Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Southbank Centre plays host to Cape Farewell’s SHIFT festival, a stimulating programme of climate-focused events inspired by Cape Farewell’s expeditions to the High Arctic and the rainforests in Peru.

Cape Farewell brings artists, scientists and communicators together to stimulate ideas and the production of art founded in scientific research. Next week Southbank Centre hosts free events engaging artists, architects and scientists in discussion about climate change and showcasing creative work in response to questions of sustainability.

Cape Farewell collaborates with a series of partners including Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges on some inspiring walks, the Expeditions by the Dollis Brook Route, three walks starting out from each of the colleges will visit rarely seen areas of London on foot converging at Southbank Centre at 4pm on Saturday January 30th.
While London College of Fashion's Centre for Sustainable Fashion showcases work from its MA Fashion and the Environment and Fashioning the Future 2009.

Shift Encounters

Sunley Pavilion, Tuesday 26 January

Join a panel of architects in discussion about the creative process of engaging with climate change and how to envision and build a sustainable future.

Weston Pavilion, Wednesday 27 January 2010

Join climate scientists in discussion about the role of culture and art in helping to communicate the work and findings from the science community.

Weston Pavilion, Thursday 28 January 2010

Join artists in discussion about the creative process of engaging with climate change and the role of the artist in relation to the most defining issue of our generation.

Royal Festival Hall
Cape Farewell In-Site

Thursday 28 January 2010 - Saturday 30 January 2010

Projected onto external walls of the Southbank Centre buildings, Cape Farewell presents some of the work made

Friday 29 January, Comedian Marcus Brigstocke, a seasoned Cape Farewell voyager introduces some very special guests in a night of comedy and music uniting against climate change.
Find out more

Tickets are on sale and available to buy from the Southbank Centre website. They're selling fast so get in quick - the ideal CO2 Zero gift!
Buy SHIFT tickets

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Posters Came From The Walls - WIN TICKETS

By Millie Ross

Depeche Mode have some of the most devoted fans in the world. Turner prize winner Jeremy Deller and music video director Nick Abrahams decided to document the unbridled fanaticism that the band from Basildon have induced in their devotees, from Dave Day in St Petersberg to families of Dave look-a-likes in Germany, they discovered some bizarre, and truly touching stories. Rather than a film about a band, this film is about human obsession and music’s ability to bind people, despite their surroundings.
Why did Mute approach you to make this documentary as a duo?
JD - Because we are brilliant film makers
NA - I think Mute only wanted me but Jeremy jumped on the bandwagon.... no, Mute were looking for someone to make a film about Depeche Mode, and we had the idea of doing a film about the fans rather than the band itself, which I think must have appealed to Mute as the band wouldn’t be hassled by a film crew and they would still get an interesting film. I don't think us working together as a duo was that relevant, Jeremy is well known for collaborating with a wide variety of people, and film making generally is a collaborative process so it didn’t bother me.

How did you locate the fans?
NA - We located the devotees via the internet mainly. We were overwhelmed by people sending in their stories as we had deliberately kept our brief quite wide, asking for stories of what the band meant to people. We then had to narrow it down to the stories we would investigate further.

Were there any fans which you met yet did not include? If so for what reason?

NA - There are lots of out takes. Lots and lots. When the film makes it onto DvD (hopefully in the spring), I would guess at least another hour of those will make it onto the disk. The film itself purely has stories about fans. But some of the other interviews included an expert talking about the phenomena of fandom, and a Russian cultural expert talking about Depeche in relation to Russian pop music. Also some of the key guys from the Detroit techno scene, such as Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson, giving some idea of the influence of DM on their town. The film itself just includes the stories which moved or interested us the most.

Some of the fan material is quite personal and revealing- particularly the family who's home videos were show, were they all happy to have it exposed to such a wide and potentially critical audience?
JD - They make it to be seen, they have their tongues in their cheeks.

Did you approach any members of the band for interviews?

NA - Nope!

Has the band seen the film? If so what do they think of it?
NA -
They all had to give the film the thumbs up before we could show it. Martin asked for one date in the film to be corrected as it was wrong but otherwise the band didnt ask for any changes.

It seems for many of the fans you spoke to equate Depeche Mode to a freedom which they were not always allowed. What do you think it was about this band which drew so many Eastern Europeans who were living in heavily restricted societies to their music?
JD - It's good tuneful music that is slightly anguished, also it is easier to bootleg electronic music, its clearer sounding than rock music , also they looked good, a bit macho but a bit camp too.
NA - When Jeremy says it's easily bootlegable, I think he means that you have to remember that almost all the music was passed around was on bootleg cassettes. Thus Jeremy's theory that it reproduced well on the tapes due to its clear, electronic nature .. married to strong harmonies and lyrics.

Many of Depeche Mode's lyrics are quite spiritual - do you think that this quasi religious lyrical content explains the extremity of their fans devotion?
JD - Yes especially in Mexico.

To win two tickets to a London screening at the Clapham Picture house at 7pm on December 1st, including a Q&A with directors, email with the name of the town that Depeche Mode come from in the subject heading.

For more information about the one night only screenings of the Posters Came From The Walls on December 1st go to:

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Anna and The Witch's Bottle

By Millie Findlay

A unique fusion of narrative, image and music, Anna and The Witch’s Bottle is a fairytale turned on its head, with echoes of Alice in Wonderland meets Aubrey Beardsley.

(Click any image to enlarge it)

The inaugural project of creative boutique Black Maps Press, Anna and The Witches Bottle represents an attempt to experiment with how narrative is communicated and appeals to the imagination through a multi-sensory experience. Not only are there beautiful words and images to shape the story, there is also a wonderful minimalist soundtrack provided by Martin Roman Rebelski of Doves.

Written by author Geoff Cox, (who is currently working on Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, starring Marilyn Manson as Lewis Carroll and model Lily Cole as Alice), Anna and The Witch’s Bottle is a modern fairytale turned on its head, at once whimsical and childish, but with a dark underbelly.

The book is illustrated by Rohan Daniel Eason, known for his collaborations in the fashion world, he recently created a pair of hand-inked gloves for Yoko Ono. His illustrations perfectly reflect the darkly idiosyncratic tone Geoff Cox’s narrative, filled with sad-faced dog waiters and a hut made of crabs.

Black Maps founder Stuart Suitor brought the three elements together to present an alternative to the standard children’s books currently on the market. "I was absolutely struck by the pedestrian nature of these modern children's books," says Stuart, who was reintroduced to children's literature whilst teaching English to children from ethnic backgrounds. "I found myself lamenting the strange, creepy, weird but entirely marvellous books I had read as a kid." This served as the catalyst to bring the three creative forces together in what would eventually become Anna and The Witch's Bottle.

"Whilst being music driven, Black Maps aims to expand the idea of a record label, including experimental film, private press literature, design commissions, textile works, events and beyond", affirms Stuart.

Anna and the Witch’s Bottle is to be released in a limited edition of only 300 copies this month, making it an immediate collectors item for fans of mellifluous beauty. This unique and magical book has all the makings of a future classic: this is children's literature like you have never seen/heard it before.

Anna and The Witch's Bottle Launches at The Pumphouse Gallery Summer Party in Battersea Park on 22nd of September 2009 with a special reading and preview event.

Copies of the book are available at the Black Maps website or at the following real-world portals: select Paul Smith stores, MySugarland, Howie and Belle, Merchant Archive, Galleri Kleerup, and, for the bargain price of £30. But hurry, only 300 copies are available!

The Exchange Room

By Ian Bruce

The brainchild of portrait painter Ian Bruce and entrepreneur Tom Daly, The Exchange Room is a week long pop up show featuring a collective group of artists taking the market into their own hands and rewriting the rules. You can’t buy it (read: afford it), then barter for it. And that they did: the show is made up of ‘exchanges’, all is explained in this Facebook chat.

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121 Charing Cross Road
Opening 1st September 6-9
Show open through until 8th September 10 am - 8pm


By Millie Findlay

Fight that sickening feeling of dread following graduation with Immersion, a collaborative programme between University of the Arts London, Passport and Palmer Hamilton Partnership which aims to give graduates the skills they need to get their foot in the door of the creative industries.

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We have all had it - that panicked feeling and the question, "What am I doing with my life?" You may have just graduated with flying colours, but now what? Perhaps you have been picked up by a gallery, or landed a huge commission, or perhaps you have not been so lucky. Those first few steps after finishing your degree seem the hardest ever, and with times as hard as they are, the job market can seem a daunting prospect.

Help is at hand: Immersion is an intensive programme designed to help art and design graduates fight their way through the quagmire that is graduate employment, identify their goals and give them the skills to achieve them. With a diverse programme including CV writing, portfolio assistance, mentoring and networking events, Immersion is unique in offering creative graduates advice from a business perspective, which can be hard to find!

With a stellar line-up of industry insiders including Ian Nelson, Worldwide Head of Design at Ellesse and Alistair Hall, Director of We Made This, Immersion aims to provide a wealth of knowledge to new graduates from those who have already made it. Learning takes place in the form of workshops, expert presentations, peer learning and practical group exercises, all of which encourages participants to identify their goals, enhance their skills and get the contacts to take those all-important first steps into the world of work.

The cost is £160, and the programme takes place over 12 weeks part-time.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, check out the jotta Immersion group, or the Immersion website for more details and the application form.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Art Schmart

Opening at Swanfield Yard, a curious menagerie of undergraduate artists just emerging from the behemoth that is Central St Martins come together as Art Schmart. With an eclectic mix of work, they attempt to put a name to the face of emergent concerns and styles of current young artists, an oddly-placed generation within history processing the concerns of the world today.

Choosing work that tries to represent the incipient practices of the current crop of undergraduates, Art Schmart spreads across media and disciplines, creating a platform for young artists to show their work, without having to contend with the agenda of the gallery system.

Featuring work from Kyle Zeto, Ruth Francesca Daniels, Katie Hare, Millie Findlay, Charles Drinkwater, Una Savic, Phoebe Mitchell, Tom Clark, Spike Blake, Tom Campell, Mikael Monchicort, Eleanor Purseglove, Alexander Clarke, Amber Bowie-Lowe, Jessica Sarah Rinland, and Jammie Nicholas.

Swanfield Yard, 2b Swanfield Street London E2
Tuesday 22nd-Tuesday 29th September 12-5pm
Private View Thursday 24th September 6-9pm

Graham Carter's East meets West

By Millie Findlay

While jotta member Graham Carter has been one of the most sought after illustrators in the UK over the last ten years, as one of the founding members of Peepshow Collective, he’s now celebrated for his prolific repertoire of silkscreen prints, which explore childhood fantasy, the animal kingdom and now, a collision of eastern and western culture.

Deer Boy, Quiet Carriage, Ever Red, Seeking Samurai (Click any image to enlarge it)

Graham rediscovered his love of silkscreen printing in 2005 and hasn’t stopped since with a string of successful solo shows across the South East, and exhibiting in galleries throughout the UK. His unique printmaking style has made him one of the most collected printmakers in the UK over last 5 years, with characters and exquisite colour pallets which transport the viewer into a land of robots, giant bears, origami creatures and of course, yeti’s.

What were your main inspirations for the work you have made for your upcoming show?

I’m kind of caught between two phases at the moment. On the one hand I am into retro American culture and design, and on the other, a more Oriental inspired approach.

My desire to visit China/Japan is evident in my work, although it’s more of a fantastical version rather than a true study of their culture. So the show in general is a meld of the two cultures. Like a travel diary

How do you approach your personal work as opposed to your commercial projects?

The excitement factor is at a zero generally when I ‘m working on commercial briefs so I tend to go about things on a robotic level. In some cases I just automatically produce what I think the client wants rather than ‘how I would do it’ - because I know from past experience that they will say, ‘hmmm. We like it, but can it be more like this....?’ So I just cut that stage out to save time.

There is a completely different feeling when I’m producing my own work and I become absorbed in it and quite excited about reaching the end result. I speedily try to get through commissions to give myself time to work on my own ideas, which usually begin life on the page of a sketchbook, scribbled or in a coffee shop while watching the world go by.

How did you come to focus back on your own work, rather than company briefs?

I wanted to give the Brighton Art Fair a go because it looked like a fun thing to do and thought it would be interesting to see how my ‘other’ work went down as it had largely been unseen. Luckily the response was overwhelming so I’ve just carried on from there. Until that point I didn’t realise the print business was such a big thing, so it proved to be great business shift as well as a personal one.

How did you rediscover your love for screenprinting?

Ah it’s always been there and I’ve always kept my hand in even when working for Habitat etc. Wherever I’ve lived I’ve always investigated the local open access print workshops. I’ve tried alternative working methods but always came back to silkscreen. I’ve only scratched the surface really when you consider just how many screen printing methods and surfaces there are to play with, so I should be doing it for a while longer. Investing in my own printing studio was the next natural step for me so I’m lucky enough to be able to immerse myself in it - as long as my back holds itself together!

How did you come to the yeti as a recurrent character?

It’s only really featured in 2 or 3 recent prints but it seems to be a favourite with people. I just enjoy the idea that the Yeti truly exist and are revelling in the fact that no one can find them, and living quite a happy peaceful existence. I produced around 40 yeti clay sculptures for a show at ink-d gallery brighton so I need to wait a while before I revisit Yeti land.

What are you working on at the moment?

Just finished working on a design for a high-end ladies fashions company. They specialise in using artists to design their tops and it’s basically like working on a huge cross-shaped print. Quite a departure from my usual way of working but quite enjoyable towards the end.

Just about to start on a limited edition screen print as part of a group show for ink-d gallery, based on the kissing policemen by Banksy (I maintain I sketched it out first before he produced it – so now my version can finally see the light of day!).


Check out Graham's work on jotta