‘If I see a tree that looks like it should be climbed, then I’m going to climb it’ : Weak Anarchy with Tom Pope.

Arnolfini, Artist, Arts, Events, Performance, Photography, Workshop

As Part of our Young Artist Series, this month we were fortunate enough to take part in a workshop hosted by the eternally playful Tom Pope.


First he shares with us some of his incredible work along with a handful of peculiar stories that paint him out to be a neighbourhood terror in a comic or something.

Tom Pope’s shirt is the colour of lemons and by his feet is a bag of oranges. These oranges will be thrown with reckless abandon into the path of cameras that are hungry to catch the oranges before they collide with walls and floors, splitting their skins in a shower of orange juice.

If the camera is successful in ‘catching’ the orange the photograph is essentially spoiled by an obscure orange blur.

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The next act in the workshop has us locked in photographic combat, our fingers poised on each other’s triggers. Maeve’s lens is pointed at me and mine at her, ready to shoot. But we don’t want to shoot each other, we want to shoot ourselves. I want to capture a thousand of my own images with Maeve’s camera but I don’t want her to snap herself on mine. So now we’re dancing, everyone in the room is dancing! Like a group of couples in the ballroom of a cruise ship that’s hit choppy waters and scattered us about. And all the time we’re going in circles, trying to move our camera away from their faces whilst drawing theirs towards us.

I’m almost as tragic at writing about this as I was in actually doing it. My chaotic brain can’t handle the two actions at once and I unknowingly let Maeve photograph her laughing face over and over and over while I fail to capture my own.

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And now (with our cameras still citrus-scented) we are temporarily blinded and guided through the gallery; shakily up and down stairs, awkwardly into lifts, clinging on to walls and sometimes each other, led under chairs and tables  until something in our sightless minds tell us the moment is right to take the photograph and open two sets of eyes at once.

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My photograph is a white-out because I had my camera on the wrong setting. The camera was as blind as I was and the image is a total nothingness. The outcome isn’t always as important as the process.

In the last part of our first workshop we do what Tom Pope does best: we play a game. Here are the seven rules to live by if you want to get involved and play the YA Game of Photography:

1. Offside rule.
2. No zoom.
3. If someone shouts ‘You!’ And points, everyone must photograph them.
4. Eye contact with the lens makes the picture invalid.
5. Cannot have two feet on the floor when taking a picture.
6. After taking a picture you have to turn 180 degrees
7. Must shout ‘Yes!’ when taking a picture

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You can go and peep at Tom Pope’s work here: http://www.tompope.co.uk/


Modding Skyrim – Created by the Cominity


Video games are fun. Video games are also beautiful, especially when you get a dedicated team of enthusiast moding (modifying) their favourite game. In this case, as the title suggests, I am using Skyrim as an example.

Skyrim, released in November 2011, is the fifth instalment in the Elder Scrolls series. I played a heck of a lot of this game when it came out, admittedly it came close to an obsession for me. One of the things I loved about this game was the way it looked, here is an example screen shot of the un-moded game.

Now here is a screenshot of Skyrim in 2014, nearly 3 years later; spliced,changed and edited by some of the more fanatical about this game.

People have gone to extraneous lengths, changing the way light shines through the leaves, changing the textures of the leaves. The result is a completely reinvigorated version of the original game. Here are a few more screen shots for your eyes.

Thanks for reading.

Would you rather hear the truth or a story? – An interview with Emma Callander

Bristol, Performance, Theatre

The first production of The Sum, the new Bristol based theatre company, Banksy: The Room in the Elephant is set to return to Bristol over the weekend, with tickets free for under 21s on Friday.

Inspired by real events, the play is centred around Titus Coventry, an eccentric character made homeless after Banksy stencilled ‘THIS LOOKS A BIT LIKE AN ELEPHANT’ onto a water cooler, which served as a home for Titus, near L.A. Despite being in the limelight of the media, public, playwrights and a dubious firm which seized the property, Titus is finally telling his story.

Young Arnolfini spoke to the director, Emma Callander.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

Bristol, Performance, Theatre

Though lacking in an understanding of William Shakespeare that could be considered greater than minimal (a sonnet here, a Welles film there), my appreciation of his beguiling works has only fostered following compulsory education which, if anything, worked to the contrary. In an elated state following a viewing of Roman Polanski’s marvellous 1970 film of Macbeth, I went into Pericles at the Redgrave Theatre knowing nothing besides its authors and the rearranged state of its structure.