Amelia’s Magazine | Visual Music

This work may not be reproduced without the permission of Matteo Patocchi, viagra order try
All photography by Matteo Patocchi

When coming to chose a degree upon my emancipation from the grim steely hell that I refer to as ‘high school’ I had had intended to pursue Fine Art. But whilst browsing courses in the UCAS guide, pill I came across a course entitled ‘Live Art’ that struck my fancy, diagnosis due to it’s proclivity towards video art and installation, which I considered to be a very interesting and an undervalued aspect of art that was mostly overlooked in favour of more traditional art. Never one to turn away from the chance to do something weird and different, I launched into Live Art with all the necessary zest and fauna that such an establishment which heralds self mutilation as the curriculum can be given. It probably was an error in judgement. The course was a sham, filled up with luddites who had flunked getting into proper art courses and had been sectioned away onto this course for the financial gain of the university. Regardless of this, I enjoyed it, as it exposed me to the underbelly of the art world. Marina Abramovi?, Gina Pane, Vito Acconci – we studied them intently and they were my fast favourites. Although those names have been recognised and given a place in the ‘academy’ of modern art, most of the video artists, composers and performers that I dug up from the bowels of the library had been marginalised into nothingness.

Oskar Fischinger ‘Studie No. 7′

HST can sum up the majority of video art quite succinctly. ‘Too weird to live, too rare to die.’ They’re kicking about, in the crevices of galleries – quite literally in Acconci’s case, but in general, the media furore and deification is usually reserved for those artists who still can fit it with the status quo of the art community. Yet still, after graduation, moving image in art has always been close to my heart. There is something incredibly fresh and alternative about it, yet it’s never quite hit the same success, as it’s static predecessors. Which is precisely how ‘Visual Music’ at The Book Club came about. Alex Marshall has collected footage from avant-garde film-makers who have been pushed into anomie by not quite fitting the mould, then playing live original music to recontextualise the work. So I make the necessary steps to organise an interview with Alex Marshall at The Book Club, where Visual Music takes place. “Everything I say could well be bullshit.” He warns me prior to the interview. “Excellent. In that case, I’ll order a drink.” I reply, deciding that if one is going to be shrugging off the pompous ‘we are artistes’ shtick so early on, I may as well check my ‘I am ze journalist’ routine at the door and get drunk.

So maybe start off by telling me what you’re doing with Visual Music at The Book Club? I was asked to do something to do with film in a very arbitrary way. This freedom encouraged me to experiment with some ideas I’d been wrestling with for a while. I had become  very interested in the contiguity between text and image, but this phrase doesn’t mean very much to anyone, it didn’t mean very much to me at the time I came across it, but they mean a lot to me now.  Oskar Fischinger was the first person who sprung to mind when I began to conceptualise the night. I came across him by chance, as my flatmate had an old documentary about him. What I found fascinating about Fischinger was his background as a musician and how his work was an attempt to visualise what music is, what it feels like. And that fascinated me as it wasn’t a contrived analysis of musical form, or filmic form, it was more an attempt to show people what he felt about music, something that could be shared, but only through abstraction. And in order to show someone something, he wanted them to feel it, through this abstraction, rather than see it. I don’t think people see music, we don’t even see the words we say to each other, what we’re doing when we’re talking is exchanging visual references. This table is only a table because I tell you it’s a table.

Like Saussure? It’s not Saussure.

Lacan? It’s not Lacan! It’s not Wittgenstein either, it’s not labels; it’s that consciousness comes to us through a fictional fashioning. Our understanding of the world is created by the stories that we tell through our relationship to things. It’s a table because I’ve been told that this noise “table” signifies this thing that means all tables everywhere, their table-ness, which is a massive abstraction. The word abstraction is itself a massive abstraction from the meaning of abstraction.

Like Saussure. Fuck Saussure! I mean, this is all bullshit obviously…to anyone  with a real job, this is all bullshit, but it’s something we’re involved with all the time.

Did your paid work as a projectionist and cameraman influence your choices? Well, I’ve worked as a projectionist, and I’ve worked as a cameraman, I graduated in film, so I felt I was in a good position to try and understand why people come to the cinema. People tend to talk about films in term of their meanings and their symbols. It’s the age of psychoanalysis really, just reading into everything. But on a deeper level we’re constantly in the process of exchanging complete abstractions. I wouldn’t say we’re deluding each other, but we’re never truly questioning, or maybe we’re incapable of questioning, what it is that our consciousness is processing, what that process is. I chose Fischinger and I chose Norman McLaren for these reasons.

Neighbours by Norman McLaren

Tell me about Norman McLaren? He was a Scottish born Canadian art student with no money and no camera, all he had was film. So not only was he scribbling on the actual frame of a 35mm film, but he was also drawing the soundtrack. As a projectionist, this meant a lot to me; this physical touch that takes place. Which takes me back to contiguity, the physical inscription of the idea of language.

I take it that you have a real love of film. The 35mm type. I find its conservativism fascinating. From the moment we could, we’ve tried to ‘fix’ something and make it this permanent thing. However, all the substance of 35mm convinces you of, is that it isn’t a perfect material. The nature of it, is that it damages itself through it’s own reading. I find that really interesting.

Why did you chose Fischinger and Norman McLaren? I chose Fischinger because he was making music visual, and Norman McLaren for the second night because he saw Fischinger’s shorts in Glasgow. McLaren understood what Fischinger was doing and saw it as the perfect way to express visually how he felt about music. I think music is very important. It’s the one art form that can’t be explained away. People don’t know how to watch films in the way that we all listen to music. We all listen to music and don’t ask questions about it, we just accept its abstraction. A film should be viewed as a classical piece of music. How does it move you and why should be an afterthought. If you’re moved by something and you don’t understand it, that’s fine.

When doing these nights is there a particular theme that you want to convey to the audience, or is it very much inviting them into a creative process and allowing them to take from it what they will? Certainly both. I certainly have my viewpoint when I put something in front of someone. The next night is going to be very different and I hope people remain open. The Fischinger shorts were totally abstract and the music is abstract and I feel that it shouldn’t be a difficult thing to tap into. That’s my main drive, that you should be able to sit and experience these things. By watching it you should be asking questions to do with consciousness, and if you’re not then you should. That’s the only dogmatic point of view that I have, if you’re not questioning yourself as an audience you’re susceptible to real dangers.

Elaborate on real dangers. In the world of 24-hour news and the excess of information; you’re going to absorb it. Not necessarily as fact, people can differentiate between propaganda and fact. I mean, I’m fine with propaganda, I find it very honest – but to think of propaganda as negative spiel is very naïve. Anything anyone ever says to you is propaganda, as they’re reflecting their viewpoint onto you. It can be honest and true, but it’s still propaganda. The more we can expose it, the better. I think art should be asking questions to question people’s mode of questioning. Art should be the most powerful mirror in the world.

So you don’t try and create a singular message with any particular night? No. I try to keep it loose, so people can make from it what they will. And most of the audience isn’t even aware of these films and their creators. There’s a film maker that I would love to work with called Peter Watkins, I’d love to get him down but then it would be a Q and A type of thing and I’d fucking hate it, but I did three years of film studies and then years as a cameraman and I’d never heard of Peter Watkins, and I find that terrifying. I’m going to do a show with some of his work at some point. He’s the most marginalized filmmaker I’ve ever come across and his films are extraordinary. The point I’m trying to make is that with this night I wanted to expose filmmakers who had been marginalized by the popular media. Oskar Fischinger, for example. Everyone knows Fantasia. It wouldn’t have been made without him and Disney stole his ideas and shunned him. The work outside of that was vastly superior to anything that Disney ever made; although there are some great Disney movies.

What’s your favorite Disney movie? Fantasia by Oskar Fischinger.

I know you’re a creator yourself, as a filmmaker and photographer. Are you going to showcase your own work in the future? I have thought about that a lot, I did the first night and when I did the second night I talked to people who wanted me to showcase more of my work. It’s something in my mind but I’m quite self-effacing and it would also have to be the right piece of work. If I did it, it would be a surprise. I’m awful at promotion. I find the idea of showing my own work uncomfortable. It would no longer be subjective.

How did you find the musicians to work with you on this? For the first one it was totally by chance. I knew a guy called Jacob who was a friend of mine and plays in a band called Victoria and Jacob and they’re wonderful. So I asked him to contribute a live score. I can’t give a job over to someone if I don’t trust in what they’re doing. With Jacob, it was so easy and obvious. And we have very different viewpoints, which is great. I’m a pretentious academic, and he’s not. We got together to discuss it over a few beers, and I left it to him. I didn’t even know what he would play until the night. There was a two-minute rehearsal before the event, but I left to have a cigarette. So the first time I heard it was with everyone else.

(At this point, to conclude the interview I decide to switch tack probably based upon my blood alcohol levels.)

What is your favourite word? Skopos or Contiguity, I suppose. I don’t really have favourites. But I do like words.

What is your least favourite word? “Like, random”

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Contact

What turns you off? Self-importance.

What is your favourite curse word? Fuck

What sound or noise do you love? The HBO tag these days – excellence generally follows.

What sound or noise do you hate? The buzzer to my front door, especially when unexpected.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Er, what’s my profession?

What profession would you not like to do? Insurance salesman, because I’d have to kill myself in a painful and humiliating way.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Told you so.

And there you have it. Check out The Book Club’s website for details of the next ‘Visual Music’ night.

Categories ,alex marshall, ,amica lane, ,animation, ,art bollocks, ,Disney, ,East London, ,fantasia, ,gina pane, ,Hunter S. Thompson, ,installation, ,marina abramovic, ,oskar fischinger, ,peter watkins, ,The Book Club, ,victoria and jacob, ,Video Art, ,visual music

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Amelia’s Magazine | Rachel Maclean Interview: Going Bananas

All images courtesy of Rachel Maclean

Creating an alternative reality, illness part fantasy, decease part commercial playground, Glasgow based artist Rachel Maclean produces work dealing with the notions of culture, gender and celebrity. Working largely in digital composite video, the Edinburgh College of Art graduate’s short films feature an array of grotesque, highly made-up and ridiculously camp characters which truly have to be seen to be believed. Currently exhibiting in The Market Gallery, Glasgow, Rachel gives us an insight into her weird and wonderful world…

Tell us about ‘Going Bananas!’:

‘Going Bananas!’ is an exhibition of the work I made during my residency at ‘The Market Gallery’, Glasgow this January. Thematically the work explores what I believe to be the intriguing and complex identity of the banana, and physically comprises of a 7-minute digitally composited video projection and a painting to the same scale as the window, which faces onto the street. The figures in this painting have holes cut where their heads would be, allowing visitors to place their faces through, creating the illusion that they occupy the same pictorial space, like the traditional seaside amusement.

Why are you so fascinated by bananas?
The banana is attractive because it seems to exist at the intersection of banality and fantasy. It reclines on supermarket shelves and in household fruit bowls with a gesture of cheap availability. However, unpeel it’s familiar clothing and it reveals a repressed character. The banana signifies a hunger for something beyond disenchanted civility, exposing a lust for the exotic, the ‘Other’, the ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’, promising perpetual feasting and erotic fulfilment. However we slip up on it’s skin and burst out laughing. It’s fantasy becomes mockery, a dancing monkey, a comic disappointment, unfamiliar with the polite world and representative of a dangerously under evolved, primitive existence, ungoverned by the regulations of the civilised world.

What attracted you to start working with film?

Since I was wee I have been messing around with the family camcorder, and have boxes of tapes that document everything from the eventful to the entirely banal. In retrospect I can see that I was particularly attracted to the illusionary possibilities of stop animation, and injecting a sense of the paranormal into the everyday. Additionally, by allowing me to capture pretend play and masquerade on film, it seemed the camcorder helped to visualize a fantasy space or alternative world that is otherwise internalized or simply in the minds eye. To an extent I have never lost this sense of excitement and playfulness in relation to video, and strangely my work still retains a lot of the same interests and subject matter that it did when I was 11 or 12.

Are the characters in your films based on anyone?

I intend for all of my characters to be a complex, almost schizophrenic mixture of references to different people. For example, the central female figure in my video ‘Tae Think Again’ is at once Mary Queen of Scots and Carrie from ‘Sex and the City’, slipping between a number of other references at the same time. I am attracted to the notion of celebrity, and inspired by the Britney Spears head shaving because it seems to represent a moment at which unified, constructed identity throws it’s self up and tips into it’s opposite. The instant of self-consumption, when the signature white smile of the teen pop sensation begins to hungrily gnaw at it’s own image.

What inspires you?

My work is inspired by a number of things at one, and often hinges on a bizarre combination of two apparently conflicting influences, for example Susan Boyle and Heavy Metal in my video ‘I Dreamed A Dream.’ Where I live at the time I make work is also very influential, as I believe different cultures have different fantasies related to place. For example, I stayed in America for 6 months and became much more concerned by an idealised notion of Scotland, as a land of castles, lochs, monsters and kilts. Whereas I found growing up in Scotland, you are very divorced from this fantasy, and instead the imagination is much more directed to the US, and the glamour and intrigue it conveys to the outsider.

What are you currently working on and where can we see you next?
I am currently working on a show organised as part of the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s ‘Dialogues’ programme, where I am collaborating with Manchester based sculptor Karen Lyons on a show called ‘Hatchings’. Additionally, I am showing work in the Royal Scottish Academy ‘New Contemporaries’ show, opening on the 3rd of April and hopefully will be working on a music video or two as well.

Categories ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,britney spears, ,calum ross, ,hoggle, ,identity, ,karen lyons, ,music video, ,pop culture, ,rachel maclean, ,scotland, ,scottish art, ,Susan Boyle, ,Video Art

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Amelia’s Magazine | Harun Farocki at Raven Row: Against What? Against Whom?

Copenhagen Climate Summit: Lord Monckton rap battles Al Gore

“It’s freedom they’re plundering, viagra sale website and you’re the scare-monger king!” cries global warming sceptic Lord Monckton to former American Vice President Al Gore, store during their furious rap battle over climate change. Hold on… Lord Monckton and Al Gore in a rap battle?! It happened! Sort of. In this ingenious video by The Juice Media you can see how it might play out if Monckton and Gore were to get down wit da kids and engage in a juvenile debate over the issues of climate change and the Copenhagen summit. This video in particular is part of a series called Rap News – with Robert Foster, order which was born in October this year, other titles in the series include ‘Nasa bombs the moon’ and ‘Obama receives Nobel War is Peace prize’. Rap News was spawned from the artistic and philosophical minds of Giordano and Hugo, who reside in Melborne Australia, where they met after moving from the UK and Italy. Together they write and produce the show; Hugo, an MC/spoken-word performer/poet and actor creates the rhymes and impersonates the various public figures featured in the shows. Giordano, a writer, historian, academic, music composer and founder of Juice Media directs using themes and narratives based on his deep-seated interests and ideas about history, the media, the environment, social justice, indigenous peoples and politics.

They’re an intriguing pair, over 1000 are subscribed to their You Tube channel, and amongst the comments on their page is “What a talent mate” and “You make me proud to be Australian”. With the Copenhagen summit underway I have a few questions for the madcap duo, who going by our email correspondence are not only talented but super friendly.


So, why rap?

Chuck D once said that Rap was the CNN of the ghetto. We figure, why CNN? Why not a quality news channel like

How did you 2 first come to work together? What is your relationship like?

We met over common interests in politics, nature and medieval Italian poetry. Our relationship is great. We sit around in the garden and have brainstorming sessions over homegrown salads.

Your raps are driven by politics, environmental and social issues. Tell me more about your views and motivations?

Our view is that the mainstream media is manifestly almost completely failing in its duty to inform the populace of world events in a measured and contextualised manner, and our motivation is therefore to rectify that in a small way, helping people join the dots between the quotidian occurences, and the broader picture. We are putting into practice that wise adage, ‘become the media’, for, as Jello Biafra famously stated, ‘we demand fair and more accurate balanced news coverage – and if we don’t get it… we’ll make it ourselves!’


Hugo, you impersonate various public figures in the video, who is your favourite person to be and why?

So far the only real public figures i’ve impersonated have been Lord Monckton and Al Gore. Out of those two, Lord Monckton came the most naturally – i finally got to use those skills from ‘Latin For Pseudo-Scientists 101′. Of all public figures to impersonate, my favourite has to be David Bowie when he does the Goblin King in Labyrinth: “Go back to your room… play with your toys!” and so on.

What are your hopes for COP15?

That it will be a turning point. Wherever we’re headed, the future’s not looking too good right now. This seems like a good opportunity to take a break from the reckless ride we’ve been on for the past few centuries and reassess our situation; a chance to consider that we may not have thought all this through that well from the outset: Civilization? – what self-respecting civilization would totally trash it’s own home? And climate is just one of the massive challenges we now face; yet it’s the surest sign that ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ and what better place to rectify this than in Copenhagen?!


So, we hope it doesn’t become another Kyoto – with the little time we have left we simply don’t have that option. We hope it won’t legitimise false solutions and myths such as ‘clean coal’ or emission-trading schemes – these just encourage a business-as-usual mentality, and if it hadn’t taken as many as 15 COP’s since the ’92 Earth Summit in Rio, then perhaps these wouldn’t be a case of too little too late. We hope the media does its job and keeps its eye on the ball and doesn’t degenerate into coverage of smashed windows and protester arrests.

But above all we hope that COP15 won’t all come down to money and be limited to market-based solutions – we need a real supra-economic movement to spring from Copenhagen which will carry us through this. It can’t just be about hatching new technologies but also about regaining old knoweldge. We are going to have to finally remember that our economy and society has to adapt to the planet, to the law of the land, and not the other way around. This is the simple fundamental lesson which we are going to have to (re)learn. Whether we do so the easy or the hard way, is what will be decided in these coming days in Copenhagen.


What are Juice Media’s future plans? What’s next?

Although this project has existed for several years in our imaginations, we’re really only just setting out on this journey and, well, we’re still figuring out what to pack in the suitcases.

TheJuiceMedia itself is a broader prtoject which seeks to facilitate access to the voices of Indigenous people – particularly from Aboriginal Australia, since that’s where we are. So we’ll carry on working on doing what we’re doing and look to keep the information flowing. As far as Rap News episodes, we are looking forward to covering many more topics, as they come up. First on the cards is a website where we can set up our little campfire in the world-wide-web, light up some hyperlinks and start foraging for new stories.

We’re quite clear about what won’t come next: we’re not hoping to get on TV! The way it is, we encourage people to turn off their sponsor-saturated, Murdoch/Berlusconi-owned mega-networks and tune in to alternative, independent media sources. The internet seems to be the only medium left to us to retain some form of global participation in the production of meaning in today’s society and we intend to dedicate all of our creativity to making the most of it – while we still have it. The more people use this vital medium, the less the likelihood of it being hijacked, like what’s happened to TV. That would truly leave us in the dark(ages), once again.


Check out all Juice Media’s Videos here
Farocki4Workers Leaving Factory © Harun Farocki

Harun Farocki is a strange sort of a person. Although he has been making films since 1967, order he is a fairly new addition to the artisan world of video. Developing film as a creative medium since the mid 1990’s, look his Against What? Against Whom? exhibition at the Raven Row gallery in East London feels very much retrospective. It is as if he is inadvertently peering back across his filmic history and showing his audience what he found out.

I sauntered in on a Friday afternoon and was surprised to find the exhibition space bustling with spectators. People from distant walks of life mosied from room to room, giving the labyrinth like gallery an almost homely feel. Picking up a leaflet and heading straight into the first room to see Eye/Machine III, I was somewhat at ease. Unfortunately, the first installation was not an entertaining piece. Two simultaneous projections of computerised views of bombs and aircrafts – and at twenty four minutes long, left me concerned that I had eight more to watch.

Farocki2© Harun Farocki

Fortunately, this was not the case. As the reels of the following pieces unravelled, the exhibition became more evocative and enthralling. The second piece documenting the archaic bricklaying techniques of the third world juxtaposed with more modern methods was a bridge into Farocki’s extensive knowledge of how film works. And indeed how to display film in an artistic approach.

Workers Leaving Factory © Harun Farocki

The two most outstanding works of the exhibition would have the most elite cinephile astounded. The first; Workers Leaving the Factory in Eleven Decades took on the Lumière Brothers original film, extending their original premise through the past century to show the anamorphism of the working class. Intersecting works across eleven screens, Farocki includes sights from film greats such as Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times and, most recently, Lars Von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark. Including headphones for sensory immersion, each headset contained a different score. I was blessed with some jovial and jaunty music (I’m assuming from the Chaplin piece but couldn’t be certain). The whole experience of the piece was like a historical document; not only of workers leaving a factory, but also of how filmmakers over time have captured this banal event to create something extraordinary.

inextinguishable Fire © Harun Farocki

The second, Feasting or Flying, made in collaboration with Antje Ehmann, follows the tragic hero in Hollywood. The six screen set is haunting and heart wrenching. Concentrating on male protagonist suicide, it is extremely fluid, spilling from screen to screen along with an overture of highly resonant and mournful scores. The whole experience signifies and remembers tragedy, with saturnine morose. Along with clips, posters and screens of red black inserts determine film, director and how the hero ended his life. Leaving the viewer subdued but deeply attentive, the piece is arresting and thought provoking, and worth the trip in itself.

Farocki1© Harun Farocki

Farocki once said ‘I always use more than one image, I compare the images, to see what they have in common, it is not a linear image. It’s a form of ‘soft montage,’ taking one image ‘a,’ finding it’s not quite right, and replacing it with ‘b’’. The exhibition at Raven Row is an epitome of Farocki’s way of thinking. Multiple screens; a continual flow of disorientating images, occasionally bombarding, but predominately enthralling. Farocki twists and manipulates images to create a visually provoking and perplexing set of works.

Farocki3© Harun Farocki

The exhibition runs from 19 November 2009 to 7 February 2010 at Raven Row, Raven Row, 56 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LS. T +44 (0)20 7377 4300, Open Wednesday to Sunday 11am–6pm.

Categories ,art, ,contemporary art, ,director, ,ehibition review, ,film, ,Harun Farocki, ,installation, ,london, ,projection, ,Raven Row gallery, ,review, ,Spittafileds, ,video, ,Video Art, ,video installation

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Amelia’s Magazine | Art Listings: 13th July – 19th July

Undercover: Lingerie Exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum



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


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


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


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

12 June – 27 September 2009

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


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

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

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

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



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

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


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

Dear Readers, symptoms

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



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


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


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


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



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


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


Yours ever so faithfully,

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


All images by R Beau Lotto, courtesy of Lotto Labs

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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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

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


Desde Escenario Verde by Oscar L. Tejeda


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




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


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

Fibers En Zonas De Acampada by Pau Bellido

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

7 Ledbury Mews North
London W11 2AF

10th July – 31st July

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



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



The Old Sweet Shop
11 Brookwood Road
London SW18 5BL

10th July 2009 – 25th July

Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm
or by appointment

Image: Doggy Robot (Detail) by Ellie Alexandri

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

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


Antony Gormley: One & Other

Fourth Plinth
Trafalgar Square

6th July – 14th October


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

Find out more about Tina here.


The Museum of Souvenirs – The Surrealist Photography of Marcel Mariën

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

Until 25th July

Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 6pm


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


The Importance of Beauty – The Art of Ina Rosing

GV Art
49 Chiltern Street
London W1U 6LY

Until 25th July

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


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


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

Sartorial Contemporary Art
26 Argyle Square
London WC1H 8AP

8th July – 30th July

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


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

Monday 6th July
Why? The Garage, buy London

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


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

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


Wednesday 8th July
White Denim, Heaven, London

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


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

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


The Weekend
Loop Festival, Brighton.

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


Monday 6 July

Whose landscape is it anyway?

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

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

Illustration by Joanna Cheung

Tuesday 7th July

Garbage Warrior Film Screening

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

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

An Alternative Energy Evening?·

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

Free to attend. Admission is by guest list only.
??Email to reserve your place.
+44 (0)20 7424 6863?

Royal Geographical Society
1 Kensington Gore
London SW7 2AR

Wednesday 8th July

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

Dr Keith Allott leads the discussion.

4-6pm, House of Commons, Westminster SW1

Thursday 9th July

Conflicting Environmental Goods and the Future of the Countryside

Caroline Lucas MEP talking on possible futures.

Contact –
5-7pm, The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, EC1

Illustration by Faye Katirai

A Climate Mission for Europe: Leadership & Opportunity

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

Royal Academy of Engineering,
3 Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y

Illustration by Michaela

Wise Women Speaker Event: John D Liu

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


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

Friday 10th July

The End of the Line


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

7pm, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2.
Contact –

Saturday 11th July

The Artic And Us

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

£7, 3.30pm, South Bank Centre

Illustration by Lea Jaffey

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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



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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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



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

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



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

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


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

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


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


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

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

Illustrations by Adam Bletchley

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

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


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

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

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


Here are the practicalities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or ring 01524 383012 – though it might take a while to get back to you.

Central St Martin’s graduate Phil Hall draws in the same way that some of us dream; streams of consciousness, information pills themes interspersed with sudden hints and whispers of unrelated recollections. Some of his work contains snippets of dialogue, viagra often witty and astute but again with an undertone of the surreal and reminiscent of muddled hallucinogenic dream talk (yes, sick that is a technical term).


His commissions to date include the magazines La Bouche, Crafty and Torpedo, as well as for the G2 Guardian supplement and animation company Kanoti. Animals, both actual and fictitious, are nestled between cityscapes and underwater worlds, while everyday objects are comically personified and everyday scenes playfully reinterpreted.


Figures and portraiture are also common threads throughout Hall’s work, which he has an incredible skill for undertaking. Subtle use of lines and marks, but nonetheless full of expression, the characters are often solemn and appear loss in thought. I wondered whether this was a reflection of Hall’s own state of mind and so challenged him to a quick fire round of questions. Turns out he’s actually a pretty sharp guy.


So, Phil, what makes you so awesome?

I don’t know about that, but I think people who want to create, try new things, provoke through art are pretty awesome.

Which artists or illustrators do you most admire?

Anybody who is trying new and interesting things, especially people who take risks.


Who or what is your nemesis?

That darn negative voice in my head

Which band past or present would provide the soundtrack to your life?

New Radiohead stuff, i know, i know…

I say Modern Art is Rubbish, you say…?

Some of it

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

climbing the walls


What would your pub quiz specialist subject be?

90′s video games, yes, I’m slightly embarrassed by this but as an 80′s child in was such escapism.

What advice would you give up and coming artists?

Believe in your own ideas, but always question them.


What piece of modern technology can you not live without?

The Internet and hoverboard

What is your guilty pleasure?

Crap TV

Tell us something about Phil Hall that we didn’t know already.

I’m a triplet, I have two sisters, ones a florist the other a teaching assistant.


When I fall asleep tonight, when I slip into that state of meditative relaxation and my mind lets go of the reality of my day, I hope my dreams are as vibrant and vivid as Phil Hall’s illustrations.

What do you dream about?

So. A whole new batch of graduates all with a different vision – and what to do with them? With the music industry completely revolutionised beyond recognition by the internet, sale the world of fashion has also recognised the lucrative possibilities of the online community to spread the word beyond the catwalk and the pages of glossy magazines. Networking sites like are making an obsessively international industry international for the earliest of starters, viagra approved connecting stylists, unhealthy designers, editors, make-up artists, press and hairdressers across the waters.

But with fashion as a site where art and commerce (especially when globalised) traditionally sit uneasily alongside one another, individual expression so often has to be tamed and tapered to fit. Yet Stefan Siegel, owner and founder of the website NOT JUST A LABEL believes that “fashion finds its freedom in the art of individuals”, so set up an online store dedicated to embracing such creativity, and crucially taking it to an accessible level but making it a place where “everything goes”. It’s an online base of up and coming designers, giving its members an esteemed platform where they can showcase and sell their clothing without having to compromise. This is 2009, and this is the world showroom. Here, Stefan talks to Amelia’s Magazine about his designers, his successes and his motivations.



When and why did you start NJAL and what motivated you to open the shop-section of the website?

Young aspiring fashion designers face enormous hurdles at the beginning of their career; we wanted to provide a stage where designers could showcase their collections at no costs. The goal was to formulate and implement a vision; linking designers with the fashion industry.

How long did it take for the shop to materialize?

Only 10 weeks, we decided during Paris Fashion Week in March that it would be a good idea and all our designers supported the idea. We started developing it in April.


How do you decide which designers to sell?

The recently launched Not Just A Label shop gives birth to a new kind of online shopping experience offering unique, one-off designer garments. Addicts and admirers alike now have the opportunity to purchase special and limited edition pieces from designers recognised as the leaders in avant-garde fashion.

With so many people wanting to get their work out there, how is it possible to keep up?

Selected collaborators like Robin Schulié and Diane Pernet hand-pick designs from the collections. On a monthly basis a new key industry figure will be asked to join us in the selection process, resulting in a different monthly collection. The chosen participants will be launched as a group to the press a month before their launch on the website.

Have you been successful as of yet?

The response has been amazing, we had thousands visitors on our page when we launched and the reactions are all positive so far. We believe it was really something the market was missing.

How do you think attitudes are changing in young designers?

Young designers recognise the responsibility in creating sustainable fashion. By applying artisan craftsmanship they are known to create products that have classic values with longer lasting qualities and we hope that consumers and buyers will soon recognise this opportunity. Every item displayed on THE SHOP is unique or part of a small production, we believe it is more valuable and eco-friendly to buy an item you can keep for more seasons.



Having a snoop around the website, it’s great to see that designers can create their own free individualised showrooms online with personalised web addresses, with picture and video galleries and contact information. It’s in essence a place where the individual wields the power – what NJAL has called ‘the black sheep’s environment’. Here you’ve got to be the black sheep or else! Now just imagine what this flock would look like – pretty fabulous we bet.

Blundering, sildenafil mistake-making fashion followers believe that style is about fitting in, find but the true sartorial clan know that individuality has always been the on-trend approach to dressing. These days the high street seems to offer little more than weak duplicates of catwalk designs. The same styles circle the streets over and over again. Standing out has become a difficult endeavour: but there is hope. Forget hitting the shops, adiposity stay at home and spend your style pennies via the happy medium of your computer. With online retail expanding every day (check out our article on NOT JUST A LABEL), the web has become a virtual mall, brimming with quirky garments, capable of satisfying the most eccentric of fashionistas. The obstacle is discovering them, but Amelia’s Magazine has picked out some of our favourites that might mean you would never have to get out of your pyjamas to actually wear any of the clothes you might hypothetically buy. C’est la vie, etc.

Modcloth Indie Clothing:
The pitch: Granny in space
FYI: An emporium of funky fashion finds: from more conventional tea-party dresses to crazy PVC high-waisted shorts. It is a fashion cocktail that will quench all styles of thirst: from grunge to gran- glam to more sophisticated tastes: Modcloth embraces it all. Their stock is as diverse as it wearable, with a collection of pendants particularly expansive; from roses to miniature clocks to birds to robots – and all for less than thirty pounds.

Spanish Moss Vintage


The pitch: It’s a New York state of dress
FYI: If Lady Gaga owned a vintage shop, it would most definitely resemble Spanish Moss Vintage: most of the models sport her iconic platinum bob and the clothes have a bold, eccentric New York appeal. You can choose between either their New or Vintage Stock, with both lines evoking what can only be described as a wild-nocturnal-hippie-bohemian vibe. Designer pieces are jumbled between quirky one-offs. Jumpsuit aficionados will be especially impressed, from shoulder-padded, to floral covered to striped: each number reflects a different era, it’s like buying a piece of fashion history!



The pitch: Olsen Twins at a rock concert
FYI: Everything speaks rock with a capital R. Garments at Pixie Market are subdued but sharp at the same time, sometimes merging with a beautiful grunge-inspired sloppy look. Acid-wash , spray-painted tees, hard-ass leather; its Soho chic at its most dirty. Especially covetable are the studded sandals, which are a harsher twist on the elegant Balenciaga numbers.



The pitch: Schoolgirl chic
FYI: Endless collections of handbags, dresses and shoes straight with the oh-so-stylish Brick Lane twist. This is old-lady chic heaven, 75% of all stock would work wonderfully with knee-socks, wayfarers and a dashing blazer. The website is incredibly easy to navigate, and the interminable rows of product images evoke a genuine market-shopping vibe. Forget Portobello, Absolute Vintage is where it’s at!

The pitch: Acceptable in the 70s, 80s and 90s
FYI: The people over at Rolling Stone Vintage believe that a vintage dress is a “fashion staple”, and they make sure to provide this staple what seems like a gazillion different varieties. From American-Indian motifs to glitzy sequins to prom-styles, there is a frock for every girl (or boy, for that matter, we won’t put people in a box). Other vintage highlights include their sporadically placed bright graphic tees that seem to scream “Viva las 80s!”

So come on people – pick up that virtual shopping basket, it’s ever so light. And readers, do you have any more online vintage sites you’d like to recommend? Don’t be a meanie and keep them to yourselves!

What could be more British than Gilbert and George? They are the perfect symbols of a nation that is as renowned for its stiff upper lip as it is for its football hooliganism, patient for its uptight sexuality as its love of bawdy smut. Mild and mannerly yet anarchic and challenging, this the artistic duo (two men, one artist) have been performing for us, exhibiting their art and showing us their shit for over 40 years now. And we love them for it.


George Passmore and Gilbert Proesch met, as Jarvis Cocker might say, whilst studying sculpture at St Martin’s college. Taking an unusual approach to their studies, they sacrificed themselves to live out their lives as a performance; the two became one living sculpture. Upon the realisation that singing Flanagan and Allen’s ‘Underneath the Arches’ for eight hours straight can get rather tiring, Gilbert and George branched out into film and photography, settling on their now trademark vividly coloured grid photographs that glow like unholy stained glass windows. It is this familiar technique that allows them to explore modern patriotism in their new show ‘Jack Freak Pictures.’


What could be more British than Jesus sporting a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts? This is the confusing and confrontational question that Gilbert and George pose to us in the image ‘Christian England’. Are we a patriotic people, a religious people, and what has happened to the ‘Christian England’ of old? Did those feet in ancient time walk upon England’s mountains green? And might the holy Lamb of God have purchased his pants from a tourist shop?


When previewing ‘Jack Freak pictures’ the Evening Standard hinted that their new works go as far as blasphemy. Gilbert and George would surely be delighted at this, having asserted themselves as anti-religion and always up for shocking people into contemplation. However, not even a spokesperson for the Church of England could be riled; ‘It sounds very mild for them’ the holy one surmised.
Mild may not be the right word, but Gilbert and George do at least seem to manage to keep most of their clothes on for the majority of this series. Instead of naughty body bits, it is rosettes and medals that feature heavily in images such as ‘God Guard Thee’ and ‘Church of England’. The wonderfully titled ‘Ingerland’ appears as a mess of flesh, flailing arms and a hypnotic pattern of red, white and blue.


The Union Flag has provided much inspiration for the pair, from their image titles (‘Jesus Jack’, ‘Jack Shit’, ‘Jacksie’) right down to their ultra-patriotic suits. Subtly, this is where Gilbert and George’s shock tactics lie. The duo are content to calmly pose us with images of patriotism, ramped up to a level just shy of insanity, and then lie back and think of England as the audience themselves go insane wondering what it all means. The Union Jack is a loaded symbol. War time medals of honour hold connotations of terror and death. Christianity itself is complicated enough. But aren’t we told we’re supposed to be proud of all this?
Gilbert and George aren’t letting on, as they pose passively as the everyman in their images. Passively,yet aggressively. And what could be more British than that?


Gilbert and George: Jack Freak Pictures

White Cube Gallery
48 Hoxton Square
London N1 6BU

10th July 22nd August
10am – 6pm Tuesday to Saturday
If you don’t know who Deerhoof are, cheapest you might want to check your sources, reprimand your social group, and consider reading better magazines (and blogs, of course). Deerhoof haven’t quite broken out, weirdly. There are a fair few t-shirts on the street, a few nods of approval in beer garden conversations, and a growing swathe of gimmicky-recognition (“aren’t they the one with the bouncy Japanese lady instead of a normal singer?”), but there is no summer anthem, no festival domination, and no MTV2 a-listed iconic-video-of-the-month. So there’s an extra pat on the back for the wise and knowing horde which descended on Scala this wednesday. Well done!


Needless to say, they have already been rewarded for their astute pulse-taking on-the-ball-ness – this was a fantastic gig in every respect. A bit of a slow start, maybe, but one which created the perfect calm pond into which massive boulders of rock can most joyfully be dropped. And these are beautifully detailed boulders. Guitarist John Dieterich and his sparring buddy, Ed Rodriguez take such joy in melodic interplay, you could imagine this evolving into classical music a decade hence. And Greg Saunier is one of the most charismatic drummers around. He jiggers around on his stool like an orang-utan on mushrooms and clearly has an obsession with slowing things down, creating tension by bringing in his thwack a little late, or birthing an extra half a secong in a crotchet so he can rattle off one of his beloved buddle-de-dah type licks across the kit. Drummers pay attention: most of you can learn from this chap.


And then, right in your fovea, is the glorious Satomi Matsuzaki. In the vastness of the stage, she’s a fun-sized centre of attention, like Spinal Tap’s Stonehenge. On the bass, she’s all scripted and tight. After all, someone’s got to hold it together. As a singer, she’s a magical bundle of fun. It’s a little girl voice, opening christmas presents of unpredictable melodies and impressions of inanimate objects (beep, ring, etc). And a great showwoman, too. The crowd was thrilled by her dance sequence with a glow-in-the-dark basketball to the brilliant Basketball Get Your Groove Back. And there was a lovely feedback stew in which she, John and Ed all made as much “EEEEEEeeeeeeeep” as possible with their axes behind their heads. On of the encores had everyone on the wrong instrument for a quick country standard. Another was an instrumental which stepped toward Tortoise or King Crimson. Enthrallment was the order of the day, with one of my chums confused about whether it was accessible or not: “I can hear how weird it is, so I how come I’m enjoying it as much as I am?” she mused.


Energetically, I’m reminded of the Pixies, except there will never be a Here Comes Your Man from Deerhoof, who might suddenly lurch toward Careful With The Axe, Eugene, instead. The whimsy recalls Pavement, but nothing as simple or catchy as Haircut will come out of this lot, while they keep getting deeper into the infinite possibilities that they clearly see in their instruments. It’s not for them to dilute their powers with accessibility. It’s for every man, woman and child to climb on what Satori has called “the dog-faced rollercoaster” of their music.

It’s a ride I suggest you join them on.
At the confluence of the teeming A roads that intersect the eastern edge of Hackney, click crouching in the shadow of an imposing tower block, troche stands the shell of the Clapton Cinematograph Theatre.

All photos by Kirsty McQuire.

The borough’s oldest surviving picture house overlooks the Lea Bridge Road roundabout, clinic the hotch-potch nucleus of Upper and Lower Clapton. It’s an area which has recently received, among others, the Miquita Oliver seal of approval: ‘The place to be? Clapton.’ The neglected structure, sandwiched between the equally dishevelled White Hart pub, and the robust St. James Church, is a sorry sight. Bearing neither the shiny new face of Mare St. civic pride (so derided by local psycho-geographer Iain Sinclair) nor the artistic shabby-chic of Dalston, it is an anachronism, a ghost on the inner city landscape. The Edwardian picture palace itself is shrouded by a tawdry lilac façade, conjuring all the eeriness of a forgotten fairground.

With the spotlight of regeneration holding East London firmly in its glare as the Olympics edge ever closer, and the tide of cool (or ‘Shoreditch Twat’ syndrome, depending on your perspective) creeping beyond its Hoxton stronghold, this would seem an opportune moment to raise the profile of a forgotten cultural gem. So says Julie Lafferty, Secretary of the Friends of Clapton Cinematograph Theatre (FCCT), an alliance of local residents who are campaigning for the dilapidated building to be restored to its former glory. That is not merely nostalgic hyperbole, given that the erstwhile leafy suburb of country piles, landscaped gardens and prosperous farms formed the backdrop to the theatre, erected in 1910, just as Portobello Road got the Electric and East Finchley the Phoenix. Both of those Grade II listed, art house haunts have fared considerably better than their Clapton contemporary, buoyed by cult followings and more affluent locales. In its heyday the Cinematograph seated 750 local punters who flocked to see shows that fused film screenings and live performance. Features and shorts were accompanied by acts including ‘the famous banjoists: Miss Hilda Barry and Mr Harry Stuart;’ bridging the gap between the Victorian East End’s love affair with Music Hall and the advent of modern cinema. How many of the current avant-garde, frequenting genre-defying venues such as Shunt and the Village Underground, are aware of this quaint antecedent to their adventures in multimedia, I wonder? I certainly wasn’t!


This invaluable record of cinematic history was all but eclipsed as the decline of the local area manifest itself in the ‘flea pit’ conditions inside the cinema, ultimately leading to its closure in 1979. The premises were to lie dormant until 1983, reopening as Afro-Caribbean nightspot Dougies and later renamed the Palace Pavilion. The original club attracted a vibrant, diverse mix of punters whilst retaining a wholesome atmosphere, Lafferty tells me, having lived in the area with her family for thirty years. Dougies championed black reggae musicians and succeeded in integrating the flourishing multi-cultural community. However, in its 90s hip hop incarnation and under the aegis of proprietor and DJ Admiral Ken, AKA Kenneth Edwards, the Pavilion was blighted by knife and gun crime. After the violence reached its peak in a gangland-style double shooting on New Years Eve 2005, local pressure groups succeeded in having the club’s license revoked. According to Lafferty’s findings through Land Registry, Edwards’ name still appears on the leasehold, though the Bass Holdings’ freehold is now on the market. A victim of the recession as well as its reputation, the club has remained boarded up ever since it closed its doors to the public. Edwards has declined to enter into a dialogue with the FCCT on several occasions. ‘We took his business away,’ she admits.

The Pavilion’s demise inevitably damaged the livelihoods of those who profited from it, both officially and unofficially. Yet it has been key in continuing to eradicate what Tony Blair famously referred to as ‘the society of fear,’ with direct reference to the borough. ‘Crime in Hackney is falling faster than in nearly any other London borough,’ reflected Mayor Jules Pipe recently, following heartening statistics from the Met. In the year 2006-07, crime was found to be down by 7,000 offences, a decrease of 28% compared to 2003-04, meaning that Hackney exceeded the three-year target of a 20% reduction in priority crimes. Locals had the backing of Diane Abbot, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, who insists that ‘the club had a long and bloody history and the decision to close it was long overdue.’ Abbot’s involvement has not ended there, as she has also lent her support to the FCCT’s vision for the building’s future.

‘Hackney currently only has one cinema serving a population of over 200,000,’ states the FCCT campaign literature. The Rio, a jewel in Hackney’s cultural crown, is a prime example of what local patronage can do to preserve a neighbourhood institution; the venue having been earmarked for various developments since its inception in 1909. But the cosy Art Deco hangout of just 402 seats cannot possibly meet the increasing demand of a predominantly young borough, which grew by 12% compared to the 7.4% of London overall, in the 1990s alone. A rival development has been mooted for Pitfield Street in Shoreditch, but if resident naysayer Jarvis Cocker has anything to do with it, it won’t get the go ahead.


In an ambitious yet shrewd proposal, the group envisages the Cinematograph’s resurrection paying homage to the late playwright and local hero, Harold Pinter. ‘It’s a little known fact,’ says Lafferty, ‘that alongside his works for the theatre he also wrote 22 screenplays. Pinter was very fond of the area he grew up in- he wrote poetry recounting walks with his teacher from Clapton Pond to Finsbury Park, discussing the literature that inspired him to start writing.’ Ideally, such a tribute would be finalised in time to coincide with the cinema’s centenary in 2010.

In light of this, Abbot requested an Early Day Motion on 15th January which ‘calls on the Government to do all it can to support the campaign by local residents to restore the cinema on Lower Clapton Road in honour of this illustrious Hackney resident.’ Although most EDMs are never debated in the House of Commons, this petition has already garnered the support of Glenda Jackson and at the very least will serve to air the issue around Westminster. That Pinter ended his days in the more salubrious climes of Kensington and Chelsea is beside the point; he was born in Lower Clapton and there is a staggering absence of any visible testament to his humble beginnings. Lafferty: ‘On Broadway they dimmed the lights for him. What have we done?’ Another example of British diffidence in the face of towering achievement, I conclude.

Lest the project be branded purely a heritage piece, Lafferty is quick to point out that this dedication is not the extent of the FCCT’s plans, which also encompass a community centre, gallery space, café and film training facilities. ‘I believe in training, not punishment,’ she says, and cites the fact that ‘Hackney youth are at a considerable disadvantage in the job market.’ With half of all adults not attaining the literacy level expected of a school leaver and the employment rate being some 13% lower than the London average, she has a point. But how might she and her colleagues on the committee counter accusations of gentrification, now almost synonymous with the double-edged sword of regeneration? ‘By involving local people from the start. We want a community cinema, a place to unite polarised generations- not a faceless multiplex but not an art house clique either.’ She is well aware of fears that the Olympic legacy will be a white elephant, and denies that cynics might justifiably say the same of an independent cinema on the Park’s periphery: ‘It should be for the long-term and inclusive, not exclusive. The challenge is to appeal to everyone. I’m advocating a diverse programme world cinema and young documentary talent, alongside mainstream blockbusters.’

In the meantime, it’s a case of means tirelessly raising awareness in every local forum from the church fete to the school hall. Volunteers are canvassing for signatures to provide evidence of community feeling, with which to bolster political interest and attract investment. The FCCT are in the process of commissioning a £30,000 feasibility study, potentially to be financed by the RIBA community fund- the next step towards proving the practical and economic benefits of the enterprise. The campaigners are also armed with a Film Council Report of 2005, containing a glowing case study of the Rio. ‘What’s to stop it happening here?’ is Lafferty’s characteristically sanguine attitude.


Which is not to say that she and her colleagues haven’t experienced set backs in the past. Although the FCCT have not met with opposition directly, longstanding residents among them are no strangers to controversy and disappointment. They only hope that the fate of nearby Latham’s Yard, a 13-acre site by the River Lea, will not befall the cinema. The greenbelt land had its planning application for a development of 7-storey apartment blocks approved in 2005, despite considerable local and political objection. ‘The Government’s own Planning Inspector said no, but it got the green light anyway. That was a real low-point.’

Resilience and resourcefulness appear to go a long way in the world of grass roots lobbying. Through the edifying neighbourhood grapevine of Dave Hill’s Clapton Pond Blog I learnt not only of the FCCT’s existence, but also of their first cinematic venture, a free screening of The Big Smoke: Films from a Lost London 1896-1945. This event simultaneously formed part of the Open Gardens and Squares Weekend and the BFI Mediatheque on Tour, which takes the South Bank archive on the road. So on the afternoon of Sunday 14th June I trotted along to the unlikely setting of the St. John’s Ambulance Hall, passing bustling homemade cake stands and brick-a-brack stalls dotted round the pond. More Vicar of Dibley than Clapton, really. A make-shift banner proclaimed defiantly (and with more than a hint of irony), ‘Screen on the Pond;’ and a bottle of Recession plonk bearing the PM’s face was being raffled as the tombola prize. Neighbours young and old had turned out to watch black and white silent movies on a sunny summer’s day and despite the lack of popcorn, it was standing room only.

It seems there is still a demand for a cinema-experience on your doorstep that isn’t tantamount to a trip to the supermarket, after all. And this was only the trailer.

The next FCCT public meeting will be held at The Pembury Tavern on Amhurst Road, Hackney on Tuesday 14th July at 7pm.

Returning just for a moment to the R-Art collective collaboration with Nova Dando to make a dress entirely from everyone’s favourite page-turner The Financial Times, it’s funny to see examples of trashion pop up in different guises, treat and wondering whether it’s all really part of the same thing. Back in the 1940s, a shoemaker called Salvatore Ferragamo started to braid sweet wrappers in the upper parts of his shoes during the Second World War. He discovered their strength and wear in a difficult period to obtain expensive materials.

Fast-forward to 2009, and you’ve got entire ranges of kitsch accessories being woven out of sweet wrappers. You’ve got students constructing trousers from Royal Mail postbags, Martin Margiela making shirts appliquéd with old football parts.


And look! Alexander McQueen is even recycling old collections, and using umbrellas and hub- caps as hats.



In the unlikely pairing of Ferragamo and McQueen, we are witnessing an artistic response fuelled by the unglamorous concept of necessity generated by an economic downturn. For Margiela it has long been a practice to ‘upcycle’ his own garments with his Artisanal range, looking to grant them with a ‘higher status’. It’s intellectualising something that you see also in the most lowbrow of arenas, like Project Runway, where designers are challenged to create futuristic outfits out of vintage clothes, or rip up the interiors of apartments to make into something avant-garde. It’s easy to see how trashion treads the fine line between a belief system and a gimmick (completely ruining several perfectly decent apartments seemed somewhat regressive to me). There was even the Channel 4 programmed ‘Dumped’ where a group of strangers were forced to live together and filmed around the clock. In a dump. Undoubtedly a gimmick, but these people actually managed to survive by reusing what people had thought to throw away.

So the idea of repurposing is nothing new, and it’s obvious why we regularly look to cover here it at Amelia’s Magazine. More interesting than why it’s produced is how, I began reading about Chilean designer Alexandra Guerrero, who genuinely views the wastage in her city as an opportunity to be resourceful, and has gone so far as to make wearable pieces out of a fabric constructed from cigarette butts. Yes, that’s CIGARETTE BUTTS. Before the murmurs start about overstepping the mark, Guerrero pre-empted all the haters out there by checking with an environmental engineer to check that cleaning them would make them hygienically sound. Given the thumbs up – you can get ‘em at 95% purified apparently – she then put them through something called an autoclave, then washed them in something else called a polar solvent, put them back into the trusty autoclave, to go and then rinse, dry, shred, dye, separate the butts, and finally spin with natural sheep wool. Ta-dah! Imagine the horrifyingly elongated episode of Blue Peter: here’s one I autoclaved earlier.


Shows like Project Runway delineate a certain fascination with the process of it all, and specifically the difficulty involved in doing it. If turning some old coffee cups into a cheeky little playsuit was easily done, maybe it would just be the common practice. The fact remains, that, with Guerrera’s project in mind, it’s an exhausting process that of course isn’t more trouble than it’s worth environmentally (not at a whopping 4.5 trillion butts dropped a day) but artistically, it could definitely be a bit laborious. And, let’s face it, not to everybody’s taste.

McQueen himself said his AW09 collection was indeed a response to the gross wastage of the fashion industry in an economic climate where it could not be commercially viable any more. Guerrero ironically enough needs more funding to pursue her investigations into the world of cigarette butts. But the shared excitement in possibilities in repurposing materials seems the important result, and the creative potential out there is without a doubt enormous. So next time you chuck something in the bin, take a second look – maybe it could make a brilliant overcoat.

If your memory stretches back a few weeks, link you may remember we wrote about an eco-village about to be set up. Well, a couple of Amelia’s Magazine reporters ventured along to help out with the get in. Alice Watson and Roisin Conway met the gathering at Waterloo station, before getting on to the site itself. All the internet noise about a location near Hammersmith turned out to be fuzz to throw off the fuzz – they took up an abandoned area near Kew Bridge. And four police did turn up, in very reasonable manner, simply to hear an idea of the plans and get some contact details.


After getting access to the site, which had been left well locked up despite being left untouched for so long, first up was a meeting. Future eco-villlagers and interested people sat down together, and started to realise just how from-scratch this project was. Activist consensus decision making apparently proceeds by raising both hands and wobbling them slightly – a bit like a two-handed royal wave. The day was then mostly spent (as agreed) in clearing up rubbish, and starting to reach out to the local communities – handing out flyers and chatting to people.


The Kew Eco-villagers recently sent out a week-two update : “we have cleared the site of most of the rubbish, put our tents up, built a compost toilet and a kitchen, and have built a half roundhouse as a communal structure!”


The neighbours and people in local communities and local businesses have helped out with many donations. They’ve given plants, wood, tents and building materials to the project. There’s a long way to go, still, before the eco-village gets on towards its potential – if you’re feeling generous, there’s a wish list up on their facebook group – go to the discussions and find ‘How you can all help!’.


The other big thing to do is to send post to the site – an important part in the process of getting squatters’ rights. Postcards, messages of support, envelopes of seeds, or anything else you’re inspired to post will be greatly appreciated. The beginnings of a wider community of interested people is the best for the further development of the eco-village movement. This space in Kew Bridge is growing into a place to learn and to get to know people – building everything on the principles of sustainable land use, the people living there think of themselves as looking after this land for, well, everyone. Their gates are open every day. Essentially, it’s a community garden. Everyone from the local area can – is encouraged to – pay a visit and share their ideas about what to do with the land, as well as having the chance to plant vegetables and also just to chill out and get to know everyone there.


They have had a fair few visitors from all over the world recently, and all over London. Absolutely everyone is welcome to come and stay. There are a few site rules which include no drugs and alcohol, as well as being considerate to others and actively participating as a member of the community. Sundays are open days – this Sunday, 12th July, there’s a local Irish band booked to be playing, and last weekend they held a Solstice Open Weekend with activities including face painting, music, picnic area and children’s workshops. Anyone with ‘useful or interesting skills or knowledge’ is most welcome to get along and hold a workshop to share them. Whether common law and herbal remedies are your bag, or making didgeridoos and repairing bicycles is more your thing, there’s a space there for you. And if you just want to listen and learn, you’ll be more than welcome too.


Photos by (1,2 and 7) Alice Watson and Roisin Conway, and (3, 4, 5 and 6) Peter Marshall,

You can find KewEcoVillage on twitter, if you like your updates to-the-minute.

Visitors are welcome – come along between 11 am and 8 pm, to 2 Kew Bridge Rd, Brentford. The nearest station is ‘Kew Bridge’ and the nearest tube is ‘Gunnersbury’.

There’s a public meeting every Thursday at 7pm on site, and every Sunday is an open day. Do get in touch if you’d like to propose a workshop.

The on-site contact number is 07967 864 370

Post seeds, postcards, or anything you like, to:
The Eco Village
2 Kew Bridge Rd


Christopher Nielsen, search I’m happy to say, approved has it made. Based in Sunny Sydney where he lives, drugs works and plays from an old warehouse studio with other extremely talented illustrators and artists as well as his beloved wife, son and pet cat, Nielsen’s work has been adopted and exhibited in a wide range of publications and settings, from zoos and wineries to chronicles and annuals.


Not only does Picture Pig, the collective which Nielsen is affiliated with, go from strength to strength, but his own work has been given the thumbs up by notable bodies such as The Society of Illustrators New York, Communication Arts, The Australian and New Zealand Illustration Awards and Luerzer’s Archive.


In order to keep his approach fresh and innovative Nielsen ensures he works and collaborates with an assortment of clients, keeping his contacts global and maintaining a presence as teacher, lecturer and exhibitor with his feet firmly on the ground. When you have folk such as TIME magazine, Waitrose Food Illustrated and PlanSponsor after you, things must be on the up.


From looking at the cheerfully coloured animated images Nielsen produces it is easy to decipher that he draws his inspiration from vintage advertising, retro design and old fashioned signage. What might not be immediately apparent is that he is also a sucker for Mexican art, Japanese prints, Russian space travel and the Wild West.


Music of the folk country blues genre, he is keen to point out, is another big passion, his personal taste including Gram Parsons, Hank Williams, Gene Clark and Neil Young. When he isn’t busy creating illustrated masterpieces he plays with his band the Ramalamas, who on top of having a darn radical name are actually musically brilliant. Enjoy the following Q&A with the man himself.


So, Christopher, what makes you so awesome?
My Phantom Ring.

Which artists or illustrators do you most admire?
All the dudes at Picture Pig, Jeffrey Fisher, Calef Brown, Christian Northeast, Brian Cronin, Nate Williams, Gary Taxali…

Who or what is your nemesis?
Nobody, I’m very congenial.


If you could time travel back or forward to any era, where would you go?
I’d go back to the fifties like Marty McFly and fill up my santa bag with lots of design goodies.

Which band past or present would provide the soundtrack to your life?
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass– Spanish Flea.


I say Modern Art is Rubbish, you say…?
Like Jonathan Richman says “Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole”.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
I’d be the Artful Dodger, Guvna!

What would your pub quiz specialist subject be?
The Westcoast Psychedelic Underground 1967-68.


What advice would you give up and coming artists?
Keep the shower curtain on the inside of the bathtub.

Who would your top five dream dinner guests be? Who would do the washing up?
I hear if Paul McCartney comes to dinner he wash’s up but I’d prefer John Lennon.
Lennon, Dylan, Pablo, Antonioni and maybe a hottie like Bettie Page.

What piece of modern technology can you not live without?
Swizzle stick.


What is your guilty pleasure?
Mexican Flags. That’s tequila, tabasco and lime juice.

Tell us something about Christopher Nielsen that we didn’t know already.
I have an “In-ny”.

When did you first realise you were creative?


How long does it usually take you to create pieces?
One day for roughs and one day for the final art.

Where do you imagine yourself to be in 10 years time?
Hopefully still doing this but getting paid more to do it from some exotic locale.


Sydney, you sure are one lucky city.
Every so often something arrives on my desk that makes my heart joyfully skip a beat… the last time it happened was grizzly grey Tuesday morning when my eyes fell upon ‘Two Sunsets’ the new collaboration between the Pastels and Tenniscoats.
Having been an avid fan of the Pastels for a while and an admirer of Tenniscoats since hearing Tan-Tan Therapy last year then falling quickly in love with this record that fateful Tuesday morning; I feel I should apologise in advance for the amount of gushing superlatives that will fill this article from top(est) to bottom(est).

Recorded in Glasgow over a 3 year period around touring schedules, this web Two Sunsets appeared out of the ether of shared studio time and reciprocal inspiration. The album in its very collaborative nature is intrinsically linked to the theme of duality; where two different entities; nominally, clinic the bands and their different sounds overlap to disperse again. Whilst Two Sunsets is essentially bi-national and bilingual, the album exists on a plane between the two different poles, creating a soundscape that is ethereal and otherworldly whilst remaining bound to the earth by an essentially pop-sounding compactness. It is both jubilant and melancholic like the infinite multicoloured and beautiful prism that exists between black and white.


Saya Ueno of Japanese duo Tenniscoats astutely described the record as “the Pastels underneath, sounding beautiful like a big cloud with Tenniscoats flying over.” Indeed, first song ‘Tokyo Glasgow’ opens the album true to her word; with looping, soaring woodwinds that sound like the breeze, with Ueno’s voice weaving in and out of it, all rooted down by a heavy ‘cloudy’ synth sound.

Second song ‘Two Sunsets’ is like a memory of a song you think you know from many years ago but can never quite remember where you heard it, this familiarity played upon by a vague sort of Spaghetti Western instrumental arrangement contrasts with the ghostly childlike vocals of Ueno crooning in Japanese. Her distinctive vocal style continues in ‘Song for a Friend’ where it is joined by the Pastels’ Stephen McRobbie, if there was a song where the collaboration would have fallen apart it would be here in the strange duet, but Two Sunsets stands the test in a jubilant fashion with pompously stirring brass, delicate keyboard parts and a very Pastels-esque electric guitar riff, and it ends up sounding like the most beautifully constructed cacophony in existence, embracing its differences and transcending genres.


‘Vivid Youth’ is a return to the Pastels at their finest, I feel like I found myself feet back on familiar ground, it is tight self-assured pop. It is summery, happy and naive and like falling in love. ‘Yomigaeru’ continues in the nostalgic pop vein.
I’m sure you imagine at this point that I couldn’t possibly gush about the album any further, but luckily/unluckily for you, the collaboration turn their attentions and illustrious talents to one of my favourite Jesus and Mary Chain songs; ‘About You’, it’s a whirring, soaring delight of a cover, retaining much of the shoegaze-y loops of the original, played here on organs.

‘Boats’ and ‘Hikoki’, continue the melancholy of “About You” ethereally; tied delicately together with woodwind, while ‘Sodane’ is all plinky plonky guitar and beats, sounding like a pop song from a totally different universe, or dare I say, it wouldn’t be out of place in a cantina in Tatooine.

Just as ‘Tokyo Glasgow’ began like a breeze, the album closes similarly. ‘Mou Mou Rainbow’ is woozy and sad like a fitful jet-lagged sleep, full of dragging delays and whispery vocals, whilst album finale ‘Start Slowly So We Sound Like A Loch’ lives up to its name in all it’s underwater glory.

Essentially Two Sunsets as an album is the fruit of a collaboration that is as interested in differences as much as it is similarity. Whilst it is transcendent and varied, its cohesion is in its highly structed nature, threaded through as it is with the breeze of woodwind etc.

I probably don’t need to reaffirm how awesome I think this record is by this point, but for the sake of a punchy end line:
I love Two Sunsets!


Two Sunsets is released on Domino Records, 7th September 2009
Mon 13th July
múm, information pills The Tabernacle, London

With the global success of artists like Bjork, The Sugarcubes and Sigur Ros and it’s a pretty well established fact that Iceland is a bit of a cool (!) music hotspot, specialising in skewed magical pop with lashings of mystery and melancholy. When I first heard múm‘s Yesterday Was Dramatic Today Is OK, I feel in love with their innocent and eccentric electronica, and made the album the soundtrack to my life for a good few months. Plus ex-member Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir is married to Avey Tare of Animal Collective fame- if either of you are reading this- ADOPT ME!


Tuesday 14th July
Of Montreal, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

Here is an interesting fact: Of Montreal are named after a failed romance with a woman from Montreal. Actually based in Athens (Georgia), Of Montreal are mass mess of members and influences from vaudeville to krautrock via funk and electro. Renowned for their grandiose shows, this is an experience not to be missed, and awesome to dance to if you dance as strangely as I do.


Wednesday 15th July
Rumble Strips, Wilton’s Music Hall, London

I imagine going to see the Rumble Strips are everything you need from a summer evening gig, fun and danceable. Imagine if evacuee children from the 1940s were given access to brass bands, drums and electric guitars and then given the run of East London.


Thursday 16th July
Fever Ray, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

Fever Ray is the solo project of The Knife‘s Karin Elisabeth Dreijer Andersson, who has one of the best accents around right now is given full range to be strange and brilliant, expect lots of noise, distortion and masks.


Latitude 2009 Festival, Suffolk

Hopefully you’ll remember my ‘glorious’ preview of Latitude from a month or so again… here it is. If you’re going down to this (like our lovely Art Editor- Hi Alice!) then you are very lucky indeed…personal favourites include Bat For Lashes, Camera Obscura, Lykke Li, St Vincent, !!! and Wild Beasts. Plus if you missed Of Montreal and Rumble Strips earlier in the week in London, they’ll be there too!


Dreams of Progress

Westminster Reference Library
35 St Martin’s Street
London WC2H 7HP

Until 18th July
Mon – Fri: 10am – 8pm
Sat: 10am – 5pm
Free admission


“The Curated Matter project is a non-profit venture dedicated to the organisation of exhibitions that catalyse social innovation In these days of economical, page environmental and sometimes ideological uncertainties. The exhibition ‘Dreams of Progress’ will take a look back at our previous visions of the future, more about how they materialized and the way that they relate to the dreams we nourish today. Videos of utopian visions will be presented along with the sensitive perceptions of emerging video artists.”

Art videos by Adam Pelling Deeves (UK), website like this Julian Roberts and Namalee Bolle (UK), Keith Loutit (Australia), Ian Lynam (Japan), Richard Jerousek and Brian Phillips (USA), Sam Fuller (USA), Urizen Freaza (Spain) and Misty Woodford (USA).


National Art Hate Week

13th July – 20th July
Various Locations


The most radical of the art listings this week, and dare I say it ever, is Billy Childish’s new campaign, the dark and provoking ‘National Art Hate Week’. Its predominant aim being to cause maximum confusion, friction and protest within a relatively unchallenged and unquestioned culture industry, Childish is joined by the British Art Resistance members and fellow passioned comrades Harry Adams, James Caulty and Jamie Reid in wide scale public uprisings and actions, which will all be documented and recorded, and somewhat ironically form art pieces in their own right. Visit the National Art Hate Week’s website for a more detailed programme of events for the week.


Cabin/et: Tom Wolesley

ROOM Gallery
31 Waterson Street
London E2 8HT

13th July – 27th September
Thursday – Sunday 12pm -6pm


A little known fact is that at any one time more than 17 million shipping containers, containing a billion cubic metres of space (roughly the equivalent to the size of London) are on the move around the globe, such as the one that will provide a central focus of a series of projects this summer at Room Gallery, starting with Tom Wolseley’s work. Revolving around the theme of transitional spaces, the unusual plywood-lined ‘cabin’ aims to explore human relationships with geography and the differences between physical and psychological representations of the world.


Elsa Quarsell: Domestic Burlesque

Time for Tea
110 Shoreditch High Street
London E1 6JN

17th July – 2nd August
Thursday – Sunday 12pm – 8pm


Sweden-born Elsa Quarsell has been over here for 9 years now, building quite a name for herself with her weekend supplement type portraits for the Independent and the Guardian, as well as for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Arena. This new exhibition at Shoreditch’s Time for Tea features stylish, seductive Barbarella babes, dressed up and vacant looking in domestic settings and burlesque outfits of various kinds and sorts.


Malick Sidibé

Hackelbury Fine Art Ltd
4 Launceston Place
London W8 5RL

Until 31st July
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm


A now highly respected and celebrated photographer, Malick Sidibé came from the most modest of beginnings in rural Mali, not getting his hands on his first camera until he was in his twenties. He spent the 60s and 70s mixing in powerful circles of sportsmen, private club members as well as capturing the beauty and illustrative in ordinary moments of post-colonial African life. Fast forward to 2007 and Sidibe became the first photographer to be awarded the Lion d’Or for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale, four years after a retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery. Well deserving and very talented, an exhibition not to be missed.


Bad Animals
Transition Gallery
Unit 25a Regent Studios
8 Andrews Road
London E8 4QN

18th July – 16th August
Friday – Sunday 12-6pm


“This group of artists examine the bad animals phenomenon in a variety of ways from Cathie Pilkington’s promiscuous pranksters, Rachel Goodyear’s faux cute drawings and Georgia Hayes’ significantly endowed horse to Alli Sharma’s harmlessly ferocious bats. These pets definitely won’t win prizes.”

Artists: Anton Goldenstein, Rachel Goodyear, Georgia Hayes, Sharon McPhee, Kim L Pace, Cathie Pilkington, Alli Sharma.


Gustavo Ortiz: Metamorphosis
Pure Evil Gallery
108 Leonard Street
London, EC2A 4XS

Until 2nd August
Open daily from 10-6pm


I came across the artist Gustavo Ortiz last year when he pitched up a weekly stall in Spitalfields Market and he sweetly took the time to talk to me about his work and I was so impressed by his craft I bought a set of three. It was a wise investment because I’m pleased to see that Ortiz is now gaining the recognition in this country that his work truly deserves, with his first solo show in the UK on now at Pure Evil Gallery. Understated humour, childlike naivety and a healthy dose of imaginary landscapes filled by disproportioned animals and humans, all done in meticulous collage and brightly painted makes Ortiz’s work rather lovely indeed.

Categories ,Collage, ,Group Show, ,London, ,Photography, ,Video Art

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