, it was time for bed. What a fabulous, fabulous day.

We retired to our tents, and Lydia and Nathan skipped off to their tepee to consumate their marriage…


Lydia and Nathan in front of their teepee, photographed by Paul Saxby

I have no idea if they did or not.

Categories ,Autostitch, ,camping, ,eco, ,Eco-loo, ,Ecoworks, ,environment, ,festival, ,Food, ,Halina, ,Hipstamatic, ,Jaymie O’Callaghan, ,Krister Selin, ,Michelle Urvall Nyrén, ,Naomi Law, ,Natasha Thompson, ,Nottinghamshire, ,Paul Saxby, ,Polaroid, ,Stella McCartney, ,Sunflowers, ,Teepee, ,The Harvest Café, ,vegan, ,vegetarian, ,Wedding

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Green Man Festival

London has had many guises over the millennia, cheapest website like this and what we Londoners (born and bred in my case) consider essential and iconic about it varies wildly from what foreigners do, buy information pills whether they be from the Welsh borders or much further afield. Some outsiders hate London and all it stands for – everyone knows someone from outside who refuses to ever come to the Big Town because it is so “noisy and dirty, and everyone is so rude”.

Of course it is! It’s a big, bad mess of a place. It’s also much more than the sum of Oxford Street and Madame Tussauds, where lots of visitors start their London experience, missing out on the more personal, human aspect of the city because it’s all just too overwhelming. Admittedly, sometimes London feels like an overpriced dump, but it’s our dump. So how to make outsiders see what we see?

Mayor Boris has issued a competition to ad agencies to give London a new identity, presumably with an eye on the Olympics, and branding agency Moving Brands has decided to take its bid public. It’s inviting submissions from all of us to suggest ideas and images in the hope of coming up with something that’s quintessentially Londonic, something Londoners might actually like and want to look at, as well as luring more tourists to the banks of the Thames. There’s a lot of logos already defining some of London’s attributes, some more popular than others:

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London needs its brand identity to unite all the different facets of city life in the capital. The new face of London can’t be all shiny and perky because we aren’t in America; it shouldn’t be too “yoof” or urban because huge swathes of London is preppy and upper-crust. But we also don’t want to see any references to Shakespeare or any mythical past golden age. London has street markets, opera houses, a Queen, gay clubs, curry houses, Fashion Week, Soho and more scenes than you could count. Why not have a go at designing something that does justice to the London you know and love?

The project is also an interesting peek into the journey a brand goes through during development. Moving Brand’s blog is essentially the brainstorm phase played out in public, where everyone can see the false starts and evolving ideas. There’s quite a few interesting submissions up on their blog already, which could form the basis of the agency’s tender, and they’re getting feedback on everything via Twitter and Facebook. One of these images might become very familiar some time soon.

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Jeans for Genes day was once the highlight of the primary school calendar: one of only a few days when our joyous little selves can don our own clothes and ditch our school uniforms (of course inspiring the mini divas in each of us to spend hours deciding what combo to go with to best impress our school-kid counterparts, order or was that just me?!) Synonymous with freedom, this site equality and embracing the American way of the Western frontier, denim has always held associations with youthful hope. Becoming popular in the James Dean era with 1950s teenagers everywhere, jeans have become symbolic of casual dress, ‘devil-may-care’ attitudes and rebellion. Perhaps that’s why they make an excellent choice for supporting this charity for Genetic Disorders; giving kids a chance to make a difference through self-expression. Whilst providing adults a chance to embrace their inner child, wear their jeans with pride and be optimistic about making a change for a day in our doom-and-gloom world.

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At the same time as raising money for children and families affected by genetic disorders, the charity donates funds to groundbreaking research into cures for the disorders it supports such as sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis. Frequently funding research into many unknown disorders enables small projects to receive help they would scarcely be able to generate on their own. By simply donating a bit of dosh each year to help change a life on Jeans for Genes day millions of people are ‘allowed’ to wear jeans to work and school. And this year is no different, with the event taking place on Friday 2nd October across the country.

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With supporters such as Project Catwalk‘s Nick Ede and Donna Ida, of Dona Ida’s denim boutique, Jeans for Genes is well-known in the fashion world. Frequently running other initiatives to unite the fashion and charity spheres, including a t-shirt design competition at London College of Fashion. This year the competition was won by Asha Joneja, a London College of Fashion student for her gold foil double helix design.

Donna Ida summarises the case for Jeans for Genes rather fittingly: “Fashion speaks to such a wide audience that I thought it important to use that platform to gain awareness for a great charity, and Jeans for Genes was the perfect fit,” using the mass-appeal of the fashion industry to generate money for a good cause, rather than personal profit or greed.

Moreover Jeans for Genes are not the only ones with this attitude. It seems this ethic is spreading at the moment; with other charitable organisations tied to fashion springing up and stomping their heels in the name of raising money. One such event, Fit for a Princess, will be held on 26th September 2009 at the Bentall shopping centre in Kingston. Endeavoring to fuse the worlds of fashion and charity, the shopping centre states that it champions the event because it is giving back to the local community with a kick-ass fashion punch.

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Helena Bonham Carter

The event’s exhibition is run by the Princess Alice Hospice, a local charity with 25 years of experience caring for its patients, providing free, excellent quality support in a modern setting; it’s income is largely generated by charitable donations such as this event promises to secure.

Undeniably, the event has drawn much fashionista support in the form of Twiggy, Trinny Woodall and Fern Cotton. Each celebrity will showcase their personal party outfits in shop windows throughout the centre, promising to exhibit sassy personal styling as well as trend and designer knowledge. Giving a new meaning to the term ‘window shopping’, shoppers will be able to bid on their favourite celebrities’ stylings on eBay from the 19th October. To locate the clothes type ‘fit for a princess’ in to the site’s search engine.

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Fearne Cotton

Key pieces featuring in the exhibition include an Alberta Ferretti sequin skirt and top worn by Helena Bonham-Carter at the Planet of the Apes premier, and a body con dress by current fascination and legend of the eighties, Hervé Leger, donated by Beverly Knight. It seems that fashion, despite its bad rep as heartless and money-grabbing, can also use its power for good… watch this space for more events that Amelia’s Magazine thinks you should be involved with.

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Beverley Knight
Over the last few years, there the British summer has seen the festival crescendo. Featuring initially as a mere whisper in the background of our holiday activities to an overwhelming, generic near inaudible screech with festivals popping up bigger and louder than ever before. We all need to take a long hard look at ourselves and ‘STOP!’ Not everything needs to grow to epic, brand-lavished proportions, things can remain at a small, intimate size. In our economic c*****e (excuse the blasphemy), let’s take it DIY…

An antidote to all things grotesquely commercial, this weekend I ventured to Mellow Croft Farm in the idyllic hills of South Wales to check out the fifth annual CWM event, hosted by South London arts collective, Utrophia.

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In place of queue foreboding portaloos, were handmade huts where excrement was neatly disposed of with a layer of pine needles. To be ethically turned into manure by the landowner in two years time. There was no sign of any beer sponsored, overprized bars. Instead a table offering £2 pints of local ale and organic cider via, at times, an honesty box system. Not to mention the fire-heated open-air bath to wash off the festival fun. But best of all, the festival goers consisted of around 200 like-minded music lovers and the organisers intend to keep it that way.

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“Using the word ‘festival’ to describe these events is debatable, as we like to think they mimic the outdoor gatherings that had occurred pre-Woodstock. You know the ones you never heard of, where folk came from near and far to share their goods and entertain one another, ” says the collective.

Something charming about such an intimate event is that you don’t have that (self-coined) ‘Clashtonbury’ moment, where after desiring no bands all morning, you are forced to choose between seeing your two favourite acts, billed simultaneously. At Cwmback, the schedule was as organic as their cider, with announcements of acts made by a cowbell assisted role call from around the campsite. In between acts, was an obligatory regroup at the bar tent or campfire where gems of entertainment were born out of idle moments; the ‘communal hair washing’ incident and ‘crisp eating to music’ event to name just two.

Rather than a main stage live experience that is more like watching BBC iplayer for all you can see of the bands, Cwmback’s live music setting was built within a snug pine forest which handily provided shelter from the rain when those Welsh skies opened – which they love to do.

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So what of the music? A cast made up mostly of friends of friends, there was an eclectic mix of the obscure to the bizarre, but never a weak link. Jame Dudy Dench delighted on the opening night with a comical Hip-Hopera, more in a vein of a satirical Beastie Boy than R. Kelly. Staying on the ironic end of the spectrum, duo Ginger & Sorrel, opened Sunday night’s entertainment blending Fairground keyboard phrases with beer sipped in comedy timing and a rap about tarpaulin, which was also a component of their outfits.

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Gentleman’s Relish brought an air of Sinatra, if he’d have gotten lost on the way to Vegas and found himself in a sweaty indie club. The lead singer croons over a mire of guitar riffs and in ‘Wolves and Monkeys’, chimpanzee noises.

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The Human Race managed to overcome technical obstacles in the form of a broken amp/guitar and eventual loss bass guitar string mid-performance to deliver a stomping set – nothing like staring into the face of adversity to up your musical prowess.

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The lo-fi element of the weekend came in the form of girl/boy folk duo, Mouth 4 Rusty who had the audience clicking and clapping along to stripped back simple songs of love forlorn.

A personal hightlight were Limn, an instrumental 4-piece who play in a revolving drum/guitar rectangle, communicating in call and response riffs that transport you to an old Batman cartoon series.

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Pop crooner, Mon Fio, was joined by a trombone player in an appropriately, Sunday afternoon, ad hoc fashion from the depths of the pine forest location. Such was the desire for an encore (and hangover), songwriter Jon, simply repeated the last song in the set to an audience who had broken out into a line dancing formation.

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Please paid a fleeting visit to the farm to play a full throttle performance at dusk which had the most timid of music listeners moshing at the front. Festival closer, Pseudo Nippon donned African prints and tropical inspired outfits to screech over a Gameboy backing track, in a Japanese accent and individually hug every member of the audience several times throughout their set. We were charmed.

If you like to enjoy your festival from the confines of your bourgeois motorhome, then this may not be the one for you. If, however, you’ve given up on the scene, loathing everything about Reading Festival and its conglomerate cousins, then Cwmback, because you may well have met your match. Maybe next year avoid the big punchers of the festival circuit, take a leaf out of the Utrophia book and Do It Yourselves.

As previously mentioned in this week’s music listings, you can conveniently find the crop of these bands at Shunt in London Bridge this Friday.

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Raised on a diet of sun-drenched, price rural, buy more about Californian folk, about it Alela Diane came from relative obscurity, initially self-releasing her albums in paper and lace sleeves with hand lettering, before finally getting noticed by the world’s music press. Only to have one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2007 with her debut, ‘Pirate’s Gospel’. Amelia’s Magazine finds out that she’s still keeping it all in her stride, as we chat on the phone with the down to earth lady, from her house in Portland, Oregon, before she crosses the Atlantic to tour her latest release, ‘To Be Still.’ Here’s how it went…

Amelia’s Magazine: After such a successful debut, how does it feel to release an album with all eyes on you?

Alela Diane: Well I guess I don’t always really realise that all eyes are on me if they are. I try to maintain a low profile. But it is nice to put out another record knowing that people are going to hear it.

AM: Are you excited to bring it to the UK?

AD: It will be nice to do a few more dates in the UK… We’ve been on tour so much this year and part of me is, ‘oh I haven’t been home at all’, but… we haven’t done a lot of touring this album in the UK so that’ll be nice. We’ve done lots of UK festivals with this album but not many smaller venues yet.

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AM: Your music lends itself to an intimate setting, do you enjoy those smaller gigs more for that reason?

AD: It’s really difficult to compare the two. They both have a unique energy. At a festival people are out to have a great time. It’s just so different in a smaller venue. I enjoy both. But sometimes you can really get into the feeling of the music in a smaller setting.

AM: There is a fuller arrangement of the tracks on ‘To Be Still’ compared with your first album. Will you be joined by a full band on tour?

AD: I have a drummer and a bass player and back up singers. And my dad is touring with me also, playing electric guitar and mandolin. Yeah it is more full than I’m used to.

AM: Is that something that makes you feel proud to have your dad touring with you?

AD: My dad is an amazing musician and it really is great having him with me. It keeps me grounded. Makes away feel more homey.

AM: Is he responsible for getting you into music and writing it yourself?

AD: When I really started writing songs and began to perform… that was a thing I kind of did on my own. But my whole life growing up with my parents, my dad is a performer so it was a massive part of my upbringing.

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AM: Michael Hurley‘s vocals in ‘Age Old Time’ off the new album really capture the raw, nostalgia present in a lot of your music. Was that a conscious decision?

AD: He was really fitting for that song because I wrote that song about my Grandma’s dad. He’d written all these songs for my grandma when she was little. So the song would resonate we really wanted a voice that sounded from another time. I’d met Michael living in Portland and gave him a record. His voice really captured what that song was about. It was one of those magical little moments of the record.

AM: Tell me about Headless Heroes, it was such a favourite album of mine… Is that ever to be repeated?

AD: I really don’t know. It was one of those somewhat random projects, which I was invited to be a part of and what I did on that project was really just sing. I didn’t have anything to do with picking the songs or really much else other than lending my voice. But it was kind of liberating and a lot of fun to just do it and not be responsible for every other detail of that recording. In some ways it allowed me to just really experiment with my voice and have a great experience. I think I learned a lot from doing it and perhaps in the future I will do more projects like that.

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AM: So back to your own music, do you write mainly at home in Portland, Oregon or on tour? Where is most condusive for you?

AD: For ‘To Be Still’ I wrote most of them when I was living in this little cabin in Nevada City and I wrote some of them up in Portland when I was living there. Lately because I have been on the road so much I have started to write a lot more lyrics without having the chance to develop the songs yet. But I have a bunch of words that are waiting to become songs. And I never did that before. I was writing at home where I could make it a song right away. But I don’t have the time and space to do that on tour because I’m around people all the time or in a van. But in a way it’s nice because it’s given me a chance to really develop the words before they become songs. I think once I’m home after this tour I’ll get chance to find the music and the melodies for them.

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AM: So it sounds like there could be quick turnaround…

AD: Yeah I think so. I’m feeling like there is good stuff there and I can’t wait to develop it.

AM: What do you listen to yourself?

AD: Well… I listen to a lot of older stuff – I guess I’m sitting in front of my vinyl collection right now… the one on the top is a Johnny Cash record.

AM: Which one?

AD: He’s older on the front and it just says CASH… Unchained! Erm… I’ve been pretty into Fleetwood Mac lately and Fairport Convention. I think Sandy Denny has my actual favourite voice. She’s my favourite vocalist.

AM: Is there anything modern that ever catches your ear?

AD: It has been a while… I have friends who I definitely appreciate. My friend Mariee Sioux, I love her music. She does something very different and special. I heard the Fleet Foxes last summer and really, really liked that. For a while I was a bit sceptical because they had been so hyped up and I was like, ‘yeah, yeah.’ But then when I actually heard it, I realised they were very, very talented.

AM: There’s definitely a folk explosion apparent with bands like Fleet Foxes in the US and much in what is coming out of the UK at the moment. Are there any countries that have gripped onto your music that have surprised you?

AD: Yeah. I’ve been a France and lot. And something about my music seems to be really liked in France. I don’t necescarily understand it but I think in a way it is so foreign to them. It’s coming from a place that is so unlike France. The things I sing about…

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AM: Will the next album see any new collaborations?

AD: I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Because I’ve been touring with the band so much… my dad, my good friend Lena sings the back up vocals. She’s been writing a lot of songs. My boyfriend is the bass player in the band and the four of us are starting to collaborate and working on the idea of what we can do writing together. So that is something that may end up happening.

AM: Is that a first for you then?

AD: Up to this point, all the songs have been written by me and then the studio arrangement… The songs come together from an idea from me or an idea from my dad. But the actual writing with a group like that, exploring ideas, I’ve never done that. And the little that we’ve done together is really inspiring and it feels really different and good. So we’ll see what happens. Everybody has a little different of thing to bring to the table and it’s working out to be pretty groovy.

You can catch Alela Diane with dad in tow on her UK tour this month in these places:

Cambridge (09/09),
Bristol (10/09),
Cardiff (11/09),
Exeter (13/09),
Birmingham (16/09),
London (Shepherd’s Bush Empire) (17/09)

Lee Scratch Perry and new Caribbean cinema at the Tabernacle

Two very different events at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill this month will show how the Caribbean has been and continues to be a hive of creative activity, viagra 40mg with one of its iconic figures stepping out of music for a moment to create visual art, doctor and up-and-coming film-makers trying to get noticed.

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First up, pilule an icon of reggae, Jamaican musician, producer and generally unusual person Lee “Scratch” Perry, has collaborated with artist Peter Harris to create works that burst with colour and liveliness, much like the legendary man himself. You might not know him, but you’ll have heard many of his cuts on the radio, at the Carnival, or blasting out of windows. Sometimes called “the Jamaican Phil Spector”, he was responsible for producing most of the famous reggae tunes that came out of Jamaica in the 70s. He ran the Black Ark recording studio, which he also claims to have burnt down when he got tired of it.

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This project, entitled “Higher Powers” sees him create zany poster-style works, which will be displayed at the Tabernacle in conjunction with songs performed by Perry and mixed live by Adrian Sherwood, founder of On-U Sound Records. The songs relate to a film created by Harris, where he asks a variety of people, including reverends, gangsters and Boris Johnson about their ideas of a higher power. There’s a personal element to the film as Harris found out during the project, begun in 2007, that his sister and father had both been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The event will support CLIC Sargent children’s cancer charity.

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The Higher Powers event is on September 10 and tickets cost £20.

Also at the Tabernacle this month is the Portobello Film Festival. Beginning tomorrow, all events are free and films range from Wall-E to a mini-festival within a festival showcasing Caribbean films. Only three hours long, the “Caribbean Film Corner” (September 16) is a chance to see short films from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, with the aim of promoting film-makers from all of the West Indies’ main language groups, and the region itself as a good place to make films. The films range from documentary to one-minute clip, via animated and musical offerings.

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The following day, September 17, there will be a director’s and actor’s workshop presented by journalist Franka Philip and including leading British film-maker of Trinidadian descent Horace Ové. There will be an introduction to Ové’s works and a screening, followed by a Q&A.

For more details on all events, visit the Tabernacle website.
This September sees Rich Mix cinema celebrating the origins of style through it’s Fashion On Film Season beginning with Pandora’s Box on the September 18th. The season coincides with London Fashion Week’s 25th Anniversary and Rich Mix continues it’s support of ethical fashion from housing the Ethical Fashion Forum, rx Pants for Poverty, adiposity Worn again and Erdem, to staging a Cut and Create Fashion workshop. Hopefully encouraging DIY activism in budding designers and an awareness of the joys at turning something old into something new. The Cinema/Arts Space complete their celebration of all things fashion by hosting a conversation with the inspirational Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki.

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Recently Amelia’s magazine enjoyed the celebration of a fashion revolution in Coco avant Chanel, whilst anxiously anticipating the arrival of The September Issue. Simultanously visiting the eclectic world of Grey Gardens: Rich Mix on Sunday 20th September. This film is throughly recommended for anyone interested in the inspiration behind recent catwalk trends.

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Amelia’s Magazine spoke to Rich Mix’s Negede Assefa (Film Officer) and Pawlet Brookes (Chief Executive) and the Education Programmer, Thalia.

What influenced Rich Mix’s decision to organise a fashion film season coinciding with London Fashion Week 2009?

Rich Mix is an arts and cultural organisation that supports and showcases a wide range of arts to celebrate the wide and diverse society of London, as well as a hub of creative businesses. We have tenants within the Rich Mix building that are strongly influential to London’s current fashion scene – Erdem, Ethical Fashion Forum and Worn Again – and are situated in an area (Shoreditch) that thrives on its influence. Our involvement in London Fashion Week is an ideal opportunity to showcase this important industry whilst representing Rich Mix’s dual role as an arts centre and centre of creative industry.

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How did Rich Mix decide on the films showing during the fashion film season?

‘Brit Chic’ was an opportunity to showcase the history post-war of British fashion from the 1940s through to the 80s through the eyes of some beautiful and rarely screened films which we are proud to showcase. ‘Grey Gardens’ and ‘A Bigger Splash’ are both eccentric and entertaining films that highlight the history of some of the biggest style icons from both sides of the Atlantic. ‘Pandora’s Box’ is a classic silent film played with a live piano accompaniment, and is one of European silent cinema’s crowning achievements. The films were chosen to reflect a range of different styles and era’s and also to showcase how film can influence and celebrate creativity in the UK and beyond.

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what were the reasons for staging the ‘In Conversation with Barbara Hulanicki’

Barbara Hulanicki, stood out for us as an icon that represents the history of London fashion as well as the style of today’s London, in particular East London in which we are situated. Her boutique BIBA had a huge influence on style that was synonymous with 60′s and 70′s culture – the eras represented in two of our films – and her current collection for Topshop confirms that her influence has not declined since.

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How did the cut and create! fashion workshop come about – what is the workshop’s aim?

Rich Mix is keen to develop a relationship with London Borough of Tower Hamlets Lifelong Learning which has an established programme of courses for adults. We are developing a diverse cross-arts education programme at Rich Mix and one of our aims is to offer creative workshops and courses for young people, to develop their skills and interest in the arts. The workshop will introduce participants to the first stages of cutting and draping patterns on a mannequin, using paper and fabric. Participants will also be introduced to the fashion courses run by LBTH Lifelong Learning should they wish to pursue this area of study, and the film screenings and discussions taking place at Rich Mix as part of our fashion season.
The workshop will focus on fashion styles from across the globe, from Africa to Asia, and Europe to America.

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Coming across Amelia Lindquist’s Peeps Website one blustery English Easter day through Style Bubble‘s ever on the button blog was a breath of fresh whimsical air. The summer collection evoked a skipping of the heart at the thought of long lazy summer days wearing peeps’ tie dye dress. The slow arrival of autumn delivers the new fall collection and a continually skipping heart at the intricate application of knotted rope against delicately draped fabric. Amelia’s Magazine interviewed the 19 year entrepreneur behind the clothes:

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Can you tell Amelia’s Magazine about yourself please?

I am twenty years old and a California native. I started an online business, no rx Peeps.org, rx when I was in 3rd grade, making simple purses for my fellow classmates and school employees. As my sewing skills evolved in high school, I started making my own clothes, transforming my website into an online clothing store. From there it has taken off more quickly and successfully than I could have imagined. During this last year the site has become so busy, I can no longer be a one-woman business. So I hired a seamstress in Los Angeles, where my business is based, to sew the stock for the website. While maintaining and operating my website I am studying at Parsons School of Design in New York City and for this semester I will be studying in Paris.

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Does Parsons School of Design encourage a particular style of design philosophy/ethos?

Parsons School of Design has a very commercial point of view in fashion. Most of the professors have had much experience in the design world and often come from big fashion houses for example Ralph Lauren and Chanel.
They mostly focus on designing successful collections and how to market them to a wide audience. There is only some room for
extreme experimentation in materials and silhouettes.

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Which designers do you think are currently the most influential in fashion design?

Balmain, Martin Margiela and Nicolas Ghesquiere

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What is your concept/brief when designing your pieces?

As an artist it is hard to describe the ideas and processes that go through designing. There are so many different ways that I think about pieces and how I think about designing pieces that it is very intuitive. For the most part I just start making things that I like and then from there I always fall in love with one new thing that I can base a whole collection off of. For my new collection I designed the rope skirt first and got inspired by the way the rope draped, so I then played with drape and proportion on the majority of my pieces.

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How do you decide on the fabrics and the shapes of your design?

When searching for certain fabrics for my designs I sometimes have swatches or an idea in my mind of what I want it to be. But every time I go to a store, I find something out of the ordinary that gets my attention. From there a certain fabric sometimes even has an influence on the overall design of the garment and can change it completely. I get really inspired by textiles and the different colors, patterns and textures they can have. As far as silhouettes, the female body really fascinates me so when I design I like to work with it instead of against it.
I am influenced by everything around me. When I see things in my everyday life I apply them to the body without even thinking. I think about designing pieces all day so it has become somewhat of a habit.

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What are your plans for the future of peeps.org and yourself as a designer?

Peeps.org is continuing to grow and by the time I graduate I hope to have a full time business that I will devote to.

Find Amelia Lindquist at Peeps.
The Green Man Festival takes place in the Brecon Beacons, what is ed in what is allegedly the “best event site in country, adiposity ” and I’ve no reason to doubt that. Last weekend, (from 21st – 23rd August) the Glanusk Estate was transformed into a family-friendly, alt-folk, cider-soaked, bustling, colourful and astonishingly hip music festival. Oh and it featured lots of other stuff too – from literature and comedy to science experiments and workshops on yurt making.

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The festival was unofficially opened on Friday by the druids of Stonehenge. It’s always a good sign when you get druids at your festival I think, like getting lichen growing on your walls, or bees colonising your garden – it’s just one of those signs that you are probably doing something, somewhat indefinable, right. The druids led a ceremony to bring good weather (and peace) to the Green Man festival. Almost immediately after the ceremony finished it started raining. For about an hour. But then the sun came out for the rest of the festival so perhaps there was just a slight delay in appealing to the collective powers of nature.
In all seriousness though, there really was a strange sense of peace pervading the festival – I’ve never seen so many people have such a good time, and be so refreshingly friendly and relaxed. There was none of the late-night-lairiness you get at lots of music festivals; instead there was a genuine air of fun and happy times in the air.
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I’d wanted to go along to take a look at the environmental side of the Green Man – a festival that manages to position itself firmly in the trendy boutique festival niche whilst still retaining its strong ethical and environmental principles. The festival doesn’t have any corporate sponsors and that’s probably the most noticeable aspect on arriving at the event. All the stalls are independents, many with their own ethical criteria (lots of organic this, fair-trade that and lots of proclamations about local sourcing and happy livestock). All the food on sale came in compostable containers complete with wooden cutlery that could either be re-used or composted – and compost bins scattered throughout the site, as well as a full range of recycling bins for paper, cans and plastics.
There was also a dedicated space given over to environmental and “alternative” ideas – “Einstein’s Garden” – where science and nature collided and people had the chance to learn more about various campaigning groups, try their hand at different crafts and learn more about alternative ways of living – from radical midwifery to aromatherapy – although a bit more could be done to highlight this area.

Before Green Man took place I caught up with Fiona Stewart, one of the organisers, to ask her a bit more about the background of the festival. This year the festival introduced a unique partnership with Mind, the mental health charity. Fiona explained, “We wanted to reach people Mind doesn’t normally reach – mental health is an environmental issue (and vice versa) how people deal with the world and with each other – it’s all part of the same thing. I’m very into making and supporting each other. Self empowerment is an important principle for me. If we are really to be Green Men, we have to think about it all.”
This sense of interconnectedness pervaded the festival – helped by the fact that there were no sharp delineations between different stages in terms of the types of music being played. The whole event felt cohesive and welcoming – genuinely a place for like-minded souls to come together.

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That being said, there were some tensions between ethical and environmental principles of the Green Man (which I do applaud) and the nature of putting on such an event. Temporary festivals are fundamentally challenging things to put on without being very carbon-intensive. There is nothing like standing in a muddy field the morning after a festival and looking round the detritus left by thousands of fans all getting bored and dropping their beer cans at the end of the night to really make you despair of our ability to look after the planet. Even with the prevalence of the recycling bins and the sterling work of the small army of festival litter-pickers, there was still a fair amount of rubbish by the end of the headline act each night.
I couldn’t help thinking about Climate Camp at Kingsnorth last summer, where there was much less infrastructure in place, but also a much greater sense of personal responsibility to maintain the site as we found it. Of course, Climate Camp and the Green Man, or any music festival, are very different events – however it was interesting to be part of a 10,000 person crowd, most of whom would probably identify themselves as interested in green issues, yet who still abandoned a sense of personal responsibility for looking after their beautiful surroundings by the end of the weekend.

Saturday night was closed by Jarvis Cocker. “Look at this” he said, “We’re all together. There’s no adult supervision here, because we are the adults. And it’s ok. No-one’s fighting or getting hurt. So maybe that means that people are ok. That we’re ok.” As rallying cries go, it perhaps lacks definite punch – though it got a huge cheer from the crowd. But I think that Green Man is really onto something – it’s a great festival, with a fantastic line-up and is staunchly independent, and it is taking important steps in trying not only to organise the festival on ethical lines but also to minimise the environmental impact of the festival, though there is more that could be done there. But overall you are left with a sense that people are ok – and that with enough motivation there’s no need for world issues, mental health or caring about the planet to be heavy ponderous subjects. You can engage in a fun, creative way – and that ultimately people are ok if we give ourselves the chance to be.

Categories ,Environment, ,Festival, ,Green Man, ,Jarvis Cocker, ,Mind

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Amelia’s Magazine | Earth First! Summer Gathering : the Summer Preview Series

Undercover: Lingerie Exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum

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“Welcome to Limehouse.” With those words, about it Jarvis Cocker set off on the latest instalment of his 30 year musical odyssey, visit this site launching into set opener Pilchard from his new solo album, Further Complications. For such a long, often tortuous journey which began at a Sheffield secondary school and the formation of what was originally known as Arabicus Pulp, the Troxy did seem a rather apt stopping point – a former theatre turned bingo-hall in the deepest End End, where Stepney and Limehouse blur into each other, now restored and reborn as an unlikely concert venue.

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In fact, Cocker did remark, in his own inimitable way, that the place reminded him of an ice-rink from his youth, where he went to “cop off” with someone, and you still half expected to hear calls of “clickety click” and “legs eleven”, even as support band the Horrors were going through their Neu! meets Echo and the Bunnymen infused motorik indie.

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There were a few half-hearted requests from parts of the audience, but tonight was most definitely a Pulp-free zone (the presence of longtime sidekick Steve Mackey on bass was as near as we got). The set leant heavily on Cocker’s sophomore solo effort, which has a rockier, heavier edge to it than its’ predecessor (not surprising given the pedigree of producer Steve Albini). That said, old Jarvis still has the wry wit and subtle smut that made albums like Different Class such stand outs back in the day (witness news songs Leftover and I Never Said I Was Deep), and he still has plenty of those weirdly angular dance moves up his sleeves. As if that weren’t enough, he even dusted off his old junior school recorder skills on the introduction to Caucasian Blues.

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A couple of numbers from Cocker’s debut solo album made an appearance towards the end of the set, including a driving Fat Children, whilst the encore opened with Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time. We ended on the closer from Further Complications, You’re In My eyes (Discosong), where Jarvis appears to channel the spirit of Barry White – there was even a glitterball to dazzle the Troxy’s faded glamour.
As Jarvis took the adulation of the massed faithful, it seemed like, after a bit of a wilderness period post-Pulp, old Mr Cocker has most definitely got his mojo back.

12 June – 27 September 2009

The Fashion and Textiles Museum‘s summer exhibition hopes to present the evolution of underwear over the last hundred years. The result is a lacklustre exhibition with a thrown-together-in-minutes appearance.

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The exhibition is organised into areas covering research, more about innovation, seek materials, order celebrity, marketing, print and colour. Despite the ‘evolution’ title, there isn’t any sense of a chronological representation, apart from a small part of the opening corridor of the exhibition where underwear is displayed by year.

It is here where the most interesting pieces are displayed. Beginning with a Charles Bayer corset from the 1900s, we take an (albeit short) walk through the brief history of underwear. There are great examples from Triumph International – then a pioneering underwear brand, now underwear powerhouse governing brands like Sloggi.

We see a sanfor circular conical stretch bra, reminiscent of Madonna’s iconic bra designed by John Paul Gaultier in the 80s (which the placard reveals, to nobody’s surprise, is where JPG sought his inspiration).

In the main arena, there are corsets hanging from the ceiling, of which there are 8 or 9 examples. The corset, as the information details, is one of fashion’s most iconic items. So how can so few examples tell us anything we didn’t already know? Only one of the artefacts is pre 21st century – most are borrowed from burlesque ‘celebrities’ such as Immodesty Blaze and Dita von Teese – hardly representative of underwear’s evolution.

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The bulk of the exhibition centres around print, pattern and colour, and again the exhibition relies too heavily on modern pieces, with a small scattering of interesting M&S items. This area, again, relies too heavily on modern underwear – usual suspects La Perla and Rigby & Peller extensively featured – but other key brands, such as Agent Provocateur, fail to get even a mention.

Pioneer of modern underwear Calvin Klein isn’t covered nearly enough as he should be, save for a couple of iconic 1990s white boxer shirts. In fact, men’s underwear isn’t given any coverage at all, which is a shame considering this exhibition’s bold title.

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This exhibition does hold some key pieces, and regardless of what I think, it’s definitely worth seeing if you are a fashion follower. Its many flaws could have been ironed out with more attention to detail, and it’s a shame that the FTM isn’t more of a major player in London’s fashion scene. If you want to see stacks of salacious, expensive, modern-day underwear, why not just take a trip to Harrods? They have a larger selection and don’t charge an entry fee!

Dear Readers, symptoms

I am writing to share something a little bit special with you. We all know that warm butterflies-in-the-belly feeling when envelopes arrive through the letterbox with your name and address handwritten carefully on the front with a return address of a friend or lover on the reverse, pilule a beacon of personal correspondence among a mundane plethora of bills, more about takeaway menus and bank statements. How much more sincere is a ‘Thank You’ or a ‘Sorry’, how much more romantic is an ‘I Love You’ or ‘Marry Me’ when it comes in pen to paper form rather than digitalised and, heaven forbid, abbreviated via modern technological means.

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Letter writing may be an old fashioned and somewhat dying art, one that we all claim to still do or intend to do, but actually don’t make time for in a world of convenient instant messaging, free text plans and social network sites, but Jamie Atherton and Jeremy Lin refuse to abandon the old worldly ways of communication just yet.

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Finding their stationery was like being invited to a secret society for letter writers, a prize from the postal Gods to congratulate and reward all those who participate in mail exchanges, to inspire us to keep going to strive on and not let the Royal Mail network collapse from lack of traffic. The more I find out about this creative pair of gents the deeper I fall under their spell. Two handsome young men, madly in love with each other, one English one American, live together in London nowadays but in the 12 years that have passed since they fell head over heels they have lived in San Francisco too and co-created Atherton Lin, the name under which they produce, distribute and sell their products.

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Their work, such as the collections of Winter and Summer greeting cards, is as collectable as it is sendable. Each of the four cards in a set tells a tale; funny, sentimental, melancholic and earnest. They strive to avoid clichés or overused formulaic recipes for ‘commercialised cute’, but instead the boys have created a world of butterflies, badgers, bicycles and balloons, using recycled materials and harm-free inks. It is not just their illustrated correspondence materials that Atherton Lin have become known and adored for, that paved the way to being noticed by and sold alongside Marc Jacobs’ wears and tears, as well as being stocked at places such as London’s ICA, LA’s Ooga Booga and San Francisco’s Little Otsu.

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Working on the basis that not all correspondence is text, stationery therefore does not have to be exclusively on paper. With a nod to their burgeoning passion for mix tapes, which featured heavily through their transatlantic courtship, they created artwork for a series of blank CDs. The pair have collaborated with a number of talented outfits such as the musicians Vetiver and Elks, and for a book of poems published by Fithian Press, in addition to eye wateringly lovely calendars.

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They cite their inspirations to include the charmingly unaware wit of Japanese stationary with its mysteriously nonsensical English translations, Peanuts comic strips, the lyrics to strumming shoe gaze bands such as Ride and poet Dylan Thomas. Having conducted the first three years of their blossoming relationship as long distance partners, they perhaps know better than anyone the value and worth of the handwritten word, the virtues of patience while awaiting the postman and the magnified importance of every tiny detail when letters are sustaining your longing heart.

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Now that I’ve been well and truly bitten by the Atherton Lin bug, I have an overbearing urge to dig out my address book and scribe catch up letters to friends in far-flung corners of the globe, and those just around the corner. And for the scented pastel coloured envelopes about to reach the letterboxes of my acquaintances in the next couple of weeks, you have Jeremy and Jamie to thank, for restoring my faith in the romantic, timeless pastime of writing letters.

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Yours ever so faithfully,

Alice Watson
Last Thursday, order I negotiated my bicycle through the customary crush of Trafalgar Square to the RSA, find for a talk by R Beau Lotto in association with the Barbican Radical Nature series. Beau heads up Lotto Lab, whose aim is to explain and explore how and why we see what we do (do check out their website) – mainly through looking at how we see colour, which is one of the simplest things we do.

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All images by R Beau Lotto, courtesy of Lotto Labs

Here’s a quick science bit, which he gets in at the beginning of the talk to a packed full lecture theatre – light and colour are not the same. Light can be represented on a linear scale. It has just wavelength and intensity. Colour has three bits to it. So it’s much more complicated to describe : hue (red-green-blue-or-yellowness), brightness, and saturation (greyness).

The whole talk is full of questions I asked as a six-year-old, and I’m left with a kind of wide-eyed amazement at how clearly everything is explained and presented – I’ll pick out one of the most satisfying.. Why is the sky blue? This is one to try at home. Get the biggest glass bowl or see-through container you can find, and fill it with water. Shine a desk lamp through it – the lamp’s now the sun and the water space. If we had no atmosphere, the sky would be black with a bright sun – as it is from the moon. Now add a little milk at a time to the water, stirring as you go. As it spreads through the water, the milk will scatter the light like the atmosphere does, and at the right level, will scatter blue. Add a bit more, and you’ll make a sunset – the longer-wave red light scatters when it goes through more atmosphere, as sunlight does when it’s low in the sky. Add more again, and it’ll go grey : you made a cloud, where all the light scatters equally.

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The colour of space changes. We never quite see the surface of anything in the world – we see the result of the light shining, the character of the surface, and the space in between. So colours really are brighter in St Ives than Old Street. So the patterns of light that fall onto the eye are strictly meaningless.

We learn to see. We find relationships between things we look at – the context of anything we look at is essential to how we see it. This is what the ‘illusions’ spread through this article show so bogglingly. And context is what links the present to the past – we associate patterns with what we did last time, and learn from it. Beau asked at one point for a volunteer from the audience. I was desperately far back, in the middle of a row – smooth escape from that one. But the demonstration itself was quietly mind-blowing. A target was projected on the screen, and Rob the lucky volunteer was asked to hit it (this as a control – the exciting bit comes next). Next, he put on a pair of glasses which shifted the world 30 degrees to his right. Throwing again, he missed by miles. After a few goes, though, Rob’s whole body movement changed and he hit the target every time. Then he took the glasses off again, and immediately missed the other way – his mind had learnt for that moment to see the world utterly differently.

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We don’t see the world as it is – in fact it doesn’t make much sense to talk about the world ‘as it really is’ – only what’s useful. Colour, for example, is great for not being eaten by orange tigers in a green jungle. We constantly figure out what is ‘normal’ – and what should stick out from this normal. So… there are no absolutes – only perceptions of a world relative to a changing normal. No one is outside of this relativity. We are all defined by our ecology. We all learn to live in the world that’s presented to us – and that in a very relative way.

Beau has four ‘C’s that he leaves as teasing thoughts – Compassion, Creativity, Choice and Community. And this is where, if you’ve been reading along wondering quite why I thought this was a good idea for an ‘Earth’ article, I started thinking about the way we tell stories about the environment, the way we tell stories about what happens in the world around us. Getting your head around different mindsets could be wonderfully informed by these ideas – things like understanding how to persuade business profit-heads that sustainability is the only way to long-term profit, or grassroots activists that FTSE 500 companies have been organising and managing disparate groups of employees for years – there’s surely something to learn there.

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Knowing that everything we do – down to something so simple as seeing colour – is essentially informed by what we did before, and the kinds of context we’ve ever been exposed to – this can only add possibility to whatever buzzes round our brains : more compassionate, as we see where others might have come from; more creative, questioning these reflexes; more conscious in our choices, if we think a little past the instinctive; and more communal, in a broad sense, as we’re each a unique part of a whole, all sharing in individual perceptions and histories.

That was what I took from it, anyway. Do get in touch, or leave a comment, if you saw any other cool patterns here – I’d be intrigued to hear.

Come July 16th, ampoule Amelia’s Magazine will be packing the bikini’s, sunglasses and factor 15 to rock up to one of the biggest highlights of our social calendar. Continuing our Festival season round up, we are going to focus our attention on the Daddy of the European festivals; Benicassim. Building rapidly in status, this cheeky Spanish live wire began its incarnation in 1995, but even then it was reaching for the stars, with heavy hitters such as The Chemical Brothers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The Stone Roses headlining. Now firmly established as a major player on the summer festival season, Benicassim is the ultimate go-to when you want your music fest to go easy on the mud, and heavy on the sand, sea and sun.

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Desde Escenario Verde by Oscar L. Tejeda

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Getting back to the music, the organisers have come up trumps for this years festival. Just in case you were unaware of the lineup, allow me to share the treats that will be in store if you’ve got tickets. Top of the bill will be Oasis, Kings of Leon, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers. It is not just about the headliners though, Beni makes sure that there is something for everyone, and while most acts indie rock , the many stages showcase plenty of other genres, such as electronica, experimental and dance. Each night will see a plethora of fantastic and diverse acts and my personal favourites that will make me nudge through the crowds to the front are Telepathe, Glasvegas, Paul Weller, Tom Tom Club, Friendly Fires, The Psychedelic Furs, Lykke Li and my BFF Peaches. With guaranteed sunshine and a beachside backdrop, it promises to be a memorable event. While the 4 day passes have all sold out, there are still one day passes available for Thursday 16th July. You might consider it impractical to get down there for just one day (not that we are going to stand in your way), but if you happen to be passing through the Costa De Azahar around that time, then why not get yourself a wristband, grab a Sol and pitch up?

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You know, the more we think about it, the more we realise that Benicassim is tailor made for Amelia’s Magazine. As our loyal readers know, we are strong supporters of all things sustainable and environmentally friendly and Benicassim is leaps and bounds ahead of many of the other festivals in terms of environmental awareness. Having been awarded the Limpio Y Verde (Clean + Green) Award by The European Festival Association, Beni is serious about taking initiatives which minimise the impact that a festival causes. For example, to offset the Co2 emissions that are generated while the festival is underway, they are creating an authentic Fiber forest, which has come as a result of planting over 2,000 trees during the 2008, 2009 and 2010 festivals. For those attending the festival, the organisers have laid on a number of shared transport facilities to get to and from the site, including frequent shuttle services into town and bicycle hire. Once inside the site, ticket holders will find that there is a strong and active recycling policy, with different bins for glass, plastic and paper and reusable glasses in the bars and restaurants which are made from biodegradable material. Several charities and NGO’s will be on hand – look out for the stands where Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Action Against Hunger and Citizens Association Against AIDS amongst others will be distributing information.

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Bear in mind for future visits to the festival (or if you haven’t yet booked flights to get there), that there are various options for how to get to Benicassim that don’t involve flying. While most people will be boarding planes, the options of rail, or even ferry as transport can turn the holiday into a completely different experience. Spain has a fantastic and well regulated rail system, with all major cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia operating trains to the town of Benicassim. Full details on how to arrange your rail itinerary are here . If you were interested in beginning the journey by ferry, (information on routes can be found here there are regular services from Plymouth to Santander, or Portsmouth to Bilbao (both cities have rail links that will get you to Benicassim). Otherwise, there are plenty of ferries from Dover to France, if interrailing it through part of Europe was also a consideration. Obviously, these options are considerably longer than flying, but there is something much more civilized about this way of travelling, and you get to see much more of the country which is hosting the festival, and that can only be a good thing.

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Fibers En Zonas De Acampada by Pau Bellido

For more information on Benicassim, go to Festival Internacional De Benicassim
Bless-ed: Superimposing The Thought Of Happiness

Cosa
7 Ledbury Mews North
London W11 2AF

10th July – 31st July

11am – 6pm Tuesday – Friday
12pm – 4pm Saturday

Free

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“Artworks created from smashed vinyl records and recycled packaging. Hot on the heels of their highly successful New York show, no rx Robi Walters & Leanne Wright, side effects aka ‘Bless-ed’, dosage hit London with their unique series of collages and constructed works featuring smashed vinyl and recycled packaging. “

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Robots

The Old Sweet Shop
11 Brookwood Road
London SW18 5BL

10th July 2009 – 25th July

Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm
or by appointment

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Image: Doggy Robot (Detail) by Ellie Alexandri

“Do you remember when robots were a futuristic fantasy? The Old Sweet Shop gallery’s latest exhibition takes a warm hearted look at these retro-tinged creations through the eyes of up-and coming artists and illustrators, peeking into the inner world of clunking creatures built to make human lives easier. ‘Robots’ will appeal to all ages, and features a diverse range of talent in many different media.”

Robots exhibition featuring work by: Alec Strang, Emily Evans, Freya Harrison, Moon Keum, Vinish Shah, JMG, Catherine Rudie, Hanne Berkaak, Cristian Ortiz, Elli Alexandri and Serge Jupin.

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Antony Gormley: One & Other

Fourth Plinth
Trafalgar Square
London

6th July – 14th October

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Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth, ordinarily reserved for statues of the bold and brave, is staging one of the most exciting art ventures of the year. Under the direction of Anthony Gormley a steady stream of voluntary contributors will, every hour on the hour for the next 100 days, be occupying the space to create, make, do or perform as they wish. One such selected applicant is Tina Louise, whose slot will be Sunday 12th July, at 11am. She plans to stage “involves a bit of a sing-along where I am inviting various choirs, a Muslim call to prayer man, some whirling Dervishes (fingers crossed)” and invites you all to get down there this week and help celebrate human diversity in all it’s glory.

Find out more about Tina here.

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The Museum of Souvenirs – The Surrealist Photography of Marcel Mariën

Diemar/Noble Photography
66/67 Wells Street
London W1T 3PY

Until 25th July

Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 6pm

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An exciting UK premiere of Belgian Surrealist Marcel Marien’s photographs taken between 1983 and 1990. Marien was a master of many trades, and not all of them art based; as well as being a poet, essayist and filmmaker, he branched out as a publisher, bookseller, journalist and even a sailor.

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The Importance of Beauty – The Art of Ina Rosing

GV Art
49 Chiltern Street
Marylebone
London W1U 6LY

Until 25th July

Tuesday to Friday 11am to 7pm
Saturday 11 am to 4 pm
or by appointment

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Inspired by her interest in inner silence and beauty, Ina Rosing’s work sails through immovable mountains and vibrant red flowers with dignified grace and spirituality. She explores the personal yet universal connections with landscape and culture, asking where and how can we capture the true importance of beauty using graffiti-like political and environmental messages.

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James Unsworth: I Love You Like a Murderer Loves Their Victims

Sartorial Contemporary Art
26 Argyle Square
London WC1H 8AP

8th July – 30th July

Tuesday – Friday 12:30pm – 6pm
or by appointment

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James Unsworth is not a new name for us here at Amelia’s Magazine, having featured him a short while ago in Issue 8 of our publication, but this new collection of work from the controversial outspoken illustrator and filmmaker takes his hyper-unreal visions of all things dark and disturbing to a new level. The movies and photographs use low-budget charm and dangerously close to the bone references to murder, sex and dismemberment to win us over, free our minds and freak us out, not particularly in that order.

Monday 6th July
Why? The Garage, buy London

“Why should I go and see Why?” you ask.
Well, cialis 40mg because Why? are probably one of the most innovative exciting bands around at the moment their albums Alopecia and Elephant Eyelash are very high up on my “Most-Listened-To List”. Fronted by the excellently named Yoni Wolf, Why? fuse hip hop and indie rock to create something totally unique. Wolf’s lyrics are strangely intimate and often funny; bar mitzvahs and Puerto Rican porno occassionally pop up- and why not?

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Tuesday 7th July
!!!, The Luminaire, London

Here are two facts about !!!
1. You have probably had the best time dancing to them.
2. According to Wikipedia: !!! is pronounced by repeating thrice any monosyllabic sound. Chk Chk Chk is the most common pronunciation, but they could just as easily be called Pow Pow Pow, Bam Bam Bam, Uh Uh Uh, etc.
So go along to the Luminaire and make strange noises (“thrice”) and dance your socks off.

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Wednesday 8th July
White Denim, Heaven, London

White Denim are the best thing to come out of Texas since ribs and good accents, they have been compared to Os Mutantes and Can which is no mean feat. Expect a healthy dose of psychadelia with a smudge of grubby rock n’roll

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Thursday 9th July
The Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Kill It Kid, The ICA, London.

What are Fat Cat doing on Thursday?
Oh, you know, just being as awesome as ever at the ICA.
Fat Cat seem to have excellent taste in music, and the three bands playing tonight carry on the high standards of Fat Cat label veterans like Animal Collective. Expect melancholy and sweetness from The Twilight Sad and post-punk from the others. Lashings of fun all round.

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The Weekend
Loop Festival, Brighton.

Let’s go to the sea! Brighton’s Loop Festival; a celebration of music and digital art has the most mouth-watering line-up ever. Fever Ray, Karin from The Knife‘s solo project, play alongside múm, the hot-to-trot Telepathe (pictured) and Tuung to name but a few. If I were going I’d invite them all to make sandcastles with me afterwards…hopefully they would.

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Monday 6 July

Whose landscape is it anyway?

Nicholas Stern and Ramachandra Guha consider the tensions between environmental concerns and industrial and economic development in South Asia today.

£5 including day pass to Royal Botanic Gardens, mind Kew.
6.30pm, cost British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1.

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Illustration by Joanna Cheung

Tuesday 7th July

Garbage Warrior Film Screening

The epic story of radical Earthship eco architect Michael Reynolds, and his fight to build off-the-grid self-sufficient communities.

7pm (86min), Passing clouds, Dalston (review + directions)

An Alternative Energy Evening?·

Lecture and Panel Discussion?· Professor Vernon Gibson, with Jonathan Leake, ??Chief Chemist of BP, in discussion with key experts in the field of sustainable and renewable energy.
Please join us to hear the latest on this hot topic.

Free to attend. Admission is by guest list only.
??Email events@weizmann.org.uk to reserve your place.
+44 (0)20 7424 6863?  www.weizmann.org.uk

7pm
Royal Geographical Society
1 Kensington Gore
London SW7 2AR

Wednesday 8th July

Renewable Energy, All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group meeting with WWF

Dr Keith Allott leads the discussion.

4-6pm, House of Commons, Westminster SW1

Thursday 9th July

Conflicting Environmental Goods and the Future of the Countryside

Caroline Lucas MEP talking on possible futures.

Contact – judithr@cpre.org.uk
5-7pm, The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, EC1

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Illustration by Faye Katirai

A Climate Mission for Europe: Leadership & Opportunity

Lord Browne, Roger Carr, Lord Giddens, John Gummer MP and Roland Rudd

8–9.30am
Royal Academy of Engineering,
3 Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y

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Illustration by Michaela

Wise Women Speaker Event: John D Liu

John D Liu speaks on integrated poverty eradication and large-scale ecosystem rehabilitation. Since the mid-1990′s he has concentrated on ecological film making and has written, produced and directed films on many aspects of the ecology. In 2003, Liu wrote, produced and directed “Jane Goodall – China Diary” for National Geographic. Hailed as a visionary for the future, Lui is director of the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP) and will discuss his groundbreaking work.

RSVP: polly@wisewomen.me.uk

7pm, ?£10 on the door
The Hub,Islington,
Candid Arts Trust,
5 Torrens Street, London,
EC1V 1NQ

Friday 10th July

The End of the Line

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Imagine an ocean without fish. Imagine your meals without seafood. Imagine the global consequences. This is the future if we do not stop, think and act. The End of the Line is the first major feature documentary film revealing the impact of overfishing on our oceans. This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Rupert Murray.

7pm, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2.
Contact – events@frontlineclub.com

Saturday 11th July

The Artic And Us

Lemn Sissay discusses the making of the poem “What If”, inspired by his recent trip to the Arctic to highlight climate change.

£7, 3.30pm, South Bank Centre

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Illustration by Lea Jaffey
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This year I spent a record six days at Glastonbury. On Tuesday we set off from London with a mission to “tat” along the way. Tatting is a favourite occupation of the fictional Wombles and is a process central to Climate Camp – it basically means relieving skips and front gardens of useful discarded objects – such as sofas, pilule chairs, tables and carpeting – for reuse in another situation. En route to Glastonbury we managed to fill the van up with various items including a full set of dining chairs that looked swanky but collapsed as soon as we sat on them and a rather manky looking mouldy mattress. It was pointed out that this would seem the lap of luxury after a couple of days in a field with no soft surfaces to rest upon, so we duly lugged it into the van. In fact we needn’t have worried – the mattress was left out to air as soon as we arrived and stolen almost immediately. Desirable already!

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Our journey had an added frisson of excitement given the rumour that everyone was being locked out of the site at 10pm every night. Fortunately (and thanks to GPS on my poncey new iphone) we made it to Pilton Farm on time, whereupon we were greeted by the cheery sight of our big red and yellow marquee. It seems that making merry in the fields of Somerset has turned into a week long affair for many, so vast quantities of people were already cruising the fields, beers in hand.

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For us there was still much work to be done, so in the morning we dressed our area with significant amounts of bunting and colourful flags that we had screenprinted beforehand, all bearing Mia Marie Overgaard‘s beautiful artwork.

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Climate Camp was given a generous corner of an otherwise predominantly camping field – with a big fire pit in the middle and a yurt (housing Ecolab‘s Future Scenarios exhibition) demarcating one corner. Around the yurt I strung the story of Climate Rush so far – printed upon weather resistant banners that billowed dramatically in the gusty winds.

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By the field boundary a “tripod stage” had been constructed – an inspired bit of naming that made reference to the grand pyramid stage down where the rabble doth hang about.

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As we beavered away to beautify the site some classic festival munters pitched up and decided to erect their box fresh tents directly under our Welcome to Climate Camp banner – thereby easily misleading the public in to believing that they were indeed Climate Camp. Within minutes they were yelling “Ogee-ogee-oy” at each other through a megaphone. I kid you not. They were the perfect festival munter cliche right on our doorstep. Needless to say these same creatures left an absolute disaster zone in their wake when they left the festival – but more on that later…

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Many more Climate Camp kindred spirits arrived as we sorted out our space, and by Thursday many curious festival-goers were stopping by to listen to a bit of music or take a wander around our exhibition. Danny Chivers delivered his usual wonderful poetry to a rapt audience and Billy Bragg’s Jail Guitar Doors (set up in honour of Joe Strummer and named after a Clash song) took a turn on the stage.

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Billy Bragg’s Jail Guitar Doors provides guitars with which to rehabilitate prisoners through music, and the two lads playing for us had since left prison and are trying to build a career in music. After a shy start they were soon regaling the receptive crowd with tales of prison life and left amidst promises that they would return, possibly with the real Billy Bragg in tow – a rumour that quickly gained momentum but was sadly never fulfilled.

Then out of nowhere came possibly our most exciting idea yet; instead of just teaching how to take direct action in workshop form, we would actually do some mock actions right there in Glastonbury. It all seemed too good an opportunity to miss – this year Greenpeace had created a full-on third runway experience, including a miniature Sipson with it’s own international airport which was clearly ripe for the blockading.

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We all donned one of the Climate Camp t-shirts that I’d printed up (I’ve been on a bit of a screenprinting frenzy) and marched noisily down to the Greenpeace field with our tripod and an orangutan in tow. As you do.

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Twenty people blockaded the entrance to the bemusement of passersby, as faux security guards tried to pull them off and the orangutan climbed triumphantly to the top of the tripod. It was a pretty good re-enactment of a real direct action, until actors hired by Greenpeace waded in and stole our thunder with some attention grabbing shouting.

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On Thursday night there was the most spectacular storm, with torrential rain pouring down off our Climate Change is Pants bunting (made from, erm, pants, of course) and into the tent as we sheltered from the monsoon. It stopped just in time for our Mass Night Game, for which I played the part of a security guard (they’re never far away on a direct action)

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As each team arrived at our base in the stone circle they had to climb the tripod as fast as they could before the guards could pull them off. In one surreal moment as the dusk fell some real Glastonbury stewards materialised in pink dayglo waistcoats to my yellow dayglo one, and really confused both themselves and those playing the game.

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As evening fell a group of us went off to discover the new Shangri-La area, where a gaggle of totally drunk pre-pubescent girls fell into us yelling “Michael Jackson’s dead!” Soon the whole festival was ringing with the news – as well as his back catalogue – though we all remained uncertain about the veracity of the rumours and decided to spread a counter rumour that Timmy Mallett was dead. Looking back it was odd that noone seemed particularly sad to hear the news, but then I think most of us have already mourned the cute little black boy who vanished under drastic surgery long ago. It was almost as if Michael Jackson had been one big fat joke for so long that his death was as fantastical and unreal as his life had become, and therefore hard to take seriously.

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The rest of the festival was spent in a whirlwind of outreach and fundraising. I wasn’t so comfortable with the bucket rattling, but luckily others were brilliant at it and we managed to raise loads of much needed cash to help put Climate Camp on this year.

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I spent most of my time chatting to people, both in our field and out around the Green Fields area. And of course taking lots of photos – because that’s where I feel most comfortable of all, recording everything that we do for future posterity.

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We facilitated another few mini direct actions – one day in defiance of the cheap flights on offer in the mock travel agents in Shangri-La, and on another using arm tubes to blockade the mini village of Sipson.

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Friends wandered by to see me but I didn’t really go further than the Green Fields for much of the festival. I have a love hate relationship with Glastonbury and tend to be happiest away from the seething crowds down near the main stages. There were a lot more police on site this year and there were at least two arrests in our field, presumably for drug dealing – thus we found ourselves offering solidarity to the friends that were left behind “we get arrested quite a lot you see…” We got the paddling pool out when it was especially roasting, and I jumped in with all my clothes on before rushing onto the path to offer wet hugs to passersby.

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On my rare trips down to “Babylon” I got in a mild panic – huge crowds of fucked people crashing into me is not my idea of fun. Bruce Springsteen was a major disappointment and I only saw brief bits of Blur from the very back of the field before wandering off to find a friend at the Prodigy, where I got thoroughly freaked out by the gazillions of men and women screaming “smack my bitch up” at the top of their voices, I mean – I like the tune, but there are some totally suspect lyrics going on there. Over by the John Peel stage I was amused to see a huge (high as a skyscraper) board of protest banners bearing one of the Climate Rush picnic blankets from our Heathrow protest.

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It was very surreal to see it high above me, when last it was sitting in a crumpled mess in my hallway. On more than a few occasions we found ourselves at the uber decadent Arcadia area of an evening.

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It was the ultimate irony that the closest stage to Climate Camp featured hugely wasteful gas flares that shot into the night and made a mockery of our frugal ways; any energy savings made by our solar powered camp so obviously swallowed in the dystopian heat of the dramatic flames. Needless to say we were drawn to Arcadia like fossil fuel moths, dancing under the sizzling spectacle with all the other revellers, all part of the same species careering towards self-destruction.

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But back to the beautiful green space of Climate Camp, where our little tripod stage proved to be a real winner. My trusty music editor Roisin had contacted some music prs a mere day or so before I left for Glastonbury and secured performances from the wondrous First Aid Kit and the equally brilliant 6 Day Riot. First Aid Kit arrived fresh from a gig on the Park Stage with their parents in tow, and wowed everyone with a simple acoustic set that highlighted their delicate use of harmonies.

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Unfortunately I missed 6 Day Riot due to outreach with our “aggie animals” whereby a homeless alcoholic orangutan, polar bear and tiger went out to engage with the general public.

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The idea was to subvert the traditional cutesy perception of said animals, a plan which worked really well during the day, but in the evening faltered as the distinction between performance art and actual fucked festival munter blurred to the point of impossibility. Especially when one of our animals spewed into the bushes in a prize bit of method acting (she’d just downed a pint of homebrewed cider)

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On Sunday afternoon we held a random raffle, which was made possible by blagging prizes from various stalls and performers during the course of the festival. A large amount of people were happy to part with cash to purchase a raffle ticket, and a small crowd was persuaded to attend the actual event, compered with aplomb by our resident poet Danny. Prizes included the beer can that Jack Penate had allegedly drunk from (won by a child, woops)

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It was all beautifully ramshackle but seemed to entertain. The girl who has inadvertently become part of this year’s logo (by virtue of an image of her at the Kingsnorth camp that is strewn across the interweb) stopped by and did some dazzling acrobatics on our tripod stage.

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By the evening I still hadn’t managed to figure a way to get out of the festival so I ended up staying on until Monday evening for “tat down” – taking down the tents and sorting stuff to be transported back home. The mattress that we had lovingly cleaned made a sudden return, and small children started to circle our site like hyenas on the look out for valuable abandoned belongings, and undrunk alcohol (festie children eh?! Cheeky buggers!)

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Stories reached us of people leaving their tent for one moment and returning to find it removed within moments by opportunistic “tatters”. I went on a roam of our general area to search for useful stuff, but returned feeling sick to the pit of my stomach and unable to take anything for myself.

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Is it really that much hassle to take your pop-up tent home? What kind of person abandons so many reusable things? Do you really have that much disposable income in the age of the credit crunch? The festival munters camped under our welcome banner departed leaving a wasteland behind. Piles of rubbish streaming across the ground, a stereo, blow up mattresses, perfectly good tents (not pop-up!) – debris of an unaware society.

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I returned home exhausted, but already formulating plans to put forward Green Kite Midnight as the Climate Camp house band next year – a celidh would really have set things off a treat. Until then there’s always the Big Green Gathering, where we’re house band for the Last Chance Saloon. Come see us there!
At Glastonbury when not navigating through guy ropes clutching half drunk bottles of cider with dirty shorts, order haystack hair and generally looking like I’ve emerged from the mountains, medicine I like to ‘do’ things. Last year, store I paid eight pounds to have an astrology reading, where I crouched goggle-eyed in a small tipi opposite a warm, smiling, apple-cheeked evil money-sucker who ethereally told me the biggest pack of lies you’ve ever heard.

Eight pounds! Not going back there, NO WAY JOSÉ! Given the size of Glastonbury, there are, of course, a multitude of ways to enjoy yourself in the most concrete and non-superstitious of manners – in fact, in the spirit of ‘Reclaiming Craft’ making something with my hands seemed the perfect antidote. On the Thursday Amelia’s Magazine floated on over to the Green Craft Fields where we found ourselves in a tent filled with lots of small drawing children. On the other side were some adults milling around a life model like no other. Life-drawing: a sensual sketching of the nude human physique? Less so if it’s an unshaven superhero clad in a spandex bodysuit and purple pants – and that’s Mr Spandex to you and I. So I got involved, producing a multi-angled ‘sketch-book’ of questionable quality that sadly got ruined when my tent turned out not to be waterproof, but while it’s destruction is in fact probably a blessing for the art world, I appreciate that such a catastrophe may have accidentally granted my artistic skills with an unearned aura of mystique.

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Chatting to the mistress of ceremonies Leanne afterwards, she told me a bit about R-ART, their creative collective based in East London. They are fusing ideas of art and fashion in an interactive and educational capacity, providing holiday workshops, after-school clubs and Saturday schools; all with a push towards sustainable making, free-thinking and responsibility that’s locking horns with that image of the pie-eyed child with a peanut-butter sandwich in one hand and a Nintendo controller in the other on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

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Set up by Leanne and her friend Ita and developed with eco-entertainment company BASH Creations, they naturally play the big sister role to the kids, with a sole mandate to lighten the ecological footprint of the British entertainment industry and to teach them the heart behind the making of things with your own two hands. Given my own scribbling skills, I too belong at the children’s table, a bit like Jack out of that Robin Williams film (except not really, I do get ID’d a lot, so I don’t look that old. But I digress.)

One of their projects involved working with Nova Dando, constructing a couture gown out of old copies of the Financial Times, which again, in its trashionista spirit hammered home the process of recycling making and getting everyone involved – children doing couture! Great stuff.

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To get in touch and to find out their workshops and other upcoming projects, visit their website at www.r-art.co.uk, or e-mail Ita and Leanne at us2@r-art.co.uk. Look out for a report on how it all went down at Glastonbury for them too – if you too managed to swing by their tent let us here at Amelia’s Magazine know about it!
Futuresonic is one of the most stellar event’s on Manchester’s musical calender. Not only does it symbolise (to me) the beginning of the summer festival season but it’s one of the most musically challenging and varied events of the year. Unlike so many other festivals it doesn’t concentrate on the commercial or press friendly artists but solely musicians and artists alike who constantly flaut convention, view breaking boundaries and sticking flags in musical territories previously unchartered. Rarther than touting the Guardian‘s Top ten of 2009 it digs a little deeper and promotes some of the more interesting artists from around the globe in a myriad of genres like Electronic, drugs Metal and Bastard Pop!

After 13 years of pushing the envelope the organisers have managed to do it again this year. Beginning with Murcof, information pills they have shown that music can be ever changing and that when seamlessley combined with other mediums of artistic endeavor can create something truly original and mind expanding.

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First on the RNCM main stage is Manchester based (Skelmersdale born) Denis Jones with his bone shaking ryhthm’s and dirge infused shouts and beats looped back through a whole host of pedals and electronic gadgetry. Projected behind this is a sextuplet of Denis’s, or should that be Den-i, layered on toip on one another to compliment the layering of clucks, slaps, plucks and claps. Having seen a few artists these days who do a similar thing it’s great to see someone do it so intricately and beautifully on a large stage to a strong audience. It can be rather sloppy and the point can be lost in the masses of equipment that I don’t know the first thing about. As he meanders his way into a vibrant crescendo it’s easy to see why Denis is being hyped as a musical giant of the future.

To contrast with this high octane solo operation comes Icelandic composer Johan Johansson with the Iskra Quartet, who create sombre laptop and piano accompanied string pieces that I feel comfortable in equating to classical Estonian Raconteur Arvo Part. These pieces are complex but the delicate sounds are all somewhat identifiable to a techno dope like myself. The sounds are highly mellifluous and they toggle between Melancholy and high drama evoking the counterpoint of Moondog at times. With a break before Murcof I had an opportunity to reflect on the beauty of the moment which led me almost to tears, the air was rife with emotion but anxiety of what was to come soon remedied this.

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As the curtain re-opened, behind a sheet of white, is lurking who we can only assume to be Mexican electronic music pioneer Murcof. We know Anti VJ (comprised of Joanie Le Mercier, Simon Geilfus and Nicolas Boritch) must be hiding somewhere but as there is only one other face in the shadows we can’t be sure who it is. As a faint hum begins, a tiny spec of light appears in the centre of the sheet which grows as the music explodes into loud bursts. The dot becomes a sprawling mass of spider webs and creates a haunted house like atmosphere that’s not for the faint hearted. From this we travel through a myriad of imagery such as a multifarious star system and regimentally swirling, shooting stars accompanied by Lygeti-esque composition. The imagery at all times compliments the minmal soundscaping of Murcof fantastically but neither is at any point subdued. For me there couldn’t have been a better way to kick off the 13th Futuresonic and the festival season as a whole.

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All photos by Anne-Laure Franchette
From previous years, viagra this looks set to be the one summer gathering any activist or aspiring campaigner needs to attend. A report of last year’s camp speaks warmly of the ‘lasting sense of genuine kindred spirit and camaraderie’, viagra 100mg between old hands and newcomers alike.

If the Resurgence Reader’s Weekend will provide a few days of quiet reflection, the Earth First! Summer Gathering promises an inspirational week of skill sharing and planning for direct action.

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Illustrations by Adam Bletchley

Earth First! is all about networking and building strength through community and communication. Direct action is what they do – not relying on government or industry to act sufficiently, this network without leaders takes action to them. And whether your campaign takes up the issue of opencast mining, genetic engineering, agrofuels, dam-building, hunt-sabbing, general climate actions, oil pipeline resistance, road stopping, anti-whaling, squatting, or rainforest protection, you’re sure to find something to learn here.

The gathering will be communally run, non-hierarchical, in true anarchist tradition. So far, there are over eighty workshops planned – but everyone coming along will contribute and help run the camp. Get in touch in advance if you’ve an idea for a workshop, or want to help with the setup or takedown of the site.

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Too many workshops on practical skills for direct action are already planned to list here – though to whet your appetite, they include tree climbing, activist medic first aid, and a full day of water based training. This should help to build on the several campaigns already taking to the water – at Rossport against Shell’s pipeline laying, and the Great Rebel Raft Regatta of last summer’s Climate Camp.

There will also be the chance to brush up your practical ‘sustainable’ living skills – grounding that ever-slippery term in real things : field trips, learning to recognise plants and animals, wild food, getting your own power from the sun and wind, squatting and bike maintenance. And vegan cake making, which for me is quite the cherry on top.

Have a collective think, too, about ecology, ecocentric ethics and alternatives to the corporate world of exploitation. Which should come neatly round to an excursion to some of the beautiful vallies of the area, on the Monday (24th August), to visit communities threatened by an expansion of coal mining around the North East.

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Here are the practicalities:

BRING
Bring tent and sleeping bag. You can either cook food for yourself or for £4 per day chip in with collective cooking of delicious vegan organic food – organised by the wonderful Anarchist Teapot collective. There’ll be quiet sleeping areas, toilets and running water, a children’s space and spaces for workshops and info stalls. Veggies will provide vegan cake and snacks. Children and young adults welcome with subsidized meals.

WHEN
19th-24th August 2009 – Arrive Tuesday afternoon. Workshops run from Wednesday morning until Sunday afternoon.

WHERE
The site is in or near the Lake District, Cumbria. The nearest train station is Penrith and there is a bus service to the site, there are car and living vehicle spaces outside the camp.

The exact location will be announced the week before the gathering so that it doesn’t turn into a festival. For travel directions check the website where they will be posted on 12th August.

DOGS : This year well behaved owners with dogs on leads can be accommodated, but think about whether your dog will feel comfortable in workshops. Please call beforehand so we know numbers.

COST : £20 – £30 according to what you can afford. It’s not for profit – all extra cash goes to help fund next year. Under 14′s free.

CONTACT
summergathering@earthfirst.org.uk
www.earthfirstgathering.org.uk
Or ring 01524 383012 – though it might take a while to get back to you.

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Categories ,activism, ,earth first, ,festival, ,preview

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Amelia’s Magazine | My Best Friend’s (Eco) Wedding

Hannah Marshall by Naomi Law

This September London Fashion Week enters it’s third season within the courtyard of Somerset house. To enter the spirit of things Amelia’s Magazine will previewing on, sildenafil off schedules and the presentations, abortion naming the designers we think you should be keeping your eyes firmly on.
Here are Amelia’s Magazine’s ‘on schedule’ ones to watch.

Hannah Marshall – dark bold shapes, holding the tickets in our hands to HM’s SS10 collection (September 09) my colleague and I could barely contain our glee. Sitting down in the old post office building in Holborn Hannah’s models stalked through the space the inky blue errevensent in the dim lighting. AW 10 saw …. and …

Mary Katrantzou

Meeralee

Michael Van Der Haam’s Andy Warhol inspired designs influence were easily spotted in some of this year’s MA crop. For SS 11 Van Der Haam is presenting at ….

Louise Gray

I love Louise Gray – I love how her stalls in the New Gen exhibition section start off almost bare and before you know are infected with riotious colour as the exquisite detritus from her presentations take their place. For SS10 Gray presented both women and menswear occupying a small vault in Fashion East’s installation spaces. I am more than excited for her SS11 Catwalk Show.

Holly Fulton sharing a catwalk at … with David Koma, a designer Amelia’s Magazine was privy to his first two seasons presenting off schedule at ones to watch. (see previous coverage here and here)

Fashion East

Felicity Brown and Simone Rocha by Gareth A Hopkins

For the last six years Fashion East has reliably spotted recent graduates who go one to become sought after designers. This year’s crop sees Heikke Salone, Simone Rocha and Felicity Brown.

Heikki by Gemma Randall


Mr and Mrs Collingham, what is ed illustrated by Krister Selin

When my oldest pal Lydia announced her engagement and subsequent wedding, I struggled to imagine her having a generic do with a meringue dress and posed pictures. Her list of likes include folk and rock music, vintage fashion and living a sustainable day-to-day life. So it was no surprise when she declared that her wedding would take place in the woods.

I apologise in advance if this article may seem a little self-indulgent, and the truth is, it probably is. Well, sod it.


Lydia and Nathan


Photograph by Paul Saxby

Lydia and Nathan’s day began at the local town hall, with a low key ceremony. I had been so nervous about my continous blubbing throughout, but as The Beatles’ Love Me Do skipped on an old portable CD player, my tears turned to laughter. Lydia entered in a floor length Grecian-inspired dress with an artificial pose of sunflowers. Blimey, these civil ceremonies don’t last long do they? Before I knew it, they were Mr and Mrs Collingham and we were ushered outside to pose on the lawn. (Is it a civil ceremony when you get married at a registry office? I hope so).


Camping! Illustrated by Natasha Thompson

Anyway, the festivities began. Car-sharing had been arranged prior to the day (unfortunately there isn’t any easier way of getting around our small network of tiny villages) and guests had been discouraged from travelling from overseas. We arrived at the reception, set in our friend Alice’s beautiful garden. Lydia and Nathan are really fortunate to have such lovely friends who already take sustainability and climate change very seriously. The newlyweds had tried to create a festival vibe, whilst keeping carbon emisions to a minimum. We were all camping! A little camping area had been set up at the entrance to the woods, where tents had been pitched, and for a split second I could have been at any of the summer festivals – coloured tapers adorned the trees and homemade signs with directions had been painted.

Next up – food and booze. The food was incredible, and all locally sourced to reduce environmental impact. Organic elderflower champagne was provided as a reception drink, served with delicious vegan canapés. A delicious hog roast, provided by local butchers, was layed on for the meat eaters, but the menu was, by and large, vegan. Lydia’s mum had made a gorgeous mushroom en croute to accompany Ecoworks’ delicious selection of salads and nut roasts, and some of the vegatables had been sourced right here from the gardens!




The food! Illustrated by Kayleigh Bluck


Every method of recycling was taken care of!

Ecoworks is a community organisation based in Nottinghamshire with ‘the interests of people and the environment at its heart’. They work on conservation and restoration projects and run the FRESH project, which champions regeneration, education in sustainability and health.

They also run courses that encourage people to grow the good stuff and eat sustainably. Their Harvest Café van (a gorgeous converted vintage Citroën H van, no less) caters at festivals and events and specialises in vegetarian and vegan food, They provided spuds in the evening, with chilli or dahl, and a veggie breakfast the following day. I didn’t manage any of the latter because I had the world’s worst hangover, but I’m told it was a delight…

Lydia and Nathan’s dog Polly even managed to get in on the action, dressed to the nines in a ruffle of sunflowers…

Illustration of Polly by Naomi Law


I’m always hot for a Stella McCartney shoe – especially sourced on eBay at a bargain price. You can put the girl in the woods, but she’ll still wear hot shoes. AND Stella would have been proud. Sorry, I couldn’t resist… arrrrr!


Illustration by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

And so, very quickly, the afternoon turned to the evening and it was time to party, after taking a visit to one of the garden’s many eco loos. A total shock for many, this was. Wails of ‘Is that really where I go to the bloody lav?’ could be heard in the camping area, but just about everybody got used to it pretty quickly. One guest, who shall remain nameless, was even caught photographing down one…

Hay bales covered in vintage blankets created space for guests to mingle, while the epicentre was The Dome.

This recycled space appeared like a vision of the future from the 1960s, and Alice’s mum kindly informed me that it used to operate as a swimming pool cover. It was in here that local live bands played, including the wonderful 10 O’clock Horses – a suitable blend of folk, rock, roots and punk. Lydia and Nathan had their first dance to this band’s first song (as I stood aghast) and then we all had a good ol’ jig.


10 O’clock Horses, illustrated by Jaymie O’Callaghan

Candles lit the gardens, which was a bit of a struggle to begin with but we all soon got used to it and danced into the small hours. And so after a few too many organic beers and far too much shameful dancing on my behalf, it was time for bed. What a fabulous, fabulous day.

We retired to our tents, and Lydia and Nathan skipped off to their tepee to consumate their marriage…


Lydia and Nathan in front of their teepee, photographed by Paul Saxby

I have no idea if they did or not.

Categories ,Autostitch, ,camping, ,eco, ,Eco-loo, ,Ecoworks, ,environment, ,festival, ,Food, ,Halina, ,Hipstamatic, ,Jaymie O’Callaghan, ,Krister Selin, ,Michelle Urvall Nyrén, ,Naomi Law, ,Natasha Thompson, ,Nottinghamshire, ,Paul Saxby, ,Polaroid, ,Stella McCartney, ,Sunflowers, ,Teepee, ,The Harvest Café, ,vegan, ,vegetarian, ,Wedding

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Dougald Hine of Uncivilisation: The Dark Mountain Festival


A couple of weeks ago, medications I was sifting through work emails and idly wondering how my forthcoming weekend was going to shape up; it seemed to be taking on the familiar pleasures of the default setting – drinks, pilule lazing around Shoreditch Park, case catching a gig or two, having a coffee at Columbia Road flower market; the same old same old essentially, and then an email dropped into my inbox that quickly made me revise my plans. It was from Ben, an old friend of Amelia’s Magazine from French-Music Org, and Liz from Brittany Tourism who were both involved in the French music festival des Vieilles Charrues in Brittany, and wanted to know if Amelia’s Magazine was interested in coming along to check it out. Being a champion of all kinds of festivals, both in England and abroad, but at the same time staying true to the ethics of not flying wherever possible, I was pleased to see that the festival encourages all non-flight forms of travel, and had a good deal with Brittany Ferries worked into one of the ticket packages that also includes transfers to and from the festival. I had a quick look at the line-up, which included performances from Phoenix, Midlake, The Raveonettes, Fanfarlo, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and Julian Casablancas. Then I checked my ipod and saw that apart from a little Francoise Hardy and Charlotte Gainsbourg, it was woefully lacking in French music and decided that this Gallic version of Glastonbury could be my guide to France’s vibrant music scene, especially seeing that Chapelier Fou, Revolver, Indochine, Fefe and the brilliantly named Sexy Sushi were all headlining. So that was that. All I needed to do was grab my trusty pillow and I was off to France! A few hours later, after a bumpy ferry ride that unfortunately took place on the windiest day of the year, I found myself in the picturesque town of Carhaix, home of the festival, and about 45 minutes inland from the coast.


Sune and Sharin of The Raveonettes give us a shock and awe performance.


Watching The Raveonettes with my friends – wet and bedraggled but happy.

It was straight to the festival and to the front of the crowd to watch The Raveonettes do a typically kinetic set of howling, fuzzy guitar riffs, liberally sprinkled with lots and lots of noise. Just how the audience like it. The Danish duo, made up of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo are a dark force to reckon with and played an incredibly tight set, featuring songs from their fourth album, In And Out Of Control. I hadn’t see them play before and I came away thinking that the bands waiting in the wings such as Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Crystal Castles and Vivienne Girls still have a long way to go before they steal the crowns off of these two. Later I managed to get in some talk time with Sune who refused the offer of dinner with his bandmates in favour of shooting the breeze over mugs of vodka cranberries for a whole hour. (Interview to come in the next few weeks)

The next day, when I was a little less exhausted from twelve straight hours of travelling, and no sleep, I was able to properly explore the festival and see it through renewed eyes. Truth be told, it was refreshing to find myself at an overseas festival. The crowd were relaxed, extremely friendly (stand next to any random group of strangers and within a few minutes you will be conversing away happily in a garbled mix of Franglais) and the FOOD (and drink)! It doesn’t matter how many boutique festivals are springing up over England, festival des Vieilles Charrues trumps us with champagne bars all over the site (to be sipped insouciantly while you watch French rock gods Indochine) and food tents which can provide you cheese plates and fruits de la mer to go with your choice of wine. It being slightly earlier in the day, I was trying out the regional cider which was so tasty it practically made me weep, and made my way over to watch the Fanfarlo set. Unexpectedly, this was probably my favourite performance of the festival. Having toured constantly for the past year (watch the mini documentary on their website which painfully documents their incessant and exhaustion-inducing schedule), the performances of the songs from their 2009 release Reservoir have taken on a whole new level. Each band member seamlessly flitted between a myriad of different musical instruments; no-one ever held onto a guitar, trumpet, violin, mandolin or musical saw for more than a few minutes before doing some musical-chairs. I’m not sure how well France was aware of Fanfarlo, but the full audience loved every song they played, and noisily demanded an encore – which unfortunately they didn’t get, but then, the band do only have about twelve songs in their back catalogue.


Fanfarlo talk about life on the road and divulge the little known fact of lead singer Simon’s childhood love of ham radios.


Traditional Breton music. Everyone knew the dance moves but me.

Night time gave me a chance to flit between the bands playing. I watched Midlake, the indie Texans who are fast gaining popularity over on this side of the pond, serenade the audience as the sun set, their hazy Americana sound drifting over the breeze and through the fields. Then it was a hop, skip and a jump to watch Sexy Sushi, the raw Parisian rap of Fefe and – I didn’t see this coming – some traditional Breton music involving some old men, a couple of accordions and a lively crowd who were all versed in the dance moves that accompany the traditional folk style. Then the midnight hour was upon us and the audience was heading in droves to watch Phoenix, who are clearly the prodigal sons of France. I’ve heard before that some of the French don’t appreciate the fact that Phoenix record all of their tracks in English, as opposed to their mother tongue, but there was no such bad feeling in the crowd that stood around me that night, sending waves of love and adulation towards the stage which prompted lead singer Thomas Mars to briefly lie on the stage in slightly dazed wonder at this epic night.

It was frustrating to have to leave on Sunday, as I missed performances by Pony Pony Run Run, Julian Casablancas and Etienne De Crecy, but work commitments dictated an early departure. Nonetheless, I had such a great time that I am already planning next years Festival des Vieilles Charrues (which will be the 20th anniversary of the festival). Brittany was the perfect setting for such a chilled festival, and a welcome addition to the festival calendar.

Way back in 2007, click Amelia’s Magazine was one of the first to recognise the raw talent of a young Johnny Flynn, for sale who won us over with the delicately nuanced themes in his poetic and lyrical songwriting. (The fact that he could wield a Gibson guitar like nobodies business also helped make him alright in our books). Fast forward to today and it’s safe to say that the kid done good. Supporting Mumford & Sons in their upcoming October tour, performing at summer festivals all over the country (including this weekends Cambridge Folk Festival) and collaborating with Laura Marling and Anna Calvi, Johnny has more than established himself in the British folk canon. But Johnny is no one trick pony; his new album Been Listening shows a strong appreciation of musical diversity, and gives respectful nods to early 20th Century blues, African music, and even takes inspiration from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. His creative streak runs deep, and the animated video for his new single, Barnacled Warship (released August 16th) is a dark dystopia directed by Christian DeVita, lead storyboard artist on Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ as well as Tim Burton’s forthcoming ‘Frankenweenie’.

So, as you can imagine, we felt that a catch-up with Johnny was long overdue, and so when we were approached by his team to do a video interview, it was only a matter of fighting over which contributor was the biggest fan (the honour went to the lovely Chloe) and then we were ready to go!

Watch the feature for Barnacled Warship here:
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Go to Johnny’s MySpace and website for lots more, including his newly released tour dates.

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Dougald Hine by Asli Ozpehlivan.

In May, search Dougald Hine, visit this co-founder of new literary movement The Dark Mountain Project organised Uncivilisation in Llangollen, Denbighshire. The three day festival of music, writing, thinking and doing was an astounding success, challenging the preconceived notions that our current way of living can be made ‘sustainable’. I caught up with him for a post-festival chat…

How are you feeling now the festival is over?
I’m exhausted and still piecing together what exactly happened, but it feels like it was something big and worthwhile.

Were you pleased with the turnout?
We had 400 people over the weekend, which was as many as the site could handle – and a real mixture of those who already felt deeply connected to Dark Mountain, those who were sceptical but wanting to engage, and those who were just curious to find out more.
 
Dark Mountain by Emma Raby
Dark Mountain by Emma Raby.

What were you wanting the audience to gain from the experience?
We wanted people to come away with a sense of the conversations going on around Dark Mountain and the spirit of the project.
 
Explain the dark mountain project in layman’s terms:
Dark Mountain invites people to think about what we do, if it turns out that our way of living can’t be made “sustainable”. It’s also about questioning the stories we tell ourselves about our place in the world, about progress and our ability to control nature. What if the mess that we’re in – ecologically, economically, socially – is rooted in those stories?

How easy was it to handle being a speaker and the organiser?
It wasn’t easy – I was living on four hours sleep a night, at the limit physically and emotionally, after the most intense few months of my life. Looking back, we really needed a larger team around the festival, but that’s hard when you’re doing something for the first time. We’ve had a lot of people getting in touch since who want to help organise future events.
 
time-to-look-down (dark-mountain)-by-Mags-James
Time to Look Down by Mags James.

How did you get the guest speakers involved?
For me, a great event should be a mixture of people you’ve wanted to see speak or perform for years and people you’ve never heard of, but who turn out to be amazing. It’s hard to choose highlights, but Jay Griffiths and Alastair McIntosh were particularly important voices for me – as were Vinay Gupta and Luke Concannon. There were things which, in hindsight, we might have done better. The main stage was too male-dominated – and we needed more convivial spaces for conversation and participation. But I was pleased with the contrasts between the speakers and the interweaving of ideas and performance. I just wish we could have spread it out over three weeks, rather than having to cram it all into three days.

Were you aiming for a specific ‘sound’ for the festival?
One of the surprises after the manifesto came out was how strong a response we got from musicians and songwriters. Chris T-T and Marmaduke Dando both have songs inspired by Dark Mountain on their new albums, while Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. has been involved from very early on. So the festival sound was shaped by the places where the project has struck a chord. There’s a lot of common ground with some of the powerful folk stuff going on with people like Jon Boden and Chris Wood, who was our ideal choice to close the whole weekend. But there was a real diversity of other sounds, whether it was delicate jazz ballads from Billy Bottle or hilarious death blues from Bleak.

Dark-Ruins-by-Lisa-Stannard
Dark Ruins by Lisa Stannard.

There seemed to be a lot of misunderstanding in the media about the purpose of the festival. Why do you think it was so hard for some people to understand?
Well, firstly, because Dark Mountain is work in progress – it’s a conversation, an exploration, not a single line of argument or a political platform. Most campaigns and movements deliberately try to distill what they’re doing to simple soundbites. That’s not a priority for us, because we’re trying to hold open a space for difficult conversations, for figuring things out together, rather than claiming to have a set of answers. Secondly, the stuff we’re talking about freaks people out. If you try to talk about the possibility that we might not go on getting richer, living longer, having hot and cold running electricity 24-hours-a-day, people think you’re predicting – or even hoping for – some kind of Mad Max scenario.
 
Are there plans for another festival?
Paul and I are still recovering! But we’ve already been contacted by someone who’s planning a four-day Dark Mountain gathering in Scotland this autumn, which is great.

There-is-no-PLan-B-by-Lisa-Stannard
There is no Plan B by Lisa Stannard.

You can read our original listing for the Dark Mountain Festival here.

Categories ,Alastair McIntosh, ,Asli Ozpehlivan, ,Billy Bottle, ,Bleak, ,Chris T-T, ,Chris Wood, ,Dark Mountain Project, ,Dougald Hine, ,Emma Raby, ,festival, ,Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly., ,Jay Griffiths, ,Jon Boden, ,Lisa Stannard, ,Luke Concannon, ,Mad Max, ,Mags James, ,Marmaduke Dando, ,Uncivilisation, ,Vinay Gupta

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Amelia’s Magazine | Buddhafield Green Earth Awakening Camp 2014: Review

Green Earth Awakening Poster2014
I’ve never been to Buddhafield but this year my friend Helen of East End Prints persuaded me to join her and a few of her Bristol based friends, all travelling solo with little ones to this year’s much smaller offshoot, Green Earth Awakening Camp. Any reservation I had about attending a specifically Buddhist festival were mollified once it was established that we all consider ourselves ‘Buddhish’ in nature. No surprise then to bump into yet more friends from the world of activism and FSC childrens’ camps.

Green Earth Awakening 2014 weaving
Green Earth Awakening 2014 owl mobile
Green Earth Awakening 2014 friends
Held deep in the Somerset countryside, this was a tiny gathering of just a few hundred, with one main meal tent and workshop spaces around a central meeting area and the huge ‘mindfulness’ gong. Before long we were barefoot and enjoying the marvellous weather; glorious sunshine during the day giving way to the occasional shower at night time. One night a mild rainstorm was preceded by the most amazing lightening forks, which we watched move towards us across the valley as dusk fell.

Green Earth Awakening 2014 dancing
Green Earth Awakening 2014 felt fox
Green Earth Awakening 2014 woods
I was determined that this should be a child led experience, so we meandered between different parts of the gathering according to my toddler’s whims. In the past my naturally inquisitive and frenetic nature would have ensured that I attended as many workshops as possible, but being a mother has encouraged me to embrace a different pace of life.

Green Earth Awakening 2014 Green Tara
Green Earth Awakening 2014 Green Tara
Green Earth bubbles
So, we tried felt making (until Snarfle got bored), dressed up as Green Tara, joined in with impromptu group sing alongs, blew giant bubbles, caught bugs in nets in an adjoining field with Pupa Education, played in the paddling pool in Rupa’s sauna area… and danced gloriously naked to drums near the meditation tent (well, the boys did, we weren’t so brazen despite some of the fabled Buddhafield nudity on site). And I located the best friend of my acupuncturist: a monk turned shaman.

Green Earth Awakening cooking
Green Earth Awakening 2014 food
Green Earth Awakening 2014 sea buckthorn
We ate beautifully presented and delicious local produce for every meal; home made fermented pickles and potato cakes cooked on a rocket stove and washed down with Sea Buckthorn juice. All made by folks who have lived at Tinker’s Bubble and Embercombe.

Green Earth Awakening Qigong
Green Earth Awakening 2014 foraging
Us mothers half heartedly tried to take part in foraging, yoga, Qigong and dance classes (and mainly we failed). Sadly I did not catch up with the latest in Forest Gardening or learn the art of Focussing (a cross between mediation and counselling), but instead we rambled with the kids along an ancient track which bordered the field, made shady by gnarled trees.

Green Earth Awakening kids
Green Earth Awakening 2014 banjo
The children revelled in the wide open green space, and I marvelled at the easy freedom of the older (mainly home-schooled) kids, who swung from the trees or raced around with sticks and home made bows and arrows. Snarfle became obsessed with the banjo, so I made him one out of odds and ends in the craft area. I’m sure this is how all childhoods should be, all of the time, not just for a few days here and there.

Green Earth closing ceremony
The gathering closed with a ceremony, as it had begun – the whole camp dancing, chanting and offering devotions to the goddess Green Tara, representing compassion and an ecologically minded alternative to our sometimes selfish and greedy ways. It was a fitting end to a magical few days.

Categories ,2014, ,Blackdown Hills, ,Bubbles, ,Buddhafield, ,Buddhish, ,East End Prints, ,Embercombe, ,festival, ,Focussing, ,Foraging, ,Forest Gardening, ,FSC, ,Green Earth Awakening Camp, ,Green Tara, ,Mumlife, ,Pupa Education, ,Qigong, ,review, ,Rupa’s Sauna, ,Rupa’s sauna area, ,Sea Buckthorn, ,Snarfle, ,somerset, ,sustainability, ,Tinker’s Bubble, ,Toddler, ,Yoga

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Amelia’s Magazine | NOISE festival 08

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Hello, treat treat Katie!! featured in our latest issue, prescription as part of the New Brasil section. It’s the vision of Hisato, who Amelia described as ‘a small portly man with the slightly pallid demeanour of someone who lives for the night”. He’s a very well respected DJ, and I think this says a lot about the key idea behind his latest EP, ‘Girls’.

Opener ‘Don’t Panic (That’s The Way It Is)’ is drenched in the atmosphere of New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ – famously the highest selling 7″ of all time, purely because of it’s popularity with DJs. Vocals come in the form of some super cool sounding girl, who I imagine to look exactly like the type you see standing in front of DJ booths in the hope of grabbing attention. It’s a song that I guess comes from Hisato’s time spent hanging around the super cool, Djing fashion shows and stuff like that. Considering the band is named in honour of Kate Moss herself, this is perhaps something to be expected.

My favourite track is ‘Female Moustache’. It has the feel of a soundtrack from a high octane action movie, building and plateauing, only to return to its peak moments of drama once again. You can imagine some bald guy with stubble diving between trains to it, or something like that anyway.

It finishes with ‘Today’s Tomorrow’s Breath’, something of a respite compared to the rest of the album. The vocals sound almost scary, sung by Hisato himself in what sounds like a cave.

The EP comes across like a party in your ears. It has all the aspects of really fun party music that has put Brazil on the musical map in recent years.

Having interviewed the girls who will be featuring in issue 10 of Amelia’s mag (keep an eye out for them), click I was keen to make a pit stop to their preview of their exhibition, look ‘in bed with the girls’.

The first thing that hits you as you enter the bubblegum pink Beverly Knowles Gallery in Notting hill is the burst of colour within all the photos. Cramming 12 years worth of staged portrait photography, capsule self portraiture and performance pieces in one smallish room gives their work an intensity. A few faves are the performance piece where a naked lady is adorned with various sweet treats such as: swiss rolls, tarts, custard creams. The performance piece reminded me of the oldsy english countryside picnics that now looks like a novel practice. With a priest sat next to her this set to unnerve the viewer.

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Also the smurfette pieces were cute and kitsch.

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Most of their work is playful, set with lavish sets, however I also like some of their black and white shots particularly Dungeness which are actually tiny.

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With so many different sets designs and images, these reflect two varied, bubbly personalities. They reference pop culture, the idea of Englishness, gender roles, nostalgia and desire in a fun yet also subtly dark way. So there really is something for everyone.

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Perhaps you’d like a pair of wizard boots? A caterpillar? some skeleton string? or a monster forest? Inventory of Parlour, ed an Australian designed jewellery label, more about offers treats for the imagination! A range of delectable pieces with intricate and distinctive designs that originate from another realm.

Katia, who studied textile design at RMIT University in Melbourne, was introduced to the wonderful world of jewellery when she spent some time living in London interning with the infamously unique Tatty Devine. The influence is clear – treating jewelry as a piece of art, creating something personal to illustrate the wearer. Katia’s own inspirations draw from the Parlour rooms of the 1800′s and the curious happenings within them. The pieces themselves are made mostly out of collages using text and vintage imagery from periodicals, catalogues and encyclopedias.

“A world of alakazams and abracadabras.. demented delights and a menagerie of oddities..”

Intrigued? Want to see more? Unlock the cabinet of goodies on the their blog and get a new lace for that neck!

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Photo: Dan Spinney

Despite my obsession with These New Puritans (we’ve all read the inspiring reviews from music boffs across the globe so its not necessary for me to rationalise this passion), medical neither time nor cash had granted me with a chance to witness them live, prescription until their set at the Amersham Arms. Perhaps it was dangerous levels of excitement which left me doubtful (or the fact that Derv from Amelia’s team wouldn’t stop chatting in my ear), but I couldn’t help but feel that I was left half empty.

There’s something about the intensity of delivery by lead vocalist Jack Barnett which just didn’t hit me as hard as my 5 year old Woolworth’s headphones. Its not that I’m not accusing them of being poor live performers, ‘Colours’, ‘Infinity ytinifnl’ and ‘Swords of truth’ resembled the album versions to a T, but all that intellectual equation and science stuff just seemed that little bit more magical without the hustle and bustle of a pub. Naturally These New Puritans took the opportunity to drop a few new tracks, which if this occasion is anything to go by, prove to be bordering on bland or atmospheric depending on your perspective or the volume of your glass.

Micachu and The Shape’s set wasn’t as enthralling as it should have been, mainly due to the venues poor sound. Teamed with a crowd that seemed preoccupied with having a chin wag, their music almost seemed to take a back seat. When I’ve seen them before, crowds are usually silenced by their magnificent performances, but I think most people were too preoccupied with drinking at that stage of the night. ‘Golden Phone’ did seem to divert people’s attention, and it’s definately still her standout track. She’s an artist destined for much bigger events this time next year.

Next we headed over to The Tavern to finish our night with sets from Loefah and Benga, and were subjected to some very garage heavy selections, which delighted some, but for me it just wasn’t too exciting. Soon after they had taken to the decks though, the speakers blew. It was announced that the line-up would be moved to the nearby Goldsmith’s Student Union Bar.

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Photo: Louis Hartnoll

We followed the crowds round the corner to where there was already a sizeable queue forming. I hate situations like this, when a mass of people is trying to get into a venue and the venue’s security sees it as an excuse to exercise their power by just being weird and annoying. Eventually they decided everybody had waited long enough an allowed us in. The choice of venue was strange, and didn’t really suit the music. Nevertheless, everyone was there to have a good time, and it’s difficult not to enjoy yourself in that type of environment.
So this morning I received an email shouting about NOISE, erectile an online arts showcase funded by the Arts Council & NWDA. The idea is to showcase art, ask music and fashion all conjured up by creative beings under 25. The curators include acclaimed industry professionals such as Badly Drawn Boy for music and Norman Rosenthal for fine arts. This month NOISE festival will cherry pick the crème de la crème for your viewing pleasure. Here’s a few things I spotted:

The talented miss amy brown, prescription who designed the cover of amelia’s mag issue 8 has her portfolio on here. She says that an average day consists of replying to e-mails, tea drinking, drawing, and wiping paint off my kitten Millie-Rad. She also comments that she has always loved drawing and just hope that people get as much enjoyment from looking at [her] work as [she]does making it! Have a peek at her work.

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patrick gildersleeves, aka wowow is inspired by the people of the world, patterns, paper, animals and plants. He likes to work with a pencil, felt tips and paint. His biggest influences are Inuit art, Ancient South American culture and drawings from the Far East.

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heres a cool image of promo shots for the electric circus band by ‘paul’
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6 by rae:
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clockface by chimere:
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brunch from brunch series by shauba:
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So if you want to inject a little brightness to your day or are seeking some inspiration go and check it out.

Categories ,Amy Brown, ,Art, ,Festival, ,NOISE, ,Patrick Gildersleeves, ,Wowow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Amelia’s Magazine | Crayfish Bob’s at the Two Degrees Festival by Arts Admin at Toynbee Hall

Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees Clare-Patey Toynbee Hall-photography Amelia Gregory
Crayfish Bob’s. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

This week Two Degrees is hosting Crayfish Bob’s al fresco pop up crayfish shack every evening in the paved courtyard next to Toynbee Hall. How could I resist the chance to sup on South London wine whilst crunching on succulent seafood? I couldn’t, thumb is the answer, doctor and I was lucky enough to secure a seat at the first sitting on Monday evening.

Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees Claire Pavey Toynbee Hall-photography Amelia GregoryCrayfish Bobs Two Degrees Claire Pavey Toynbee Hall-photography Amelia GregoryCrayfish Bobs Two Degrees Claire Pavey Toynbee Hall-photography Amelia Gregory

Crayfish Bob’s is supplied with Bob Ring’s freshly caught American Signal Crayfish from the Thames, an invasive species that has been busy decimating our native wildlife since the 1970s. At first introduced to be intensively farmed in controlled ponds American Signal Crayfish soon used their ability to walk across land and spread out across the country. One account tells of a late night encounter with a long procession of crayfish walking from an abandoned trout-farm pond and heading directly towards the nearby river. Clever buggers. I’ve encountered a crayfish clambering out of a pond at Hampstead Heath as it goes: it caused much consternation amongst the nudist sunbathers on the women’s ‘beach’.

Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees Claire Pavey Toynbee Hall-photography Amelia Gregory

American Signal Crayfish carry a plague to which they are immune but which kills our native White Clawed species and they also damage river banks with their tunnelling – but despite their disastrous effect on the environment nothing much has been done to stem their march. Sadly the crayfish that are increasingly used in tasty sandwiches and snacks across the UK are all farmed abroad because it is so hard to trap the American Signal Crayfish found here commercially. So, determined to do his bit, Bob Ring has hatched a plan that goes against the grain of modern business acumen: he hopes to build the Crayfish Bob brand into one of high integrity and desirability so that he can sell as many tonnes of UK caught American Signal Crayfish as possible. His ultimate dream is to go bust due to lack of stock. Obviously I felt very good about helping him on his way to achieving this.

Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees Claire Pavey Toynbee Hall Bob Ring-photography Amelia Gregory
Bob Ring.

Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees Clare-Patey Toynbee Hall-photography Amelia Gregory
Clare Patey.

As soon as we were seated Bob’s co-conspirator the interdisciplinary artist Clare Patey darted past, offering us beautiful peach coloured Urban Wine from the gardens of Tooting (it was very good) and stacks of moist sourdough bread. Our food looked utterly beautiful, served with panache by Blanch and Shock food designers, who produce theatrical food productions and educational workshops based on themes of sustainability and the psychology of eating. They aim to provide opulent food with the minimum of waste. Again, happy to help out.

Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees Blanch and Shock -photography Amelia Gregory
Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees Blanch and Shock -photography Amelia Gregory
Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees Blanch and Shock -photography Amelia Gregory
Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees Blanch and Shock -photography Amelia Gregory

Large glass bowls of locally sourced and wild foraged salad – I never knew that Common Hogweed was so darn tasty – were placed on our tables but for the main course we were encouraged to visit Crayfish Bob’s shack for ourselves to converse with the man who had caught our delicious meal. Crayfish are a messy dish to eat, requiring a certain amount of cracking and sucking to demolish, but with a finger bowl of water at the ready we all got a certain amount of pleasure from the ordeal. There was time for chat with our fellow guests as we were all seated on a friendly communal long table.

Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees urban wine -photography Amelia Gregory
Peach coloured Urban Wine from Tooting.

On one side I was joined by food blogger Laura Fleur, who I have conversed with on Twitter (ain’t it always the way these days?!) and her friend Lizzie, aka Hollow Legs. On my other side I chatted with Kevin and Jane of Platform, another organisation which is doing great things by mixing up art and activism and with whom I worked to Redesign the Royal Bank of Scotland for Sustainability in 2009 at the Arnolfini. On my right sat Peter Koenig, a former financial editor of the Independent. What an intriguing and diverse bunch!

Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees Blanch and Shock -photography Amelia GregoryCrayfish Bobs Two Degrees Blanch and Shock -photography Amelia Gregory
For desert we were served a gorgeous Douglas Fir Panna Cotta that slid off the spoon in the most delectable manner, with a side serving of strawberries and butterscotch.

Crayfish Bobs Two Degrees kevin smith -photography Amelia Gregory
Kevin with a rescue parrot that came to visit us!

It was a rare and wonderful chance to talk with some new friends whilst remembering how enjoyable good local food can be. As Diana Damian points out on her blog for This is Tomorrow, our act of eating the American Signal Crayfish demonstrated how social engagement can become a political act in itself, and an enjoyable one at that. I couldn’t really put it better myself.

At only £5 for the entire meal this was fantastic value so not surprisingly all seats at Crayfish Bob’s have now been sold out, but there is plenty more going on at Two Degrees over the rest of the week. I shall be taking part in a round table discussion about the state of climate activism on Saturday 18th June between 1-2pm. Please do come along and take part!

Categories ,activism, ,American Signal Crayfish, ,art, ,Arts Admin, ,Blanch and Shock, ,Bob Ring, ,Claire Pavey, ,Climate Change, ,Common Hogweed, ,community, ,Crayfish Bob’s, ,Crayfish Shack, ,Diana Damian, ,Douglas Fir Panna Cotta, ,festival, ,Food, ,Food Design, ,Hollow Legs, ,Kevin Smith, ,Laura Fleur, ,Peter Koenig, ,Platform Arts, ,Pop-up, ,Salad, ,South London, ,sustainability, ,This is Tomorrow, ,Tooting, ,Toynbee Hall, ,two degrees, ,Urban Wine, ,Wild Foraging, ,Wine

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