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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

What’s happening at Kew Eco Village

Cob building, benders, inverters and skipping - just some of the things you can learn at Kew.

Written by Adam S

julian casablancas

Julian Casablancas needs no introduction, visit this ambulance yet journalistic values insist I give him one. This kind of contradiction is an apt paradigm for this album and review. In Phrazes For The Young, the front man from The Strokes has produced a body of work that I would hate (if I were not a Strokes fan), but I don’t (because I am). I can’t shake the teenage self that was instantly infatuated by the vacuously cool Manhattan socialites upon the release of Is This It. So much so that I refused to dislike the two subsequent albums, even though they were clearly inferior. They lacked the impact of the debut, but they had a debonair personality of their own. I relay this as a warning of the rose-tinted glasses that I approach listening this album wearing.

The Strokes’ legacy is a funny one. Having set the style agenda for TopMan for the last ten years, their other achievement can only be having been beaten to death by their own hype stick. The Strokes will always be the band that didn’t realise the potential that the critics attached to them. We hear a possible an introspection of which in the opening lyrics, “Somewhere along the way my hopeness turned to sadness.” I say, so what if Casablancas’ offering plays as a sub-par tribute to The Strokes, that is his schtick. Indeed, a schtick that has so far earned him and his band members a ton of money and adoration. Predictably, Phrazes For The Young doesn’t stray too far from the schtick, but does coat it with a veneer of synthpop. It certainly does feel like the continuation of a dialogue that was started in a Lower East Side coffee with his band members. The trademark nonchalant Casablancas vocals are present, as are The Strokes’ interpretation of 70s CBGB guitar riffs but so are drum pads, and cheesy keyboard sequences that ebbed their way into First Impressions. It seems that what Casablancas does do without the presence of his bandmates is produce longer songs. Most songs here hover around the 5-minute mark, which is a full two minutes longer than anything in The Strokes repertoire. If Strokes branded releases now only please their avid fans like me, an extra two minutes to each song is greatly appreciated.

This album will certainly divide parties, he certainly won’t be winning over any music listeners that refused to digest previous Strokes offerings, but for the completists out there, the continued dialogue of Mr Julian Casablancas is welcome.

In the new fangled world of the web – providing you have the appropriate technology – Amelia’s Magazine are in the position to offer you live streaming of Phrazes For Young below. How modern we are.

Julian Casablancas is venturing to these shores in December to tour the album. Get your fingers ready to jump on the announcement of these tickets going on sale some time in the near future. The dates are:

11th Dec – Manchester – Ritz
12th Dec – Glasgow – ABC
14th Dec – Dublin – Academy
16th Dec – London – Forum
press_image_nations_installation_2_0

An East London gem, sildenafil Rivington Place constantly succeeds in delivering aesthetic art with a hidden political punch and the current show is no exception. Currently on display is NS Harsha’s installation Nations and Chen Chieh’s silent film Factory.

press_image_nations_installation_3_0

Installed on the ground floor, salve the silent sewing machines of Nations are stacked three feet high, prostate spinning threads tangles and pools between the machines. The flags of those included in the UN hang from each poised needle. If able to match each flag to the correct country would the viewer see who is excluded from the UN and question on what grounds in today’s society a country is judged for their eligibility to join?

In the context of East London’s own sweatshop history, the machines act as representatives of the unseen and unheard garment workers that throughout the centuries have consistently made clothes for countries both inside and outside the UN.

press_image_nations_installation_5_0

In terms of the textile manufacturing no country has a clear conscious that they have not broken the charter of human rights with regards to the treatment of employees. The exhibition refers to the impact of globalisation; as located within NS Harsha’s words (with thanks to INIVA’s excellent website) “This work took shape after my visit to a local small scale textile factory in which I personally experienced the realities of ‘human labour’. Hierarchies and exploitation are part of today’s global economic order. Nations engages with these socio-political complexities and cultural entanglements.”?

The exhibition is suggestive that as industry is now global, it is not enough to look after one’s own population, by choosing to outsource globally, the boundaries of countries disappear.

01factoryphoto_0

Upstairs is Chen Chieh’s beautiful and slightly chilling Factory. The film is located within an old textile factory, the casualty of the continuing search for ever cheapening labour. Seven ex-workers who lost their right to a pension with the closure of the factory accompany the artist. The camera pans through the monumental architectural space in a similar vein to the films of Jane and Louise Wilson (Stasi City).

04factoryphotothumb

Due to the women’s request the film silently traces their steps through the disused building, still occupied by the remains of their industry. Their passage through the space is occasionally interrupted by archive footage of the Taiwan textile boom, the noisy interruption highlighting those abandoned in the aforementioned search for ever cheaper labour.

02factoryphoto_0

The women of Factory are physical reminders of those all over the world, whose quality of life has come to depend on the presence of the textile industry within their country. It’s time that these employees were treated to the rights we so often take for granted whether it is something as simple as a lunch break or as fundamental as a living wage.

The exhibition asks us to question both our reliance and ignorance of outsourced workers at the same time as questioning our knowledge of political intricacies and deals made by the UN that effect relationships across the world.

02factoryphoto_0

There are many fantastic websites that continue the work begun by both artists at Rivington Place from the Ethical Fashion Forum, the Clean Clothes Campaign to Fashioning an Ethical Industry, and the War on Want. Green my Style provides daily updates on the steps been made to make the industry greener.

However as Factory so clearly shows a lot remains to be done, to protect those whose lives have come to depend on the West’s need for ever cheaper clothes.

This exhibition continues until the 21st November 2009, hurry down!

The first three photographs are by George Torode and the last three are stills from Chen Chieh’s Factory.
press_image_nations_installation_2_0

An East London gem, look Rivington Place constantly succeeds in delivering aesthetic art with a hidden political punch and the current show is no exception. Currently on display is NS Harsha’s installation Nations and Chen Chieh’s silent film Factory.

press_image_nations_installation_3_0

Installed on the ground floor, the silent sewing machines of Nations are stacked three feet high, spinning threads tangles and pools between the machines. The flags of those included in the UN hang from each poised needle. If able to match each flag to the correct country would the viewer see who is excluded from the UN and question on what grounds in today’s society a country is judged for their eligibility to join?

In the context of East London’s own sweatshop history, the machines act as representatives of the unseen and unheard garment workers that throughout the centuries have consistently made clothes for countries both inside and outside the UN.

press_image_nations_installation_5_0

In terms of the textile manufacturing no country has a clear conscious that they have not broken the charter of human rights with regards to the treatment of employees. The exhibition refers to the impact of globalisation; as located within NS Harsha’s words (with thanks to INIVA’s excellent website) “This work took shape after my visit to a local small scale textile factory in which I personally experienced the realities of ‘human labour’. Hierarchies and exploitation are part of today’s global economic order. Nations engages with these socio-political complexities and cultural entanglements.”?

The exhibition is suggestive that as industry is now global, it is not enough to look after one’s own population, by choosing to outsource globally, the boundaries of countries disappear.

01factoryphoto_0

Upstairs is Chen Chieh’s beautiful and slightly chilling Factory. The film is located within an old textile factory, the casualty of the continuing search for ever cheapening labour. Seven ex-workers who lost their right to a pension with the closure of the factory accompany the artist. The camera pans through the monumental architectural space in a similar vein to the films of Jane and Louise Wilson (Stasi City).

04factoryphoto_0

Due to the women’s request the film silently traces their steps through the disused building, still occupied by the remains of their industry. Their passage through the space is occasionally interrupted by archive footage of the Taiwan textile boom, the noisy interruption highlighting those abandoned in the aforementioned search for ever cheaper labour.

The women of Factory are physical reminders of those all over the world, whose quality of life has come to depend on the presence of the textile industry within their country. It’s time that these employees were treated to the rights we so often take for granted whether it is something as simple as a lunch break or as fundamental as a living wage.

The exhibition asks us to question both our reliance and ignorance of outsourced workers at the same time as questioning our knowledge of political intricacies and deals made by the UN that effect relationships across the world.

02factoryphoto_0

There are many fantastic websites that continue the work begun by both artists at Rivington Place from the Ethical Fashion Forum, the Clean Clothes Campaign to Fashioning an Ethical Industry, and the War on Want. Green my Style provides daily updates on the steps been made to make the industry greener.

However as Factory so clearly shows a lot remains to be done, to protect those whose lives have come to depend on the West’s need for ever cheaper clothes.

This exhibition continues until the 21st November 2009, hurry down!

The first three photographs are by George Torode and the last three are stills from Chen Chieh’s Factory.
press_image_nations_installation_2_0

An East London gem, viagra 100mg Rivington Place constantly succeeds in delivering aesthetic art with a hidden political punch and the current show is no exception. Currently on display is NS Harsha’s installation Nations and Chen Chieh’s silent film Factory.

press_image_nations_installation_3_0

Installed on the ground floor, sildenafil the silent sewing machines of Nations are stacked three feet high, spinning threads tangles and pools between the machines. The flags of those included in the UN hang from each poised needle. If able to match each flag to the correct country would the viewer see who is excluded from the UN and question on what grounds in today’s society a country is judged for their eligibility to join?

In the context of East London’s own sweatshop history, the machines act as representatives of the unseen and unheard garment workers that throughout the centuries have consistently made clothes for countries both inside and outside the UN.

press_image_nations_installation_5_0

In terms of the textile manufacturing no country has a clear conscious that they have not broken the charter of human rights with regards to the treatment of employees. The exhibition refers to the impact of globalisation; as located within NS Harsha’s words (with thanks to INIVA’s excellent website) “This work took shape after my visit to a local small scale textile factory in which I personally experienced the realities of ‘human labour’. Hierarchies and exploitation are part of today’s global economic order. Nations engages with these socio-political complexities and cultural entanglements.”?

The exhibition is suggestive that as industry is now global, it is not enough to look after one’s own population, by choosing to outsource globally, the boundaries of countries disappear.

Upstairs is Chen Chieh’s beautiful and slightly chilling Factory. The film is located within an old textile factory, the casualty of the continuing search for ever cheapening labour. Seven ex-workers who lost their right to a pension with the closure of the factory accompany the artist. The camera pans through the monumental architectural space in a similar vein to the films of Jane and Louise Wilson (Stasi City).

01factoryphoto_0

Due to the women’s request the film silently traces their steps through the disused building, still occupied by the remains of their industry. Their passage through the space is occasionally interrupted by archive footage of the Taiwan textile boom, the noisy interruption highlighting those abandoned in the aforementioned search for ever cheaper labour.

The women of Factory are physical reminders of those all over the world, whose quality of life has come to depend on the presence of the textile industry within their country. It’s time that these employees were treated to the rights we so often take for granted whether it is something as simple as a lunch break or as fundamental as a living wage.

04factoryphoto_0

The exhibition asks us to question both our reliance and ignorance of outsourced workers at the same time as questioning our knowledge of political intricacies and deals made by the UN that effect relationships across the world.

There are many fantastic websites that continue the work begun by both artists at Rivington Place from the Ethical Fashion Forum, the Clean Clothes Campaign to Fashioning an Ethical Industry, and the War on Want. Green my Style provides daily updates on the steps been made to make the industry greener.

02factoryphoto_0

However as Factory so clearly shows a lot remains to be done, to protect those whose lives have come to depend on the West’s need for ever cheaper clothes.

This exhibition continues until the 21st November 2009, hurry down!

The first three photographs are by George Torode and the last three are stills from Chen Chieh’s Factory.
press_image_nations_installation_2_0

An East London gem, page Rivington Place constantly succeeds in delivering aesthetic art with a hidden political punch and the current show is no exception. Currently on display is NS Harsha’s installation Nations and Chen Chieh’s silent film Factory.

Installed on the ground floor, cheapest the silent sewing machines of Nations are stacked three feet high, spinning threads tangles and pools between the machines. The flags of those included in the UN hang from each poised needle. If able to match each flag to the correct country would the viewer see who is excluded from the UN and question on what grounds in today’s society a country is judged for their eligibility to join?

press_image_nations_installation_3_0

In the context of East London’s own sweatshop history, the machines act as representatives of the unseen and unheard garment workers that throughout the centuries have consistently made clothes for countries both inside and outside the UN.

In terms of the textile manufacturing no country has a clear conscious that they have not broken the charter of human rights with regards to the treatment of employees. The exhibition refers to the impact of globalisation; as located within NS Harsha’s words (with thanks to INIVA’s excellent website) “This work took shape after my visit to a local small scale textile factory in which I personally experienced the realities of ‘human labour’. Hierarchies and exploitation are part of today’s global economic order. Nations engages with these socio-political complexities and cultural entanglements.”?

press_image_nations_installation_5_0

The exhibition is suggestive that as industry is now global, it is not enough to look after one’s own population, by choosing to outsource globally, the boundaries of countries disappear.

Upstairs is Chen Chieh’s beautiful and slightly chilling Factory. The film is located within an old textile factory, the casualty of the continuing search for ever cheapening labour. Seven ex-workers who lost their right to a pension with the closure of the factory accompany the artist. The camera pans through the monumental architectural space in a similar vein to the films of Jane and Louise Wilson (Stasi City).

01factoryphoto_0

Due to the women’s request the film silently traces their steps through the disused building, still occupied by the remains of their industry. Their passage through the space is occasionally interrupted by archive footage of the Taiwan textile boom, the noisy interruption highlighting those abandoned in the aforementioned search for ever cheaper labour.

The women of Factory are physical reminders of those all over the world, whose quality of life has come to depend on the presence of the textile industry within their country. It’s time that these employees were treated to the rights we so often take for granted whether it is something as simple as a lunch break or as fundamental as a living wage.

04factoryphoto_0

The exhibition asks us to question both our reliance and ignorance of outsourced workers at the same time as questioning our knowledge of political intricacies and deals made by the UN that effect relationships across the world.

There are many fantastic websites that continue the work begun by both artists at Rivington Place from the Ethical Fashion Forum, the Clean Clothes Campaign to Fashioning an Ethical Industry, and the War on Want. Green my Style provides daily updates on the steps been made to make the industry greener.

02factoryphoto_0

However as Factory so clearly shows a lot remains to be done, to protect those whose lives have come to depend on the West’s need for ever cheaper clothes.

This exhibition continues until the 21st November 2009, hurry down!

The first three photographs are by George Torode and the last three are stills from Chen Chieh’s Factory.
press_image_nations_installation_2_0

An East London gem, unhealthy Rivington Place constantly succeeds in delivering aesthetic art with a hidden political punch and the current show is no exception. Currently on display is NS Harsha’s installation Nations and Chen Chieh’s silent film Factory.

Installed on the ground floor, the silent sewing machines of Nations are stacked three feet high, spinning threads tangles and pools between the machines. The flags of those included in the UN hang from each poised needle. If able to match each flag to the correct country would the viewer see who is excluded from the UN and question on what grounds in today’s society a country is judged for their eligibility to join?

press_image_nations_installation_3_0

In the context of East London’s own sweatshop history, the machines act as representatives of the unseen and unheard garment workers that throughout the centuries have consistently made clothes for countries both inside and outside the UN.

In terms of the textile manufacturing no country has a clear conscious that they have not broken the charter of human rights with regards to the treatment of employees. The exhibition refers to the impact of globalisation; as located within NS Harsha’s words (with thanks to INIVA’s excellent website) “This work took shape after my visit to a local small scale textile factory in which I personally experienced the realities of ‘human labour’. Hierarchies and exploitation are part of today’s global economic order. Nations engages with these socio-political complexities and cultural entanglements.”?

press_image_nations_installation_5_0

The exhibition is suggestive that as industry is now global, it is not enough to look after one’s own population, by choosing to outsource globally, the boundaries of countries disappear.

Upstairs is Chen Chieh’s beautiful and slightly chilling Factory. The film is located within an old textile factory, the casualty of the continuing search for ever cheapening labour. Seven ex-workers who lost their right to a pension with the closure of the factory accompany the artist. The camera pans through the monumental architectural space in a similar vein to the films of Jane and Louise Wilson (Stasi City).

01factoryphoto_0

Due to the women’s request the film silently traces their steps through the disused building, still occupied by the remains of their industry. Their passage through the space is occasionally interrupted by archive footage of the Taiwan textile boom, the noisy interruption highlighting those abandoned in the aforementioned search for ever cheaper labour.

The women of Factory are physical reminders of those all over the world, whose quality of life has come to depend on the presence of the textile industry within their country. It’s time that these employees were treated to the rights we so often take for granted whether it is something as simple as a lunch break or as fundamental as a living wage.

04factoryphoto_0

The exhibition asks us to question both our reliance and ignorance of outsourced workers at the same time as questioning our knowledge of political intricacies and deals made by the UN that effect relationships across the world.

There are many fantastic websites that continue the work begun by both artists at Rivington Place from the Ethical Fashion Forum, the Clean Clothes Campaign to Fashioning an Ethical Industry, and the War on Want. Green my Style provides daily updates on the steps been made to make the industry greener.

02factoryphoto_0

However as Factory so clearly shows a lot remains to be done, to protect those whose lives have come to depend on the West’s need for ever cheaper clothes.

This exhibition continues until the 21st November 2009, hurry down!

The first three photographs are by George Torode and the last three are stills from Chen Chieh’s Factory.
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Earlier this year the directors of ‘X’ Emily Whitebread and Sarah Walters invited Art students and recent graduates to participate in an proactive exhibition based in Romford. Amelia’s Magazine spoke to Emily and Sarah, look on the development of their continuously shifting project space for young creatives.

What motivated you to put together X?

To be honest, order the fact that we couldn’t find a job. There was much frustration at this turn of events, clinic especially after coming out of university having worked really hard for three years. We thought that an empty shop was the perfect place to bring out that frustration at things becoming derelict or abandoned and then critisied for being an eyesore.

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What was it that you wanted to do that you couldn’t find after university?

The assumptions on achieving an university place and subsequently a degree is that on graduation you will come out and find a job, especially if you have a good degree, but all too often that’s not the case. To start within the artworld you find you have to work for free for a substantial amount of time by doing internships. It often feels that no one gives you any respect until you’re older. From speaking to other graduates in our year we thought that their views should be heard.

Could you outline what X is?

X is X marks the spot, so in the future we will take over new premises over a short period of time and then move on again. Our idea is to try and give a free space to recent graduates and students to exhibit in. Normally, when graduates try to put on shows it’s costly for them and the audience tends to be mostly family and friends. We want to make the point that we aren’t just graduates, we’re the young artists of today, and we’re fresh, rather than the YBA’s who aren’t exactly young anymore. The question we are really concerned with is, where is contemporary art going now?

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So will it always be a place for people who haven’t broken into the industry yet?

Hopefully, a lot of the shows that are around at the moment aren’t that inspiring, and neither are the artists! Most of it is copycaty or branded as being a particular art that is popular at the time. So, we think if X presents could be a place where voices with more varied opinions could be sounded, X presents could possibly disrupt the usual habits of the more prominent galleries and the recurring artists who always get exhibited.

Have you come across any difficulties while trying to sustain this platform?

We have to organise everything ourselves but then when we try we don’t get taken seriously. There seems to be a large gap. Its so frustrating doing so much work and then being treated so negligible. In the end, we did the best we could, we cleaned and re-decorated the disused space to try and get people using it again. We just didn’t want to see buildings with the potential to give back to a community, crumble and fall apart.

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How do you see your space impacting society? What kinds of relationships with potential visitors do you what to stimulate?

The idea is that the project should benefit the community, and in this case the shop owners along ‘High Street’ in Romford. One of the artists, Susanna Byrne, worked with the shops along this road, capturing their stories and histories of the street and inviting them to help build an installation. The shops along this road are not big brands, so the arrival of a gallery here might draw more attention to this street, and hopefully draw people into the independent shops along here too.

It would be great if we could get people who feel alienated from contemporary art to have the opportunity to see it more and feel welcome, make them feel apart of it. We’ve been encouraging schools here to come along and see art that they might not be taught in school. Sarah organised workshops with art students, to enable them to see a larger picture of what art can achieve.

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How do you see the idea evolving in the future?

Going to university, you feel as if you have the opportunity to do something, change something, but with the number of students it has become so saturated, there doesn’t seem to be any space for anyone to hear you. We’d like to break that ceiling of not being able to do anything until your older and ‘known’ within the art scene. We’re aiming really high and giving unheard people a space for their hopes and ambitions.

The first exhibition ‘X presents…Heart of Dixie UK’ ran from the 24th September – 1st October 2009 and included 21 artists. Their next project, ‘X presents…Exchange Studios’ continues the work begun in ‘X presents…Heart of Dixie UK’. The idea being to question our current system of exchange and potentially offer something new, whilst constantly providing a free space for art and discussion.

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If your interested in participating please email Emily or Sarah at xpresents@hotmail.com or follow their website for further information.
I went down to check out what’s new at Kew Eco Village, ambulance where a group of activists have taken up residence in some once derelict land and have transformed into a haven of alternative and sustainable living.

kew

The place has been there for months now, story one of the protectors being the church tower that looms above. It is one of the reasons planning permission for blocks of flats (which would have blocked the view of the tower) have been put on hold. The sheer determination and hard work of all the residents also means that the place has gone from strength to strength from the last time Amelia’s magazine went down at the opening of the place.

kew3

Last week there was a week long schedule of activities for the half term break. It is a popular place for the local community who either pass through for a cup of tea, symptoms spend some time looking around and chatting to the residents, let their kids roam free or get stuck into some of the workshops on offer.

kew9

There is a free shop, full of clothes to take or exchange, and also an arts workspace where some clay making had been going on. Kids had also been making costumes for the coming Halloween and were busy making some handmade jewellery. At any point there is a handful of things going on from making the lunch, collecting seeds, playing chess and setting up new structures to just enjoy being in the place.

kew5

A huge new bender, a canvas structure made with locally sourced wood had just been finished which had extended the communal area from the kitchen and library. Art, books, oddities and even a range of guitars mean there is plenty to do and see in that tent alone.

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Delton, one of the people living at Kew had just been deemed the ‘master skipper’ as I got there as he had returned from a mission around the back of a certain high end supermarket and had brought back a load of food for the village. ‘Skipping’ as it’s known is sourcing some of the hundreds of tons food we through away each day that is perfectly fine for consumption. Don’t be put off – you can be dining on some finest* olive and tomato basil humus with a range of handmade sandwiches as well as cakes and pastries for free instead of a student meal of dry pasta and pesto. All it requires is a bit of nerve and resilience to find the right places.

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A cob structure has just been started around the back of the land where traditional methods are being used to create a communal place for the coming winter. Using mud, clay, hay and sourced insulation from abandoned lofts and buildings as well as hay. If you want to learn how to make one and see the process and don’t mind getting a bit muddy, just pop down during the opening hours and get stuck in.

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Michael, one of the residents, also put on a workshop which led me through the intricacies of sustainable power. He explained how to set up your own power source from solar panels using a range of charge controllers, regulators inverters and a deep cycle battery – I think after getting my head around all the different names and devices I managed to understand it in the end.

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Everyone is involved in the running of the eco village, and the shared ownership and management of land means that everyone is busy helping out with the various tasks each day. At the moment there is also a visitor shelter where people can come and stay for up to a week and help around the place and also learn plenty of skills in the process. Check the facebook for details how to get in contact.

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There is also a community of eco villages around the world who can offer advice and help for setting up your own space to live a more environmentally conscious life, both ecologically and socially. Make sure you get down to lend a hand, learn new skills and to see how we can live together in a more sustainable way and be a part of the UK’s eco-revolution.

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One Response to “What’s happening at Kew Eco Village”

  1. Kenovay says:

    It’s not a church tower, it’s a much rarer thing: a gorgeous old water tower, part of Kew Bridge Steam Museum.

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