Author: Mathias

Wee catch up: Rumana Sayed

I vaguely memorised Rumana Sayed’s name almost a year ago when I was flicking through the truly fantastic ‘Every Woman Super Woman’ zine with its colourful aesthetics and powerful words. Fast forward half a year later, the young graphic designer becomes the new artist-in-residence at Out of the Blueprint and pretty successfully showcases a bold and punchy body of work in her first solo exhibition ‘Don’t Be Denied’. So we have a wee bit of catching up to do! Tell me a bit about your background. How did you get into making art? My name is Rumana Sayed, I’m 21 years old and live in Edinburgh. I was born in South Africa, but been brought up in the heart of Leith for 17 years. Growing up I have always been into making and creating. I didn’t know what I wanted to do leaving High School. I got into Edinburgh college to do Visual Communication & Graphic Design, studied for 3 years and it became a part of my life ever since. Its a tool for me to creative things differently in a unique way. …

Green Day © Rolling Spoke / Gus Kovac

Peddling through life on two wheels: Rolling Spoke

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for a city like Amsterdam. Liberal, friendly, charming, lots of flowing water, a good music scene and people treat cyclists well, see them as given parts of traffic on the streets. No wonder Gus moved there. He is a tireless observer of the city and its inhabitants on two pedals and two wheels with all its little facets. Time for a chat with the man, who runs urban bicycle lifestyle blog Rolling Spoke. Hi Gus. Hoe gaat het? Please introduce yourself. My name is Gus Kovac. I’m a Canadian from Toronto and I’ve been living in Amsterdam for just over 3 years now along with my wife, 2 month old daughter and our cat. I run a blog called the Rolling Spoke derived from the simple pleasure of riding a bike in the city.It began as a creative outlet with the intent to present an unbridled view of urban life on two wheels. I aim to bring a different spin on things by infusing my passion for street …

Paving Space

Often times skateboarders look at public space in a way others cannot necessarily relate to. They see obstacles in the city architecture as something to explore, to interpret and to creatively push the boundaries of what’s possible once more. ‘Paving Space’, a collaboration between artist and skateboarder Raphaël Zarka, Carhartt WIP and Isle Skateboards, illustrates this curious, explorative spirit of street skateboarding beautifully. At the time, Raphaël was captivated by the works of 19th century mathematician Arthur Moritz Schoenflies and his groundbreaking three-dimensional geometric models. Seeing its sculptural potential and seemingly endless possibilities, he started reconstructing them into large-scale modules for a series of shows at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Singapore and Sainte-Croix Museum in Poitiers. But instead of exhibiting his geometric formations as static pieces of art, Raphaël invited a group of pro skateboarders to use the spaces as creative laboratories: By riding the wooden sculptures, exploring different assembly methods and thus informing its arrangement in the different spaces, the lines between obstacle and artwork started to blur. …

Denitsa Toshirova about Cold Memories

Often enough, this is how it goes with social media nowadays: Even though you live in the same big city and you’ve got a shared appreciation for the other’s work, doesn’t mean you’ve ever met outside of the online sphere. Denitsa Toshirova is a very talented young photographer from Bulgaria and I’ve been following her impressive portfolio for a good while now. Seriously, check out her work here, it’s fantastic. I happened to met her in person for the first time at the launch night of Boom Saloon, when we found out we’re actually magazine buddies – my piece on Jupiter Artland and Denitsa’s stunning photo series ‘Cold Memories’ side-by-side. All the more reason to sit down with her and briefly catch up on her beginnings, inspirations, identity and, well, that wretched thing called Brexit. Hi Denitsa, let’s get right into it: How would you describe your photographic style and which themes do you predominantly explore in your work? I would like to think my photographic style is always developing and I feel over the last few years …

22nd Century Writing in the Making: The Future Library

What will we read in 100 years? Probably nothing, if they don’t come up with a solution to the natural consequence of ageing. Of course there are these timeless classics that will endure the passing of time and people will revel forever, something that Homer, Shakespeare, Goethe, Dickens, Austen, Poe or Kafka can tell you a thing or two about. We don’t even know if picking up a book in its traditional form and paper shape is going to be a thing in the 22nd century, but at least there is a bunch of new works that will most certainly hit the bookshops (or whatever people go to these days). Two years ago, Scottish artist Katie Paterson launched her much-noticed project ‘Future Library’ that gives us a tiny glimpse into the future of reading: A forest of 1000 trees was planted in Oslo’s Nordmarka Forest to supply the paper for an anthology of 100 books, to be unveiled in 2114. With every passing year, an author is selected by Paterson to produce a work of …

Chasing Lyrical Natural Sciences: Katrina McHugh

Last year, I dived head-first into quite a challenge. I vowed to tell a story through a photograph for 100 days straight. It was a tough, fun and quite frankly a liberating thing to do – you should all try it some day. And as I already said back then, the aspect that makes the #100dayproject so special is the communal spirit that ensued, learning about the daily struggles and inspirations of thousands of other participants, and eventually, finding out about the many supercool projects out there that otherwise might not’ve seen the light of day. #100daysoflyricalnaturalsciences was a quick favourite of mine. San Francisco-based graphic designer Katrina McHugh set out to create beautiful diagrams and infographics out of song lyrics that are rooted in the natural world: ‘I was and am interested in how often people rely on references to nature when attempting to bring shape to the intangible complexities involved in this “being alive” business. It’s no easy task to communicate our human experience so if a nature metaphor gets you a bit closer to whatever the …

Say Hello to Boom Saloon

Having freelanced quite a bit in the wonderful magic world of indie magazines, keeping ad-free photography and adventure magazine Wildland Mag afloat, I was genuinely excited when I was let in on a new project idea. About a year ago, I met (then) twitter acquaintance Rachel Arthur for a chat and it felt like two magazine minds instantly clicked. We talked about the way media, journalism and the publishing industry shifted in the past years, old powerhouses falling by the wayside and how indie magazines have taken over bigger and bigger chunks of traditional readerships with exciting new content and financing models. And so we spoke about boom saloon, a new adventure she was scheming with friend and designer Jamie Smail.  At its core sits a beautifully printed magazine full of inspiring stories by a collective of international contributors, seeking to spur a movement, a wave to democratise creativity for good. As part of every issue, boom saloon selects a social project to support and champion creativity in underprivileged areas. It’s about taking young creatives by the hand, nurturing their raw talent …