“The Amount of Love You Have to Give is More Than I Can Stand.”

Phoebe Collings-James’ first solo show in Cologne opens today. The new exhibition at the Ginerva Gambino gallery presents three wall-size pieces that create an overall frame, with smaller drawings and paintings displayed in between these works.

“In most of Collings-James’ work, violence and beauty coincide.” The gallery says of the new exhibition, noting the complexities and nuances of Collings-James’ work that have seen her reputation skyrocket in recent years. The exhibition addresses dualities and contrasts – “feelings of familiarity and distance. This cacophony relates to her exploration of identity. Her personal (being a queer, British-Jamaican woman) and the historical – the present day and the ancestral.”

Since she graduated from Goldsmiths in London in 2009, Phoebe Collings-James has become one of the most exciting new voices on the scene. Now Brooklyn-based, the artists has had major shows in London, New York and Antwerp. With such a capacity to produce works that make an impression, that are both intense and delicate, it’s easy to see why. The new exhibition is on until the end of January.

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Her Stories 2018

Want to know how to annoy the establishment? Mess around with grammar. Her Stories decision to name the female artist contributors to that charity auction as womxn created a furore earlier this month. But this is a total Daily Mail-style distraction from the main issue – an auction, party and ongoing charity supporting women. The focus this year is those seeking asylum and refuge in UK.

‘Fresh Flowers’, Gabriele Beveridge, 2018, Courtesy of the artist

Their annual auction is killer – almost a who’s who of emerging British artists (who happy to be female and/or non binary) including Florence Peake, Phoebe Collings-James, Elouise Hawser, Juno Calypso, Maisie Cousins and Gabriele Beveridge – alongside more established iconic names like Linder and Polly Morgan. The works go on view November 8 at Protein Space and go up for sale on the 13th, but you can view and bid them all online here.

Fantasy 1, Florence Peake, 2018, Courtesy the artist and Bosse & Baum, London

For those who haven’t got the budget to shout for a piece by Faye Wei Wei or Marianne Spurr, but want to support providing vital, underfunded services for women, there is a party Friday night with Boiler Room with music curated by CAMPerVAN at Protein Studios. You can get tickets here.

Find out more at Her Stories.

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Sarah Sze, Gagosian Roma 2018

Italian contemporary art gallery Gagosian in collaboration with American artist Sarah Sze presents her first gallery exhibition following the artist’s participation in the Biennale di Venezia in 2015. The exhibition which is being hosted at the Gagosian headquarters in Rome, features a collection of Sze’s works which unites intricate networks of objects and images across several dimensions and mediums, from sculptings to paintings, drawings, printmakings and video installations. Sze’s Timekeeper series, a video installation which began in 2015, transforms the oval gallery of the Gagosian into an immersive environment that is part sculpture and part cinema. The exhibition acts as a form of Plato’s Cave, which confronts the viewer from simultaneous points of view and includes people, animals, scenes and abstractions in motion, flickering and orbiting randomly. In the paintings, her nuanced sculptural language adapts to the conditions of the flat support. In delicate yet bold layers of paint, ink, paper, prints, and objects, the three dimensions of bricolage are parsed into the two dimensions of collage. Here, colour draws its substantive energies as much from the innate content of found images from paint and ink. The artist is set to add her first outdoor stone sculpture to the exhibition in November, which will feature a natural boulder split open like a geode. Each of the two revealed cuts will have a sunset sky embedded in its surface, alluding to both the images perceptible in gongshi and the heavenly subjects of renaissance paintings. The exhibition will end it’s course on January 12, 2019.

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Ami Sioux, From The Road Exhibition

Photographer and musician Ami Sioux debuts her first monograph of personal work in a photography exhibition and book titled From The Road. The book is curated as a collection of portraits, landscapes and abstracts shot during the photographer’s journey in New York, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles from 2001 through 2018. 

Sioux’s path as a photographer initially began in the 1990s which has been a journey which has took her throughout all these cities. She is a photographer who has shot for brands such as Hermes and Maison Margiela, but also prides herself as a photographer who demands a certain type of presence of the subjects of her images. Her work in the exhibition documents and engages a time passage with portraits of lovers and friends alongside landscapes and abstracts captured in a painterly way along with outtakes of celebrities and artists she has shot for magazines throughout the years. The entire series was shot on 35mm film and the cover of book was designed by musician and artist Matt Fishbeck. This will count as Ami’s fourth personal book. The others; Paris 48°N, Reykjavik 64°N and Tokyo 35°N are series exploring the relationships of creatives and their abiding cities. The exhibition will eventually travel to New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo, but is currently running in Paris at the Mannerheim Gallery until November 11, 2018.   

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Fondation Louis Vuitton: The Courtauld, A Vision for Impressionism

As of February 2019, the Foundation Louis Vuitton will the hosting the collection of English industrialist and art collector Samuel Courtauld (1876-1947) in Paris for the first time in over sixty years. Courtauld’s family’s held significant historical ties to France. They were Hugenots, which is a group originally from the Isle of Oléron, who emigrated to London at the end of the 17th century. His family’s business, thrived as one of the greatest textile manufacturers of artificial silk in the world. Samuel traveled regularly to Paris to purchase impressionist and post-impressionist works from French dealers. He compiled one of the greatest collections of impressionist art which includes 100 pieces paintings and graphic work. The exhibition includes pieces from the end of 19th century which gives a clear idea of the pioneering role the collector held  and his influence on the art of impressionism in the UK.

The collection will include works such as A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882) by Edouard Manet, Nevermore (1897) by Paul Gauguin, La Louge (1874) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, Self Portrait With a Bandaged Ear (1889) which will be displayed for the first time since its presentation in 1955.  After a decade of collecting art pieces, his collection was first exhibited in his neoclassical home in Portman Square in central London. Thereafter, he created the Courtauld Institute of Art and Gallery in London which was one the first university establishments in the UK devoted to art which he donated the majority of his pieces in 1932.

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UNHCR & Giles Duley: The Refugee Women of Congo

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, violence against women has been particularly brutal since war broke in the Kasai region in March 2017.  Rape and sexual violence has continued to be used as weapons of war in a pool of conflict that has triggered internal displacement of some 1.4 million people — and the flight of over 35,00 refugees into Lunda Norte province in northeastern Angola. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) teamed up with renowned war photographer Giles Duley to tell the stories of the female survivors who have bore witnesses to these crimes in a photography series to pay tribute to their strength.  For more stories and information on how to help, visit UNHCR.

“To be honest, I am not that strong. I lost everything. I am not sure how to carry on.”

Sylvie Kapenga, 26, from Tchissengue feels broken by the violence she witnessed when armed groups attacked her fellow villagers, killing and raping indiscriminately. She has four children and says life in Lóvua settlement, Angola is tough with little food or clothes to give them. 

“They pointed a gun at my husband, but we managed to escape with our two children.”

Some of 42-year-old Bernardete Tchanda’s friends were raped and killed when armed men attacked Kamako, Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the past she has suffered domestic violence. She says she feels protected in the UNHCR settlement in Lóvua, Angola. 

“As a refugee it is harder as a woman, we have the responsibility for food and the children. But here the women have given me inspiration.”

Ani Tcheba, 19, fled her village on a Monday morning at 6am, heavily pregnant and helped along by her husband. In Lóvua settlement, Angola she says the women share food and other essentials, and help each other with the hardships. 

“They killed my uncle and his sons. We couldn’t even bury them. Sometimes I am very sad at all we have lost. Other times we let it go, we have our lives. I am never tired. I am so strong, my body is always moving, ready to work.”

Mimi Misenga, 45, escaped barefoot into the bush from Kamako, Democratic Republic of the Congo to Lóvua settlement, Angola. She says armed men forced her neighbour to rape his own daughter. 

“The militia would go to a house and I would see them carry out the woman. I knew what they were doing. I lived in fear.”

Chantal Kutumbuka, 45, fled the town of Kamako in the Democratic Republic of the Congo when armed militia men killed her husband. She abandoned all she owned and crossed the border to Lóvua settlement in Angola.

“I thought they would kill the baby inside me, that’s where I found my strength.”

Thérese Mandaka, 19, has not seen her husband since she fled across the border from Kamako in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Lóvua settlement, Angola. When the soldiers came he was out looking for work while Thérese was at home, pregnant and sick. He has not seen their child, Munduko, who is now four months old. 

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NOMA : Lina I. Viktor, A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred

For her most recent body of work, London raised Liberian multi-media artist Lina Iris Viktor partnered with the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) to present an exhibition which explores the factual and fantastical narratives surrounding America’s involvement in the founding of the West African nation of Liberia. The nation was founded by the American Colonization Society in 1817, and was used as a conduit of resettlement upon and throughout the abolition of slavery. Through the exhibition which is titled “A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred,” the artist reimagines Liberia’s colonial past through the eyes of the  ‘Libyan Sibyl’ which is an ancient prophetic priestess who was said to predict ill-fated futures and would later re-emerge as a common motif in American art and literature. For the exhibition, which began on October 5, 2018,  Viktor uses paintings, paper works and installations to connect these references to modern and traditional West African textile culture and evocation figurative imagery.  “Liberia appears in Lina’s re-imagining as a kind of paradise lost, and as a cautionary tale,” said Allison Young, Andrew. Mellon Fellow of Contemporary Art. “ At the same time her work transcends this narrative, revealing how examples of visual culture — from Dutch Wax fabrics to national emblems to gestures in the history of portraiture—exists as remnants of these colonial histories.”  The exhibition runs until January 6, 2019 in the Great Hall of the  New Orleans Museum of Arts.

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PH Museum Women Photographers Grant 2018

PH Museum presents their second annual grant specifically geared towards women and non binary photographers. This year’s grant is for artists who are focused on promoting the growth of a new generation of creatives, encouraging stories told from a female perspective while responding to the necessity of fighting for gender equality in the industry. The project is focused on empowering women and non-binary photographers of all ages, colour and orientation from all across the world who work in diverse areas of photography.  Applicants are required to present a maximum of 20 photos centred around a specific concept or theme with at least four of the photos being from 2015 onwards.  The final prize will not only be £10,000 in cash but also includes several opportunities to promote the awardees’ works across several platforms. Vogue Italia’s photography department has chimed in to select the work of three photographers which they will run online, along with several other small prizes. All photography series will be reviewed by a board of judges which will include Photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti, Filmaker and Curator Karen McQuaid, The Photographer’s Gallery Senior Curator Karen McQuaid and Instagram’s Creative Lead Pamela Chen.   The deadline for submissions will be October 24th. For more info, visit PH Museum.

Miia Autio from Variation Of White  – PHM 2017 Women Photographers Grant Honorable Mention
Sarah Blesener from Beckon – Us From Home – PHM 2017 Women Photographers Grant Honorable Mention
Raphaela Rosella from You’ll Know It When You Feel It – PHM 2017 Women Photographers Grant 1st Prize

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Manchester Science Festival 2018: A Collision of Arts and Science

The merging of arts and science is an ancient practice embedded into our daily lives in the simplest ways which one might not even notice. Both are attempts to understand and describe the world around us. And this year, the Manchester Science Festival produced by the Science Industry Museum, presents an immersive collection of exhibitions, performances, and installations which magnify the fusion of these two industries in over 65 venues beginning today, October 18, 2018. The festival will feature a list of both international and local artists and scientists exploring a wide variety of topics; from the impact of nuclear explosions on the human body to the controversial future of cloning and the definitions of the concept of beauty.

Three of the fair’s selected headliner events are You Have Been Upgraded, Distortions in Spacetime and Electricity: The Spark of Life. You Have Been Upgraded is a one-night-only gathering of the world’s leading scientists, academics, entrepreneurs and biohackers to showcase the art of human enchantment technologies. The event will also include themed body tattooing and will open conversation on the limits and advances of artistic and technological body modifications.  While Distortions in Spacetime is an immersive installation which will replicate the experience of being within the gravitational waves of a black hole, curated by audio-visual pioneers.  Electricity: The Spark of Life will be a self-explanatory event of interpretive art which explores the high-tech dependency humans hold on electricity and its transformational impact of human life.  This event will feature the world premiere of new work by data design studio Tekja. Other highlights will include musical, dance and theatrical performances. The festival will run until October 28, for tickets and further information , check out Manchester Science Festival.

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Gucci ft. Maurizio Cattelan: The Artist Is Present

On their latest venture, Italian fashion house Gucci partners with artist Maurizio Cattelan to curate a project which raises conversations about the significance of originality in an exhibition titled The Artist Is Present. Creative Director Alessandro Michele is said to have shared utopia with the artist which is a dream of the Chinese metropolis; homeland to the idea of “the copy is the original.”

Launched on October 10th at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, curated by Cattelan, the exhibition is described as an act of of appropriation. The project explores the complex relationship between image and reality and representation and presentation in the art industry. The title of the exhibition itself aims at demonstrating how the act of copying can be considered a noble act of creation. The line up features a list of over thirty foreign and Chinese artists of which propose simulation and copy as a paradigm of modern and global culture. These artist display both site-specific and existing works which question some of the most basic principles of art such as originality, intention and expression.  The show explores how originality can be reached through the act of repetition, and how originals can be preserved through copies. “ Copying is like a form of blasphemy, it could seem disrespectful towards God but at the same time it is the significative recognition of its existence, ” comments Maurizio Cattelan. It is an entire appeal to prove the idea of originality is overrated. The exhibition is on display until December 16th and feature artists such as John Ahearn, John Armleder, Nina Beier, Brian Belott etc. For more information , visit Gucci.

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Her Stories 2018: For Womxn, By Womxn

‘Her Stories’ is a campaigning body founded by British feminist extraordinaire Hannah Philip in 2017 to support marginalised women in the U.K through the use of the arts. “ Having been involved in both feminist activities and politics for several years, establishing the East London Fawcett group (ELF) and working with the 50/50 Parliament campaign, I became increasingly aware of the desperate circumstances of marginalised women in the UK. I wanted to create something for these women who have been failed by our society.”

Since then the organisation has lead annual events in raising funds towards women in need. This year their focus is aimed towards raising essential for funds for charities dedicated to womxn seeking asylum and refuge in the U.K. Spelling the word women differently in an effort to emphasise the inclusion of trans women, people of colour, self-identifying genderqueer and non binary people. Following a BBC article published earlier this year which revealed figures of the existing gender imbalance in art auctions, Her Stories has launched the first womxn-only arty auction; for womxn, by womxn.

The organisation is supported by titled sponsor H&M in partnership with several female artists who have donated their work in an effort to raise funds for the cause. All funds raised will go directly to the three selected charities of which provide support service to some of the UK’s most marginalised womxn : Maternity Action, Women for Refugee Women and Ella’s Home. The movement will begin on November 8th 2018 with a series of events including an online and live auction at The Arts Club on Dover Street, an exhibition and a party at Protein Studios.  Participating artists include Zoe Bedeaux, Juno Calypso and Phoebe Collings. The auction will be the second that the organisation has put on following their successful 2017 events which raised over £30, 000 through the auction of the works of 14 womxn artists in support of Young Women’s Trust, Solace Women’s Aid and Beyond The Streets. For more information follow up on the Her Stories website.

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Twin Issue XIX

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Twin issue XIX is all about not following the expected path – you could say the heroes and heroines of this issue are are rebels, but more importantly they’re pioneers. Leading with energy, humour and fearlessness that knocks you sideways. A celebration of speaking up and standing out. 

The contributors to this new issue of Twin are all united by their insanely individual talent. Cass Bird celebrates the mesmeric Mette Towley, star of Rihanna and N.E.R.D’s smash hit Lemon, on a low-tempo day while Fanny Latour Lambert brings the strange and surreal home. Actress Indira Varma talks about women’s power in the post #metoo movement.

Stefanie Moshammer heads to Mühlviertel for energetic family frolicks while Charlotte James and Sebastian Bruno let loose inside Merthyr’s famous social club. You’ll be thrown into a swashbuckling tribute to Shakespearian England courtesy of Scott Trindle’s epic imagination. 

The history and contemporary importance of afro hair salons in South London is explored by Sophie Green and Lynda Cowell while Emma Tempest creates contrasts with Veronique Didry against a striking natural landscapes. Lara Johnson-Wheeler chats to Niall O’Brien about documenting the unseen world within a world at Lourdes, while Agnes Lloyd-Platt makes you double take with her striking vivid shots around San Roque, Cadiz. It’s a knock out.

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Saint Hoax: MonuMental 2018

Saint Hoax is one of instagram’s latest front runner accounts known for it’s well-edited controversial and often accurately curated memes and photos which make light of socio-political issues in fun spirits. The pseudonymous artist behind the account is not only a humorous composer of memes and images, but also a creator of what is described as POPlitical Art — an art form which repurposed political and popular ethos as a commentary on the briefness of adulation. This is displayed through the artist’s oil paintings, lenticular prints and installations.

Saint Hoax’s latest venture is an exhibition titled ‘MonuMental’ set to debut tomorrow in Beirut, Lebanon following the artist’s last two exhibitions which showed in Bangkok and New York ‘MonuMental is an iconographic study of the pathos lurking beneath the immaculate facades of idols.’ It features version of the artist’s work in exaggerated dimensions which represent a reflection of the icons’ magnified personas in comparison to the vulnerability of the souls behind them. The exhibition is scheduled to take place in one of Beirut’s most historical buildings called The Egg. This is a cinema built in the 1950’s that was destroyed during the Lebanese civil war which throughout decades has experienced several stages of political and physical deteriorations and renovations. The exhibition  is curated by Plastik Gallery and will open to the public on October 11 until October 14.

Saint Hoax, Killer Queen, 2018
Saint Hoax, God Save The Queens, 2018
Saint Hoax via Instagram

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Fondazione Prada: The Black Image Corporation

For their latest venture , Fondazione Prada presents a collaborative effort of American publishing house Johnson Publishing Company and installation artist Theaster Gates in their latest exhibition titled “The Black Image Corporation”.

This project which is on display at the foundation’s Osservatorio venue in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan explores the historic visual evolution of the contemporary African American identity. The exhibition includes the archives of the Johnson Publishing Company which feature more than 4 million images that have been captured throughout decades by photographers Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton. The publishing house was founded by John Johnson in 1942 and was also the mother of the two landmark publications Ebony and Jet magazines, which both celebrated black culture.

With the work of the publishing house’s two photographers, Theaster Gates has curated an exhibition which honours the culture in an a way which speaks to beauty and black female power, “for this show I hope to tease out the creation of female iconic moments created by Sleet and Sutton and also offer small forays into the lives of everyday people through never-before-seen images of the Johnson Collection. Today it seems to me a good times to dig into the visual lexicon of the American book and show images that are rarely seen outside of my community. I wanted to celebrate women of all kinds and especially black women.”

At the exhibition, while most frames contain developed images, some will show the reverse of photographs which will include the date, time and photographer. The audience is invited to freely interact and explore with these images which will be kept in various cabinets of the exhibition. On the first level of the Osservatorio, the artist has also installed original furnishing and interior design elements mimicking the publishing house’s downtown Chicago offices. Within this area, spectators will be allowed to browse and read copies of Ebony and Jet magazines while viewing Avenue In Full Bloom (2018) , which is a short film shot by gates documenting the actual office space in Chicago.  The exhibition is on display from September 20, 2018 to January 14, 2019.

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Ready, set, Frieze: at Dover Street Market

The excitement in the air as Frieze comes to London is palpable and everyone is looking to get involved. Conserve your energy and make the most of the good vibes: for a super condensed shot of fashion and art related events, Dover Street Market is the place to be.

Serving as the wheatgrass in the cultural smoothie that Frieze has become, Dover Street Market’s locus of activities offers everything we thought we needed, and a whole lot more. The series is launching in store tomorrow and you may want to bring your camping gear – there’s a lot to get through.

Luncheon magazine at Dover Street Market

Highlights include Isabella Burley’s joyful new book, ‘Sisters’ by Jim Britt, which features the brace-clad duo who starred in the AW88 CDG campaign; Charles Jeffrey’s zine launch; Simone Rocha x A Magazine launch; Luncheon magazine’s installation with Rottingdean Bazaar; Loewe’s celebration of classical literature; and much more.

Isabella Burley, UK book launch: ‘Sisters’ by Jim Britt

For the Luncheon installation, Rottingdean Bazaar are re-decorating the Luncheon ‘Kiosk’ which sits the DSM and will be offering some custom playful product with every copy of the magazine – ‘spoontacles.’ These are, as they sound, spoons made into glasses… expect to see London’s most fashion forward coveting the maverick brand’s latest invention in the season ahead.

Luncheon magazine at Dover Street Market

Spoontacles or no spoontacles, you’ll find there’s plenty to dive into at Dover Street Market tomorrow. See you in the queue.

Loewe classic books
Charles Jeffrey Zine
JW Anderson, Your Picture Our Future Publication

Dover Street Market Open House, October 4th 2018, 6-8 pm.

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Salon 63

Londoners heading south should leave room for a longer bus journey this week thanks to a new project opening along the 63 bus route.

Curator Sasha Galitzine has partnered with 13 artists with 10 hair and beauty salons to make site-specific works throughout the route. Each work explores and celebrates the role of the salon in the local community, and the journey runs from Clerkenwell to Peckham. 

The participating artists Larry Achiampong, Gabriele Beveridge, Ellen Gallagher, Gery Georgieva, Paul Kindersley, Eloise Lawson, Andrew Logan, Isaac Olvera, Paloma Proudfoot, Hans Rosenström, Stasis, Freddy Tuppen and Kirsty Turner Jones.

One of Lewis Barbers clients in Eloise Lawson’s workshop there whilst waiting for a haircut.

The participating salons are Barber Streisand, La Bodeguita & Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, Diamond Nails, Manuel Guerra Skin Care & Sylvio’s Juice Bar, Old Kent Road Barber Shop, Lewis Barbers, Miami Health Club, Sam’s Barbers, DKUK and Divine Destiny.

The project draws attention to the vital role that these salons play in the local community, how they act as spaces for socialising and support as well as for beauty treatments and hair styling.

Eloise Lawson and Lewis barbers.

In doing so Sasha seeks to raise questions about the role of the salon in London, and beyond that to investigate notions around what a social space is, and how it is made.

For more information about Salon 63: Artist & Salon collaborations down the 63 bus route, click here.

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AYA, Francesca Allen

When the British photographer met musician Aya in Tokyo the pair bonded immediately. “Even though our time together was brief, they remain some of my favourite photos I’ve taken” says Francesca Allen of this first encounter in 2016.

Two years later, these first photographs have informed a longer and more intimate project. Francesca Allen’s new book, ‘Aya’ invites viewers into their friendship and documents a month that the pair spent together in Tokyo.

Unable to speak the same language, Allen’s lens offers a poignant testament to connections that are forged beyond verbal exchange. She captures the unspoken chemistry and emotional bond between them, created over an intense month of sharing everything and spending all their time in each other’s company.

Aya is depicted in the studio but also in both domestic and outdoor locations throughout the city. The portraits, whether up close or more distanced, are constantly tender and thoughtful. In these images we can feel Allen behind the camera, creating space for the audience to see into their shared world.

Released this week, ‘Aya’ is an ode to friendship, celebrated in a beautiful new tome. Ahead of the launch we caught up with Francesca Allen to find out more. 

‘Aya’, Francesca Allen

What did you find most interesting about Aya when you met her?

It’s hard to pinpoint why you find someone interesting, but for me it’s all about a connection. Aya is enigmatic and quiet and funny and intriguing. I’m so happy I was able to get to know her more. 

How did you meet?

We were introduced through a mutual friend in 2016 when I first visited Tokyo. We hung out for a few hours taking photos and went to Aya’s label Big Love Records in Harajuku. Even though our time together was brief, they remain some of my favourite photos I’ve taken.

‘Aya’, Francesca Allen

How did documenting one person compare to doing editorials and campaigns?

To have the luxury of spending that much time with one person is so special and something I was very grateful to be able to do. 

What did you learn?

I learnt that this type of project is my dream project. I’m constantly looking for people to photograph and forge connections with, and to be let into someone’s life like this was amazing. 

Did the city of Tokyo inform or inspire the photographs?

Being in a new place is always so exciting, but I wasn’t there to make a book about Tokyo so I veered away from including anything too obvious. I wanted Aya to be the sole focus of the photographs. 

Was there anything that surprised you during the project?

I never tired of taking photos of Aya. We spent a lot of time together and went through so many rolls of film, yet it never felt stale. 

‘Aya’, Francesca Allen

There’s a mixture of studio portraits and natural environments in the book. How did the different settings inform your approach to image making in the context of such an intimate relationship with your subject?

I don’t feel like there is so much difference with shooting in a studio to being on location. The focus of my photos is so rarely about the location or the environment, and when you reach a certain level of intimacy with someone it doesn’t make too much difference where you are. 

‘Aya’, Francesca Allen

What about the book are you most excited about?

I received my first copy of the book the other day, and it felt amazing to hold it in my hands. We are all so used to seeing our photos on screens and social media, so to have the opportunity to make something tangible feels incredibly special. 

‘Aya’, Francesca Allen

‘Aya’ by Francesca Allen is out on Libraryman with a limited first edition of 500 copies, 4th September 2018. 

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Soft Criminal, Red Hook Labs

A new exhibition at Red Hook Labs this September looks to immerse audiences in an anarchic and imagined world.

Entitled ‘Soft Criminal’ the new exhibition brings together the work of three creatives: South African photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman, Sierra-Leonean designer Ibrahim Kamara and British designer Gareth Wrighton.

The collaboration between the three artists is set around an imagined story line about characters from the African diaspora. Soft Criminal centres around three families wrestling for power and explores the tension not only between individuals but between tradition and progress. In the story an old King is deposed by a “new money hacktivists” and an anarchic war lord.

The exhibition at Red Hook Labs will open with a live show featuring 22 hand-made designs alongside a display of photographs taken of the collection by Moolman in South Africa.

This exhibition at Red Hook Labs is the latest of an ongoing series of work between Moolman, Kamara and Wrighton. The group have also exhibited together at Somerset House and collaborated on a zine.

Poignant and evocative expected your imagination to be sparked and the impact of the trio’s vision to stay long after you leave the exhibition. 

Soft Criminal, Red Hook Labs, September 12th – 23rd, 2018.

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Supernature in Two Parts

Two evenings of sonic and experiential performances in London see Haroon Mirza and Daria Khan present emerging artists with a specific focus on performance, queer, female and non-binary practitioners.

The first evening is curated by Khan and Mimosa House and will centre around the work of three artists who use sculpture and performance to explore ideas around gender, sexuality, resistance and desire.

Moscow-based artist Taus Makhacheva, who works under the name Super Taus, who will create sculptures from steel during a live performance on the evening. 

London-based artist Gaia Fugazza will invite audiences to hold sculptures in their mouths and Linda Stupart will create performances that investigate melting icebergs and Morgellons disease.

The first night will be curated by Daria Khan while Haroon Mirza curates the second evening of performances. 

On this second evening the work will centre around how humans will imagine the archaeological site of the Large Hadron Collider after two millennia have passed. The collaborative work was inspired by a trip to CERN and sees Mirza work with artists, musicians, performers and producers.

The event is free to the public but booking in advance is highly recommended. 

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30 Days 30 Female Artists

British cinematographer/screenwriter Molly Manning Walker is a creative best known for using her work to speak up on prominent issues within society from a unique perspective. 

In 2015, Walker collaborated with director Billy Boyd Cape to create a powerful short film titled ‘More Hate Than Fear’ which gave insight on the experience of an unjustly imprisoned graffiti artist as he navigated the first months of his 3 year prison sentence.

Previously, Molly also teamed up with producer Joya Berrow to create the mini-documentary ‘Not With Fire, With Paint’ which explores the impact of the murder of Diego Felipe Beccera — a graphic artist shot in the back by police officers while painting in the streets of Bogota, Colombia during 2011.

Painting by Camilla Rose

The cinematographer is now turning her lens to the subject of rape and is currently working to produce a short film entitled ‘Dark Is Her Shadow’ which is set to explore the emotional, physical and mental traumas and stigmas surrounding sexual assault. “We follow Amy, who is a 16 year-old girl who is trying to resume life after being raped, the day after the incident, she struggles with being provided with little to no guidance while the ghost of her rapist returns to haunt her,” says Walker.

Once a victim of sexual assault herself, she explains that the intention of the film is: “to prevent people from losing eye contact when the word rape is brought up and counteract people from asking victims what we were wearing when we say we were raped.”

In order to raise funds for the film — set to be shot in London this November — Molly has brought together a team of 30 female artists for 30 days of an instagram auction.

Over the span of these thirty days, the donated work of each of these artists will be auctioned off via Walker’s instagram to raise money for the film.

Big Titty Kitty by Netty Hurley

“The film is being funded through Kickstarter and the page will go live on August 29th. Each day we will have a different piece, an image of this piece will go out on instagram, facebook and twitter, the artist will self-evaluate this piece and that will be the starting price. When the image goes up, the followers will have until midnight to bid on each piece. At midnight, the winning bidder will donate to the Kickstarter page and the piece will be marked sold.”

The group of women include illustrator Alice Rosebery-Haynes , music photographer Natalie Wood, portrait photographer Charlotte Ellis, fashion designer Jazz Grant, along with several other poets, painters and talented creatives.

For more information and to get involved, tune in to Walker’s instagram.

Portrait by Charlotte Ellis

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