Balenciaga’s Futuristic London Store Opening

15.03.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Yesterday Spanish luxury fashion house Balenciaga opened it’s doors in London to a new two story ready-to-wear and accessory store on Sloane Street. The store’s interior design is an exploration of Creative Director Demna Gvasalia’s interest in the look and feel around the idea of diverse retail environments.  The store features a large display case along with a combination of ceiling panel lamps and floor to ceiling with on the ground floor. With a very futuristic feel, it includes grey scaled industrial furniture and columns, aqua green carpets, and glass and metals shelves complemented by minimal wrapped seating. The storefront also introduces a pair of hyper realistic mannequins based on two exclusive models: Eliza Douglas and Takato Harashima.   

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Upcycling fabric, unravelling memories: Renata Brenha

15.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

“Today we are so surrounded by waste. For me I really like when the material has a story. It is like animating something that is currently inanimate: if you put it in a new context it always has this spirit! Especially for our times, we have so much waste and we need to do something about it.”

Renata Brenha is a designer of precision and feeling. Her debut collection, showcasing at London Fashion Week, puts to work this meticulous and formulated explorations of her Latin American heritage, her fascination with Mexico and a pre-occupation with material and its consumption.

Her clothes attempt to catch a spirit, an attitude, of the communities she explores: utilising the silhouette and work with cloth to translate these nuances. There is always a translation – its important the way I work with fabric: pleating, painting, reimagining – but I always want to capture that spirit. 

I love performance, and clothes have that ritualistic space. You are in that moment, you are that person. 

Each item of her 16 look collection holds an anecdote – I like to feel them as individuals! – which is retold through their cut. The tales range from the Grandma dress, made with studio scraps from the pattern of a dress her grandmother decreed as perfect; the coat-trouser coagulation – there is a Mexican saying “a courageous woman is someone who knows how to wear her trousers”; to her tights top, a reworked version of the improvised thermals her mother created to keep Renata warm in the winter months of her hometown just outside Sao Paolo. 

Workwear is weaved throughout the collection – when you travel to Mexico to see communities you see workwear half-references through their natural dress. Traditional clothing with something intuitive about putting things together. I love canvas, it’s something that really tells the passage of time. There is always a story behind it: when you put it behind a female body the story changes that I find so interesting too. 

While saved for the presentation itself, headdresses are to be made by a gardener, Luciano. Initially Renata wanted the headdresses to be more dangerous, more testing (initially thinking of cactus) but after looking at images by Claudia Andujar, and the ritualistic energy from her feather headdresses, Luciano felt he could create something similar with moss. 

The moss comes together with braids in the hair intertwining, much like the fabric, cuts and reference points.

Renata’s heavy referencing of Mexico came about from the desire to visit a place that she could relate to through the Spanish language, but also look from a distance. Mexico felt like home but also really fresh – a little bit of space but still a connection. She found a lot of affinities with her own home of Latin America: both holding relationships with mysticism and improvisation. 

A colour palette deeply entrenched in blacks, whites and blues give clarity and corners to her garments: the smocking, the hand painting, the deliberate reworking. While her shapes are anthropomorphic, and her vision is cut from a refreshing cloth, Renata has just begun her brand – here’s to her future fables of fabric.

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TO GO: Nights Global : The Female Experience Pop Up

05.02.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Nights Global, a London based pop up cinema launched in 2015, for their first venture of the year will premiere an event which explores “The Female Experience.” Running from February 18th through 24th, the experience will be hosted in Brick Lane, Shoreditch and will include a series of seven events.

The first two days will feature workshop group discussions on topics such as Social Media Branding and Making Bold Decisions which will feature a panel of fashion stylist Nayaab Tania, Nail Artist Jess Young, Actress and Rapper Lauren Marshall.  The second workshop will discuss Time Management, Collaboration and Freelance with a cast of Net-a-Porter Stylist Audrey Mark, Filmmaker and Actress Thea Gajic, Co-Founder of Crownrose swimwear Nikky and Illustrator Olivia Twist. Over the course of these two days, this diverse panel of women are set to discuss some of the most pressing questions and issues facing females in the creative industries. 

The next following days (20th-24th) will feature a retails party where female products will be selling products. As well as film screenings which have been produced, directed and written by female creatives such as Thea Gajic, Runyararo Mapfumo, Rosie Matheson, Kaj Jefferies, Savvannah Leaf and Ella Bennett. For more information and ticket visit Nights Global.

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Twin Magazine presents “Twin X” : Jan 31 – Feb 02

04.02.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

This week Twin Magazine opens our doors in London to a group exhibition  entitled “Twin X” which celebrates a decade of local emerging talent and creativity.  The showcase, which opens on January 31st at The Store X in East London, pulls on the visual archive of our biannual print publication featuring the works of several creatives throughout the industries of fashion, photography and art. Collectively curated by Twin Founder Becky Smith; Twin art editor and curator Francesca Gavin; curator and gallerist Antonia Marsh; image director Holly Hay and Twin fashion editor Naomi Miller, the exhibition is an amalgamation of the personal taste and perspective of each curator. 

It is a display which collectively showcases specially-commissioned editorial images that focus on independence and individualism, which are themes that have been carried throughout the magazine since it’s conception in 2009. 

“As publications have come under increased pressure to compromise over the last decade, Twin has remained a distinct and independent platform for pure creativity. The show celebrates the artists that have helped shaped and define independent publishing as it stands today, ” says Founder Becky Smith.

With work from photographers such as Stef Mitchell, Cass Bird, Boo George, Bibi Cornejo Borthwick, Dexter Navy and Akinola Davies Jr, the show deconstructs a central narrative into four sections: Photographers, Models, People and the Unseen. Exploring the thoughts behind these characters, faces and creatives who are defining the nature of contemporary creativity. The Unseen section of the exhibition will also feature never-before-seen outtake shots from the magazine’s photographic archive, providing spectators with a rare insight into the world of image-making and its process. Twin X features free admission and concludes on February 3, 2019. 


Photograph by Yaniv Edry, Issue 19, 2018.

Photograph by Akinola Davies Jr., Issue 19, 2018.

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The Town of Tomorrow – 50 Years of Thamesmead

29.01.2019 | Art , Blog , Literature | BY:

Recently released was a hardcover published by Here Press Publishing entitled The Town of Tomorrow – 50 Years of Thamesmead, in tribute to one of London’s iconic towns.

“Rising from London’s Erith marshes in the 1960’s, Thamesmeand was LondonCounty Council’s bold attempt to build a new town to address the city’s housing shortage after World War ll. It’s ben noted for it’s daring, experimental design, concrete modern terraces, blocks of flats and elevated walkways built around a system of lakes and canals. Today Thamsmead is home to more the 40,000 people but throughout the years, economic, political and social pressure have left their mark. In the 198’s, as opinion turned against the modernist converts architecture, the focus shifted to more conventional red brick homes. Since the 1990s, as some of the original buildings began to fall into disrepair, Thamesmead has relied increasingly on private investment for new developments in what had previously been a mainly council run town. 

In ‘The Town of Tomorrow,’ history has already been assembled and preserved. The architecture and it’s inhabitants have been captured by archive material. Combined with newly commissioned photography by Tara Darby. Original plans, models , postcards, leaflets and newspaper clippings are presented alongside interviews with local residents. Together with an introductory essay by John Grindrod, the images covey the story of an influential and often misunderstood town, from the dreams and excitement of its ambitious original vision to the complex realities of living there today.” 

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PH Museum Women Photographers Grant 2018

22.10.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

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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Salon 63

16.09.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

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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A loving tribute to Gabrielle Chanel

11.09.2017 | Beauty , Culture | BY:

To mark the launch of their latest fragrance, Gabrielle, Chanel brings the scent to life with a new pop-up shop on Bond Street.

Running until 24th September, the space will invite audiences to immerse themselves in the history and personality of Gabrielle Chanel; a series of events and workshops designed to unpack her rebellious nature, and how this has been conveyed through scent.

To find out more about the workshops and events on offer, and to book your place, click here.

 

 

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‘Our world is a riot of clashing images, sounds and smells’: Twin meets Nicholas Moore

30.07.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Joy, being a post-bear bearded gay man, Greece and copious sequins: Nicholas Moore is adept at bringing great overarching themes of love and identity and intricate techniques to create artistic works that are unmistakably his; dissecting a whole into independent moments of meaning, then bringing them back together into a final finished piece. Having spent much of his life in Crete, Syros and Athens, the Greek influence is consistently evident in his work, with motifs, soft light and poignant splashes of colour pervading early oil paintings which covered landscapes as well as portraits. Although now London-based, Moore worked from Athens before and during peak times of austerity, witnessing and participating in the artistic revival of the city in spite of the economic crises in the country. The last five years have seen a widening of his approach, working with assemblage and sculpture to offer textured portraits of both individuals and pockets of feeling. As he starts planning solo shows this autumn, Twin caught up with him to discuss ByzantoJapanese Pop, celebrating gay and trans culture and perceptions of masculinity in 2017. 

Your work focusses on mythology and also on portraits of people, I’m interested in how you perceive the relationship between the two – do you find that the two feed and influence each other?

Mythology has been an obsession with me since childhood and it is the core to a lot of what I do. There are times where I make obvious allusions to various stories and myths and others where it informs the work subconsciously as it has been part of my life for so long.  I also have a huge comic book collection dating back to the 30s. These are modern Myths, their continuing success shows us how important such stories are to us.

The figure is an important part of my work however I am hesitant to use the word portraiture as it conjures up a certain type of work that I don’t aspire too. My work is most definitely representative and I’m commissioned to make portraits, however my work is as much interested in portraying, ideas, stories and myths, as much as character and appearance. When I make a portrait of someone, I surround them with objects relating to them and their life. There will be texts, either quotes from favourite songs etc or a stream of conscious memories and associations I have about them. Sometimes in the bigger works I will also have texts directly relating to mythology.

'Stanley', 2014 © Nicholas Moore

‘Stanley’, 2014 © Nicholas Moore

In this context I’m especially interested in how you depict the male body using mythological motifs. Do you feel that perceptions of masculinity have changed in recent times?

These things shift back and forth: just as you think things are all cool and dandy, someone calls you a poof on the streets – I didn’t expect that in 2017 ! Fluid sexuality, gay marriage, tolerance – all these other good things threaten those poor beleaguered straight men, so they fight back. Maybe in Europe and parts of America these perceptions have become more fragmented, and yet each of those fragments have a longer staying power than they once had. There are lots of different tribes in the gay community, I tend to get shunted into the ‘Bear’ community just by virtue of my beard. I am neither particularly fat nor hairy. It’s ridiculous, I’m Post-Bear! I would say the young (and the young at heart) care less about such things.

For your portraits, you often often focus on couples and dualities within one person. What is it about relationships that interests you as a subject?

I think it is more about the contrast between the two that interests me. I don’t paint these couples on the same panel, each individual has his own space, they then play against the other. The Stanley portrait being a good example of that.  On one panel is his more serious business side versus his more playful ‘Hedwig’ role. I hosted a talk in a community collage in NYC about this painting. It was amusing to hear the students coming up with all these stories about who they thought he was. A few students got very involved in imagining his troubled life in the corporate world, and how he would find a release cross dressing at night – I hated to break it to them that, he was in fact a very happy guy, a Mexican silver dealer who just had a large sense of fun and a tad provocative. Who’s to say which version is the truth.

In recent years your focus has moved towards assemblage. What was it about the medium that interested you?

I had made small works using that medium in the 80s, but it wasn’t until my show in Athens in 2008 that I really started showing any. I had seen in the Topkapi museum an Ottoman miniature that was stuck on a page with seemingly random images surrounding it. I liked that, to my uneducated eyes, I could see no connection between the images. At the same time I had my first computer and the overlaying windows of different programs always fascinated me – how more and more disparate images were somehow ok within that context: the screen fixing the random images into one whole.

The Last lighthouse Keeper’s World- The Octopus

Last year I started to make images that were surrounded by borders that have charms, flowers, alphabet beads, etc. in them. This allows me to join disparate images together as if they were part of one of those cross-stitched samplers children used to make.  I can then make larger images, sort of portraits of a person, from lots of seemingly disparate parts. In my series “The Last Lighthouse Keeper” the figure is broken into symbols: a leg is an octopus, an arm is a ray gun, and so on. Our world is not some marvellous minimalist construct but a riot of clashing images sounds and smells.

What are your favourite materials to work with? Do items assume significance once placed within the content of the portrait, or is it because they have significance that you choose them?

I still love working with paint but enjoy combining the different textures of paint, beads, sequins etc., layering different types of colour on top of each other. When I do someone’s portrait I ask them some set questions to get some ideas as to objects I could add, texts I could use, colour. This then governs what materials and objects I choose. In general I am fascinated with the power of objects and the personal history we attach to them. Also the cultural importance objects gain over time.

A previous interview classified your work as ‘Pop art’ – is that a label you feel represents what you do?

I feel ByzantoJapanese Pop is best.

Matt and Lucy

Matt and Lucy, 2015 © Nicholas Moore

More generally speaking, who and what are you influenced by?

Music, Mythology, Matisse, Sex, Humour, Colour and most of all Joy.

You spent a lot of time in Greece over the years, and that’s very present in your work. How would you describe the art scene in Athens at the moment?

Blossoming in adversity: I love Athens. Like everywhere else it’s hard for artists to survive financially. However it’s cheaper than a lot of places to live and work in, assuming of course you are not trying to live off a Greek income. There is the gallery scene which, though abundant, is again like elsewhere – struggling with sales. There is a huge street art scene and a strong sense of political struggle in a lot of the work.

What’s in store for the rest of 2017?

I was just in an exhibition at the Stash GalleryVout-O-Renee’s to raise funds for survivors of Grenfell fire, which has a strong resonance for me as I lost my Mother in a hotel fire. In September I’ll be showing at the Mykonos Biennale and later in September I’m part of a group show in Amherst Massachusetts America. Then I’ll be focussing on upcoming solo shows in Athens and New York.

Nicholas Moore will be on show at the Mykonos Biennale, from 1st September and at Hampden Gallery, Massachusetts from September 10th. 

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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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“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.

Lallie_JakeBrooklyn_2016

Jake, Lallie

LAURENSANTUCCI_.GREECEI_jpg

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.

MELEAHMOORE_MELEAHMOORE_Days and nights in Kolkata1 — Meleah Moore_files2

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’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.

amended prints buddy brooke 02

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.

amended prints buddy brooke 02

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.

molly 4

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.”

Molly 2

Molly 3

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

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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 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’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.

Harriet Horton

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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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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