All posts filed under: Features

Devoted

At 15, considerably late in the game, I first picked up a skateboard and decided that this was the way I want to spend my time with, the way of exploring and making sense of the physical world around me. When I’m at my parents, my old room still has that skate rat feel to it. Broken boards here and there, some cut-out photos and ads of my favourite pros, some worn-out shoes crammed in the back of the wardrobe and of course, the huge pile of magazines collected along the way. A big chunk of my early skateboarding education, I owe to the videos I borrowed from friends on VHS or DVD and studied over and over and over again, yet my weapon of choice for inspiration were the print magazines released every month. Now, in times of the digital word, countless blogs, social media, digesting the news about literally anything – not just the subculture of skateboarding – has changed radically, not just compared to the early 2000’s, but the pre-internet times. And …

Lost in the moody hues: Maya Beano

I always have a knack for brilliant analog photography, but the level of atmosphere in Maya Beano’s moody images is off the charts. If there is ever a perfect moment, the perfect weather conditions, the perfect interplay of light and shadows, she’s right there and well knows how to use and command the elements. Whether it is playing around with haunting double exposures, long exposures, different filters of beautiful monochrome, purple, violet or turquoise colour hues or shooting on simple 35mm film format, there’s always something awe-inspiring to discover in her compositions. Of course, Maya’s skill didn’t go unnoticed over the years: Her stunning work has raised eyebrows at The Independent Photographer, has been featured in #PHOTOGRAPHY magazine, selected for a fantastic Oh Comely cover or listed as part of the If You Leave Showcases 2015 and 2016. And deservedly so. Check out more of her work here on her website and social media feed: mayabeano.com @instagram @tumblr

Opening Doors

‘Opening Doors’ is a new feature for Counterpoint Magazine, a beautifully risograph-printed magazine bringing together independent journalism and illustration. For issue #12 ‘Spaces’ I talked to the organisers of Hidden Door, a DIY arts festival colonising Edinburgh’s abandoned spaces. ____________ The old hospital, the derelict office complex, and the abandoned church around the corner. These are spaces that might have once harboured a purpose, but whose splendid histories are now entirely forgotten by the world around them. We’ve all passed by buildings like these on our way to work or the gym, and can’t help but imagine what we’d do with the space if we were the ones in charge. Sometimes it just takes the right idea, patience and a good deal of stubbornness. David Martin knows this all too well. An art teacher and painter by trade, he runs Hidden Door, an Edinburgh-based annual pop-up arts festival that rejuvenates disused or undiscovered spaces with the aid of a tight-knit group of volunteers. Come August, literally every bar, club, cafe, barn, shop or attic room in Edinburgh becomes part of the colourful, …

Spot On: Marco De Masi

Have a browse on my blog and you’ll quickly figure out that I’m in love with clever, conceptual designs and illustrations that explore an idea with simple but beautiful ingredients. Marco De Masi is an Italian freelance graphic designer and illustrator from Lecce, whose thought-provoking and eye-catching works are right on the money. His crisp and minimalist style, his selection of rich colours and the way he plays with the viewer’s perspective is just oddly satisfying. @facebook @instagram

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. …

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 …