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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Concrete Hermit â

Written by Sarah Narraway

Richard Hogg: Off The Wall

Concrete Hermit Gallery
Concrete Hermit?5a Club Row?
London?E1 6JX

Until 29th August
10am – 6pm Mon – Sat


Off the wall is a simple story about happiness, order medicine freedom, check rebellion and its consequences, told across three pictures. Like a kind of triptych or a very simple comic. It forms the centrepiece of this show, Richards first since leaving Airside in 2007.

Candy Coated Canvas
212 Kensington Park Road
Notting Hill, W11 1NR

Until 24th August
Tuesday & Wednesday : 10am to 6pm
Thursday : 11am to 8pm
Friday: 10am to 7pm
Saturday: 11am to 7pm


CANDY COATED CANVAS is a themed group exhibition showcasing unique artworks by various established and emerging international talent. All artists have been asked to take inspiration from the title “Candy Coated Canvas” and create a unique art piece which is visually extremely colourful and playful, whilst sparking up memories of childhood, sweets, fantasy lands and those naughty but nice pleasures in life.
Scrumptious Delight (Canada)
Scrumptious Delight creates handmade plush dolls and sweets. All the toys are made to her original designs with much care and attention at her home in Canada. This is the first exhibition of Scrumptious Delights’ work in an art gallery setting and fits the Candy Coated theme perfectly.

Anthony Burrill: In A New Place
43 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch
London EC2A 3PD

Until 5th September


For In a New Place, the exhibition presents Anthony’s exploration of industrial processes and materials with large scale laser–cut perspex pieces as well as digital prints. The subject of the exhibition focusses upon archetypal forms of nature, from rainbows to thunderstorms, all within Burrill’s uncomplicated and distinctive geometric style..

Jeff Koons : Popeye Series
Kensington Gardens?
London W2 3XA

Open daily, 10am – 6pm
Until 13th September


The Serpentine Gallery presents an exhibition of the work of the celebrated American artist Jeff Koons, his first major exhibition in a public gallery in England.

Alexandre de Cunha
Arkwright Road?
London NW3 6DG

Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm ?
Wednesday 10am-9pm ?
Closed Mondays & Bank Holidays
Until 13th September


Camden Arts Centre is proud to present an exhibition of newly commissioned work by London-based Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha. His dynamic, large-scale sculptures improvise on the concept of the readymade by reusing everyday objects: job lots from pound shops, surplus fabrics and recycled goods, reflecting on their specific histories and aesthetics.
Amelia’s Magazine have been pals with Finnish crafty-fan Outi from brilliant trashion blog Outsapop for a while now, sale and Outi has sent us over a piece which is an example of what she loves best – creating something new out of something old. Ladies and gentleman, information pills Amelia’s Magazine presents: the Outsapop Trashion t-shirt hobo bag tutorial – also for our Finnish readers, in Finnish! If you can speak both, well, there’s jolly well no excuse for not making this bag. Thanks to Outi!


You´ll need:
2 same colored t-shirts (don´t have to be the same size)
sewing machine
needle and thread


Cut the hem out from both t-shirts, about 1/4 inches from stitchings. Don´t cut the hem strips open, but keep them in one circular piece. Save these strips for later.


Cut sleeves and collar out. Save them.


Cut the sideseams out.


If the other t-shirt has a longer hem than the other, fold the longer bodice pieces in half and cut the hem curved like in the picture.


A) Pin the t-shirt pieces together (reverse sides out) from the sideseams. The shorter pieces will be sides and the pieces with curved hem will be bag front and bag back. B) Draw a slightly curved line from sideseam to shoulder. Sew all four seams.


Pin the curvy hem pieces together (reverse sides out) and sew.


A) Fold the sidepieces over (reverse sides out) the bag bottom and sew. B) Turn the bag right sides out.


Collar pieces will be our bag handles. If you want the handles to be short (like in my bag) take only one collar and cut it into two equal length pieces. If you want the handles to be longer, cut both collars open once to make each one handle.


Fold all t-shirt shoulders (8 fold layers each) to match the width of the collar pieces / handles. It does not have to be exact as the handle seams will be covered.


STEP 10.
Place the collar/handle in between the folded shoulder layers and pin. Try the bag to see if the handles are placed correctly. Sew when ready.


STEP 11.
Take the all hem strips, cut them into four pieces and tie each around one handle seam. Sew the strip ends by hand so they won´t unravel.


STEP 12.

If you want inside pockets for your bag, make them by sewing the sleeve openings closed, and then attaching them inside the bag by sewing or with safety pins. My bag has no inside pockets but I kinda wished I had made them as the bag is big and small things get lost in it easily.


You’re all done!


Drawings by Outi
Photos courtesy of Mika Pollari

What would it be like to live just 37 metres from the gaping chasm of an opencast coal mine. Seems unimaginable eh? Surely it’s not possible? Who would choose to live this way?


Well, viagra dosage noone as it goes. But for some there is no choice, diagnosis as shown in the aerial view above. The people of Merthyr Tydfil have no choice. Despite mass complaints from locals and a large scale direct action featuring polar bears and George Monbiot (a Welsh resident) it was decreed by politicians far away that coal would once again be mined from these hills. Last year the hilariously named ‘Ffos-y-fran Land Reclamation’ scheme began in earnest.


Miller Argent is the company (funded by BT pension funds) responsible for scooping out the tops of these hills and delivering the low grade coal to the old coal fired power station at Aberthaw, more about which is now being run with 40% Ffos-y-fran coal. Tellingly, the environment section of the Miller Argent Ffos-y-fran website is empty; “under construction” whilst a photo of the mining ‘team’ lined up in front of their shiny new yellow diggers is given pride of place.

Of course there is plenty of space for company propaganda too, giving highly spurious reasons for destroying the landscape in the name of ‘reclamation’. But this was never ‘derelict’ land as Miller-Argent would have you believe – it was common land used widely by locals. As happens across the world, common or marginal land is seen as unimportant when in fact it often serves an important purpose to the populations close by. The truth of the matter is that this area has been prodded and mangled for its coal since it was first discovered – the hills are riddled with old mine workings. These were abandoned as economically redundant until new technology appeared on the scene and new government policies made it financially viable to crash into the landscape once more, just as it was recovering from centuries of destruction.


As I climbed the hill towards Ffos-y-fran I cursed the wording on the website – “just 15 minutes walk from the station” it trumpeted. There were an awful lot of taxis passing me as I struggled towards a sign chalked enigmatically on the wall. “Getting There” it said. It lied. After another interminable uphill climb past rows of terraced houses I reached a roundabout. Not long after a huge neon yellow sign reading Clean Coal: Dirty Joke strung along the hedge revealed the entrance of Climate Camp Cymru. A van of Heddlu (Welsh for police) was parked idly on the other side of the road, but otherwise all was tranquil.


I passed the familiar sight of the welcome tent and some solar panels atop a van, and came across someone I knew almost immediately, who offered me a tasty plate of vegan nosh.





Perusing the beautiful and conclusive bilingual handbook about what workshops to do in which tent or “gwagle” I was massively cheered to see that Climate Camp Cymru had really taken Mia Overgaard‘s beautiful designs for the Climate Camp in London to heart (adapting the poster by adding some sheep and daffodils), and had used it on their handbook – sadly this hasn’t happened for the Climate Camp in London next week which, rather confusingly, seems to be using designs from multiple people. The perils of design by consensus…


Once my tent was up I went on a tour of the site with my camera and found myself chatting to a pair of old biddies in a car at the back gate. They were keen to support us but felt unable to physically join us – I learnt that their parents were colliers and they thought they’d seen the last of the industry when it closed down last century.


With some coyness they told me how they’d taken their placards into the council chambers when it was announced the ‘reclamation’ was reopening (dontcha just love the use of the word ‘reclamation’ – sounds like something to do with Shakespeare or have I got my history all muddled?!) I thought that was pretty impressive myself and told them as much.


After dinner there was a plenary with a group of activists talking about community campaigns and how best to work with local residents. Activists from Plane Stupid, Rossport in Ireland, Mainshill in Scotland and Smash Edo in Brighton were joined by two members of RAF, or Residents Against Ffos-y-Fran. It was really thrilling to hear how similar everyone’s stories were and how possible it was to learn and grow stronger by offering solidarity with each other. By the end the tent was whooping and a plan had been hatched to go for a walk into the mine the next day.



This was to be a hot topic of discussion at the neighbourhood and site wide meetings the next morning. Somehow, in a matter of hours, the word was put out amongst residents in town and by lunchtime we’d gathered our walkers. Joining us were members of the Rebel Clown Army, out of retirement after their costumes were confiscated at Kingsnorth last year, and the penguins from the Climate Caravan of 2008 – expert in the art of the waddle.




We climbed over the gate with no problems but by the time we’d got to the roundabout a few confused police were attempting to curtail our progress. However, once the penguins had siddled around there was no stopping everyone else. We continued our ramble up towards the heart of the mine as locals slowed in their cars and their kids joined us. The clowns gamboled playfully around the police who hadn’t a clue what to do with these strange creatures, expert in the art of the carefully timed wind-up.




And then we got to the intersection where the road continues through the centre of the great scar that is the mine. The police weren’t having it, even though it is a public highway, with a Section 12 (emergency restraint) being cited to stop us advancing any further. For our own safety mind you.


Some people stayed on the road but the majority of walkers just decided to follow the penguins up onto the hill on the other side. I passed a large van of aggressive sounding police dogs, all the better to chase trespassers across mines huge opencast mines I hear.



Despite the deployment of two large police horses as well as the dogs we failed to provide the running targets the police might have liked after three tense and boring days of sitting in their vans. Instead we wandered around the hilltop with the clowns and the penguins, taking in the full enormity of the mine and being given a potted history by the locals.



As the drizzle moved back in again we descended the hill to head home for tea and discovered that one man had been arrested shortly after being bitten by a police dog for trying to break through the lines on the road. He was taken into custody and held for over forty hours during which he successfully contested bail conditions which meant he could not attend Climate Camp in London next week.


The police were notabley absent on the walk back to camp, contrary to a statement released to the press stating that they escorted us home. I guess we didn’t provide the excitement they might have liked at the top of the hill and they lost interest. We even passed a few cheeky scoundrels who had managed to climb the low fence into the mine with apparent ease.


“We set out to police this event, in a manner which reflected the needs of the protestors to lawfully protest… We are pleased that we achieved this aim and were able to avoid scenes in trend at other protests in the UK,” said South Wales police in a statement released yesterday. I had no idea we were ‘on trend’ as they like to say in the fashion world!


Before dinner we went on a mission to buy some beer from the local store (cider of all cheap varieties is a must in this town if the shelves are to be believed) and a local lady kindly gave us a lift back up the hill – on the way she told of how she’s just had to install new windows because the dust has got so bad between the panes of glass. It’s a common refrain with locals, who suffer from all kinds of complaints due to the dust and noise coming from the mine, which, unbelievably, is open from 7am to 11pm six days a week. This in a town which already has the second highest incidence of chest complaints in Britain. But that’s okay! Because Miller-Argent is regulating pollution emissions. Well, self-regulating if you’re being picky. Self-regulating and under no obligation to share the information if you’re being particularly pushy. Understandably the locals aren’t exactly happy with this situation.


The folks from Bicycology had a small bike generator with which to power films, so I spent much of that night glued to the screen, which showed, amongst other things, a film about mountain top removal for coal in Virginia in the USA. The mountains are literally blown off to reveal the coal, and the remnants are slung into the surrounding valleys – forever altering not just the entire ecosystem but the actual topography of the landscape. How can this kind of insanity be allowed to continue when we know what we know now? The USA is dependent on coal for over half it’s power, but at what cost? Not just to climate change but to the incredibly delicate ecosystems that support life on our planet.


In Virginia there have been huge and devastating floods in the valleys below the mined areas, which have lost their topsoil and are no longer able to soak up rainfall. The companies responsible have of course abdicated all responsibility but I remember Geography GCSE! Back then I learnt that if you screw with the ability of the earth to soak up water there will be consequences. Could the same thing happen in the steep valley of Merthyr Tydfil? It seems highly likely if opencast mining continues.

On Sunday I went on a workshop to learn more about plants in the area, and was delighted to discover that the yellow berries packed tightly onto the branches of Sea Buckthorn are edible; tiny and tangy they are the richest source of vitamin sea after rosehips. I’ve brought a bag home to soak in some vodka – and wouldn’t you know it I discovered that the berries are used in a favourite Danish schnapps recipe.



After lunch the final plenary looked at how the Climate Camp movement can go ahead in Wales and how relations with Merthyr Tydfil will continue going forward. There was a real feel of excitement in the air as it was decided that Climate Camp Cymru would have it’s first official national gathering within the next six weeks and many people seemed more determined than ever to make it down to the Climate Camp in London next week. Tat down, (clear up of the camp) continued apace afterwards and I left feeling extremely happy that I’d made the effort to travel up to Wales and take part in the camp.



I’m now getting even more excited about the week long Climate Camp in London which starts next Wednesday 26th August with a city-wide “swoop” on our yet-to-be-revealed site. If you care about the planet you live upon (and you should, it’s the only one we’ve got!) come and join us this year. There will be hundreds of workshops on sustainability, direct action and how the financial system is affecting our environment – not to mention a diverse program of evening entertainments. We’ll be camping over the Bank Holiday weekend so why not come visit? It could be the life-changing experience it was for me at Heathrow in 2007.

Until then…

See more of my photos on the Climate Camp Cymru flickr site
Hear my phone blogs that I uploaded live whilst on the walk to Ffos-y-Fran here

Monday 17th August
The XX and Trailer Trash Traceys
Hoxton Hall, page London

Prepare to ponder life’s big questions against a white noise soundtrack from melancholic pop rockers, The xx, who are cornering the market with their sterling recent debut LP release and newcomers Trailer Trash Traceys.


Tuesday 18th August
Pearl Jam and Gomez
O2 Arena, London

Some say we’re due nu-grunge as a genre?! Whether this be the case or not, a bit of nostalgic singing along to Pearl Jam, from behind your greasy fringe never goes out of style. Feel free to be less enthusiastic about their support, Gomez.


Wednesday 19th August
Junior Boys
The Garage, London

Canadian electro-bleepists, Junior Boys, fulfil a demand for the intellectual and underground whilst producing a tune that the best of us can tap our toes to.


Thursday 20th August
Animal Collective and Gang Gang Dance
Brixton Academy, London

Ahead of headlining Green Man (look out for the festival review next week) this weekend, the epically fantastic Animal Collective are kind enough to treat London to one of their amazing live outings. With NYC art-noisers Gang Gang Dance – genius programming!


Friday 21st August
Beach House, Vetiver and The Papercuts
Union Chapel, London

Lush girl-boy Baltimore duo, Beach House fill this church venue with their spine chillingly beautiful pop, and with the equally atmospheric Vetiver and The Papercuts on the bill, you’ll be sure to have a spiritual experience.


Saturday 22nd August
Duke Garwood and The Ladywoodsmen, The Exploits of Elaine and Sixtoes
Café Oto, London

Continuing our love of all things Dalston, spooky blues man Duke Garwood gives us a delectable excuse to return to E8. The avant-folk support acts, of Elaine and Sixtoes, only add to the allure.


Sunday 23rd August
Alabama 3, Kate Miller-Heidke and Sam Lewis
Open Air Theatre, London

Provided the weather is grand, this should be a fine weekend closer with A3 providing swamp rock, bluegrass, Aussie alt songstress Miller-Heidke pulling up the pop corner and Nashville’s Lewis sprinkling some country-soul.



The film industry, buy more about in true fashion business style, has been busy churning out knock-offs of the latest trend…biopics about one of the biggest names in fashion, Coco Chanel. Hitting the high street in the US last September was the made-for-TV film starring Shirley MacLaine…and Americans still don’t get the animosity emanating their petit amis across the Atlantic? If that wasn’t bad enough there are rumors of Demi Moore stepping into the role for a Hollywood blockbuster. In a more inventive approach was “Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky” which closed the Cannes Film Festival this May and follows the controversial designer’s relationship with the….. composer.


But it’s Belgian director Anne Fontaine’s love story “Coco Avant Chanel” which elegantly tells the rags to riches story of orphan turned milliner-to-the-stars, Coco Chanel (played by Audrey Tautou) before her astronomical ascension into the fashion heavens. With piercing black eyes and boyish elegance Audrey Tautou was practically made for the part. As Karl Lagerfield, current head designer at House of Chanel points out, “You have to have the body and characteristics of Coco, it can’t be imitated”. Offering the actress insight into her character he informed Tautou that Coco was “tres maline“. Audrey Tautou’s icy vagueness and boyish sexiness in the film was effortless, much like the unfussy fashion revolution Chanel’s designs were responsible for.


Through Coco’s many manifestations, from bar singer to fashion ….., the film’s costume designer (Catherine Leterrier) selected key moments in the natural often experimental development of Chanel’s now unmistakable style. Riding horseback in trousers, reappropriating plaid drapes and stealing clothes from her lovers’ closets Coco is seen feeling her way through her new aesthetic as her own sense of self begins knocking out its walls. Disgusted by the gaudy frills and fluff so popular at the time, Coco adopts a manish, austere simplicity, relying on thereto for shunned black to color her dresses. It was later said that Chanel was trying to put people into the little black dress with white collar that she’d had to wear in the orphanage, where rich girls and poor girls wore different clothes.


The hats, including the undeniably British boater she popularized, were created for the film by legendary British milliner Stephen Jones who chose not to collaborate with the House of Chanel, reasoning that the hats predated the fashion house. He instead raided the bountiful archives of the V&A for reference and inspiration.

Although it is slightly frustrating that movies about creative men tend to focus more on their art than their personal relationships, it is Coco’s relationships and struggles with men that influenced her work. Jersey fabric, first introduced to her by her lover British oil mogul “Boy”, caused a stir on the fashion scene when she began using it in dresses. Her novel use of tweed was inspired by fishing trips to Scotland she took with her lover the Duke of Westminster, then one of the richest men in Europe.

In a manner only French women seem to be born with, Coco Avant Chanel possesses an unselfconscious elegance full of strength and femininity. Why no one thought to tell this precocious fashion maverick’s story sooner is a mystery. But must go to the top of every girls’ shopping list tout suite.
Exhibition Review

For a little gallery, and Concrete Hermit packs a colourful punch of both emerging and established designers. It’s free, dosage accessible and a total pleasure to look around at your own pace. I went to see Richard Hogg‘s current exhibition, Off The Wall, this is Richard’s first show since leaving Airside in 2007. The show took up the whole wall space of the small quaint gallery/shop. The images are nicely arranged with simplistic clean lines that portray a professional style. The overall mood of the exhibition is very modern and contemporary.


Hackney based graphic artist Richard Hogg, shares his studio with long time friend Roger Kelly who is a painter. Richard is originally from Hinckley, Leicestershire. The exhibition showcases a series of screen prints called Off The Wall. Using bricks as a metaphor to tell a story in a comic book style about freedom, rebellion and suggesting ways in which people have to conform in our modern day society. This subject is a very ambitious subject to talk about and to portray without over emphasising to make it too controversial.


Also other than the screen prints there are some original drawings, which have been created without using the aid of a computer. So this shows the diversity of his drawing skills and abilities, which is refreshing to see.


The style of his images gives off a happy vibe; the images are colourful and inviting, saying that there is evidence of a social and political meaning behind the images, this ultimately makes it even more engaging and interesting to view. The brick prints defiantly show the political status of our social society and how freedom and individuality is hard to gain.

One of the main styles Richard seems to concentrate in producing is a simple linear look, adding a splash of bold block colour, so the images are not over run and dominated by colour. His images are very technique driven. The first art piece you are greeted to is a 3D cardboard cut out of one of his illustrations, it welcomes you in with a big smiling grin on his face and widespread open arms. So from the word go you are already invited in by an extremely happy looking chap.


Concrete Hermit – Richard Hogg – Off The Wall

Concrete Hermit
5a Club Row London E1 6JX

Free Entry
Opening Times: 10am – 6pm Mon – Sat
Show continues until August 29th


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One Response to “Concrete Hermit â”

  1. Thereza says:

    lovely!!! will have to check it out :)

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