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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Exhibition: I have this strange kind of feeling and I just can’t place it…

While both Christopher Adams and Clara Cowan have worked in arts events, fashion and photography for a combined eleven years, Folie à Deux is a new collaboration which sees them in direct and complete control for the first time. So what have they been busy planning for us?

Written by Ed Gosling

Charly Coombes and the New Breed Live
Charly Coombes and the New Breed are a contemporary rock and roll band, salve hailing from the same nest as Supergrass. They are currently working their way around the UK promoting their latest EP, medications Waves, and offer a great blast of rock and roll freshness through the musty sound waves at the moment.

You can buy tickets here and check them out at the followign venues:

25th Nov-The Cape Of Good Hope, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK
26th Nov-Wycombe Academy, Buckingham, UK

27th Nov-The Cellar, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK

1st Dec-Nice n Sleazy, Glasgow, Lancashire, UK

2nd Dec-The Duchess, York, Yorkshire, UK

4th Dec-The Soundhouse, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK

10th Dec-Kasbah, Coventry, West Midlands, UK

11th Dec-Water Rats, London, UK

The Compass Road by Iain Sinclair illustrated by Faye West

The decision to wear a wrist-piece by Mr Jones’ Watches is to accept the designer’s re-evaluation of our modern understanding of time as a series of fixed units, medical through which the day is neatly compartmentalised. A concept visualised within the permanent collection, in the form of The Average Day watch. Originally produced for The Muses, (Mr Jones matched five professionals whose “work or life thematically linked them” to five new watches) the watchface represents the average activities undertaken at different times throughout the day. The information was digested from a variety of sources researching how the average person consumes time on an average day.

The Average Day, Photograph by Chris Overend. The Muse for this particular watch was Jonathan Gershuny, Director of the Centre for Time Use Research and who Mr Jones stipulates has “750,000 time-use diaries.”

Continuing to dispense with the unquestioned measurement of time, Mr Jones developed Cyclops, a watch with no hour, minute or second hands. Instead a circular disk mimics the movement of shadows across a sundial, as the passage of time is meditatively documented. Encouraging the wearer to reevaluate their relationship to capitalist time in which every precious second counts.

Cyclops

On Wednesday 3rd November 2010 Mr Jones’ Watches launched The Masters of Time a collaboration with five unique professionals who share the development of an unique and personal concept of time.

During the launch Iain Sinclair, author and psycho-geographer, Greame Obree, record breaking cyclist and artist Brian Catling discussed the ideas behind their watches and the process of negotiating whilst collaborating. The final two watches were developed with Comedian William Andrews, and DJ Tom Middleton.

Iain Sinclair’s (Author of Hackney That Red Rose Empire) Compass Watch relates to 90 minutes of film time, rather than your usual TV time of 60 minutes. Sinclair discussed the relation of time to walking, the layers created as time passes both between an event and the walker’s presence, within the walker’s own time. For Sinclair this interest is perhaps pinned down into an interest in the relation between Landscape and Authors.

Fittingly Sinclair’s watch replaces the units of time with authors whose experience was shaped both by the influence of both geographic location and a complex understanding of time. How time can dramatically change as different systems compete for ownership of land, in his 15 minutes Sinclair discussed the breakdown of the poet John Clare after the enclosure of the landscape to JG Ballard’s experiences as a prisoner of war before his arrival in Suburban England.

Compass Road by Iain Sinclair and Mr Jones Watches

Brian Catling, a performance artist, presented an art historical slide show, introducing the ideas behind Dawn West Dusk East through a series of paintings and performances exploring the concept of ‘the cyclops’. The watch itself was designed -as spoken by the artist- to be “enigmatic, subtle and poetic.” The single rotation of this exquisite design is request to a return to a slower pace, as the dial continually measures 12 hours between Dawn and Dusk and back again.

Brian Catling

The final speaker of the evening was the twice claimant of The Hour record, cyclist Graeme Obree, whose watch The Hour visualises the time span of the toughest record in cycling. Fittingly the hours have been replaced by words relating to the passage of time. As the hand rotates through a 12 hour cycle, a different word is revealed with the aim to encourage the wearer to question the inhabitation of every hour in every day. Obree described the record breaking attempt as the best, worst, most exhilaratingly painful hour imaginable, as each second ticks past…

A fantastic event, which sadly William Andrews and Tom Middleton were unable to attend, in turn their watches played with the idea of ‘death’ on stage in The Last Laugh and displayed a DJ’s relation to BPM and . BPM comes complete with a specifically designed animation to help the nocturnal DJ keep count of each record’s BPM.

Tom Middleton

William Andrews

William Andrews The Last Laugh functions as both symbol of the performer’s need for the last laugh and a momento mori, a reminder that life is brief as time flashes past on the moving teeth of the skull illustrated watchface

The Last Laugh by William Andrews and Mr Jones Watches

Both Compass Road and The Last Laugh have been released, you will need to watch Mr Jones Watches’ website for the appearance of BPM, The Hour and Dawn West Dusk East… An beautifully clever selection of watches, available to view in the flesh at Mr Jones Design, Unit 1.11 Oxo Tower Wharf
Southbank London SE1 9PH.

Iain Sinclair – Compass Road interview from Mr Jones on Vimeo.

The Compass Road by Iain Sinclair illustrated by Faye West

The decision to wear one of Mr Jones’ Watches is to accept the designer’s challenge to a modern concept of time being a series of fixed units, discount through which the day is neatly compartmentalised. A concept most succinctly visualised by the watch The Average Day watch. This piece was originally produced for The Muses. The watch-face illustrates the average activities undertaken at particular points throughout the day. The information was digested from sources researching how time is spent by an average person throughout the day. The hours are replaced by words, diagnosis for example 6pm becomes social life and 11 am becomes work.

The Average Day, viagra sale Photograph by Chris Overend. The Muse for this particular watch was Jonathan Gershuny, Director of the Centre for Time Use Research and who Mr Jones stipulates has “750,000 time-use diaries.”

Continuing to dispense with Western Modernities accepted measurement of time, Mr Jones developed Cyclops, a watch with no hour, minute or second hands. Instead a circular disk mimics the movement of shadows across a sundial, as the passage of time is meditatively documented. Encouraging the wearer to reevaluate their relationship to capitalist time in which every precious second counts.

Cyclops

On Wednesday 3rd November 2010 Mr Jones’ Watches launched The Masters of Time a collaboration with five unique professionals who share the development of an unique and personal concept of time.

During the launch Iain Sinclair, author and psycho-geographer, Greame Obree, record breaking cyclist and artist Brian Catling discussed the ideas behind their watches and the process of negotiating whilst collaborating with Mr Jones. The final two watches were developed with Comedian William Andrews, and DJ Tom Middleton.

Iain Sinclair Photograph by Emilie Sandy

Iain Sinclair’s (Author of Hackney That Red Rose Empire) Compass Watch relates to 90 minutes of film time, rather than your usual TV time of 60 minutes. Sinclair discussed the relation of time to walking, the layers created as time passes both between an event and the walker’s presence, within the walker’s own time.

Iain Sinclair – Compass Road interview from Mr Jones on Vimeo.

Fittingly Sinclair’s watch replaces the units of time with authors whose experience was shaped both by the influence of both geographic location and a complex understanding of time. In his 15 minutes Sinclair discussed the breakdown of the poet John Clare after the enclosure of the landscape to JG Ballard’s experiences as a prisoner of war before his arrival in Suburban England.

Compass Road by Iain Sinclair and Mr Jones Watches

The performance artist and sculptor Brian Catling, introduced the ideas behind Dawn West Dusk East via an art historical slide show. Original paintings and performances explored and expanded on the concept of ‘the Cyclops’. The watch –in the words of the artist- was designed to be “enigmatic, subtle and poetic.” The single rotation of this exquisite design is a silent request to return to a slower pace. The dial gradually measures the 12 hours between Dawn and Dusk.

Brian Catling Photograph by Emilie Sandy

The final speaker of the evening was the twice claimant of the toughest cycling challenge The Hour – a race between the cyclist, distance and the clock. Fittingly the title chosen for Graeme Obree’s timepiece is The Hour. As the hand rotates each hour reveals a different word encouraging the wearer to question emotions experienced during a variety of daily activities. Obree described The Hour as the best, worst, most exhilaratingly painful amount of time imaginable, each second a step closer to achieving or failing a lifelong obsession.

The Masters of Time launch was a fantastic introduction to an individuals complex relation to time. Sadly William Andrews and Tom Middleton were unable to attend, their watches The Last Hour and BPM played with the idea of ‘death’ on stage and a DJ’s relation to the beats per minute respectively. BPM comes complete with a specifically designed animation to help the nocturnal DJ keep count of each record’s BPM prior to the moment of a live mix.

Tom Middleton Photograph by Emilie Sandy

William Andrews Photograph by Emilie Sandy

William Andrews The Last Laugh functions as a symbol of the performer’s need for the last laugh and a momento mori, a reminder that life is brief as time flashes past on the moving teeth of the skull illustrated watchface

The Last Laugh by William Andrews and Mr Jones Watches

Mr Jones Watches are available from the website or you can visit Mr Jones Design, Unit 1.11 Oxo Tower Wharf?Southbank London SE1 9PH.
Compass Road and The Last Laugh are available today.

The Utrophia Project space’s short history has seen it transformed from an old ice cream factory in the 50’s to an exciting art space. Utrophia prides itself on ‘sailing into lands uncharted, discount ’ providing a platform for interesting and diverse events while trying to make the most of the building’s unusual character (there’s even a decent vegetable patch in the courtyard where the cows used to be kept). Folie à Deux seem to have found a natural home in which to house their first project which aims to ‘promote thoughtful and provocative contemporary art’. They stress a desire both to encourage community participation in cultural events and to inspire the individual with a sense of magic.


Illustration by Giulia Ricci

I have this strange kind of feeling and I just can’t place it… teems up five artists with talks about their work (such as Giulia Ricci on 21st, erectile and Judith Lyons on the 28th) and an Alternative-Folk music evening on the 20th. The artists all have an innate concern with environment: ‘the ways in which we shape it, try and are in turn shaped by it’; but in talking to Clara, she emphasised the instinctual nature of the way in which the artists were chosen for the event. She said, ‘we’re drawn to artists who are theoretically interesting, while motivated by the unexplainable.’ As a consequence while theoretically there is a unity between the artists, formalistically they are quite different. Judith Lyons’ work is a series of bold close-up photographs of flowers, half dissected, saturated with intense colour that transforms the ordinary into strange alien like, underwater sea creatures.


Illustration by Nina Mankin


Illustration by Nina Mankin.

Giulia Ricci uses a simple pen and paper to create systems and patterns that explore the nature of various repetitive processes within science and maths. Nina Mankin and Keith Roberts use mix media and collage, while Nina Royale uses a more traditional oil on canvas. Having seen some of the photographs, it should prove to be a diverse exhibition with some beautiful works.
If this wasn’t enough there’s a music night on 20th which brings together three different acts from the UK folk scene to perform within the art space itself. If you haven’t heard of the bands, they’re well worth checking out. Dear Winesburg have just released a fantastic debut album, produced by Fairport Convention’s Mike Pela that has garnered considerable acclaim.


Dear Winesburg


Amber States

While Amelia’s Magazine reviewed Amber States a little while back, picking up on their ‘catchy hooks, dreamy melodies, exhilarating builds and toe tapping rhythms’. With Benedict Rubenstein (front man of Brighton seven piece Alt-Folk band The Mariner’s Children) to finish off the night with a solo performance, playing intimate stripped-down versions of the band’s songs.


Mariners Children

In combining both music and art in so many different forms – the various events positively bubble with the enthusiasm and excitement that Christopher and Clara have put into them and the music night promises to be ‘laced with mulled wine, beer and other seasonal drinks’. It’s also worth noting that the admissions are free. Although there is nothing concrete planned for the future Clara assured me that this was going to be the first of many ventures, so we should see a lot more of Folie à Deux in the near future.

Exhibition title: I have this strange kind of feeling and I just can’t place it…

Opening times: 11-28 November 2010

Event Times: Thu-Sun, 11.00 – 18.00

Admission: Free

Location: Utrophia Project Space, 136 Tanners Hill, London SE8 4QD.

Event title: Alt-Folk night at Utrophia Project Space

Event times: Saturday 19.00 – 23.00

Admission: Free

Location:
Utrophia Project Space, 136 Tanners Hill, London SE8 4QD.

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One Response to “Exhibition: I have this strange kind of feeling and I just can’t place it…”

  1. Great write-up, thanks, and many thanks to Folie à Deux for their wonderful exhibition, great events and constant energy in making these things happen. We’ve been proud hosts.

    Utrophia is actually over eight years old now, with three years in the current project space. Not only was the building an ice cream factory, the downstairs project space was previously the entrance and foyer for the New Cross Cinematograph theatre, which stood there 100 years ago. Then they built the rest of the building on top in the 1950s (arguably less well than they built the ground floor).

    Thanks again, and do come back and see more at the space whenever you can.

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