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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Please don’t feed the Models

Etcetera Theatre, Camden, Until 14th September

Written by Tanya Geddes

We adore this talented Central Saint Martins graduate Anna Garforth. With a degree in Graphic Design, click medicine ethical ideas are high on the agenda of this green fingered creative.

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Employing all things leafy and grassy, sildenafil more about a self-initiated project utilising recycled milk bottles as plant containers has been displayed around urban areas which need a bit of earthy decoration. Entitled Head Gardener, decease these invented characters were used by Garforth to spur on our future Little Gardener‘s sowing seeds of herbs and flowers.

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A bit of a horticultural wizard, Anna has been growing moss for years. With the influence of guerilla gardening and landscape artist Andy Goldsworthy, Anna is currently working on a collection of work which explores street art and public space. By attaching moss to walls using biodegradable materials, Anna has selected verses of a poem by friend Eleanor Stevens. The first installation of the poem reads “in this spore borne air” and will be followed up in a different spot with “watch your skin peel.” There will be a total of four quotes dotted around central London so keep your eyes peeled.

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Oh and, the recipe for green graffiti couldn’t be simpler… a bit of yoghurt, sugar, a few clumps of moss and your own ideology so lets all have a go!
I picked my breakfast on my way out of the house at 6am to catch my plane to India, medical for I have physalis fruit growing right next to my front door – clearly the result of some pips that had earlier got into my compost.

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physalis fruit next to my front door

The train was slow, site as always, visit this site excited only by a lone moth escaping from my bag and dancing nervously through the air – how the hell do I have so many moths? It’s like a moth invasion round my house I tells ya. They get everywhere, even onto the Picadilly line.

The plane was nearly empty – good for lying down across three seats, not so good for my conscience – god what a waste of fuel. I arrived in India at about midnight and like clockwork driver Sanjay located me and whisked me out past a depressingly large new airport (ten times the size of the present one) that is being built to accommodate the expected increase in traffic for the Commonwealth Games in 2010. We were soon engaged in a passionate conversation about the state of our planet – it’s so nice to meet people who feel the same way as me anywhere in the world.

I am staying at Shanti Home, which is a small family run hotel on the outskirts of New Delhi – on arrival I was greeted by the traditional flower garland and then shown up to my lovely little room. The cupboard is in the bathroom and the view isn’t up to much but the people are super friendly and the breakfasts are on a rooftop terrace.

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my room at Shanti Home

This morning I breakfasted alone. Just me, up there on that big ol’ roof terrace. Which meant muchos personal attention from the lovely Nepali waiters – there are a lot of Nepalis here. Then Ajay from Laxya models turned up mid morning to take me back to his office. He was initially a bit prickly; I guess he wasn’t sure who the hell I was but then who would blame him – here I come, demanding free models and not even looking the glamourous magazine editor part. What a swindle! But he soon forgave me as the big grin shows and delighted in giving me a whistlestop guided tour of Delhi (drop the New, that’s not the done thing here) which took in the parliament buildings and India archway – celebrating all the Indian soldiers who gave their lives for the British – and finished at the Baha’i house of worship – a wonderful looking all religions building.

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Ajay. I think he likes me now.

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parliament

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arch for the soldiers

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I wish I was a small boy who could strip off and dive into a pond, maybe

The dude who built the temple believed there should be total equality for men and women and that all religions should unite for world peace – what a guy. Ajay had sufficiently warmed to me that he even bought me a little souvenir keyring – I was very touched.

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families make their way up to the Baha’i temple

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I prefer this version, on a poster

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Wow! what a dude! check out his t-shirt! It rocks!

We finally made it to the Laxya offices, where several men were lounging around on their laptops, (well, not literally, you know what I mean) discussing a shoot.

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a very well respected set designer – the presents behind are props

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model offices, new delhi style

I only realised much later that one of them was actually the boss, once he left. Woops. Again, Nepali boys (although apparently not, they just look young) attended to me – but soon gave up with my requests for a not too sweet chai and bought me instead an Earl Grey teabag – seems the easiest option for those picky english!

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notice the cunningly overturned teabag. maybe I won’t realise it is not chai til it’s too late

We saw lots of cute girls, met a fashion designer who totally sorted me out with my plans, and ate some yummy food that was hand delivered into the basement, which hummed with the constant banging of non-stop construction. My eyes hurt even inside the building, and my throat is a mess already. A new metro needs to be finished in time for the Commonwealth Games and the dust is excruciating.

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food, proper indian food – they offered me a Subway! get away with you!

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construction is everywhere

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a hazy construction sunset

After a great interview with one of the artists we have been in contact with I fell asleep in the car (courtesy of Ajay) on the way home. Tomorrow I have three fashion shoots, bring ‘em on…
The words ‘bargain, ed designer and ethical’ aren’t used nearly enough in the same sentence. Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to save up for the latest ‘it’ bags? And if only our quest for them were guilt free! Banishing the mad dash past street fundraisers while mumbling shamefully, purchase ‘I’m late!’ before rushing excitedly into Dolce and Gabbana.

Well girls, the answer is here and let me tell you, your bank manager will be pleased!
The organisation ‘Whatever It Takes‘, runs charitable projects worldwide and has already raised around $1,500,000 (many, many designer bags worth of cash).
Taking on the world of celebrity endorsement and fashion, ‘Whatever It Takes’ asked over 600 celebrities to donate their own works of art to be incorporated into a range of products including tableware, cosmetics, clothing and most importantly ladies ‘bags’!

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Stella McCartney

These totes and shoulder bags feature work by some of fashion’s biggest names; so whether you have a thing for Paul Smith, or are dying to get your hands on anything McQueen, then you’re in luck.

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Paul Smith

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McQueen

With prices ranging from £10 – £15, even the most spend thrift shopper can join in, and while they may not have the leather and stud trappings of the super brand bags, these cute print canvas pieces make great everyday ‘shoppers’; spacious enough to carry all your bits and pieces, a celeb tote is a must have this season. As if a designer bag at £15 wasn’t enough encouragement, each bag sold will help raise funds for charities such as ‘The 21st Century Leaders Foundation‘, who work to tackle key global development causes including poverty alleviation, environmental conservation and the protection of children.

So ladies, this time you really say that this purchase will change the world!
Now, the Alexander McQueen or Paul Smith tote? At such a great price, maybe I’ll get both!

All of the bags will be available on the website by the end of the month.

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Giorgio Armani

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Giorgio Armani

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Stella McCartney
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The Dulwich Picture Gallery has teamed up with the House of Illustration in anticipation of its opening, link inviting 45 figures in the public eye to participate in the Victorian parlour game ‘What are you like?‘ The game involved players depicting their personality by drawing what best describes them; their favourite pastime, more about food, visit place, possession and so on. I know; just wild those Victorians were!

The trek out to Dulwich for the private view was well worth it though, the diversity, humour and imagination of each piece really shone, and made you realise how illustration is often overlooked as an artform. The House of Illustration currently has no actual house, but is aiming to create a permanent home in the King’s Cross regeneration area by 2011. As Lord Christopher Frayling pointed out; ‘At present-and this is amazing-there’s no non-commercial gallery in the entire British Isles to be devoted entirely to illustration. Its as if there’s this invisible hierarchy within the arts…all very old-fashioned and not helpful.’

The brainchild of illustrator Quentin Blake, the House of Illustration has high hopes; aiming to ‘put illustration centre stage and give it the attention it deserves’. This is pretty exciting for us here at Amelia’s, where we’ve long been championing up and coming illustrators. This exhibition certainly sets the House of to a fine start, with contributors varying from professional illustrators like Quentin himself, Shirley Hughes and Michael Foreman, to musicians, writers and TV personalities for whom art is just a hobby. Philip Pullman, Andrew Marr, Eric Clapton and Jack Penate are just a few of the household names who have put pen to paper.

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Baths and bed crop up with reliable regularity as favourite places and comforts, cats and bicycles are also extremely popular, but otherwise each creation is completely unique; some incorporating photographs and collages, with designer Paul Smith presenting his in a stunning vintage scrapbook. David Shrigley, however, steals the show, with his fantastic insight into the mind of someone with a fetish for serpents: favourite animal: snakes, favourite weather: snakes, favourite place: snake pit. Genius.

There are 50 limited edition prints of each piece on sale for £200; a wise art investment if ever I saw one, proven by the fact that even mid credit-crunch, they were selling like crazy Tuesday night. If you’re lucky, you might still be able to grab one though. Alternatively, enter the House of Illustration competition by creating your own ‘What are you like’, the winning entry will be hung in the Dulwich Picture Gallery.For more details see the website.

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I first came across Tony Cox about nine years ago, viagra buy at the Hogsback Festival in South Africa. I was 15 years old, cialis 40mg and my appreciation of music extended to the top 40 chart and not much else. I’d been brought up on The Mamas and The Papas and Eric Clapton, however, and had a father who insisted on educating me on ‘decent’ music such as Jimi Hendrix and The Who. So I still had an appreciation for good guitarists and also, growing up in South Africa, traditional African music.

Tony on this occasion, played with fellow guitar genius, Steve Newman, and although I don’t remember the performance in detail, I do remember enjoying it immensely. So when I heard that Tony had now emmigrated to the UK and was performing his first gig in Putney, I rushed to book tickets.

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The Half Moon is an excellent local pub and also has a brilliant, intimate venue for gigs. Tony was different to how I remembered him – greyer and perhaps a little portlier – but as soon as he began to play I was transported back to my homeland and the night I first heard him play.

With perhaps the exception of Clapton, I have never had the opportunity to see a live performance laden with so much skill and passion. Each composition tells it’s own story beautifully and while distinctly African, this beautiful folk music appeals to all.

But what I found most special about the gig was that it was not only an evening of music, but an insight into an African world. Tony punctuates each tune with an anecdote revealing some aspect of his life in Southern Africa – making the show just that bit more special.

Keep an ear out for him at festivals in the coming year – and in the meantime, his gigs are listed on his MySpace page.

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The Dublin Castle is a cool venue, no rx and Club Fandango is a cool night, I once saw Pete Doherty and Carl Barat just hanging out there, whats that you say? Ow? ive dropped a couple names on your foot? sorry, i’m dreadfully sorry, there will be no more of that, have no fear. However their prior presence in this place feels relevant tonight, as now these indie people here aren’t sure what to do with themselves, they are confused, they thought they were cool, then nu-rave took over, now that is so far from cool that anyone in a slogan tee with a luminous jacket risks being spat on in certain parts of town. The answer for most of the indie bands i’ve seen recently and certainly the support band at this gig seems to be to add an electronicish keyboard player to their boring indie set. Uncertainty reins at the moment, and we need something genuine to put all these confused followers of fashion straight. Sadly I don’t think the Virgins are it. Although the live sound of their lazy lyrics is really striking.
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I swiftly noticed that every member of the band had rolled their jeans up, how very peculiar i thought, was it a conscious descision? I wonder which of them though it was a good idea? which of them told all the others to do it? and whether any of them feel like prats?
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The Virgins formed in New York in 2005, and their songs contain more than passing similarities to the Strokes, do we really need more Strokes in the world of new music? one song is a little ska tinged. They are really catchy, the room was full up, everyone was enjoying themselves, but I am not quite convinced, then i realise why, its the element of Razorlight about them, those same kind of self satisfying lyrics that actually make no sense but are sung by someone who loves the sound of their own voice.

Lyrics about New York, girls and cocaine just don’t really do it for me, the Virgins’ sound is well put together, their performance is tight, its loud in the right places, there are bouncy riffs in the right places, its even funky in the right places, they are completely radio friendly. Its difficult to dislike, but not for me as the songs don’t contain any real meaning or depth and i almost feel like i have heard them before!

I have decided to end this review with a quote from Grandpa Simpson, “I used to be with it, then they changed what ‘it’ was and now ‘it’ seems weird and scary to me.”
Sara Strandring (who has graced the covers of Vogue, sales Marie Claire and a billboard in Times Square) stars in a sixty minute rendition of a Kiwi’s model’s first tentative steps into the fashion world at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden. Based in a Tokyo model apartment, Strandring enacts over six characters including an air head American girl, a drunk Russian (who fittingly drinks vodka), a camp bloke who spouts phrases like ‘I love you-mean it’) along with: a sharp tongued Irish girl Sheila, Debbie who is a coke addict and Shelly who she chooses to leave without a voice.

Although the play boasts ‘sixty minutes of belly busting laughs’ and ‘a unique and funny insight to this cut throat world’ it barely raised a chuckle. Strandring keeps Shelly’s voice vacant in order for the other characters to work off. However the multitude of characters feel crowded. Having the characters work off a silent figure allows Shelly to become the protagonist in this tale yet the other characters lack enough depth to properly sustain the show.

From the first scene where she voices a Japanese agent, it emerges that Strandring has a talent for accents and she is quick off the mark in changing and adopting different characteristics. However, despite this, it is hard to get over the fact that the whole scenario of models in an apartment, bitching, having eating disorders, a little drug and drink problem is worryingly not anything that surprises anymore-if you want a shock go and buy ‘Pick me Up’ magazine.

Shelly finally finds her voice in the last scene where she writes a letter to a friend, detailing her bizarre experience. Throughout the play there are moments of darkness, for example, when she unnervingly notes that she hasn’t heard from Debbie who suffered a drug problem. But all moments are covered by glossy cliché d jokes and easy laughs. Even the characters and problems themselves are stereotyped. Sadly, ‘Please don’t feed the models’ is as predictable and shallow as the title. If you want to save yourself a few quid go and watch ‘America’s Next Top Model’.

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