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Explore new designers at In-Neoss pop up shop

09.06.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Sustainable fashion brand NEOSS will house the inNeoss pop-up shop in Hackney Road this June, bringing together designs and publications from a number of emerging brands. Participants include sustainable clothing line ELLISS, Edie Campbell’s label Itchy Scratchy Patchy, the bold and fearless Clio Peppiatt, denim brand I AND ME, and season-less, unisex clothes from Bonnie Fechter, as well as many others.

I AND ME

I AND ME

The pop-up is a non-profit project for NEOSS, and all money made will go back into the store, which will then be taken around the country, cropping up in carefully selected cities throughout the UK. The initiative is intended to bring attention and profit to these young designers within a conventional store setting.

Keep your eyes peeled for special in-store events every Thursday of the month, this is a fashionable pop-up you don’t want to miss. 

inNEOSS will be open from the 3rd to the 30th June between 10am and 7pm June at  205 Hackney Road.

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Featured image: work by Pawel Althamer

“We can see his bones underneath his flayed skin.”

03.05.2017 | Art , Blog | BY:

The ISelf Collection: Self Portrait as the Billy Goat is part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s program that displays rarely seen collections from around the world. The collection features twenty-five pieces from international artists, incorporating works by Cindy Sherman, Louise Bourgeouis and Tracey Emin, among many others. This is the first segment of the four-part show, which will explore the notion of self in terms of our identity as an individual, in relation to others, to society, and as part of the wider world. Through surrealist selfies and self-portraiture, the pieces in this chapter reveal how artists stage their own bodies or self-reflections, to examine how we build our sense of personal identity.

Among the works is Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Nets, part of an ongoing series of white paintings that explore the inner workings of her mind, as well as Prem Sahib’s Undetectable sculpture of an AIDS test, and Pawel Althamer’s self-portrait The Thinker, in which he is represented as a Billy Goat, and from which the collection took its name. Each piece is a self-portrait, exploring physical, psychological and imaginary dealings with our selves. We spoke to curator Emily Butler to find out more about the collection.

Why did you want to have this collection at the Whitechapel Gallery? 

This is the first public display of the ISelf Collection and it is part of our program of introducing intriguing and important collections to the public. The collection was established in 2009 by Maria and Malek Sukkar and it uses painting, sculpture and photography to explore the human condition. It looks at themes of birth, death, sexuality, love and pain and includes works by major international artists. We are also interested in revealing the collection’s wide geographic range, which includes works by artists from the Middle East and Latin America, and its strong focus on women and figuration.

Why was the collection named after the piece ‘Self-portrait as the Billy Goat’?

The first display of the ISelf Collection is named after one of the works in the show, a melancholic 2011 portrait of the artist Pawel Althamer in the guise of Auguste Rodin’s Thinker, with the additional twist that he is also representing himself as a flayed Billy Goat. The show itself focuses on self-portraiture, and the different ways that artists choose to represent themselves in various media. Here the artist chooses to show himself not as a perfect idealized thinking man, embodied by Rodin’s sculpture, but as an emotional individual, who feels sad as a scapegoat figure inspiring ridicule, or who feels weak, as we can see his bones underneath his flayed skin.

Linder © Whitechapel Gallery

Linder © Whitechapel Gallery

What themes unite the works in the collection?

As mentioned, the collection is interested in the human condition, or the self, hence its name ISelf, which plays on the existential dilemma that is inherent to human nature; the relation between the idea we have of ourselves as individuals ‘I’, and our relation to others ‘myself’. This is why we have curated the show in four chapters, looking at the how artists explore the complex subject of human identity in its different forms.

How are the artists’ bodies, or self-reflections, used to bring out these themes?

The artists in this first display are looking at our sense of ‘self’, as all the works are self-portraits. Essentially this show examines what the ‘self’ in ‘self-portrait’ means. The fourteen artists in the display have chosen different approaches: physical, psychological and imaginary, to represent themselves. Pawel Althamer has chosen a figurative approach, testing the limits of his body in order to explore a range of feelings about his identity and persona. Yayoi Kusama offers a very different way of representing her thoughts and feelings by creating an intricate painting of connecting circles or what she calls ‘Infinity Nets’, essentially an abstract representation of the landscape of her mind.

Identity is integral to the collection. In what different ways do the participants explore identity in their work?

One of the earliest works in the show is a series of photo strips by André Breton and his friends from the Surrealist group. These were taken in 1929 in one of the first Parisian photo booths, and are a great example of experimental instantaneous self-portraiture. Rather than choosing a straightforward pose, they look sideways or away from the camera, playing with different poses – smoking, thinking or laughing. Taken at a time when the group were formulating their second manifesto, these images show their common interests in chance and the unconscious, but also their different personalities, as they choose to depict themselves as multi-faceted individuals.

Tracy Emin © Whitechapel Gallery

Tracy Emin © Whitechapel Gallery

Are there any works in the collection that particularly stand out to you?

We chose You search but do not see (1981-2010) by Linder for the cover of the catalogue as it is such a striking image. It intrigues us as the artist has depicted herself with an alluring pearl necklace in a New Romantics outfit, but it is also incredibly disturbing as she appears to be almost suffocating in a plastic bag. Here Linder is playing with how women have been ‘captured’ and idealized throughout art history and in present day mass media. Incidentally, this work was produced in a booklet accompanying the release of the artists’ punk band Ludus’ cassette, whose songs examine the subjects of hiding, searching and finding, evoked in the work’s title. However, there are many more exciting works in the display, and more to discover in the upcoming three other chapters of the show.

Cindy Sherman © Whitechapel Gallery

Cindy Sherman © Whitechapel Gallery

ISelf Collection: Self-portrait as the Billy Goat is on show at the Whitechapel Gallery from 27 April until 20 August 2017.

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Suken City, Kate Englemen

No Strings Attached

01.12.2016 | Art , Blog | BY:

A casual, transient and less committed mindset typically pervades the actions of the millennial generation. And it’s a theme that has formed the basis of the latest issue of STEREOSCOPE, a St Andrews based photography magazine. Under the title No Strings Attached the magazine explores how this flippant and laissez faire attitude within youth culture has translated into the relationship with the camera. Throughout the issue, the tensions of trying to develop a serious dialogue with photography as a medium in an age where everybody has access to a camera are explored, and subjects range from hot new Brooklyn band ‘The Britanys’ to off-kilter self portraits and stylised tableaus.

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Jake, Lallie

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Greece, Lauren Santucci

Entering its sixth year as a publication, STEREOSCOPE was founded as a means to celebrate the history of photography in St. Andrews by aligning the famous Special Collections of Photography and current St. Andrews photographer’s work. In a post-depression era where creative drive has become stunted by mounting student loans, the magazine has provided a platform for students in St. Andrews to showcase their work and discuss the current nature of photography.

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Days and nights in Kolkata, Meleah Moore

STEREOSCOPE are guest curating the London Photography Diary’s new exhibition, No Strings Attached on December 15th. 

First photograph: Sunken City, Kate Englemen

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Joy BC

Joy Bc’s Hotline Bling

13.11.2016 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

South London based jewellery designer Joy BC specialises in creating bespoke designs that embody both the anthropological and physiological sides of jewellery. Her work spans a range of themes, from ideas around protecting people while travelling; to remembering the dead; to celebrating love to more simple examination of form. Her aim is to use jewellery to engender conversation, imbuing fine jewellery with new and heightened significance. Ahead of her workshops at Draw Haus, Twin caught up with Joy BC to discuss the possibilities of silver and her collaborative ethos. 

How did you become interested in jewellery?

It started with a ring which was made by one of my ancestors in Italy. It resembles a futurist sculpture. My mother use to wear it on special occasions and I found it hypnotic. I drew comparisons between the form and feeling that that ring gave me to those within Brancusi’s pieces and Barbara Hepworth’s. Otto Kunzli, a jewellery artist who made a necklace made from divorcees’ wedding bands, which subsequently became an emotionally laden piece, and thus un-wearable, really excited me in how powerful jewellery can be.

What are you influenced and inspired by?

A variety of things. Sometimes it’s simply the materials, and their intrinsic beauty.

Why is important to use jewellery as a tool for engendering conversation?

Jewellery travels with with you – lives with you and speaks for you. Without words it can convey messages or feelings. A huge Hellenistic marble sculpture which conveys strength (Nike at the lure, for example) isn’t something that you can strap to your body – but a boobies ring which encourages discussion on the natural way of breast feeding, or female nudity – literally ‘freeing the nipple’ – is something that  you can. The ‘listening aids’ I make are to encourage people to be better listeners, something we could all benefit from. Especially myself! I talk way too much; it’s the Italian in me! In fact I’m currently wearing my ‘I’m all ears’ piece, which is made of 47 tiny ears in precious silver and gold, while I listen to the news of the news.

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What are the limitations of working with silver? And do you have a favourite material to work with?

Limitations? I’ve never thought of the limitations of silver, only the possibilities. It oxidises, which gold doesn’t. However I like that – I often use a chemical to speed up the oxidisation process to create a dark blue black patina on some of my work.  I don’t have a favourite material, but I have to say, 18ct yellow gold is delicious. I also love wax – especially the type I used in Tokyo which was made of beeswax and cedar resin. They use that combination to make traditional Kenji Stamps (then cast into bronze). And it smells beautiful.

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What do you hope to achieve through your workshops at Draw Haus?

I hope people really enjoy themselves, and help people making something that they feel proud of. Whether it’s a playful experiment or precise present for himself or herself or someone they care about. It’s always fascinating to see what pieces people make.

Draw Haus Creative Workshops: Jewellery Making with Joy BC will take place on 17th November. Buy tickets here.

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Stitching It Together With Molly Goddard

08.11.2016 | Fashion | BY:

British talent and emerging designer Molly Goddard has established a strong signature aesthetic thanks to her collections of romantic, voluminous tulle dresses. In her first art partnership, the designer has paired up with NOW Gallery in Greenwich Peninsula to create an immersive exhibition in which visitors are invited to explore her design ethos within a creative gallery space.

The installation sees Goddard’s creations rendered in exaggerated forms: six tulle dresses made from 20-30 feet long reams of material hang throughout the space. The presentation invites a reimagining of Goddard’s work, and allows the craftsmanship behind the brand to take centre stage.

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As with Goddard’s previous London Fashion Week presentations, the new exhibition at NOW Gallery is participatory, and visitors will be able to sew shapes and patterns of their choice directly onto the hanging dresses. There will even be videos for first-time embroiders.

Speaking about the exhibition, Molly Goddard said: “I am so excited to be able to really celebrate craft technique in such an extreme visual way, making oversize, non precious interactive pieces is key to what I love and what the brand aims to represent. I can’t wait to see the stories which will be told through embroidery and to witness what skills people have or manage to discover when visiting the exhibition.”

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Molly 3

4th November – 19th February, NOW Gallery at Greenwich Peninsula (North Greenwich)

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Sarka Babicka

Meet The Female Ottolenghi: Bethany Kehdy

03.11.2016 | Culture | BY:

Described by Ottolenghi as the next champion of Middle Eastern food, Lebanese chef Bethany Kehdy made waves when she took up a residency at Carousel in Marylebone earlier in 2016.  Now she’s back, and ready to serve up fresh flavours in a takeover of one of East London’s trendiest restaurants, Jago.

Born in Houston to a Texan mother and Lebanese father, Kehdy spent much of her childhood in Lebanon where she experienced the atrocities of the civil war. When her father moved her family to safety in the mountains, Kehdy was exposed to nature in its rawest form, and she spent much of her time watering orchards and working on the harvest. It was here that she first developed her culinary abilities, learning to make traditional dishes from her grandmother and aunties.

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She has since developed an international following, and has released an award-winning cookbook ‘The Jewelled Kitchen’. In her latest London pop-up, Kehdy will bring a fresh syntax of flavours and spices to guests over five courses. With a menu that includes sour cherry kebab nests, whipped hummus with duck awarma and tamarind & fenugreek mackerel khoresh, this is the must-have ticket for foodies: get them while they’re hot.

Tables available from 6pm until 9.30pm, from November 7th through 11th, book here.

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Rosh Mahtani x Anna Quan

25.10.2016 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Rosh Mahtani, founder and designer of London based jewellery label Alighieri, has collaborated with Ozzie designer Anna Quan which sees them together explore the boundary between jewellery and ready to wear. Their collaborative collection includes jewellery intertwined with a shirt, shirtdress and palazzo trousers along with a selection of jewellery by Alighieri for Anna Quan. We caught up with Rosh to discover more about this collaboration.

Tell us how you started off in industry?

I studied French and Italian literature at university – my final year was focused on Dante Alighieri, and the Divine Comedy. After I graduated, I knew I wanted to do something creative; I felt a little bit lost, and kept reading the text. I couldn’t help but imagine the characters, the feelings and descriptions in golden objects; that’s when I started making one piece of jewellery for each one of Dante’s 100 poems. Creating Alighieri was a way to pursue photography, writing, and designing alongside business and strategy.

Why Dante?

So many reasons! His work is so visual, firstly; he was the first person to portray Hell, Purgatory and Paradise in such a human way. But more that, his journey is so universal, it really captured me. It begins with him, lost in the middle of a dark wood. His fears, his anger at being exiled from Florence, his love for an idealised woman (Beatrice) are at the crux of his work, and I suppose I wanted to translate these feelings in my own way, as they were so relatable to me.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I call my pieces Modern Heirlooms, because I love creating imperfect objects that tell a story. Imperfection and vulnerability are at the heart of the aesthetic, and that’s why I like to shoot the imagery using film. It’s all about the happy accidents; I work very much on intuition.

How did the collaboration with Anna Quan come about?

Anna is based in Australia and we were following each other’s work over Instagram for a quite while, we swapped an earring for a crisp white shirt over the ocean, and we met last Christmas, when I was on a bit of a disastrous road-trip in Australia! We had breakfast in Sydney, and talked about giant golden buttons on her perfectly tailored shirts, and billowing trousers. It happened really organically.

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Why do you think the partnership works?

We have quite a similar aesthetic in some ways, and a genuine obsession with each other’s work. I live in oversized white shirts and tailored trousers. It’s also a great juxtaposition because Anna’s designs are so perfectly executed, the tailoring is immaculate, and it was fun to have that as a canvas to add a scraggy and imperfect detail. We work really well together (often over 3am Whatsapp conversations!) We’ll think of an idea and just get the ball rolling. DHL plays their part too!

What qualities do you admire about her?

Besides her obvious talent for creating clothing that makes you feel really special, the giant oversized cuffs, for instance, I really admire her work ethic. She never stops, and is also incredibly grounded and modest. She’s a very savvy businesswoman which is really inspiring to be around.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I’d like to keep growing Alighieri as a brand; it’s been the best and most rewarding ride, and I’d like to create more than just jewellery, as I think of Alighieri as a way to tell stories. If I can keep doing what I’m doing now on a bigger scale, with a bigger team, I would be very happy!

www.alighieri.co.uk

 

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Carla

Carla Fonseca Brings The Noise

13.10.2016 | Music | BY:

South African Carla Fonseca is a woman with many strings to her bow. She is an actor, director and artist, but it is her role as lead vocalist for the group Batuk that sees her performing in the UK this weekend. With influences spanning afrohouse, soul, zouk, kuduro, deep house, techno and traditional African music, Fonseca is joined in Batuk by South African producers, beat makers, directors and visionaries Spoek Mathambo and Aero Manyelo.

Given her creative background, Fonesca was responsible for art directing Batuk’s musiv videos for ‘Daniel’, ‘Forca Forca’, ‘Puta’ and ‘Call Me Naughty’. In addition to this, she has also displayed her work at the likes of FNB ART Fair, Turbine Art Fair, Cape Town Art Fair, Basha Uhuru Festival, GIPCA’s Biannual Live Art Festival, and Johannesburg Art Week over the years. Here, Twin discovers more…

Welcome to the UK, you’re doing a few shows here right now…is this your first time performing here?
It is my first time in the UK, and our first time performing here as a group. Spoek and Aero have both played here many times before.

How would you describe what you do to a complete stranger? 
I am a performance artist. A lover of all raw and honest performance work.

Is your music political? Does it have a particular message you’d like to convey?
Isn’t everything political? Even a party song can be political. We have many messages in our music. It is important for an artist to have messages serve as through-lines in their work….or else it becomes weightless. It is our duty. In Batuk’s music we speak about love, war, sexuality, drug abuse, dreams, family, culture. Everything that is important to us, everything that we want to address and interrogate and express.

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How does the music scene differ here in comparison with South Africa?
The Internet is alive, which allows people from all over the world to share and be influenced at the click of a button. We are all connecting news, pictures, videos, rhythms and sounds so quickly…there are many things artists share purely based on rapid and wide information exposure. There’s an insanely dynamic buzz in South Africa that cannot be compared. A buzz brewed by 12-year-olds on laptops producing out-of-this-world music that receives 100,000 hits after only a week of uploading. Our many rich languages and cultures and links to neighbouring countries give us a really broad and direct access to diversification and constantly new, fresh material.

Would you call yourself a feminist? And what is feminist scene like in SA?
Being a feminist has so many definitions these days, sometimes it confuses me. So I will answer by saying that I am a person who supports the rights of women and girls and their incredible power. It is a wonderful and revolutionary time to be female in South Africa….a time where young women are standing up and taking their positions as leaders and as power sources. A time where patriarchal structures are really struggling to stay standing. In my work I am constantly creating protest pieces in honor of women and their struggles and their victories.

There is an essence of strong, very visual artists such as MIA and Solange in a few of your videos – the sense of identity and power are palpable. How do you come up with the concepts? And do they ever differ in reality?
Hahahaha…I think women with bold ideas and good execution will most likely be compared to one another. They are both two incredibly phenomenal women, I’m flattered. Batuk’s concepts are all honest expressions…if we have an idea, we work together to make it as strong as possible…visceral and beautiful. My art imitates life, and life reciprocates the gesture.

How have you found the industry to be so far? Have you encountered much bullshit?
I’m not into bullshit, I don’t accept it. If you bring bullshit anywhere near me, I move. Like any industry there is a lot of shit, but the objective should always be to stay focussed by not entertaining anything negative or anything that tries to come against you and your passion.

Who else, musically or creatively, is exciting you right now?
There’s an artist/painter by the name Alexa Meade, she has recently just created work titled Color of Reality. It’s so incredible how her work absorbs me into a dream world. She is famous for inventing a technique that optically transforms the 3-dimensional world into a 2-dimensional painting. Absolutely insane and captivating work.

What should fans expect from your live shows?
Expect a lot of energy…a lot of good, powerful, uplifting energy. An energetic exchange that’ll have them busting dance moves that they never thought they had!

Batuk will tour Europe this September and October,  with a headline show at London’s Jazz Café on October 15th.

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Harriet Horton

Harriet Horton’s Camouflage

29.09.2016 | Art | BY:

Harriet Horton is heading to Paris. But not before she lets UK-based fans of her brand of taxidermy take a look at the new collection – ‘Camouflage’ – at her London studio.

Having beens fans of Harriet’s work for some time now, firstly becoming enamoured with her ‘Sleep Subjects’ exhibition of 2015, Twin is excited to see such an exciting and irreverent artist continue to develop.

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Harriet Horton, Owen, 2016

For 2016 the signature neons are still gleefully present, but there is a new, multi-textured element to the works. Materials such as marble dust and cement have been introduced, and create a staggering contrast to the exquisite delicacy of the taxidermy itself, transcending each piece onto an almost angelic plane.

“I’ve always said that when animals are deceased their natural colouring and camouflage becomes redundant,” Horton explains. “I have explored this idea further [for ‘Camouflage’] by either using animals that have no existing markings or stripping them of their original colouring and reconstructing it with light.”

It is fitting then, that a city such as Paris, which is so often known for both its light and its love, should be host to such a stunning example of the two used to breathtaking effect. Unmissable beauty.

‘Camouflage’ opens at the mi* gallery in Paris on 26th October, and runs until 16th January 2017.

Harriet will be holding a private view of the new work at her studio, Darnley Road Studios, on 29th September.

Harriethorton.com

Main image: Harriet Horton, Lovers, 2016

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The Art Deco Arts Club

26.09.2016 | Culture | BY:

The Bermondsey Arts Club & Cocktail Bar is the epitome of Style Moderne in Southwark, run by art school graduate George Garnier. It may be a former public lavatory but it’s been through some gentrification and is undoubtedly now the most luxe lav in the area, with bespoke brass furniture and a statement marble-topped bar that oozes Art Deco glamour.

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Not just a pretty façade though, BAC also offers delicious cocktails and spritzers, from the Eldersour to the Rossini from 6pm till late, Tuesday through to Saturday. Try their infamous jazz nights on Wednesdays to really get the Gatsby-esq party started.

Find it at Former Conveniences, 102 Tower Bridge Road, SE1 4PT. Opening times: Tuesday-Saturday, 6pm-2am.

Bermondseyartsclub.com

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MakersHouse

Burberry Makers House

23.09.2016 | Fashion | BY:

Londoners: if you only do one thing before 27 September – make it this.

To mark the release and subsequent immediate sale of its SS17 collection, British heritage brand Burberry has joined forces with The New Craftsmen to bring a pop-up curated artisan haven to Soho for one week only: Makers House.

Free to the public, and with the addition of a scaled-down version of the brand’s Regent Street eatery Thomas’s, which is set pouring out onto a picturesque courtyard dotted with busts and sculptures, the exhibition is a celebration of the craft and inspiration behind the latest collection. The clothes themselves are also situated in glorious catwalk formation to be browsed and bought at leisure on the first floor.

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With interactive displays from the roster of The New Craftsmen represented makers, working away on their individual trades, such as sculpture, embroidery and silk-screen printing, the show spans a series of rooms inspired by Nancy Lancaster’s interiors, referencing prints from the SS17 collection.

In addition to all this, there are interactive elements, such as daily readings from a hand-picked selection of actors and actresses, each of which are based around Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, which was a poignant note of reference for spring summer. There is also a photographic studio, in which visitors can receive a professional portrait of their time at the event, but be warned: the queues are long and it tends to shut early each day.

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Overall, however, it is an immersive and memorable discovery – nestled away from the continuous hustle of the city. And more than deserving of your time.

Burberry’s Makers House is located at 1 Manette Street, London, W1D 4AT – and runs until 27 September 2016. Opening hours are 10am-7pm and entry is free.

Burberry.com / Thenewcraftsmen.com

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Björk

Björk in London this September

22.08.2016 | Culture , Music | BY:

This September in London is about one thing only: Björk. Riding high off the success of her critically-acclaimed album ‘Vulnicura’ she is set to play a number of London shows, as well as hold her own exhibition – ‘Björk : Digital’ – at London’s Somerset House.

For years Björk’s music and visual genius has proved to be both pioneering and iconic in equal measure, and now, the British capital is set to feast on her creative fruits in a variety of mediums. Following the high demand, and subsequent selling out, of her Royal Albert Hall performance on 21st September, an additional show has been announced at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo on the 24th, with tickets going on sale on Wednesday 17th August. These will be the artist’s first performances in London since the release of her latest album.

Meanwhile, the exhibition at Somerset House is due to feature a number of her digital works, such as virtual reality videos, interactive apps and archive music videos that were created in unison with some of the most spectacular talents from the worlds of visual artistry and programming. Booking is strongly advised.

‘Björk : Digital’ will be on from 1st September – 23rd October 2016. Click HERE for tickets.

Bjork.com

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Poem Baker

Poem Baker’s Hymns From The Bedroom

03.06.2016 | Culture | BY:

“Most of the kids I photograph all know each other, either from the clubs or are personal friends, or have been partners at one point… They’re all intertwined in one way or another. If you look at the portraits, you see some of the same faces again and again, connecting everyone together.”

Photographer Poem Baker‘s Hymns From The Bedroom is a series of portraits featuring a selection of friends and acquaintances, who exist on the brink of creative success and in a haze of twenty-something wonder. Raw, real and refreshingly diverse in its content, here Poem exclusively tells Twin how some of her favourite shots came about, and who the subjects are.

Stef & Jacq, 2011 (main)

“This was taken in a hotel room in San Francisco. Stef is a waitress from Sydney and Jacq a stripper from Brooklyn. I’ve known Stef for some time, and we all ended up going on a road trip together in the USA. I think they were going through quite a difficult time when I made this portrait, they had been together for about a year and were having to split up because of visa issues… They were hanging out in their hotel room and they called me to come around with my camera, they wanted an intimate portrait… This was a very candid shot: no set-ups. I walked in, had a glass of wine with them, and got this in about four or five frames!”

Daniel

Daniel, 2012

“This was taken in Hackney. Daniel and I met while wandering the streets at London Gay Pride in 2012. I recall seeing him walk down the street and I was immediately struck by his uninhibited persona. He’s a performance artist. We began to collaborate on portraits that explore an alternative concept of gender… I’ve been shooting with Daniel for about five years now. This portrait was set up, more so than usual, he had a clear idea of how he wanted to be photographed and I just tweaked it a little. But no big set-ups… Just me, him and my flash gun!”

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After party – Harry and friends, 2015

“This was taken at an after party in east London. I got called by Harry, who is in this particular picture, to come and photograph him and his friends. I turned up at about 5am, when everyone was chilling, smoking and playing music. Again it’s another candid shot. In situations like these you really don’t want to set stuff up, I just like people to do their own thing… The photographs are there, you just have to blend in and get everyone relaxed around your camera.”

James

James, 2011

“I met James at a friend’s 21st birthday, my eye caught his tattoo on his chest that read ‘Sunday Morning’. Being a huge fan of Lou Reed and Andy Warhol we struck up conversations and met the next day. At the time he was living in Walthamstow. We walked around his neighbourhood as it was a lovely sunny day and somehow ended up in the graveyard! That’s where we took this picture!”

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Vera , Sam & Elise, 2014

“Sam is a hairdresser, and this is a candid moment of him hanging out with his friends doing their hair before a big night out clubbing in London! I’ve been photographing Sam since the start of this project, he was living at home with his parents and dating James (who is in the previous picture) when I first met with him.”

Poembaker.co.uk

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Well Heeled: DARMAKI

31.05.2016 | Fashion | BY:

DARMAKI is the London-born shoe brand that merges the masculine with the feminine. In its fourth season now, and stocked in top tier retailers globally, we catch up with its founder, Sultan Al Darmaki to find out more about the evolution of his brand.

Tell us about your label…
Well, let’s say that DARMAKI went through two phases: the first with a business partner, and the second when I took full ownership of the brand. The latter is when I feel that I truly managed to speak about who DARMAKI is through design, so I like to say I officially launched it in 2014.

How did your background impact your choice of career?
For cultural/traditional reasons, the idea of me studying footwear design was looked down upon. I was a young boy, born and raised in the suburbs of Arabia, which was more or less what I would like to call a sophisticated desert; it was a developing transitional area. I wasn’t really “allowed” to study footwear design, so I ended up studying marketing and PR, which I don’t regret doing at all.

What was your childhood like?
My upbringing was to a certain extent very bipolar; just like the London weather (which I love). There were a lot of “do’s and don’ts” for a man; and of course likewise for a woman. A man should be acting in a certain way, should have a prestigious government job, “should, should, should”… But with all of that there was that contradiction of a small feminine aspect that was injected in my life (which I couldn’t speak about in public when I was a kid). My mother would engross me in her world of fashion, of her dreams of an Arabian woman who managed to escape reality through an issue of Vogue, that she would get hold of a year after it was published, from a Canadian nurse who used to work at the one and only hospital in Al Ain – where I come from. Growing up, I was by default brought up by mother to enjoy the very rough masculine upbringing, but with a mix of a fantastic, feminine element, through Vogue.

Did this influence your brand’s USP?
DARMAKI is not an über feminine brand. It’s one part feminine and one part masculine. It has a strong “fem-masculinity” element in it through the rough fractured chunky heel or the thick soles… it’s a mix of both genders but in a very subtle, romantic manner.

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Why did you decide to launch your label in London?
After a year or two working for a corporate company back home – this was almost ten years ago – I was done. I felt I needed to do what I love and pack my bags and do what I want and not what society/culture expects me to do. With no education and little money that I had, I moved to London and spent two years flying back and forth to Italy, where I got hands on training in the craft of shoe making. It was by far the best work experience. So, over time, London became my home, and it felt very natural to launch my brand here.

Do you think London and its style has had an impact on your designs?
For sure! I think London has defined my style. That incredible exposure to the multifaceted subculture in London as a whole – one can never not be impacted by it. It’s so beautiful yet so rough in some sort of crazy way. In all honesty, I don’t think I would be where I am or I what I am as a designer if I was living somewhere else.

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Who is your customer? Do they have any key characteristics?
Contemporary men and women who are strong, independent and unorthodox. They are confident beyond any need for a sense of belonging to any one community; in a nutshell they don’t belong to a clique.

Describe your design aesthetic…
Grace Jones, David Bowie and Grace Kelly.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
As this is four season and we are already stocked at incredible retailers worldwide – from Boon The Shop in South Korea to Level Shoe District in Dubai – I would like to see that grow more within the next five years… Grow my tribe! I’d like to have the brand in stores that I love and respect, such as Barneys, Colette etc.

Darmaki.com

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AOSOON

Introducing A.O.S.O.O.N

24.05.2016 | Music | BY:

The sun’s out and A.O.S.O.O.N  have a new song out to compliment your ice cream. A.O.S.O.O.N, which stands for ‘A Lot Of Something Out Of Nothing,’ already have an impressive array of followers which include Annie Mac and Huw Stephens. Last year their single ‘Under’ amassed 3.5 million streams and their latest single ‘High Grade’ promises to garner similar acclaim. We caught up with the band to chat independent labels and sounds of the city.

Can you talk about how A.O.S.O.O.N happened?
Well, it was just the pairing of two individuals who felt like outcasts, choosing to come together to make music as a means of self expression.

You release under your own label, why did you choose to work independently?
Yes we do. I think up until this point here for us it’s been about learning the most we can about the industry. By working independently you have to be completely hands on with everything around you. We’ve had to understand every step, every choice. And we see this as a good thing.

What are your main musical influences?
It can go from Gucci Mane to Nirvana in the same sitting! Lauryn Hill is a big influence.

How does the city inspire your sound? 
The city is everything to the sound, it’s the way the wind breezes and how you can relate that to the grind. London has a lot going on, there’s always so much to pick up on and it inspires us daily in a variety of ways.

At the moment the production is quite stripped back, will this always be part of your sound or would you like to explore bigger arrangements?
That’s a cool question. It’s about capturing the overall vibe every time. Treating each arrangement uniquely. So far it’s been about raw live instruments and allowing the space to talk instead of generic ideas, and if anything we think it challenges our listeners to open their ears which I think they appreciate. We wouldn’t wanna take that away from the music but yes, we’re willing to stretch ourselves with where the production could go in the future. It’s all about growth!

How do you find live performance vs studio?
Live is exciting, I mean there’s so much energy. You’re rocking out, the crowd’s loving it, you’re so caught up in the moment nothing really matters. Being in the studio varies, sometimes it can feel like forever and sometimes it’s like being on stage. It really depends but it’s definitely a more mental process.

Any screw ups or weird happenings on the road so far?
Haha nothing too crazy yet. Probably getting high and everyone losing room keys.

Who would be your dream collaborator?
That’s hard, there’s so many. Getting in the studio with Kanye would be crazy, cutting a record with Rick Rubin would be insane. Working with anyone who’s great at what they do and loves what you do and vice versa would be a great collaboration. It just has to make sense with where we’re at on our journey and feel great, that’s important for us.

‘High Grade’ definitely has a relaxed ’90s vibe. How did it come about?
We were jamming the chords one morning on the guitar Gmaj Amin Cmaj and it just came, it was pretty much instant. It felt like Bob Marley was jamming with us, it was a magical moment.

What are you looking forward to this summer?
The sun. It doesn’t come out too often in London. People looking saucy, putting out new music, shows. Watermelons.

Explore more of A.O.S.O.O.N’s music HERE.

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Caine

Mark of Caine

11.04.2016 | Fashion | BY:

Caine London is the new cult denim brand on the scene, brought to you by musician/stylist duo, Matt Allchin and Hayley Caine.

The AW16 collection, ‘Rub-A-Dub’, consists of handcrafted denim jackets and jeans as well as embroidered sweaters and shirts, and is inspired by everyone’s favourite place: the pub. As a concept, it takes you on a cheerful crawl from ‘The Rising Sun’ to ‘The Half Moon,’ where you’ll shoot some pool and try your luck on the fruit machine; which, coincidentally, is a print which features on one of their shirts.

Combining ‘ye olde pub’ references with their ’90s grunge silhouette, we want to join their party…

Caine

How did you meet?
We met in 2013 in a pub in Peckham, Matt had been up all night at a friends party and had a picture of Martin Sheen in his pocket. Hayley was so impressed she hasn’t left him alone since.

Tell us about your collection: ‘Rub-A-Dub’…
The collection, like our meeting is based around the good old-fashioned English boozer. We used some of our favourite pub signs and names as inspiration. We’re constantly being inspired by things around us that don’t seem to be there or appreciated anymore. Our last collection was based on Canal Art and this time we were drawn to the signs above old English pubs, this again seems to be a way of life that is disappearing. It’s hard to find a pub that you would recognise as a traditional pub these days, we wanted to celebrate this.

Caine

What’s in the name?
It’s cheeky really it is cockney rhyming slang for ‘pub’. Other options were ‘nuclear sub’ or ‘battle cruiser’ – boozer – but they didn’t seem appropriate or fun enough!

Which are your favourite pubs in London?
Unfortunately many of them are unrecognisable or closed down but we’re always on the look out for those rare bolt holes where you can only pay cash and the duke box is free like the Man of Kent in Nunhead.

Caine

You also cite ’90s grunge as an inspiration behind this collection – who were your favourite bands/musicians?
Obviously Nirvana, Sonic youth etc, but we love all music really. During our long painting sessions at the studio we can listen to anything from Bob Marley to 1930s comedy songs about loving bananas ‘coz they have no bones’.

Which is your favourite piece in the collection and why?
You can’t help but smile when you look at The Rising Sun Jacket and he came to represent a turning point in the design process. Once we had that made everything else seemed to flow more easily, we hung him like a talisman in our studio!

Caine

You’ve branched out into jeans for AW16 tell us about those… Are there any skirts/dresses etc to follow for next season?
The straight and wide leg jeans are super soft and luxe with a vintage look. Next season were ramping it up a notch so expect anything and everything.

If you had to sum up your brand in three words it would be…
Stylish, fun and irreverent.

Illustration by Scott Mason

www.cainelondon.com

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JOSH_SHIV

Match Day

22.03.2016 | Fashion | BY:

You don’t have to be ‘Gregory’s Girl’ or ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ to make timeless sports classics work for you. In fact, there’s no need to reference any men at all. With the Women’s Super League preparing to embark on another astounding season – and players such as Marie Hourihan, Beth Mead, Jemma Rose and Jade Bailey fast becoming ones to watch – a kick about has never looked so good.

In another of our online stories, we bring you the work of photographer Josh Shinner, with the shoot ‘Match Day’. Working with stylist Siobhan Lyons, they spent a hectic Saturday at North London’s Emirates Stadium and produced, what we think you’ll agree, is quite a lovely study in focus, fashion and football.

Shooting outside the ground before the Tottenham vs Arsenal match – billed as the ‘biggest north London derby in a decade’ – certainly had it’s challenges. For example getting caught up in a scrum with smoke bombs and riot police was maybe a tad more than I’d anticipated… – Josh Shinner

JOSH_SHIV2

White Wool Poloneck Jumper, Lacoste at Tick Tock Vintage
Creme Harrington Jacket, Beyond Retro
Tracksuit Bottoms, Tick Tock Vintage

Argyle Wool V-Neck Jumper, Fred Perry Archive
Tracksuit top worn underneath

JOSH_SHIV3

Vest, Vintage Nike
Shorts, Vintage Sergio Tachini at Tick Tock Vintage
Socks, Topshop
Champion Hoodie and all Jewellery, Stylist’s Own

Hooded Anorak, Fila
Yellow Polo-Shirt, Fred Perry Archive

Anorak, Vintage Fila at Tick Tock Vintage
Blue Shirt, Vintage Burberry at Tick Tock Vintage
Scarf, Burberry at Rokit
Beanie, Fila
Tracksuit Bottoms, Ron Dorrf

JOSH_SHIV4

Socks (as before), Topshop
Trainers, Adidas
Polo neck, Rokit
Sweatshirt and Shorts both Vintage Adidas at Tick Tock Vintage

Red Windbreaker Jacket, Vintage Adidas at Tick Tock Vintage
Red Jumper, Vintage Tommy Hilfiger at Blitz Vitage

White Wool Poloneck Jumper, Lacoste at Tick Tock Vintage
Creme Harrington Jacket, Beyond Retro
Tracksuit Bottoms, Tick Tock Vintage

JOSH_SHIV5

Tracksuit Top, Tick Tock Vintage

Photographer: Josh Shinner
Stylist: Siobhan Lyons
Hair: Bjorn Krischker @ Frank Agency using Bumble and bumble
Makeup: Gina Blondell using Bobbi Brown
Photo assistant: Jack Somerset
Styling assistant: Emi Papanikola
Model: Martha Rose Redding @ Select

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Photo50

Highlights of London Art Fair 2016

20.01.2016 | Art | BY:

The London Art Fair, or righteously self-referred to as ‘the UK’s premiere Modern British and contemporary art fair’, has returned for its annual take-over at the Business Design Centre from 20th-24th January 2016.

Recognised as the ultimate hub of support for collectors of all levels, the 28th edition of the Fair is set to bring together 126 galleries from the UK and overseas. Ranging from museum-quality Modern British art to work by top contemporary artists – both emerging and established – this superb occasion provides a sound retrospective into the early 20th century and to this present day. Alongside galleries exhibiting for the first time in 2016 – such as Beetles + Huxley (London), Omer Tiroche Contemporary Art (London), and Galerie BART (Amsterdam) – this year’s Photo50 and Photoworks’ latest editions delve commendably into the love triangle of women, sex and art.

As such, the London Art Fair is dedicating part of its exhibition space to photography, and this year’s Photo50 presents a carefully curated exhibition from London-based photography critic, editor and curator Federica Chioccetti. The exhibition, titled ‘Feminine Masculine: On the Struggle and Fascination of Dealing with the Other Sex’ has truly emancipated the theme of femininity, as it endeavours to depict both genders in its relation to one another rather two separate entities. This selection of images is set to confront the mysterious dynamics that operate between men and women, and will serve as a fascinating insight into the ways in which we deal with the opposite sex.

Additionally, Photoworks Annual’s latest edition takes a look at women, specifically, and their roles in photography. Whether the woman stands as the subject, creator or consumer, this panel talk aims to explore the themes raised around the changing landscape of gender and photography with references to the ’70s, ’80s and the modern day. This inspirational discussion will present guest speakers Catherine Grant, Liz Heron, Oliver Richon, Natasha Caruana and Max Houghton…it’s definitely one not to miss.

The London Art Fair is on now at the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, N1 0QH. More information and bookings can be found at londonartfair.co.uk

Main image by Ekaterina Anokhina (Russia), from the series 25 Weeks of Winter (2)

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steflead

Online Exclusive: Stef Mitchell’s London Go-Sees

19.01.2016 | Art , Twin Life | BY:

New York-based photographer Stef Mitchell is fast becoming something of a Twin favourite. You may recall she took us on a visceral journey behind the lens of some of her favourite shots last year – and the success of that story left us wanting more.

Around November, Stef found herself in London and happened to meet some great new people, as one so often does when travelling. As a result she embarked on a – quite literally – explosive series of go-sees, and is publishing them exclusively with Twin online. This marks the first in a new series of specially commissioned works from people that we love, and want to showcase – keep your eye out for more of the same in the year to come.

Meanwhile, enjoy this brilliant series from Stef, and discover a little more about her – and these images – below.

What was the idea behind these pictures?
I wanted to shoot a little series of go-sees while I was in London for a week. I really enjoy the process of a go-see because they’re extremely useful, and mostly because people are never what you expect. And every now and then you find someone amazing who you know you could collaborate really well with. I also enjoy dealing with different personalities and finding out how you get along. I usually don’t look at the pictures while I’m taking them, and it’s kind of nice if later on if you find something you like.

Where did you take them?
I took most of these pictures in Notting Hill where we stayed with a friend. Also the fireworks were for Guy Fawkes, but someone felt enthusiastic enough to let them off every night that week. I managed to catch them only once!

When did you first ever pick up a camera? What did you shoot?
I first picked up a (disposable) camera in the first grade and shot a roll of my friends at school.

When did you know that this would become your career?
I wanted this to become my career when I was about 17.

Have you been influenced by anyone over the years? Or is there someone who’s career you’d love to emulate?
I’ve been influenced by different parts of various photographers and artists over the years. But I wouldn’t want anyone in particular’s career. I think it’s exciting to head in your own direction.

What brought you to New York? Can you describe your neighbourhood?
I was traveling through New York and met a girl at a party who ended up bringing me back here by getting me an interview to intern with Annie Leibovitz. I actually ended up marrying that girl and we live on the Lower East Side. The block we live on is the type of place where you can see something inspiring or beautiful and someone projectile vomiting or being arrested simultaneously.

Do you prefer drawing or photography?
I don’t prefer either drawing or taking photos, they’re both nice for different reasons. I definitely get frustrated at times with both and it’s nice to be able to switch between the two.

Do you prefer sounds or silence when you work? If sounds, any particular ones?
I prefer sounds! I like whoever I’m shooting to chose the music so they’re happy. But if they don’t care I like Blood Orange.

Who and where would you still love to shoot?
So many different people! And I want to shoot in Italy, Sweden and the Bahamas. And Scotland!

What’s coming up in the next six months for you?
The next six months – I have a few projects coming out that I’m excited about and will hopefully spend more time running around Europe and dining at as many pubs in London as possible.

stefmitchelltwin

All images by Stef Mitchell, commissioned exclusively for Twin; with special thanks to Claire Dickens at IMG London

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Annie-Leibovitz

WOMEN: New Portraits by Annie Leibovitz

08.01.2016 | Art | BY:

Annie Leibovitz is widely considered to be one of the world’s best portrait photographers. Her book Women, which was first published in 1999, celebrates an array of women, from Supreme Court Justices and Vegas showgirls to coalminers and farmers. In 2016, the project is set to continue in the form of a travelling exhibition, making its debut in January at the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station in London.

Over twelve months, Annie Leibovitz’s new portraits will appear in ten cities; London, Tokyo, San Francisco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Istanbul, Frankfurt, New York and Zurich. The new portraits will display the changes in women’s roles in contrast with those 15 years ago. Alongside Leibovitz’s new work, visitors will be able to view work from the original series and other photographs taken since.

Speaking at a press conference at Somerset House, Leibovitz describes how Women ‘is an unending project, it goes on and on.’ The original project is Annie Leibovitz’s most popular body of work and was a collaborative series with her partner Susan Sontag, who accompanied the subject matter with an essay. Sontag passed away in 2004, but her influence had a lasting effect on Leibovitz’s photography, with Sontag encouraging her to become more intimate with her photographs.

The original book features 100 portraits of women, including public figures like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Gloria Steinhem, and Leibovitz has promised 20 additional images to the project in 2016. At present, only one new photograph from the series has been released, of Leibovitz and her daughters Sarah, Susan and Samuelle. However, Leibovitz has confirmed that new portraits from the series will include Venus and Serena Williams, Amy Schumer and her sister Kim Caramele, Misty Copeland, and Caitlyn Jenner.

WOMEN: New Portraits has been commissioned by UBS and will be presented to the public for the first time on the 16th January 2016 at the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station in London. Admission is free.

ubs.com

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