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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Elizabeth Johnson. An Interview with a Photographer

The Human Condition

Written by Sally Mumby-Croft

999 it’s time, sildenafil erectile is another green focused campaign. As the website notes “We are in a state of emergency – socially, store economically and ecologically. What do we do in an emergency? In the UK, viagra 100mg we dial 999…” Well that all sounds pretty heartening until you realise that the 999 campaigns reaction to this emergency hasn’t exactly been particularly speedy so far. I can’t help feeling that the climate emergency we are facing means groups should be advocating some real direct action rather than just planting a tree or joining the 10:10 movement. However the campaign has some great initiatives to get the ball rolling and hopefully get more people thinking about the global crisis.

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All illustrations by Suzy Phillips

Of course the campaign does have some credibility, it encourages people to get more environmentally friendly, and behind the celebrity endorsements 999 has some forward thinking ideas about how communities in particular can work together to create a more sustainable world. Transforming rural and urban spaces into shared land to grow food has been one of the most successful elements. Capital Growth is the place to start with a great run through of the process and steps and how to get involved. Land sharing empowers people by growing their own food and creating stronger links in communities as well as reducing the reliance on supermarkets. A definite step in the right direction.

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I caught up with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the rural country celebrity chef, to talk about his part in the 999 campaign.

Can you outline what 999′s main priority is about and why you’re here today?

999 is about driving home the issue of climate change and what we ourselves can do to combat the emergency situation we have found ourselves in. I’ve come today because our aim ties in with the Climate Rush campaign, and its a great way to get talking with the local community, and of course it’s the 9th of the 9th 09.

How is the 999 campaign coming along? It doesn’t seemed to have gained as much prominence in the press such as campaigns like the recent 10:10?

It’s an on-going process, im specifically been looking at the food aspect, and as the ambassador I’m really interested in what small scale communities can do to combat the threat of climate change.

Can you please give some examples of the message your trying to get across in relation to the food aspect of the campaign?

With my books and TV series I’ve been highlighting the importance of locally grown produce and recently I’ve been pushing the idea of land sharing. The idea is to find land, whether in urban or rural spaces where people can grow their own food, there is so much land wasted around the UK that can be used. With over a thousand people on waiting lists for allotments especially in the south, it is vital we utilize all the land we can instead of relying on foreign markets for our vegetables. Food is a great way to create a cohesive community and bring people together.

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How is the land sharing campaign going, have you had much success?

We’ve had over a thousand land plots given to us and up to 30,000 people signing up to the website, so it’s defiantly getting people interested. The campaign is also working with groups like the Church of England and a range of British NGOs. The National Trust for example has just given us 1000 plots of land, so although it’s quite a slow process, there’s been a real positive reaction across the country.

With your interest in climate change, have the facts about the meat industry’s huge carbon footprint persuaded you to become vegetarian yet?

No, not yet, I’m aware of the issues, and I keep by own pigs and livestock, and always advocate buying locally soured meat to keep the carbon footprint low.

So let’s hope this campaign can help to stop this emergency from escalating, with 1 day, 11 hours, 9 minutes since 999 Day, the pressure is on.
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Designers in Residence @ the Design Museum
September 18 – October 31

The Design Museum’s annual exhibition of young designers begins on September 18 with site-specific works from Marc Owens and Dave Bowker. Owens is inspired by virtual realities – his work Avatar Machine replicates video gaming via a headset (above), order designed to make the wearer see themselves as a virtual character in the real world. Bowker works in data visualisation and will be re-examining the way visitors move about the Museum.

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Open House weekend

Once a year thousands of London’s most interesting and historic buildings are opened to the public, sale some of which are locked up tight for the rest of the year. Although some of the most popular buildings in the centre of London have already been completely booked, drugs there are still plenty of places worth visiting.

If you haven’t got your eye on anything in your local area, consider visiting the house of Dr Samuel Johnson, of “the dictionary” fame. It’s free to visit on Friday (there will be free cake on this day) and Saturday, in honour of the great man’s birthday.

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Radical Nature

This exhibition of works revolving around nature and inspired by environmentalism features pieces from architect Richard Buckminster Fuller and artists such as Joseph Beuys and Hans Haacke, as well as newer names such as Heath and Ivan Morrison and Simon Starling. Impactful and timely, there are lots of strong visual statements such as the Fallen Forest by Henrik Håkansson (above) and a visual record of the fields of wheat planted as an act of protest on a landfill site in Manhattan.

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Thames Festival

Sunday

One of the few fireworks displays allowed along the Thames will occur on Sunday when the Thames Festival fireworks are set off in all their glory, fired from barges between Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridge so everyone can get a perfect view. There are also events all day, including fire-eaters, an outdoor ballroom (starting to become the South Bank’s speciality) and the annual Night Carnival, where 2,000 costumed revellers bearing lanterns and luminous costumes will welcome the pyrotechnics.
Another load of talks, healing workshops and activities to get stuck into, information pills don’t forget Co-Mutiny is still on all this week in Bristol, Climate Rush are still on tour, and also make sure you get down to protest against the closure of the Vestas Wind Turbine factory this Thursday. Good luck with fitting it all in, I’m certainly going to struggle!

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Illustrations by Emma Hanquist

Cambridge Climate Conference
Monday 14 Sep 2009 to Tuesday 15 Sep 2009 ?

An exciting event has been organised with international speakers and delegates involved in policy-making, business, and academia. Understanding the role of climate change policy is central to a business’s future success. Topics will include the political, economical, technological, and legal challenges and solutions for decarbonising electricity.
To register for a discounted ticket visit the website and enter ‘ge2009′ as the discount code.

Time: 9am-5pm
Venue: Churchill College, Cambridge, UK
Website: www.cambridgeclimate.com/

A Global New Deal needs a Green New Protectionism
Wednesday 16 Sep 2009 ?

An evening to learn and discuss the ‘triple crunch’ that we face: climate change, energy insecurity, and financial and economic meltdown. Colin Hines, Author and convener of the Green New Deal Group will be leading the talks. Colin has worked in the environmental movement for over 30 years including 10 years at Greenpeace. His recent work focuses on the adverse environmental and social effects of international trade and the need to solve these problems by replacing globalisation with localisation. During the evening there will also be a tribute to ‘Teddy’ Goldsmith, founder of The Ecologist magazine.

Time: 6.30pm drinks and food, 7.30pm talk begins at Burgh House
Venue: Gaia House, 18 Well Walk, Hampstead
Contacts: To book email, book online or call 0207 428 0054.
Website: www.gaiafoundation.org

Protest against the closure of Vestas Wind Turbine Factory
Thursday 17 Sep 2009 ?

As well as the continuing protest against the closure of the Vestas Wind Turbine factory at the Isle of Wight, there will also be a chance for people to make their feelings known across the country. People are meeting at the Department of Energy and Climate Change in London to lobby against the government. There will also be speakers including John Mcdonnel, MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlington) and Tracy Edwards (Young Members Organiser for the Public and Commercial Services Union).
Couldn’t put it better than Phil Thornhill from the Campaign against Climate Change “Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down the only significant wind turbine factory in the UK. The government has spent billions bailing out the banks, and £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the UK car industry – they can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are really going to need prevent a climate catastrophe.
Whilst the impact on employment on the Isle of Wight will be quite devastating, this is an issue not just about jobs or one factory but about whether the government is really going to match up its actions to its rhetoric on green jobs and the rapid decarbonisation of the British economy – whether its prepared to act with the kind of resolution and energy we need to cope with the Climate Emergency”.

Time: 5.30 to 6.30pm
Venue: Outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change, 3 Whitehall Place.
?Website: www.campaigncc.org

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Out of the Ordinary Festival
Friday 18 Sep 2009 to Sunday 20 Sep 2009
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OOTO is a 3 day family friendly and eco friendly festival set in the beautiful Sussex countryside celebrating the Autumn Equinox. Featuring a variety of live music powered by solar panels and wind generators, fascinating talks and workshops, children’s activities, awesome performances, a green market place and many more out of the ordinary surprises. The festival is also offering Big Green Gathering ticket holders a discount for the event held over the weekend
Venue: Knockhatch Farm, Hailsham, East Sussex
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Website: www.outoftheordinaryfestival.com

Tree-Athlon
Saturday 19th September

Get fit and get your very own tree sapling to take home! Participants run a 5km race to raise money for Trees for Cities, an independent environmental charity working with local communities on tree planting projects. There is also music, entertainment, lots of tree-themed activities, whatever that may consist of, and plenty of other workshops to keep the whole family entertained.
The race is open to runners aged 14 and up and is ideal for beginners or experienced runners alike. Register now, to make sure you can raise as much sponsorship as possible before the day, and look forward to a grand day out.

Time: 9am-3pm
Venue: Battersea Park
Website: www.tree-athlon.org

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The Urban Green Fair ?
Sunday 20th September

?The Urban Green Fair is held in Brockwell Park in London this Sunday, Its a free event and with plenty to do and see, the fair is also powered by solar and wind energy.
The annual family event, has a range of films, talks, workshops, kids activities, stalls, sunshine as well as some unusual bicycles. Unfortunatly no bars or big stages but this keeps the emphasis on education and communication. A chance to share ideas, meet familiar faces and make new friends. With little government action on peak oil and climate change there is plenty to discuss and lots we can do as individuals. ?

Time:11am-7pm
?Venue: Brockwell Park, Lambeth
Website: http://www.urbangreenfair.org/

Leytonstone Car Free Day
Sunday 20th September

Leytonstone Town Centre will car free day this Sunday. As well as having no vehicles hurtling around there will also be entertainment, stalls, live music, dancing, public art and childrens’ play areas. Simon Webbe from Blue and Aswad will be headlining! Get yourself down, and make sure you leave the car(if you’ve got one) at home.
Time: 1pm-7pm
Venue: Outside Leyonstone tube station
Website: www.walthamforest.gov.uk

Co-mutiny
Saturday 12th of September until Monday 21st September

A coming together of activists, eco-warriors gardeners, artists, community/political groups, cooks, builders etc. to demonstrate our creative power to build a city/world we would like to see. Co-Mutineers have taken an old cathedral (of the holy apostles) near the Triangle in the Clifton/Hotwells area, it’s a space to converge, eat, sleep meet and discuss, plan and skill-share!
There will be over a week of different activities, direct actions, workshops, film screenings, public demonstrations and parties. It’s happening all across Bristol and the wider South West.

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During the week there will be actions happening all across the city, which will climax in a fancy dress carnival through the financial district of Bristol on the Friday.
Venue: Bristol Pro Cathedral, Park Place, BS8 1JW
Website: http://comutiny.wordpress.com/
Monday 14th September
William Elliott Whitmore
The Garage, order London

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We can’t get enough of this distilled, medications gravelly bluesman. With Whitmore, it’s almost like you’re listening from inside a huge bottle of JD.

Tuesday 15th September
We Have Band
ICA, London

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This trio spin the grooves of Talking Heads via a stop off and natter with Hot Chip, it’ll make you jive and smile.

Wednesday 16th September
Beth Jeans Houghton
Rough Trade East, London

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Having supported folk heavy weights, Tunng, Bon Iver, and King Creosote, this ballsy 19 year old manages to blend the vocal lustre of Nico and Laura Marling whilst having an edgy stage presence more like Gwen Stefani. Beguiling.

Thursday 17th September
Alela and Laura Gibson
Shepherds Bush Empire, London

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We chatted to Alela recently and she was as lovely as her music. Gibson toes a similar line of enchanting bluesy folk airs.

Friday 18th September
Metronomy, Male Bonding, Your Twenties and Drums Of Death
The Forum, London

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We’re particularly keen on the immaculate indie-pop of Your Twenties after meeting the lovely ex-Metronomy frontman. Nice to see they’re still close.

Saturday 19th September
Tom Paley and Birdengine
The Deptford Arms, London

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A traditional folk night in a scuzzy South-East London boozer. You want more reason that that? Well living legend, Tom Paley who played with Woodie Guthrie back in the day and enchantingly odd, Birdengine are two big ones.

Sunday 20th September
Viv Albertine and Get Back Guinozzi!
The Windmill, London

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The Slits guitarist has picked up a guitar again after a 25 year sabbatical and come up trumps with punk rock outfit, Albertine.


Monday 14th


Rankin at The Truman Brewery

It’s the last chance to see Rankin’s retrospective in Brick Lane this week. The exhibition moves through Rankin at university exploring the well worn art student quest to find a sense of self to portraying the plight of the Congo. After this introduction the exhibition opens onto his best know fashion, website erotic and beauty editorials. Featuring Kate, Hedi, Tilda Swinton and the Dame of British Fashion, Vivienne Westwood to name a few. Rankin’s strongest work comes through in the portraits where he has assumed a sense of a relationship with the sitter, tweaking out their quirks through the movement of an eyebrow, eye or twitch of the lips or neck. Throughout the exhibition Rankin moved his studio into the space to continue photographing the public portraits. A portion of everyone’s fee goes to support Oxfam’s to work in the Congo.
Until the 18th September.

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Tuesday

START KNITTING with prick your finger!

Recent years have seen a rise in designers revisiting craft techniques, with knitting proving to be especially popular with a range of creatives from Louise Goldin to Mark Fast. Last week Amelia’s Magazine participated in a Prick Your Finger discussion on the use and sourcing of local ethical wool and the continuing rise in the popularity of knitting.Join on a Tuesday 7-9 for beginners classes with all your knitting woes and joys.

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Thursday

Fashion Diversity at The Museum of London

The Museum of London is staging a three day fashion diversity event during London Fashion Week. On Thursday the museum hosts a range of workshops from a discussion of the development of sustainable fashion by CHOOLIPS, to a Moving Passion to Profit workshop in association with the MOORDESIGN salon finishing with the importance of branding. Colour Production, addressing how companies interact with their audience visually. Finally 7-16 year olds are giving the opportunity to unlock their creativity in a fashion drawing workshop teaching concentration, communication and dexterity.

Friday and Saturday host the fashion diversity catwalks: Emerging, Established and Honorary designers at 1pm or 3pm Friday and 1pm on Saturday, places are free. Honorary designers Junky Styling and Nico Didonna also present pieces for the runway.

To conclude Saturday’s event, at 3pm student and graduate designers from schools and colleges across London showcase designs inspired by 18th century pleasure gardens and related costumes from from the Museum of London’s archives.

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SHOWstudio : Fashion Revolution

Unable to go to Fashion Week? Fear not! As mentioned last week, the Fashion Revolution exhibition opens at Somerset House. The exhibition curated by Showstudio celebrates nine years of Showstudio.com. The website established by Nick Knight has pushed and developed the idea of communicating fashion ‘live’ through films, online live interviews and streamed performances involving photographers, models, stylists graphic designers and cultural figures to create ethereal fashion portraiture and communication through body and style. New fashion films have been commissioned to accompany the exhibition, alongside a live photographic studio that gives the viewer the opportunity to see the whimsical world of fashion in play.

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Saturday 19th


GIANT VINTAGE SALE

This just dropped into the inbox – The East End thrift store are inviting all budding clothing DIY’ers to come down to the store and fill a bag with all that you can for ten or twenty pounds. Open Saturday to Sunday from 10-7pm.

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The National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery celebrates the icon of 60′s British Fashion photography, Twiggy. Dedicating a room to the most iconic images created with her image by a range of photographers from Richard Avedon to Solve Sundsbo. The exhibition coincides with a publication of a new book: Twiggy : A life in photography. This exhibition is a must for anyone interested in the relationship between sitter and photography in fashion portraiture.

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Roll up Roll up and take part in Covent Garden’s fashion fete

Pull the fashion rope, roll around in dressing up boxes courtesy of Costume Boutique. Jump up and Down for the tombola, be styled by Super Super Magazine, scouted by models 1 or preview some of the hottest new design talent with the Fashion and Textiles museum.
Moreover TRAID are holding a stitching workshop on how to transform old clothes into new designs as demonstrated by their remade range.

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The London Vegan Festival this year took place in Kensington Town Hall, ask and was absolutely heaving. Usually, store the odds of bumping into another vegan are slightly higher than those of two Esperanto speakers meeting, so hanging out in a hall packed full of them was a new experience – as was not having to ask ‘Is there dairy in this?’ at every food stall. Bliss.

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Almost as soon as someone mentions becoming vegan, people start to get a panicked look on their faces and tend to begin listing reasons why they couldn’t possibly give up cheese. The general consensus is that a vegan diet is deprived and difficult. Just a quick glance over these photos ought to give anyone with that mindset pause for thought.
Never-mind having never been in a room with so many vegans before, I’d never been in a room filled with so much vegan cake! I ate my way around the festival, starting with a deliciously gooey chocolate brownie, discovered vegan crème eggs half-way round, swung by the Conscious Chocolate stall for my free samples and a bar of Choca Mocha Magic, then hung out with Redwoods comparing the Lincolnshire sausages to the hot dogs. (Hawt dawgs won, hands done.) Veggies provided me with some real food, in the form of a massive Cheezley burger, giving me the energy I needed to head to some of the talks.

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Being vegan isn’t all about the food (though, let’s be honest. It is mostly about the food) and there was a wealth of information at the Festival ranging from talks on vegan nutrition (okay, food again), taking action against animal testing and extreme vegan sports (like regular extreme sports, but partaken of by vegans. Not like preparing scrambled tofu at 30,000 feet. Though, that would be something I would pay to see) to stalls run by the Secret Society of Vegans, animal rights groups and Active Distribution – a bookstall filled with vegan recipe books and anarchist ‘zines. There was information relevant to every level of vegan interest; aspiring, political, dietary…
There was plenty of entertainment too, in the form of magicians, musicians and comedians. (Never let it be said that vegans are without a sense of humour.) I saw Andrew O’Neill, a vegan comedian, who has recently come off the Fringe and was hilarious. Wibbling between whimsical and cruel, from the ‘scat-nav’ to “Kill a Fascist for Grandad” in replacement of the current “Hope not Hate” campaign, he had me laughing from start to finish.

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So, why vegan? We already have McCartney pushing for Meat-Free Mondays, do we really need Dairy-Free Days of the Week as well? I’m on the ‘Yes’ side for that one. Going vegan reduces support for the livestock industry down to zero, on a personal level. (Y’know the livestock industry I’m talking about. The one helping out with Climate Change by about 18%.) If you’re serious about wanting to reduce your environmental impact on the Earth and already cycle everywhere, reuse and recycle, turn your taps off when brushing your teeth, then this is the next step in armchair activism. You don’t need to head up to London to protest, or write letters to your MP. Just start buying dairy-free marge approved by the Vegan society, switch to dark chocolate instead of the sugar-filled sweet stuff, experiment with vegan recipes (hundreds of which are on-line) and have fun doing so. Going vegan isn’t scary or hard, but it is inconvenient. Learning to live without dairy, however, is going to be a lot less inconvenient than learning to live without our planet’s natural resources. If you need any more persuading, I make the most delicious vegan cookies. Drop me a line, and I’ll be sure to hook you up.
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2000 Light Years from Home, physician Neal Fox’s second exhibition, prostate opened at Gallery Daniel Blau in Munich this weekend.

A founder member of the infamous Le Gun collective and a character on the debaucherously creative Soho scene, Neal Fox’s reputation just grows and grows. His pen and ink drawings light up the pages of the Guardian and Dazed and Confused, whilst the Le Gun group shows are always packed to bursting on opening nights, providing the London art world with a much needed buzz of youthful excitement. Each picture features Neal’s grandfather Jonny Watson, by whom he was taken on drinking binges with the hedonist iconoclasts of our age. In this latest show he is taken on a doomsday rock and roll trip and psychedelic journey down the Nile.

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Fox has always drawn ( at school he made pocket money by drawing footballers for his fellow pupils) and became inspired by a discovery he made at his father’s friend Les Coleman’s house.
“…he has a massive collection of underground comics by people like Robert Crumb called things like ‘Amputee Love’. So, I was about eight and I would root through these alternative and psychedelic comics and I got really obsessed with Robert Crumb, I spent my teenage years locked up trying to draw like Robert Crumb.”

These years of drawing clearly paid off as Neal went on to study at Camberwell College and then to complete his masters at the RCA where he met Robert Greene, Chris Bianchi and the other founder members of Le Gun magazine.

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With the growing reputation of the Le Gun collective and the progression of Fox’s other work the whole thing is becoming very exciting and he has now exhibited in Soho’s French House, Gallery Daniel Blau in Munich and Loft 19 in Paris.

This latest exhibition shows great development in the work; the gin-soaked nights of his grandfather in Soho have become psychedelic journeys of the mind as we follow Joseph Conrad down the Nile on a Kenneth Anger inspired acid trip. This drawing is an astonishing 10 meters long. Fox’s work seems to grow in size with each exhibition as the content becomes more and more fantastical.

“Since I got into doing the big pictures, they’ve become much more layered…I think it makes your ideas bigger and makes you feel freer. Coming out of being an illustrator where you are tied to working in a certain size at your desk, I thought why not just make it bigger?”
While he was working on this gargantuan work he hung the drawing on an ‘elaborate contraption’ so he could roll it back and forth as the picture came to life.

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“It starts with the Heart of Darkness, it’s meant to be a mixture of the context of the novel, the pictures evoked by the books but rather than just illustrating the book I wanted to put in the context the books came from and how they bled into culture at the time it was published. “
This layering of influences and ideas is key to these amazing pictures. Drawing from many aspects of culture, from Kenneth Anger to colonial politics, Neal Fox sums up the multi-faceted representation of culture in the world we live in.

All theory aside, these are some pretty amazing adventures in pen and ink: not only will they test your imagination, they’ll tickle your fancy.

Leaving the last words to the artist: “I think the drawings have got a lot more context and my mind has opened up a lot more, the pictures in the last exhibition were more about depicting certain scenes, I’m opening up more to what just comes into my head as I work.”
I first noticed Georgia Hardinge’s exquisite autumn/winter collection for the designer’s transcription of fossil’s architecture into the folds of the collection. An idea embellished by the neutral colour palette of both the make up and the clothes themselves. This season sees Georgia Hardinge premiere her S/S 2010 collection at On|Off’s exhibition space at 180 The Strand. This event staged by On|Off is a separate event which coincides with the official London Fashion Week, tadalafil offering young designers the opportunity to show their collections while the fashion industry is in town.

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After graduating from Parsons Paris School of Design Georgia collaborated with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and was awarded the golden thimble for best designer at her graduation show. I particularly like the draping and pleating of the fabric to embellish the body’s architecture whilst remaining incredibly feminine pieces of design. The S/S 2010 designs continues themes present in earlier collections from the positioning as clothes as architecture for the body encased within sculptural designs based on landscapes and fossils. I look forward to seeing the entire collection at the On|Off exhibition.

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Georgia, check what inspired you to study fashion design?

Fashion is my way of translating my thoughts into living entities. I am inspired more by ideas of sculpture, science, and architecture than I am by the fashion industry I think clothing should be unique and trend-less.

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When did you creative interests start to develop?

Creating things always interested me, and I remember remaking my friends‚ clothes for fun, and collecting bits and pieces to turn into accessories. We would all go into our mother’s wardrobes and dress up in their clothes.

How important is the natural shape of the body to your designs?

Everyone has areas around their body that they are sensitive about. Manipulating the fabric to draw attention elsewhere makes people more confidant, if I can make people see beauty in what they thought were their faults then I’m happy.

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Which designers would you consider to be important currently?

I don’t consider any one designer to be more important than any other. Our work shows our opinions and everybody has an opinion that matters. It’s about what you like and what feels right at a specific moment.

What is your favourite fabric to work with?

I have this obsession with wool! I can always rely on it to structure my work the way I want, and I love playing with the raw edges of the fabric.

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How do you incorporate structure into your designs?

Architecture is my ultimate inspiration, if I wasn’t in fashion I would dedicate my time to making models of landscapes and buildings, I’m intrigued by doing this on a living body and challenging myself to turn my ideas into garments. On the body my work can travel, people are introduced to my concepts in the street without having to go to a gallery or museum.

So landscape is important to your SS10 collection?

I wanted each piece to map the lines and curves of a woman’s body. I was just experimenting with the idea of boundaries and contours on the body and trying to recreate this as something we can use everyday.

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How does it feel to be part of On|Off at London Fashion Week?

I’m quite excited. This is only my first collection working within my company so I’m just lucky to have this kind of opportunity.

What are your plans for the future?

I have a lot in store for the future. I think all designers have an idea of where they want to be in ten years time. I just hope people stay enthusiastic about my clothes and I keep challenging myself and coming up with fresh ideas.

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Autumn has arrived and with it brings a desire to be contemplatively snuggled up in a quilted blanket wearing your finest armour of knitted garments. Close your eyes and the lilting tones of Oregon native, approved Laura Gibson provides such warmth and opportunity for musing. Open your eyes and you are in the Rough Trade East store surrounded by converse wearing middle-aged men, who’ve heard the media whisper and wanting to ‘keep up,’ have stumbled in on their way home from the office. An altogether less romantic situation but the acoustic ruminations of Gibson provide a suitably poignant escapism nonetheless.

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By Jason Quigley

From the same school of thought as other Portland, Oregon inhabitants, Joanna Newsom and Alela Diane (who she is currently supporting on tour), Gibson is armed with just an acoustic guitar this evening, stripping back tracks from her album, ‘Beasts Of Season’ to the skeletal beauty of their conception. Opening with ‘Where Have All The Good Words Gone?’ she demonstrates the communion of her purposeful yet furtive voice and shimmering guitar motifs. Requests for cloves of garlic came between songs, alerting the audience to an ‘under the weather’ performance that Gibson was doing well to mask in her songs.

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By Jason Quigley

The B-side to her latest track, which went on sale yesterday, provided a highlight within her set. ‘All The Pretty Horses’ is an Alan Lomax collected song, which Gibson describes as “a sweet lullaby that turns into a creepy cowboy song.” This is indicative of the haunting tone in much of Gibson’s music, who coincidentally wrote her album in a room overlooking one of the oldest graveyards in Portland. The acoustic setting is an opportunity for the listener to get lost in the images she creates within such insularity Gibson tells of “bare walls singing” and “pale bones swaying” to their own “Funeral Song” where “Glory” offers a trio of ruminations on father, mother and sister. For somebody who writes with such stark introspection, it is touching when she jokingly invites the audience to embark on a Q & A, bringing me and the middle aged men back into the room to contemplate our journey to the rest of our evening.

After this evening, I’m going to make a point of following the next middle-aged man (wearing converse) I see with a look of intent. They’re probably ‘in the know’ and are heading to a worthy in-store.

Last week a series of actions took place to protest against Europe’s largest Arms fair which was held in the capital at the Excel Centre. At ‘Defence Systems and Equipment International’ (DSEi) 2007, view there were 1352 exhibitors from 40 different countries with a total of 26,5000 visitors. With the trade fueling conflict undermining development and creating poverty around the world, it was important to show we are not willing for it to go ahead.

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Photos by Amelia

There was a series of actions held over the week; a flash mob took place at the fourth plinth, a group let off alarms tied to helium balloons at the Offices of AVIVA at the Offices of AVIVA, even London Catholic Workers poured red paint onto a sign advertising the DSEi Arms Fair. Arms dealers also had a rude awakening with activists holding placards and non-lethal-bio-degradable guns, shouting with a loud hailer at their hotel rooms.

On Tuesday there was a mass action where a large group of activists rampaged through a series of corporations that back the arms trade. RBS, Barclay’s, Legal and General, BT and AXA who have all invested millions, were targeted with shoes being thrown, banner drops and windows smashed.

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I managed to get to the demo last Thursday at the Hilton where the arms dealers were having a gala dinner. It was strange to think that only a few meters inside the Hotel, men and women responsible for millions of deaths were sipping on champagne in their pin striped suits.

As well as the sizable police force, outnumbering the protesters, there was also an array of thuggish looking men, ear pieces in, blocking the entrance. A pretty intimidating sight for a ramshackle group of activists. I wasn’t quite sure who the upstanding members of the community were meant to be, especially when they nicked our sound-system at the first opportunity.

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I was impressed by the group who held up placards to point out the dealers, mainly for the comical side of seeing the suited men scuttle away inside to the safety of the Hotel. Embarrassed; I wish, but probably just eager to get back into their plush bubble and escape the threat of a conscience.

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Soon after we arrived a couple of trucks pulled up with a load of railings and in no time they had created a little pen. Surprisingly, we didn’t just mindlessly get herded in. The small bunch of people at the entrance sat down and linked up. The remainder continued to evade the police kettling, harassing and confusing the arriving arms dealers.

After attempting to herd and pen us in, it soon became clear that with the rich and powerful animals inside, (am I allowed to call them that?) they had to get us out of the picture. About 20 activists were arrested and dragged and bundled into the back of police vans.

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It looked like the action was over, and with such influential people inside, it felt like a success to even get to the entrance. To stop the arms traders or to get them to feel even the slightest bit guilty felt like it required half the world’s population banging at their door. With the government backing and the police protecting them, it’s going to be a continued uphill struggle.

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Elizabeth Johnson is a diverse and talented photographer whose fashion images and self portraits capture a certain bleakness of the human spirit, viagra buy her commissioned portraits for Vice and Nokia capture the sitters individual playfulness. Personally, about it Elizabeth’s images whether fashion (Dennis Severs House, viagra image below), self portrait or images representing the fleeting nature of empty summers convey an incredible sense of literary narrative. The girls populating the photographs appear to be whimsical creatures existing solely in the countryside, outside the trappings of modern life. The photographs allow the viewer to project themselves into the softly lit landscapes. Amelia’s Magazine asked Elizabeth about the influence of her inspirations regarding her the compositions of her photographs.

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Where does your inspiration come from?

?A lot of my inspiration comes from the human condition, trying to find a way to illustrate emotion/feelings. My favorite image is one of the two that I used in my degree exhibition, a self portrait, facing away from the camera, in a white dress. I currently have a 4 ft x 4ft copy of it in my flat

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Why do you produce images?

I’m interested in people making images that are beautiful and art. Using stunning images that will long outlive the clothes that they are supposed to be selling. The imagery should transcend the commerce.

What is your relationship to clothes used in shoots?

I adore beautiful clothing, but have little to no interest in documenting trends. I am aware of them, being ‘current’ doesn’t interest me, as I feel that it means your work will date and become obsolete really quickly.

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The film noir images appeared in The Times.

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Do you discuss your creative process?

Sometimes I’ll try and talk to other people about what I’m inspired by, but I’ll either get shy or irritated if they don’t understand… So I turn to books etc.

?Favourite photographers?

My favorite photographers are Sarah Moon, Francesca Woodman, Ryan McGinley. I love Sarah Moon for her work as it is just so unique, with such a strong story running through her images. I go back time and time again to her work. Francesca Woodman for the tragedy surrounding her, which may sound a bit macabre, but she was beautiful and committed suicide at just 22, the ghostly almost angelic nature of her self portraits seem to show an awareness of the fragility of life. Ryan McGinley, his photographs make me think he just seems to enjoy life so much.

?Who do you consider to be an important photographer for this generation?

I think Alec Soth is amazing, he manages to combines itinerant documentary work, while moonlighting as a fashion photographer. Plus he’s a member of Magnum.

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??Motivation outside of photography?

I’m inspired by so many different things… nature, I can’t stay in London more than five days without craving the countryside. I’m inspired by people, and their emotions, the way we interact, how we glorify the past. I get quite overwhelmed sometimes, taking pictures is a good way to shut feelings in a box and helps you move on.

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??What are your thoughts on the drive towards an ethically sustainable fashion industry

I feel that young designers such as Ada Zanditon creating ethical and sustainable fashion is an exciting development. For me, buying second hand/charity shop is the best thing you can do, as you are reusing what has already been produced….

?Do you prefer natural or studio lighting?

I really don’t like using studios… I find them intimidating and a bit limiting for the work I want to produce. I use an olympus OM20 and always try to shoot in natural light…

How did your photographic style develop?

My photographic style probably comes from years of looking at other photographers and unsuccessfully trying to copy them. I think that I’ve not yet found a style that I’m truly comfortable and happy with to be honest.

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How does literature or music inspire your photographs?

Literature inspires me so much, I’m like a poor mans author, as yet unable to cohere my thoughts into passages of prose. I often will start a shoot with a reference from a book or a poem.

Elizabeth’s portraits of the horse Milfy are luscious in their portrayal of the consideration the owner has for their steed. It is in this ability to capture a range of human emotions that Elizabeth’s photographs become timeless and not simply about fashion or art. Instead they become about the subject that so inspires much literature. The Human Condition.

Elizabeth Johnson graduated with a degree in editorial photography in 2008 from The University of Brighton.

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4 Responses to “Elizabeth Johnson. An Interview with a Photographer”

  1. Kathleen Cooley says:

    How can i get in contact with Elizabeth Johnson to shoot pictures of me to make a portfolio?

  2. Amelia says:

    How about having a look at her website’s contact page?

  3. Kate Garner says:

    Would u look at my website to see if you are interested on doing something about my photography

  4. Amelia says:

    Hi Kate, it doesn’t work like that – if you want to contact us there is a list of contacts here: http://www.ameliasmagazine.com/contact-us/

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