29 Apr 2014

I love filming things and documenting things; possibly my family get the most annoyed by this habit. Apparently taking photographs of my mother stuck behind the sofa one christmas day instead of helping her was not a 'great' idea.

So today I was lucky enough to film the behind the scenes for our street style editorial for JuiceBox Magazine. It all went well after a few dodgy moments, for instance queueing for two hours to pick up your non-existent cameras you booked out the week before. It was a good experience to have been thrown into the deep end; shooting with a JVC because the Canon's were apparently missing.

I thought I would share a few stills from today's filming.

26 Apr 2014

'Tell people that there's an invisible man in the sky

who created universe, and the vast majority will

believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have 

to touch it to be sure."

George Carlin

This is the Saatchi Gallery.
Possibly my favourite gallery I've ever been too.

I love art, I love galleries and museums, I love public art and street art.
I'm one of these people that can spend a whole day in the portrait gallery and forget what the weather is outside.

I regularly visit the Saatchi Gallery, I think the layout is brilliant; big light rooms with no ropes or acrylic glass in front of the artwork. There is rarely any reflection so the art can be admired from every angle.

Today there was two main exhibitions on, equally as good. First the Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America (Until 31st Aug).

Immediately when you walk in this piece by Rafael Gomezbarros hits you, it's more overwhelming than in the pictures. It's kind of like a horror film, trapped in a room with giant ants crawling over every wall, or the scene from Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets in the dark forest with the spiders. They are quite lifelike, considering you can see the ropes tying them together, and you keep watching suspecting that one will come alive, even know you know it's impossible.

I think I must of been the only person to go in there and think 'this will make a good textiles print'.

I came across these three photographs by Dillon Marsh, I don't know why but I was really attracted to them. Maybe it was the weird resemblance with birds I imagined as I looked upon them.

Here are just a few more pictures from the Pangaea exhibition I liked. However I couldn't resist a selfie when taking a picture of (ironically) another picture. This was one of the rare occasion I've seen a photograph in the Saatchi with a plastic panel in the frame (you see what I mean about reflections in galleries now).
I was surprised to see an artist was brave enough to leave five footballs as part as an installation in the middle of the floor during the easter holidays for children at school. I could imagine the panic in a mother's face when trying to educate her son with culture when he starts playing keepy up with an art piece.

Up on the highest level in the Saatchi were two statues that really caught my attention. I have to admit I've always favourited art capturing the human form, for example Degas, Da Vinci, Bernini, Jenny Saville and Rembrandt. 

Even though the first statue looks like she is possessed there is a beauty about the statue, maybe not aesthetically but through the muscle definition, shadow and detail worked into the marble and wax.

You can really feel a sense of weight and life when looking at how she is slumped on the chair. It reminded me of Bernini's sculpture, The Rape of Proserpina (for those non-art lover, "the rape" isn't actually rape in the context we see today, so no it isn't a statue depicting modern day rape).

I found out afterwards this sculpture is called 'Regarding the Pain of the Other'. Virgile Ittah has captured this effortlessly, the way the wax has dripped down the legs giving the illusion of weak legs maybe illustrating her unstableness or her fragile state.

The second of the two is 'Dreams are Guilty, Absolute and Silent by Fire'. It's as if she has made the sculpture and melted it. The wax legs kind of resemble the skeleton, like she is breaking apart.

So overall I consider today was a very thoughtful day.

25 Apr 2014

The answer is no. I quickly established this answer within the first chapter of reading my new favourite book.

I am not much of a book lover and you can probably tell by my writing style that I lack reading books. However during a visit to the Saatchi Gallery I found this witty book piled up in the gift shop and have not put it down since buying it.

While describing it to my friends they looked at me as if I was the worlds un-coolest 20 year old (Believe it or not this is a common occurrence), this book is just a list of impossible interview questions and puzzles but it really makes you think in a different way. The book addresses creativity versus intelligence; do you need to be creative in order to be intelligent? Or to be intelligent to become creative? Are the two link? 

One question for all of you:

You are shrunk to the height of a penny and thrown into a blender. Your mass is reduced so that your density is the same as usual. The blades start moving in sixty seconds. What do you do?

Apparently day dreaming about how this occurrence could possibly happen, and why did they choose to shrink you? and who invented a shrinking ray gun, presuming that was the device which shrunk you in the first place? ...is the wrong answer according to google.

I've always enjoyed maths and logical thinking so I have to say this is my kind of novel. I would definitely read this if you were going for an interview at one of the big companies. However while reading this book I did wonder: Before an interview at Google, would you Google questions they ask at the interview? Because Google would most likely know you googled that; or should you Ask Jeeves about this issue instead?

24 Apr 2014

Today is Fashion Revolution Day.

Don't worry I didn't know this either until I was handed a leaflet about it earlier.

I met a group of students on Oxford Street today campaigning "Who Made Your Clothes", changing factory conditions because of the tragedy that occurred in Bangladesh last year.

I spoke to a student from UAL, London College of Fashion who was on the street campaigning and handing out leaflets. She explained today was Fashion Revolution Day and they had arranged a walk at 4:30pm to highlight the Bangladesh incident. However our conversation fell short at that because although she was campaigning she didn't have much to say on this subject. It seemed more like a university assignment than a passionate cause to her.

I was expecting there walk to be dramatic, as dramatic as art students can be however it seemed me and my friends once started more of a "fash mob" on a Prague Pub Crawl by singing Yaya/Kolo Toure to the beat of No Limit by 2 Unlimited.  Resulting in nearly getting kicked off the crawl.

However looking on social media this campaign #InsideOut is brilliant, it's unfortunate the campaigners aren't wearing there clothes inside out on the streets, but it is really having an effect on twitter with 15,000 tweets in 24 hours. Soon it will really but the spotlight on retailers. Lets make sure no tragedies like Bangladesh happen again; we can prevent them.

Today is Fashion Revolution Day.

Don't worry I didn't know this either until I was handed a leaflet about it earlier.

It seems the main agenda for today is changing the production of fashion as a result from the Bangladesh Factory incident this time last year. I met two groups who were campaigning in two very different ways on Oxford Street earlier today.

I didn't realise anything different about Oxford Street today until I walked past a women who had locked herself to the doors of United Colours of Benetton. There was only a small crowd built around the few campaigners however there message was having an effect on the people around them. The campaign consisted of stories and posters lied across the floor; while a person on each door had put bike locks around their necks to secure them to the door.

When talking to a campaigner he explained they closed the store by locking themselves to the doors at 9:30am this morning, half an hour before it should of opened. The manager of Benetton came out and confronted the campaigners stating Benetton had paid compensation towards the Bangladesh incident, however the campaigner said he found out through "google" that Benetton had not paid. He then went on to describe the situation as "awkward". He mentioned companies like "Primark" had paid compensation but not Bennetton. 

Would you really lock yourself to a door because of something read on google?

As I hung around watching people's reactions, more and more media turned up closely followed by police. The women locked to the door said to look up at the rooftops where police were gathering, she joked "I hope someone isn't going to shoot us".

I'm not sure I could lock myself to an object that can't move, maybe I haven't found the right subject that I feel passionate about. I would definitely have to look at some details first, like, where do you pee? How would you go to the toilet? How much food would be enough for an undefined period of time? What happens if you get a numb bum? Or cramp? Are you allowed to read a book while campaigning, or is that frowned upon because you're meant to be campaigning? 

I just don't think I have much in common with the women protesting outside Benetton, for instance she brought along a pot of Hummus with her and I don't like Hummus that much.

However it is a good cause and I am glad people are trying to change the working conditions for many factory workers abroad.

21 Apr 2014

What comes to mind when you hear the name Veruschka? A German Veruca Salt. 

This was exactly what I was thinking when my lecturer was desperately trying to convince our blank faces that she is real. I thought he was going to cry when he realised we had never heard of his favourite model from the 60s. Although he must not be the only person due to Somerset House exhibiting a small collection of Johnny Moncada's photographs focusing on her.

So inevitably we followed our lecturer and went to visit this exhibition; From Vera to Veruschka, The Unseen Photographs by Johnny Moncada.

In the smallest corner of Somerset House there are two white rooms exhibiting a series of an elegant girl. I have to admit I was expecting more but it was still educating to learn about the 60s lifestyle. 

One of my trails of thought during this trip was why change your name from Vera to Veruschka? Veruschka did not seem like an appealing name to me and I often pictured scenes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory playing in a German accent when thinking of the name. Maybe she wanted to emphasis her Russian roots in the western fashion world, we will never know. However while writing this post I came to like the name Veruska, it has an edge unlike Vera, which sounds like a name my Grandma would have. I did not realise, until using faithful google, Veruschka is simply Russian for Vera. 

Our next project after touring the exhibition was to ask other visitors about Veruschka. This however was harder than it seemed. Maybe it was the hot sun or England's attitude to students armed with cameras but no fellow visitor knew who Veruschka was either. After seven attempts of approaching different pairs we gave up and went for ice cream.

 Approaching People in Somerset House

A Top Tip I Learnt Today: Somerset House is a good spot for people watching.

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