Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2015: Abstract Textiles and Surface Design

New Designers Laura worrall 2
Never mind the heat, I spent three hours trawling the halls of New Designers part one at the Islington Business Centre. By the end I was thoroughly exhausted (I’m 39 weeks pregnant today) but excited, as always, by all the fabulous graduate designers I discovered. I’ll be covering my favourites in a few separate blog posts: first up, abstract textile and surface design, in a celebration of the many dashing variations of this forward looking and vibrant theme.

New Designers Laura Worrall
At London College of Communication I adored painterly abstracts by Laura Worrall, adapted for use on a variety of mediums, including textiles and tiles.

New Designers Miriam Bridson
Miriam Bridson put on another beautiful display of bold abstract design.

New Designers Aisha Khan
Aisha Khan at Bucks New University created an intriguing metallic wall installation.

New Designers Alice Ward
Bold brights were put together in this strong wall display by Alice Ward.

New Designers Logan Kelly 2
New Designers Logan kelly
Next up, I really liked this ‘Soft Bling‘ collection of digitally printed designs on crepe satin and cotton drill by Logan Kelly at Falmouth University. The broad strokes and zingy colours have a hint of the 80s and I loved the fresh use of white.

New Designers Jenna Coulthard 2
ND Jenna Coulthard
I always look forward to seeing the work of Leeds College of Artgraduates.

This year I particularly loved the great colours and shapes of Jenna Coulthard who was given a Tigerprint Golden Ticket to come show her portfolio and also recommended for her use of colour by Global Color Research. I am not surprised she got so much attention!

New Designers Benjamin Craven
Marvellous patterns by Benjamin Craven made for a strong collection.

New Designers Jessica Taylor
These juicy colours are by Jessica Taylor.

New Designers Sarah Gibson
And brilliant splashes are by Sarah Gibson.

New Designers Laura Elizabeth coles
Beautiful textural copper filigree weave in rainbow colours is by Laura Elizabeth Coles of Central Saint Martins.

New Designers Georgia Fleck
Georgia Fleck created unique carpet designs. Make your own combination with the pieces!

New Designers Natasha SamaSuwo
New Designers Natasha SamaSuwo collage
Natasha SamaSuwo at Glasgow College of Art made a series of lovely delicate collages, showcasing the resulting prints on some fab photo collages.

New Designers Caitlin Miller
Love the zingy colour combo! Textiles by Caitlin Miller at Duncan of Jordanstone.

New Designers Shauna McGregor
Designs by Shauna McGregor called to mind the 80s with their neon exuberance: overall the standard of design coming out of the Scottish colleges was exceptional throughout the show.

New Designers Elidh Howie
Elidh Howie specialised in metallic 3D accessories design for handbag applications. Very slick and professional.

New Designers Chloe Pullin
At Swansea College of Art Chloe Pullin combined all sorts of techniques to create a fabulous wall of her designs – as you can tell I was really feeling the bright abstracts this year!

New Designers Naomi France
I also loved this display by Naomi France at Swansea, utilising laser etched doors that echoed her textile designs.

New Designers Anna Trainor
Anna Trainor at Ulster Uni designed optical textiles with a modernist flavour.

New Designers Anna Collins
Anna Collins created standout textiles at Birmingham City Uni.

ND Jan Kingsman
Finally, Jan Kingsman at Bath Spa Uni showed on the craft stand, but I thought her gorgeous textiles deserve to appear in this blog!

All of these images first appeared on the New Designers instagram feed (they very kindly asked me to guest post a favourite selection from both part one and part two of the show) or on my own my instagram feed: follow me there to catch my discoveries as I make them!

Categories ,Aisha Khan, ,Alice Ward, ,Anna Collins, ,Anna Trainor, ,Bath Spa Uni, ,Benjamin Craven, ,Birmingham City Uni, ,Bucks New University, ,Business Centre, ,Caitlin Miller, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Chloe Pullin, ,Duncan of Jordanstone, ,Elidh Howie, ,Falmouth University, ,Georgia Fleck, ,Glasgow College of Art, ,Global Color Research, ,Golden Ticket, ,Islington, ,Jan Kingsman, ,Jenna Coulthard, ,Jessica Taylor, ,Laura Elizabeth Coles, ,Laura Worrall, ,Leeds College of Art, ,Logan Kelly, ,London College of Communication, ,Miriam Bridson, ,Naomi France, ,Natasha SamaSuwo, ,New Designers, ,Sarah Gibson, ,Shauna McGregor, ,Soft Bling, ,surface design, ,Swansea, ,Swansea College of Art, ,textiles, ,Tigerprint, ,Ulster Uni

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

LCC Green Week 'Urban Farming Installation' by Deborah Moon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plastic Seconds display

LCC Green Week Skip Sisters

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

LCC Green Week Veja Shoes photo by Maria Papadimitriou

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

LCC Green Week Face Shields by Jody Boehnert at EcoLabs

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

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

Face Shields by Lizzy Holbrook

Wooden Objects by Gregor Garber LCC Green Weekphoto by Maria Papadimitriou

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LCC Green Week Furniture Upcycling 1 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

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

Book Swishing at LCC Green Week photo by Maria Papadimitriou

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fifty Years of Illustration: an interview with coauthor Lawrence Zeegen

The definitive Fifty Years of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegen and Caroline Roberts was published by Laurence King late last year. This beautiful volume charts contemporary illustration’s rich history, starting with the rampant idealism of the 1960s, moving onto the bleak realism of the 1970s, the over-blown consumerism of the 1980s and the digital explosion of the 1990s, followed by the increasing diversification of illustration that represents the discipline in the early twenty-first century.

The book explores the contexts in which the discipline has operated and looks historically, sociologically, politically and culturally at the key factors at play across each decade, whilst artworks by key illustrators bring the decade to life. Contemporary illustration’s impact and influence on design and popular culture are investigated through introductory essays and profiles of leading practitioners, illustrated with examples of their finest work.’

Lawrence Zeegen is currently Dean of the School of Design at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, where he leads pre-degree, undergraduate and postgraduate courses and research in animation, book arts, branding and identity, illustration, interface and interaction design, graphic communication design, spatial design and typographic design. In this in depth interview he tells us more the process of making this must have book.

Why did you decide to concentrate on the last 50 years of illustration in this book?
My book Fifty Years of Illustration charts the birth of contemporary illustration at the start of the 1960s to the present day. The sixties was the moment in time when illustrators first had an opportunity to create work away from the restrictions of the commercial client – underground publications sprang up as the counterculture evolved in San Francisco on the West Coast of the US and in London, whilst in New York studios such as Push Pin began to create and publish work that was more expressive and experimental than had previously been seen.

Contemporary illustration was born in the sixties and the discipline has undergone massive flux and a huge transformation during the five decades the book charts. From the energy and idealism of the sixties, the dreamlike escapism and contrasting bleak realism of the seventies, the over-blown consumerism and ‘greed-is-good’ ambitions of the eighties to the digital explosion of the nineties and the increasing diversification of illustration during the early 21st century, Fifty Years of Illustration explores the discipline through the key factors historically, sociologically, politically and culturally that determined each decade.

On a personal note, I turned 50 last year so the book covers illustration’s recent history aligned to my own development too. I’ve been working as an illustrator for 30 years, teaching illustration as an educator for 25 years and writing about illustration for 10 years so the book became a natural extension of my own interests in the subject.

How did you pick the artists to represent each era?
That’s a good question – it started some years ago with conversations, often over a glass or two of red wine, with Professor John Lord at University of Brighton and with others including Professor George Hardie and Ian Wright. Ultimately though the final long list was one I discussed with the publishers, of course, and with Caroline Roberts, who worked on the book with me. Caroline pointed me in the direction of a few illustrators I hadn’t considered and also helped to source a few from the 1960s and 1970s that weren’t easy to locate.

One consideration, not really visible to the reader, is a few restrictions placed on a project like this for a couple of very valid reasons – the publishers have co-publishers in mind from a variety of other countries so were keen that illustrators from these countries were represented in the book and the other issue that cropped up a few times was the cost in reproducing some of the images. Most illustrators allowed us to reproduce their work without a fee but a few, mainly those from a few decades ago and no longer alive, were represented by picture libraries and agencies and these charged for the rights to reproduce the works; fair enough, of course, but the picture budget was soon eaten up.

There will be those illustrators that weren’t included in the book that my fellow illustrators and academics will think should have been selected and there will, inevitably, be those illustrators that I have chosen that some will wonder what warranted their inclusion – ultimately, it really did come down to personal choice. I had a list for each decade in a notebook that I carried around for a couple of years and would update from time-to-time, scribbling down names and crossing out others. It is a personal selection and most definitely not the list to end all lists – there are a few illustrators that I’d have loved to include but in having to make a tight selection it just wasn’t possible to include everyone. I’ll be interested to see from the most recent decades, which illustrators stand the test of time – and would still make the grade when I revise the book for the 2nd edition in a few years time…

Do you have any personal favourites, and if so who are they and why?
Of course, it is impossible not to have a few favourites, even though the entire selection has been made up of my choices and ended up being quite subjective really. I guess I have favourites that span each decade. Having been born to young parents in the mid sixties I grew up to the soundtrack of the Beatles, so Klaus Voormann’s cover for Revolver still resonates very strongly for me. I met him recently and he is such a great guy and supremely talented – we’re talking about how to best celebrate the fifty years since Revolver was released next year.

Another favourite from the 1960s has to be Milton Glaser’s portrait of Dylan that ran as a poster inserted into the Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits album released in 1967. Glaser is another hero I was fortunate enough to meet recently, this time in New York, and I asked him if the urban myth I had heard was true – did he hide the letters to spell out the word in E L V I S in Dylan’s hair, his response? ‘Yeah, I heard that too.’ He gave nothing away, and why should the guy that created one of the most iconic pieces of branding ever – I ♥ NY feel he has to confirm or deny rumours?

From the 1970s I would have to say my favourite images in the book are either Guy Peellaert’s gatefold album sleeve illustration of David Bowie for Diamond Dogs or perhaps Philip Castle’s poster for Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange, although George Hardie’s images have always been at the top of any of my lists too. From the 1980s Ivan Chermayeff’s graphic images at pretty unbeatable – yet another hero I was fortunate enough to meet last year, and Patrick Nagel’s rather cool expressionless models, as featured on Duran Duran’s Rio, have always been pretty special. Andrzej Klimowski was my tutor at the Royal College of Art at the end of the eighties, as was Dan Fern, and they both created some very iconic and influential work during that period.

More recently, during the 1990s, I have always liked the work of Andy Martin and John Hersey – both leading lights of the early digital era, and think illustrators Kam Tang, Brett Ryder and Kate Gibb are rather fantastic. Of the bunch, though, it would have to be MariscalCobi, his character for the Barcelona ’92 Olympics, was simply brilliantly envisaged and Mariscal himself is a character to behold, I met Mariscal at a lecture he gave at Central Saint Martins a few years ago and he knocked me out and again last year at a conference in Toronto I witnessed him entertain a crowd of 2000+ with a magnificently surreal talk and performance.

Bang up to date and through the 2000s and 2010s I would have to say that Jasper Goodall, Marion Deuchars, Airside, Antony Burril, Patrick Thomas, Jason Ford, Roderick Mills, Peepshow, Paul Davis, Adrian Johnson and Ian Wright are all firm favourites, but then I would say that – they’ll all old friends.

In your own artistic practice what era or style of illustration has been the biggest influence?
I can’t say that other illustrators have really ever influenced my own work – I have admired many but not drawn direct lines or references into my illustration practice, and that’s perhaps why I feel drawn (excuse the pun) to write about the subject. I have written seven or eight books on illustration featuring the work of thousands of illustrators but think I find my inspiration in the work of untrained jobbing graphic artists of yesteryear – I love old clip art, tattoo art, rubber stamp graphics and the images that once adorned the back pages of cheap magazines and comics.

If I had to name the artists that have inspired me – Patrick Caulfield, Warhol, Kurt Schwitters, Julian Opie would be up there but the list goes on, and I think I’ve been just as inspired by music, TV, literature, film and popular culture generally. I grew up listening to the Clash, reading Colin Maccinnes, watching Tomorrow’s World and dancing to soul music – these have all been as a big an influence on my work as any artist I think.

How long did it take to put this book together?
A good question and if I’m honest – far too long! I originally had the idea over a decade ago but I couldn’t get a publisher interested. Illustration was very much out of favour during the 1990s and it wasn’t until I had written a few other books on contemporary illustration that sold pretty well and illustration itself had come in from the cold, that I managed to persuade a publisher it would be a good idea.

How-to-do illustration books and how-to-work-in illustration books are ten-a-penny nowadays but ten years ago this wasn’t so, and this is what publishers wanted – and I was happy to oblige, of course. Getting a book published on the history of illustration, however, was more of a challenge. It was tricky for a few reasons – publishers weren’t sure that an audience for this type of book existed, but I was convinced that student and professional illustrators, and designers, would be interested. The other reason – books such as Fifty Years of Illustration can be a nightmare to publish is the sheer volume of images that require usage clearance and the coordination and communication with so many illustrators can be daunting and seemingly never-ending.

I have to say that Laurence King Publishing were behind the project from the start and were very supportive – they were also very patient too. It was the publishers that suggested to me that we bring in Caroline to share some of the workload, a good idea. I decided on the structure of the book, made the decisions on the list of illustrators – who should be in to represent each decade, and I wrote the introductory essay and each of the chapter essays and Caroline worked on the profiles – it was a fairly easy process once I’d established the illustrators but certainly the project as a whole was very time-consuming. Books such as this one are very labour intensive, and I had to fit it around the rest of my work. I’m the Dean of the School of Design at London College of Communication and that’s a pretty demanding role – I have 2000 students across a multitude of undergraduate and postgraduate design courses within my remit and even with research as an aspect of my role as the Professor of Illustration for University of the Arts London writing is only an element of what I do.

Who designed the cover and why did you choose them? (do you feel their style represents the ‘now’ and if so why?)
The cover was always going to be tricky, and we did commission a very internationally known illustrator to create a bespoke cover image and then waited about six months before it was delivered. And it wasn’t right. We, myself and Angus Hyland the Pentagram partner and Creative Director at Laurence King, then decided to ask Jeff Fisher. I knew I wanted a cover that was made up of hand rendered letterforms – with the book packed with illustration it was never going to work to have an illustration on the cover. Jeff did, I think, a magnificent job – the cover fits the book, feels right and has enough gravitas, without being formal or stuffy, to present the subject as both readable and approachable. I always wanted the book to appeal to a wider audience than simply illustrators and designers, and I think it has achieved that and a great cover helps a book increase interest.

What in particular determined inclusion for the artists representing The New Wave, who are working today?
Presenting a new wave of artists is always going to be challenging – it is the biggest section of the book and it is about the here and now, or at least those working that have made most impact onto the illustration scene, as I see it, from the beginning of the 2000s to the present day. I would argue that Jasper Goodall was one of a small elite that had a huge influence across design for his approach to fashion illustration, that Shepard Fairey, whilst a street artist rather than an illustrator, contributed hugely to putting the first black man into the White House with his illustrated poster campaign supporting Obama and that Airside, Marion Deuchars and Alex Trochut, to name but a few, also brought illustration to new audiences because of the appeal, accessibility and the visible platforms for their work.

What are the biggest challenges facing an illustrator working today?
Where to start? Illustrators have it all and yet have nothing at all too. You want great flexibility in your working life, want to work where and when you want then illustration may well be the right career choice for you. But it really isn’t that simple – illustration is a tough industry to break into, tougher still to maintain a presence in and even if you are flavour of the month, and who says it will last any longer, you will still find it hard to call the shots. Illustrators are guns-for-hire and style is king – when you’re style is in vogue you can do no wrong, but when its been seen and done and the art directors, designers and those who commission have moved on, if you’ve not moved on too – then the phone stops ringing and emails stop pinging through. It can be a tough, and brutal existence and can be totally dictated by demand – unless you’re smart enough to have other outlets for your illustration work, of course. For those illustrators that create their own prints, products and paraphernalia there can be life after the commercial commissions, but making a genuine living from this is increasingly difficult I think. There is a reason that most working illustrators are under the age of thirty.

At the risk of sounding far too negative though, I do think that working as an illustrator is great fun; I spent 10 years working out of a studio in Hoxton, Big Orange, that a gang of us set up upon graduation from the Royal College of Art in 1989 and enjoyed every minute of the experience – the studio is still in existence today but with not a single founding member still present, and I guess that does say something of how important younger illustrators constantly coming onto the scene is.

At the back of the book you state that there is still a lot left to do to record the impact of illustration on art, design and society – why do you think this is the case?
Because illustration has, until now, been treated as a subsection of graphic design, as a footnote in graphic design’s rich history. I believe that there is a vital history that needs to be documented – that illustration has played a major part in defining the 20th and now the 21st centuries and is an aspect of our visual culture that hasn’t been consdiered seriously enough. The first visual communication between humans, before written language, was most likely scratched or drawn in the sand of dirt by a finger or a stick – this wasn’t cave art; it was illustration. Illustration was the earliest form of graphic communication – we encourage young kids to draw, to express themselves through illustration but yet we don’t take the discipline seriously enough, we don’t reflect on how illustration shapes, entertains and informs us. I hope that Fifty Years of Illustration is just one chapter in the recording of illustration’s great history and that others recognize the value of the subject. I’m not done on the subject myself, that’s for sure, I have other opinions, views and ideas about the discipline and will be writing, lecturing and presenting on illustration for a few more years yet, but this is call-to-arms for others to join me in celebrating, and berating illustration (because not everything is perfect) – we have to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of the discipline and to a wider audience too.

Who do you hope will read this book and why would you recommend it?
As I’ve said really – art and design students and design and illustration professionals as well, but I really hope too that this book is picked up, looked at and read by those with an interest in the subject. Illustration is the ‘people’s art’ so I hope that people will see something of interest in the book – from the children’s illustrated book they loved reading or being read to at bedtime to the record they loved as a teenager, with artwork they stared at for hours whilst listening to the music, illustration has had an impact into our lives in so many ways and is a fascinating subject to read about and look into.

On a personal level why do you love illustration so much?
I grew up with it, from my first love of illustration through the Ladybird books of my childhood, to the 7-inch single sleeves of my teenage years and life as an art student I always came back to the illustrated image as a means of visual communication. I like being around illustrators too – I like their sense of the world, their desire to tell stories and communicate and the incredible skills many illustrators demonstrate through their work. I also like that illustration is accessible and everyday – you don’t need to go to a gallery to see illustration – pick up a book or newspaper, you don’t need to ‘understand’ illustration – it isn’t complex, it is what it is.

You have said you should “feed your brain, feed your eyes, feed your soul” – where do you go to do this?
Anywhere and everywhere – personally, I read newspapers and magazines, I was once a magazine fiend and every copy of The Face ever published for example, I see movies, I listen to music, I trawl the internet – all the same stuff we all do.

I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot and wherever I am in the world I bring back ideas, references, research – last year I took photographs and inspiration from trips to South Korea, Turkey, Italy, Canada, USA, Hong Kong, China… it is hard not to draw influences from such fascinating places.

I meet many people too, in my line of work, and much of my thinking comes from conversations and meetings with great students, great academics and great practitioners – I am a great believer in surrounding oneself with smart people that challenge you to think smarter, work harder and keep you focused on doing great work – whether it be an illustration, a lecture on illustration, an article or book on illustration. And I am also a great believer in having an opinion, a point of view, and getting it out there.

Buy Fifty Years of Illustration here.

Categories ,Adrian Johnson, ,airside, ,Alex Trochut, ,Andy Martin, ,Antony Burril, ,Big Orange, ,Bob Dylan, ,Brett Ryder, ,Caroline Roberts, ,Clockwork Orange, ,Cobi, ,David Bowie, ,Fifty Years of Illustration, ,George Hardie, ,Guy Peellaert, ,Ian Wright, ,Ivan Chermayeff, ,Jason Ford, ,Jasper Goodall, ,Jeff Fisher, ,John Hersey, ,Julian Opie, ,Kam Tang, ,Kate Gibb, ,Klaus Voormann, ,Kurt Schwitters, ,Laurence King, ,Lawrence Zeegen, ,London College of Communication, ,Marion Deuchars, ,Mariscal, ,Milton Glaser, ,Patrick Caulfield, ,Patrick Nagel, ,Patrick Thomas, ,Paul Davis, ,Peepshow, ,Philip Castle, ,Professor George Hardie, ,Professor John Lord, ,Professor of Illustration, ,Revolver, ,Roderick Mills, ,Royal College of Art, ,The Face, ,University of Brighton, ,University of the Arts London, ,Warhol

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Amelia’s Magazine | Art Listings

Here at Amelia’s Magazine HQ this week we are all feeling rather revitalised, this salve with the prospect of spring safely in our sights and a stomach full of Easter eggs we thought what better time to share our energized disposition with you are faithful readers, and boy do I have a treat in store for you fashionista’s today.


It comes in the form of exciting new Aussie talent Fashion Designer Josh Goot, heralded as “modernisms new messiah” it’s enough to get anyone in the fashion sphere jumping up and down excitedly in their Chanel heels. Goot first catapulted his way into the fashion sphere in 2005 after winning Young Designer of the Year Award in Sydney, but only made his debut on the London fashion circuit at this years London Fashion Week with his S/S 09 collection


Goot studied Media Art and Production at Sydney’s University of Technology where he graduated in 1999. This background has shaped his distinctive approach to fashion design, renowned for his use of print and his minimalist aesthetic Goot has injected a healthy dose of artistic expression onto the catwalk.


Goots A/W 09 collection did not fail to get our taste buds flowing, paying homage to the natural world it’s an explosion of texture and colour. Heavily inspired by geology the collection focuses on organic lines and silhouettes.


Goot’s exquisite tailoring techniques come to the forefront in his A/W 09 collection. Enthused by the erosive textural quality of rock Goot uses angular tailoring with reverse contour lines to mimic the harsh lines that occur in sedimentary rocks. This masculine tailoring is then softened by his subdued use of colour; the palette is a hazy of distilled greys that merge with soft violets, yellows and blues to create quixotic and distinctly feminine pieces. His modernist aesthetic creates a look that is both functional yet expressive, with styles ranging from tailored jackets, panelled shirts to asymmetric tops and body con suits.



The most enthralling element to the A/ W collection has to be Goots Marble effect series. Audiences were mesmerised by the haze of colour gliding down the catwalk. To me it conjures old childhood memories of marbling from art class. I remember excitedly leaning over a tank of water mixing oil inks and eagerly gliding my stick through the water to create patterns. I was mesmerised by the beautiful hues merging together to create such vivid canvases of colour. Goot encapsulates this perfectly in his prints, which were created from large-scale digitally printed water coloured pieces.


After such awe inspiring pieces in his A/W collection I am eager to inspect what else Josh Goot has tucked up his sleeve. With stores such as Browns Focus in London and Marie Luisa in Paris already stocking his collections I have no doubt Goot is set to take the fashion sphere by storm!


Lewes’ quaint, story cobbled streets and Dickensian finery belie the town’s rebel status and heritage. Thomas Paine, ask 18th century philosopher and all round radical was a local while the annual bonfire festivities are the kind of Pagan perverse, politically loaded Wickerman shindigs that grab national newspaper headlines. Situated slap bang in the life-affirming environs of the Sussex Downs and home to Harvey’s ale, it’s easy to see why Lewes is something of a hippy haven – genteel on the outside, pretty bizarre on deeper investigation. The perfect host to the neo-psychedelic revolution. Or a place where a bunch of bearded dudes get to hang out and discuss obscure Nuggets. Either way, I was home.


The happening unfolded in the All Saints Centre, a church where, most appropriately, Pink Floyd played in 1966. Heightening the sense of lysergic lasciviousness that characterised the night was the mind mulching lightshow provided by locally sourced hero, Innerstings. Such visual freak-ery was offset perfectly by the evening’s DJs who, for the most part, dealt in psychedelic music of the guitar based variety. No bad thing, especially if the crate digger behind the decks is Richard Norris, whose set seemingly unearthed the kind of gems Lenny Kaye would kick himself for missing. As was the desired effect, this all blended perfectly with the live performances which served to give the evening a modernist sheen and kick several shades of shit out of any sense of nostalgia that pervaded. Take, for example, The Notorious Hi-Fi Killers, whose singer resembled Jerry Garcia but whose band kicked up a beautifully godless stoner-rock racket. (Un)natural heirs to Rocky Erickson’s throne perhaps, they tore their way through an acid-spanked set of psychedelic garage punk and sounded far bigger than you’d expect from three blokes from South London.


Having obliterated the dance floor of rug cutting psychedelic Mods, it was left to headliners, The Yellow Moon Band, to restore some kind consensual good will. This was entirely apt as the Yellow Moon Band’s founders are Jo and Danny, hirsute curators of the Greenman Festival. Consummate professionals to a hilt, they play note for note the majority of their recent (and peculiarly danceable) debut album, Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The World. On paper, their Steeleye Span meets Slayer schtick looks decidedly unappealing but, bathed in a wash of kaleidoscopic lights and played out with merciless efficiency the Yellow Moon Band are a strangely alluring, downright compelling and very psychedelic experience. Just ask the mass of people throwing shapes and gyrating down the front. Pouring out into the graveyard post show, chatting with likeminded souls and new friends, it seemed Lewes had given birth to a new spring time institution, one worthy enough of taking its place next to the other grand traditions of this beguiling and beautiful town.
The Otesha Project team are an ambitious lot. They want to tackle climate change, more about poverty, cheap injustice, and educate thousands of young people on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Their weapon of action? The humble bicycle. You heard me! But the folks behind Otesha are a clever and forward thinking bunch. They can achieve more with a bicycle and a deceptively simple mission statement then most global corporations could possibly dream of.



Back in 2003, the team that would go onto create the Otesha Project in Canada had recently returned from working in Kenya. Rather than being inspired by life in Africa, Jocelyn Land – Murphy and Jessica Lax were dismayed to find vast inequalities between the North Americans and the Kenyans. The extent of the unfair trading, irresponsible over consumption and labour exploitation that they witnessed left a bitter taste in their mouth but equally seemed too insurmountable a problem for two people to tackle. The feeling of powerlessness acted as a catalyst for their own personal change. On return to Canada they began to alter their lifestyles to reflect the change that they wanted to see in the world. And thus began the Otesha way of being. It’s a beautifully uncomplicated concept, and practically the only one that we can adhere to when all of the world’s problems seem too huge to tackle – that change can occur on the most massive scale by simply altering your own life – in other words, be the change! So this is what they did, and set off through Canada on their bikes, stopping off to make presentations to young people about the importance of social change. Seeing that this was a resounding success, and that they made over 250 presentations to more than 12,00 young people, Otesha was ready for more!


This brings us to the Otesha Project UK, which promotes social change in a number of ways. The most well known way is through their cycle tours. I met with some of the team behind Otesha UK; Liz McDowell and Hanna Thomas recently, and they filled me in on these expeditions. Needless to say, I am not much of a cyclist, but even I was segmenting off part of my summer for the following year to join the next wave of cycle tours. So, for any of you that are interested in spending your summer doing something slightly different to the status quo, this is how it works. A team of volunteers (like yourself, or me after I have done a couple more spinning classes) cycle around a particular part of Britain for around 6 weeks; last year the venues included Cornwall and Wales; this year’s venues are East Anglia, a section of Scotland, and the coast of Wales. Whilst on the travels, the team stop off to speak at schools and communities about environmental and social sustainability. They don’t just speak; plays and workshops are also performed. Whilst on the road, the team record their experiences on journals and video recorders.


There is a bit of a travelling circus element to it; and Liz and Hanna told me that the team clearly love what they are doing. Equally as important – the response from the groups that they speak to is always overwhelming. Many of the group return year after year; Otesha are good to their teams! As well as stopping off at schools, the team also have excursions organised for them. In Wales they get a couple of learning days at the Centre for Alternative Technology, as well as a visit to a permaculture farm. Those who head over to East Anglia get a chance to stay in a tipi at a Roman archaeological site. While this is all good fun, the skills that the team take away with them are invaluable. Getting a head start in public speaking, learning to work alongside and live with a large team of people – and maintain a great relationship with them – are attributes that can be taken anywhere.

When they are not cycling around Britain, The Otesha Project are working with groups of young people over longer periods of time to help create change in their local community. They work from the Otesha Handbook, which highlights issues such as Food, Money, Fashion, Energy, Trade and Transport. Last summer, Otesha worked with students in Tower Hamlets Summer University, who chose to do a project about food; specifically the issues of seasonable and organic food. The students approached local cafes, shops and markets to discover who was using organic, fairtrade food, and wrote to their MP’s asking that organic food be subsidised. This culminated with the students creating a Seasonal Summer Feast for their friends and family, which by all accounts was a great success.

(all images courtesy of The Otesha Project UK)

Other projects have included Getting Ethical About Fashion, held at the Princes Trust XL Club in Barnet, where students discussed issues in fashion that are often swept under the carpets, such as sweatshops, child labour, and the chemicals put in clothes. My favourite sounding workshop was the Dirty Weekend held at Goldsmith’s EnviroClub Community Gardens. Ok, so it was not that kind of dirty weekend, and it involved plans for creating a garden for the local residents and students, but at least the students still got their hands dirty!

The Otesha Project like to say that they are germinating good things, and it does seem that way. Everything that they do is for the benefit of the Earth, and the people who are inhabiting it. If you are interested in working with them, get in touch at:
After last years’ unforgettable appearances from Bobby Digital, physician Felix Kubin, online Gay Against You and Agaskodo Teliverek amongst others, one cannot help but be wracked with anxiety about what they can pull out of the bag for this years’ follow-up Futuresonic Festival. The festival will be taking place between Thurs 14th – Saturday 16th of May, this year.

Taking a glimpse at the line up it promises to be something to rival last years’ festival unequivocally.

Starting off with Mexican electronic pioneer Murcof (& AntiVJ) with Jóhann Jóhannsson, the festival then dips its toe into Hip Hop with the New York collective ‘The Anti-Pop Consortium‘. From this we trawl through some dark and muddy psychedelic rock from Electric Wizard. A real highlight comes in the form of a one off performance from the legendary Philip Glass; playing Etudes and Other Work for Solo piano.


Not to omit an audio assault from Ariel Pink with Marnie Stern and Crystal Antlers. It’s gonna be an absolute monster of a year for the futuresonic team.


“The best, most explosive, most all-encompassing Futuresonic music line-up to date, covering genres as diverse as dubstep, contemporary classical, lo-fi indie, electronica, deep house, math rock, leftfield hip-hop and italo disco.” – The Futuresonic team.

Some of the venues sequestered for the festival include the RNCM, The Deaf Institute and Urbis, where you will see “a celebration of musicianship and a salute to those who perform on the cutting-edge”.

Photo by

With oodles of other events going on over the entire weekend including exhibitions, theatre productions and club nights, there’s no excuse to completely miss out, unless you’re in a coma that is.
You may not have heard much about My Tiger My Timing – yet – but I guarantee that you will be hearing their curiously titled name a lot more in the upcoming months. This is a band destined for success. Their songs are an irresistible mix of hypnotic dark alt pop and potent melodies . Sung by smart and self aware South Londoners, drugs they have a killer style, approved a strong image and are in it for the long haul.


I sat down with three members of the five piece recently, abortion Anna, James and Jamie, to talk about their debut single, ‘This Is Not The Fire‘, as well as their musical style and influences, and what it means to be geeky and sexy at the same time.

So, your new song, ‘This Is Not The Fire’ is released this week. Tell me a bit about the first single –
James: The song it’s quite rhythmic. It’s a dark pop song.
Anna: It is kind of about the moment that we are at now. With our lyrics, we want to be universal but at the same time not vague. The lyrics are about that moment when you know something that no one else does. It could be when you are about to unleash something; this is the moment when we are about to unleash the fire. But equally it is a personal song about the breakdown of relationships. We want people to be able to relate to the song as well as to be able to dance to it. Having an emotional side to the music is something that we try to do as well.

There is a brother and sister team here somewhere?
Anna: Yeah, James and I.

So who does what?
James: I play guitar and bass, and Jamie does the same. And we all sing. We have a new guy, Sebastian who is on synth, so we have now become a five piece. Which is logistically a bit difficult getting everyone in the car at the same time!

And you are all from New Cross, is that right?
Anna: Yes, we are based around there, and we formed just over a year ago. We were all in different bands; Seb was in The Cock N’ Bull Kid.

You have a good pedigree behind you – can you explain this?
Jamie: Andy Spence, who does the producing of New Young Pony Club has produced our new single “This Is Not The Fire’ , which was also up for single of the week on Radio 2 recently.
Anna: We lost out of the single of the week to Bat For Lashes – who we love, so that’s fair enough!
Jamie: There seems to be a Mercury Music Prize trailing us! (laughs) She beat us for Single Of The Week, and she was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize . Andy produced us, and he was also nominated. And we have just recorded with Joe from Hot Chip – who has also been nominated!

How did the Hot Chip connection come about?
Anna: We met him at a party – he knew our manager Brian, so we got chatting. We talked about the band name – we were named after a song by Arthur Russell. He was one of our initial influences, he was a New York based electronic artist; quite avant-garde. We bonded over that and he got in touch the next day.


You have a very strong image. There is a bit of an 80′s electro vibe going on, right?
Jamie: Our image is very important to us. You get up on stage and people are paying to come and see you, it’s almost disrespectful to ask people to watch a bunch of scruff bags jumping around! (laughs). It’s definitely important, it’s to do with us being quite exuberant. And our music is quite fun and vibrant, and that comes through with what we wear.
Anna: The whole visual side of things is very important to us, even beyond what were wearing on stage and in photos. We also want to incorporate light shows and visuals into our shows.
James: One of the things we decided early on with our visual side was that we wanted our images to be back to basics, using almost solely primary colours. So we are aiming to hone a streamlined, simplified look. We don’t adhere to a particular image or era. Overall though, it’s about putting on a show.

Are you all inspired by the same music?
James: No, it’s rag tag.
Anna: We are all big Blur fans though. It’s a mixture of pop and the dark stuff that we like. Happy Mondays, Primal Scream– we definitely like dark British pop music.
Jamie: Also, musically we are influenced by each other. There is a friendly one up-manship in the band. Especially with the brother and sister!

Anna, how do you find being the only girl in a band full of guys? Do you get to rule the roost?
Anna: I am a bit of a tomboy, so I feel like one of the guys most of the time. But I can get away with not having to lug amps – although I actually can do it (laughs)
James: It’s cause we a band of gentlemen. We have old fashioned values. (All laugh)
Jamie: Anna is definitely not out on a limb – she is the driving force!


There was a great description of My Tiger My Timing on your website – that you are geeky and sexy. Who is the geeky or sexy one, or are you all a bit of both?
Anna: We are all a bit of both, the two terms aren’t mutually exclusive.
James: We wear that oxymoron on our sleeve.
Jamie: We like the French phrase – “jolie/ laide”, which means ugly/ beautiful – the common definition about what is cool and sexy is so arbitrary.
Anna: We are making quite dancy music, quite rhythmic music but we are all quite…. white!.. so we are not particularly cool! (laughs!)
James: What’s wrong with being geeky? It’s part of the geeky thing to be into anything in an obsessive way, like how we are with music. And that is always going to come across with us.

Where do you see My Tiger My Timing heading? What are your goals?
Anna: We are writing an album, we hope to have the beginnings of an album by the end of the summer, and we are trying to tour a lot.
James: It’s rocketing along pretty quickly, we just don’t stop writing. If you had told us last year where we would be…. it’s mad, we wouldn’t believe it. We are doing festivals, we’re playing The Great Escape in Brighton, Hinterland in Glasgow and we have a few lined more lined up, and a few to be confirmed, which is all pretty exciting. As a band you don’t want to go into festival season and not be on the line up!
Anna: We have got a bit of an alternative band name, and every time I say it, people go “what?” (laughs) so one of my goals is that we so well known that we won’t have to say the band name twice! And we also want to champion the idea of British pop music.
In a world of fast fashion and cheap labour for inflated profit margins it’s sweet relief to meet a person who is wholly true to her craft. Xuan-Thu Nguyen (pronounced Swan-Toe nuhWEN) is a Parisian haute couture and prêt-à-porter designer whose approach to each isn’t altogether different; when it comes to materials and execution she spares nothing to perfectly produce the design in her head, stomach at times closing that typically wide divide between couture and ready to wear. Her mix of Old World skill and care with innovative techniques results in garments and accessories that are both exquisitely crafted and fashion-forward.

Thu offers us a glimpse into her work and explains what makes her pieces so extraordinary (with some prodding, and she’s very modest!)


Tell us a bit about yourself, Thu?

I was born in Vietnam and grew up in Holland. When I was 10 years old I wanted to become a florist, but I always wanted to design, so I decided to go fashion design school. Up graduating in 1999 I started my own label in Amsterdam before coming to Paris to open my boutique four years later, in 2005. I began showing my prêt-à-porter collections at Paris fashion week then added the haute couture, which I’ve been showing since July, 2008.

Can you take us through your creative process?

I design in my head, see the pattern and work out the adjustments before I begin putting anything together. In school I would do up the sketches after I’d made the garment! I have so many ideas, it can be difficult to focus on one thing and I have to separate my ideas and choose one direction. Sometimes the starting point is something as simple as a colour, a shape or a technique.  My creations are a mixture of modern and geometric pleated shapes with fragile and delicate accents like handmade embroideries. I use natural fabrics like 100% cotton, silk or wool which give the garment even more of a delicate expression.



Do you have a design team???

No, I design everything myself.??

Where is your prêt-à-porter made???

Some pieces, like the accessories, are made here in Paris. I do the first few myself. The prêt-à-porter is made in Holland. My parents own a textile factory there and the numbers I need are small enough that I’m able to produce there.

??Do you find that allows you to control the production???

Yes, I have some unique finishing processes that I’ve had to work hard to get right on the production side, but in the end I’ve gotten things made as I want them. I could have my clothes made in China, but for me, it’s not about bigger profits. ?


With that kind of commitment to detail in your prêt-à-porter it seems you blur the lines a bit between that and your haute couture collection, would you agree with this?

??You could say that. I will do some prêt-à-porter pieces like haute couture, like if I really want to use an expensive fabric or trim I will, or I might spend a lot of time to get the detail just right. Many of my pieces look very simple from the outside but have a lot of work on the inside. It’s not about making a big show of it; these are likely things that just the wearer and I will know. (Ed. note: Whilst browsing Thu’s Paris boutique I noticed some examples of this understated yet significant detailing: her placement of jacket side pockets, invisible button holes on shirts and the extensive finishing on the underside creates clean lines and gives the garment a polished simplicity. Truly chic.)

Your Fall/Winter 2009 collection is very light and summery; what was your thinking behind that?

I don’t really follow the seasons; I design what I want to at that time. Also, many people live in places where they don’t have winter or they need clothes for warm holidays, and I don’t want to restrict myself to working in just wools and dark colours or be dictated by a season. And we could all use some brightening up during the winter!


What’s next for Xuan-Thu Nguyen?

We’re working on launching the brand in Asia for 2010..


Xuan-Thu Nguyen will be showing her A/W collection at Paris Haute Couture week in July, so we can anticipate more inventive and truly beautiful clothes that will surely brighten the spirits, regardless of the season!

There is an iceberg. An iceberg of edgy London Jazz. Below the surface, prescription you will find a few dozen bands that are generally brilliant, boldly avant-garde, and built out of the same jazzy-family of a dozen people or so. There’s too much going on under there for me to say much more about it. Maybe another day. For, you see, the iceberg also has two peaks, and one of these peaks is the subject of this here bit of text. Not the wonderful Polar Bear, who were the token Jazz-nomination at the Mercury thingy a little while back, but Acoustic Ladyland, who shocked arty Hoxtonians into Jazz a few years ago with their stunning 2nd album, Last Chance Disco.

The ‘Land are soon to release their fourth album, and decided to try it out at The Lexington in Angel last week. It seems to be that each of this iceberg’s pointy bits has a different helmsperson, and on this one, it is saxophonist Pete Wareham. Whether through choice or Musical Differences Syndrome, Pete has replaced 50% of the band. Tom Herbert has been downsized to Ruth Goller, who is far more punchy and energetic. Where Tom used to slickly stand around like a cool pimp, fingering effortlessly, and pretending not to sweat profusely in his dapper suit, Ruth’s dressed for Reebok Step and premeditatedly lunges at her fretboard, like a wolverine. More dramatic still, is the replacement of Tom Cawley with Chris Sharkey, who doesn’t even play the same instrument. Tom and his hi-lo-fi Nord Electro synth were one of the defining features of Last Chance Disco. Sharkey is a guitarist. Is this the same band?

Yep. Overall, the show came across as ploughing the same furrow as LCD, but with more heavy-heavy intensity and less melodic reliance and repetition. Drum-legend Seb Rochford plays it like Dave Lombardo of Slayer would play it. Anger is fun. Wareham gets caught up in that vibe, honk-honk, then bollocks to tonality, hurtles through the Ornette Coleman barrier, and parpsqueaks about in the Zornosphere. Ruth’s knotted brow keeps it all together until, until, STOP! The song’s over, we made it, it was good. It’s all tense, 94% of the time. I’m going to call it Agit-Bop.
And the guitar is a real surprise. Sharkey has noodly fingers. He can scribble across the strings with precision and flair, but he’s a texture guitarist. A line-up of pedals laid out before him makes it possible for you to think that Tom Cawley’s ghost has been zapped into a boutique stompbox. It’s bizarre how similar he can sound. It’s that same distorted, imbalanced end-of-level-baddy sound, but with a completely different note-sense: Cawley was Duke Ellington riffing as petulant teenager. Sharkey is kind of Jeff Beck or maybe LA Rocker lead-soloing as electro-sophisticate. In fact, Sharkey probably has a wider range of sounds in his repertoire. I wasn’t expecting it to work, but it does.

Yet this is a deja-vu moment for me. I caught AL gigging a preview to their last album, Skinny Grin, in 2007.So I know that the live sneak peek is not necessarily what you’ll get on the CD with Pete’s gang. That show gave me the impression that they’d turned metal and more relentlessly intensely consistently so (with a couple of single-aimed guest vocalist tunes). But when the album came, it was awash with depths far beyond LCD, depths that simply hadn’t been in the teaser-gig, that couldn’t have been there. While some of the CD’s high points came across well, like Road Of Bones or Red Sky, others weren’t represented (check out Hitting Home [swoon] or The Rise [swoon again]) So, it is with much confidence that I can say I haven’t really got a clue what the new album’s going to sound like. But this band is tight. Ruth and Seb have a lot of fun, and Pete and Chris are pretty cleverly interacty, too (deep within the iceberg, you will find these two in The Final Terror, in which they perform Olivier Messiaen’s complex, modernist, classical masterpiece, Turangalila – pretty highbrow for apparently chaotic punk-jazzwits). So I’m expecting gritty, pounding, intense bombast. But I’m also expecting a surprise.

Album #4 is expected in July. Meanwhile, Kinder Eggs are available at your local shop.
I have to concede that I was unduly dismissive when I made the presumption that online shopping was a lost cause. Since jumping up and down excitably last week about innovative online shop Your Eyes Lie, look I have unearthed another, order yes another! Tremendous online shop to grace you with! Supersweet is an online lifestyle magazine come shop that fuses alternative fashion, art and underground music while showcasing fabulous designers, unique accessories and alternative Womenswear.

The first to catch my eye on the site was kitsch Jewellery brand Alex and Chloe, heralding from the sunny shores of LA this duo have been producing their zany cut out acrylic designs since 2004. Evoking an almost juvenile yet undeniably cool approach to jewellery, pieces range from nautical anchors to vibrant pink octopuses! To top it all off there is 50% off for most of the collection so pendants average at about £15 pounds each! So get your skates if you want to bag a bargain!



Another favourite has to be shoe designer Lise Lindvig. I don’t know if I am alone in this but I have been witnessing my wardrobe ebbing into obscurity as I try in vain to find anything that can pass as spring attire. It’s that kind of tran- seasonal stage where you’re contemplating the repercussions if you wear that skirt without tights. It’s a complicated season spring, we are finally banishing away our winter woes and embracing the sun like our long lost relative! So when I saw lindvig’s vibrant designs nothing seemed to encompass the whole ethos of spring more accurately. The Danish designer’s vibrant yellow wedge heels exude warmth. I can just see myself hop footing to work on a spring’s morning in this delightful pair!


The team at Supersweet have such a diverse array of talented designers under their belt it’s hard to squeeze them all in. The most vivacious addition to their collection has to be Womenswear designer Teerabul Songvich. Heralding from Thailand, Songvichs Middle Eastern roots resonates in his work; each piece is an explosion of colour and form. You feel as if you have unearthed a unique treasure trove brimming with sequins and vivid fabrics. Each piece is highly intricate and comprehensive, beautifully crafted from diverse materials such as leather and sequins to create a gradient of beautiful tones. With iconoclastic fans such as Bjork and the late Isabella Blow to boot I would definitely be boasting my socks off I was him!





Another designer to stand out from the herd in is Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitch. His designs are a floral tour de force, teaming classic paisleys against traditional floral motifs with voluminous ruffles and bat wings. It’s sheer Bohemian indulgence. You just want to clad yourself out in a Herchcovitch piece grab your straw hat and tent and hop foot down to the nearest green field!



It’s safe to say Supersweet is a definite hazard to my bank balance, with such a myriad of talented designers it’s hard not to just want it all. If only money did grow on trees………………………..

You know, drugs some nights you just know it’s going to turn into a big one… and so it was yesterday. An early evening outing to view my friend’s exhibition in Stepney turned into a marathon drinking, scrabble-playing and snogging-cute-boy-in-the-kitchen session that carried on into the wee hours. It’s been a long time since I last did that. And it was a lot of fun.


But this blog isn’t about my debauched Thursday night – it’s about Ciaran Begley‘s model railway overpass. Ciaran is like most boys – he gets excited about things that other people (namely girls) find it hard to countenance. Like inventing new origami shapes and playing warlock board games. And he particularly loves his Hornby Dublo model railway overpass. So much so that he found funding to build it scaled up to fit snugly inside a railway arch. For the past two weeks Ciaran has been holed up with his plywood and his saws in the Hold & Freight art space, assisted by aforementioned cute boy. He’s been living, breathing railway overpass and archway.



Last night was the unveiling of this project, Overpass/Underpass, and the look of glee on Ciaran’s face said it all. He was a man insanely happy to have achieved what on the face of it seemed fairly perverse, but in the world of art is perfectly possible if you’ve enough of a mind to do it.


I had to wind down the back roads through the housing estates so typical of this area to find the Hold & Freight gallery, where a welcoming fire had been lit on a raised bit of scrubland. There was wine and beer. Forget the hi falutin’ galleries of the west end, this is why East London is justifiably famous for its art.


In a nice little turn of events Ciaran helped to clear rubble from the space – rented for a brilliant £50 a month fact fans – when curators Amal Khalaf and Tom Trevatt set up the gallery just under a year ago. And he helped to construct the cunning toilet in a crate – much cosier than it sounds. Hold & Freight will be wrapping up in just over a month – the landlords quite like the newly refurbed archway and they’re putting the rent up, as is wont in these matters. Like Ciaran’s art piece the space is transitory.


We were encouraged to walk up the overpass, which was built to a 1:4 scale. This meant that the steps were too small for our big clumpy human feet, and so we took pigeon steps up to the top, hunching to shuffle along under the exposed brickwork of the archway – an oddly discombobulating experience! I like my installation art to be interactive, and this certainly was. The scaled up overpass is imbued with a subtle pathos in its simplicity – looking the mirror plywood image of the Hornby Dublo model lovingly placed on a table, surrounded by tealights and, erm, beer.


The model is heavy and slightly worn – I wonder who played with that overpass back in the 60s – what small boy or larger man had so much fun with model trains? Now we were having fun with a larger version. For me the wonder of this piece is that we never really grow up – we always want to play, in whatever form that might take.

Ciaran had asked our choir – the ramshackle Hackney Secular Singers – to sing and so as the gallery filled out we took advantage of the fabulous acoustics to belt out Denis by Blondie. We progressed from railway arch to local pub, and from there returned to Ciaran’s flat for more. Needless to say my head hurts today, but the impromptu nights out are always the best ones.

Overpass/Underpass will be showing until May 3rd, so get in touch with Hold & Freight if you want to view it. And keep an eye out for their last few shows and closing party – due to take place just as summer arrives. That arch hasn’t seen the last of me!


Eleven Howland Presents Robert Dowling

Robert Dowling
The artist visually explores the boundaries between painting and sculpture using two and three dimensional arrangements.

Eleven Howland LTD, more about 11 Howland Street, information pills Fitzrovia, find W1T 4BU
20th March – 25th April 2009


The Dog Show, The Cat Show

A collection of Dog and Cat paintings and drawings from the 19th century to the present day.

Hepsibah Gallery, 112 Brackenbury Road, London W6 0BD
2nd Apr – 22nd Apr 09


Dress 2

Following 2008′s Skirt 1 exhibition comes Dress 2, a collaboration between the Wapping Project and the Fashion Department of the Fine Art Academy at Antwerp.

The Wapping Project
, Wapping Wall, Wapping, E1W 3SG
Monday 20th April – 3rd May 2009 from 12:00 – 22:30, Free


Alternative Fashion Week

Alternative Fashion Week in Spitalfields Market is a free event that showcases works by innovative emerging young UK designers.

Spitalfields Market, 109 Commercial Street, Whitechapel E1 6EP
Wednesday 20th April- 24th April 2009, from 12:00 – 15:00, Catwalk shows start daily at 1.15pm


Student Illustration Exhibition

A selection of graphic and illustration works by the London college students.

Well Gallery
, London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SB
20th Apr – 24th Apr 2009, 10.00am – 6.00pm, free.


The Photographic Object

The exhibition takes a look at various approaches to the photograph as ‘object’, and combines it with different methods such as overlaying, stitching, cutting, piercing, punching or moulding the works.

The photographers’ gallery
, 16 – 18 Ramillies Street, W1F 7LW
Apr 24th – 14th June 2009


New to DACS

New to DACS brings together sculpture, ceramic, drawings, paintings, prints and photography by members of the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS).

The Kowalsky Gallery at DACS, 33 Great Sutton St, London EC1V 0DX
4TH February – 24th April 2009, Mondays to Fridays 10am- 5pm


Categories ,Alternative Fashion Week, ,Antwerp, ,ceramic, ,Commercial Street, ,DACS, ,drawings, ,Dress 2, ,Elephant & Castle, ,Eleven Howland, ,Fine Art Academy, ,Hepsibah Gallery, ,Howland Street, ,London College of Communication, ,paintings, ,photography, ,prints, ,Robert Dowling, ,sculpture, ,Spitalfields Market, ,The Cat Show, ,The Dog Show, ,The Kowalsky Gallery, ,The photographers’ gallery, ,The Wapping Project, ,Wapping, ,Wapping Wall, ,Well Gallery, ,Whitechapel

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Amelia’s Magazine | Art Listings

The eponymous release from New York based The Pains of Being Pure at Heart has everything you could want from a summer album. A certain been-in-the-sun-too-long hazy-headyness without the too-much-ice-cream sugariness of many indie-pop summer albums. No-No! I’m rallying for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart being trail-blazers for a new genre we shall call ‘Sandalgaze” aka Shoegaze for when it’s not raining out.


From the rip-roaring opener ‘Contender’, buy more about the album manages to be catchy without being twee, shop noise without being dreary, imagine My Bloody Valentine on a beach doo-wopping and you’re halfway there.
Whilst treading this line The Pains of Being Pure at Heart consistently avoid being schmaltzy. The track; Young Adult Friction is danceable, its lyrics of a whimsy worthy of Stuart Murdoch yet reflect on themes like first love with a sort of yearning nostalgia, again souring the sweetness. Here the oft-overdone boy/girl singing duo is slightly off-kilter and the effect is more reminiscent of early Yo La Tengo or Jesus and Mary Chain than Belle & Sebastian.


The Pains of Being Pure of Heart is definitely tinged with nods towards the 80s and early 90s,yet it is perhaps too easy to criticise the album for this. The band manage to utilise certain stylistic tropes without being too retrospective or shallow.
In fact The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is refreshing in it’s redefinition of certain preconceptions: summer isn’t all about whistling and tambourine jangling anymore and Shoegaze is reinterpreted with a sunny touch rather like enjoying a 99 flake with Kevin Shields!

The album ‘The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’ is available now and the single ‘Young Adult Friction’ is released on 18th May (Fortuna Pop!)
They play The Lexington, London on 15th May

Kitsuné has really got its groove on this time. Left eyebrows are often tilted to a 74-degree angle at the mention of a Parisian fashion boutique that puts out compilation CDs, symptoms amongst other music releases. At first, tadalafil you kind of expect endless Dimitri From Paris types churning out catwalk-flavoured lint, but Kitsuné really knows what it is getting, and won’t be holding onto the receipt. With utter confidence and bravado, you see, it was Kitsuné that released Wolfmother’s ball-busting old-metal limited edition EP. Benetton scratches its head in confusion.
For all that, Compilation 7 is a danceable disc, with lots of European disco-beats, and plenty of fruity basslines in the Frenchified Electro style. But it’s not the kind of thoughtless, juvenile poppy end of it. You won’t hear anything approaching “Lady, give me tonight, cos my feeling is just so right”, since the Maison-people (Maisonettes?) are clued up. They listen to Tangerine Dream and Elvis Costello, and anything they select from the here and now is selected with a certainty that reminds me of the chap who picks the leaves for PG Tips: He just knows where the good stuff’s at.
Highpoints include Chateau Marmont’s Beagle, filled with synths fresh from Tomorrow’s World demonstrations, sidewinding through arpeggiated chords, with the occasional crash-bang with a wooden spoon by the stove, and Beni’s Fringe Element, which popcorns along with hi-hats before going to a thoroughly spiffing hiatus of slap bass with one of the squidgiest, wiggly-wormiest synth solos since Mr.Scruff’s Shrimp. Probably the most exciting track here is Crystal Fighters’ (above) Xtatic Truth, a journey involving Epic-Ragga-Happy-Hardcore, hints of Chinese Folk, and a choir of the ether.
But it’s a plentiful CD. There are nineteen songs, in all, and although everything chugs along to the metronomic pulse of cubase, there is pacing and variety to the beast overall. Gentle relief comes best of all in This Sweet Love by James Yuill (above), as remixed by Prins Thomas, a ponderous chillscape based on the warmest fingerpicking, and an embrace of vocals. You will feel truly hugged. And once you’ve digested it all, you can take that lovely warm glow on the Eurostar with you, and buy yourself the bestest clothes (I’m not a fashion writer, actually) in all Pareeee!

You can buy the Maison’s goodies at or at their myspace.
If you are a university student, online what do you make of your schools environmental policies? Do they even have green policies to speak of? This week, the students of the University of Arts London have been bringing environmental issues to the forefront, and discussing the various ways that both themselves, their campuses and the courses themselves can be more environmentally aware.


The Go Green Week, also known as Green: The New Black has been running for the last few days and culminates in talks and workshops on Friday, that include Fashion Forward: Creating an Ethical Label between 4pm-6pm RHS East Space, LCF, John Princes Street
which asks: “How can you create a label that looks good, but is also good to the environment?” ECCA and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion present fashion design businesses that are sustainable throughout from their manufacturing processes and materials, to marketing methods that aim communicate and promote their ethical processes to their customers.
Also on Friday afternoon at LCC is the meeting “Students Going Green” –top of the agenda are the following points “Fed up with the lack of recycling at your College? … Want sustainability on the curriculum? … Think Arts London should GO GREEN?” Speaking with the Press Officers of the Student Union, I learnt that a large number of students have voiced their concerns over this topic. The recycling issue specifically has been on ongoing and much debated subject. Many students feel that not enough is being done to provide facilities to recycle. The Green Charter laid out by the Student Union demands that “Sufficient recycling facilities should be available at all Arts London Sites and all Halls of Residence, with consideration also given to specialist recycling e.g. textiles, wood at relevant sites.”

Also on the agenda is for the issues of sustainability to feature more heavily in the Universities curriculum, either in the form of specific modules, or integrated as a whole, and for the campuses to switch to a green energy provider. The student union also explained that they are setting up an “Ethical and Environmental assembly” that will set future Go Green Assembly’s. They have also been encouraging students to sign a petition that is campaigning for a greener Arts London. Realising that strong visuals are the best way to get the point across, the students were asked to be photographed with the green charter and upload their pictures to the blog. An example would be these brave folks.



Learning about the concerted efforts to raise environmental awareness amongst students started me wondering how other universities and student bodies broach this subject. As this is a topic that is dear to our heart, we would love your input on whether your schools and universities are committed to the environmental cause, and if so, do you feel that they are doing enough? . Tell us more at and maybe we can help to highlight the issue.
Be featured in this limited edition anthology of the best new illustrators engaged in environmental thinking. Read on to find out more…

***Please note that this brief is now closed: you can now order a copy of this book online by clicking here***

an illustration by Laura-Maria Arola from issue 9 of Amelia’s Magazine

Now, malady anyone who is following me on Twitter – my new favourite thing in the whole world – will know that I asked my dad to do the research for this book. I know what he’s like – apart from being a typical male who loves nothing more than “disappearing down the rabbit-hole” as my mum calls it (also known as busying himself in new projects) – he also loves a challenge. So I asked him to dig up some info on all the most obscure new alternative technologies currently being explored, sale so that I could put together a brief for Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration.

He rose to the challenge and then some… almost immediately I started receiving email updates on strange new ways of producing energy. But not only that… it seems I have been the unwitting catalyst for a whole new venture – or a whole new rabbit warren to explore, depending on your point of view. A trained if somewhat out of practice scientist, Bruce (that’s my dad, I know, wierd, I call him by his first name)- gleefully told me on Bank Holiday Monday that he’s just designed the best new wave power technology not yet invented. Having read nearly 2000 patents for various wave power technologies he has, in his inimitable way, decided that his idea is quite clearly the best (my dad ALWAYS knows best). Except he won’t share it with me, cos I might, like, post it on the internet or something, before he’s applied for a patent.

Still, exciting stuff, and just the kind of thing I hope to do more of with both this open brief and the resulting book that comes out of it. Amelia’s Magazine in print may be no more, but I could never leave print entirely, and so the idea for this book has been mulling around in my head for sometime now. What we need right now is a whole heap of imagination, because humans need to make a big leap forward if we want to get out of the mess we currently find ourselves in. And whilst the scientists and boffins of this world busy themselves with the minutae of complicated chemical reactions and intricate moving parts, we also need the skills of artists to make these technologies a concrete reality. Without both visions together we will continue to move at a snail’s slither, so my aim is to help quicken that pace. If I can inspire designers and illustrators to better consider the way their energy is produced by drawing alternatives, then maybe they will make better choices about where their own energy comes from. Of course I don’t believe that technology alone is a cure all for all our ills, but it’s a move in the right direction, and I aim to produce a book that provides a comprehensive resource of all the best new illustrators capable of engaging with environmental issues and envisaging future alternative energy sources.

an illustration by Allan Deas for issue 9 of Amelia’s Magazine

What will be in Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration ?
The book will be a compendium of profiles on the best illustrators who submit to this brief. Anyone is eligible to submit work, from anywhere in the world. I would particularly encourage new illustrators; those who are still at college, just graduating, or new to the field. Amelia’s Magazine is used by many influential creatives looking for new talent to employ, and this will be an even better way of getting your work noticed globally.

What will the book look like?
The book will be the same dimensions as Amelia’s Magazine, thereby sitting nicely on the shelf with any copies of the magazine that purchasers might already possess! It will be designed in a similar fashion but also expect some new ideas.

When will it be published and where will it be sold?
Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration will be self-published (again!!!!) The lead-times are just too long with the big publishers, plus they would want more design control than I am prepared to give to them. The ones I have spoken to also insist on producing all their books in the Far East, something I am very uncomfortable with given the dodgy environmental credentials of many industrial operations in that part of the world. It will be produced in the UK by Principal Colour as a limited edition hardback towards the end of 2009, in time for Christmas. Advance orders should be available to purchase on my website by the end of the summer, and will be much appreciated in order to finance the production process as it is going to cost me much more to keep production in the UK. The book will be sold worldwide at specialist art book shops such as those that already stock the magazine. I will aim to produce a second (possibly softback) edition the following year to be made much more widely available.

What can I do to contribute?
I need a number of different artworks from aspiring contributors, so please read the following information carefully and make sure that your submissions meet the criteria before you send them in to me.

Submission criteria


1. Most importantly:
ONE EXCLUSIVE LARGE PIECE done specifically for this anthology and not featured anywhere else.

This should feature an alternative technology that has not yet been built or mass-produced in any great scale. NO RUN-OF-THE-MILL WINDMILLS AND SOLAR PANELS PLEASE!

an intriguing design for a line of windmills on a bouncing rod

This is a challenging theme, but thanks to my dad there are dozens of links below that will lead you off in the right direction. You will need to disappear down the rabbit hole for awhile for this brief requires time and thought to complete. It also requires huge amounts of imagination, which is what illustrators specialise in! And my dad! I’ve always held a belief that the scientific mind and the artistic mind are not really so different from each other. How else do you explain me? The child of two scientists?! but rubbish at science….

Anyway, I digress. In this illustration I want to see ways that a new technology would be integrated into our future lives… so interaction with the surroundings or people will be good. This is not a technical illustration, it’s an aspirational one, but you should imagine this technology in some detail, however fantastical it may be. You could even look back at technologies that were patented as far ago as the 1800s, but that have never become part of the mainstream. Your chosen technology should be the main focus of your whole picture, but don’t forget to add detail.
This should be accompanied by a short written piece describing why you picked this particular technology and what the illustration means to you. This should be no more than 300 words.

A word to the wise: the more obscure your choice of technology the better, since I will probably choose different technologies for each illustrator that I choose to profile.
You can choose to work in two sizes:
Double page (as was used in Amelia’s Magazine)
SIZE: page size: 400mm wide x 245mm high, with a bleed of 3mm all around; ie. final size of your artwork: 406mm x 251mm.
Single page
SIZE: page size: 200mm wide x 245mm high, with a bleed of 3mm all around; ie. final size of your artwork: 206mm x 251mm.
NOTE: Don’t put important stuff in the 3mm bleed zone (but do continue your image into it) as this is where the printers may cut bits off when the magazine is cut and bound.
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)
GUTTER: please also note that the book will have a very deep gutter in the middle so it is good to keep important parts of your illustration away from the centre of the spread in double page images.
MY STYLE: if you want to know about my taste in illustration you should check out the current issue of the mag, or buy a back issue here!

2. A exclusive PICTORIAL LOGO on an environmental theme

Logo designed by Adrian Fleet for Climate Camp in the City at the G20 protests

If you have submitted something for the Climate Camp logo open brief then you would be able to resubmit it for this brief, irrespective of whether it was used or not. The logo could be for an event or a company or a product or anything at all, but it must be promoting environmental themes and ideas. I will be looking for colourful and engaging logos. Consider the work of Adrian Fleet for the G20 Climate Camp in the City logo when thinking about what to enter for this. My style tends to be maximalist, but the words must always be a bold and easy part of the logo to read. It could be work that you have already created and has already been used by a brand (though please check with them before sending it to me) or you could create a new piece of work for a real or fictional brand. It should encompass a creative use of typography with illustration. There will be plenty of food for thought amongst the alternative technologies you will already have researched.
This should be accompanied by a short written piece describing what the logo has or would be used for. 50 words max.
It can be any size, but please create work at 300 dpi to a largish size.

3. Typography: YOUR NAME!
Please create your name in the most imaginative way possible. This could be done by hand, or on a computer, but you should really go to town! Amelia’s Magazine is well known for the use of creative typography, and for Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration the floor is open to you to create your own type for your own name (or how you would like to be known professionally) Don’t think of it as branding, but as something to go to town with. If your work is chosen it will be used to head your page, and it should therefore be really creative and fun. Think of this as your chance to really grab the reader’s attention!
For this reason please work to these dimensions and no smaller. (it could be bigger)
SIZE: 200-400mm wide x 40mm high
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)

4. A Border
Again this should fit a single page and reflect an environmental theme. Be sure to work with 3mm bleed and no more than 25mm in from the edge.
SIZE: page size: 200mm wide x 245mm high, with a bleed of 3mm all around; ie. final size of your artwork: 206mm x 251mm.
NOTE: Don’t put important stuff in the 3mm bleed zone (but do continue your border into it) as this is where the printers may cut bits off when the magazine is cut and bound.
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)

4. Two other bits of illustration.

These should be your best recent work. They do not necessarily need to be on an environmental theme but should showcase as wide a range of imagery as possible, eg. people, things, places, typography etc. If you have created artwork for any of my previous open briefs this could form part of your submission although I would prefer to see new work. Be sure to stick to one style though – illustrators with a strong style of their own will always make the biggest mark, and I am unlikely to pick anyone who does not show a strong style throughout their submissions.
These can be any size, but please label each illustration clearly with a name and date of creation.
SIZE: as big as possible to fit the book’s page sizes.
RESOLUTION: 300dpi, as a photoshop file in CYMK mode, using Photoshop print profile: euro standard swap coated 20% (or euroscale V2)

CLOSING DATE: Monday 3rd August, by midnight please.
Please send lo res versions of your images (saved for web) to in an email clearly marked ANTHOLOGY OF ILLUSTRATION so that I don’t lose sight of it in my inbox if I am rushing through things on the day it arrives.
(This should be 6 pieces of work altogether. PLEASE DON’T SEND MORE THAN THIS)

If you are chosen for inclusion in Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration then you will be notified shortly after this date, once I have made my decisions. I have yet to decide how I will put together the profiles, but I may well need a photo from you and a short interview. If this is the case you will be notified later on in the summer.
And if you have any questions that are not answered above then please email me for clarification.
Join the facebook event here to ensure you get updates as they happen.

Best wishes and happy drawing!

Below is a very long list of links, courtesy of Bruce: this is by no means conclusive, and the technologies may never work, but they are all being explored and would be valid ideas to illustrate. Youtube and Google Images are both a great source of innovative technologies, and I am sure you can find more. Feel free to go off and google you heart out – but you must illustrate something real and possible, and not a fantasy idea of your own. (unless you are also a scientist of course)

Wind turbines

Wikipedia wind power info

Magenn’s revolutionary wind power system on youtube

Magenn Air Rotar system

Magenn’s home page

The Floating Balloon Wind Generator

Motorwind Camping Set Wind Turbine

Knex wind turbine

Magnetically Levitated wind turbine

Great pic of huge Maglev wind turbine

Wikipedia entry about Maglev wind turbines

Maglev wind turbines homepage

Mag-Wind Vertical Axis Turbine

A Flying Wind Machine!

Floating Wind Turbines

A great blog about lots of different alternative energy projects including wierd and fantastical wind turbines

Huge Kites

Optiwind accelerating turbine

Selsam superturbines

Rotating wind power towers

Broadstar’s Aerocam

FloDesign wind turbines

Wikipedia definition of airborne wind turbines

downloadable PDF containing interesting info about different types of airborne wind turbines

Wikipedia definition of Kitegen

Kitegen website – plans for a huge airborne wind farm!

Great picture of how kites could generate electricity

Guardian article about kite power

Video showing how a kite ladder would work

Makani Power high altitude wind kites

Google have put money into the Makani vision

Makani “wind dam” picture

Great article about Saul Griffith — wind energy entrepeneur, and president of Makani

Tom Van Sant makes amazing kite ladders as sculpture

Wind Harvesting farms

Helix Wind

More Helix Wind porn

Google search results for wind power technologies

Mariah Power wind turbines

Google videos about wind power

The huge offshore aerogenerator

Quiet Revolution wind turbines

Wave power

Oscillating water columns

Anaconda wave technology

SIE-CAT wave energy accumulator

A list of wave power patents going back to the 1800s

Danish Wave Energy Society

the Wave Dragon

Wave Star Energy

Wave Energy Centre

CWave Power

the Aegir Dynamo


Columbia Power

Float wave electric power station

the Manchester Bobber

Orecon oscillating water column

OE Buoy

Aquamarine power

Sperboy wave energy converter

SSG Concept

The Seadog Pump

Buoys technology

Floating power plant

Surf Power

Power Buoy

the Wave Roller

Langlee Wave Power


video about Harnessing the Gulf Stream! (is this a good idea?)

Wikipedia entry about wave power

Pelamis on wikipedia

Pelamis wave power

Pelamis being tested in Portugal

Google videos on wave power

Biowave power system

video showing Biowave power working

Video – giant rubber snakes!

SRI wave powered generator

Ocean Power Technologies

video – Aqua Buoys

Aqua Buoy movie

Oyster wave power

Tidal power

Wikipedia on tidal power

Video – tidal wave energy

youtube – idea for tidal energy barrage in florida

Sea Gen

google video links for Sea Gen

Marine Current Turbines

video of Biostream tidal power system

Gorlov helical water turbine on wikipedia

Gorlov Helical Turbine

3D interactive model that shows blades of Gorlov turbine

Severn Barrage

Solar Energy

Wikipedia on solar energy


wikipedia on thermal solar energy

wikipedia on solar energy generating systems

wikipedia on solar power tower

BBC news report on solar power stations

Solar Power tower in Spain

image of Solar Power tower

more images of solar power tower in spain

Bright Source solar power on wikipedia

Bright Source Energy

Solar Reserve

youtube on solar tower energy

solar tower energy in spain on youtube

Enviromission solar tower


Dual axis solar tower structure


photovoltaic energy

youtube on israeli solar energy

First Solar free field power plants

youtube about plastic solar cells producing solar power

Konarka power plastic

Standard geothermal

Geothermal power on wikipedia

youtube geothermal energy vid

Enhanced geothermal

Wikipedia – enhanced geothermal systems

youtube video on enhanced geothermal systems

Hot Rock Technology

Alta Rock Energy



The Reluctant Photojournalist

Features a variety of vintage and modern prints from Werner Bischof’s well known humanitarian photography including the Bihar famine, more about Europe post WWII and the South Korean war. Alongside these sit Bischof’s equally beautiful but perhaps lesser known early experiments with abstracts and nudes.

Photographic co-op Magnum Photos Ground Floor, 63 Gee Street, London EC1V 3RS, 0207 490 1771
Free Entry



Reorienting common notions of contemporary Arab art and lifestyle and debunking ‘Orientalist’ depictions. Arab artists Marianne Catzaras, Dora Dhouib and Wael Shawky explore themes of mass media, Diaspora and religion via film and photography.

Selma Feriani Gallery, 23 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2QN
7th Apr – 13th May 2009
Free entry


The Abyss

A new joint exhibition by former Wimbledon College of Art students, Nicola Stead and Dan Jupp.

The Outside World, 44 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP
7th May – 13th May By appointment Thursday to Saturday
Free entry


The Hiding Place

Lewis Chamberlain
Exquisitely rendered pencil drawings whisk the viewer away into muted landscapes
which toy with scale, suburbia and the surreal.

James Hyman Gallery Savile Row, London W1S 3PD, 020 7494 3857
30th April – 30th May


Contemporary Craft and Fine Art

An exhibition celebrating the materials, processes and techniques involved in making extraordinary objects, the exhibition will feature nine artists from different arts and craft and design fields.

Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Church Lane, Carmarthen SA31 1LH
4th Apr – 16th May 09, 10 – 5 Mon – Sat
Free entry

Monday 11 May

Telepathe are a too-cool-for-school three piece from Brooklyn. They’re playing 93 Feet East. They get obtuse Krautronica and make it go “POP!” – maybe they’ll be the next Animal Collective… Supported by Ou Est Le Swimming Pool.

Tuesday 12 May

Dan Mangan plays The Electroacoustic Club, salve housed at The Slaughtered Lamb, viagra Clerkenwell. He’s a heartfelt songwriting kind of guy, information pills sings like he means it, and he’s much better than that Elbow record. Support comes from Deer Park.

Wednesday 13 May

Our new favourite boyfriend-girlfriend duettists, Young Paul, will be giving The Cobden Club, 107 Kensal road a taste of 80s electronic treats. get in touch with the band for hassle-free entry, as it’s a private members club. Not just a fine gig, then, but also a chance to see where the Old Etonians schmooze.

Thursday 14 May

Alice and The Cool Dudes at Barden’s Boudoir. This is the high point of our music week. Alice Grant of Fulborn Teversham, is leaving her jazzhead buddies to one side to unveil some pensive indie songs, delivered by a totally unique voice that totters across a tightrope of uncannily powerful and tearful exhaustion. Surely she won’t disappoint?????

Friday 15 May

Up in Nottingham, North-East London’s finest jokeshop salesmen of parallel-universe, narrative ska will be testing out some new material where they think no one can hear them. If you can find a place called Demo, you must prove Hothead Show wrong. Prepare for shockingly tight wizardry of the jerky-jerky groove.

Saturday 16 May

A night of so-angry-we-can-only-tell-you-very-very-slowly Metal, with some catatonically droning Grunge, and atonal noise that may cause loss of balance on all but the lowest of seating. Roll up at The Constitution and enjoy Dethscalator, Scul Hazzards and Batrider. If you don’t take earplugs, then take cotton wool to mop up you bleeding lugholes.

Sunday 17 May

Always a good bet for a sunday night is Cross Kings, 126 York Way, in King’s Cross. On the ground level, David Goo will jolly along an open mic, which always has a few very eccentric envelope-pushers pencilled in. The avant-gardishness couples nicely with the family warmth, houmous and pitta that makes this a great pub. It’s worth paying a few quid to be allowed into the basement also. Things are a bit more organized (sound-checks and everything) but happily, there’s still no obvious divide between the musicians and the audience. What sundays are for.

Tuesday 12th May

Climate (Mis)behaviour
Dana Center
The Science Museum’s Dana Centre, dosage
?165 Queen’s Gate?, sildenafil
South Kensington
?London?SW7 5HD
+0044 (0)207 942 4040

Rescuing the planet requires behavioural change on an unprecedented scale. From individual action to global politics, what are the different strategies attempting to achieve this? Social psychology, advertising, policy and direct action are all thrown into the mix in this debate. ??This event is trying out a new format called Policy Slam, which is funded by the Democratic Innovation Fund of the Ministry of Justice. With the help of the experts, you will discuss, present and vote on several different options.

Illustration by Lea Jaffy

Wednesday 13th May
Morphic Resonance, Collective Memory and Habits of Nature – An evening with Rupert Sheldrake

6.30pm drinks & buffet at Gaia House, 
(18 Well Walk, Hampstead, NW3 1LD)

7.30pm Talk & discussion at Burgh House 
(Opposite Gaia House, New End Square, Hampstead, NW3 1LT)

When Rupert Sheldrake first put forward his idea of Morphic Resonance more than twenty years ago, it caused a great stir in the scientific community.  The Editor of Nature denounced it as “the best candidate for burning there has been for many years” and proclaimed that it was “heresy”.  In his recently published new edition, available on the evening, Rupert documents the evidence that has built up in support of this hypothesis.  He will reflect on the Human Genome Project and other reductionist ideas, where few of the grand claims have come to fruition, not unlike the economic bubble that has recently burst.
The paradigm shift that Morphic Resonance offers is coherent with the Gaia Hypothesis, where the cosmos is understood to be a developing organism, where nature is alive, interconnected and creative.  There is an inherent memory in nature, and evolution is an interplay of habit and creativity, like our own lives.  According to this way of seeing formative causation, all self-organising systems, including crystals, plants and animals contain an inherent memory, given by a process called morphic resonance from previous similar systems.  
These ideas also resonate with diverse indigenous traditions around the world, including those of European ancestry.  For much of our history humans have experienced our relationship with the Earth, and indeed the Universe, to be fluid and reciprocal.  Rupert has taken up the challenge of exploring this ancient wisdom thorough the modern scientific tradition.
You can reserve your place online at:
Or send  a cheque for £10, made payable to The Gaia Foundation.

For further details please contact Sarah at: or 020 7428 0055.
Rupert Sheldrake is recognised as one of the world’s most innovative biologists.  He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society, and is currently Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project.  He is author of more than 80 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and many books, including ‘The Presence of the Past’,  ‘The Sense of Being Stared At’, ‘Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home’  and  ‘Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness’. His web site is

llustration by Eco Labs

Thursday 14th May

?Amnesty International UK
Human Rights Action Centre?
17 – 25 New Inn Yard
London EC2A 3EA
Nearest tube: Old Street

Free entry, refreshments and snacks provided
RSVP: or call 07534 598 733 (Early booking recommended!)
Find out what YOU can DO to stop climate change.?Throughout history ordinary people have been responsible for all major social changes – women’s rights, civic rights and even democracy itself in many places can be said to be result of direct action. Taking action is the very first step in making big changes happen. Direct action is taken by people who feel that the political process is not working to address profoundly important issues.
Climate change is the most urgent challenge we’ve ever faced – and politicians are not showing the strength of character needed to actually address this problem. Instead of serious sustainable solutions we see new runways and new coal fired power stations- deals that benefit the bottom line of the big players and not the wider population. Climate Camp believes that people everywhere need to work out what they can do – and then do it. Taking action yourself to make the world you want to see is a logical response to a very serious situation.

Are you interested in doing more to highlight the urgency of climate change? Or the relevance of direct action to struggles for jobs, peace and justice? Are you intrigued but feel uncomfortable about going outside the mainstream political process? Would you consider getting involved but don’t know how? Are you nervous about the consequences?
‘Take Back the Power! The Importance of Direct Action Today’ will be unique opportunity to hear about direct action from people who have participated in different ways. Speakers will range from people on the front line to those helping in the background. This includes Deborah Grayson – one of the Parliament Climate Rush – who is on bail and will be speaking about Climate Rush (photgraphed below)
To reserve a place/s please RSVP to or call 07534 598 733.

Photograph by Amelia Gregory

Saturday 16th May
Euroflashmob: Europe United Against Airport Expansion
Stop Airport Expansion

Saturday 16 May 2009. The day of the Eurovision Song Contest. 12 noon on the dot at Heathrow
Terminal 1 Departures. Join Heathrow Flashmobbers in a Europe-wide Flash Mob – taking place on the same day at 6 airports across Europe.
Flash Heathrow! Flash Paris! Flash Frankfurt! Flash Schipol! Flash Brussels! Flash Dublin!
Each flashmob will be singing Eurovision classics (song-sheets provided), so download your favourite eurovision song onto your ipod or phone and bring your friends, instruments, hats, wigs, and your dancing shoes and let’s party. Now for the serious bit: airport expansion is seriously bad for local people, increased noise, air pollution, and especially the climate. The aviation industry want to expand airports across the UK and Europe, but opposition is huge, and the scientists are telling us we have to drastically cut emissions if we are to beat climate change. Flashmobs are a fun way to highlight the real opposition there is to expansion at airports across Europe. Here’s another big chance to show our opposition to a 3rd runway at Heathrow.
See you in Heathrow Terminal 1 Departures at 12 noon on the dot!
Tell BAA to get in tune: No Third Runway.

Illustration by Sachiko

Green Wedge II
A major Green Party benefit gig, to aid the Euro Election campaign.

£5 entry.
Pangea Project
72 Stamford Hill,
Stoke Newington,
N16 6XS

The highly eclectic lineup includes:
The Refinements (Raucous Ska)
Sarah Ellen Hughes Duo (jazz singer)

Selim: 07853 725476
Come along and support the local bands by cheering loudly, the Green Party by giving us your money and support, and the Pangea Project by drinking copious amounts.
It’s all shaping up to be a fun night, ably facilitated by your host Matt Hanley (ahem), with comprehensive Eurovision updates throughout the evening!
You can buy advance tickets here:?
I love good days. Days that unfold in a series of pleasant surprises that put a spring back in your step and remind you that the world can be a good place. Three such things occurred today, buy well, four if you include the free coffee I was given for no reason, and five if you take into account the particularly magnificent texture of the water in which I swam early this morning (a good start surely), breathing fresh and clean from the night’s rain, silk to the touch and causing my skin to tingle for hours after; but silk water aside, only one of these things is relevant to you Zach, can I call you Zach?



There was a moment at tonight’s concert where you clasped your fingers behind your head, raised your eyes towards the ceiling, and sighed a private smile – do you sometimes not quite believe it? I couldn’t believe it. I’d given up the hope of seeing you (you the object of a little musical infatuation), play at the Forum tonight – a torment when that venue is within spitting distance of my home. I’d cycled past and seen the queues outside (one of the nicest looking crowds to gather outside the Forum, believe me I know), my head hung low and my pedal stilted, perhaps I could sneak in, how could I live here so long and not know a secret entrance? Just as I was reconciling myself to a night of listening to Gulag Orchestra within the confines of my bedroom and strumming Postcards from Italy alone on the roof, a good thing happened – buzz buzz in my back pocket.



“Hey Luisa how are you?”
“I’ve been better, well actually it’s been a pretty good day, but – ”
“Yeah well listen, you like Beirut right?”
“Like them? I Love – I mean yeah, they’re ok. I guess they’re ok.”
“Well you couldn’t do me a favour. I know it’s late notice and you’ve probably got plans”
“Erm, yeah I’ve got plans”
“Well I’m supposed to be reviewing them tonight but they wouldn’t give me a plus one and I don’t want to go alone, you wouldn’t go instead would you?”
(I’ve pulled over and am silently raising my fists to the sky)
Hmm…I suppose I could, I mean I would like to see them but then I don’t know what I’d write, I’m sure I’ll think of something-”
“So you’ll go?”
“Yes, yes I’ll go.”
“Oh great, thanks, just say you’re me, get some pictures, you know the drill, thanks again,”
“No problem, really,” (jumping up and down a little bit),
“What’s that noise?”
“Oh, nothing, some kid, thanks a lot, have a good night,”
“You too, byeeeee.”



So that’s how a good day found me watching you tonight, I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a gig. You came out to rapturous applause, rewarding the audience kindly with Nantes, how does it feel to have a crowd sing your songs along with you? It was as though you were singing old folk songs of a collective homeland from which we’ve all strayed, not something created from a photograph and a few months in Eastern Europe and Paris. And now you’ve moved over to Mariachi influences? I was raised on Cumbia, and I’ve always thought the sound is very similar to that of Eastern Europe, accordions and trumpets and powerful melodies. Everyone around me was in hushed silence for the entirety of the performance, and you seemed so relaxed, demure, a sound like yours doesn’t require anything else – I did like the occasional hand conducting though. On behalf of the audience, not that anyone would make me spokesperson for anything, thank you, it was wonderful incredible; but then you know that, not everyone gets two encores. See you again soon I hope, and erm, if you ever need someone to tap a tambourine or a cowbell, or maybe an old foot pedal harmonium just rescued from cobwebs, then … hi.


Lulu Lampshade

SM (small print): emotional content may have been exaggerated slightly for effect.
Will Morgan is an excellent photographer, store clever person and all round nice guy. His photographs are subtle and dream-like; intimate yet austere, information pills all of us here at Amelia’s Magazine are big fans of his beautiful and exciting work. I was lucky enough to catch up with Will to talk about his work and the politics of photography.



Hi, patient Will, how are you today?

Hello Roisin, I’m very good today thanks , the sun’s out and things are pretty much perfect.

I really love your photographs especially your use of light and attention to details- what makes a good photograph for you?

Thank you, that always nice to hear. Images work for me when they inspire an emotional response or are successful at conveying a mood and atmosphere. It’s the same for me with any art work really, every discipline. When I was at college I was really interested in domestic photography, family albums and the like, I always felt that these images were incredibly powerful because they are loaded with so much meaning, they tie into notions of memory, loss, happiness, sadness and the passage of time. I’m sounding a bit pretentious here but never mind eh? I think that an image can stand on it’s own purely by being beautiful as well, ideally one would combine the beauty with an emotional response. I think photographs are a form of language so it’s nice if they say something.


Can you tell me about your average working day?

I don’t really have an average working day, I shoot a lot of editorial so the jobs are varied and my personal work is even more so. If I’m on a commissioned job it’s usually an early start, double check the equipment as I have been known to leave vital bits behind. Drink some very strong coffee, try not to smoke (fail) and head to the location, be very nice to everybody and start to shoot. Obviously keep to the deadline, work in close conjunction with the art director and hope the client is happy! All my commissioned work is digital these days so there’s normally an hour at the end of the shoot to go through the images then I retouch and deliver. My personal work is far looser I identify a project I’m interested in and shoot on my own, with minimal equipment. I do get up a lot later on these days, probably smoke more cigarettes though.

Do you have a favourite camera?

I started off using a 1960′s Hassleblad and I still love it, but these days I mainly shoot with a 645 contax and a P30 back, with the advent of digital clients just won’t pay for film and now days they want to see everything immediately, plus you get used to the freedom of digital, you can shoot to your hearts content. I do like my contax but the Hassleblad is probably my favourite although I rarely shoot film these days, I used to have a Polaroid land camera which I throughly enjoyed but I lost it. Lets move on I’m getting a little emotional

What do you make of the whole film vs. digital photography debate? I mean do you view the advent of digital photography as a completely bad thing?

I’m not sure it’s even a debate anymore, digital photography is here and it’s a photographic tool, you just have to learn to use it and I think to deny it is a bit self defeating. I do believe that images shot on film look better than digital raw files but the technology is so good now and if you know a little about digital retouching I can’t really tell the difference. Digital has a huge amount of freedom, film is expensive with digital after the initial investment you shoot for free really, you can really experiment and as I’ve said all my commissions assume I’m shooting digital. I don’t think digital is a bad thing or a good thing really it’s just the way photography has evolved. Different jobs/projects lend themselves to different platforms/cameras and so on, whatever works for you is the best really. Even when I do shoot film I scan it and tweak it in photoshop so it becomes a digital image anyway.

I think that’s really interesting, it’s quite taboo I think to be positive about digital photography, it’s refreshing to hear that you’re pro-digital and proud; whilst film is beautiful, people can always become purist about things like that and I agree that digital technology can add something great to photography- as we can see in your work!


Continuing with this foray into the ethics or politics of photgraphy, do you agree with the idea that a photograph is the truest form of representation?

I’m probably misinterpreting the question but umm, not really, I think a photograph captures how someone or something looked in that split second the shutter clicked, it’s a tricky one but as a photographer you’re imposing yourself on the scene, you crop in camera, use apertures and f-stops different focal lengths, different formats, you edit your images, decide how to present them, all of this creates a selective reality, I’m not even sure if reality is the right word, also now with the computer technology you can completely alter the original image . All of these things have a huge bearing on whatever you’re photographing and of course you want it to look good. I don’t think it’s a true representation of reality but it has the edge over painting I think.


Can you tell me about your journey to where you are today (career-wise rather than transport-wise!)? Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?

Well I went to India for a year when I was 20, I picked up a camera there for the first time and really enjoyed it, I’d stayed in India too long so I missed my University place to study English so i did a part time course in photography. I loved it so went the route of art foundation, photography BA at LCP (also this got me to London). I did well at LCP I won a few prizes and it gave me the confidence to believe I might actually be able to make a living from photography. After my degree I worked part time at the National Film Theatre and assisted various photographers as well as picking up a few commissions for my self. It’s only really been the last three years that I’ve made a reasonable living purely from my own photography but it’s always been fun and I’ve never wanted to stop. I think getting over the fear of the portfolio meetings was crucial! The only advice I would give is to keep at it, never be afraid of showing your work, shoot as much as you can and enjoy it, I think it’s the best job in the world (apart from rock star maybe)

Which photographers inspired you early on in your career?

I was always hugely impressed with Philip Lorca-di Corcia in particular his Hollywood Hustler series, I was and still am a big fan of Eva Vermendel and Martina Hoogland-Ivanow, Paolo Roversi’s work is always beautiful, Christian Boltanski, Stephen Gill, Bruce Davidson, Azim Haidaryan, Nadav Kander, there’s a lot of them but I’ll leave it there.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a few, I’m shooting a series of confessional boxes in Catholic churches, a series on cineastes based around the National Film Theatre and bus stops at night.

I can’t wait to see them!



All photographs appear courtesy of Will Morgan
At first glance, mind you might have thought that activism, arts and permaculture would make the strangest of bedfellows, but don’t let any preconceived notions cloud your judgement. The imaginative people behind ArtsAdmin are laying on a fortnight of activities which will demonstrate how effortlessly these subjects can work together. Under the name of Two Degrees , and with the recent quote by George Monbiot acting as a kind of frame of reference – ‘We have to stop treating climate change as an urgent issue, we have to start treating it as an international emergency” – the week long series of performances, activities, exhibitions and installations will have one thing in common; our relationship with the environment and the impact of climate change.


I chatted recently with ArtsAdmin, in their beautiful and unexpectedly peaceful surroundings (well, they are on Commercial Road!) of Toynbee Studios (also the setting of many of the forthcoming events). They explained that even the title of the festival is apposite. ‘Two Degrees’ is in reference to the reports that global temperatures are set to rise by that amount in around 40 years. A relatively ‘small’ rise such as this could lead to catastrophic changes on our planet.

While the message is serious, many performances will be light hearted, and all will be engaging. A case in point, the ‘set list’ reads thus;  
“A reconstructed airplane serves real airline food delivered from City Airport; permaculturists and artists lead a foraging exploration of the City; a crowd of Londoners, an artist and a water dowser trace the course of a great London river; radical temporary transformations of lunchtime London; an artist-activist family confess to past flights they have taken; climate change cabaret; an urban-rural walk to City Farm; a bicycle-powered DJ set (run by good friends of Amelia’s Magazine; Magnificent Revolution) and a filmed rural idyll accompanied by passenger jet noise form Two Degrees”


Personally, I like the sound of the climate change cabaret. It’s about time that cabaret branched out a little, don’t you think? Speaking of avant-garde performances, a particular highlight of the week will be C.R.A.S.H. A Postcapitalist A-Z, a collaboration between ArtsAdmin and the fantastically named collective that is The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination. While it is difficult to predict exactly what will occur, (it’s best just to come down to the City of London to watch), C.R.A.S.H will be creating a phantasmagorical world where “Eight postcapitalist commissions transform lunchtime in the City including the very last opportunity to purchase a real woman, a soup kitchen distributing bowls of gold soup to City workers, a lone cyclist pedalling a field kitchen around the Square Mile, a forum of bankers, ex-bankers, climate activists, artists and others confessing their capitalist tendencies, and a café of equivalence where a bowl of food costs the same as a banker’s daily salary in parallel with food costs in the developing world.” I believe it is safe to say; brace yourself!


Elsewhere, the issue of airline travel is of course, a pertinent topic in an event that is engaging in dialogue about climate change. At Toynbee Studios, it will be dealt with in an unexpectedly humorous way. In an activity that Dada would be proud of, the artist Richard DeDomenici (and his cabin crew) will be serving out helpings of airplane food, in its airline style packaging. Just in case you didn’t think that this was authentic enough, your meal will be served as you sit in a recycled airplane interior, which Two Degrees hasten to add, also includes in flight entertainment. For any of you who would pitch up just because you like the taste of airline meals (someone has to…?) there is a deeper meaning behind this. DeDomenici is responding to a recent quote by chef Marcus Wareing about British pub food, which he declares being of poor quality, so much so that for a proper meal, “you would be better off getting on a plane”. Now, I would disagree with chef Wareing on both counts. Has he never eaten at The Eagle? Moreover, it is an irresponsible comment to make, one which highlights the ease in which we get on and off flights, almost as if they were trains. So, rather than getting on a plane, you can experience all the wonders of a flight (but without the guilt of actually flying). Hurrah!


If you are anything like me; a bit of a hippy with a nerdish fondness for maps and discovering secret, ancient rivers, ( I’ll admit that there are very few of us around!) then you will especially enjoy the outing that Two Degrees have planned. The artist Amy Sharrock will be leading a walk which she describes as her response to global concerns. This will come in the form of an excursion from Islington to the Southbank, tracing the lines of the ancient, and lost Walbrook River. Not obscure enough for you? Did I mention that any participants will be dressed in blue and tied together to resemble water molecules?

All of the events can be booked online at It promises to be a thought-provoking and engaging week. Knowing ArtsAdmin and the people behind this event, however out of left field the performances may be, the message will be central: we are running out of time in which to save the planet, and the time in which to act is now.


Crochet, help shells and pipe cleaners…beasts banished forever to the chasmic closet of craft have broken free of the plastic furniture covers and dried flowers to be resurrected as one of the most entertaining young collections to have paraded down the catwalks in some time. Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales, the Australian born and bred design team behind Romance Was Born have glued-gunned themselves firmly in place as the merry pranksters of Sydney.


No one would blame you for crinkling your nose at the idea of a fashion collection inspired by someone’s nana. But peeking through the kaleidoscopic vision of these wizards of Oz . Driven by textures, shapes and above all colors, Romance Was Born in the fertile imaginations of these two talented designers when they met while studying fashion at the East Sydney Technical College.


After graduating in 2007 they were invited to attend the Fourth International Support Awards in Italy where they turned down internships with Galliano because “their fashion fairytale had another date with destiny”. These young (water)guns were intent on starting their own label with, and why not, the suitcase size booty of Galliano laces and silks they’d received as a prize from the competition.


These two confectioners are just as much substance as they are style. Clever tailoring and feminine shapes pepper the opulent couture showpieces. Collaborations with Australian artist Del Kathryn Bartonproduced original digitally printed fabrics and a 12 piece collection entitled ‘Garden of Eden’, which was exhibited at Kaliman Gallery alongside Barton’s work.


Romance Was Born has also found its way onto the figures of Debbie Harry, Lily Allen, MIA, Cyndi Lauper and Karen O (who opted for a red tulle dress with googly eyes) and rising star rockers Architecture in Helsinki, who wore their puppetry inspired glo-in-the-dark pieces for the filming of their band’s new clip. They must surely have tagged one particular Icelandic songbird for their next mark. we can’t wait to see what they pull out of their party hats next!


When you first gaze upon the work of Accessory designer Fred Butler it’s all rather indigestible, case flying from one medium to the other with all the energy and flair of an excitable child. She is constantly adding more layers, no rx depth and colour to her pieces, help the result culminates in mind bogglingly colourful and decidedly hap hazard pieces.

With such gusto It’s hard to fathom how to predict her, one instance you could be presented with a outlandish mathematical headpiece rather reminiscent of a futurist rubix cube. Then next your met with a piñata style headdress (lets hope the model isn’t planning on attending any children’s parties, it may conclude in a rather unpleasant knock to the head) Each piece is as brilliant as it is unique, Butler is one of the few designers it’s hard to typecast, her work has been vaguely linked to that of fellow kitsch designers Peter Jensen and Alistair Carr but apart from these she seems a law unto herself.




Her latest collection featured a hallucinogenic short film entitled “Conspicuous consumption” to which ethereal models clad in swarouski encrusted headpieces serenely sway in a rather hypnotic manner, its all rather like a trip back to Kate Bushes Wuthering Heights video, alas minus the haunting vocals!



Fred Butler is an infamous character in the fashion sphere; regularly her work adorns the pages of the magazine elite from Elle, I-D, Vogue, Lula, and Hommes Japan to Wonderland. She even graced the pages Amelia’s Magazine to which she featured in issue 10, which is still up for grabs for the record, it’s worth taking a peak!

Her success is universal, making waves not merely within the fashion sphere but within Music also. She boasts eccentric followers from electro folk icon Patrick Wolf to the elegant Bishi. But she doesn’t just appeal to London’s Underground sphere, she has a whole host of high calibre clients from MTV, Selfridges to the V&A!



Who knows what Fred Butler has hidden under her brightly coloured sleeve, I for one can’t wait to find out!
The Dø are Dan Levy and Olivia B. Merilahti, view who luckily for our ears found each other and started making pop music for fun whilst working on a soundtrack together.
They have already made it big outre-manche, site with their album A Mouthful got to Number 1. Their vibrant sound swings from the playground to the streets and back again, viagra making for an exciting album brimming to the rafters with curiosity, exuberance and passion. It’s strings sweep with cinematic drama over lullabies and hip-hop.
From their genre-switching music to their diverse cultural background; a mix of French (Dan) and Finnish (Olivia), their sound is more unique than any boy-girl duo to have come along for a while.


Hello Olivia, how are you today?
I’m good thank you- trying to relax …it’s been a while since I’ve had a day off, and we’re getting ready for our crazy UK/Germany tour

Wow, it sounds like your super busy! Are you in Paris right now? I’m jealous, I used to live there and I miss it…
Yes- shall we swap? i’d rather live in London! I dont know why, I’ve always felt very close to England.

It’s a plan! I’ll pack my suitcase as soon as we’re done interviewing! :-)

So it’s probably the first thing most people want to ask about, but how did you guys decide on the name The Dø ? I read it means ‘death’ in Danish…

d+o=Dan+Olivia. Do=do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do! “do(e), a deer, a female deer” (check The Sound of Music). In Denmark it means somthing about death, yeah but, the “ø” was mostly because it looks like the note as written in traditional music theory.


I like it, The Dø is a big melting pot of languages and cultures; even Austrian with The Sound of Music! I suppose musically as well you mix up the languages with English and Finnish…but not French- was that a concious decision?
Yeah- French was never an option in music for me, my musical language is English, it’s always been, because it is also my musical culture, and pop music has always been in English

Also French in it’s nature for me anyway seems very structured and constrained linguistically- maybe thats hard to put into music?

Like Opera was mostly sung in Italian, German or French…but not in English, really.
It’s just like using the instrument that feels right.

What about singing in Finnish? Listening to your album A Mouthful- it really adds a ethereal touch when it’s used, it such a lovely sounding language!
Hum, I guess the song & the melody of “Unissasi Laulelet” just came up naturally in
Finnish. I didn’t really plan to write a song in Finnish, but I do sometimes need to change and use Finnish in my compositions.

Cool, it’s great to be able to use language like another instrument like you said. Do you think you both approach music with different views on art and music or do you have a lot of similar tastes?
On some stuff we don’t agree, but we’re usually extremely connected. Two people working together is a very intense activity…our musical backgrounds are different, but we’re so complementary…


Talking about other experiences and influences- what are/were your personal inspirations musically?
I grew up on a lot of songs, in English or Finnish. My mum used to sing me a lot of lullabies in Finnsh, and I guess it is still an inspiration…Then I discovered Nirvana and Hole, then Bjork, Fiona Apple, Ella Fitzgerald, Goran Bregovic, The Wutang and Eminem.
Dan grew up on jazz and discovered classical music in his teens.Dan’s influences are John Coltrane (Dan played the saxophone for many many years), Bela Bartok, Zappa, etc. He was always sure he would become a composer, while I was singing in bands from age 14, but I was very shy about my own songs.

Wow, from 14! So music, even at a young age, was something you definitely wanted to do later in life? And what about for Dan?
Yes, but since I didn’t grow up in a family that was artistic in any way, I didn’t realise until quite late that it could actually become a job! Whereas there was no doubt for Dan.

So what does the future hold for The Dø ?
We’re gonna keep touring until august, in the UK and the rest of Europe, and then we record album 2…we’ve started recording a few songs already and it feels amazing!

I’m really excited to hear that! Thank you! :-)

A Mouthful is out now.
Welcome to the weird, order wonderful world of Catherine Le Page. This Quebecoise knows how to draw and her illustrations are have a beautiful je-ne-sais-quoi about them. The most interesting pieces create a unique vision of femininity from childhood to womanhood. Brands, case diets, boys, careers and children appear throughout her work, highlighting the concerns of the modern feminine psyche whilst utilising a self-consciously girly whimsical aesthetic. The combination of the two give a deeply intimate view of womanhood.



As we see below, she seems to condone a sort of universal sisterhood of happiness; the “for better” whilst marriage is perhaps implied as the “for worse”. She both embraces the feminine in her themes of nature, motherhood and celebrations of the female body whilst questioning its social implications.


The colours and lines used by Le Page are delightfully naive, like the imaginings of a teenage girl; all crushes and crying carved in crayon on pages torn out of squared exercise books, taking us back to the days of secret notes passed in class and writing boys names in pen on our knickers.



Her work is always mature in it’s treatment of subject matter; like her couple holding hands at the corner of a page faced with giant colourful block arrows, with Le Page‘s native Canada imprinted hauntingly in the background, like the big scary future looming. Or a couple coping with a long distance relationship. Le Page‘s illustrations manage to be both personal whilst universal whilst still maintaining a strong sense of narrative.



Le Page tightropes the line between a twee femininity and these astute quasi- feminist observations, whilst being neither particularly approving nor politically critical in her work. Yet because she, as a female artist, is asserted as a subject of creativity and expression; it is men who become objects of desire, whilst female concerns take centre stage. Yet does being female and addressing issues of femininity in art always have to be a feminist matter? Opinions welcome…I’m off to burn my bra.

Yesterday, about it an impassioned plea in the form of an email dropped through into my Amelia’s Magazine inbox. The subject matter was a slightly different topic to what usually features in the Earth section, unhealthy but instantly we knew that it warranted a feature, and needed to be shared with our readers. So todays topic is about 10,000 ex- battery farmed chickens that need rehousing urgently, otherwise they will be sent to slaughter.

Henny Penny was found at the bottom of a battery farm cage unable to stand.

It may seem a slightly incongruous topic, but then I have always had a soft spot for hens. While I love the little corner of urban sprawl that I now occupy in East London, I spent my formative years in Cornwall. Growing up in bucolic, pastoral countryside, my parents (recently decamped from Wandsworth) decided they wanted to have a bit of The Good Life, and got themselves a chicken hutch and about 10 hens. Every morning, my job was the Collection Of The Eggs – I took my job very seriously. Armed with a basket I would quietly step into the hatch; I will never forget the peaceful, warm atmosphere that I would encounter. Ten contented, almost post coital chickens clucking gently to themselves as they settled down for a rest after a morning spent laying eggs. Needless to say, the eggs tasted delicious – rich, thick and creamy. So, with these memories in mind, there is an incomprehensible difference between the hens in our back garden all those years ago, and the pictures of the chickens that accompanied the email. Emaciated, featherless and pathetic – the real image behind battery farming that you don’t see on boxes of eggs.


The people asking for our, and your help are a group called Little Hen Rescue, based in Norfolk. Yesterday I spoke with one of the volunteers, Emma, who told me that all of the group volunteer, and all are working up to 14 hour days in the pursuit of rescuing battery chickens. She explained that the hens will have spent most of their life in a tiny battery cage, laying eggs until their production level drops, after which they will usually be sent to slaughter. At this point, they are generally only sixteen months old, and seeing that chickens usually live for up to six years , they are not even halfway through their life span. The operation that they are currently undertaking is their most ambitious, and largest yet. At the end of June, a farm in Norfolk will be sending 10,000 chickens to slaughter, and Little Hen Rescue are hoping that all will be rehoused to members of the public throughout Britain. If anyone has ever thought of keeping chickens before, now would be the time to step forward. Although this may seem a daunting task, Little Hen Rescue are promising to guide every hen-keeping novice through all the initial steps. They are asking for a donation of £1.50 for each chicken ‘brought’, but more is always welcome, (and anyone who wishes to donate, but not get a hen is also welcome to do so, the website has details of their PayPal account. ). I asked Emma what the chickens are like, half expecting a description of severely traumatised birds, but she was quick to prove me wrong; “They are gorgeous! Where do you start? They are more friendly than any other breed of hen I’ve found. They are such loving little pets and considering what they’ve been though, they give you their all”


One characteristic to be expected of the chickens is the state of their feathers – or the lack of them. Unfortunately, this is just another by product of being a battery hen. Little Hen Rescue have already factored this in, and have a web page with instructions for how to construct fleeces and jumpers to keep the birds warm while their feathers grow back – which they always do. Helpfully, there are also pictures of the hens wearing breast plate knitted jumpers and fleeces to show you the finished ‘product’. I defy you not to be moved by these photos.

Illustration by Jessica Pemberton

One thing worth remembering if you want to go ahead and adopt a hen is that you will need a garden in which they can roam, and preferably you will need to construct or purchase a secure, fox-proof chicken house with an attached run. Amelia’s Magazine is not usually in the habit of acting as a broker in the sale of chickens, but then an appeal like this does not come along every day. If there is anything that you can do to help, get in contact with Little Hen Rescue and help a feathered friend.

Illustration by Jessica Pemberton

Phuong-Cac Nguyen left America more then two years ago to start a new life in São Paulo, visit this Brazil`s ginormous metropolis and the main economic and cultural center in the country. She went away with the purpose of sending contributions about the city to blogs and websites such as and However she found in town countless choices of how to spend her free time and decided to compile her favorite hidden Sao Paulo haunts into a brilliant guidebook. It`s been a hit between locals, so in order to find out more about how she came up with the project we chatted almost endlessly about the book – but also about Sao Paulo`s social problems, the paulista lifestyle and Brazilian politics.


I didn`t get if you`re American, Brazilian…??
Oh ok. Could you tell us a little about the book? It seemed very interesting. Loved the layout too.?
It comes from two years living there. While writing for coolhunting and joshspear, i picked up a ton of info. Also a lot of it came about naturally – I’m a super curious person, so to keep myself entertained I went discovering the city and chatted with people and as I did all this stuff about the city came out and I had all this info that I didn`t know what to do with and knowing that there was a lack of this type of book for Sao Paulo, I figured it would be a good idea to do a book and share these gems.??
That`s great! I`m looking forward to reading it.
?Thank you! The majority of the people who worked on it are Brazilians who live in São Paulo. I wanted to present a true insider’s view.
So you went to Sao Paulo by yourself and then started with the freelance jobs?
?Yes. I had saved up some money from my previous gigs. Jobs in the U.S.
And what made you choose São Paulo??
It was one of my stops during a South American trip I made in 2006, and when I got there I felt at home – first time in my life I have ever felt that way about a place.
Where are you from in the US?
?I am from L.A. California.
That`s a big change! What do you love the most about SP and the least??
Most: I haven’t figured it out totally, but I think it’s the sense that something is always happening, always changing, always moving, and I like being a part of that.
Least: the pollution – my acne has come roaring back as a result.
Yes it`s horrible! But isn`t this movement sentiment a thing that all the big cities have it? This idea that there`s always something going on?
?Yes, i guess so, but I’ve been to lots of big cities… there’s just something different about Sao Paulo’s movement… maybe it’s because it’s still developing yeah – and I also love the people there.
What do you love about them?
?People are so nice! And people from other Brazilian states complain that they think Paulistanos are snobby (back to the whole big-city thing), but I have met so many amazing people there, people from all over Brazil come to SP.

D-Edge Club


I think Paulistas are the best!
?hahah are you a Paulista???
Yes I am! But I`ve lived most of my life in Porto Alegre.?
Ah people there are so nice too! A lot of my friends are from the south.
So you got to learn some Portuguese??
Yes. I’m fluent.
Cool! Was it hard??
Believe me, after dealing with the printer, I am definitely fluent! Yes it was hard – but after about 6 months I was able to be understood.
??So that was quick!
?I knew my Portuguese was up to speed when I could complain with everyone else about the traffic and pollution haha.
??Hahaha. And that`s when you became a real paulista!?
Hahahah. Exactly!
Awesome! So do you plan of translating the book to Portuguese?
?Yes, that’s in the plans. the book is practically sold out in Brazil already, even in English!
Uau that`s amazing!
Yeah I’m shocked really.
Where did you use to live in SP??
Vila Madalena
So how would you describe SP`s like in a more detailed way? Because the idea people usually have from Brazil is from being a country with beaches everywhere, girls in bikini drinking caipirinha and dancing samba the whole day. But we both know that`s not true.?
Definitely. Well, SP is a modern city where you can get gourmet olives imported from Italy and we get stuck in traffic jams like in NYC, but combine that with a strong Brazilian culture and you have a totally unique place.

Museu De Arte Moderna

So in the book you describe the main neighborhoods??
Yes.?Restaurants, bars, boutiques, hidden gems.??
So would you say it`s targeted more to SP`s high class?
?Noooo! It’s for people working in the creative industry, people like artists, designers, architects, writers.
So not high class – when I think of high class I think of super rich and my readers are not. But they are by no means unsuccessful, if that makes any sense.
It totally makes sense. Do you plan on writing another guide??
Writing i don’t know but producing more under the Total series, yes. I have to take a rest before I would consider writing another one… I’d like to hire someone else to write the next one!
?Any idea for cities??
Yes – we’ll stick with South American cities. But as for what city next, that will have to be kept under wraps for now.
So could you tell me what are your favorites places in SP? Like a top 5 maybe?
?Bar do Museu, praça por do sol, filial, the historical center of the city, the Arab area of the Bras neighborhood. And of course I love my neighborhood! But that would be 6 and you asked for 5.

Loja do Bispo

So you`re still living in SP? Thought you were back in LA.
?I’m back in L.A. to handle the business end of the book, but will be back in SP this year. All my things are still there!??
How do Brazilian people usually react when you say you`re American? Probably a silly question, but I`m just curious.?
They are super curious, they love Americans and being Asian on top of that, I’m definitely an interesting specimen. They wonder why the heck I moved to SP when they all want to move to America!??
Exactly! Did you get to follow Brazilian politics? What do you think about it?
?I did a little bit, yes, and I find it fascinating the infamous bureaucracy, the corruption, but I see that there are also some good hearts in the government, trying to work against those two aspects. And it’s working, because Brazil is growing and being accepted into the worldwide market.
Really? Do you truly believe in that?
?Yes – you see it more on a local level. I don’t really understand national politics as much, my Portuguese is weak in this area, but nevertheless even though Brazilians are required to vote, and we aren’t in the U.S. but yet we’re infinitely more involved when it comes to campaigns, i find that Brazilians should take a deeper interest in helping to shape change…. but it’s complicated because they don’t trust the government. This is a sentiment that many Brazilians share with me, that they would in fact love to be more involved but they see it as kind of hopeless.
Yes that`s exactly what I think. It`s one of the reasons that made me leave together with crime as well, which it`s related, of course.?
Yes, definitely. The crime is insanely bad compared to America. I think this is why Paulistanos are so special… they have to deal with all of this and yet they are able to maintain a happy nature and positive view on life. This is amazing to me. I love SP with all its faults, I have gotten days where I wanted to pick up and move somewhere else because I was frustrated after hearing about a bounty hunter killing someone in my neighborhood, but I don’t because the city and its people have so much to offer
Yes totally. That`s what I`m always telling people about Brazilians: they can be miserable, completely poor, live in a shit hole, but they`re are smiling, cooking their Sunday barbecues and drinking their beer.
Yeah totally. In fact, what you say is what my friends say is the problem with Brazil, why things in government aren’t changing… instead of getting up and doing something about things, people don’t want to deal with it and rather focus on making churrasco. I can understand in a way.
Sad but true. Phuong thank you so much. Is there anything else you would like to say??Well I definitely would not have been able to do it without my team of photographers and illustrators! They believed in the project and as a result it shows through in the final product. That’s all!

Now, buy more about I know Surbiton quite well. It’s a place I associate with Waitrose, cost semi-detached houses, wife-swapping, Audis, Felicity Kendall’s loin-stirring fringe, and the Class System. Artistic notions don’t really seem to fit in this anodyne suburban mould.
And the good people of Surbiton probably don’t notice the gaping wound in their emotional channel. But here, in the valley of the shadow of death, cometh the man. A man with the vision to inject into their sterile lives the force of the creative spirit. And much calcium.

Robin Hutchinson graduated in Fine Art before Duran Duran discovered hair gel, a bit conceptual and performancey, and then embarked on life’s great journey. Decades later, he’s a happily married man who drinks a lot of Pinot Grigio and follows his arty heart. Ha has an amazing knack for getting people in authority to do things. One day, he decided that Kingston needed a theatre, and turned himself into a one-man lobby, pestering the Council and developers for years, until it was done, with the beautiful result of the Rose Theatre, a rounded Shakespearean structure that keeps it real with proper plays and comedy.
Then he decided to celebrate the life of photography legend and Kingstonian Eadweard Muybridge with a 20ft projection onto the facade of Kingston Police Station, located opposite Muybridge’s birthplace. A projection of Muybridge’s work, followed by a creepy-as-hell pair of eyes looking out across the town, framed rectangular, as though from a burqua. Behold surveillance society, and trust in society laid bare not in a gallery setting, but on Kingston’s High Street, with people strolling by to drink beer or buy kebabs.

So here’s a chap who likes a little confrontation, and wants the populace to let some Apollonian/Dyonysian into their lives. So maybe you’re wondering where the calcium fits in with this…
Robin (who, given the right costume, could easily pass for a Marvel supervillain), tells me of his Damascus moment. One afternoon, while having his car fixed up at Kwik-Fit next door, he popped into The Lamb for a pint and thought he’d try a selection from the deli counter. Yes, deli-counter! This would be a major revelation for anyone who remembers the way the pub used to be; an intimidating grotto of dirty looks for non-regulars, shifting Carlsberg-flavoured water to a single-digit client-base who would ruminate each afternoon on the finer points of Daily Star stories. Maybe a dartboard by the door to the ladies, maybe a jar of pickled onions – it’s all the stuff of legend, now (except for the huge plastic letters of the SKOL sign that adorn the side of the pub, in memoriam).
Deeply inspired by the warmth of fledgling Landlord and Lady, Adam and Liz, and the quality fare on offer (largely sourced from a relative’s Dorset farm), Robin decided firstly that the pub’s internal revolution should be advertised to the wider public, and that the wider public was deserving of a revolution of its own.

He admits that the first Homage De Fromage event was dominated by Robin’s personal friends, and was fairly low-key. However, by the time I discovered Surbiton’s Cheese Underground, months later, things were a little more lively, even unhinged. At the end of a busy evening, I had travelled to the pub to meet a couple of friends who were already cheesed up. When I arrived, they were building a monorail course out of straws and sellotape, for the passage of a tiny straw and sellotape basket, housing a pickled onion (you see, pickled onions aren’t wrong per se – it’s all about the context). At the end of the course, the basket landed in a tray of water and was suddenly deemed a boat. Well done, I said, but it was no good – I was near sober, whilst they had not only imbibed more than me, but had also been in the zone since 7.30 sharp. It seemed to make perfect sense to them that pickled onions should need transportation. I saw so clearly the dichotomy between us: I was just a citizen of the State, whereas they were engines of creation. They had the same spark that enabled the invention of the Artesian Well, pyramid-construction techniques, or the aquaduct. I would have to get in on the act from the beginning of the evening to attain this enlightened state. Nothing could stop them!… Except the end of licensed opening hours, or running out of chutneys.

Let me tell you how Homage De Fromage works: Claim your table (you’ll probably have to book, these days), pay your money, enjoy your cheese-platter (themed on a region of the British Isles) while examining your cheese-menu and discussing your observations with your cohorts, fill in your answers to the quiz which nobody seems to care about, then partake in the month’s challenge.

The cheese, obviously, is a big focus, and Adam and Liz put in the research to get the most exquisite and diverse cheeses from each region. There’s usually a bit of Goat’s, a bit of Blue, and some Brie-like, as well as the more familiar types. But this isn’t a foodie review, and the cheese is not what it’s all about. It’s the challenge, the problem-solving.
The challenge that I had walked in on yielded brilliant results, all put together in around half an hour. Little cars with olives for wheels and toothpicks for axles, a hot air balloon, rafts, a glider. And this is exactly what Robin wanted to see. It’s Art, but not as we know it.

For Art’s greatest achievement can only be shining the light of imagination into the hearts of ordinary men and women. Robin’s strategy for achieving this is so simple, yet it achieves so much for its very directness. A little of society’s familiar lubricant, alcohol, followed by the gustatory excitement and discussion that only the complexity of cheese can bring, and then the simple laying down of a gauntlet.

The month that followed the transport-design forced each table-team to create a Wicker Man, which was then burnt in the beer garden as the horde of possessed Suburbitonians chanted and danced, and occasionally gestured the pretence that it was ironic. A month later came the command to build a whale, using only blue sheets of A4, straws, sellotape and bravado. The variety of approach was broad. Some built a skeleton first, some were cartoony, one had a little Jonah sitting in it’s mouth, two used a live human as the basis of the beast, One referenced the evolutionary ancestry of the whale with ambulocetus features. And the room was filled with love.

The most recent event had the challenge of designing a work of public sculpture, specifically an alternative to Wallinger’s big horse, planned for the mouth of the Channel Tunnel. There wasn’t a single half-hour proposal that I didn’t prefer to the Wallinger. Just for the sheer ridiculous Pythonesque and throwaway ethos that infused each work. And Bacofoil was the medium of the day. Shiny, shiny.
(Apologies, dear reader, but there’s no way I can get through this feature without the words “You had to be there!”)…You had to be there.

Homage De Fromage is an evolving project. Or maybe the trunk of a tree of projects. In the last four months, popularity has shot through the roof, with the April event being fully booked before the March event had finished. The clientele is changing, too, with younger people and artier people increasingly following (that’s right, following) les petits bourgeoises into this vibrant new scene. Robin is planning to harness this force, with plans to build a scaled-up model of the board game Mouse Trap on the beer garden, and a community art project, called My Life In A Box, in which anyone and everyone is invited to represent their life inside a cardboard box measuring 25x25x7cm. Effectively, the man is luring people into Kingston’s underweight cultural life with cheese. A mousetrap will make a very fitting monument to Hutchinson’s methods.
But is it Art? Proper, capital-A Art? Does it need to justified in relation to The Death of the Author, Public Art Theory, Art Brut, Relational Art, blah, blah? Is Robin a Rirkrit Tiravanija of the non-gallery-dwelling suburban breed?

Robin gives the impression that Art is nowhere near as crucial as his real buzzword – Creativity. Art is almost a hang-up, totem of the stagnant and the done, whereas what matters is the force that drives creation. That’s why everything ends up in the bin at the end of Cheese Night; no debris shall slow the passage of creation, as it joyfully gushes downstream in half-drunk flux.

For some reason, this involves girls wearing false moustaches. And they look good.

You can involve yourself in the Homage on the website, or the facebook. Why not go the extra mile and help out the Mousetrap, or put your life in a box.

It helps to have a few aces up your sleeve when you’re trying to make it in the fashion/art world these days. In which case you wouldn’t want to be the one staring across the table into the lovely poker face of this particular card shark. French Illustrator extraordinaire Coco, healing has stacked the decks with talent and expertise in razor sharp and uber feminine illustrations in magazines like Nylon, Slurp, Russh, Wonderland, years of fashion consulting for designers, PR work for Valery Demure, and most recently her own line of luxurious silk scarves called Forget-Me-Not.

Coco’s graceful drawings appear in Illustration books, displays for London and Barcelona Fashion Week, Karl Lagerfield’s AW ’09 catalogue and milliner Yasmin Rizvi’s turbans. Sitting down with the skillful drafter and in a plaiting of French and English we talked about her unique perspective on what it takes to stay in the game these days.


“I started out studying at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Dupres but after that I didn’t draw for ages. I was actually working in fashion PR in Paris when Valery Demure asked me to do some illustrations for an invitation. Then a few magazines asked me to do some artwork for them. Once my pieces were out there, I sent out a quarterly update to the right people. Valery, by then a good friend, suggested I do the scarves and three months later I was doing it and now she’s my agent.”

Fearless and instinctive, I suppose that’s the kind of nerve you’d need to contend in the notoriously fickle world of fashion.
“When someone offers you to do it and you say ok, that’s one thing. But to come up with something on your own and to push it is too anxiety ridden. I admire those people that can do it. To be able to say merde ou oui (sure or piss off) to someone. ”


Do you feel your connections and savvy in that milieu helped you avoid some of the pitfalls most young designers face?
“So many things can go wrong but you’re on your own so you have to follow up on everything yourself. People say it’s so easy but it’s a nightmare to find the right factory. Sometimes the graphics look dirty if they’re not done to a high standard. After 6-10 tests I’m still not happy with them. Then there’s transport, corrections, it gets expensive. But that’s not really a big surprise because I’ve worked with so many young designers. Mais le vivre et le faire….(But living the life and doing it are not the same thing).”

What suggestions would you offer to designers/illustrators new to the game?
“Above all you must do it with your own identity and always be thinking ‘who will buy this?’ As soon as you do one thing, everyone thinks that all you do until you prove otherwise. If you do just one thing without taking risks you’ll end up like a rat. It could be just a poster or a book.”

“When sending your work to the PR’s you need to make an effort, to think about the little things and make it easy for them… like including simple texts. And you have to keep at them. I understand why designers are so stressed out. Often they’re timid by nature. I put everything I have into it. The successful ones are really aggressive and they put the effort the whole year through rather than laying back. Everything goes so fast these days it’s hard to know who’s coming or going.”


The internet must play an enormous influence in the role of the consumer. What can you tell us about the quickening pace of the fashion industry?
“Buyers are some of my favorite people to work with, they can be so much more informed and creative than they’re given credit for. When I first showed my silk scarves I didn’t tell them they were my designs, just so I could get their honest opinion. In commercial showrooms I got to know a lot about their customers through them.”

“The client comes super early in the season (AW 09) and they know exactly what pieces they want by summer. They used to depend on magazines and whatever they dictated. But now they’re seeing it all, instantaneously. They’re informed and decisive. My S/S ’09 line of scarves went into Colette immediately. I get orders from the shops in April and they want it by June because that’s when their August display windows are being designed.”


I hope are readers are keeping up because this is very much the nature of many a conversation with designers these days. Delivery dates are creeping forward so fast it’s all most designers can do to keep up, much less concentrate on the fun of designing.
Where did the designing process start for you
“I can’t do just one thing or I get bored. I think that comes from my education in France, although it can stifle you at first by forcing you to take certain paths before you’ve had a chance to develop or explore. But you had to be an academic to do well in the arts, you have to do one thing exceptionally well. There had to be an identity behind the facade… which always fades. I need to observe and understand before attempting it but because I had a good technical base I could just move on to anything I fancied, like designing a font. ”


A box of samples from the manufacturer have arrived and there’s an excitement about seeing what surprises lay inside. She unfolds a giant piece of diaphonous silk with 8 or of the same print, each slightly different in hue or tone. She inspects it closely, turning it over delicately in her hand.

These gorgeous silk scarves you’ve done are so rich and detailed. Is it easy enough to get your hyper-fine drawings onto them?
“No, actually it’s extremely difficult. There’s a massive difference from screen to product. Firstly I chose to work on an unusually large size square so you can wear it plenty of different ways. Also silk absorbs ALOT so its very difiicult to get details because the silk just drinks the inks up. It’s important to have the back look good too, not blotchy but properly bled through. When Barney’s buys you and puts you on the shelf next to Pucci it better be good.”

Know your opponent. Something to keep in mind. When rising stars are quick to burn out it can be invaluable to do your homework. And this triple-threat artist from France has a full house of extra sweet designs on her newest collection of scarves forget-me-not available at her online store going live next week so check back with us here for details. Because as the French are fond of saying, ‘On ne vie pas sur l’air et l’eau fraiche’….We can’t live on love and fresh water alone.
Merci Coco!

Fanfarlo‘s album Reservoir opens with pianos that rise up like the morning sun, shop lush and warm. Their songs unravel like stories that balance between light and dark; definitely melancholic but never without a touch of child-like optimism.


Reservoir swoop and soar like a bird, from cinematic highs and gigantic orchestral arrangements not dissimilar to the brilliant chamber pomposity of our beloved Arcade Fire only to diminish into whispery vocals and xylophones. There is something magical about Reservoir, it reminiscent of fir tree forests, Northern Lights, magic stories and a yearning for yester-years.
This self-assured debut is a must for bookish types who are fans of fore-mentioned Arcade Fire, Beirut, Sleeping States, Belle and Sebastian and dream of woozy adventures in far-away lands.


Produced by the infamous Peter Katis (mind-bogglingly good producer of Interpol and The National ) this multi instrumental, melodic smorgasbord is whimsical, nostalgic whilst being meticulously arranged and intensely structured.



Having played SXSW this year, they are currently touring the UK including this weekend’s Great Escape and Reservoir is released on 25th May on Raffle Bat. Fanfarlo are very much kings of their own castle eschewing conventional modes of distribution in favour of authentic and personal approach by running their own living room based make-shift business; buy Reservoir direct from the band themselves!
Still in its infancy, page although you wouldn’t know from the sheer number of enthusiasts it has already won over, Craft Guerrilla is set to take over the world. Not just THE world but YOUR world.
With Portugal born Walthamstow based Deborah Daniel at the helm, steering a crafty crew of artists, movers, shakers, designers and visionaries, Craft Guerrilla is on a mission to capture your hungry hearts and idle hands with a creative collective to literally get in yourself in a stitch over. She shares responsibility for its genius with two others, Lisa Magreet and Louise Batten, and her encounters with numerous etsy-ites along the way. Deborah Daniel is a fingers in pies kind of girl; Head Girl for Craft Guerrilla, a former ceramicist and current mastermind behind the company Munano, described in her own words as ‘A kawaii project…lots of evil but cute bunnies and forest creatures so lots of sewing, cutting and stuffing!’ This all supplements a day job that pays the rent, and yet Deborah shows no signs of sitting still.
Well equipped with principled idealism, utopian collectivism and a whole host of other worthy ‘isms’ to get the ethical activist juices flowing, these ladies are dedicated to The Cause in a big way. Far less about being anti and far more about being pro, Craft Guerrilla talk a lot more about what they do care for than what they don’t; a refreshing wide eyed optimism to grace these somewhat grey and gloomy times. Using unoccupied buildings as venues; supporting independent businesses and small-time designers; they are far more interested in promoting collaborations, forming opportunities and hosting workshops than bitching about the depressing state of the high street and its predictable conformity. Siding with the peaceful rather than the anarchic, Deborah happily reports her movement has been embraced with open arms and is gratefully received across the board. However she does tells me ‘We did have a funny incident in Wanstead, east London though…a few older ladies thought we were actually funding South American guerrilla armies through our craft market sales. Maybe if we knitted them some guns but…the word “Craft’ kind of gives it away.’
Her down-to-earth grass roots approach to matters is mirrored by her citations of inspiration; ‘I guess as inspirational people go my Auntie Maria Jose epitomises everything I’m trying to do. She was a real socialist, great humanitarian, artist and person. She valued the power of art and craft and the teaching of skills so to leave a lasting legacy for others to follow through out their lives.’ This is one upbeat lady. In fact the only vaguely negative thing I squeeze out of her is her rejection that craft is exclusively for the middle classes. ‘It’s not a privilege it’s a right! Luckily things are changing and people see it not only as a hobby but as a valuable resource and an art form.’
I ask her how intrinsic the ‘make do and mend’ ethos is to Englishness and vice versa. ‘The term D.I.Y. is so English that I’ve had quite a time trying to translate it to Portuguese. People do D.I.Y. but the essence is very much a British one. Like afternoon tea and the attitude to craft! The Americans are quite tuned in to the whole Craft thing too though I guess the main thing that divides us is their “can do attitude”. I wish we were more like that sometimes! BUT London is a really creative place filled with self sufficient people and I’m constantly surprised how little help people need at our d.i.y. events. Also I’m amazed at how forthcoming other craft groups have been in offering to help us advertise our events and work together with us. The sense of community and sharing is really something!’
What’s so lovely about Craft Guerrilla is the distinct lack of competition. No commission charged for Craft Guerrilla’s online shop, no attempting to out doing each other with bigger brighter hipper events – in fact, copycat behaviour is actively encouraged. Print out and keep packs are readily available to people wanting to start out on their own, as well as advice and tips on running your own get together. Well, when you have your sights set on global domination you have to can’t expect to do it all single handedly. I wonder whether she worries about short cuts and reinterpretations of her original manifesto, if allowing people to grow their own means risking people shaming the name. ‘We have a few guidelines in place but in general we hope people have requested to be part of Craft Guerrilla because they identify with our ethos and principals so they too are likely to follow it. We need to keep some consistent but it’s not set in stone. We also want people to make it their own by adding their own ideas and energy to the collective. I have faith in people and if there is something we really don’t agree with we are all open and intelligent enough people to discuss it with each other.’ ‘Before we take anyone on we like to see what they make. Our criteria is that all designer makers must sell only hand made item. We also look for originality and quality designed products. We just feel that we need to choose wisely because we all represent each other as a whole.’
With monthly events springing up and taking off such as Crafternoon at the Old Queen’s Head, Craft Market at Beautiful Interiors and Swishing at the Pink Bar, she is one busy bee. And the demand is ever increasing. Inspired by these quirky gatherings of like-minded arty types in reclaimed buildings, more and more is appearing rapidly and not just in East London. With Edinburgh set up to follow suit with a ‘Sister Army’ this Summer, and interest mounting from as far afield as Sweden and Sydney we are at the brink of a revolution in doing it for our selves and having a darn good time while we’re at it.

It feels like a pilgrimage, help like I’m on some kind of DaVinci Code quest. Potent truths that remain hidden from most around me will soon be revealed. The Band Before The Band I’m Here For churn out some unimaginative geezer-rock. Wearing a selection of Hoxton-twat-headgear and oozing the “Oi, cheapest oi!” flavour to entertain a herd of jolly boppers, they leave me cold. I’m not in the mood for pacy (yawn), exciting (yawn) rocking out (yaaawwwwn) tonight.

I’ve been psyching myself up for a gig by Alice and the Cool Dudes. All else is distraction. Ever since Punk-Jazz emperor Seb Rochford enlisted her as the voice of his Fulborn Teversham project, Alice Grant has been one of my favourite singers in London. The soft end of her voice is all head-resonant, tender and earnest but never quite soothing. There’s always a dissatisfaction in there. When the lungs get involved too, it’s a shockingly obtuse cavernous roar, a cross between primal wheeze therapy and shouting yourself hoarse. The cusp of these two sounds tends to give the impression that her precious heart could shatter at any second. It’s beautiful.
But that’s just a voice, as it is used in a different band. How would the Cool Dude ethos differ from that of Teversham? And would the siren/banshee voice be the same? The moment had come, the previous band had removed all their pedals and their hats from the stage, and all that was left was a drumkit, a set of keyboards, and a bass. And so began a selection of songs that never got so weird you’d call it experimental, but never got so familiar that you could classify them. Among the most striking was Boobs, baroque in its harpsichord sound, baroque in its fingerwork, not so baroque in featuring a cockney sparrow singing about boobs and somehow basically being kind of a lovely pop ditty. There is top notch songcraft in this. Strong melodies, twists and turns, a beat-rest at the end of a verse in which Alice holds the “oo” of “boobs” for a crystal-clear couple of seconds. Mmmmm.

And it gets even better. The gig progresses, and we are treated to Toes, a sway-friendly trombone waltz (that’s Joe the drummer’s other instrument). Then comes Changebrain, which is easily the catchiest tune on offer. Alice’s sequencer starts things off, then comes the hooky vocal, then the backing vocal, then the rhythm section builds it up, suddenly we’ve got a really tasty driving hit, yet still with it’s quirky authenticity, as Alice sings of wrapping dogshit in a Tesco plastic bag. This is also where bassist Ruth Goller (familiar to fans of Acoustic Ladyland) shines brightest. Her vocal lines are the perfect counterpart to Alice’s. It’s not just backing vocal, it’s a cleverly intertwining thread of its own. In the end sections, where it seems like all the preceding parts have come together in a rich ecosystem of tone and chord, it’s Ruth keeping it deep, reusing a previous vocal, then inventing a Ringo-style flat melodic version of the main line, and playing an inexplicably perfect bassnote at the same time. It all comes across as quite sweet and simple at first, so it’s ability to take you over is a proper thrill.
Finally, The Truth, a song that feels just as epic as the name suggests. A boomy tom-tom beat, and a thick, deep hammond provide the perfect backdrop to Alice’s consoling utterances of what feels like pity. Really, just go and listen to them do it.

Returning to my stupid idea that this might need comparing to Fulborn Teversham, well, yes, it was stupid. There is a portion of common ground, but Alice and the Cool Dudes don’t need those shackles. The central motifs that make up Teversham are gone, and replaced by something which is more pure, or less diverse, depending on how you see it (and certainly less screamy). But either way, it’s no less playful, no shier about complexity, and no less true. For all their dryness, and stone-cold confrontational chutzpah, Alice and the Cool Dudes are the most intense, interesting, sincere, meaningful and promising new band in my life this year.
But there is something amiss down at Barden’s Boudoir tonight. And there are two possible solutions. The first to occur to me was that they could use a more intimate venue, maybe the Slaughtered Lamb or Cross Kings. I think most of us in the crowd were first-timers, and the message might have come across a bit more pokey without a sound system designed for noisy ragers, without a room designed for beerbottle dance moves. The other solution is the one I prefer though. They release an album, everybody in the kingdom buys and loves it, and then, when everybody knows what it’s about, a gig in Wembley even could not fail. For intimacy can take on huge proportions to the initiated.
Let’s be honest though, the Hoxton-hat brigade will probably beat them to it. Alas, there’s no justice in this cruel business. I’m off back to the bar for another lament of amaretto.

You can hear demos and find out about future gigs on the myspace.
May 18th
Free Aung San Suu Kyi Demonstration London
12pm -1pm
Burmese Embassy Street:
19 A Charles Street, viagra order
Mayfair, buy
London, W1J 5DX
??Join this demonstration to free Aung San Suu Kyi after she was arrested by the Burmese regime and taken to the notorious Insein Prison.
Protest outside the Burmese Embassy, London, for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all of Burma’s political prisoners.


Campaign against Climate Change London Branch Meeting

Zero Carbon and fast !

Real solutions to the Climate Emergency

Monday 18th June, 6.30 pm SOAS,
School of Oriental and African Studies,
Thornhaugh Street,
off Russell Square, Russell Square Tube

Tim Helweg-Larsen from the Public Interest Research Centre outlines solutions that are adapted to the real scale of the Climate Emergency we face.

Not the scale that the government would like, or that it is more politically acceptable to be addressing. There is a huge gap between the science and the politics of climate change but Tim will show that we can cross that gap, face up to the true scale of the crisis – and still beat it !

We can make a start with “Ten by Ten”, 10% cuts in emissions by the end of 2010 – and a crash program that starts right now – and which will be the most powerful message possible that this government can send to the international community gathered together at the end of the year for the Climate talks in Copenhagen….

Find out more …. come to the “Zero carbon and fast !“ talk and discussion…..

Archive poster showing the international support for The Rosenbergs

Wednesday 20 May


Curzon Cinema Soho
99 Shaftesbury Avenue
London W1D 5DY
Box Office: 0871 7033 988?
Recorded Information – 020 7292 1686
Certificate: 15
Duration: 94 mins
Plus Q&A with Colin Firth, Livia Giuggioli Firth, William Francome and Amnesty International Campaign Manager Kim Manning-Cooper
Colin Firth, Executive Producer of In Prison My Whole Life, will lead a Q&A following a special screening of Marc Evans’s award-winning, Amnesty International endorsed documentary. The film follows 25-year-old William Francome’s investigation into the arrest of Mumia Abu Jamal, famed death row prisoner and award-winning Black Panther journalist, in an effort to expose the truth about justice in America for black activists. The film is crafted with style and energy alongside a punchy soundtrack by Massive Attack and Snoop Dogg.

Tursday 21st May

Illustration by Bryony Lloyd

Climate Change and the Implications for People and Poverty

Practical Action course, 9am–5.30pm,
Holloway Road, N5.

For over 40 years Practical Action has been
working together with poor people to develop technologies that are owned by communities; simple solutions that are good for people and the environment.
Practical Action is working around the world to tackle climate change with adaptation,
technology, campaigning and advocacy.
To book your place, return your registration form to
Info: 01926 634 403

Friday 22nd May to Sunday 24 May

Permaculture A Weekend For Beginners

?Dial House,
Ongar Park Hall,
North Weald,
Epping, Essex
CM16 6AE
Description: An introduction to permaculture including sustainable design principles and ethics, organic gardening, community economics, forest gardening, ‘hands on’ practical experience and more…
This course can either be considered as a ‘stand alone’ introduction to Permaculture ethics, principles and design, or else can be a lead-in to the more in depth full 72 hour Permaculture Design Course. The weekend is led by experienced permaculture teachers.
Venue: Dial House, near Epping, Essex
Contacts: Graham Burnett

Sat 23rd May

Amelia’s Magazine is offering you these musical pearls from this week’s ocean of noise.

Monday 18th May

Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls whip up a surfy shoe-gaze treat with a dash of 60s girl group and Deerhunter-esque dreaminess at 93 Ft East. A must!

Tuesday 19th May

Fancy a soupçon of Gallic whimsy? Why not head à la Plage and catch the brilliant Yann Tiersen, page creator of the Amélie soundtrack, medications and other beautiful melodies, play Concorde 2 in Brighton.

Wednesday 20th May

Titus Andronicus– no, not the Shakespeare play you boffins; but the band (pictured below) from New Jersey, play music that makes you want to shake your hair and rock your socks. Catch them with equally good but slightly older looking the Soft Pack, who shoegaze whilst winking across the room to Stephen Malkmus. No small feat or should that be feet!

Thursday 21st May

Stag and Dagger– a veritable music lollapalooza hits Shoreditch, so come on down to catch the likes of Cold War Kids, White Denim, Black Lips (pictured below), the best thing to come out of Kendall since mint cake; Wild Beasts, Micachu and the Shapes and Evan Dando– Should be fun!

Friday 22nd May

Crystal Stilts are actually diamond. Woozy haunted-house lo-fi that echos the poppier side of Jesus and Mary Chain– brill!
As if I could be anymore excited, they’re playing with The Bats, who are my favourite New Zealand export, very closely followed by Lord of The Rings and lamb.
Ami Clarke: Unknown Unknowns


Brand spanking new work in this solo exhibition from Ami Clarke featuring the self deleting audio work ‘anti-clockwise’ and pieces based on folding screens in self-assemblage flat pack form. With nods to modular and temporary architectural space, information pills and such structures as the familiar ‘exhibition stand’ of the trade fair, drug we are dealing with issues of permanency and territory as boundaries and restrictions.

Friday – Sunday 12-6
Until 31st May
Campbell Works 27 Belfast Road, ailment London N16 6UN
Free Entry


Adrian Ghenie: Darkness for an Hour


The first of hopefully many British shows for the acclaimed young Romanian painter. The
exhibition demonstrates Ghenie’s ongoing exploration of the medium of paint, and his enduring fascination with European history, addressed through ideas relating to memory, trauma and extremism.

Mon – Fri 10 – 6, Sat 10 – 5
Until 25th July
Haunch of Vension 6 Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3ET
Free Entry


Roma Tearne: A Moment That Mattered to Someone


Dealing with anxiety, panic and memory, this showcase of Roma Tearne’s new work explores how photography is manipulated and alters our recollection of our pasts, and her own. Paintings, collage and photography from Sri Lankan artist, author and film maker released to coincide with the publication of her new book Brixton Beach (copies available at the gallery from 29th May).

Monday – Friday 11-5
Until 20th June
198 Gallery, 198 Railton Road, London SE24 0LU
Free Entry


Mental Puberty


Chris Evans curates a journey into the surreal subconscious of waking and dreaming states. The centre piece in this exhibition is the film T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G by the late, 1970s filmmaker Paul Sharits, a founder of the Structuralist film movement. Film footage and performance galore, including a poetry recital at the private view by Michael Welton.

Monday – Saturday 10-6
Until 31st May
STORE, 78 Luke Street, London EC2A 4PY


Steve Hines: Cockney Rejects


An exhibition in two parts, the first scheduled to be destroyed to make room for the second after just one week. The documented destruction of Part 1 will make up the content of Part 2. Steve Hines has trapsed the charity shops of Zone 2 in the past year in search of original artworks that provide social commentary on class and community in these modern times.

Thursday – Sunday, 12-6pm or by appointment
Until 31st May
Working Rooms, Top Floor, 242-248 Kingsland Road, London E8 4DG


Student Summer Shows 2009


The summer shows at London College of Communication are spread out across three months. All shows are at the Elephant & Castle site except for BA Sound Arts & Design, held at Elevator Gallery, and BA Film & Video, held at the BFI, Southbank. For more information and a full listings visit the LCC website.

Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm Saturday 11am – 4pm (closed bank holidays)
Until 10th July
LCC, Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SB
Free Entry


Tillman Kaiser: Hallucination Engine


Another London solo exhibition debut this week from Austrian artist Tillman Kaiser presenting a vivid series of mixed media paintings, sculptures, and outsized wallpaper. Expect a kalidoscope of psychedelica, Op Art aesthetic and modernist twists.

Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm, Sunday 12am – 6pm
Until 24th May
Wilkinson, 50-58 Vyner Street, London E2 9DQ
Free Entry

Categories ,198 Gallery, ,Adrian Ghenie, ,Ami Clarke, ,Campbell Works, ,Chris Evans, ,Haunch of Vension, ,London, ,London College of Communication, ,Roma Tearne, ,Steve Hines, ,Store Gallery, ,Student summer shows, ,Tillman Kaiser, ,Wilkinson Gallery, ,Working Rooms

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with illustrator Julie Vermeille

Julie Vermeille Beautiful Coincidences
Beautiful Coincidences. All photography provided courtesy of Julie Vermeille

What were your surroundings like growing up?
I grew up in a small town outside Paris –Dad is a teacher and musician and Mum is also a teacher, and always interested in interiors. Our home was filled with textiles, and we were close to the country, so there were lots of trees around –all these aspects influence my work.

Julie Vermeille Beautiful Coincidences
Did you study illustration, or did you come across it intuitively?
I knew quite early on that I wanted to do art, and in the last two years of high school it was my specialty subject –I was always interested in using ink, thread and stitching. As a teenager I first thought of being a theatre designer because I liked the idea of creating a world or atmosphere, and I think this still what I am trying to do when I work on a series of images.

Julie Vermeille Beautiful Coincidences
So how did you come to be in London?
I arrived when I was 17 and did a foundation course at the London College of Communication in Art and Design. It was exciting to be somewhere with such an international mix of people, and it felt right. It was also great to be working across different mediums. I started illustrating because I don’t write, but I still wanted to tell stories. So I began creating characters of little people who look a bit like animals. My first series The Little World of Woodies was really a turning point.

Julie Vermeille Beautiful Coincidences
When we first met you mentioned your love of fairy tales, which ones in particular have proven influential?
Little Red Riding Hood is definitely my favourite, but I’m interested in fairy tales from around the world, for example Inuit tales. And you’ll notice trees are always present, which is a recurring setting in many fairy tales. My fascination with fairy tales stems from the fact that on the outside they look cute, but behind them is something darker. This is what I am looking for when making my work.

Julie Vermeille Beautiful Coincidences
Are there any types of art or illustrators that have inspired you?
I wouldn’t say that I am influenced by him, but I really like Edward Gorey because I’m interested in the way that he subtly conveys a really dark humour through lovely drawings. Also Annie Berbault, a French illustrator who again subtly deals with adult themes behind childlike collages.

Julie Vermeille worry dolls
Worry dolls

How does your creative process work?
Usually I will start with a story, or a commission for an exhibition, then choose my colours and fabrics in advance. I used to sketch but I don’t tend to do that much anymore, instead I will turn some music on, write down some words as inspiration, and get started. The fabric/pattern and colour of the paper and fabric I use are inspirational, for their shapes and patterns. Later, I might edit down my pictures or reorder them. I like to leave space in my pictures, and some people tell me that it resembles Japanese art in that way. The space is really important and having room between the words means the drawings are open to interpretation, people can make up their own stories.

Julie Vermeille Hair from Passing
‘Hair’ from Passing On

When did you start exhibiting, and what do you enjoy about it?
It was when I was first at college and we did a group show, and then later at Craft Central. I also went to Hong Kong to exhibit early on in my career, a TV crew came and it was crazy! And I have had exhibitions in France and Scotland. I love exhibiting and I like creating something for and working in the space I have been invited to.

And what are some of the challenges in your work?
The paperwork. Maybe some people are good at the admin side of things, but it’s not for me, I want to be illustrating. Collaborating can also be a bit difficult if you differ with others in your tastes, but I am growing to like this a lot more.

Julie Vermeille Seashanties
Weaving from Seashanties

How would you describe your work?
I make children’s books for adults, but also books to go with music. I’m interested in animation and puppet-making, I like to see what you can do with things in 3D. I would like to do more scenery and characters in 3D, like little sets from my illustrations.

What is it like to be working as a young artist in East London?
It can be tricky if you aren’t making a living out of it, though the idea of what an illustrator can do is much more expansive now. I love living here, and I like the extreme difference of derelict buildings and newer ones, and the fact that you find quirky little places. Twelve years ago Brick Lane used to be really underground, it’s more uniform now but I still like it and feel like a part of a community.

Julie Vermeille Woodland Creatures
Woodland Creatures

Do you have any projects planned for the New Year?
I want to travel! To Japan, and also maybe a road trip through America. I will be working on a new collaboration with a writer, though that’s still a bit of a secret…

Visit for more of Julie’s work. Read our Made in Clerkenwell – Winter Open Studios 2011 review featuring Julie, along with other Craft Central artists and designers.

Categories ,Annie Berbault, ,Brick Lane, ,Craft Central, ,Edward Gorey, ,Little Red Riding Hood, ,London College of Communication, ,paris

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