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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Dreamboat Vs Inkygoodness Exhibition, Bristol

Art platform makers, Inkygoodness have got together with Dreamboat Records for an Exhibition involving 28 artists, music and the theme: Dreamboat. I asked Inkygoodness about arty things and popped into the show's launch party.

Written by Helen Martin


Illustration by Abigail Wright

I have always been fascinated with analogue photo booths. I have vivd memories as a child – the excitement and anticipation, hospital there pulling ridiculous faces, never really knowing what you’ll get until the old machines clunk and churn out your photographs. So, tadalafil on a recent trip to Berlin, I was desperate to get back involved, like so many others, with the analogue phenomenon.

A short while after my return, I discovered that the Photoautomat project that exists in Berlin had transferred to London – one of those brightly coloured, glorious booths had been on my own doorstep and I didn’t even realise. A bit of internet research, a blog and a Twitter account later, I met Alex – Photoautomat’s London representative. He’s on a mission to bring back the beauty and art of the old-fashioned photo booth. Me, Amelia and fashion writers Sally and Jemma paid Alex a visit on a crisp Saturday morning to get involved, and have a chat with the man himself…

How did the Photoautomat project start, and where did the booths come from?
Well, it really started about 5 years ago in Germany, where my friends bought one of the booths because they were fascinated with the old analogue machines and the photos they produce. Soon it took over Berlin and the rest of the country. I got interested in the booth when I was over visiting and followed my friends around to look after the booths. We all have our memories from when we were young and fooling around in those booths at the Mall, but seeing them again in Berlin really ignited my passion for them again.

What do you know about the history of the booths?
The photo booth was invented 1925 by a Russian immigrant in New York. He opened his Photomaton Studio on Broadway. For just 25 cents, everybody could get their photograph taken. That was quite a revolution back then as photography was just for the rich and famous; because of the booths, it became accessible to everybody. 
From then on they were used as props in movies such as Band Wagon with Fred Astaire, by artists like Andy Warhol and people from all backgrounds for fun or memories and obviously passport photos.

Where are the booths located now?
Our booths are all over Germany. Most of them are in Berlin, but also in Hamburg, Dresden and Cologne. We launched a booth a while ago in Vienna. Then there is my booth here in London. There are also booths in Paris and Italy. 

How did this one end up in Cargo?
I thought it would be much easier to get a good location for a photo booth in London, but it turned out to be more difficult than I thought - policies and regulations mean a seemingly straightforward thing as installing a photo booth quite a task. I approached Cargo and they gave me the space in their beer garden straight away; they just liked the idea and it was done.

Why do you think the booths are so popular?
Well, people always like old things: vintage, analogue. The rebirth of Polaroid showed there is still a demand for analogue photography.There is something precious about a photo booth strip. It’s one moment, one photo and it can’t be replicated. No negative, no back up, just like real life. The photos also have a better quality than digital ones. There are apps out there on smart-phones to imitate the effect and I understand that most people don’t want to go through the hassle of having a analogue camera. This is where the photo booths come in. For a few quid, you can take your photo booth strip with your friends and keep that moment forever.

How do you think the qualities of these booths compare to the modern booths we see in train stations/etc?
I guess I answered that question above, but there really is no comparison. The digital ones lack quality and depth and the spontaneity you have in the analogue booth. 

Are there any other London locations planned? Or elsewhere in Europe?
I am looking for more locations in London. I would love to get some booths on the Southbank.

Has the booth been used for anything other than people taking pictures with their mates?
I had a photo shoot last year with Mixmag in the booth. It was a fashion special with hats. There were also a few artists who used the booth for their projects. Fionna Banner used the booth for her work twice.

Have you seen/heard any funny experiences concerning the photo booth that you can share?
I had a guy calling me once – he was totally out of it. He took some photos with his girlfriend and they didn’t came out. She got naked and they were concerned that they might get into the wrong hands. I wasn’t in town at that time and couldn’t do anything about it, but he insisted for me to come around. I finally managed to calm him down and sort everything out. 

What are you favourite images that the booth has created?
That would have to be all the photos form the exhibition/project we had during Photomonth last year. They reflect what the whole photo booth thing is all about.

Who would be your ideal customer – who would you most like to see use the booth?
Everybody is ideal. Everybody is welcome, as long as they respect our work and leave the booth as they found it for the next to come! Most likely they are probably analogue enthusiasts, students and Cargo guests. I have families, a couple from Lisbon, artists form Nottingham and even Henry Holland taking their photo in the booth!

What does the Photoautomat project hope to achieve, long term?
Hopefully we’re here for years to come and give people from all backgrounds the opportunity to have their little moment. It’s really all up to the people who use our booths and what they make of it. That is the beauty about it – and always will be.


Illustration by Abigail Wright

I have always been fascinated with analogue photo booths. I have vivd memories as a child – the excitement and anticipation, illness pulling ridiculous faces, salve never really knowing what you’ll get until the old machines clunk and churn out your photographs. So, on a recent trip to Berlin, I was desperate to get back involved, like so many others, with the analogue phenomenon.

A short while after my return, I discovered that the Photoautomat project that exists in Berlin had transferred to London – one of those brightly coloured, glorious booths had been on my own doorstep and I didn’t even realise. A bit of internet research, a blog and a Twitter account later, I met Alex – Photoautomat’s London representative. He’s on a mission to bring back the beauty and art of the old-fashioned photo booth. Me, Amelia and fashion writers Sally and Jemma paid Alex a visit on a crisp Saturday morning to get involved, and have a chat with the man himself…

How did the Photoautomat project start, and where did the booths come from?
Well, it really started about 5 years ago in Germany, where my friends bought one of the booths because they were fascinated with the old analogue machines and the photos they produce. Soon it took over Berlin and the rest of the country. I got interested in the booth when I was over visiting and followed my friends around to look after the booths. We all have our memories from when we were young and fooling around in those booths at the Mall, but seeing them again in Berlin really ignited my passion for them again.

What do you know about the history of the booths?
The photo booth was invented 1925 by a Russian immigrant in New York. He opened his Photomaton Studio on Broadway. For just 25 cents, everybody could get their photograph taken. That was quite a revolution back then as photography was just for the rich and famous; because of the booths, it became accessible to everybody. 
From then on they were used as props in movies such as Band Wagon with Fred Astaire, by artists like Andy Warhol and people from all backgrounds for fun or memories and obviously passport photos.

Where are the booths located now?
Our booths are all over Germany. Most of them are in Berlin, but also in Hamburg, Dresden and Cologne. We launched a booth a while ago in Vienna. Then there is my booth here in London. There are also booths in Paris and Italy. 

How did this one end up in Cargo?
I thought it would be much easier to get a good location for a photo booth in London, but it turned out to be more difficult than I thought - policies and regulations mean a seemingly straightforward thing as installing a photo booth quite a task. I approached Cargo and they gave me the space in their beer garden straight away; they just liked the idea and it was done.

Why do you think the booths are so popular?
Well, people always like old things: vintage, analogue. The rebirth of Polaroid showed there is still a demand for analogue photography.There is something precious about a photo booth strip. It’s one moment, one photo and it can’t be replicated. No negative, no back up, just like real life. The photos also have a better quality than digital ones. There are apps out there on smart-phones to imitate the effect and I understand that most people don’t want to go through the hassle of having a analogue camera. This is where the photo booths come in. For a few quid, you can take your photo booth strip with your friends and keep that moment forever.

How do you think the qualities of these booths compare to the modern booths we see in train stations/etc?
I guess I answered that question above, but there really is no comparison. The digital ones lack quality and depth and the spontaneity you have in the analogue booth. 

Are there any other London locations planned? Or elsewhere in Europe?
I am looking for more locations in London. I would love to get some booths on the Southbank.

Has the booth been used for anything other than people taking pictures with their mates?
I had a photo shoot last year with Mixmag in the booth. It was a fashion special with hats. There were also a few artists who used the booth for their projects. Fionna Banner used the booth for her work twice.

Have you seen/heard any funny experiences concerning the photo booth that you can share?
I had a guy calling me once – he was totally out of it. He took some photos with his girlfriend and they didn’t came out. She got naked and they were concerned that they might get into the wrong hands. I wasn’t in town at that time and couldn’t do anything about it, but he insisted for me to come around. I finally managed to calm him down and sort everything out. 

What are you favourite images that the booth has created?
That would have to be all the photos form the exhibition/project we had during Photomonth last year. They reflect what the whole photo booth thing is all about.

Who would be your ideal customer – who would you most like to see use the booth?
Everybody is ideal. Everybody is welcome, as long as they respect our work and leave the booth as they found it for the next to come! Most likely they are probably analogue enthusiasts, students and Cargo guests. I have families, a couple from Lisbon, artists form Nottingham and even Henry Holland taking their photo in the booth!

What does the Photoautomat project hope to achieve, long term?
Hopefully we’re here for years to come and give people from all backgrounds the opportunity to have their little moment. It’s really all up to the people who use our booths and what they make of it. That is the beauty about it – and always will be.

Lisa_HassellDreamboat

Dreamboat by Lisa Hassell

Aviator and French writer of books such as ‘Night Flight’ and ‘Wind. Sand and Stars’, help Antoine de Saint-Exupery said: ‘If you want to build a ship, remedy don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, buy information pills but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.’ If you have a dream then realistically you would need something to transport you to where it rests. In this circumstance, why would you choose a vessel that was something you have seen a million times before? The Titanic never got anyone anywhere.

Dream

When you are using your imagination to get somewhere, you must get there in something spectacular and once you have built this ship, you must prepare yourself for the world that has opened up to you. Everyone has a dreamboat in them, because put quite simply, we all have imaginations and we all have dreams. Whether they are made of marshmallows, bananas or glitter particles stuck together, it is the yearning of our own dreams that will make other people’s, and our own ships a reality. Thus whilst at the Dreamboat Exhibition in Bristol, I was immersed in the pictures of dreamboats for as long as it took me to imagine drifting off with these characters on an adventure that would take me somewhere new. It all starts with a dream.

PicDream

Inkygoodness, set up in 2008 and run by illustrators Lisa Hassell and Michelle Turton, aims to provide a platform for new and emerging talent to showcase their work alongside more established artists. They have teamed up with Bristol record label, Dreamboat Records, who have the likes of This Is The Kit on their books, for their latest event, Dreamboat vs Inkygoodness. The event is running for three weeks and started last Friday December 10. Dreamboat have provided live music from their artist portfolio, including Wonderfully Courteous Gentlemen, This Is The Kit and Slaraffenland. This has been combined with the work of 28 illustrators, artists and image makers from Bristol and beyond, inspired by the theme: Dreamboat.

WindowSnow

I braved the cold and cycled to Start The Bus to check out the Dreamboat Exhibition, which can be found upstairs via a compact vintage shop. The small space is festooned with fairy lights, with white spoldges and clouds on the windows and a ship made from slices of bread in the middle of the room. As I first span around the gallery I found I was surrounded by suspended ships caught as they by the illustrator paparazzi on their dreamy voyages. The illustrators have formed mysterious existences and swept away the mundane reality with thoughtful interpretations of their own dreamboats and it’s marvellous. Highlights include Ben Steers space adventure characters and Dave Bain‘s gorgeously mysterious and vulnerable illustration.

DreamB

I caught up with Lisa Hassell from Inkygoodness, and asked her about the project, Inkygoodness and being an artist.

What are Inkygoodness’ objectives?
Inkygoodness aim to provide a platform for new and emerging talent – our focus is to showcase artwork by a diverse group of artists at different stages in their careers – be they professionals or recent graduates. By bringing artists together in this way we hope to nuture young talent and give them a unique opportunity to meet artists they admire, who can offer them advice and support as they enter the industry.

Where are you based?
We operate mainly out of Bristol, and many of the artists we work with also live here. We’ve held shows in Birmingham (our home town), Bristol, and most recently in London.

What is your background?
Michelle and I both studied illustration, graduating in 2005. We currently hold down full time positions in marketing & design, organising Inkygoodness events and exhibitions in our spare time.

Toy_Factory

Do you take on a particular style or are you very liberal with who you give platform to in the art world?
We’re primarily focused on showcasing illustration, but illustration as an art form can take on many different styles. We’ve exhibited screen prints, paintings, murals, hand made objects, plush toys, collage and sculpture – different working methods, but the artwork shares a distinctive, low brow – no brow aesthetic. We want our exhibitions to be accessible, and engaging – we tend to select work which is hand crafted rather than created digitally. At the heart of Inkygoodness is the essence of a collective – we create opportunities for artists to work together and explore the potential of cross-disciplinary collaboration. So we pick artists whose work compliments each other, leaning towards character design, strong ideas and visual style.

Success stories?
In terms of sheer numbers, our London exhibition has been our biggest success so far. We were absolutely overwhelmed with the reception we received at the opening night, and thrilled that so many of the artists were there in person to enjoy it. We had over 3000 visitors throughout the exhibition run, and sold almost two thirds of the artwork in the gallery – an incredible results for a debut show. Energetic, entertaining and very emotional – it’s one of the best experiences I have ever had.

DreamPano

Do you do a lot of events?
Over the last 12 months we have organised and participated in a number of events in Bristol and our home town of Birmingham, most recently organising our debut London exhibition on Brick Lane. We also participated in our first painting event – the Live Illustration Draw at the annual Urban Paint Festival in Bristol earlier this year, alongside other UK art collectives. Although our activity has mainly centred around collaborative artist-led events, we are keen to try our hand at other projects in the near future, such as publishing.

Anything like Dreamboat before?
This will be the first time we have collaborated with a record label, and the first time Dreamboat Records have done a live event, so it’s quite a new thing for both of us. The benefits of collaboration mean we are effectively widening our audience, and offering something a little different to a regular art exhibition. We’re very excited about this event – there’s always such a buzz around the opening night – we’re pulling out all the stops to ensure this one doesn’t disappoint!

dream3

How did this collaboration occur?
John (Dreamboat Records) and I met a while back, and we’ve always been on each other’s radar. John mentioned his plans to organise a ‘live’ music event later that year, and was keen to get a group of artists involved to do some live painting. He approached us, and at the time we were caught up in organising our London show and not really in a position to do it. A few months later, we booked Start the Bus for our Christmas show, and remembering this conversation, asked John if he was still interested in working together – he was!

How is art associated with music?
Many artists I know are also musicians, and the two go hand in hand for many creatives. Music inspires art, stimulating our subconcious with a flow of ideas that transfer onto the work we create.

How are you feeling about the event?
Its lovely to be back in Bristol, and we’re very excited about our new collaboration with Dreamboat Records. Following our recent success in London, we wanted to do something local and a little different for the next event, and offer an experience that tied music and art together. Our opening night is going to be really magical. There is still quite a bit of planning to do, but we’re looking forward to it!

DreamShoe

What advice would you give to creatives still plugging away with tea and self faith?
Keep creating. Stay focused and inspired, and work hard! Make an effort to get involved with your local creative community, and attend events and exhibitions when you can. Conferences and design festivals are brilliant opportunities to network with like-minded creatives. It can be wonderfully inspiring and supportive to your creative career – and it’s a lot of fun!

Do you enjoy your job? Why?
Michelle and I absolutely love working on Inkygoodness projects and engaging with illustrators and artists across the world. We’ve been lucky to meet some very talented people over the last 2 years, and feel very fortunate to have received such amazing support for what we do. Many of the artists we have met have become good friends, and that is easily the best part of the job.

What would your dreamboat look like?
It would be made of sweet things like marshmallow and meringue, with cherries for seats and liquorice for sails.

DreamB2

Sail away dreamboats! Where you end up will be a factor of your own dreams mixed with the worlds these splendid pictures create. Check out the Dreamboat Exhibition for yourself at Start Gallery, (via Top Deck vintage shop), Start The Bus Bristol . It is running until December 30 and is open daily from 11am to 4pm for you to have a gander.

P.S. Watch out for my next post featuring three artists: Dave Bain, Ben Steers and Sarah Dennis with pieces at the Dreamboat Records vs Inkygoodness Exhibition

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One Response to “Dreamboat Vs Inkygoodness Exhibition, Bristol”

  1. [...] on an adventure that would take me somewhere new. It all starts with a dream. Extract from my Amelia’s Magazine Article on the Dreamboat Exhibition in Bristol. It features an interview with the Inkygoodness people, who set up Exhibitions like this around the [...]

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