All posts tagged: Art

Converge: Mark Salmon x Column Arts Agency

Normally I’d refrain from praising myself, and this is definitely not the time to challenge old habits. Though in this case, it was probably my humble self that played a tiny part in bringing both sides to the table for photography-design-fusion project ‘Converge’. A few months ago, a tweet from Will Astbury’s Column Arts Agency – who already mounted the incredible ‘Triple Hop’ exhibition together with Test Space & Honest Brew – turned up in my twitter feed, hunting for a Birmingham-based photographer. My first idea was Mark Salmon, who recently collaborated with me for a story in The Quarterly, so I gladly put down his name for the raffle. Apparently, it did work out quite well. For ‘Converge’, which has been commissioned for annual visual arts festival Eye Candy, Mark teamed up with Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers Celine Gittens, Kit Holder and Anna Monleon to produce some really sweet live-action shots. Column Arts in turn send off an ace selection of their represented artists, including Trou, Joshua Billingham, Sweaty Eskimo, Laura Tinald, Joel Millerchip or Guy McKinley, to run riot on Mark’s images and add their very …

Shilpa Gupta: ‘There is no Border here’

Last time I hopped on a train to Glasgow, the extensive GENERATION project, celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, was still in full swing at almost every art space downtown. To be honest, when I came over last weekend, I didn’t mean to pay the Gallery of Modern Art another visit yet again or even had the foggiest idea what was on. At the end of the day, when push comes to shove, there’s less pleasant places to seek shelter from the pouring rain than the halls of GoMA. So why not have a look around?, I wondered. Maybe I should do that more often, cause ‘Art from Elsewhere’ certainly was pretty much amazing. Curated by David Elliot, the show assembles a set of works recently purchased by six major UK museums, covering themes like life in conflict zones, oppressive government regimes, the advent of capitalism and post-colonial experiences. After I eagerly wandered through the exhibition space, passing by prominent pieces like Meschac Gaba’s socio-critical installation ‘Brazilian Bank’ or Józef Robakowski’s film chronicle ‘View from my window’, I particularly dwelled on …

© Sam Baxter

A natural connection: Interview with Sam Baxter

Everyone responds differently to art. There is art we instantly feel comfortable with, art that just doesn’t appeal to us, art that inspires our fantasy and then there is art that has that little something, which makes us look more closely. That’s how I felt with Sam Baxter’s organic plant sculptures. The Dundee-based fine art graduate – who has honed her skills at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design – sees the world around her from a refreshingly different perspective and re-discovers the beauty of the outdoors with children’s eyes. As I was curious to find out more about Sam and her work, I decided to give her a heads up and shoot over a few questions about the life as a young artist, the scene up north and her natural connection with Mother Earth. Here we go! Hello Sam. For those unfamiliar with your work, please tell us a bit about yourself? I’m a Dundee based artist primarily working with plants, producing sculpture and photography. The work is inspired from plant design, my own …

The King’s Peace: Realism and War @ Stills Photography

Of late, the topic of war is unfortunately as present as ever. It almost feels as if there’s nothing else the media is reporting about. Whether it’s the Ukraine crisis, the Syrian Civil War, the struggle for supremacy in Iraq or the Gaza conflict. It makes us realize again and again that visual media is a powerful tool, which easily influences how we perceive a situation of conflict, threat and peace. Do we only get to see the Palestinian suffering or do we just close our eyes from the countless Hamas rocket attacks on Israel on the daily broadcast? Do we buy Israel’s repeated self-defence claims or is the grueling seizure of Gaza and its horrendous attacks on civilians an act of war crime? True or false, it is a matter of perspective. As part of this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival and the nationwide GENERATION programme, ‘The King’s Peace: Realism and War’ at Stills Photography questions the illusion of reality so easily achieved through the camera lens. Initially centered around Owen Logan’s brilliant photo-essay ‘Masquerade: Michael Jackson alive in …

Feature: Kareena Zerefos

Kareena is an incredible illustrator I wanted to feature for quite some time now. The Australian traveller, dog-lover and self-styled occasional artist impresses with a quirky and playful drawing style as well as her versatile use of different media and techniques – including pencil, tea, ink and graphite – and yet skilfully envelops her illustrations with a pinch of graveness, fragility and childhood nostalgia. Pretty effing great for something occasional, if you ask me. Follow Kareena’s work over here: kareenazerefos.com Facebook Instagram Twitter

‘Aden’: A silent narrative graphic novel by Laura Griffin

What’s an easy-peasy way to find out about bright new talents of the creative fields? And no, I don’t mean pinterest or behance this time – it’s the annual art school degree shows. Edinburgh, here we go! For the second year running, the Edinburgh College of Art celebrated the innovative work of more than 500 graduating artists in an extensive 9-day exhibition. As I am still amazed by the illustration, product design and architecture pieces, I’d like to showcase some of my ECA discoveries over the next few days and weeks. Let’s start off with illustrator Laura Griffin, who exhibited original artworks of her 66-page, self-published project ‘ADEN’. Taking inspiration from black & white photography and the medium of cinema, she describes her impressive work as ‘an artistic silent narrative graphic novel about a man’s journey through a surreal dystopian location called ADEN and through his experiences it shapes his understanding of his own existence.’ Beautiful, thrilling and thoughtful, have a look: Find out more about ADEN and Laura’s other projects here: Lauragriffinillustration.co.uk Instagram Twitter …

Morvern Cunningham © Eoin Carey

Behind Grassroots Culture: Interview with Morvern Cunningham

When I moved to Edinburgh I was keen and curious to find out about the artistic pulse of the city. Clearly spoilt with an overwhelming cluster of contemporary visual art, pop-up exhibitions and street art around almost every corner, it took a bit of adapting to the new surroundings. Looking past the rather conservative art scene façade, far from prime location galleries and the annual Festival Fringe extravaganza on Royal Mile, there’s a bunch of hidden gems waiting to be discovered in the midst of Edinburgh’s often neglected neighbourhood of Leith. One venture, that’s jointly responsible for the area’s growing reputation as a vibrant and colourful haven for creatives, is LeithLate. Time for a wee chat with founder Morvern Cunningham about art in the Scottish capital, ongoing projects and ambitions for 2014. Hello Morvern, for anyone unfamiliar with your work, tell us a bit about LeithLate. LeithLate is an annual multi-arts event that takes place across multiple Leith venues in the space of one night. We are also responsible for a number of public art initiatives in Leith including The …

Illustration Wizardry: Bryce Louw

It seems safe to say that London’s wonderful abundance of art can be pretty overwhelming at times and even turn your head into a dizzy mess, still I wouldn’t have discovered so many shining talents without it. Thank god, I was then curious enough to have a go at Hackney Wick’s creative hub Stour Space and its brilliant Dys-Wik show, which instantly made me fall in love with Bryce Louw’s illustration wizardry. And now, almost a year later (& his serpent artwork adorning my living room), let us take a closer look at this young South African expat, who wanders the streets of East London for inspiration and impresses with a disturbingly gnarly drawing style: His sketches invite you into a world of bestiality, bizarreness and voyeurism, inhabited by brooding, forlorn characters, always with a keen eye for organic aesthetics. Check out these links for more info. Maxeroo.co.uk Twitter Instagram

Behind the Mask: Sandra Chevrier’s ‘Cage’ series

Honesty and authenticity are significant features I hold dear in people whom I am sharing intimate moments of joy and sorrow with: No make-up, no cheesy smiles, no false sympathy, no façades, just being your true self. That may be the case with our closest friends and families, who bravely tolerate even our greatest flaws and weaknesses. Outside of this sheltered entity, the world yet seems to be quite a different one. Whether it’s in front of our boss, co-workers or even team-mates, we often play a role defined by the irrevocable values of society and thus – intentional or unintentional – living a life behind a mask every now and then. Empathizing with the female perspective, the French-Canadian artist, illustrator and painter Sandra Chevrier visualises our ‘twisted preconceptions of what a woman should or shouldn’t be’ and their constant struggle to escape these prisons of identity. Brilliantly merging fine art with pop and street art styles, her Marvel & DC symbolism-infused ‘cage’-series illustrates society’s utopian expectation for pure beauty and perfection, asking the women …

Spot On: Swanski

Ever since I set my feet on a four-wheeled wooden plank (precisely this one) in my early teens, my heart is entangled with the spirit, art and culture of skateboarding. And besides being the ultimate expression of freedom, escapism and shared identity, it was and always will be a fascinating hotbed for creative minds. Folks like Swanski. As I am closely following the scene’s myriad of print magazines and online media, his name eventually surfaced on my radar with the release of his graphic designs for ‘Girl skateboards’ newest ‘OG series‘ a few days ago. Whereas my sheer ignorance conveys a different picture, the Polish artist is by no means the new kid in town, but rather expresses his genuine relationship with street culture for over ten years. Based in Warsaw, he is running his own graphic design studio ‘Swanarts’ and his apparel brand ‘turbokolor’, collaborated with industry heavyweights like Vans or Lakai and travels the world to share his eclectic art. Well, Swanski’s works are simply as versatile in matters of technique, style and material as they are dripping with creativity, expression and inspiration: Ranging from graphic designs, acrylic paintings and urban …