Amelia’s Magazine | Plastic Seconds creates a wall for Supermarket Sarah

Plastic_Seconds_wall
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Maria Papadimitriou‘s work. Not only does she produce many wonderful collaged illustrations for Amelia’s Magazine but she also creates the most brilliant recycled jewellery under the Plastic Seconds moniker. It’s not only bold and clever but also fully sustainable, adiposity so I am really happy that people are starting to take notice. Right now she has a wall with Supermarket Sarah, ask where you can buy some beautiful bespoke pieces. I urge you to check it out.

Plastic Seconds Clownish HeadpiecePlastic Seconds Pearls and Bottlenecks Necklace

How did you decide what to make for Supermarket Sarah?
It is absolutely great that Supermarket Sarah often feature one-off items with a lot of personality, which one would perhaps wear to be different or keep as a special fashion object – a few of the gorgeous items they sell come from prop styling and photo shoots. So I wanted most of the Plastic Seconds items for the Supermarket Sarah website to be both unique and larger or more extreme in a fashion sense.

Plastic Seconds British Lids PendantPlastic Seconds Pen Lids Necklace

Can you describe what some of the Plastic Seconds pieces are made from and how you source the materials?
I use a lot of lids – from plastic bottles, glass jars, and other containers. I also love to use one-off finds like the cloakroom tags or the large jigsaw puzzle pieces and other bits from objects that we usually throw away, but their shape and colour is so lovely and fun, especially when used in an unexpected context – examples of this are the pen lids and the sushi soy sauce containers. I have slowly been collecting materials for a few years now from the recycling boxes of the flats I have been living in – and still do. At the moment one of my other main sources is my part-time job where they let me have a Plastic Seconds collection box in the kitchen and where colleagues bring me bags of their collected finds quite regularly – also it is a public space with a lot of visitors and I often do table rounds collecting bottle neck rings from abandoned bottles. Another source is my family in Greece who keep all sorts of bits they can’t recycle in my old desk drawers for me – and I do love sushi…

Plastic Seconds Sushi NecklacePlastic Seconds Plug Necklace

What piece was the most fun to make and why?
They were all quite fun, but as I said above I really enjoyed making the bigger pieces for Supermarket Sarah – like the headpieces – because I really admire people who have a strong sense of personal style or are playful with dressing up and secretly constantly hope people wore colourful big things on all occasions! Also I find it very satisfying that simple, geometric, striking pieces can be made from readily available forms. Other items that were really fun were the ones which were created by combining two different lids by snapping them into each other without using other means to keep them together – I can spend quite a lot of time trying different combinations to see which ones will fit perfectly! And finally pieces that are very satisfying to make are the ones like the big multicharm necklace made out of a thick found chain, discarded key rings collected over some time and ring pulls from soy milk cartons, because every single element – even the clasp –  is a found object and so they are very special.

Plastic Seconds Juggling Balls NecklacePlastic Seconds Make Up Brush Pendant

What next?
I would like to make some even bigger, more complex pieces and perhaps find a way to source materials in a more organised way and a way that might have a wider positive impact. In terms of little things coming up, next week I am taking part in the filming of a new pilot show called Green Screen that introduces environmental thinking in a different light at the National Film and Television School, I am hopefully opening within June my ASOS marketplace boutique in the ethical boutiques section – next to 123 and Goodone! – and in July 29-31st I will be in the Upcycled Market section, curated by the Eco Design Fair, which is part of the Vintage Weekend at the Southbank Centre!

Plastic Seconds Large Lids Headpiece

Maria caught me marvelling at one of her recycled lid pendants at my ACOFI Book Tour evening at Tatty Devine a few weeks ago and has kindly offered to make me a pendant out of my old lids, so I’m busy collecting the most exciting ones. Turning *rubbish* into desirable jewellery, it doesn’t get much better than this!

Categories ,123, ,ASOS, ,Eco Design Fair, ,Ecodesign Fair, ,goodone, ,jewellery, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,National Film and Television School, ,Plastic Seconds, ,recycled, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Southbank centre, ,Upcycled

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Amelia’s Magazine | LCF MA Fashion and the Environment graduate exhibition

mime-festival-ockhams-razor
Ockham’s Razor by Rosalie Hoskins

I’ll admit it. I’ve never been to much performance art or modern dance before. But let’s just say that my circumstances have somewhat changed of late and at the moment I am enjoying being introduced to new types of creativity.

So, prostate cheapest what’s with this Mime Festival stuff? Well, information pills if you thought that mime was all men in black pretending to grope a wall be ready to have your definition of mime challenged. It seems that mime nowadays is more a combination of contemporary dance and circus. It’s about story telling from an abstracted and expressionistic perspective. In a play you’ve got the constraints of character and storyline – well this modern form of mime is much more like creating a painting over time and space.

I went to my first mime festival performance with a completely open mind, but entirely unsure of what to expect. It’s good to be challenged! Staged in the sadly blighted ICA (threats of closure have been bandied about in the press) this was a truly bizarre tale from Russian troupe BlackSkyWhite – USSR Was Here. In what was to prove a staple the pre-show explanatory notes made absolutely no sense at all, so I just about managed to glean the idea that the ‘storyline’ was based on the brutal history of Russia.

mime-festival-blackskywhite
Blackskywhite by Rosalie Hoskins

The murky blackness of the stage was pierced by the coloured forms of two strange characters who occasionally merged and then separated, interacting in dysfunctional ways. The music and lighting (lighting, I was to learn, is THE key element in mime. God knows how these performers would survive without coloured gels) evoked the kind of freakshow mania I imagine you might have encountered in fairgrounds of yore, the type that could slowly induce madness, in me at least. I really couldn’t figure out how many people were performing, but thought that I counted at least three. Not until the end of the show did I discover that there were actually only two performers, so able to radically change their demeanour as to convince me of their multitude. Double headed? Wherein I presumed the dummy head was the one hanging sideways? Why yes. I was fooled. Clever puppetry such as a curiously adult head on a baby left me wondering where the full person was hidden. With the aid of cunning wide legged pants the two performers were able to mutate, wibbling into shortened gnome figures. Features so altered by elastic bands and hairnets completed my confusion. Despite this discombobulation I have to confess that half way through I was starting to think “When will this nightmare end?” It was not without some relief that an hour later the swirling red and green lights finally came to a halt. Clever for sure, but for a performance artist novice like me watching Blackskywhite was at times more of an arduous task to finish than an enjoyable experience. I think I may have started in at the deep end.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-2
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-3
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-4

Next up on my Mime Festival week smorgasbord was a trip to the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (get me), where it appears that there is an even split between people who dress up to the nines for their every operatastic outing, and those who slump along in their civvies. A background in circus was immediately obvious as the wonderfully named Ockham’s Razor performers sat perched deathly still atop giant bobbins as the audience filed in and dry ice swirled around. The centrepiece of this imaginative set was a vast wheel suspended centre stage and this excellent video put together by the troupe describes how the set informed the subsequent narrative of the performance. The five nimble performers scrambled with undue ease (and superb upper body strength) up ladders and along ropes in elegant procession, all the while making sure the wheel was turned. Until it all went intentionally wrong and the rapidly unwinding spools caused a dramatic panic. Yes, the premise of the ‘story’ was slim – the wheel of work goes round and round – but it was a great deal of fun to watch (one of the blokes was well fit which is always nice) and I grinned through the whole show. Plus I felt very pleased with myself for taking sneaky iphone pics which I then put together with my favourite panorama stitch application. Love that thing.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-1

Last up was possibly the most interesting piece of mime – a piece called Rankefod performed by a single lady, of indeterminate age, but certainly not in the first flush of youth. (I’ve since discovered that she is in fact over 50. Quite staggering considering what she is able to achieve physically.)

mime-festival-kitt-johnson
Kitt Johnson by Rosalie Hoskins

Kitt Johnson is apparently an ex athlete and her command of her body was quite enthralling: an hour spent in her company at the ICA went a lot faster than the first time around. Starting alone in the centre of the spartan stage for many moments she made use of just a few jutting back muscles and flicks of her legs to evoke the early stages of evolution, as interpreted through her body. At first I thought she was wearing just a pair of hotpants, but I then deduced that her plaited hair was actually conjoined with some cave woman-esque shorts. Despite her naked breasts there was nothing remotely sexual about her presence, which through sometimes barely perceptible movements gradually became more animalistic. Described as a “loner” on her website, Kitt Johnson was something of a revelation. I might yet be a convert to this performance art marlarkey.

mime-festival-ockhams-razor
Ockham’s Razor by Rosalie Hoskins

I’ll admit it. I’ve never been to much performance art or modern dance before. But let’s just say that my circumstances have somewhat changed of late and at the moment I am enjoying being introduced to new types of creativity.

So, order what’s with this Mime Festival stuff? Well, viagra 40mg if you thought that mime was all men in black pretending to grope a wall be ready to have your definition of mime challenged. It seems that mime nowadays is more a combination of contemporary dance and circus. It’s about story telling from an abstracted and expressionistic perspective. In a play you’ve got the constraints of character and storyline – well this modern form of mime is much more like creating a painting over time and space.

I went to my first mime festival performance with a completely open mind, store but entirely unsure of what to expect. It’s good to be challenged! Staged in the sadly blighted ICA (threats of closure have been bandied about in the press) this was a truly bizarre tale from Russian troupe BlackSkyWhite – USSR Was Here. In what was to prove a staple the pre-show explanatory notes made absolutely no sense at all, so I just about managed to glean the idea that the ‘storyline’ was based on the brutal history of Russia.

mime-festival-blackskywhite
Blackskywhite by Rosalie Hoskins

The murky blackness of the stage was pierced by the coloured forms of two strange characters who occasionally merged and then separated, interacting in dysfunctional ways. The music and lighting (lighting, I was to learn, is THE key element in mime. God knows how these performers would survive without coloured gels) evoked the kind of freakshow mania I imagine you might have encountered in fairgrounds of yore, the type that could slowly induce madness, in me at least. I really couldn’t figure out how many people were performing, but thought that I counted at least three. Not until the end of the show did I discover that there were actually only two performers, so able to radically change their demeanour as to convince me of their multitude. Double headed? Wherein I presumed the dummy head was the one hanging sideways? Why yes. I was fooled. Clever puppetry such as a curiously adult head on a baby left me wondering where the full person was hidden. With the aid of cunning wide legged pants the two performers were able to mutate, wibbling into shortened gnome figures. Features so altered by elastic bands and hairnets completed my confusion. Despite this discombobulation I have to confess that half way through I was starting to think “When will this nightmare end?” It was not without some relief that an hour later the swirling red and green lights finally came to a halt. Clever for sure, but for a performance artist novice like me watching Blackskywhite was at times more of an arduous task to finish than an enjoyable experience. I think I may have started in at the deep end.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-2
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-3
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-4

Next up on my Mime Festival week smorgasbord was a trip to the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (get me), where it appears that there is an even split between people who dress up to the nines for their every operatastic outing, and those who slump along in their civvies. A background in circus was immediately obvious as the wonderfully named Ockham’s Razor performers sat perched deathly still atop giant bobbins as the audience filed in and dry ice swirled around. The centrepiece of this imaginative set was a vast wheel suspended centre stage and this excellent video put together by the troupe describes how the set informed the subsequent narrative of the performance. The five nimble performers scrambled with undue ease (and superb upper body strength) up ladders and along ropes in elegant procession, all the while making sure the wheel was turned. Until it all went intentionally wrong and the rapidly unwinding spools caused a dramatic panic. Yes, the premise of the ‘story’ was slim – the wheel of work goes round and round – but it was a great deal of fun to watch (one of the blokes was well fit which is always nice) and I grinned through the whole show. Plus I felt very pleased with myself for taking sneaky iphone pics which I then put together with my favourite panorama stitch application. Love that thing.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-1

Last up was possibly the most interesting piece of mime – a piece called Rankefod performed by a single lady, of indeterminate age, but certainly not in the first flush of youth. (I’ve since discovered that she is in fact over 50. Quite staggering considering what she is able to achieve physically.)

mime-festival-kitt-johnson
Kitt Johnson by Rosalie Hoskins

Kitt Johnson is apparently an ex athlete and her command of her body was quite enthralling: an hour spent in her company at the ICA went a lot faster than the first time around. Starting alone in the centre of the spartan stage for many moments she made use of just a few jutting back muscles and flicks of her legs to evoke the early stages of evolution, as interpreted through her body. At first I thought she was wearing just a pair of hotpants, but I then deduced that her plaited hair was actually conjoined with some cave woman-esque shorts. Despite her naked breasts there was nothing remotely sexual about her presence, which through sometimes barely perceptible movements gradually became more animalistic. Described as a “loner” on her website, Kitt Johnson was something of a revelation. I might yet be a convert to this performance art marlarkey.

mime-festival-ockhams-razor
Ockham’s Razor by Rosalie Hoskins

I’ll admit it. I’ve never been to much performance art or modern dance before. But let’s just say that my circumstances have somewhat changed of late and at the moment I am enjoying being introduced to new types of creativity.

So, pills what’s with this Mime Festival stuff? Well, about it if you thought that mime was all men in black pretending to grope a wall be ready to have your definition of mime challenged. It seems that mime nowadays is more a combination of contemporary dance and circus. It’s about story telling from an abstracted and expressionistic perspective. In a play you’ve got the constraints of character and storyline – well this modern form of mime is much more like creating a painting over time and space.

I went to my first mime festival performance with a completely open mind, healing but entirely unsure of what to expect. It’s good to be challenged! Staged in the sadly blighted ICA (threats of closure have been bandied about in the press) this was a truly bizarre tale from Russian troupe BlackSkyWhite – USSR Was Here. In what was to prove a staple the pre-show explanatory notes made absolutely no sense at all, so I just about managed to glean the idea that the ‘storyline’ was based on the brutal history of Russia.

mime-festival-blackskywhite
Blackskywhite by Rosalie Hoskins

The murky blackness of the stage was pierced by the coloured forms of two strange characters who occasionally merged and then separated, interacting in dysfunctional ways. The music and lighting (lighting, I was to learn, is THE key element in mime. God knows how these performers would survive without coloured gels) evoked the kind of freakshow mania I imagine you might have encountered in fairgrounds of yore, the type that could slowly induce madness, in me at least. I really couldn’t figure out how many people were performing, but thought that I counted at least three. Not until the end of the show did I discover that there were actually only two performers, so able to radically change their demeanour as to convince me of their multitude. Double headed? Wherein I presumed the dummy head was the one hanging sideways? Why yes. I was fooled. Clever puppetry such as a curiously adult head on a baby left me wondering where the full person was hidden. With the aid of cunning wide legged pants the two performers were able to mutate, wibbling into shortened gnome figures. Features so altered by elastic bands and hairnets completed my confusion. Despite this discombobulation I have to confess that half way through I was starting to think “When will this nightmare end?” It was not without some relief that an hour later the swirling red and green lights finally came to a halt. Clever for sure, but for a performance artist novice like me watching Blackskywhite was at times more of an arduous task to finish than an enjoyable experience. I think I may have started in at the deep end.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-2
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-3
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-4

Next up on my Mime Festival week smorgasbord was a trip to the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (get me), where it appears that there is an even split between people who dress up to the nines for their every operatastic outing, and those who slump along in their civvies. A background in circus was immediately obvious as the wonderfully named Ockham’s Razor performers sat perched deathly still atop giant bobbins as the audience filed in and dry ice swirled around. The centrepiece of this imaginative set was a vast wheel suspended centre stage and this excellent video put together by the troupe describes how the set informed the subsequent narrative of the performance. The five nimble performers scrambled with undue ease (and superb upper body strength) up ladders and along ropes in elegant procession, all the while making sure the wheel was turned. Until it all went intentionally wrong and the rapidly unwinding spools caused a dramatic panic. Yes, the premise of the ‘story’ was slim – the wheel of work goes round and round – but it was a great deal of fun to watch (one of the blokes was well fit which is always nice) and I grinned through the whole show. Plus I felt very pleased with myself for taking sneaky iphone pics which I then put together with my favourite panorama stitch application. Love that thing.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-1

Last up was possibly the most interesting piece of mime – a piece called Rankefod performed by a single lady, of indeterminate age, but certainly not in the first flush of youth. (I’ve since discovered that she is in fact over 50. Quite staggering considering what she is able to achieve physically.)

mime-festival-kitt-johnson
Kitt Johnson by Rosalie Hoskins

Kitt Johnson is apparently an ex athlete and her command of her body was quite enthralling: an hour spent in her company at the ICA went a lot faster than the first time around. Starting alone in the centre of the spartan stage for many moments she made use of just a few jutting back muscles and flicks of her legs to evoke the early stages of evolution, as interpreted through her body. At first I thought she was wearing just a pair of hotpants, but I then deduced that her plaited hair was actually conjoined with some cave woman-esque shorts. Despite her naked breasts there was nothing remotely sexual about her presence, which through sometimes barely perceptible movements gradually became more animalistic. Described as a “loner” on her website, Kitt Johnson was something of a revelation. I might yet be a convert to this performance art marlarkey.

The inaugural round of graduates from London College of Fashion’s new MA course entitled Fashion and the Environment, sildenafil exhibited their findings this weekend within the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

P2012400Image courtesy of Rachael Oku depicting the work of Shibin Vasudevan.

The students have taken a variety of approaches to tackle their environmental concerns with the fashion industry, some more successful than others. I wasn’t totally convinced by the practicality and wearability of Shibin Vasudevan’s shirts made from the contents of a hoover bag, though they were very visually stimulating. I was really excited by a number of projects including Shibin’s as his idea was highly innovative.

handheadheartHandheadheart collection image, courtesy of Anna Maria Hesse.

Anna Maria Hesse utilised her background in knitwear and deep interest in sustainable fashion to produce a collection entitled ‘handheadheart’ that discourages consumerism. Her beautifully subtle, draped garments are made to be worn in a variety of ways – so a top is a dress is a skirt. Her thinking is thus: the more ways you can wear one garment, the less garments you need to buy, and they are timeless, the opposite of disposable fashion. Both the traceability and sourcing of the raw materials used are important to Hesse, who uses only pure alpaca wool farmed sustainably within the UK – resulting in luxuriously soft and hardwearing fibres. The resulting garments are beautiful and wearable, and most importantly have been created to last a lifetime.

handheadheart2Handheadheart collection image, courtesy of Anna Maria Hesse.

I was impressed with both the concept and design behind Julia Crew’s collection of man bags labelled i.did.nee.ken (taken from the Scottish colloquialism meaning ‘I didn’t know’). Taking a threefold approach to the design process, Julia has ensured each product fits the criteria of a) durable design b) responsible sourcing and c) sustainable lifestyle. Essentially the bags are made to last, they have a low environmental impact and they can be used as part of a sustainable lifestyle. Designed with the concerns and requirements of a cyclist in mind, the i.did.nee.ken accessories are urban, utilitarian, and feature beautiful soft leather combined with waxed canvas, with graphical touches such as the reflective material around zips – ticking every box a cyclist could ask for.

backpackBackpack courtesy of Julia Crew, photographer Sally Cole.

Another project that interested me was that of Energy Water Fashion. With an aim to create directional garments made from lovely fabrics such as Lamb’s wool and Merino, Energy Water Fashion creates garments that are naturally odour resistant therefore requiring less washing and general maintenance. The designer, Emma Rigby’s environmental concerns relate to the exorbitant figures regarding how much water we use in laundering our clothes (mentioned at length in Amelia’s magazines coverage of the LCF Centre for Sustainable Fashion’s Fashioning The Future Awards, where Emma Won the prestigious award in the Water category). Successfully designing a capsule wardrobe that offers real solutions in reducing our water consumption, there seems no end to Emma’s talents.

P2012385Emma Rigby presentation, photographed by Rachael Oku.

By staging exhibitions like this for the public, it’s good to know that Fashion colleges and indeed designers alike are addressing the need to develop more sustainable, less environmentally impacting methods. There are now a growing number of fashion labels devoted to seeking out cleaner, greener processes, which is great to see. I am continually impressed by two companies in particular whose truly sustainable approach and great designs mean consumers don’t have to choose between looking good and staying true to their environmental conscience and ethics.

Outdoor lifestyle brand Howies produce simple, functional pieces and pay attention to the little details. They use only the best in organic cotton, hemp and sustainable materials such as Merino and Lamb’s wool. The second brand is fair-trade fashion label People Tree, who offer a wide range of affordable fashion forward garments with a continual offering of designer collaborations including Richard Nicholl, Jessica Ogden and Bora Aksu to name but a few. This season, to appeal to a younger audience Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame has collaborated on a range, of which I have my eye on the organic cotton blue and white stripe Breton top (only £25!).

breton-stripe-topBreton stripe top by People Tree, image courtesy of PR shots.

So, until these talented, forward thinking MA graduates gain backing and start producing their collections for real, there are options – getting less limited by the day.

Categories ,Anna Maria Hesse, ,Bora Aksu, ,Emma Rigby, ,Emma Watson, ,Energy Water Fashion, ,Fashioning The Future Awards, ,Hannah Poole, ,Harry Potter, ,howies, ,i.did.nee.ken, ,Jessica Ogden, ,Julia Crew, ,LCF, ,LCF Centre for Sustainable Fashion, ,MA Fashion & the Environment, ,People Tree, ,Queen Elizabeth Hall, ,Richard Nicholl, ,Shibin Vasudevan, ,Southbank centre

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Chocolate Festival at the SouthBank Centre, April 2011

Chocolate Festival
The Chocolate Festival logo, remedy on a fairtrade bag, approved get in.

I do so love to discover something by accident. This evening I went to meet my boyfriend at the SouthBank Centre for some dinner after a long day grafting over a sewing machine at a quilting class at the Papered Parlour (blog to follow) and chanced upon The Chocolate Festival. Logo: a chocolate dipped strawberry. Times are tough my friend, especially when the weather is delightful and there are free tasters at hand.

Chocolate Festival-053
Oreo Cupcakes by My Sweet Tooth Factory

Naturally I had to do the rounds whilst I waited for the boyf to turn up, and I had to sample a taster… or two. With Easter just around the corner I thought it would be nice to do a round up in case you fancy splashing out on something rather more special than your common chain store egg… all of these artisanal chocolatiers make wonderful Easter gifts.

Chocolate Festival-Cocouture
Chocolate Festival Cocouture marshmallows.

First up I sampled a marshmallow with a difference for 50p courtesy of CoCouture (geddit?) Clever indeed.

Chocolate Festival
Dunno who these are by, but aren’t they cute? Potentially Lick the Spoon?

Chocolate Festival-Artisan du Chocolat
Artisan du Chocolat egg.

Then I was woo-ed by the amazing salted caramel and passion fruit chocolates over at Artisan du Chocolat. Some £13 for a box of 24, they were generously giving away samples… which were utterly divine.

Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Rococo Chocolates

I have been given a box of drinking chocolate from Rococo Chocolates in the past, but I had no idea just how far their beautiful packaging extends. A selection of unusually flavoured chocolate bars feature packaging inspired by the Moroccan tiles in a garden behind one of their shops. And for Easter they are doing real hen’s eggs filled with praline. Very special.

Chocolate Festival-Chocolution cocoa beans
Chocolution cocoa beans

Chocolution was busy proving that raw chocolate is every bit as desirable as the cooked stuff, with a bowl of stunningly beautiful (and edible, I tried one) cocoa beans, a terracotta orange colour with an interior a beautiful shade of deep purple.

Chocolate Festival-Chocolution raw chocolate
Chocolution raw chocolate

Prettiest chocolates came courtesy of Italian chocolatiers Baruzzo, who like many others use a fine cocoa transfer designs to top them off with colourful designs. In the end I opted to buy some chocolates for my brother’s 30th birthday from William Curley, even though I got immediately sugar high off the muscavado caramel that I tried. I liked the sound of their other flavours, so I’m sure he won’t be disappointed.

Chocolate Festival-Charmaine Mok
Charmaine Mok macaroons

I’ve written about Charmaine Mok before, when I sampled her outstanding sesame macaroons at Cakes for Japan, and here she was represented I got rather confused (see below) thinking that here she was represented by the Asian/French fusion Cafe On. In fact it was chef Loretta Liu and her team who were responsible for all sorts of intriguing flavours ranging from blueberry to pink champagne and everything in between. Do check them out online!

Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Cocoapod goodies

Kent based Cocoapod had an extremely colourful stall full of orange and lemon and caramel naturally flavoured chocolate lollies and drops and fun transfer bookmarks… which tasted as good as they looked.

Chocolate Festival-The Big Yum
Chocolate pretzels from The Big Yum

Last but very much not least I bought a big bag of chocolate pretzels from The Big Yum – I was disappointed when Nestle discontinued theirs, so this was a real find (and a bargain at £4 a big bag)

The Chocolate Festival continues tomorrow, and there’s a packed line up of speakers to listen to as well. What the hell are you waiting for?! There is this and so much more… More info for chocolate lovers here.

Categories ,Artisan du Chocolat, ,Baruzzo, ,Cafe On, ,Charmaine Mok, ,chocolate, ,Chocolution, ,Cocoapod, ,CoCouture, ,Easter, ,Lick the Spoon, ,Loretta Liu, ,Moroccan, ,My Sweet Tooth Factory, ,Papered Parlour, ,Raw Chocolate, ,Southbank centre, ,The Big Yum, ,The Chocolate Festival, ,William Curley

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Chocolate Festival at the SouthBank Centre, April 2011

Chocolate Festival
The Chocolate Festival logo, remedy on a fairtrade bag, approved get in.

I do so love to discover something by accident. This evening I went to meet my boyfriend at the SouthBank Centre for some dinner after a long day grafting over a sewing machine at a quilting class at the Papered Parlour (blog to follow) and chanced upon The Chocolate Festival. Logo: a chocolate dipped strawberry. Times are tough my friend, especially when the weather is delightful and there are free tasters at hand.

Chocolate Festival-053
Oreo Cupcakes by My Sweet Tooth Factory

Naturally I had to do the rounds whilst I waited for the boyf to turn up, and I had to sample a taster… or two. With Easter just around the corner I thought it would be nice to do a round up in case you fancy splashing out on something rather more special than your common chain store egg… all of these artisanal chocolatiers make wonderful Easter gifts.

Chocolate Festival-Cocouture
Chocolate Festival Cocouture marshmallows.

First up I sampled a marshmallow with a difference for 50p courtesy of CoCouture (geddit?) Clever indeed.

Chocolate Festival
Dunno who these are by, but aren’t they cute? Potentially Lick the Spoon?

Chocolate Festival-Artisan du Chocolat
Artisan du Chocolat egg.

Then I was woo-ed by the amazing salted caramel and passion fruit chocolates over at Artisan du Chocolat. Some £13 for a box of 24, they were generously giving away samples… which were utterly divine.

Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Rococo Chocolates

I have been given a box of drinking chocolate from Rococo Chocolates in the past, but I had no idea just how far their beautiful packaging extends. A selection of unusually flavoured chocolate bars feature packaging inspired by the Moroccan tiles in a garden behind one of their shops. And for Easter they are doing real hen’s eggs filled with praline. Very special.

Chocolate Festival-Chocolution cocoa beans
Chocolution cocoa beans

Chocolution was busy proving that raw chocolate is every bit as desirable as the cooked stuff, with a bowl of stunningly beautiful (and edible, I tried one) cocoa beans, a terracotta orange colour with an interior a beautiful shade of deep purple.

Chocolate Festival-Chocolution raw chocolate
Chocolution raw chocolate

Prettiest chocolates came courtesy of Italian chocolatiers Baruzzo, who like many others use a fine cocoa transfer designs to top them off with colourful designs. In the end I opted to buy some chocolates for my brother’s 30th birthday from William Curley, even though I got immediately sugar high off the muscavado caramel that I tried. I liked the sound of their other flavours, so I’m sure he won’t be disappointed.

Chocolate Festival-Charmaine Mok
Charmaine Mok macaroons

I’ve written about Charmaine Mok before, when I sampled her outstanding sesame macaroons at Cakes for Japan, and here she was represented I got rather confused (see below) thinking that here she was represented by the Asian/French fusion Cafe On. In fact it was chef Loretta Liu and her team who were responsible for all sorts of intriguing flavours ranging from blueberry to pink champagne and everything in between. Do check them out online!

Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Cocoapod goodies

Kent based Cocoapod had an extremely colourful stall full of orange and lemon and caramel naturally flavoured chocolate lollies and drops and fun transfer bookmarks… which tasted as good as they looked.

Chocolate Festival-The Big Yum
Chocolate pretzels from The Big Yum

Last but very much not least I bought a big bag of chocolate pretzels from The Big Yum – I was disappointed when Nestle discontinued theirs, so this was a real find (and a bargain at £4 a big bag)

The Chocolate Festival continues tomorrow, and there’s a packed line up of speakers to listen to as well. What the hell are you waiting for?! There is this and so much more… More info for chocolate lovers here.

Categories ,Artisan du Chocolat, ,Baruzzo, ,Cafe On, ,Charmaine Mok, ,chocolate, ,Chocolution, ,Cocoapod, ,CoCouture, ,Easter, ,Lick the Spoon, ,Loretta Liu, ,Moroccan, ,My Sweet Tooth Factory, ,Papered Parlour, ,Raw Chocolate, ,Southbank centre, ,The Big Yum, ,The Chocolate Festival, ,William Curley

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Craftivist Collective


Illustration By Ali Haines

As far as combinations go, pilule craft and activism is a particularly thrilling one for me; akin to jeggings (jeans and leggings) coatigans (coat and cardigan) and discovering that Nutella goes really well with dark Ryvita’s (try it). So it was with excitement that I stumbled across the Craftivist Collective. They are a group combining craft and activism and particularly seek to engage people who haven’t previously had much involvement or interest in politics and activism. I was intrigued and decided to attend a meeting. I set out with trepidation as previous experience dictates that political activism meetings can sometimes be awkward, malady occasionally frightening, probably attended by bonkers people or all of the above.

But my fears were quickly allayed. The group meets every third Thursday of the month in the Royal Festival hall cafe to plan events, projects and campaigns. Sarah, the founder of the group welcomed me warmly and I settled easily in to the group discussion, which was focussed on ideas to encourage people to vote in the elections. The group is large and varied; some members are there for the craft and others are there for the activism but the mix is easy and it’s sweetened by tea and cake from the cafe. The Craftivist Collective encourage everyone to get involved, regardless of political awareness or craft ability. So whether you are a sewing and politics aficionado, or you don’t know your ballot paper from your by-election or your scissors from your selvedge, everyone is welcome. You might find the craftivists at events like United Underground at the Southbank centre, manning a craft corner and encouraging young people to think about the impact of conflict around the world by making speech bubble badges with provocative slogans about conflict. Or you might see them setting up a public wish tree dedicated to the Sudanese people with messages written on biodegradable paper. (see photos here) Or, if you’re quick, you might catch them hanging cross stitched banners outside Topshop highlighting the inequality in the fashion industry supply chain.

They have also recently attended an Oxfam event where people were invited to decorate plant pots on the theme of ‘Beautiful Environment’, a little reminder to encourage the owner to look after the world and the growing things within it. Participants could then choose to take their plants home, give it to a friend or leave it somewhere for a passer by to take. The Craftivists have also just been involved in their first exhibition at Ink-d in Brighton.

Sarah doesn’t claim that Craftivism will change the world, or cause a major revolution in politics; the group remains refreshingly grounded. She told me her aim is to plant seeds in people and encourage them to form their own views on injustice. She told me she also wants to prove that anyone can get involved with activism and it doesn’t have to be stressful, violent or elitist. The group targets the non-typical activist and aims to create events that promote issues in a non-violent, non-threatening way.

I don’t know about you, but I am willing to roll up my sleeves and flex my less than perfect crochet and embroidery muscles to give it a go. If your interest is piqued, you can check them out for yourself this coming bank holiday Monday. Sketchbook, the fashion illustration magazine, is hosting a pop up shop near Carnaby street between March 31-April 18 2010. On the 8th April between 12-1pm the craftivists will also be running a workshop on the theme of ethical fashion. The workshop is focussed on the work of the War on Want campaign www.lovefashionhatesweatshops.org campaign. Join them if you like the idea of cross stitching and sewing mini protest banners, which may find a temporary home to put up around Oxford street. Some craftivist banner kits and postcards will also be sold in the shop too.

Categories ,activism, ,Ali Haines, ,crafts, ,Jeggings, ,knitting, ,oxfam, ,Royal Festival Hall, ,Sketchbook mag, ,Southbank centre, ,topshop

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Amelia’s Magazine | Cape Farewell – Creative Responses to Climate Change

DSC02965

Jared Schiller with David Byrne

All photographs and videos courtesy of Tate Shots except where otherwise stated.

Back in 2002 whilst still a skint student, cheapest I started what was then my idea of a dream job: ticket seller at Tate Modern and Tate Britain. I got to see great art and even meet the odd artist or two. I remember Gustav Metzger insisting he paid to see Barnett Newman, and Tony Oursler successfully blagging a freebie to the Turner Prize. Bridget Riley even gave us a personal tour of her exhibition. Fast forward five years and I’ve landed a job helping Tate Media launch a new video podcast: TateShots. These days I produce and commission the TateShots series, in which we interview artists about the business of making art, and talk to famous gallery-goers about their favourite art shows. The job has given me the opportunity to nervously meet heroes of mine like Jeff Koons, Laurence Weiner and Martin Creed, as well as artists I’m less familiar with but who become firm favourites.

We’ve made 150 episodes of TateShots so far, and it now comes out weekly. This week we launched a new strand called Sound & Vision. The series took the films’ director, Nicola Probert, and I, all over the country to interview musicians who make art. Billy Childish, Lydia Lunch, Mark E Smith, David Byrne, Jeffrey Lewis and Cosey Fanni Tutti all helped us with our enquiries about where art and music collide.

me-and-JeffJared Schiller with Jeff Koons

Billy’s interview was probably the most memorable. We filmed him in a cramped bedroom he uses as a studio in his mum’s house in Whitstable, surrounded by stacks of paintings. There was hardly enough room for him to paint, let alone for us to film.  Billy’s musical and artistic reputations arguably couldn’t be more different. As a musician he is cited by bands like The White Stripes as an influence – his dedication to lo-fi recording and performance make him the very definition of authentic.  On the other hand, as an outspoken critic of conceptual art, his standing in the art world is a little harder to pin down. Because of this big difference, Nicola had the idea to get Billy to interview himself.  So Artist Billy asked Musician Billy questions (e.g. “Do I have an influence on you?” Answer: “No.”), and explains how he went through a ten year stretch of only painting to the music of John Lee Hooker (almost). The whole experience made me think that it’s only a matter of time before Billy Childish is unmasked as the ultimate conceptual artist…

Going forward I would love to make more videos about pop stars with a taste for art. Before we embarked on this series we had already spoken to Alex James from Blur about Ellsworth Kelly, and John Squire from the Stone Roses about Cy Twombly. Apparently Jay-Z is a massive Richard Prince fan, so perhaps he should be next on my list.

meJared Schiller photograph courtesy of Simon Williams/O Production

What Jared likes:

Places: Moel-y-Gest, a hill near Porthmadog in North Wales

Food: Pizza. My dream is to build a pizza oven in my back garden. It will never happen but I keep hold of the dream..

Drink: An Islay Whisky is the perfect late night tipple.

Website: http://www.tate.org.uk (of course)

Music: Currently the new Four Tet album.

Books:  Currently reading ‘Then We Came to an End’ by Joshua Ferris. I mainly have a weakness for any kind of exhibition catalogue or artist’s monograph.

Film:  I’m looking forward to Chris Morris’s ‘Four Lions’.

Shop: Alter 109 is a really good men’s boutique in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

DSC02965

Back in 2002 whilst still a skint student, order I started what was then my idea of a dream job: ticket seller at Tate Modern and Tate Britain. I got to see great art and even meet the odd artist or two. I remember Gustav Metzger insisting he paid to see Barnett Newman, ed and Tony Oursler successfully blagging a freebie to the Turner Prize. Bridget Riley even gave us a personal tour of her exhibition. Fast forward five years and I’ve landed a job helping Tate Media launch a new video podcast: TateShots. These days I produce and commission the TateShots series, viagra sale in which we interview artists about the business of making art, and talk to famous gallery-goers about their favourite art shows. The job has given me the opportunity to nervously meet heroes of mine like Jeff Koons, Laurence Weiner and Martin Creed, as well as artists I’m less familiar with but who become firm favourites.

<object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/Z5_1m7MMXyE&hl=en_US&fs=1&”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/Z5_1m7MMXyE&hl=en_US&fs=1&” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>

We’ve made 150 episodes of TateShots so far, and it now comes out weekly. This week we launched a new strand called Sound & Vision. The series took the films’ director, Nicola Probert, and I, all over the country to interview musicians who make art. Billy Childish, Lydia Lunch, Mark E Smith, David Byrne, Jeffrey Lewis and Cosey Fanni Tutti all helped us with our enquiries about where art and music collide.

me-and-Jeff

Billy’s interview was probably the most memorable. We filmed him in a cramped bedroom he uses as a studio in his mum’s house in Whitstable, surrounded by stacks of paintings. There was hardly enough room for him to paint, let alone for us to film.  Billy’s musical and artistic reputations arguably couldn’t be more different. As a musician he is cited by bands like The White Stripes as an influence – his dedication to lo-fi recording and performance make him the very definition of authentic.  On the other hand, as an outspoken critic of conceptual art, his standing in the art world is a little harder to pin down. Because of this big difference, Nicola had the idea to get Billy to interview himself.  So Artist Billy asked Musician Billy questions (e.g. “Do I have an influence on you?” Answer: “No.”), and explains how he went through a ten year stretch of only painting to the music of John Lee Hooker (almost). The whole experience made me think that it’s only a matter of time before Billy Childish is unmasked as the ultimate conceptual artist…

<object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/4vF1X8-BTQo&hl=en_US&fs=1&”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/4vF1X8-BTQo&hl=en_US&fs=1&” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>

Going forward I would love to make more videos about pop stars with a taste for art. Before we embarked on this series we had already spoken to Alex James from Blur about Ellsworth Kelly, and John Squire from the Stone Roses about Cy Twombly. Apparently Jay-Z is a massive Richard Prince fan, so perhaps he should be next on my list.

me

What Jared likes:

Places:

Food: Pizza. My dream is to build a pizza oven in my back garden. It will never happen but I keep hold of the dream..

Drink: An Islay Whisky is the perfect late night tipple.

Website: http://www.tate.org.uk (of course)

Music: Currently the new Four Tet album.

Books:  Currently reading ‘Then We Came to an End’ by Joshua Ferris. I mainly have a weakness for any kind of exhibition catalogue or artist’s monograph.

Film:  I’m looking forward to Chris Morris’s ‘Four Lions’.

Shop: Alter 109 is a really good men’s boutique in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
SHIFT Encounters was put together by the organisation Cape Farewell. Founded by David Buckland in 2001, medicine Cape Farewell has sought to move beyond the scientific debate of climate change by involving artists in provoking and engaging the public. I like this approach; it seems to be a really important way to start thinking more positively about how we respond to climate change and look to the future. It is often so easy to be mired in the worrying statistics that we forget that the future is not set on a fixed, view predetermined path, buy information pills but is something that, with a little imagination, we can shape and plan. Artists can help us make this leap.Singapore high riseIllustrations by Diana Boyle of Rooftop Illustrations

Last week I went to see the talk on architecture, bringing together practicing architects, lecturers and a technical consultant. The panellists were well chosen, each bringing to the table their own perspective and expertise so the discussion was refreshingly lively and the kind of group-think around an issue where everyone is already in agreement and no progress is made was happily avoided.
old town barcelona

A wealth of arresting facts was presented. Any initial doubt about the importance of architecture when thinking about climate change was quickly dispelled with the striking estimate that over half of the energy used in the UK is through our buildings. Architects were keen to point to the importance of the users of buildings as well as the designs in achieving energy efficient architecture. Office workers have become accustomed to buildings using energy to maintain a constant temperature throughout the day (through heating and air conditioning) rather than regulating this themselves by putting on, or taking off, a jumper. So part of the change required is in people’s minds as well as the brick and mortar.
suburbia

Perhaps most interesting were the personal stories told. One architect recounted how after an environmental assessment of their offices, he was shocked to discover that 60% of the energy use was outside of working office hours. This was due to the amount of energy required to maintain the servers which were left on constantly. Such surprising results show, I think, the usefulness of such assessments in getting our response to energy use in proportion. For example, we take care in changing light bulbs to energy efficient ones when perhaps we might be better off worrying about the massive amounts of energy needed to heat unused rooms.

The most enjoying part of the talk, however, was the audience’s contribution to the discussion. Once the debate was opened up, the focus quickly moved away from a preoccupation with the office environment, towards much broader questions. These were both more difficult and more exciting to attempt to answer. How is it possible to achieve the cultural shift required to reduce energy use in our homes? Should this shift be regulated by the government or is the only way through localised self organisation?
omauru
Provocatively, one disarmingly simple question was posed to the architects. Why talk about all these high profile new ‘zero-carbon’ building developments when what we need to do is not build more, but make the housing stock that we already have more efficient? I think this question cut to the heart of the debate and helped to illuminate some of the forces in play in trying to create more sustainable architecture. Whilst less glamorous than iconic new developments, and certainly a more tricky investment proposition, increasing the efficiency of the buildings we have already would surely be the most effective way of reducing the total energy use of our architecture.

Categories ,Alan Gillingwater, ,architecture, ,Cape Farewell, ,Climate Change, ,Diana Boyle, ,Rooftop Illustrations, ,Shift Encounters, ,Southbank centre

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Amelia’s Magazine | Cape Farewell – Creative Responses to Climate Change

DSC02965

Jared Schiller with David Byrne

All photographs and videos courtesy of Tate Shots except where otherwise stated.

Back in 2002 whilst still a skint student, cheapest I started what was then my idea of a dream job: ticket seller at Tate Modern and Tate Britain. I got to see great art and even meet the odd artist or two. I remember Gustav Metzger insisting he paid to see Barnett Newman, and Tony Oursler successfully blagging a freebie to the Turner Prize. Bridget Riley even gave us a personal tour of her exhibition. Fast forward five years and I’ve landed a job helping Tate Media launch a new video podcast: TateShots. These days I produce and commission the TateShots series, in which we interview artists about the business of making art, and talk to famous gallery-goers about their favourite art shows. The job has given me the opportunity to nervously meet heroes of mine like Jeff Koons, Laurence Weiner and Martin Creed, as well as artists I’m less familiar with but who become firm favourites.

We’ve made 150 episodes of TateShots so far, and it now comes out weekly. This week we launched a new strand called Sound & Vision. The series took the films’ director, Nicola Probert, and I, all over the country to interview musicians who make art. Billy Childish, Lydia Lunch, Mark E Smith, David Byrne, Jeffrey Lewis and Cosey Fanni Tutti all helped us with our enquiries about where art and music collide.

me-and-JeffJared Schiller with Jeff Koons

Billy’s interview was probably the most memorable. We filmed him in a cramped bedroom he uses as a studio in his mum’s house in Whitstable, surrounded by stacks of paintings. There was hardly enough room for him to paint, let alone for us to film.  Billy’s musical and artistic reputations arguably couldn’t be more different. As a musician he is cited by bands like The White Stripes as an influence – his dedication to lo-fi recording and performance make him the very definition of authentic.  On the other hand, as an outspoken critic of conceptual art, his standing in the art world is a little harder to pin down. Because of this big difference, Nicola had the idea to get Billy to interview himself.  So Artist Billy asked Musician Billy questions (e.g. “Do I have an influence on you?” Answer: “No.”), and explains how he went through a ten year stretch of only painting to the music of John Lee Hooker (almost). The whole experience made me think that it’s only a matter of time before Billy Childish is unmasked as the ultimate conceptual artist…

Going forward I would love to make more videos about pop stars with a taste for art. Before we embarked on this series we had already spoken to Alex James from Blur about Ellsworth Kelly, and John Squire from the Stone Roses about Cy Twombly. Apparently Jay-Z is a massive Richard Prince fan, so perhaps he should be next on my list.

meJared Schiller photograph courtesy of Simon Williams/O Production

What Jared likes:

Places: Moel-y-Gest, a hill near Porthmadog in North Wales

Food: Pizza. My dream is to build a pizza oven in my back garden. It will never happen but I keep hold of the dream..

Drink: An Islay Whisky is the perfect late night tipple.

Website: http://www.tate.org.uk (of course)

Music: Currently the new Four Tet album.

Books:  Currently reading ‘Then We Came to an End’ by Joshua Ferris. I mainly have a weakness for any kind of exhibition catalogue or artist’s monograph.

Film:  I’m looking forward to Chris Morris’s ‘Four Lions’.

Shop: Alter 109 is a really good men’s boutique in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

DSC02965

Back in 2002 whilst still a skint student, order I started what was then my idea of a dream job: ticket seller at Tate Modern and Tate Britain. I got to see great art and even meet the odd artist or two. I remember Gustav Metzger insisting he paid to see Barnett Newman, ed and Tony Oursler successfully blagging a freebie to the Turner Prize. Bridget Riley even gave us a personal tour of her exhibition. Fast forward five years and I’ve landed a job helping Tate Media launch a new video podcast: TateShots. These days I produce and commission the TateShots series, viagra sale in which we interview artists about the business of making art, and talk to famous gallery-goers about their favourite art shows. The job has given me the opportunity to nervously meet heroes of mine like Jeff Koons, Laurence Weiner and Martin Creed, as well as artists I’m less familiar with but who become firm favourites.

<object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/Z5_1m7MMXyE&hl=en_US&fs=1&”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/Z5_1m7MMXyE&hl=en_US&fs=1&” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>

We’ve made 150 episodes of TateShots so far, and it now comes out weekly. This week we launched a new strand called Sound & Vision. The series took the films’ director, Nicola Probert, and I, all over the country to interview musicians who make art. Billy Childish, Lydia Lunch, Mark E Smith, David Byrne, Jeffrey Lewis and Cosey Fanni Tutti all helped us with our enquiries about where art and music collide.

me-and-Jeff

Billy’s interview was probably the most memorable. We filmed him in a cramped bedroom he uses as a studio in his mum’s house in Whitstable, surrounded by stacks of paintings. There was hardly enough room for him to paint, let alone for us to film.  Billy’s musical and artistic reputations arguably couldn’t be more different. As a musician he is cited by bands like The White Stripes as an influence – his dedication to lo-fi recording and performance make him the very definition of authentic.  On the other hand, as an outspoken critic of conceptual art, his standing in the art world is a little harder to pin down. Because of this big difference, Nicola had the idea to get Billy to interview himself.  So Artist Billy asked Musician Billy questions (e.g. “Do I have an influence on you?” Answer: “No.”), and explains how he went through a ten year stretch of only painting to the music of John Lee Hooker (almost). The whole experience made me think that it’s only a matter of time before Billy Childish is unmasked as the ultimate conceptual artist…

<object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/4vF1X8-BTQo&hl=en_US&fs=1&”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/4vF1X8-BTQo&hl=en_US&fs=1&” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>

Going forward I would love to make more videos about pop stars with a taste for art. Before we embarked on this series we had already spoken to Alex James from Blur about Ellsworth Kelly, and John Squire from the Stone Roses about Cy Twombly. Apparently Jay-Z is a massive Richard Prince fan, so perhaps he should be next on my list.

me

What Jared likes:

Places:

Food: Pizza. My dream is to build a pizza oven in my back garden. It will never happen but I keep hold of the dream..

Drink: An Islay Whisky is the perfect late night tipple.

Website: http://www.tate.org.uk (of course)

Music: Currently the new Four Tet album.

Books:  Currently reading ‘Then We Came to an End’ by Joshua Ferris. I mainly have a weakness for any kind of exhibition catalogue or artist’s monograph.

Film:  I’m looking forward to Chris Morris’s ‘Four Lions’.

Shop: Alter 109 is a really good men’s boutique in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
SHIFT Encounters was put together by the organisation Cape Farewell. Founded by David Buckland in 2001, medicine Cape Farewell has sought to move beyond the scientific debate of climate change by involving artists in provoking and engaging the public. I like this approach; it seems to be a really important way to start thinking more positively about how we respond to climate change and look to the future. It is often so easy to be mired in the worrying statistics that we forget that the future is not set on a fixed, view predetermined path, buy information pills but is something that, with a little imagination, we can shape and plan. Artists can help us make this leap.Singapore high riseIllustrations by Diana Boyle of Rooftop Illustrations

Last week I went to see the talk on architecture, bringing together practicing architects, lecturers and a technical consultant. The panellists were well chosen, each bringing to the table their own perspective and expertise so the discussion was refreshingly lively and the kind of group-think around an issue where everyone is already in agreement and no progress is made was happily avoided.
old town barcelona

A wealth of arresting facts was presented. Any initial doubt about the importance of architecture when thinking about climate change was quickly dispelled with the striking estimate that over half of the energy used in the UK is through our buildings. Architects were keen to point to the importance of the users of buildings as well as the designs in achieving energy efficient architecture. Office workers have become accustomed to buildings using energy to maintain a constant temperature throughout the day (through heating and air conditioning) rather than regulating this themselves by putting on, or taking off, a jumper. So part of the change required is in people’s minds as well as the brick and mortar.
suburbia

Perhaps most interesting were the personal stories told. One architect recounted how after an environmental assessment of their offices, he was shocked to discover that 60% of the energy use was outside of working office hours. This was due to the amount of energy required to maintain the servers which were left on constantly. Such surprising results show, I think, the usefulness of such assessments in getting our response to energy use in proportion. For example, we take care in changing light bulbs to energy efficient ones when perhaps we might be better off worrying about the massive amounts of energy needed to heat unused rooms.

The most enjoying part of the talk, however, was the audience’s contribution to the discussion. Once the debate was opened up, the focus quickly moved away from a preoccupation with the office environment, towards much broader questions. These were both more difficult and more exciting to attempt to answer. How is it possible to achieve the cultural shift required to reduce energy use in our homes? Should this shift be regulated by the government or is the only way through localised self organisation?
omauru
Provocatively, one disarmingly simple question was posed to the architects. Why talk about all these high profile new ‘zero-carbon’ building developments when what we need to do is not build more, but make the housing stock that we already have more efficient? I think this question cut to the heart of the debate and helped to illuminate some of the forces in play in trying to create more sustainable architecture. Whilst less glamorous than iconic new developments, and certainly a more tricky investment proposition, increasing the efficiency of the buildings we have already would surely be the most effective way of reducing the total energy use of our architecture.

Categories ,Alan Gillingwater, ,architecture, ,Cape Farewell, ,Climate Change, ,Diana Boyle, ,Rooftop Illustrations, ,Shift Encounters, ,Southbank centre

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Ctrl-Alt-Shift Chantelle Fiddy Interview

SouthBank15All photographs courtesy of Matthew Gonzalez Noda

Valerie Pezeron: Tell me about the event today?

Chantelle Fiddy: It’s a new style of club night. The idea is to bring together music, seek art and activism under on roof to show that they are all married and they can be used towards a good cause.

SouthBank12

VP: It’s the second year in a row, capsule isn’t it?

CF: It’s the second event we did. I think we did the first one in June or July and we used the roof as well last time, advice until it rained and then we had to go inside! It was absolutely mental! So it’s myself on behalf of Ctrl-Alt-Shift, Riz Ahmed, South Bank Centre and British Underground who did the event together. It’s a four-way collaboration.

SouthBank1

VP: Who was the initiator of United Underground 2?

CF: Riz came to myself, because Riz was a resident here and he wanted to do something about getting in the South Bank Centre the kind of music that you normally don’t get in here. And he knew I used to do a clubs’ column at The London Paper for three years and was really into Underground music so he came to me. Chris from British Underground is more into the kind of band and folk side, so Riz just kind of pulled it all together and it went from there.

SouthBank6

VP: Good you mentioned Riz! What is your connection with him?

CF: I met Riz at a talk. We were both talking at a theatre somewhere once. I was like “Oh, my god, Riz Ahmed”, ‘cause I have so much respect for him! And he was like “Oh, my god, Chantelle Fiddy!” I was like, “how the hell do you know who I am?!” And then we just started talking and we just got on really well, we clicked and that was that!

SouthBank2

VP: You describe Ctrl-Alt-Shift as an activist movement. What do you mean by that?

CF: We’re giving young people a platform to bring up issues and to make change. It’s kind of giving them the tools, giving them the confidence to feel they can stand up, say something, and then they’ll be counted for it. In the past we did a campaign around HIV travel bans, and we involve young people in all the processes: how do they feel about the issue, what would they like to see change, how should we demonstrate this to a wider audience/ public?

SouthBank9

VP: What is more important for you? Is it about the political message or promoting the arts in youth?

CF: For me, it is about awareness all around ‘cause I think the two go hand in hand. If we use more models in popular culture to try and make change in the political sphere, we have greater success. So I think it’s more about creating awareness firstly around the issues that we should be aware of around the world.

SouthBank4

VP: So art can change the world?

CF: I think so. Also I think it is about redefining the term activism. And understanding that if you come here tonight, that makes you an activist because you’re paying money to an event that will educate you about not just the music but about other issues. You can hear the speakers in one room, new music in the other room. So I just think it all blends into a big melting pot of change.

SouthBank14

VP: This event reminds me of stuff I did as a student. I was wondering whether you ever wrote for the student paper, or were in student politics or in a student association?

CF: No. I did a journalism degree and then I worked for the paper. And I think that is partly why I think they brought me in because sometimes, with charity and activism, you can feel like an outsider, if you don’t know loads about something. To be honest with you, I don’t have a massive grip on global issues. So the idea is that we all learn together. Because the way I see it, if I read an article and I don’t get what the issue is about, then how is a 19 year-old gonna get it? So the whole idea is as I am learning, you are learning with me. We are trying to make it feel like everyone could be a part of this and it does not matter if you don’t know about an issue, you ask some questions, we’ll give you some answers or you go and make up your own mind.

SouthBank11

VP: Ctrl-Alt-Shift’s operations are strictly UK based?

CF: It’s UK based, so we are a Christian Aid initiative. We started two years ago. They wanted to find a new way to talk to young people about charity. I was told we’re not gonna mention charity or Christian Aid! It’s a really interesting idea because you wouldn’t necessarily expect Christian Aid to start something like that up. So it’s been an interesting journey.

SouthBank8

VP: So what’s next for Ctrl-Alt-Shift?

CF: Now we’re planning all the activity for next year. So we’re looking at our next big cultural collusion, because in the past we’ve worked with Sadler’s Wells, and various people like that so now we’re looking at what to do next. We will be revealing those plans in the next couple of months as they are all being finalised. Starting work on the next magazine, which should be around conflict.

SouthBank10

VP: I read you are advocating bringing the silent majority to the fore. Who is that silent majority to you?

CF: It’s the average man on the street. Most of them go to that point where they don’t know much about the issue to be involved. So it’s about people who want to know or are little bit interested in what’s going on but not sure about how to get involved.

SouthBank3

VP: What’s been the pinnacle for you of Ctrl-Alt-Shift’s journey so far?

CF: For me, it was the rave we did for Haiti a couple of weeks ago. It was insane! You probably saw the line-up, everyone from Ms Dynamite to the cream of the Dub-Step scene, cream of the electro scene. We brought together every genre of music. We had three days to organise it, there was no time to rest, it was actually two hours sleep at night and it was done. And we opened the door at 9 pm and I looked out onto the road and “oh, my god!” Literally, the queue went around into Oxford Street, we were at capacity by 10 o’clock and we made about 10,000 pounds. The atmosphere in the rave and the way people were giving their money, it was just brilliant! I felt a massive sense of achievement, because I looked at that and I thought I have never seen these kind of people involved in a charity event and it showed that a scene can come together. Black music especially gets a raw deal but I think things like that show that it’s not what you see in the media. For me it’s a personal agenda to make people aware that black music is a very positive thing.

SouthBank13

VP: Give people the right platform and they’ll express themselves.

CF: Exactly, it’s not all about hoes, guns and bitches, you know and that’s what everyone thinks. It’s been something I have been working on for ten years, trying to get that across.

SouthBank7

VP: I feel the same, it infuriates me when people say black music, and they think hip-hop. But when they say hip-hop, they amalgamate all “black” music and brand it hip-hop!

CF: You know, at the Brits the way they were stereotyping black men with Jonathan Ross and the way he was dressed, I thought that was one thing. But what he said and the accent and then some of the sly jokes they made towards JZ. This stereotype and prejudice is still running throughout the music industry and the rest of the industry. But the music is doing the talking now, look what is selling in this country. Tinchy Stryder was the best selling UK male of last year. So I say a middle finger to the mainstream.

SouthBank5

Categories ,activism, ,art, ,British Underground, ,Chantelle Fiddy, ,Christian Aid, ,Ctrl-Alt-Shift, ,Culture, ,event review, ,events, ,film, ,Gig review, ,Hip-hop, ,Jay Z, ,Jonathan Ross, ,london, ,magazine, ,Mayor of London, ,music, ,musician, ,Purccell Room, ,Queen Elizabeth Hall, ,Riz Ahmed, ,Sadler’s Wells, ,Southbank centre, ,talks, ,The Brit Awards, ,The London Paper, ,Tinchy Stryder

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ctrl-Alt-Shift Chantelle Fiddy Interview

SouthBank15All photographs courtesy of Matthew Gonzalez Noda

Valerie Pezeron: Tell me about the event today?

Chantelle Fiddy: It’s a new style of club night. The idea is to bring together music, art and activism under on roof to show that they are all married and they can be used towards a good cause.

SouthBank12

VP: It’s the second year in a row, isn’t it?

CF: It’s the second event we did. I think we did the first one in June or July and we used the roof as well last time, until it rained and then we had to go inside! It was absolutely mental! So it’s myself on behalf of Ctrl-Alt-Shift, Riz Ahmed, South Bank Centre and British Underground who did the event together. It’s a four-way collaboration.

SouthBank1

VP: Who was the initiator of United Underground 2?

CF: Riz came to myself, because Riz was a resident here and he wanted to do something about getting in the South Bank Centre the kind of music that you normally don’t get in here. And he knew I used to do a clubs’ column at The London Paper for three years and was really into Underground music so he came to me. Chris from British Underground is more into the kind of band and folk side, so Riz just kind of pulled it all together and it went from there.

SouthBank6

VP: Good you mentioned Riz! What is your connection with him?

CF: I met Riz at a talk. We were both talking at a theatre somewhere once. I was like “Oh, my god, Riz Ahmed”, ‘cause I have so much respect for him! And he was like “Oh, my god, Chantelle Fiddy!” I was like, “how the hell do you know who I am?!” And then we just started talking and we just got on really well, we clicked and that was that!

SouthBank2

VP: You describe Ctrl-Alt-Shift as an activist movement. What do you mean by that?

CF: We’re giving young people a platform to bring up issues and to make change. It’s kind of giving them the tools, giving them the confidence to feel they can stand up, say something, and then they’ll be counted for it. In the past we did a campaign around HIV travel bans, and we involve young people in all the processes: how do they feel about the issue, what would they like to see change, how should we demonstrate this to a wider audience/ public?

SouthBank9

VP: What is more important for you? Is it about the political message or promoting the arts in youth?

CF: For me, it is about awareness all around ‘cause I think the two go hand in hand. If we use more models in popular culture to try and make change in the political sphere, we have greater success. So I think it’s more about creating awareness firstly around the issues that we should be aware of around the world.

SouthBank4

VP: So art can change the world?

CF: I think so. Also I think it is about redefining the term activism. And understanding that if you come here tonight, that makes you an activist because you’re paying money to an event that will educate you about not just the music but about other issues. You can hear the speakers in one room, new music in the other room. So I just think it all blends into a big melting pot of change.

SouthBank14

VP: This event reminds me of stuff I did as a student. I was wondering whether you ever wrote for the student paper, or were in student politics or in a student association?

CF: No. I did a journalism degree and then I worked for the paper. And I think that is partly why I think they brought me in because sometimes, with charity and activism, you can feel like an outsider, if you don’t know loads about something. To be honest with you, I don’t have a massive grip on global issues. So the idea is that we all learn together. Because the way I see it, if I read an article and I don’t get what the issue is about, then how is a 19 year-old gonna get it? So the whole idea is as I am learning, you are learning with me. We are trying to make it feel like everyone could be a part of this and it does not matter if you don’t know about an issue, you ask some questions, we’ll give you some answers or you go and make up your own mind.

SouthBank11

VP: Ctrl-Alt-Shift’s operations are strictly UK based?

CF: It’s UK based, so we are a Christian Aid initiative. We started two years ago. They wanted to find a new way to talk to young people about charity. I was told we’re not gonna mention charity or Christian Aid! It’s a really interesting idea because you wouldn’t necessarily expect Christian Aid to start something like that up. So it’s been an interesting journey.

SouthBank8

VP: So what’s next for Ctrl-Alt-Shift?

CF: Now we’re planning all the activity for next year. So we’re looking at our next big cultural collusion, because in the past we’ve worked with Sadler’s Wells, and various people like that so now we’re looking at what to do next. We will be revealing those plans in the next couple of months as they are all being finalised. Starting work on the next magazine, which should be around conflict.

SouthBank10

VP: I read you are advocating bringing the silent majority to the fore. Who is that silent majority to you?

CF: It’s the average man on the street. Most of them go to that point where they don’t know much about the issue to be involved. So it’s about people who want to know or are little bit interested in what’s going on but not sure about how to get involved.

SouthBank3

VP: What’s been the pinnacle for you of Ctrl-Alt-Shift’s journey so far?

CF: For me, it was the rave we did for Haiti a couple of weeks ago. It was insane! You probably saw the line-up, everyone from Ms Dynamite to the cream of the Dub-Step scene, cream of the electro scene. We brought together every genre of music. We had three days to organise it, there was no time to rest, it was actually two hours sleep at night and it was done. And we opened the door at 9 pm and I looked out onto the road and “oh, my god!” Literally, the queue went around into Oxford Street, we were at capacity by 10 o’clock and we made about 10,000 pounds. The atmosphere in the rave and the way people were giving their money, it was just brilliant! I felt a massive sense of achievement, because I looked at that and I thought I have never seen these kind of people involved in a charity event and it showed that a scene can come together. Black music especially gets a raw deal but I think things like that show that it’s not what you see in the media. For me it’s a personal agenda to make people aware that black music is a very positive thing.

SouthBank13

VP: Give people the right platform and they’ll express themselves.

CF: Exactly, it’s not all about hoes, guns and bitches, you know and that’s what everyone thinks. It’s been something I have been working on for ten years, trying to get that across.

SouthBank7

VP: I feel the same, it infuriates me when people say black music, and they think hip-hop. But when they say hip-hop, they amalgamate all “black” music and brand it hip-hop!

CF: You know, at the Brits the way they were stereotyping black men with Jonathan Ross and the way he was dressed, I thought that was one thing. But what he said and the accent and then some of the sly jokes they made towards JZ. This stereotype and prejudice is still running throughout the music industry and the rest of the industry. But the music is doing the talking now, look what is selling in this country. Tinchy Stryder was the best selling UK male of last year. So I say a middle finger to the mainstream.

SouthBank5

Categories ,activism, ,art, ,British Underground, ,Chantelle Fiddy, ,Christian Aid, ,Ctrl-Alt-Shift, ,Culture, ,event review, ,events, ,film, ,Gig review, ,Hip-hop, ,Jay Z, ,Jonathan Ross, ,london, ,magazine, ,Mayor of London, ,music, ,musician, ,Purccell Room, ,Queen Elizabeth Hall, ,Riz Ahmed, ,Sadler’s Wells, ,Southbank centre, ,talks, ,The Brit Awards, ,The London Paper, ,Tinchy Stryder

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Amelia’s Magazine | A preview of the National Trust Brutal Utopias Tour at the Southbank Centre

Brutal_Utopias_south_bank_centre_ventilation
It’s no great secret that I’m a big fan of Brutalist architecture, so I pulled out all the stops to join a preview of the Brutal Utopias tour hosted by the National Trust over the next few weeks (tickets sadly already sold out). The tour offers a unique chance to see areas of the Southbank Centre that are not usually open to the public before the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery close their doors for a major refurb. Baby Carys came along in my wrap and was admirably well behaved for a not quite two month old.

Brutal_Utopias_south_bank_centre_passage
We began our adventure with Joseph Watson (London creative director of the National Trust) in the bowels of the complex, tracing the routes of the service pipes in an underground passage between the buildings. I can see why they filmed episodes of Doctor Who down in these atmospheric innards.

Brutal_Utopias_south_bank_centre_ventilation_turbine
A trek up the stairs to the roof of the building revealed an astonishing and unexpected sight. I’ve never got quite so excited about ventilation before but these great machines have been operating continuously since the 1960s which is pretty amazing. The vast turbines suck air in from the sky and send it down to the concert halls, but because this is not exactly energy efficient they will be replaced in the two year refit. Thankfully some parts will be saved and left in situ. I’m not sure you can tell from this great fluttering bank of filters but there was quite the breeze in this antechamber where the air gets sucked in to be processed. It felt like entering a hurricane and gave Carys quite a jolt!

Brutal_Utopias_south_bank_centre_projectors
The original 1960s projection unit looming over the wood panelled Queen Elizabeth Hall includes these hulking beasts that will be restored for use once more: I was dwarved beside them.

Brutal_Utopias_south_bank_centre_hayward_Gallery
Finally, we admired the walls of the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery, which were lovingly cast in concrete from slabs of Arctic pine showing amazing attention to detail. It’s really great to see this under-loved architectural style finally getting the attention it deserves before all the best examples are ripped down, let’s hope a few more wonderful buildings can be saved before they befall the fate of the Tricorn Centre.

For more information on these tours visit the National Trust website here.

Categories ,1960s, ,60s, ,architecture, ,Brutal Utopias, ,Brutalism, ,Brutalist, ,Carys, ,Doctor Who, ,Hayward Gallery, ,Joseph Watson, ,National Trust, ,Queen Elizabeth Hall, ,South Bank Centre, ,Southbank centre, ,tour, ,Tricorn, ,Tricorn Centre

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