Subism Live

Posted by

Posted in Sights

Comments Off

Subism Live Subism Live

With so many people making videos, it’s always nice when you come across content that has been made well. I recently discovered the very talented people at Pinboard who have recently filmed the process and artists behind Subism Live, a platform which helps artists to collectively display their work in hired spaces. They occupied a space at Red Bull Music studios recently, showing a range of work from Mr Penfold, Malarky and Garry Milne.

I really like the way the series of images are fused together – which also reflects effectively the arty nature of the content. Take a look at their blog which displays more of their videos and interviews with music artists.

Click the image above, or here to see the Subism Live video.

Take Records EP

Posted by

Posted in Sounds

Comments Off

Take Records EP Take Records EP

The label whose music policy centres around depth rather than genre, provide a taster of their sound with this free EP. The records veer from house to tech, garage to half step without sacrificing their cohesiveness, bound together by their ‘emotion, restraint and space’. Exactly my cup of tea – and that’s not entirely because I’m biased. Feeling the artwork too which was done by Ben Ireland

1. Colo – TwentySix
2. James Fox – Found A Way
3. Jack Dixon – Wrong Numbers
4. Mr. Lager – Singularity

Download at takerecords.co.uk

Great Lengths

Posted by

Posted in Sights, Sounds

Comments Off

It’s not often you’ll find producers reaching so assuredly outside the music sphere in quite the same way that Martyn has done in his short film collaboration with cinematographer and director Ramon Gieling. The main thread of this excellent seven minute clip centres on the tragic death of a happy young man, his loving relationship with his wife and later, the celebration of his life on an ethereal plane.

The curious meeting of dream and reality, life and death, is powerfully vivid and unusual. There are surreal images of miniature pianos used for different effect by the characters, bystanders in black are static though awake and the use of black, white and colour differentiates between living and dead – all memorable cinematic techniques.

Standing alone, the film short is interesting and captivating. But what really makes it unbearably sad and powerful is the context with which many people will see it.

Martyn’s father Gerrie Deijkers was previously better-known than his son in their native Holland. He was a professional footballer with PSV Eindhoven, scoring 18 times in his most successful season. Having moved from left-back to striker after a series of team injuries he subsequently scored a very important goal in the clubs history, one which helped them to win the 1978 UEFA cup. Sadly in October 2003, long after his footballing career was over, Deijkers died of heart failure at the age of 56.

It is within this narrative that the film is set. It helps us to understand and apply meaning to its many abstract elements: the already eerie atmosphere of an empty stadium dotted with stationary, dark figures becomes more sinister with the association of Deijkers death. The story laden with this heavier sorrow exudes emotion, partly driven by seeing Martyn step into his father’s shoes. Coupled with this is a feeling of intrusion; that we are watching an intensely personal visualisation, and together, this makes for quite an unsettled viewing. It raises a series of questions about Martyn’s underlying feelings towards his father’s death, which his believable acting hides behind a wall of objectivity.

It is a great, short art-house film containing both despair and hope and where the meaning of events remain open to interpretation. Who is the other man in the film? The soundtrack which begins with Bridge and ends with Right Star, music from Martyn’s Great Lengths album, plays a large part in creating its emotional intensity and mood. It is also a refreshing display of electronic music used to facilitate a journey and build a soundscape, distinct from other records produced with only the dancefloor in mind.

Music aside, on the basis of this performance, let’s hope there will be more acting from this multi-talented producer.

NB: There is a brilliant (unrelated) in-depth interview from On-Point with Martyn here that is definitely worth a look.

Alphabet Street

Posted by

Posted in Sights

3 Comments

Alphabet Street Alphabet Street
Alphabet Street Alphabet Street

A few pints after work around Liverpool Street and a stroll from Bishopsgate to Whitechapel, you could quite unwittingly stumble through ‘Alphabet’ street and be overcome by childhood nostalgia.

Occasional lights appear in windows of the terraced housing above the mishmash of signs of the local shops whose shutters are down for the evening. But rather than fading into sleeply night-time, the street is alive with colour, the once grey shutters sprayed over with lower-case alphabet letters in all sizes and colours. The street adopts a rather vivid cartoon-like quality; the typography may be out of context and more at home in a young child’s reading book but there is a feeling of finesse and style that makes the work of the artist, Ben Eine, specifically distinctive.

His star has risen speedily since his early multiple arrests for vandalising property. President Obama was given an Eine painting as a gift from Samantha Cameron in the last month; the prime minitster’s wife a bizzare benefactor of this ‘hoodie art’ (as so called by the Daily Mail) particularly given her husband’s predisposition towards ‘hoodies’.

The work is not the run-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-and-spray-over-a-stencil-graffiti to which many Londoners are accustomed. The process of obtaining permission from the council and working with the local shops took around a year, the letters themselves about an hour each. The result of this random project? A set of happy shopkeepers and excited passers by; a refreshing breath of creative air next to the imposing city skyscrapers.

Eine’s website shows a personal affinity with the warm, cuddly fairytale programmes of the past and is even a little disconcerting – what with the assorted Care Bears and My Little Ponies jumping out on each page. He is an artist perpetually trying to recreate the delight associated with early childhood and it seems to hold some bearing judging by squeals of delight or smiles seen on the faces of passers by. He’s not just about letters though – some of his more stylised work, canvasses and screen prints can be seen in his website’s gallery. A few of these have light socio-political irony in the vein of one of his old friends, Banksy.

I’d also recommend having a look at artofthestate.co.uk, which is where I first discovered Eine’s alphabet. It provides an excellent collection of urban photography spanning both graffiti and architecture and covers a range of London artists.

Ceramic playground

Posted by

Posted in Sights

Comments Off

Ceramic playground Ceramic playground
Ceramic playground Ceramic playground
Ceramic playground Ceramic playground
Ceramic playground Ceramic playground
Ceramic playground Ceramic playground
Ceramic playground Ceramic playground

This semi-completed, mosaiced elephant is Carrie Reichardt’s Phoolan. The picture does no justice for the size or detail, it’s absolutely enourmous and the decorative work is painstakingly long. He’s only one of the 250 fibreglass elephants being decorated for The Elephant Parade, London’s biggest ever outdoor art event taking place between May – July 2010 as part of a conservation campaign to raise money to help save the endangered Asian elephant. Reichardt is collaborating with Nick Reynolds of music group Alabama 3 and is documenting the whole process on carriereichardt.co.uk.

There are some bizzare posts on ‘craftivism’, a collective whose manifesto is ‘to expose the scandal of global poverty, and human rights injustices though the power of craft and public art’, including a link to order vulva portrait pendants (I kid you not). There is, on the plus, fascinating documentation of the intricate mural at Ladbroke Grove (top pic) for Mutate Britain.

The other pictures posted here show mosaics of films commemorating Hitchcock at the place of his birth, Leytonstone, in 2001 and one of the many pieces on display within Tottenham Court Road underground. There’s an excellent website covering all of London’s current and past mosaics, from Columbia Road to Westminster and Canary Wharf at thejoyofshards.co.uk.

Where Three Dreams Cross

Posted by

Posted in Shows

Comments Off

Where Three Dreams Cross Where Three Dreams Cross

Where Three Dreams Cross Where Three Dreams Cross

I’ve become a bit tired of late with the Indian art shows hosted in London – the recent exhibition at the V&A included. They tend to focus on the same things: a turbulent political history, the riches of Maharajan kings or sometimes the quirkiness of Hindu gods.

This display of photography at the Whitechapel Art gallery did away with all that, providing a real insight into the last 150 years of the Indian subcontinent – including Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Many of the photographs can be admired independently as well as part of the exhibition as a whole. It’s worth checking out, whether you like India or photography in general, and I have no doubt that it will be more comprehensive than ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ Indian artists exhibition over at the Saatchi gallery.

150 years of photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh runs at the Whitechapel Gallery until 11 April.