Notes to Strangers : Browns, Shoreditch

I see these notes around London on my daily commute and follow @notestostrangers on instagram, so when I saw that Browns, East were collaborating with street artist Andy Leek, I thought i'd check it out!

It was a beautiful, fun and happy installation in the entrance-way to this cool designer store. I love the messages and felt fully cheered up and spurred on by the sentiments!

Weekly Art Fix : Arthur Jafa

Arthur Jafa: A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions

What a great exhibition. Bright / Dark / Positive / Moody. I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition. Wearing headphones you walk through the zones of this gallery looking at random and powerful images curated by Jafa against a backdrop of sounds, music and dialogue. Seriously emotive and interactive. I enjoyed sitting in the dark room watching the films which seemed again to be so random yet curated. Jafa challenges and questions prevailing assumptions society makes about race and class.

Taking a Stand : Grenfell

After the Grenfell fire I felt so sad and helpless. Sitting safe at home, watching the news while the fire raged on, there was nothing I could do but pray for those families who lost everything in that blazing inferno. It was incomprehensible how these people could be so neglected that we were left to watch in sadness as the fire was finally extinguished and then watch again in utter disbelief the stories that started coming from survivors and firemen. 

I was moved to make a sign and get out there and use my voice to protest at Kensington and Chelsea town hall. The people there needed my sign I thought... who would have time to have sorted graphics in such a short space of time? I'm glad I did as there were not many visible signs... there were a lot of very (rightfully) angry people being glared at by the press and their unforgiving cameras. The council were not opening up their doors so I also wanted them, up there in their safe towers to see and read that we the people demand justice for the Grenfell victims.

I was photographed, quoted and filmed by many press organisations. I ended up being one of many voices of protest - I really wanted to articulate the disgust and dismay that many of us are feeling. I felt I had to stand for what I believed in there and then. We all do. We owe it to our communities.

We are London.
We are Strong.

Click link below to view video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-london-40239008?ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=twitter&ns_campaign=bbc_live&ns_linkname=59440435e4b06d5de2effd00%26%27This%20isn%27t%20a%20natural%20disaster.%20This%20is%20here%20in%20London.%20It%27s%20disgusting%27%26&ns_fee=0#post_59440435e4b06d5de2effd00

Click link below to view video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-london-40239008?ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=twitter&ns_campaign=bbc_live&ns_linkname=59440435e4b06d5de2effd00%26%27This%20isn%27t%20a%20natural%20disaster.%20This%20is%20here%20in%20London.%20It%27s%20disgusting%27%26&ns_fee=0#post_59440435e4b06d5de2effd00

As artists and creatives perhaps now is the time to take a stand for our beliefs? This was spotted in Crystal Palace by artist Artful_Dodger_01.

arfuldodger_01_grenfell

Women March on London

Saturday 21st January 2017

On Trump's first day of presidency women all around the world marched in protest against him.

London came out in full force and with it some great banners with various protest messages. I went with some friends and made a banner which spoke of my views about trump as a racist and sexist. A protest is just that - an opportunity to say your piece and to represent. The march was positive and brought a sense of unity to us women, we are not and never will be aligned on all our views, but surely it's a positive step in the right direction to stand together and speak your mind.

This is a collection of some of the banners from the day that caught my eye.

HATCH : Talawa Theatre Company

This summer I was introduced to the amazing team at Talawa theatre to help with promotions for their TYPT:16 production of HATCH.

This was a very different design brief! Our first meeting was an open ideas session where everyone who was to be involved in the production met for the first time to develop an idea for the production. No name, concept or script existed at this stage, all ideas were welcome. Such a refreshing way of starting a project! It was an invigorating and lively meeting which left me quite excited as to what I could produce for the graphics.

I gave lots of graphical options for the theme, but the directors were drawn to the more photographic routes which required some quick thinking. I was obsessed by doorways and hatches and everywhere I looked could see some kind of hidden entrance or exit along my daily travels. In the end I found the perfect 'hatch' in Brixton. An old doorway off the high street which genuinely looked as if it was some kind of barrier to a hidden life behind its locked doors.

The other amazing thing that happened was that I got to work with the props team in creating some props for the show. I've always wondered who and how sets are created and this was my first opportunity to get involved. I had a brilliant few days at Talawa painting protest banners, making a police shield and a few other small items. 

The best thing about this whole experience was seeing that after having left the corporate design world there are so many opportunities out there working for other creative people and that my skills and knowledge are easy transferrable! Good stuff. 

Thank you Talawa for the opportunity to work with such vibrant and creative people!

 

Some links about Hatch and Talawa:

View the Hatch website: https://talawablog.wordpress.com/typt16/?p=typt

View a trailer for Hatch: https://youtu.be/7kYJdXsrCps

http://whatsonafrica.org/5-things-loved-hatch/

Brixton Design Trail - Countdown

For as long as it has been going - I've always enjoyed London Design Week. A great opportunity to get out from the office and hit the streets to see what cool design agencies put out as part of the festival. Having been based in Shoreditch for a number of years, the Clerkenwell design festival and Truman Brewery have been the spots to check out. But this year Brixton is in the mix! 

Big up Brixton! We are now on the design festival map... created by myself of course lol! 

I've been fortunate to work alongside Brixton Design trail and Rocketship Digital on a few items for Brixton Design Trail and I'm very excited to see the map published in the Brixton Bugle.

Visit the website for more information: www.brixtondesigntrail.com

Download the map here

Art Class Update : Week 5 - Printmaking

Linocut Printmaking

Oh what fun. I remember linocut printing from school art classes. Loved it then and I do now again! Such instant satisfaction of seeing a mark you've made appear boldly on a crisp white sheet of paper rolling through the old fashioned big wheel press.

I decided this week to explore another of my regular doodles - circles and triangles. I love the relationship between the shapes as they cross over and create new forms. I think the linocut is a great way to explore these geometric shapes using a quite free handed process.

Art Class Update : Week 2

Week 2 at the Art Academy in London bridge.

This week felt a lot more fast pace... The sculpture needed to be completed by the end of the session as next week we'll have a new challenge!

I found myself again really enjoying working with clay. This week I had to refine the body I had started to mould last week. 'Make the legs and arms less sausage like' was the advice lol! I also had to try and mould the face - she looks a bit scary and modernist now!

 It is really interested how working with clay to build the human form really gets your brain wired into thinking in 3D rather than the 2D world of graphic design. You really start to appreciate the structure of the human form and observe the details of the body's muscle and bone from all angles. I am hoping this will help with my sketching and painting when we move on from clay in a few weeks.

Weekly Art Fix : Making & Unmaking

This week's art fix comes from the Camden Arts Centre on Finchley Road. Inside this Victorian fronted building which doesn't look like much from the outside is a modern and bright space which was refurbished in 2004 by Tony Fretton Architects. The light modern airy space inside contrasts with the smoggy Finchley Road outside. It has a lovely garden space, cafe and bookshop and is free to visit! 

Making & Unmaking is a curated exhibition by the designer Duro Olowu. It features over 60 different artists who have all been selected by Olowu. Art, design, photography, jewellery, sculptures, fabrics and ceramics are all exhibited in an inspiring and colourful display which feels like a beautiful slice of inspiration from Olowu himself.

I found the exhibition really inspiring and it made me think of the inspiration that I have here in my family home. We were not allowed to take photographs as a number of the artworks are from private collections so I have taken some pictures of artwork around my family home which reflects some of the themes seen in the exhibition. Photos above are from the Camden Arts Centre website. Photo credit: Mark Blower.

Lisa from #blackbritishart advised me that I need to 'just do you' so thanks for the great art fix this week! 

Art Class Update

Summer is here and i've started an art class at the Art Academy in London Bridge. Oh what fun! Having met Saskia Gall in India at the art retreat I thought i'd expand my art learning in London where she is teaching this summer and have some fun creating something new! 

Week 1 - Sculpture

The last time I worked with clay I was probably about 10 years old at Clapham Pool where we did pottery every saturday morning. I loved it then and think i'm now realising that I still do... I was late for the first class (bloody typical!) so had to shamelessly interrupt the intro session as I walked in. It's a class full of women and one man! Do men not do art classes mid week then? No problemo as I'm here to learn and express my creativity not to look for a potential date (lol). 

I loved the first class and was surprised at my starter effort - I was quite pleased with myself and here is the result of week 1. I will continue to update with each weeks art efforts! Ciao x

Weekly Art Fix : Jeff Koons

In an effort to stimulate my creativity and to take advantage of the vast amount of accessible art around us in London (and the world) I have decided to make this a new feature of my week and blog.

This week I visited the Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall, London. The gallery is owned by Damien Hirst and is part of the regeneration and re imagining of Vauxhall from an old and sightly forgotten part of central south London to this clean cut, arty zone with contrasting old buildings and swish sharp lines of modern London architecture. The gallery is lovely, beautifully designed inside and out and it's FREE!!!! 

The exhibition : Jeff Koons - Now

Time Out Bar Awards : Matugga Rum

Coming home from 4 months of travel to receive an invitation to the Time Out Bar Awards was a nice touch! It is really encouraging and satisfying seeing designs you have personally developed from the start being served in top London locations. 

Matugga Rum was created just over a year ago by good friends Jacine and Paul Rutasikwa. Working together with Errol Donald we created a brand to reflect the British rum with an African soul.

Photo credit www.davidtett.com/timeoutbarawards2016

Photo credit www.davidtett.com/timeoutbarawards2016

The awards were held at the awesome Rumpus Room at the Mondrian, London. I absolutely love the interior of the space and the roof top views are great.

www.matuggarum.com