Sunday, July 26, 2009

New from Paper Cloud

New from Paper Cloud! Paper Cloud makes art to share for you, your home, your family and your friends. Their quirky designs are meant to be shared and enjoyed, and not taken too seriously. And everything they make is hand printed and handmade in their studio, making each piece unique.

Textile Design

Alexandre Gijon is a surface and textile designer, and his creations combine plenty of different influences: floral patterns, tropical climate and nature in general. He is used to create exclusive drawings for fashion designers and to make his ideas come true, he uses modern digital print technology.

For all his designs:

A simple solution

Incredible idea, by Argetinian designer Gabriel Contino. All of us had already been in this situation: standing in a party, talking to someone, drinking some wine and trying to eat. It`s a step for a disaster! So, Gabriel came up with this plate, which has a "space" for a wine glass and cutlery. Smart, isn`t it?

Puppet master

ERIK SANKO is one of those extrordinary artists that does it all. He is a musician, artist and marionette-maker. The marionettes are complete works of art all by themselves. Erik took it a step further by bringing his characters to life in a marionette show called The Fortune Teller. Danny Elfman provided the erie score (Danny also did the score for Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas). It's a morality play featuring the Seven Deadly Sins. I wish I could have seen it! If you'd like to get a little taste check out this video.

"The Fortune Teller reveals a world of curiosities as seven unusual characters are invited to the estate of a late millionaire industrialist and informed they've been included in his will.

On a dark night, the strangers arrive at the late millionaire's mansion only to learn their inheritances will be based not on a will, but on the readings of a fortune teller. One by one, each is delivered what they have coming to them, but perhaps not what they are expecting.
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Seven strangers' twisted tales are brought to life in a handcrafted marionette play and woven with haunting music to tell an eerily comic story of fate and fortune..."

If you visit his
Website you can follow the links to listen to Erik's Solo music project as well as his band, the Indie outfit, Skeleton Key. Don't forget to follow the link to artist Jessica Grindstaff too.

TOO Random Rowntree's

This advert makes me shudder. I had seen it once until I came to write this blog (and so reviewed it again), and I feel even more strongly now. Everything about it is wrong. The concept is fine, but the execution, choice of setting, scenario and perhaps most importantly, character...leaves too much to be savoured to make this acceptable. If the gentlemen's 'warm' and unsettling humour is meant to lift the mood of the rainy day, I think it has worked in quite the opposite way. The atmosphere is eery and awkward.

I'm alright with the script until he begins to leer at the woman driving whilst leaning into the car, calling her 'icecream cone'. The decision to use a dodgy looking jelly saxophone was hardly the best either. The 1/4 second shabby screen freeze prior to the verbal identification of the sweet didn't help, but I'll let that slip as maybe it's just me (!?)

I'm not left thinking of children, a brand I know, happy times, sweet sharing and sugar highs. I think of a creeping looking guy freaking out a lady, acting strangely and awkwardly, almost enough to warrant his arrest! It wasn't funny, not even a bit, it wasn't as the product name was just ridiculously poorly miss-judged. What an error.

Nowhere to start and nowhere to end

I genuinely don't feel I can do this guy justice by describing and breaking down what he does. You absolutely must go to his website as he documents his work in a far more professional, organised and inspirational way, than anyone else ever could do on his behalf. There are no limits to what he can or can't do, whether it be installation, performance, large scale or intricate cut-out. Everything he does is unquestionably, beautiful.

Spend some time on the 'about me', you won't want to miss a thing. PETER CALLESEN:

Ashes to Diamonds

(Aired Friday, 24th June at 7.35pm on Channel 4) If you missed this, get an update on 4OD, no excuse now even for Mac users. Part of a series of documentaries, featuring first-time directors. The 25 minute airing time, prevents the film maker digging too deep, and the limited timeframe means we get a pretty down to earth view of a topic. (excuse my awful puns!)

The excellent efforts of a certain DAVID BRINDLEY, looks at the art of cremation (wait, come back!) and the unusual things people do with the ashes of their loved ones. We are introduced to Helen, who keeps the remains of her husband in a plastic Chinese takeaway box, with "STEVE" written on the lid in marker pen. Helen's plan was to put his ashes into 50 shotgun cartridges and have him fired into the sky by his friends. She also turned (some of) him into a diamond. To accomplish this, she had to post him off in a Jiffy bag, leading to an unusual scene at the Post Office when the clerk asks about the package's value. Have a look for yourself at some of the jewellery designs at, let me know what you think.

Another lady who we met, lost her husband very shortly and suddenly after returning from a holiday abroad. After his funeral, she sent a favourite holiday snap to a local artist, who mixed his ashes into the paint to re-create the photograph. The unveiling was quite emotional even for the detached viewer. A very nice idea, something I would actually consider doing for myself after the loss of a loved one. The result was actually beautiful, and very fitting as the ash acted as the mixed media sitting on the rocks of the cliff face.

Helen's story in particular is told rather affectionately, never getting close to being mawkish or morbid. Ashes to Diamonds is a heartfelt, eye-opening, and at times funny film exploring how creative some Brits are becoming when it comes to our cremated remains.

In addition, you could watch this 3 minute wonder, originally aired on channel 4 in 2006. It touches on the general concept, but David Brindley takes a very fresh approach in comparison, so don't be put off.

Bon Voyage

I wish, wish, wish I had a few images to show, so if anyone knows of this exhibition after reading, and has any kind of resources, please send them to me. Between 7th June and 26th July 1997, Birmingham Ikon Gallery gave a temporary home to TONY HAYWARD'S 'Bon Voyage' collection. They were photographs, if my mind serves me right, of miniature landscapes built using holiday souvenirs, and random small finds. His quirky constructions highlight our consumerist desire to own holiday mementos, and the ritual of positioning them in the house. Quite amusing really considering we have all fallen victim to the 'looked good at the time' snow globes, Eiffel Tower models and tragic postcards.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


The National Rail Museum in York...not even close to being as boring as it sounds!  Beside all the obvious locomotives, carriages, wagons, and miniatures, it was the warehouse that homes over 750,000 objects that stole the show for me. My photographs don't do the visit justice, but it gave me a basic record of inspiration for a personal art project which I am currently under taking on the topic of decay and restoration.   
 There was also a collection of advertisements arranged along a time scale. Great for visually logging how these evolved. 2 examples:

Hebden Bridge Art Festival

Running June 26th-July 12th, you better hurry if you want to make it. I was up this weekend and it is proving to be a fortnight packed with art, music, literature, drama and comedy. Being 200 years since the birth of Darwin, some special events have been programmed under the heading 'Evolution, Revolution', and show clear inspiration of Darwin's legacy. Highlights for me were Ruth Padel's work about her great grandfather and Simon Armitage evolving into a popstar.

Browse open studio's, performances, handmade parades and exhibitions. If you make the visit, allow a day or two at least, the amount to see is almost overwhelming, but the extraordinary level of culture and talent leaves you wanting to explore the exact things you would never think you would. A must-do.

(For those at Leeds University, you can get a train from the station straight through, usually the Blackpool North or Manchester Victoria lines. The journey takes a total of about 50minutes).

The public on a pedestal

ANTHONY GORMLEY's commission for Trafalgar Square's "empty plinth" will see it occupied for 100 consecutive days, 24 hours a day, by members of the public.

Interested members of the public register, the computer then chooses a representative cross section of 2,400 names.

They are matched to the 2,400 hour-long slots on the plinth which run 24 hours a day from July to October.

Each individual will be fork-lifted up 25ft to spend their hour in full view, with no banister or barrier to protect them, other than a safety net skirting the plinth.

Then they can do exactly what they want, while being lit, filmed and recorded for an archive Mr Gormley hopes will produce a portrait of Britain.

Water great idea...

London aqua artist MARK MAWSON is creating quite a stir in the art world.  He takes different kind and colours of paint and drops the blobs into a tank of water, before capturing the result on camera. Viewers can see different things in them and interpret the images for themselves. Sea creatures, dancers, old men and even Jimi Hendrix setting fire to his own guitar, have been some of the responses. What do you see?

Alphabet Britain

Many of you may have seen this article in yesterday's Daily Mail. Being a fan of typography, the abandoned face-up page on the opposite seat of my 4hr train journey, succeeded to keep me amused for a roundabout 5 solid minutes. So now I  may have most of you baffled, here it is for you to absorb;

At first glance, as the author, Marcus Dunk, suggested, intelligent extra terrestrials back to their usual trick of crop circles, sprung to mind. However, this is in fact the  3 day work of a 25 year-old lady from West Yorkshire, who took to searching Google Earth maps as a way of passing time after an accident that left her house bound. She scoured winding rivers, hedges, fields, roads, buildings' anything that might throw up a shape to resemble the 26 letters.

'Q', was apparently the most difficult to find, but after a long search, it was found in the roof at Gatwick Airport. I second Rachel Young's comments that this is a nice way to celebrate our country. 

It reminded me of a typography project I did for AS level graphics which involved creating the alphabet showing sensitivity to a particular theme. For anyone else that did or didn't do this course, it may well be worth trying this for yourself if ever you should fancy spending a few days inside.