Blackcurrant Soda EP Cover
Blackcurrant Soda EP
It’s been one month since my EP was released and it’s been a surreal experience. Writing & rapping has been something I’ve been doing semi-secretly for 4 years, so it’s been weird seeing the reactions of people who’ve heard me for the first time. I’m excited because the reception for Blackcurrant Soda has been positive and I feel the EP will serve as a sturdy stepping stone for future projects.
You can listen to Blackcurrant Soda here. Feel free to send any feedback my way – it’s greatly appreciated.
P.S. University is awesome!
Stacey Knights, Illustrator
Someone I have been meaning to post something up about for a while is Stacey Knights, as she has been one of my biggest inspirations, and I feel I owe a lot to her. Her illustrations are tactile, beautiful and clever in their simplicity. Look out for a more in depth post about her work in the near future. But in the meantime… http://www.staceyknightsillustration.co.uk
I just watched the film Kinky Boots and thought it was completely fantastic! It’s got a mixture of humour and genuinely sad moments, paired of course with amazing costumes and fabulous shoes – would definitely recommend. Also it’s based on a true story.
Science is amazing! Scientists have just managed to cultivate a plant from a seed that was 30,000 years old. That’s before the Ice Age!
The seed was found stashed in a squirrel’s burrow, and after applying growth hormones it germinated, and grew into this lovely baby:
Read more about it here
I had a free day in Warsaw on Sunday after the Up to 21 film festival, and decided to visit the Museum of Modern Art. After trying to find the “new building” I had seen on their website (which is opening in 2019 and hasn’t even finished being designed) we finally made it, with some help from a tourist information office.
The current exhibition “In the Heart of the Country” features work from international artists such as Sarah Lucas and Teresa Margolles. I had heard about Margolles’s piece 127 Bodies through Charlie, and found it subtly profound in person. I had seen her work before at the Artis Mundi in Cardiff, where she had three pieces; Plancha, 32 años Levantamiento y traslado donde cayo el cuerpo asesinado del artista Luis Miguel Suro and a soundpiece where through headphones the audience can hear the uncomfortable sound of bodies being dissected. Her work deals with the victims of gang crime in Mexico, often in visceral and provoking methods. 127 Bodies consists of the mortuary strings used to sew up victims corpses, tied together. It’s then you realise the stains on the pieces are from blood.
Another striking piece was the soundpiece from Wojciech Bakowski; I see things that are not there. The uncomfortable, claustrophobic nature of the piece automatically involves the audience, and raises the hairs on the back of your neck.
Overall I really enjoyed my visit, and hopefully will return again in the future.
Grace – Up To 21 Film Festival
I’m currently in Warsaw, Poland, after having attended the Up To 21 International Film Festival. This is the first time I have taken part in such an event and I have really enjoyed in. Highlights included Spare Parts by Wilson Verstreken, and Dr. Jazz by Alex Pietrzak. The part I enjoyed the most was meeting people my age making a successful career for themselves in film, and inspiring one another. I now think I will try to make more films in the future and hopefully attend again next year.
Charlie C-T – Robert J. Lang, Origami
I don’t need to say much about this because his models are just so intricate and beautiful. The Arthropods are my favorite.
The photographer Rachel Sokal uses leaves as natural photographic paper and “exposes” them to create these amazing images. I first saw them about 2 years ago and they have stuck in my mind ever since. I believe she has won awards internationally for these pieces.
The chlorophyll in the leaves photosynthesises with the exposed areas, darkening them and creating the picture, however, the lack of sunlight eventually destroys the leaf itself.
Last Thursday I went to see the latest exhibition at The Hayward Gallery, Light Show, which focused on the artistic use of artificial light. The work was from a variety of different sources, including one of my favourite artists Olafur Eliasson; sadly his beautiful piece Model for a Timeless Garden used strobe lighting which eventually made me feel sick so I couldn’t watch it for as long as I would have liked.
The piece used the strobe lights to trick the eye into viewing a set of water fountains as solid objects by freezing them in the flash. The effect produced was that of crystal-like sculptures that changed every split-second, with streams of diamond spheres hovering overhead. Sadly, like so many of the pieces, the photo doesn’t do it justice, and makes it look like a bunch of garden fountains.
A piece which I felt was overlooked by many in this exhibition was Light bulb to Simulate Moonlight by Katie Paterson. On my second circuit around the exhibition I sat in this room for a time and was struck by how many of the visitors poked their heads around the curtain, saw a bare bulb hanging low from the ceiling, and left. In fact the quality of the light produced was so beautiful, subtle and clever that I found it quite moving. Paterson worked with a lighting engineer to create a “moonlight” bulb to contrast to the popular daylight bulb – and the resulting artificial moonlight produced was truly lovely. The piece also contains enough bulbs for a lifetime; I couldn’t help but think how much I would love to own one to light my bedroom as the current bare bulb is anything but relaxing…
The final piece I’ll talk about by Anthony McCall. You and I, Horizontal is a projected light sculpture which turns light into a tangible, tactile object. A projector beams the slowly moving film through a hazy, darkened room and the resulting cylinders of light encompass the audience who are then likely to spend the next 20 minutes as I did; reaching out their hands like children to grasp the air. What I liked most about this piece was the way that the visual effect was so strong, I could “feel” the light, which was amazing.
Overall I completely loved the exhibition and if you can go, go! There were so many more incredibly clever and beautiful pieces, and these three are merely a fragment. One thing I would recommend if you do go, is in Doug Wheeler’s piece stand in the middle and slightly in front of everyone else!! He does say this in the description but so many ignored it and were underwhelmed. When I did this I had the strangest sensation that my eyes couldn’t focus and the installation became much more striking.
None of the pictures used in this post are my own.
As I mentioned in my last blog post I wanted to make a film of my experiences in Florida. I had never been to the USA before and found the whole experience really exciting, in particular, I loved the southern part of Florida because of the variety of cultural influences. We used the Rough Guide to Florida for ideas of places to go and I’d really encourage people to do this as we found places we would have never have got to by ourselves like the incredible fruit stand, Robert is Here, in Homestead, where you can buy anything from plantain to miracle fruit to key lime milkshakes.
I spent some time on almost all of the days filming my family and their surroundings, however by the time we reached the Everglades I’d run out of memory card space and decided to spend the rest of the holiday without my camera. Now that I’m home I’ve had time to organise the shots into a short film, and this is the result. I intend to use this as the starting point for my last project on my Foundation.
The music is Man on Fire by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
Hope you enjoy!
On Saturday I’ll be heading over to the USA for the first time and as can be expected I’m really excited!! I plan to use this trip as the basis for my next art project, and will collect footage to use for an outcome. My family and I are doing a road trip around Florida and I thought I’d share with you the 5 things I’m most excited about:
In no particular order
1. The Everglades
An area of swampy wetlands, with amazing wildlife. I think there’s a big alligator population, which is exciting as I’ve never seen them properly. From the pictures it looks pretty spectacular!
2. The Weeki Wachee Mermaids
Oh come on – who doesn’t want to see mermaids!?!
3. Manatee sightings
Otherwise known as sea-cows and once mistaken for mermaids (though they’re a far cry for the Weeki Wachee Mermaids!) We were going to try to swim with the manatees but after a bit of research it all seemed a little forced, so we’ll probably rent canoes and see if we bump into any instead. This means we’re likely to see less of them but seems to be more comfortable for the animals.
4. Thrift Shopping
My sister has been spamming me with thrift shops in Florida, and with Macklemore’s song being EVERYWHERE at the moment, it’s pretty hard not to be excited about this! As America didn’t have rationing in the war the vintage clothing is supposed to be better over there.
I’m so excited!! Post again to fill you in!
SITE (Sculpture in the Environment) is a architecture and design organisation, who use a combination of “green architecture” and installation-equse/site-specific ideas to create buildings which are functional despite their unusual appearances. I found them through their work in the 70’s and 80’s for Best Products Stores, where they created nine buildings, all of which started with the basic “big box” shop design, and subverted it in some way.
This building is the one that got my attention – The Notch Showroom in Sacramento, CA. This building’s corner has what, at first glance, seems to be a crack in the corner. This 45-ton cracked section in fact removes itself from the building, and becomes the main entrance – amazing!
This tilted building is also really impressive. The building was sadly demolished to build a Target instead…
Best Products is no longer running and I’m not sure how many of the stores designed by SITE are still standing, but these creations, made for simple shops are undeniably impressive.