Sunday, 29 November 2009

Posters of the Avant Garde Book

I found a cool book in the library the other week called 'Jan Tschichold: Posters of the Avant Garde', it's FULL of posters, it's great! I love art books full of pictures :p! They are also very cool posters :) which is even better. I love this style, great structure, and simple yet lots going on too. Here are some of my faves from the book -

Jan Tschichold:

Max Burcharz - Tanz Festspiele (dance festival):

Jan Tschichold:

Theo Van Doesburg & Kurt Schwitters (I'd liked this image for ages):

I quickly took some photos of pages to remember them for inspiration, there were too many to scan in, so they aren't great quality but you get the idea, here are some more from the book that I liked:

Sunday, 8 November 2009

'School Trip' to Liverpool Tate Art Gallery

A week or 2 ago, a few of us from D&AD went on a 'school trip' to Liverpool to visit the Tate Art Gallery.
More photos of us lot in Liverpool

Yayoi Kusama - The Passing Winter, 2005. It was interesting to see another installation by her as i'd previously seen her 'Ascension of Polkadots on the Trees' (previous post). We weren't allowed to take photos in the Tate but I found images by someone else - Marshall Astor. It looked kinda weird and cool but not that impressive...

*UNTIL* I peered inside the box!! AMAZING! The box had mirrors on the inside as well and it just reflects everything and when you look into it you see your face multiple times and from different angles, it's so weird and awesome. It's like being in an infinate 'inbetween' kinda liminal space, with many directions and routes to take, doorways to alternate universes? I was just stood staring into it for ages and ages!

Something else it reminded me of was the part in The Beatles Film - The Yellow Submarine, which shows Mr Nowhere Man located in..'nowhere' I guess.

Another piece which I saw there and found interesting was Salvador Dali - Lobster Telephone, 1936.

I stumbled upon a piece and instantly recognised the artist it was by - Daniel Spoerri, it was called Prose Poems. I discovered this artists work last year and was interested in it. His work felt familiar to me because I have photographed tables from above at chance compositions. I like that everyday kinda thing which we take for granted, but it is usually ephemeral and then lost and replaced everyday, so it's interesting to capture it in an image. "Spoerri fixed or 'snared' objects found in chance positions on table tops or in drawers. These were hung vertically on a wall, like conventional pictures, and were intended to create visual discomfort in the viewer. In this work, the remains of a meal are preserved on a wooden board that the artist used as a table while living in a small room in a Paris hotel."

I really liked some photographs by Helen Chadwick, I can't really find many online only one, but it was a series of photographs of her 'Ego Geometria Sum' holding objects with her image on the objects, Heres one photo, and then i found some images of just the objects, I think they have an eerie and surreal quality about them, really nice though.

Victor Grippo - Energy of a Potato - 1972. This was quite weird and cool. You could see the potato discoloured where the probes had gone into it's skin and then where the potato had 'bled' and dripped onto the plinth. It was a real potato. poor thing. Cruelty against potatoes. I'm not guilty of killing potatos... nah i never eat chips or crisps.. honest .... not!

This was also cool.. by Gilbert & George - Happy, 1980.

It was nice to see some very well known pieces there too which i'd seen before but not in real life, like Jeff Koons - Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank, 1985, Marcel Duchamp - Fountain (replica), Antony Gormley - Three Ways: Mould, Hole and Passage, 1981, Mona Hatoum - Wheelchair, 1988, Bob and Roberta Smith - Make Art Not War, 1997, as well as some Cindy Sherman photographs 'Bus Riders', 1976.

I really enjoyed the Tate, I saw lots of things which I didn't expect to see there and found things to help with my Silence project :)

Saturday, 7 November 2009

London Visit - Polka Dot trees in the breeze!

I've been meaning to do a post about this for ages but never got around to it... anyway I visited London at the end of August and here are a few pics I took walking along the South Bank to the Tate Modern.
I think i'd be quite happy if i was reincarnated as a carousel horse. Carousels are awesome, they are so colourful and exciting! I'm too much of a wimp for rollercoasters so going on a carousel is about as adventurous as I get in terms of rides! So much fun! But on this occasion I didn't have a go, too much of a rip off :/

Yayoi Kusama - Ascension of Polkadots on the Trees, 2009. I found this installation quite interesting, I later read more about the artist, she was born in 1929 and "all of her work shares an obsession with repetition, pattern, and accumulation".

Some weird hedge furnature installation kinda thing.

More furnature! But this time in the form of a sand sculpture :)

Tate Modern, I had never been before and I'd always thought the outside of the building looked so cool, it was formally Bankside power station. I really enjoyed approaching the building and seeing it up close and taking photos. Even though it looks quite different, it somehow reminds me of gigantic Egyptian pyramids and that type of thing. Inside the space is sooooo vast, it's amazing and kinda scary! Nowadays most space is cram packed, but on the lower levels of the Tate Modern there is a massive space, it has a very industrial feel, I felt like I was in a cargo bay on a spaceship or something! We got lost and by this time we didn't have much time to look around at the actual art work, only one floor, but it was cool enough just to see the building, I really enjoyed it.

Here's a few more photos I took there:

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

'Le Scaphandre et le Papillon' Film Review

Today in our Kino4 screen club we watched 'Le Scaphandre et le Papillon' (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) from 2007, directed by Julian Schnabel, who is also an artist. Interesting title, interesting and sad story. It is based on the memoirs of Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor of French Elle Magazine, and also a journalist and author.

The film is from Bauby's perspective and starts by him waking up from a three week long coma, and trying to reply to the doctors but realizing they can't hear him.. he has had a massive stroke at only the age of 42. He is suffering from a rare condition called 'Locked-In Syndrome', he is aware but cannot respond or move, he is almost completely paralyzed, all he can move is his left eye. The condition has been described as "the closest thing to being buried alive".

The way this film is shot makes you feel as though you are Bauby and empathise with him even more than if it was shot in a regular way. It makes you confront the issue of strokes and other similar things which a lot of people try to forget about and ignore even if it happens to someone close to them become a shell of themselves, because it's so horrible and you don't like to see someone familiar yet...not.
Because he can't really move his head sometimes you can't see the actors in the scene's head, only their middle if they are stood up etc, just as he would if they weren't in his line of sight. There is a horrible scene where they sew up his right eye so it doesn't get infected because it isn't working properly and you see the needle coming and going through the skin and the light glowing through the skin and then stitches then darkness. It really is horrible, he is shouting and pleading for them not to do it but of course they can't hear him. It would be so frustrating.

At first he is angry at his whole situation, as most people would probably be. The speech therapist thinks she can help him and tries to help him communicate through blinking. One blink for yes, and two for no. They then expand on this and she recites the alphabet in order of frequency the letters come up in the French language, as she goes through them she watches his eye, when there is a letter he wants he blinks as she says it, then they go through it again and again until he has communicated a whole word/sentence. It's pretty amazing. At first though he doesn't want to and all he has to say is "I want to die". After this though he starts to come to terms with his condition and says
Other than my eye, two things aren't paralyzed, my imagination and my memory.
He starts accepting visitors and installs a phone with a speaker. He gets in touch with his book publisher (with the help of his speech therapist)and confirms he is still going to get it finished and asks for an assistant to who he can communicate his memoirs to. It is a very lengthy process which i'm sure would seem like an impossible task, but he manages it, and 10 days after his book was published Bauby died. Communicating his memoirs everyday gave him something to do and stopped him going crazy, and before that he didn't really have the will to live, so when he had managed to tell his story and see his 'dream realised' in a way maybe he hadn't got quite as much will to live. It's strange how people sometimes seem to be able to hold on until just after an important event until they slip away, I guess it's just human will power, it's amazing though.

This film made me wanna jump around and appreciate mobility, patience, expression and communication. I thought it was a really good and interesting film even if it was quite confronting and emotional.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Onomatopoeia bubble painting response

Here is my response for Onomatopoeia:

I decided to play with bubbles like in primary school to create the image. You are meant to use paint powder but I didn't have any so I just squirted lots of paint into a bottle and added some warm water and shook it up then poured it into anything big enough...I ended up using a big frying pan, a wok, and a mixing bowl! Then I added some washing up liquid to make the bubbles stay for longer and a bit more water.

Kaylie came in the kitchen and wondered what on earth I was 'cooking' as seen as i was stood by the cooker stirring BLUE liquid with a spatula in a frying pan. She though I was making a bomb or something! I'm not a mad scientist haha!
Then all you need to do is get a straw and blow into it in the liquid..just don't drink it by accident! Or put the wrong end of the straw in your mouth.. eugh I did that.

Once you blow the bubbles, quickly grab paper and lay it on top but don't touch the liquid only the bubbles, they will pop and leave a print on the paper, then let it dry :)

I made loads, this is only about half, I tried overlapping 2 colours as well. I did try yellow too but it didn't work very well.

When blowing bubbles my face got a bit splashed.. I had red paint dots on my nose and cheeks and blue ones on my chin hehe! It was a lot of fun though :)

Thursday, 30 July 2009

'Strange days and some flowers' exhibition

Today Sarah visited Lancaster and we checked out some exhibitions.
The newly refirbished Storey Gallery had the exhibition 'Strange Days and Some Flowers'.

Around the installations and paintings, there was another installation by Graham Hudson, made from 'steel tubes and clip structure' aka scaffolding! It was pretty cool actually. As we walked around, the composition kept changing, with all the different squares and rectangles it reminded me of Piet Mondrians paintings. It also gave nice backgrounds for the other installations.

There were some really nice pictures by Dan Baldwin. I liked how bright and chaotic they were and the use of mixed media. This one was my favourite.
Dan Baldwin - Love in the garden, 2008.

Dan Baldwin - We End Up Meat, 2008. This had a knife stuck to it.

Dan Baldwin - We All Start With Pure Heart, 2008.

Dan Baldwin - Halloween, 2008. close up of it.

Don Brown - Yoko XVII, 2006. This looked like a sheet over a statue but the sheet shape was the statue, it was like a scary ghost! but cool.

Don Brown - Yoko XXI, 2008. This looked really nice white with shadows, and against the white background too.

Jock Mooney - Discontinued, 2009. This was another of my favourites in this exhibition, it was even cooler close up, with all the detail of all the figurines, so bright and random!

John Stark - The Apiary, 2008. This painting was beautiful close up, especially the clouds.

Laura Ford - Boystory 1, 2001. There were a few of these, they were a bit scary, this was my fave of them though.

Next we went to The Book Room, which is a little independant book shop with art on the walls. The current exhibition was "Manchester 89 - 92", by Richard Davis. "A collection of portraits taken in that city during the years between 1989 - 1992 & involves Musicians, Comedians, Poets & Writers. The following are all featured in this exhibition: Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Lemn Sissay, John Thomson, Caroline Aherne, Linda Smith, New Order, John Hegley, Frank Sidebottom, Jon Ronson, Dave Gorman, John Cooper Clarke."

It was hard to take photos in there because it was dark and also the photos had glass infront. They were mainly in black and white, but some were brightly coloured. This one came out ok:

The shop also had a really cool ceiling covered with book pages, it looked so cool:

I had a nice day and really enjoyed the 'Strange Days and Some Flowers' exhibition, there are some exhibitions i visit and think hmm yeah it was ok and there were some good bits but i really enjoyed this whole exhibition. Also it had a cool title. just like this blog entry does now :)

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Nice M&S Cod packaging

I went to M&S to get some cod, when I opened the packet and took the fish out I was pleasently surprised by the packaging, on the back of the label on the bottom which shows through the clear packet behind the fish it had newspaper print design on it! So cute! Like in a real chip shop.. well a retro one now because they aren't allowed to use it anymore because of ink.
I thought it was a nice idea for fish packaging anyway.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

RAW DEAL! Arnie film!

I was very excited yesterday to notice there was gonna be a Schwarzenegger film on that night which I hadn't seen - woo! I'm a fan of action films, Jean-Claude Van Damme is my fave, I have a big stack of his dvds, then my next fav is Arnie, I don't actually own any of his films though.

Anyway this film on last night was called "Raw Deal" from 1986 (HA! 80's ones are the funniest!). "It's the story of an FBI agent who wants to get revenge against a Mafia organization, and sends a former FBI agent (now small-town sherriff) played by Schwarzenegger to destroy the organization from the inside."

The poster is pretty cool, i like the
in the background fading towards the bottom.

It actually wasn't as good as i'd hoped..:( It did have cool 80's action movie music, and a few lame/awesome Arnie one liners (e.g Don't drink and bake) but it had the potential to be funnier. The fighting scenes were ok but there could have been more of them, there were quite a lot of guns, sometimes when there are gun fights i just start day dreaming, they usually bore me, i much prefer plain old fighting. I got a bit of a feeling of de ja vu because he wears a leather jacket and is quite unanimated like the Terminator..

My favourite scene was in the last half hour of the film, he went to some quarry and rode around in his car shooting loadsssssssa people, to the sound track of Rolling Stones - Satisfaction! HA! Pretty random and awesome. I found a clip of it, skip to about 0.45. Before that it's just him packing his guns and putting his jacket on, so ye if you wanna see his bulging muscles watch from the start:

Whilst writing this entry i'm half watching the 1988 film "My step mother is an alien" on ch5. the Alien has a hat like Guinan! Deffo must have been the fashion in space in the late 1980s.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

NORTH EARTH! Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art - Edinburgh day trip

A few weeks ago(i've been too lazy to blog, i started this post weeks ago and didn't finish..til now) i went on a day trip to Edinburgh! I had never been to Scotland before, we got free tickets so that was pretty cool. I was excited at the fact that it was the most Northerly place i'd been on Earth, so i kept referring to it as North Earth, it's a pretty cool name, i think it will catch on. I felt higher up the Earth whilst there, amazing huh.

I was surprised when i got there at how it looked, it wasn't what i expected, i don't know what exactly i was expecting, maybe something along the lines of Scotland in the film Doomsday? haha! There was lots of nice decorative architecture and statues, it reminded me of somewhere like Germany/Switzerland etc although i haven't been to either of those. The castle was cool, it was on top of a big rocky hill, it looked very dramatic, like in films with evil whoever living in it and terrorizing the whole city.
I took quite a lot of photos of lots of random things, here are a few, and there are more on my flickr:


Whilst there i visited the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
When we walked into the gallery the first sculpture we were greeted with was MASSIVE, it was called 'Vulcan'!! but as in the Roman god of fire not as in the green blooded aliens..tsk. It was taller than 2 floors, it looked like a big tin man kinda thing.. but not, and definitely no sign of pointy ears haha.
You weren't allowed to take photos in there but i jotted down some pieces i found interesting, i've found images of them online:

Paolozzi - Vulcan, 1999:
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Edith Rimmington - The Decoy, 1948: This seemed interesting, strange and delicate.

Magritte - La Representation, 1937: I thought this was really unusual and liked that the frame followed the image's shape.
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F.E McWilliam - Kneeling Woman, 1947. I thought this was just cool and uncanny.
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John Bellany - Lapdog, 1973: Again.. just a bit weird and interesting and i like the brush strokes.
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Francesca Woodman - Untitled 1975 - 1980: I've seen some of her work before and liked it so it was interesting to see it in a gallery, i liked these pieced which she had given to her boyfriend and had notes on them.
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Vija Celmins - Night Sky #19, 1998: This artist had very delicate woodcuts, and the ones of stars and space attracted me at first, they were very nice up close especially.
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Vija Celmins - Ocean Surface Woodcut, 1992:
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Damien Hirst - Away From The Flock, 1994: This was cool to look at close up, to see the tics in its fur and its fur sticking out as if floating in space.
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I'm glad i visited the gallery but there have been lots more galleries/exhibitions i've enjoyed much more than this one.