Pippa Choy ‘Pineapple’ 2015

Grand Magasin Deux: Your Early Christmas Present

08.12.2015 | Blog | BY:

Christmas shopping. Two words that strike fear into the hearts of even the most hardened of consumers. But turn that frown, upside down, as Nat Breitenstein’s Grand Magasin Deux (a continuation of 2013’s successful Grand Magasin) is back at Bethnal Green’s French Riviera for a festive take on the “experimental examination” of a shopping experience.

For just five days (from 16-20 December) customers can peruse a plethora of unexpected delights from various artists at this unique pop-up shop, in which every single thing on display is for sale as part of a “playful exploration of labour, value, art and commerce”.

From ceramic pots and painted plaster pineapples and pomegranates, to turned timber and pom-pom vases, cast glass receptacles, furniture, drawings, prints, houseplants, Victorian Stereoscopes and lingerie – there is no shortage of things promising to capture both the eye and the imagination.

With no defined limits, the creatives involved have imagined a series of collectibles with the loose theme of a “shopping show” – the only condition? That the pieces created are affordable.

Artists taking part this time around include: Daisy Addison, Fay Ballard, Nat Breitestein, Owen Bullett, Harry Burden, Stuart Carey, Pippa Choy, Dan Coopey, Will Cruickshank, Denise de Cordova, Marie D’Elbee, Thomas Dozol, Tom Ellis, Kris Emmerson, Jessie Flood-Paddock, Seana Gavin, Ludovica Gioscia, Lynn Hatzius, Holly Hayward, Joey Holder, Siân Hislop, Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski, Bryan Mills, Nicholas Pankhurst, Berry Patten, Sonya Patel Ellis, Lyle Perkins, Marianne Spurr, Nicola Tassie, Jennifer Taylor, Cicely Travers, Bea Turner, Jeremy Willett and Lucy Woodhouse.

Grand Magasin Deux takes place from 16-20 December, 2015. Open daily, 12–7pm and by appointment.

You can find French Riviera at 309 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 6AH.


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Spinning Yarns

30.11.2011 | Art , Blog | BY:

After meeting artist Leslie Kulesh at our recent Twin Speaks salon, we fell in love with her can do attitude. From coloured yarns to acting out Nineties classic flick Clueless with friends, anything goes. Originally from San Francisco but now living in London, we thought we’d share her with the rest of you…

Do you remember the moment when you decide to be an artist?
Vividly! I was in Hawaii with my grandmother and my father, who’s an art conservator. I was about 11 years old and we went to a museum show of Hockney’s opera sets.

The interior of the museum was entirely dark, save for the lights on the sets, as they would have been in use. Recordings of the opera music played loud from room to room, and as is custom over there – the air conditioning was blasting. The whole experience was multi-sensory and emotional to the point of almost being frightening. I knew I wanted to make things like that – environments that transported people that had their own history, but perhaps a future potential as well.

Your work involves both performance and hand crafted structures – how would you define your own work?
My practice is definitely process oriented. It’s important to work with the material and understand what goes into production. In works such as No Fear, I spent about six hours a day for the best part of a month measuring, cutting and tying each piece onto the grid I had designed.

That work becomes very meditative and wouldn’t have the same energy had it been made by another person. Decisions get made throughout the creation and I see what is developing. With performance work, it’s the same in a lot of ways. There is an idea, multiple ways to approach it, script writing, or improv, work-shopping, then re-working – always guiding back toward the original idea. By taking full ownership of the work there is room for it to start mutating.

When performing with others, I have always called upon friends. Unlike actors, I know their qualities, or suspect there is something that will come out once placed in a specific environment. That open-plan style work also allows for excessive collaboration that proves for a much stronger performance.

How important is popular culture in your artistic practice – are there any elements you find yourself consistently retuning to and why?

Pop culture is great – it mutates in that same way as I see my work. Someone puts forth an idea, others riff on that, it gets co-opted, becomes a meme and by then there’s a whole new story happening. I do consistently return to the digital/analogue exchange- both literal and symbolic. I’m sure it’s generational, having to do with growing up in Silicon Valley – learning DOS instead of Dewey Decimal.

Nonetheless, it continues to be relevant. As technology trudges forward, those same senses that were so stunned back in the Hockney exhibit in Hawaii become stunted when I try to take in a 500px X 340px Katharina Grosse image. I know I am not experiencing it – it’s a point of reference; and I often wonder if there will be a movement away from this half baked form of research.

What drives you to create?
Different things, different days. To prove something to myself, to scare myself. You always hear that new age-y talk about internalizing instead of externalizing, living in the moment – divorced from the future and the past. I feel that way when I am making something. That time becomes like a line, one dimensional.

If you weren’t an artist what would you be?
A musician – god knows I travel enough. At the least I should have the reward of a crowd acknowledging me for my travel every couple of days!

What’s up next for you?
I have a video in a group show at French Riviera opening tonight 6-9pm and I’ll be DJing with Twin’s Art Editor Francesa Gavin afterwards!

I’m also speaking at Camden Arts Centre with Kate Cooper (co-director of Auto Italia) on December 7th and I’ll be in performance during Bodies Assembling at Auto Italia on Saturday, December 10th.


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