Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

One to watch:Maureen Gubia

Long have I followed her work via the cream of all geeking out,live journal. I just love her line work and fluid strokes conjuring up a world we all remember as childhood. Sometimes I feel that Im not sure if she is perhaps still a small girl as I steal glimpses into her life through snap shots. I think the photography she posts up is gorgeous and important to the work. Best viewed as an overall experience. 
As well as a solo in her home town Equador she has showed in numeorous group and collective shows internationally and been featured in an extensive list of magazines and art journals including Ny Arts Magazine and online magazine Fecalface.

Words by Chloe Bonfield

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Blessed Are The Cracks That Let The Light In

This week jotta unveils Blessed Are The Cracks That Let The Light In, a group exhibition set to illuminate the best in new artistic talent from The communal areas of The Trafalgar have been transformed into dynamic spaces permeated by the work of nine young artists.


With windows overlooking one of Central London's greatest views, and public spaces that accentuate light and dark, the work chosen from this group of jotta artists complements the design of The Trafalgar through play and manipulation of natural and artificial light and space, creating a fluid and surprising journey.

On approach one is struck first by Carolyn Godsiff's illuminated copper flowers (woven from copper found inside electrical cable), casting intricate shadows across the window, while Bangkokney Belle's illustrated adorns the glass. 
Bompas & Parr's copper sculpture revives the lost art of Victorian jelly moulding and also celebrates a historic London landmark, while down stairs East London's nocturnal face inspired Hana Vojackova's dark photographic fairy tale.

Elsewhere, discover light trails created by human movement that London College of Communication Graphic and Media Design student Andrew McGarity has rendered into moving image.

Light and illusion play vital roles in fine artist Sarah Samantha Jones' sublimely dreamlike imagery, while Nicholas Brooks has layered hundreds of photographs in his contemporary take on classical landscape painting, creating a digital animation that slowly moves though a dark and desolate space.

Christian Alegria's Polaroid photography reveals loose narratives constructed through light, while images shot over several years by Greta Ilieva document her subject, Annabel's, developing relationship with the camera, and indeed the photographer.

From its privileged vantage point beside two of capital's finest galleries, jotta's show will shed light on the next generation of London artists. Open to the public, it runs for six weeks, so make sure you get down there and explore for yourself.


Words by Imogen Eveson





Swap shops are the way of the future, 16.03.09

Bored with your winter wardrobe? Credit crunch crushing your fashion fund?

Then if you are in London, hot-foot it to East London's Favela Chic next Thursday for the latest edition of their infamous Swap-a-rama Razzmatazz and see what you can pillage.

It's a tried and tested formula; the klaxon sounds and you frantically swap your gold spandex boob tube with your neighbour's hot pink Y-fronts (or something of that ilk...) Attendees are advised to wear clothes they don't mind never seeing again, but it's unlikely you'll wind up with a room full of Primark.

In house DJs will dish out a soundtrack of pop, soul and rock 'n' roll as you wreak sartorial havoc on each other.

Words by Imogen eveson

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Birds Eye View

Birds Eye View Film Festival

Kicking off this Thursday March 5th.


Words by Imogen Eveson


Whether you're male or female, feminist or otherwise, it would difficult for anybody to feel indifferent about the stark figure that only 7% of directors are women.

"The statistics are so shocking! 20% would be bad, but seven?!" exclaims Rachel Millward, founder of Birds Eye View, the world's first film festival that supports and celebrates women filmmakers.

Making micro-budget short films with Pinny Grylls led Rachel to the discovery of the galling statistic. "We were very aware of the lack of role models for us - it was really hard at the time to name more than one or 2 female directors. We wanted to create a platform for our peers - to encourage and promote. So we began BEV as a short film event at the end of 2002, then I pushed it forward into a festival for 2005."

Now in its fifth year, Birds Eye View is about to kick off again, with a week's worth of cinematic festivities taking place from the 5th - 13th March between the BFI, ICA and other London venues. The bill encompasses everything from feature length documentaries ("American Teen is a fantastic doc. It's proper laughing-crying entertaining - and heart-wrenching at the same time") to French comedy ("Grown Ups is a gorgeous feature - like reading a brilliant novel - characters you get to love...").With shorts coming in all shapes and sizes, from animation, documentary and drama by both UK and international directors. 
Innovation strand hosts high calibre films from the realms of music and fashion, providing a glimpse into the world of digital advertising. With journalist and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer at the helm, Music Loves Video features the work of rising star Kinga Burza, Ali Taylor and Shelly Love.

Fashion Loves Film director Kathryn Ferguson has cherry-picked some fine sartorial flicks from Katerina Jebb for Givenchy, Sarah Chatfield for YSL, Toyin for Replay and Nick Knight's first assistant, Ruth Hogben.

Screen Seductresses: Vamps, Vixens & Femmes Fatales, is an intriguing event featuring Louise Brooks, Theda Bara, Greta Garbo and Alla Nazimova as the vampish protagonists of six silent films screened with specially commissioned live music from cutting edge female artists, such as Bishi. "I always love the live music - silent film stuff," enthuses Rachel. "Bishi is a phenomenal performer - she seriously kicks ass - I can't wait to see what she does with the film Salome. I imagine it will be hot hot hot."

A festival's focus is remarkable women from developing countries. "We have some amazing women filmmakers visiting for Q&As with their film screenings - from India (Goddesses, part of the Connecting Voices event) and Nigeria (giving us a guided tour of Nollywood), and from Afghanistan too. It's such a special opportunity to learn from women who are cutting it in film in very, very different situations from ours.."

Each year a theme is flagged up and debated at the festival and this time round the hot topic is sex on screen. Director Carine Adler, award-winning porn director Petra Joy, former Erotic Review editor Rowan Pelling, Coco de Mer's Sam Roddick and Mike Figgis will all be on hand for some steamy discussion as to how sex is portrayed in film when a woman takes control.

"I guess the main differences between men and women when approaching sex in film correlate to the differences between men and women when approaching sex in the bedroom," Rachel says. "You only have to watch a few Hollywood sex scenes to figure it's full of magic women who come on thrusting-cue and has very little to do with the clitoris. Watch a film like 'In the Cut' (Jane Campion directed and crucially written by a woman), and you find yourself shocked to see Mark Ruffalo go down on Meg Ryan. I'm no expert, but I don't think that's so unusual in real life, is it?!"


With such a scope and wealth of ideas, it's no surprise that Birds Eye has garnered the support of some famous faces; counting Joanna Lumley, Martha Fiennes and Juliet Stevenson as patrons. The late Anthony Minghella stated in 2005 how 'alarming and odd' it was that 'film is currently the preserve largely of white men.'

If the passionate team behind Birds Eye View have anything to do with it, this is changing. The festival will continue to inspire ideas and confidence in a new generation of female filmmakers and artists, or at the very least, make for a highly enjoyable few days (and nights, lest you forget Friday 13th's closing night party...)

Check out some Birds Eye View on jotta here

And the ful festival programme at

Monday, 2 March 2009

Jack Strange at Timothy Taylor and squashed wasps

Ventriloquism at Timothy Taylor Gallery features a work by Jack Strange, responsible for the Tom Cruise video delight shown at the 'Its a Mess and Probably Irreversible' show this last week.Ventriloquism is a show linking some of the 20th century's great artists alongside new and emerging talent. In this exciting and excellently curated exhibition you can see works by the likes of Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns and Pablo Picasso. The title of the show taken from a Jasper Johns piece, it exhibits works that create symbols and alter ego's to mask the author. Also exploring text and language old and new works hang along side one another in harmony. 

Jack, a graduate of London's Slade School of Art, explores that ever present beauty in the banal, but with a wonderfully captivating twist.  As is evident in his contribution to this show. Definitely making an impression we look forward to seeing what else Jack has up his sleeve.

Also worth a mention is Alistair Mackie at David Roberts. Includes a Dolls house made from 262 compressed wasps and a hornets nest, and a blanket spun from mice fur and bones that Mackie collected from Owl droppings. Nice!

Words by Chloe Bonfield



Ever dreamt of following in the footsteps of the Lynch dynasty? Cineastes are at home with the work of cult American dircetor David Lynch, whose single-minded vision and avante-garde approach to filmmaking has earned him both underground and commercial success with modern classics such as Blue Velvet, Elephant Man and Mulholland Drive.


Words by Imogen Eveson

A talented writer and filmmaker in her own right, Lynch's daughter Jennifer steps out of her father's shadow with her new high-octane thriller, Surveillance. Lynch's first since her controversial directorial debut Boxing Helena fifteen years ago, the film already scooped a bounty of awards, including the top prize at last year's Festival de Cine de Sitges and Best Director at the 2008 New York City Horror Film Festival.

jotta is asking aspiring screenwriters and directors to delve deep into their imagination to come up with a sequel to Surveillance, set for UK release on March 6th. Punters of this exciting and innovative brief will be invited to a special London screening of the film before submitting their treatment.

Julia Ormond and Sam Hallaway play two Federal Officers striving to find some answers to a string of vicious murders that have unfolded in the Santa Fe desert, on 'a highway in this long stretch of nowhere.' Faced with three sets of varying eyewitness stories, they try to methodically unravel the truth, but find the answer lies where they least expect it to; with an eight-year old girl orphaned by the atrocities.

The film comes as a watershed moment for the woman whose 1993 debut provoked a vicious backlash from the press. Boxing Helena told the story of a doctor who amputated the limbs of a shapely neighbour and kept her in a box on the dining room table. A bit too much to take for even the most hardened Lynchonians it seemed. (Although a shock proof Madonna had originally wanted in but was warned by Andrew Lloyd Webber that if she did Boxing Helena, she wouldn't do Evita).

Lynch started early, featuring as a little girl in her dad's own directorial first, Eraserhead, in 1977, and worked as production assistant on 1987's Blue Velvet. Lynch's talent didn't go unnoticed. At just 22, she wrote The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, a spin-off novel to her father's Twin Peaks TV series. It stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for three months and many a young Twin peak fanatics bookshelf. Producing a variety of films in the last few years, Lynch's latest offering Hisss - the tale of an Indian snake charmer - sees her chair both writing and directing roles.


So, if you fancy yourself a successor to the Lynchian throne, or think you can do one better, head over to our Marketplace and upload your CV. You will be notified of the screening date and then it's up to you to get writing. The judging panel will include the director herself and the winner will bag a £500 prize. Treatments should be submitted by email in PDF format to Good luck!


Future of Fantasy

Central Saint Martins MA Fashion Designers light the way to escapism, 26.02.09

When it comes to fashion, London's Central Saint Martins College is in a world of its own. Forget practicality: fantasy's the name of the game. When this year's stellar MA Fashion Design cast aired it's wares on Friday, there was no shortage of imagination. Think wild structural shapes and vibrant colours, billowing silks and plenty of humour. 
jotta caught up with five rising fashion stars in the wake of their catwalk shows to talk life, inspiration and future fashion.

Words by Imogen Eveson


Oden Wilson
Winner of the L'Oreal Professionnel Fashion Design Award
Design inspiration?
Avant-garde proportion and geometrics along with sport and industrial wear. 
Do you feel the recession has affected your designs in anyway?
The recession has given me a great excuse to escape the everyday downs the media have been firing at us, through my collection! It probably wouldn't be half as dramatic if it wasn't for the good old credit crunch! 
There's been questioning recently about the future of the catwalk in the traditional sense, do you haveany views on this?
I still think it is one of the best ways to view clothing and create media hype but I am sure that will change in the future! Virtual shows perhaps, who knows? Downloading your garment purchase in a digital format and taking it to your local 3D printers to print your new jacket! Imagine!


Laura Mackness
How are you feeling after the show? 
Dazed and tired
What is your design inspiration? 
Elsa Schiaparelli and Franco Moschino for the sense of humour employed in their designs; Yves Saint Laurent whilst Yves was still at the helm, for its elegance and sophistication; the unexpectedness of Maison Martin Margiela; Raf Simons' work at Jil Sander for its graphic simplicity.
There's been a lot of doubt over the future of the catwalk, do you have any views on this? 
I don't think that we could ever do without the catwalk and it would be a great shame to loose it. However saying this, catwalk presentations don't always suit everyone's collections and for that reason it is great that people are more open to different ways of presenting a collection now.



Katie Greenwood
What first got you interested in fashion design?
I think possibly I wanted to annoy my parents who would have liked me to become a lawyer. My favourite band was Elastica when I was about fifteen, and I saw a picture of Luella Bartley's first collection, graffiti jackets with Elastica scrawled all over them. I decided it looked like a fun job.
Any highs and lows from studying at Saint Martins?
Highs: When all the security guys on the door started greeting me by my full name every morning. I knew I'd been here too long! Lows: Louise (Wilson) describing me as a dagger in her heart!
Soundtrack to your life right now?
There's a guy called Jim Moray I'm listening to a lot at the moment - he reinterprets forgotten English folk songs using his iphone (honestly it's much better than it sounds!)


David Koma 
Congratulations on winning the Harrods Design Award. How do you feel after the show?
Thank you very much! This award is an immense compliment, the positive feedback is really exciting, and it feels great to see my work being recognised. 
After graduation, what will your next steps be?
For now, I see myself hopefully in London fashion week in September with my own label and show. 
Who would you like to see wearing your clothes?
I usually imagine strong, sexual, confident woman wearing my clothes. For
example - Daphne Guinness, Carine Roitfeld, Monica Bellucci.



Chary Westberg 
What was your inspiration behind the collection?
I was initially set off by a make up ad from the 80s but this later lead me to American painter Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. I wanted the colour to stand out, so the clothes had to be very minimal like the canvases of Newman and Rothko, which is very difficult as it is tempting to put frills everywhere.
Do you feel the recession has affected your designs in anyway?
I don't think it has affected my design work at all. Inside Saint Martins you forget all those things. Fashion at our level should be pure fantasy so allowing one to escape -that is true luxury.
Who would you like to see wear your clothes?
Mia Farrow - Rosemary's Baby era.


Images from left to right - Laura Mackness catwalk, Laura Mackness illustrations, Katie Greenwood illustrations, Katie Greenwood catwalk, David Koma, Chary Westberg, Oden Wilson.

They came, they saw,they drank!

It's A Mess and Most Probably Irreversible private view, 02.03.09


A good portion of London's art afficiandos descended on jotta's humble pop-up gallery on Thursday for what was a roaring success of a private view.

Packing out both levels of the space, people extended al fresco on to the street, while draining us of alcohol several times over.

A crowd gathered around artists Vasco Alvo and Nick D. Roberts as they took to their various homemade 'instruments' to concoct a mesmerising soundscape, those who couldn't fit in had faces pressed to glass.

Downstairs video works were the order of the eve, Faith Millin's dance-off video proved popular and a steady stream of people soaked up Sidsel Christenson's hypnotic projections, while Jack Strange's Tom Cruise montage entertained. The place was abuzz with activity and punters were happy to hang around and lap up the atmosphere.

A big thank you to Five Storey Projects for their hard work and curation.

Words by imogen Eveson