Arts

The South Coast Creative Paradise You’ve Not Heard About

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Hastings conjures up images of pebbled shores, crumbling beach huts and hen nights. Equal part old, equal part young, it is the home of youngsters in Vauxhall Corsas and OAP’s ambling along the pier. In many ways, it has the feeling of a town, which belongs to a by-gone era of England. A forgotten epoch when the great British summertime was in full swing – a pre-costa-del-sol age when the beaches where choc-a-block with holidaymakers and buckets and spades. Read more on i-D…

Transgender Day of Visibility: Bethany Black on Doctor Who, stand-up, transitioning and depression

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Self-styled as “Britain’s only goth, lesbian, transsexual stand-up comedian”, Bethany Black has been privy to more pigeonholes than hot dinners. Ignited by a droll, razor-sharp sense of humour, Black sees the funny side in funny side in, well, everything. Known for her roles in Doctor Who and Channel Four drama Cucumber, the 37-year-old was the first openly trans person to star as a trans person in a television series in the UK. It hasn’t been all plain sailing. Born in Chorley, Black went from doing data entry to getting sacked from 14 day-jobs in the space of a year to becoming one of the leading trans actors in British history. Read more on The Independent…

Jessi Slaughter on becoming a meme and falling victim to trolls after infamous YouTube video

screen_shot_2016-03-30_at_12.17.19.pngAt the age of 11, Jessi Slaughter was thrust headfirst into the callous and unforgiving world of the internet. In a turn of events wholly out of Slaughter’s control, in 2010 the Florida teenager became an accidental overnight internet celebrity, but the most unfortunate kind imaginable. A YouTube video, which amassed more than a million views in the space of a few weeks, shows Slaughter sobbing while their father, Gene Leonhardt, yells at the camera in an attempt to stop trolls from contacting his child. Read more on The Independent…

David Baddiel On Family, Jeremy Corbyn, Trolls, and Dealing With Grief

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From being voted the “World’s 6th Sexiest Jew” to becoming the first comedian to sell out Wembley arena, David Baddiel has certainly had his fair share of success. But it’s not just his droll wit which he is famed for. In recent years, the Fantasy Footballpresenter has moved away from his well-trodden terrain of comedy and has just finished filming his latest series, On The Silk RoadThe Independent spoke to Baddiel about his new series, family life, Jeremy Corbyn, Twitter trolls and the cathartic nature of comedy. Here are some of the highlights. Read more on The Independent…

Baroness Shirley Williams: The Prime Minister Britain Deserved

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Once forecast to become Britain’s first female prime minister, Dame Shirley Williams is one of the leading politicians of her generation. A definitive political figure, the 85-year-old politician has helped shape British social democracy as we now know it. When she wasn’t busy co-founding the Liberal Democrat party, Williams was pushing through legislation to abolish capital punishment and hurling punches at an unruly anti-colonial rally in Nyasaland. Widely revered as a strong and fiercely independent woman, Williams fought and overcame sexism throughout her political career. Read more on The Independent…

 

Men And Their Complex Relationship To Fashion

men-and-their-complex-relationship-to-fashion-1450263764Amongst men, there is a definite culture of one-upmanship for specialty lines and one-of-a-kind holy-grail pieces. Like champagne connoisseurs or trainspotters, when men are into fashion, they tend to take it to extremes. The most zealous manifestation of this has to be the ‘hypebeast’, a pejorative label, which refers to the person – nearly all of them are men – who spends the cold grueling night queuing for a trainer convention. While these men might look a whole lot hipper than the ones you’d find outside a Comic Con, there are unmistakable parallels to be drawn. Just like manga enthusiasts, Supreme groupies from Shibuya worship what are essentially pieces of ‘kit’. Fabric gadgets. Read more on i-D…

Photographing Ten Years Of Bootleg Burberry

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From a young age, I always had a weakness for Burberry. The supple scarves, the nova check scrunchies, the child-sized handbags were all a daily presence in my life. All fake of course, because the Burberry check is the most copied print in fashion. Instantly recognizable, the beige, black, red and white tartan has been replicated, counterfeited and customized around the globe, much to the brand’s disdain. Burberry moved from a stuffy symbol of high-end luxury to a lazy emblem for “Chav Couture” and football hooligan culture. Read more on i-D…

 

Who Is The Artist Working Closely With Rihanna?1144967

After much anticipation, Rihanna has released the artwork for her eighth album Anti. Well worth the three-year wait, the sleeve is the work of Israeli-born visual artist and painter Roy Nachum. Bathed in a mist of crimson paint, the album cover features an image of a young Rihanna clasping a black balloon with a metallic gold crown obscuring her eyes. “This is me as a little girl,” RiRi explains, gesturing at the photo of herself at her first day of daycare. A world away from anything she has released previously, the entire album is inscribed with a Chloe Mitchell poem written in braille. In Rihanna’s own words, “The whole idea behind the braille is that people who have sight are sometimes the people who are blindest.” But who is the man behind Rihanna’s “favourite album cover” of her career, and where did he and Rihanna first cross paths? Read more on Dazed & Confused…

 

James Franco Interview

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Renaissance man and Hollywood maverick, James Franco, has gone from A-List actor to director, grad student, teacher, poet, musician, sex icon and now artist. A performer who can play both stoner and rogue with equal conviction, the 36-year-old is a man of many masks. Returning to school in 2006 as an English major at UCLA, the erudite actor takes his studies very seriously – he even missed the 2011 Academy Award nominee announcements (despite being a favourite) in order to attend classes. Now weeks away from completing a PhD in English literature, it’s clear that this Hollywood intellectual can’t get enough. As he prepares to launch his latest series of paintings, in an exhibition titled Fat Squirrel, we meet our December 2013 cover star at the Siegfried Contemporary Private Showroom in West London to find out more. Read more on Dazed & Confused…

 

How to cut up Kendall Jenner

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Doug Abraham, the man who turned Ben Toms’ Kendall Jenner covers into one mashed-up, glitched-out masterpiece, is no stranger to the magic of collage. The acclaimed Instagram artist – best known for his surreal photomontages of iconic fashion campaigns and models – has accrued 57k Instagram fans since March, and earlier this year was nominated for the CFDA Instagramer of the Year award. His eccentric style appropriates and subverts high-end fashion with a pop culture clash of sci-fi, porn and horror. Having previously taken his blade to the body parts of Kate Moss, Abraham moved onto our winter 2014 cover star Jenner, the 19-year-old reality TV fixture-turned-supermodel who is taking her millions of followers worldwide on a high-fashion ride. Read more on Dazed & Confused…

 

All Female Art Collective stage naked skinny dip

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In a world fixated on physical appearance, especially on women’s, it can often feel like everywhere we look we are inundated with airbrushed images of the female form. Happy In My Skin – an ongoing project by Cardiff-based visual photographer Leah Crossley and performer Hazel Anderson – hopes to shatter this illusion with their dream-like imagery, capturing women of all ages, shapes and sizes. United by their work as body activists, the pair invited 50 women to take part in an all-female skinny dip, an idea born out of a previous impromptu nude swim with Seatown Ladies, an all female theatre collective that Anderson was involved with. During the trip, Anderson found that some women were uncomfortable participating – a concern which only fuelled her fire for the project. Read more on Dazed & Confused…

 

These two artists bare all on London Bridge billboard

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Forget Guy Fawkes’ endeavors to burn down Parliament; the fifth of November may be better remembered for this risque billboard-sized image unveiled this morning on London Bridge, featuring Brooklyn-based artists Dan Colen and Kalup Linzy kissing in the buff. Embracing each other in front of the Statue of Liberty, the two male artists say they “feel it is our birthright to love without oppression or racism, things that have historically separated us”. “I think Kalup and I had a synchronised, inspired moment,” Colen adds. The image hopes to disrupt familiar issues of identity politics and instead represent romance in its rawest, most rudimentary form. Read more on Dazed & Confused…

 

Tap into the psychedelic funk of Portugal’s best kept secret

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After a six year wait, Lisbon-based four-piece Gala Drop are about to release their second album. With their nü-Balearica vibe, the band aren’t easily pigeonholed, offering up a sound that easily transcends any singular distinct musical genre. And although previously collaborating with techno mavericks Theo Parrish, Funkadelic and Parliament, the Portuguese collective are now doing their own thing. Their pulsating psychedelic funk at the forefront of the Lisbon scene – one that has been likened to that of Detroit’s own. Read more on Dazed & Confused…

Spoek Mathambo and DJ Spoko’s band is totally amazing

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Dubbed the prince of Township Tech, Spoek Mathambo is at the forefront of South Africa’s electronic music scene. Mixing the underground sounds of UK grime, dubstep and punk with Johannesburg’s very own South African house music, Mathambo crafted Township Tech. Since gaining popularity in Britain with his cover of Joy Division’s “She Lost Control”, Pretoria’s pounding ‘Bacardi House’ beats and shakey synths have taken of. Read more on Dazed & Confused…

 

What if Sid from Toy Story made art?

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At first glance, Disturbing Innocence looks to be a ramshackle collection of discarded dolls, toys and mannequins, but at a closer look, it is far more sinister. Like a nightmare in which all your toys have come to life, the beheaded dolls, mummified Barbies and ashen-black newborns reveal a dark, twisted innocence. Curated by Eric Fischl, the exhibition is inspired by his own upbringing in the far reaches of Port Washington, Long Island. Haunted by suburbia, the paintings of eerie cul-de-sacs, neatly trimmed hedgerows and tautly pulled curtains are reminiscent of Pleasantville. Read more on Dazed & Confused…

 

The Four Aces Club Was The Jewel in Dalston’s Crown

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Sitting in Starbucks cafe in Dalston Square, it is hard to believe that this was once the site of the legendary The Four Aces club. Commonly referred to as “The Jewel in Dalston’s crown”, The Four Aces was home to some of the most influential black music to date. Newton Dunbar, the man who ran the club for 33 years, pours 5 sweeteners into his nude espresso and reels off the names of the artists who performed at the club: The Prodigy, Madness, Bob Marley, Kenny Ken, DJ Hype, Desmond Dekker, The Upsetters, Billy Ocean. Read more on Vice – Thump…

 

Be carefree not careless with Weekday’s condom range

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Ever wondered what to keep in the fifth pocket of your jeans? Weekday and RFSU have come up with the perfect pocket-sized solution. By joining forces with the RFSU (the Swedish Association for Sexuality and Education), Weekday have created a condom range. In order to shed the stigma attached to buying condoms, the Swedish fashion brand say they hope “to become a place where our customers can feel comfortable buying condoms.” Rather than being embarrassed of buying johnnies, Weekday hope to make the act as routine and commonplace as buying a pair of jeans. Read more on Dazed & Confused…

Giant gorilla statue made of spoons unveiled for Uri Geller

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A gigantic gorilla statue made of spoons for the entertainer Uri Geller has been unveiled by Prince Michael of Kent. After five months of building, the final 12 ft statue is made from 40,000 spoons which were donated from across the world and local schools. Cutlery has travelled all the way from China, India, Kenya, Armenia and Tahiti to the British Ironworks Centre in Oswestry where the statue is displayed. Read more on The Independent…

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My Stuff – review

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Like many of us, Petri Luukainen had too much stuff. But unlike many of us, he decided to put everything he owned into storage for a year. In doing so, he embarked on an exciting ‘human experiment’ which he chose to film. The end result is My Stuff, a Finnish docudrama based on the bizarre personal experiences of the director himself, Petri Luukainen. Read more on East End Review…

 

Painting the past in Another Country exhibition

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Another Country is the first exhibition to be held at The Nunnery, a new contemporary gallery located a stone’s throw from the Olympic Park. Since opening its doors in January, The Nunnery has showcased the work of two highly acclaimed, award-winning artists Cara Nahaul and Matthew Krishanu. These artists have come together to explore the themes of travel, dislocation and memory. They both use photographs from their childhood as starting points for their artwork. While Krishanu uses photos from his own childhood in India as inspiration, Nahaul uses photographs of her grandparents in Malaysia. Read more on East End Review…

 

Chiwetel Ejiofor tipped as James Bond’s next arch-nemesis

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Forget 007’s lovers, his boss M or even gadget expert extraordinaire Q; everyone knows there is only one true co-star in each James Bond movie: his arch-nemesis. That’s how Goldfinger, Dr No, Blofeld and Le Chiffre, the most memorable Bond villains, have become almost as treasured in British film culture as the great spy himself. That makes landing the coveted role a very big deal for the actor in question. That man, industry reports insist, is Chiwetel Ejiofor, the Oscar-nominated star of 12 Years a Slave. Read more on The Independent…

 

Damien Hirst discusses early days of career at Goldsmiths

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Internationally renowned artist and former Goldsmiths student, Damien Hirst, has returned to Goldsmiths to discuss the early stages of his career. Known for his attention-grabbing artwork, Hirst has shocked the art world with his diamond encrusted dead baby’s skull, pickled sheep and dissected sharks. After gaining notoriety for floating dead animals in liquid formaldehyde, Hirst said, “I just wanted to find out where the boundaries were but I’ve found out there aren’t any.” On his return to Goldsmiths, Hirst reminisces about his advent onto the British art scene in the 90s. Read more on EastLondonLines…

Lucky Me opens its doors in Hackney Wick

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Two prominent local artists have come together to create an art space dedicated to live art and music in the heart of Hackney Wick. The venue is called Lucky Me and will showcase an eclectic range of events, from performance art to poetry, music, dance, live visuals and film throughout its six month residency. Sophie Nathan, who runs the space with fellow artist Eduard Solaz, said: “Lucky Me is an art project that creates spaces for people to hang out, get comfy and learn a little something from each other. “We feel there is a lack of truly experimental and open arts venues and Lucky Me hopes to confront this gap. It is a truly unique event space unlike any other in London.” Read more on Hackney Citizen…

 

London Feminist Film Festival

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The London Feminist Film Festival will return to Hackney next month for its second year with a programme of feminist films past and present. The festival has quickly gained prominence, and this year received over twice as many submissions as it did for its first year. It was launched as a response to the under representation of women within the film industry – only seven of the BFI’s top 250 films were directed by women. Because of this, the festival aims to provide a platform for women behind -and in front of- the camera. Read more on Hackney Citizen…

 

Independent Theatre Council reaches out in Deptford

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Key figures from the arts came together on Monday to discuss the future direction of the arts during the annual general meeting of the Independent Theatre Council (ITC). The Reaching Out Conference, held at The Albany theatre and community arts hub in Deptford, featured an eclectic range of guests involved in drama, opera, dance, mime, puppetry, circus and street arts. The conference included talks from Alan Davey, chief executive of the Arts Council, Neil Webb from the British Council and Topher Campbell, theatre director of Red Room. Read more on EastLondonLines…

 

Ida Pollock: a romance is never just a romance

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Lewisham-born, Ida Pollock, the world’s oldest romantic novelist died at the age of 105 last Tuesday. Writing under a dozen pen names, including Anita Charles, Averil Ives and Marguerite Bell, Pollock was the author of over 120 books, selling millions of copies throughout her 90-year career. The centenarian continued to write ‘bodice-rippers’ until the last years of her life by dictating stories to her 70-year-old daughter, Rosemary Pollock, at their secluded home in Lanreath, Cornwall. Read more on EastLondonLines…

Chick Cheek: exhibition shows idea that girls aren’t funny is a joke

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Humorous and controversial artwork by an exclusively female cast of established artists is on show at the A-Side B-Side Gallery in Hackney Downs Studios until the end of next month. Long-awaited exhibition Girl’s Aren’t Funny is an explicit attempt to challenge the long-held view that women “aren’t as funny as men”, a statement made by famed feminist thinker Germaine Greer in a television show in 2009. Tinsel Edwards, the show’s curator, says that although all the artists featured are self-proclaimed feminists, the exhibition is not intended to be focused on purely feminist issues. “Instead our priority is genuine humour,” she adds. The show has certainly succeeded in achieving this goal. Read more on Hackney Citizen…

Tales of the Unexpected at Transition Gallery

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When one of the curators of an art show describes the exhibitors as “bad painters”, things would seem to have come to a pretty pass. But in fact the term refers to a school of painters who are “knowingly and consciously trying to paint in a mad way,” according to Cathy Lomax, co-curator and director of the Transition Gallery, based just off Broadway Market. Intriguing pieces by ”outsider artists” – another term that is very much open to interpretation but can be used to mean artists who may be marginalised or are trying to challenge the status quo – are also on show at the ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ exhibition next month. The show seeks to challenge conventional forms of art by disrupting the line between good and bad taste. Read more on Hackney Citizen…

Discover joys of London’s ‘hidden’ New River at festival

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The 400th birthday of an undiscovered waterway will be celebrated at an event featuring an eclectic range of live music, comedy, theatre, food and wildlife walks. The New River, a historic watercourse that stretches from Hertfordshire to central London and flows through north-western Hackney, is often overlooked and remains invisible to most. But as part of the Hidden River Festival this Sunday people will be able to get rare glimpses of it. Marc McKenna, a member of the festival’s organising committee, said: “People who have lived in the area for over thirty years remain unaware of the river’s existence and its fascinating history”. Read more on Hackney Citizen…

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