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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Landscape Gallery – Oriel y Parc

words and photos from Polly Corrigan

Written by Polly Corrigan

Monday 12th Jan
Starting today: The Voice and Nothing More is a week-long festival at the Slade Research Centre that explores the voice as both medium and subject matter in contemporary arts practices. Established artists and emerging talent will work with leading vocal performers in an exploration of the voice outside language. On Wednesday the festival culminates in a presentation of objects, pilule generic performances, order and installations that are open to the public. There will also be performances on Thursday and Friday from 6 pm.

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Wednesday 14th Jan

Now in it’s 21st year, recipe the London Art Fair begins at the Design Centre in Islington. A hundred galleries are selected to show work from the last few hundred years. This immense exhibition will encompass sculpture, photography, prints, video and installation art. It ends on the 18th of January.
There is a talk this evening at the ICA entitled Can Art make us Happy? where artists Zoë Walker and Michael Pinsky explore the notions of art as a social cure-all in times of economic and social gloom.
A new solo show from Josephine Flynn begins today at Limoncello on Hoxton Square. The Mexican was bought off a patient who was in hospital with mental health problems. When the patient talked about The Mexican she described how the process of making him had helped her – ‘healing through making’ was how she put it.

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Thursday 15th Jan
Feierabend is a collaborative installation between artists Francis Upritchard, Martino Gamper, and Karl Fritsche, bringing together a shared aesthetic in their distinctive approaches to jewellery, furniture design, and sculpture. The exhibition plays with the boundaries of art and real life – looking like a workshop abandoned at the end of a day’s work, or a sitting room left in abstracted dissary, it’s only inhabitants a set of sculpted figures who seem lost in their own meditations.
Gimpel Fils opens a new photographic exhbition from Peter Lanyon and Emily-Jo Sargent, 100 Pictures of Coney Island.
The Asphalt World is a new solo show at Studio Voltaire from Simon Bedwell. Drip paintings are made from advertising posters in an ironic twist or corporate seduction.

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Feierabend


Friday 16th

There are two exhibitions starting today at Wilkinson on Vyner Street. In Upper Gallery a, Episode III, Enjoy Poverty, is the second in a series of three films by Renzo Martens in which he raises issues surrounding contemporary image making, challenging ideas about the role of film makers and viewers in the construction of documentaries. In the Lower Gallery, there will be the fourth exhibiton from German artist, Silke Schatz. Through the conjunction of video, sculpture, drawing and found objects, Schahtz composes a personal portrait of the city of Agsburg.

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Saturday 17th Jan

We featured David Cotterrell in issue ten, where in the picturesque surroundings of Tatton Park, he explained how his visit to Afghanistan, where he was invited by the Wellcome Trust, would be likely to have a lasting effect on his future work. Aesthetic Distance is David Cotterrell’s third solo exhibition with Danielle Arnaud, and focuses on the experiences and inevitable aftermath of a flight he took in November 2007 in a RAF C17, from Brize Norton to Kandahar. He was the sole passenger in a plane loaded with half a million rounds of palletised munitions and medical supplies to join Operation Herrick 7, a strange irony not lost on the artist.

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Earth Listings

Monday 12th January, viagra 60mg 7pm

Climate Rush hits Heathrow

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To whomsoever concerned by the biggest threat faced by humanity today-that of climate change,

You are cordially invited to Dinner at Domestic Departures. Join us for an evening of peaceful civil(ised) disobedience ahead of the government’s decision over a third runway at Heathrow. Inspired by the actions of the suffragettes, we will be calling for DEEDS NOT WORDS. The government acknowledges the huge problems we face from Climate Change but they continue with business as usual. This jolly evening is intended to produce much-needed positive change and we do hope that you would join us.

Location: Domestic Departures, Terminal 1, Heathrow Airport.

Time: 7pm (when the string quartet plays their first note).

Dress Code: Edwardian Suffragette: high collars, long skirts, fitted jackets, puffed sleeves, think Mary Poppins. Sashes will be provided. * Although advisable, it is not compulsory to arrive in Edwardian dress, the most important thing is that you your friends and family join us for dinner. To add the element of surprise, it is suggested that you arrive in a large coat to conceal your costume until the stroke of 7.

Bring: Jam tarts, scones, cucumber sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, tea cakes. Picnic blankets and table cloths. Tea and elderflower cordial. No alcohol please.

Entertainment: String quartet, art tricks from ArtPort, polite conversation.

We look forward to seeing you,

The Misbehaved Ladies from Climate Rush x

Tuesday 13th January, 6pm

Art, Activism and the legacy of Chico Mendes
RSA
8 John Adam Street
London
WC2N 6EZ

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Tonight will explore the ways in which the arts can help shift society’s attitudes in the face of unprecedented climate change. Elenira Mendes, daughter of environmental activist Chico Mendes, will talk alongside panelists Jonathan Dove (award-winning composer), Greenpeace’s senior climate adviser, Charlie Kronick and fasion designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Wednesday 14th January

Wednesdays Do Matter
InSpiral Lounge, 250 Camden High Street NW1 8QS

A night of music, comedy, poetry and film (and really good vegan smoothies!) in aid of global justice campaigners, the World Development Movement. Remind yourselves why everyday matters, even Wednesdays.

Trouble the Water
ICA
The Mall
London
SW1Y 5AH

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Winner of this year’s Grand Jury prize at Sundance and announced as a finalist in 2009 Accademy Awards for Best Documentary. This is one New Orleans’ resident’s depiction of the catastrophic tragedy of Hurricaine Katrina. Shot with a (shakily) handheld camera, Kimberely Roberts’ footage starts from the weekend before the hurricaine and covers a period of a year. Michael Moore collaborators Tia Lessin and Carl Deal edit and append the tapes with their own film of the post-Katrina clean-up effort.An astounding portrayal of resilience and bravery.

Showing at the ICA 12th-15th January

Turning The Season
at The Wapping Project
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station
Wapping Wall
London
E1W 3SG

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Recent crisp bright skies have been a welcome respite from the usual drab January weather. But who knows what tomorrow may bring. Turning the Season explores the social and cultural phenomenon of the British Season. It would be fair to say that the increasingly visible effects of Climate Change have further fuelled our national fascination with the weather.
Expect 100 bird houses, a roof-top lily pond and a photo story showing the break-up of a relationship against the backdrop of seasonal events shot by fashion photographer Thomas Zanon-Larcher.

Until 28th Febuary

Amazonia at the Young Vic

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Although aimed at swarms of roaring key stage 3 schoolchildren as an educational piece on the issue of deforestation, this production from Palace People’s Projects is a true delight. Set in a traditional village in the Amazon that is eventually swayed by the ghost of Chico Mendes to not fall under the developers’ bulldozers. But not until some devastation has been wreaked first. A socio-political depiction of destruction of the Amazon with a mythical slant. All set to the music and dancing of Forro. An inventive stage (a mammoth man-made tree rather resembling an electrical pole, and pools of water seperating the audience) and brilliantly gaudy costumes by Gringo Cardia.

Until 24th January
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Monday 12th January

Dead Kids, cost O Children, erectile The Lexington, London

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Seriously energetic post-punk, sequinned and LOUD live act Dead Kids headline. No matter what you think of them on record, they’re sure to grab you live. Continuing the infant name-theme, as well as the intense post-punk sounds are support O Children.

Comanechi, Durrr at The End, London

With the ever-winning combo of Japanese girl singing drummer (also to be found as frontwoman for London band Pre) and jangular guitars, this is your best bet for a trendy sceney night out in London.

Tuesday 13th January


Banjo or Freakout
single launch party, White Heat @ Madame JoJos, London

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Part of the new-wave of ultra-hip, genre-smashing music sweeping the artier corners of the globe at the moment. Should be a celebratory atmosphere as it is his single launch party.

Wednesday 14th January

Goldie Lookin Chain, Metro, London

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Ho ho ho, GLC are sooooo funny. Free entry is promised to the gig but don’t leave your purse at home as you’ll have to pay to leave.

The Virgins, Rough Trade East, London

American New Wave tinged indie-rock.

Thursday 15th January

Wet Paint, Rough Trade East, London

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Playing this gig in anticipation of the release of their new album, they’ll be supporting Bloc Party later in the year.

Emmy the Great, 12 Bar Club, London

Intimate solo acoustic performance of debut album First Love in full, ahead of its release in February.

Push, Astoria 2, London

A massive farewell party for the Astoria 2 which will be finally demolished on Friday. Catch Cajun Dance Party live as well as DJ sets from Mystery Jets, Lightspeed Champion, Good Shoes and Neon Gold among many others and mourn the demise of the sticky-floored dingy music venue in central London.

Friday 16th January

Cats in Paris, Brassica, Braindead Improv Ensemble, The Woe Betides, George Tavern, London

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Massively hyped, bonkers 70s-ish glam-electro from Manchester.

The Golden Silvers, The Macbeth, London

Dreamy indie-pop from these regulars of the London gig circuit.

Saturday 17th January

The Bookhouse Boys, Empire, Middlesborough

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Catch this 9 piece mini-orchestra, complete with mariachi brass, duelling drummers and girl-boy vocals, for their Ennio Morricone-style soundscapes.

I Love Boxie: a web-based business in London that tailors a t-shirt especially for you based on the story you tell them. The most astute of the fashion-conscious clan know that style should reflect your spirit and not merely robotic trends. In light of this; don’t wear your heart on your sleeve- instead wear it on a t-shirt; a Boxie t-shirt.
Here, cure founder of Boxie, troche Moxie shares her views on what fashion is truly about, how her brand works and what she hopes to achieve through her t-shirts:

Tell us the story of I Love Boxie.?

Each t-shirt tells a piece of the way – a place we have been, a person we have seen. We have many lines that fit many situations and could tell a piece of your story too. If not, we offer t-spoke. You call us, tell us a story and we turn it into a line on a t-shirt. We believe everyone in the world should have an unbranded, authentic tee that sings a line of where they have been and what they have seen. We are the opposite of any company who just put a logo on a t-shirt.

?Where does the inspiration for your t-shirts come from?

?From the people who write and call in everyday with their stories. The stories are wild, heartfelt, quiet, poignant and are better than anything we could make up.

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What’s the idea behind the “half a conversation” concept?

If you think about branding for the last 30 years it’s been about distillation, reducing everything to a line eg: ‘just do it’ or ‘impossible is nothing’.
Our lines are about provoking expansion. It’s just the first line of the story, or the chapter heading. We want people to come up to someone wearing a Boxie tee – and go ‘wow, what the hell happened to you??’
?
Why do you make it purposefully hard for people to purchase your t-shirts, without contacting you directly first??

The tees are written about stupid, funny, weird, deep moments in people’s lives. All of them from the heart. They feel like they need more exchange than a credit card transaction. T-spoke especially. This is a creative collaboration that begins with the customer telling us their story. It is a strange and wonderful one off encounter between them and us. The t-shirt is their battle scar of that personal story.

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Is all your business Internet based? ?

As far as being web based goes, our tees are obviously a form of self expression and there is no greater arena for that than the web. This taps into what a tee originally was – a piece of underwear, something that wasn’t supposed to be seen but kept close to the chest and hidden like a secret.

These days, the web is a place where secrets can step out of the shade, where people can talk about things they wouldn’t usually talk about in real life. Most times, you can learn more about someone from reading their status report than talking to them for an hour in reality, because the web has taught us the language of openness and sharing.

Boxie exists in the ether as part of that fluency. More importantly those web values – openness, sharing, community – are overflowing back into real life now. So, yes, soon we’ll be on the streets in some form, although the tees will never ever be in a retail space, hanging limply on a rack.

Your favourite Boxie T-Shirt to date??

So High and Solo

How would you describe Boxie in one word??
Gonzo

Any advice for the penniless fashionista?
Everything great creatively comes from being up against it and with no cash. You can’t ever see it when you’re in it but, as far as imagination goes, you are in an infinitely better position than someone with a million dollars. Do something great with this time. And then call us to get the t-shirt. ?

Advice for those wanting to purchase something Boxie??

Write to us directly at moxie@iloveboxie.com
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New York is spawning many a catchy-tuned electro based band at the moment – meet The Discoghosts, more about firstly they have a brilliant name, look secondly, approved they do what they say on the tin, this is a disco fest. Their ethos is nicely summed up in their lyrics, “We love ladies and they love us, cos we’re cool and disco plus.”

Otherwise known as M-Boy and Tracky, they meant their album title – BAD – literally it seems, rather than a tribute to the King of 80′s pop, as they are apparently, “trying to break the taboos of “good” music, while playing with clichés of club sound like repetition, climax, stupidity, autofilter, and sound fetishism.” I see.

This album could be the OST to many an 80′s movie – it’s true, it may be the decade that taste forgot but it produced some pretty good tunes – there are obvious Ghostbusters references ie: track 2 being called Ghostbusters Busters and there’s also hints of the Beverley Hills Cop riffs in there, along with and slinky soul beats, electro voices, rubbish rapping and a guy that sounds suspiciously like the chef from South Park

That’s not to say they’re stuck in the past, their mellower synthetic beats, such as Jellyfish, track 9, have a Hot Chip vibe and that’s not a bad thing at all.

If their aim was to produce an awful album – they failed, maybe it’s just that I have a soft spot/great love for the 80′s but I very much enjoyed this, catchy, listenable songs that don’t take themselves seriously. My favourite line, from Straight but Gayish (sung by a high electro voice), “your boyfriend’s hetro but he looks homo.”

And they dress like this to perform:

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How could you not love them?
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It was legitimate for us to feel nervous. With indiscreet bullying from BAA and no knowledge as to how the police were planning to receive us, sick we tucked our dresses beneath our over-coats and shuffled through the throngs of intimidating fluorescent jackets at Heathrow Departures, illness passports at the ready and an impromptu conversation about flight times – very subtle. I wish I could have seen the briefing, look out for pretty girls in dresses and large jackets.

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Once in, all subtleties were abandoned, a charming sight when the order of the day was Edwardian dress and dinner, an evening of very civil (ised) disobedience. Instruments, top hats, high collars and puffy sleeves – all were revealed as the clock struck seven, the string quartet took to its first note and picnic blankets were unfurled for the beginning of the Climate Rush organized party, Dinner at Domestic Departures.

Music played, food passed cordially from plate to plate, and sashes were handed out. It was not long before currents rippled through the crowd into cheers, claps, and chants, “Deeds Not Words”, “Trains not Planes” and, “No Third Runway”, with a contingency singing to the tune of 90′s classic There’s no Limit. The complete transformation of Zone C was helped along by Artport, a collective of artists working in collaboration with Cilimate Rush to redefine the space as we know it. Green all-in-one clad waiters weaved through the crowd with a planet for a cake and planes for spoons, whilst a parachute game bounced a blow-up earth from edge to edge.

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In amidst this electric and elevating atmosphere, it was a spectacular delivery of a serious message. Climate Change is a very real threat and many people feel let down by the powers that be to address this threat.

We don’t want a third runway and call for cheaper train fares and better transport hubs instead of domestic short-haul flights. It is of course just part of a bigger picture: the greater threat of Climate Change of which aviation expansion is just a part, and the wider feelings of concern and dissatisfaction amongst citizens for whom civil disobedience is also, just a part.

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Describing herself as an ex-Camden townie, link the self-taught illustrator, Zarina Liew, has thrown her arms up at the big smoke and a career in marketing; and has chosen instead the serenity of the Cambridgeshire countryside, pencils, watercolours, and strange lonely creatures ridden by lust and self-ruin.
Her Hunter Series, eight inked paintings which exhibited at the Shoreditch Shuffle Festival, started life as a 24-page graphic novel. It tells the story of a gramaphone and a lonely creature, who forms an unlikely friendship with three musicians. She is driven by a need for company and music, they are captured by her beauty and seduced by her authority. The musicians fall into her charm and into her gramophone where they are trapped and eventually perish, singing songs of solidarity and love.

Over a virtual cup if Green Tea, we ask Liew a bit more about her curious creatures of emotional turmoil, her illustrative inspiration and whether or not she misses Camden.

Tell us about the Hunter Series.

I wanted The Hunter Series to be an extension of the original story both visually and metaphorically – a story within a story. You get a sense of the narrative from the different pieces, but as a whole, you see the Hunter for who she is – a hungry, lonely and melancholic being. It’s an illustration of lust and self-ruin; both the musicians and the Hunter are acting on impulse, blind to their terrible fates. Even though she is the one to end the men’s lives, the Hunter does not get what she wants. With no one to listen or play with, she’s alone again.

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Where do you draw information for your characters from?

I draw most of my information from observing the people around me. I never assume that what you see in someone is what you get – everyone has a hidden interior of ambition and desire. Music plays a large part as well. I found the musicians for The Hunter listening to an unsigned band playing at the Dublin Castle in Camden – the Parallel Animals. After falling in love with them – and the front man! - I offered to sketch them during rehearsals and help out at their gigs. Seeing how hard local bands work at this music business, and how ruthless the whole industry is, gave me a sense of direction in depicting the musician’s fate in my artwork.

The emotional context of the characters is strong; the nature of lust and self-ruin… is this an expression of your own emotional turmoil?

I suppose yes – in a sense that all of my work is an expression of myself, my feelings and thoughts. I wouldn’t say that I am strongly affected by the nature of lust and self-ruin though, let’s just say that I am extremely aware of it in myself, and all too conscious of letting myself go, or losing control of who I am. As I mentioned earlier we all have a hidden interior of ambition and desire – acting on lust however (whatever the desire – money, sex, fame) can only lead to self-ruin. Sometimes I wonder if I’m making the right choices, I question why I did certain things and what is behind my motivations. It’s a constant cycle of self-reflection.

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And finally, Camden vs Cambridge countryside… who wins?

This is a real toughie. Can I be wayward and say that weekdays are for Camden and weekends are for Cambridge?
During the week I get a lot of inspiration from the Camden kids, lovely hidden-away galleries and sweaty underpriced indie nights. By the weekend though it’s full of puffy tourists and very long queues for nothing.
That’s when I retreat to the gentle Cambridge countryside. It’s perfect for lethargic country strolls and relaxing afternoon teas; this is also where I get a lot of my inspiration down onto paper and start to paint. All the week’s bustle leaves my mind ready to draw in peace and quiet!

You can see more of her work here, or catch her at the Alternative Press Fair on Sunday 1st February where she will be featuring the Hunter Storybook alongside other homemade creations, and apparently, lots of Green Tea.

.
Why is it no-one tells you that when you leave uni, approved your life will have a huge vacuum and those 3 years you spent studying illustration suddenly seem wasted when all the available jobs are in call centres? What to do? Give up the creative dream? Not if you’re Brighton girl Anna Wenger. She decided that if there was no jobs out there, adiposity she’d start her own business, viagra dosage and Sacred Stitches was born. Her idea of stitching classic tattoo designs onto clothes and homewares has really taken off in recent months, and she’s kindly chatted to us about it:

How did your business come about?
I needed to give my family and friends Christmas presents but without spending much money, so made everyone cushions. I got a lot of attention from these cushions and created more and more and now embroider onto everything I can lay my hands on!

Who are your favourite designers?
I love Angelique Houtkamp, her work mixes classic tattoo imagery with Hollywood romance and her eye for style is very inspirational.
Others include Inka Tattooist James Robinson, Alex Binnie, Jon Burgerman, Tara McPherson and Crush Design Studio.

How would you describe your personal style?

A very modern graphic twist on an old school tattoo style. I like to think that with my designs everyone can appreciate the art form of tattoos without having to get one.

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Do you wear your own designs?
Oh yes, and so does my boyfriend, his friends, my flatmates. My flat is completely covered in sacred stitches cushions!

Who or what inspires you? (i know the obvious answer here is tattoos -
but if there’s anything else!)

I live with a tattooist who influences my work; magazines and art exhibitions are good for getting new ideas. My boyfriend and friends are covered in tattoos and will come home with a new piece of art on their skin, so its hard not to be inspired when your surrounded by moving artwork.


Have you got any tattoos?

No, the design is still in progress.

Do you have a favourite tattoo design / what’s the best you’ve seen so
far?

My favourite so far is by Judd Ripley of an amazingly haunting pirate ship. (pictured below)

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Do you still love Brighton/can you see yourself living anywhere else?
I am originally from Brighton and moved back here after University, as it’s a creative city. I do love Brighton as it’s a very receptive place for my designs because people here like to buy from small businesses.

Can I have a t-shirt please?
Yes, what size are you, xxl?!?

How very dare you. A medium at the very most!
Thanks for your time Anna. Talent and ambition, the best combination.
Contact Anna about getting hold of your own personalised tattoo(ed piece of clothing) here.

So it may have looked like I was deserting my post last week, cheap swanning off to Paris to slide down hills on the ice and hibernate in nice restaurants. However, whilst my trip may have involved quite a lot of that sort of fun, I was not just being a bone-idle holiday-monger. Au contraire. I also had my ears opened to some great new music and had this excellent first EP by Hold Your Horses! thrust into my sweaty and eager palms (fine it was in a nice restaurant that this transaction took place but we were just following the model of most international business).

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Most recent French bands seem either to do an excellent line in electronica or a terrible one in punk rock – you just can’t do attitude if your beige converse match your cashmere v-neck and your hair is cleaner and shinier than a Pantene advert. Hold Your Horses! have most in common with the second school, essentially a guitar band augmented with some strings and wind. However, perhaps the fact that they are a motley crew of diplobrats and true Frenchies contributes to the broader and more interesting range of influences discernible in their music. Sure, The Strokes are probably in every single member of the band’s record collection and at moments on this record, if you were to replace singer Flo’s Chrissie Hinde delivery with a Casablancas drawl, you would be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped back to Strokes-fever 2003, but this is really just what provides the catchy backbone of these songs. There’s a pleasantly shambolic tone – perhaps a little too shambolic at times due to the slightly rough-around-the-edges self-done mix – and when the boy vocals kick in partway through track two, a vaguely Celtic edge emerges.

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Opener Cigarettes and Lies, the strongest song on the record, fanfares its arrival with a blast of trumpets before launching into a danceable meditation on youthful lust and confusion. After that, the titles get longer and the violins more prominent as they have a bit of an Irish-ska moment (fine that’s not like, an official genre but listen and you’ll know what I mean) before ending on the sultry Argue and the sweet Flo’s Folk. Although not perfect or polished, this EP is really promising and tips HYH! as a band it’s definitely worth catching live when they hopefully make it to this side of the Channel.

Click hereto get hold of a copy.

Now you see him now you…hang on, search is that? Yep a giant bunny in a smoking jacket who is theatrically drawing my portrait and grimacing at the fur collar of the girl standing next to me. ‘It’s mink!’ she frantically mimes through Wieden & Kennedy’s shop window on Hanbury Street. ‘Minks are bastards’ he mouths back.

I’m witnessing some of the day-to-day activity taking place outside Imaginary Friends, medicine a rather bizarre shop front exhibition that takes me back to long days spent in the airing cupboard as an only child. Back then, store my imaginary friend was a replica of the devilish dog that encouraged Tintin’s canine companion Snowy to do naughty things (don’t worry, no one else understood that either).

From now until Sunday your imagination takes the form of a wine glugging, abusive life size bunny rabbit (aka recent Central St. Martin’s graduate Jack Bishop).

I managed to catch him on a carrot break.

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LJ: I say ‘carrot’ you say?

IF: Parrot? Ok it is the main component of one’s diet but I much prefer Beef Wellington. I shall not be marginalised.

L.J. Can you be taken for walks?

I.F. Of course I can darling. I’m imaginary after all, I can go anywhere you chose. Usually down the local.

L.J. Do you get along with cats?

I.F. So-so. We have a mutual respect for one another.

L.J. Do you breed well with Holland Lops?

I.F. Most definitely. Although my ideal breeding partner would have to be Jessica Rabbit.

L.J. Of course what a babe, got any celebrity bunny mates or rabbits in high hutches?

I.F. Well Harvey is a dear friend as we’re very alike. I used to be drinking buddies with Bugs but…(he drifts) he said a few things about me…said I drank too much. Lightweight.

L.J. Oh dear, well hopefully you’ll settle your differences over a good carrot or a nice seed selection. What are your thoughts on the following high-profile bunnies?

L.J. Peter Rabbit?

I.F. Wet lad.

L.J. Easter Bunny?

I.F. Fatty boy (all that chocolate).

L.J. Energizer Bunny?

I.F. Nympho.

L.J. Thumper?

I.F. Good Kid.

L.J. Nesquick Bunny?

I.F. He’s sold out. Such a shame. Corporate bastard now.

L.J. Got any plans for Easter?

I.F. (He humphs dismissively) I’m not the religious type. I’ll most probably be alone listening to Smokey Robinson and Sam Cook, drinking fine wines.

L.J. That sounds fun, I’ll be your friend if you want.

I.F. You fool! I can’t chose to be someone’s friend, I’m imaginary, they decide what I am to them, it’s annoying. Sometimes I feel degraded. I’d much rather be on my own.

With that he lolloped back down Brick Lane.

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CarrotMobbing! No it’s not a bunny invasion in the run up to Easter, sick it’s the new consumerist activism from San Francisco. The idea is to sway more businesses to adopt greener habits. An alternative to boycotting, more about CarrotMobbing operates in a way that appeals to businesses by offering cash rewards.

In return for a percentage of a day’s takings to be spent on environmentally-friendly practises (e.g. better energy-efficient appliances, organic produce) a CarrotMob will descend on the establishment on a certain day and spend, spend, spend.

It is the brainchild of American environmentalist Brent Schulkin and it is unique in working alongside businesses that could be greener by offering them the ‘carrot’, as opposed to the ‘stick’ approach of boycotting or picketing.’We recognize that corporations must keep profit as their top priority.Historically, this fact has meant that the environment has suffered. We hope to change that by putting rewards in place that will make environmental responsibility the more profitable choice.’

The concept has already started to make an impact over here. The first UK Carrotmob was in September 2008 at the Redchurch bar in East London and since then carrotmobs have sprung up around the country including the restaurant La Ruca in Bristol.

When I proposed the idea to local cafe Yummy’s, Jason and his brother were really keen! Stay tuned for an Amelia’s Magazine CarrotMob expected to take place in a couple of weeks time.

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Bristol’s Thekla is a down-with-the-kids venue by anyone’s standards. The ship is moored in a floating harbour, approved featured in Skins, shop has been played by Massive Attack and was once graffitied by Banksy. To see a band there tipped as number two in the BBC’s ‘ones to watch 2009′ is incredible. White Lies quite literally rock the boat.

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Anticipation crackles in the air before they mount the stage. I’d fallen deeply in love with the singles months before: deathly, desperate melodies with the lyrics of a romantic poet born in the 80s set to gut-grinding electronica. And I’m praying they won’t let me down. In a swell of turbulence, the band storm on with Unfinished Business liquefying into To Lose My Life. Later, Farewell to the Fairground also stands out as a stark winner, perhaps a forthcoming single?

Harry McVeigh haunts his audience, both in voice and form. Recalling the two great Ian’s of post-punk, McCulloch and Curtis, he’s skinny with a voice that’s anything but. Glimpse him between the strobe lights and he’s a beautiful alien visitor. And the possessor of a truly spectral set of vocal chords.

Through White Lies’ unique ability to craft tangibly spooky scenes with their lyrics, as each new song rumbles into being, I’m by turns walking in an abandoned fairground at night, taking off in an aeroplane, wrestling a ghost in a dream. Captivating. Sound groans in the iron belly of the ship, the guitar rips through thundering drums and Harry wails into the watery deep. There’s no banter, no real movement and yet everyone’s rapt because they’re witnessing something really special.

A few technical hitches mar the proceedings and drown out the vocals, but not to worry, the finale is Death and we’re all singing along. White Lies have mesmerized their crowd good and proper and we pursue them from the boat like crazed rats into the night. Drunken fan’s yelps of ‘yes this fear’s got a hold on meeee’ follow me all along the dark waterfront home.

It’s half way through January – a long way from pay day and you want some new clothes. It’s the only thing that can cheer you up in this depressing month. Visiting an actual shop is out of the question, decease you can barely afford the bus fare there, visit this let alone any of the goods for sale inside the shop.
So here’s an idea – acquiring new clothes without having to actually spend a penny (on the clothes) – via the medium of clothes swapping.
This can be done in many ways, buy more about the first is attending this event:

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However, if the idea of not having complete control over what you actually end up with isn’t exactly what you had in mind, then try this, a swishing event – yes it is £5 entry but for countless amounts of clothes, well worth it. It’s a similar idea to the flyered event above but you can choose what you pick.

If you don’t fancy actually leaving your house, then Bigwardrobe.com is an online swapping platform which is similar to e-bay in that you put your unwanted clothes online and people buy them off you – it’s better than eBay as it has a swap function and it gets even better than that! – you can get actual cash for your unwanted xmas goodies or fashion mistakes of the past. You can use a combination of money and swapping to barter for goods, eg:, “ I’ll give you this blouse and £3 for your skirt,” or something along those lines.

In these lean times, clothes recycling is the best way to update your wardrobe.

St Davids, website on the far south-western tip of Wales, viagra approved is a city of contradictions. Being the smallest city in the UK, it is really more of a village with a great big cathedral plonked down at one end. It is a tranquil little place but alongside the tea-and-scones brigade is a growing community of surfers who ride the waves on the beautiful beaches nearby all year round. Beyond the shoppers rummaging through baskets of souvenir tea-towels are legions of walkers and nature-lovers who explore the coast paths, the sea and the cliffs in between in search of puffins, seals and the delicate, beautiful Manx Shearwater birds that migrate past the headland every summer. Even the visitor centre (known as Oriel Y Parc, which means ‘the park gallery’) is an odd mixture, for if you walk through the coffee shop and past the leaflets on local attractions you will find yourself in a world-class gallery.

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The gallery, a recent addition to the visitor centre, is itself beautifully harmonious in form and content. The environmentally sustainable building that houses it heralds what we can expect from a gallery in the 21st century. The graceful arc shape of the building catches the sun all day, keeping heating costs to a minimum. The ceilings are insulated with lamb’s wool and a green roof with its swaying grasses also brings warmth and helps to regulate the demand on the drainage system. Rainwater is used for the toilet cisterns and solar energy panels heat water for the kitchen. Recycled and second-hand materials have been used wherever possible – much of the stone for the walls comes from old derelict buildings.

Perhaps it is when you see what is on display inside the gallery that you truly understand the importance of all this low-impact building and energy conservation: to preserve the precious Pembrokeshire landscape that has inspired so many artists including London-born painter Graham Sutherland. Sutherland loved the landscape around St Davids, painting it again and again, and when he died in 1980 he left a great body of work to the people of Pembrokeshire.

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Sutherland’s work will form the permanent central focus of the gallery’s exhibitions. For those used to gentle water-colour scenes of the Welsh coast, Sutherland’s paintings are a hand grenade assault on the senses – fierce, energy-filled evocations of the landscape, both challenging and fascinating.
For Oriel Y Parc to be given permission to exhibit the bequest it had to meet a stringent list of standards, including careful regulation of the humidity and temperature in the air and a complex and highly sophisticated security system. Meeting this criteria has meant that the gallery has been awarded ‘Class A’ status, which means that the work by Picasso and Rembrandt that is displayed alongside Sutherland’s paintings in the current exhibition will be the first in a long line of world-class international art to be shown at the centre.

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Prompted by Sutherland’s extraordinary visions of the surrounding countryside, the gallery plans to use future exhibitions to investigate art’s relationship with the landscape and with nature. Brendan Burns a Cardiff-based painter has been making paintings of the Pembrokeshire coastline for about fifteen years. Being the first artist-in-residence at Oriel Y Parc is, he says, ‘so exciting because everything is new. It feels important, like you’re part of something major.’ He is thrilled by his proximity to his subject, as until now he has had to make the 100-mile journey home before he began to paint. He is also pleased to have Sutherland’s work in the next room, where he can pop in and refer to it whenever he pleases, and says he particularly draws inspiration from the photographs, drawings and writing in the bequest.
He can’t predict how the residency will affect his work, but says he is starting out by ‘taking walks on new beaches’.

• The work produced by Brendan Burns during his residency at Oriel Y Parc will be shown at Oriel Y Parc or the National Museum in Cardiff, towards the end of 2009.

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