Taking a chance on a flyer – CHAMP

Art, Arts, Bristol, Events, Inspirational, Launch, Meditation, Music, Nature

Last night (20th June 2015) I was coaxed into attending an event by a very curious piece of advertising. Picked up at The Island, Bristol, this flyer, with its sparseness and contrast, was too intriguing to ignore.

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What I found, in a small, active industrial yard, was a gathering of people brought together for a performance and a barbecue, on the eve of the solstice.

Sam, the main man of the occasion, put the event together prior to the beginning of what he described to me as an adventurous wander of survival without money, a phone or a map. The idea, to leave of without worrying about how much money you have, who you’re in contact with and where you are, is greatly inspiring as a thing to do, and the fact that there was no pretention in the attitude of the friendly, jovial crowd bolstered the moment.

The event itself is tied to a group of artists in Bristol, CHAMP, whose newly renovated garage studio is as I awkwardly put it at one point, ‘nice’. Which is what it is, a well as more valuable adjectives.

It’s the second time I’ve joined the outskirts of a group shepherded by some leader figure called Sam. The first time being the night of my secondary school prom, in the face of rejection I’d gone off to a gig instead, and while there lied to a group of guys about my age so I could feel less insecure. Sam bought me a drink but I’d had to politely decline.

This time around it was homemade wine that I was avoiding for medical reasons and the barbecue, (from which I had a grilled pepper bun) was a happy addition to the performance. A good move. The details of the performance itself is really only for the performance. That it effectively involved a morning ritual with a much heightened intensity, is enough description to honour intentions I figure.

All of that which Sam took on his sojourn of indefinite length today was lain out on the floor until by the end of the performance it was packed away into his bag. In generosity Sam also provided me and others with a free shirt for our engagement, which was a fine thing to do.

Sam, and the rest of those more of the inner circle, were at the allotment mentioned on the flyer this morning at sunrise, to wave Sam away I guess.

It’s a shame I couldn’t be there, but I was more committed to getting to my bed than hanging around for somewhere to couch/floorsurf with the group. So on this, the longest day of the year, I wish Sam the vey best of luck, and am glad that things like this happen, because, if they didn’t, then just how boring would life be?

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Interview: Lee Mc Donald

Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Bristol, Inspirational, Installation, Interview, Performance art, sculpture, Video

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Lee Mc Donald is a Plymouth based artist who uses sound and movement to make kinetic, sonic and often public sculptures out of recycled or reclaimed objects. Describing his work as quasi scientific Lee’s practice is based in experimentation and testing. I first met Lee when he turned the courtyard of Baggator Community Centre in Easton into an art installation for the 2014 Bristol Biennial.

Interview: Jen Howarth

Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Bristol, Drawing, Inspirational, Interview, Printing

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I caught up with Jen Howarth just after she’d dropped her work off for an exhibition she’s currently in with Synecdoche Art Collective – a group show by recent graduates and current students of Drawing and Applied Arts at UWE – at the Christmas Steps Gallery. (It’s pronounced si-nek-duh-kee in case you were wondering). In the gallery Jen is exhibiting Jetty [above] (and the original etching print inc. metallic spray paint water is every bit as beautiful in the flesh), while in the Synecdoche pop up shop area Jen has prints, badges and t-shirts for sale. I kind of want to own all of her work.

Interview: Gareth Brookes

Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Books/Comics, Bristol, Illustrator, Inspirational, Interview

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I remember finding Gareth Brookes’ work on my first visit to a Bristol Zine Fair when I had just moved here to start Uni. I’m not sure if I was struck first by Gareth’s fascinating drawings moving fluidly from lino print to embroidery, or by the macabre storyline of his graphic novel The Black Project.

Tell us about your background, how did you get into illustration and start making graphic novels?

What is Architecture and why should I care?

Architecture, Article, Arts, Bristol, Events, Exhibition, Inspirational, Photography, Street Art, Uncategorized

I’m Co-curating an exhibition at The Architecture Centre aiming to get young people involved with architecture. This is hard, because to lots of young people, the world of architecture seems completely alien. Even to me, it conjures up images of middle class white men in their 40’s discussing buildings in an office. It feels like it’s a world that you can only unlock after 7 years of training, and it’s only then that you can begin to grasp what it’s about. So let’s find out what architecture is.

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I started by googling it and came up with this definition:

Architecture
noun
“the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings.”

Okay. That’s true. Architecture IS the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings, but it’s also so much more than that.

It’s about places. It’s about the spaces in between the buildings. It’s about the communities and interactions that take place in them. Architecture is as much about the buildings as it is the people inside.

Architecture plays a huge part in our lives and in ways that we don’t even realise. Walking down a street seems like a completely simple moment in our day, but we don’t realise that this street has been designed to be like that. Those lamp posts have been placed exactly where they are. Those trees were planted exactly there. It’s all been designed to look the way it does. It is the reason why small music venues feel intimate and personal, whilst massive arenas feel impressive and inspiring. Each of those was designed to evoke those feelings.

This is why architecture – in my opinion – is the most important art form there is.

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But why should we care? I mean – sure, these spaces were designed like that and to make us feel certain ways, but why does it matter?

At the end of the day, we – as young people – can live our lives in a city content with the architecture around us, letting other people decide what it is that we want.

Except we don’t have to. Okay – to design a building you might need a seven year degree or something like that, but you don’t need a degree to have your say.

Throughout my experience with Shape My City,  where I got to work with experts and professionals from the world of architecture; the one thing that they told me is to just “go for it” and to do whatever it is I want to do, and those are words to live by.

Shape My City
We have spent far too long letting the middle class white men decide what it is that young people want from a city. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to young people, and I’ve realised that we do have opinions about architecture – we just don’t realise that they’re opinions about architecture.

Young people have a voice and opinion about this. I want to challenge you. What do you want from a city?What do you like or not like about Bristol?

Why should you care? Because you have an opinion about it, even if you don’t think you do!

To share your thoughts, visit the Shape My City blog or send an e-mail to amy.harrison@architecturecentre.co.uk with your pitch.

‘Sub-Doodling’, press ups and Lady Gaga..

Art, Artist, Drawing, Events, Illustrator, Inspirational, Interview, Uncategorized

Becky, Cai and Emma as drawn by Joff

Becky, Cai and Emma as drawn by Joff

Cai, Emma and myself recently attended an arts conference at @Bristol, on Disability Led arts hosted by two organisations; the Bristol and Brighton Steering Groups. Designed to inform and inspire the public on disability within the arts today, the conference was attended by people nationwide.

During we met Joff, the events graphic artist who caught our attention right from the start of the day. So, we eventually managed to corner him and fire a few questions his way.

Here is the conversation we had about ‘Sub-Doodling’, press ups and Lady Gaga..

Joff, we thought you would be an incredibly interesting and inspiring person to interview, as Young Arnolfini is all about making art more accessible to young people and today really has opened up our eyes to disability within the arts.

4How long have you been drawing?

I’ve been drawing all time, the whole time.. all my life.

So are you a full time illustrator?

No, I’m not good enough to do that, I can’t draw buildings or vehicles very well!

Oh no, you shouldn’t consider those things as limitations!

Well…. I like doing my press-ups so.. wait what? Sorry what was the question?!

[There’s a lot of laughter at this point as Joff is obviously distracted as he watches people walk by that he could be drawing..]

The question was ‘are you a full time illustrator’?

Ermm I draw a lot of the time, like a lot of the things I do, I do in drawings but I’m not really an illustrator because you have to be able to draw buildings..

There’s no rules to illustration! Can you speak a bit about your work and your style? Do you think you have a particular style?

My style for these kind of events, when I’m documenting things, I’d say is actually quantity not quality! I can do a lot of drawings but a lot of them are pretty bad but as long as I can get the feeling across of what is vaguely going on at the event.

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So would you say your style is fast paced and doodle like?

It’s like ‘sub doodle’..

That’s a cool description of it! So do you think that your disability affects you in any ways, positively or negatively?

Ah, that’s a good question.. Er, well maybe it makes people be a bit nicer to me! They’re more forgiving of the not very good likenesses in my drawings! Erm, I don’t know.. well, no.. I don’t know! Sometimes I’m probably a bit more messy than I would be, you know, like if I’ve got a big pile of paper, maybe I’ll drop a few more sheets than someone with a normal hand.. When I’m doing my press ups I have to put a book under my stump to make it the right height!

Do you think anyone can draw?

YES! Definitely..

Do you think everyone should draw?

Yes as well! Definitely!

Do you think thats part of where your practice comes from? From drawing everything, you just get better and better at documenting?

Yes, I love it when other people draw! In fact, Sarah did one of the drawings today, I got her to do it because I got bored of it..

What advise would you give a young person with a disability who would like to go into the arts? Especially drawing, as we have been watching you all day and you have such confidence to just approach people and start drawing them.4

Just draw. I know some of these people here, mainly because I’m a huge fan of their work.. I’m a huge fan but not really into contemporary art so much.. but I just really love people who draw! I don’t really know what I’m talking about.. Some people do really realistic, detailed pencils drawings of Lady Gaga.. what am I talking about, I don’t know..

You’re talking about really realistic, detailed pencil drawings of Lady Gaga to an illustrator who does detailed pencil drawings and portraits! Cai has actually drawn Lady Gaga..

Have you?! It’s like two ends of the same string linking up! I can’t draw Lady Gaga.. I can draw a meat dress but I can’t draw the face.. Sorry Cai!

If you could give your 16 year old self a piece of advise, what would it be?

Be nice to your mum. No I was quite nice to my mum.. I’d say don’t talk as much! Id say that to myself now too!

Have you ever experienced any discrimination?

What because I’ve got like one hand? You mean?

Yeah.

Er nah not really.. people are nice!

People are nice to me a lot too, I think it’s my height! I’m short and I think people pity me!

Oh yeah you are quite short!

We really loved all the illustrations Joff created, and below are only a selection of all the ones he created. There were so many, it was hard to choose! Take a look:

Thanks for reading,

Becky

“Exchange” – A review

Art, Artist, Arts, Bristol, Events, Exhibition, Inspirational, Launch

What do Spike Island’s volunteers do when they aren’t volunteering?

They create an exhibition of course.

So the other night, I headed up to Spike Island’s test space to check out the exhibition run by and created by some of Spike Island’s volunteers.

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There was activity in the air as soon as I entered, and as I turned to walk into the Test Space, I was greeted by a wall of people. Wading through the unfamiliar and familiar faces, I began my experience at “Exchange”.

The exhibition aimed to “explore the exchange between volunteers, art institutions and the public” by demonstrating the “breadth and depth of talent and the variety of artistic interests that come together within the group”; and I feel it managed to do just that.

The work exhibited was varying and showcased a wide variety of talent. It included a range of pieces from photography to sculpture to performance artwork, and even more.

003One of the best features of the exhibition had to be its interaction with its visitors. One of the ideas that the curators had was to create a physical “exchange” of ideas there. There was a corner dedicated to this idea where visitors were encouraged to create drawings and pin them to the wall, then to take another in exchange.

I feel this worked really well and you could see that the wall was busy with people pinning their own drawings up. By the end of the evening, the contents of the wall had completely changed from when it had started. I have to admit, once I got started, it was hard to stop. I can’t resist a bit of drawing!

What was remarkably simple worked incredibly well as it got people involved with the exhibition in a way that they normally wouldn’t consider.

I was able to interview Fiona Clabon – Young Arnolfini member who was also one of the artists there.

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She told me how she was fascinated by textures and she was always “stopping every five minutes on a day trip for a photo”. When I asked her why she wanted to present these images, she told me how she wanted to capture the beautiful details of things that we normally miss.

These images certainly do capture that. Each one of them was incredibly interesting and different. I found myself studying them intently. Perhaps her best photo shows the miniscule ice crystals forming on a wooden post – a detail I would have never stopped to admire.

“Exchange” was a really enjoyable exhibition and it was great to meet the volunteers at spike and check out their work.

For my full review, including another interview, check out my post on the Bristol Art Collective website.

For more of her work, check out Fiona’s Website or Facebook page.

Thanks for reading!
Cai

I hope you’re not hungry…

Art, Artist, Arts, Inspirational, Nature, Painting

…because I’m about to bridge the line between food and art!

I was amazed to stumble across the work of Hasan Kale who creates micro paintings on food!

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Using Smarties, bread sticks, nuts and chocolate (to name a few) as his canvas, he works to the tiniest scale. Yet even though he is painting on only a few centimeters, he can still create art that’s awe-inspiring.

He uses a brush that’s so small it can paint these intricate details that you wouldn’t have realised it was possible to paint! You’ve got to wonder how much work goes into something so small…

And for some seconds?

Check out the work of Carl Warner, who creates what he calls “Foodscapes”

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Entire scenes made completely out of food! I love how he uses things like broccoli to symbolise trees as it reminds me of when I was young and used to think of them as exactly that – little trees! I think its really clever what he’s done and its interesting looking at the scenes, trying to spot the different food he’s used to create his landscapes!

Time for lunch I think!

Thanks for reading,
Cai

rifeWhen: Wed 18th of June 2014

Time: 5:45pm – 8pm

Where: Watershed – 1 Canon’s Road, Harbourside, BS1 5TX Bristol, United Kingdom

 

Since February I’ve been part of Talent Lab, a Bristol-based group of 23 creatives formed by the collaboration of Watershed and award-winning creative agency, Latimer. We were commissioned by Bristol Youth Links in partnership with Bristol City Council to shape an online platform for Bristol’s youth with an eagerness to create content for the youth by the youth. Thankfully this meant goodbye to all things stereotypically appeasing to us, the youth, like the horrid cliché that was the Go Places Do Things graffiti font. Bless their souls, they kind of tried.

Bristol Talent Lab

So where did we go from there? Rife, baby. Well, a nameless Rife magazine. We knew exactly what we wanted but it took much longer to finally figure out a name. How does ‘rife’ feel on your tongue? Kind of funny? It takes a few attempts getting used to it but it’s a grower. After months of hard work building up content by the core Rife team, as a digital phoenix our baby has risen out of the cliché ashes with some stories going viral and over 10,000 unique site views in less than a month …and we are not even officially launched yet!

With just over 24 hours to go before the Rife Live Launch excitement and anxiety seems to have dangerously merged.

But that’s not stopping us because Rife is yours – all you bloggers, vloggers, photographers, writers, budding journalists, aspiring editors, ranters, reviewers, tweeters, Facebook fanatics, Tumblr scrollers, filmmakers, comedians, storytellers, cartoonists, graphic designers or simply good at generating good ideas. With so much to offer on the night; from making your own gifs, telling us what Grinds Your Gears, pitching ideas for Rife to our team, networking with industry professionals (LatimerClockwise Media amongst others) and listening to acclaimed creator of The Hip Hop Shakespeare CompanyAkala; all we ask is that you RSVP to editor@rifemagazine.co.uk to confirm your place*.

AND if that’s still not exciting enough, through getting involved you can get media training, mentoring, access to equipment, industry links and profile. So even if you can’t make the 18th Rife magazine still wants you! Check out http://www.rifemagazine.co.uk/get-involved/ to find out how you can still get involved.

I hope I’ll be seeing you there – look out for the girl with the R-shaped earrings!

 

*doors open at 5:45 to those who have RSVP’d and by 5:50/55pm any unclaimed RSVP’d spaces are then opened up to the public with a first come first serve system.

Animation, Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Books/Comics, Bristol, Cinema, Drawing, Events, Fashion, Games, Illustrator, Inspirational, Launch, Literature, Music, Origami, Painting, Performace, Performance art, Photography, Poetry, Printing, Theatre, Uncategorized, Video, Watershed, Workshop