Wednesday, 26 May 2010
I've just completed this video for The Magic Numbers track "Pulse". Unashamedly inspired by singer Romeo Stoddart's love of " Man on A Wire", it takes the idea to an otherworldly place. We shot this at Barking and Dagenham Town Hall believe it or not.
Here's a link to the video on Chillibean. I'll get it up here as soon as I can.
Monday, 5 April 2010
Friday, 2 April 2010
Thursday, 1 April 2010
I'm currently working on a couple of drawing projects, getting back to my art roots. There are a two illustrated books on the go and a little fashion project that I'll be telling you more about soon. One of the book projects is in collaboration with Emiliana Torrini, the brilliant singer who I've worked with a number of times. It's really satisfying to be doing some hands on artwork.
Monday, 8 March 2010
"Heard It All Before", a film I directed for The Weird Girls Project, with Emiliana Torrini's music, just won Best Music Video at Northern Wave International Film Festival Iceland, beating Gus Gus's "Add This Song" and Roots Manuver's "C.R.U.F.F" This is my second award in Iceland, where my mum jokes that I am internationally famous.
The film is based around Emiliana Torrini's track "Heard it All Before" from her album "Me and Armini" and features The Weird Girls as gorgeous glittering mermaids. It was shot on a shoestring outside Reykjavik and makes up Episode 6 of the wonderful Weird Girls series masterminded by Kitty Von Sometime. Although the film takes a music video style format, it had none of the budget or industry backing of a music video, but was created totally independently, with Emiliana and Rough Trade's permission, but without their intervention. It was purely a labour of love. It was edited by the fantastic Julia Knight, using the facilities at Trim Editing. Back in October 2008, I documented the Weird Girls shoot on this blog.
My first Icelandic award in 2006 was for "Sunnyroad", also for Emiliana, which won The Icelandic Music Awards beating Sigur Ros.
This is the Weird Girls Site, run by Kitty:
Sunnyroad- Winner of Icelandic Music Awards, Best Video 2006
There's nothing better than a museum crammed with artistic treasures to fire up the creative furnace. In a city that continues to thrive on consumerism, recession or not, it's great that there are still so many havens of brilliance and beauty available to anyone who takes the time to look. And London's museums, while being some of the best in the world, don't cost the earth every time we visit them (financially or environmentally.) In fact, a great many of them are free.
Most importantly though, I believe we all need some inspiration, whether we are artists or not. Trying to create without having feasted our eyes on some of the most brilliant art in history is a bit like trying to make a delicious meal when you've never tasted one. You have no point of reference. We all need to create; from choosing a wallpaper, to bringing up our children; life presents us with a constant creative challenge. We need an armory. Trying to make sense of the world, and developing the ability to screen out the mundane (gas bills, house prices, Ant and Dec, Piers Morgan, health gurus, people who talk about their shares in public etc), is harder without cultural capital. Art isn't reserved for the upper and middle classes anymore, it's available to everyone. At the very least it makes us feel better.
Having a young baby means I spend a lot of time walking around, pram pointed in the direction of adventure. Inexpensive adventure. After a while pounding the streets becomes monotonous, not to mention dirty. My baby is too young to care whether or not we are attending "Monkey Music" or "Tactile Soft Play" down the community centre. ( And I certainly lack the sweet tempered patience to tag along and nibble biscuits in a drab collective bound together only be reproductive success. I'll save that until she goes to school.) So for now she might as well babble and coo from her pram, gnawing on a museum guide, while her mother hones her artistic noggin, a heritage she will one day inherit.
Some of My Favourite London Museums and Galleries
The British Museum- http://www.britishmuseum.org/
Geffrey Museum- http://www.geffrye-museum.org.uk/
The National Gallery- http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/
The Wallace Collection- http://www.wallacecollection.org/Sir John Soane's Museum- http://www.soane.org/
V& A- http://www.vam.ac.uk/
Whitechapel Gallery- http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/
(Most of the collections are free in all of the above, with special temporary exhibitions requiring tickets.)
Design Museum- (£8.50/ 6.50 concessions/ 5 students ) http://designmuseum.org/
Aimé-Jules Dalou- Peasant Woman Nursing a Baby 1873- V&A Museum
Iris's reaction to above sculpture.
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
I love finding a good drawing spot when I'm out and about. It has to be somewhere I can ensconce for an hour or so with my sketchbook and my daughter. People watching is an inspiration, and a long slow coffee oils the imagination.
Saturday, 13 February 2010
I've just bought a secondhand drawing board. I'm delighted, inspired and content. But is this a good thing? One of the old cliches of art is that the artist should be unhappy. Lautrec, Blake, Bacon, Hopper, all miserable, all great artists. And there are countless others. So will all this happiness get in the way of my art?
A friend recently poo pooed happinesss altogether when, in response to her stuggle with a Januray diet, I fobbed her off with the common platitude "Well as long as your happy..." Happiness is bullshit," she said "Read Barbara Ehrenreich." I didn't, and I'm still feeling fine.
Happiness aside, I need somewhere to work. Virginia Woolf famously wrote that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Acquiring the drawing board is my equivalent. The territory isn't just physical, it's mind space amidst washing up and unfinished jobs, soul room away from to-do-lists, a space I can escape into. It's also somewhere slopey where nobody can put their laptop, car keys or cup of tea down.
What if misery does make better art? Does happy have to care?
Friday, 5 February 2010
It sounds like a surreal game of Cluedo, but it's actually more fun than that.
I've lined the shower with cardboard boxes, blankets and duvets, and I'm sitting in the dark with a cabbage, a biscuit tin, a feather duster, two bottles of lemonade, a pair of gloves, a wet newspaper and some gravel. And I haven't just become desperate for cheap Friday night entertainment; I'm recording Foley for my new short film.
The art of recording natural and incidental sound for film is named after Jack Foley who was instrumental in developing the art in the 1920s. Well known Foley techniques include using coconut shells to create the sound of horses hooves, wet newspaper to make squishy sounds, and crinkling cellophane to make the sound of fire. In practice you just have to experiment with numerous things until you find sounds that fit your film, which may or may not have horses in it.
More info on Foley here:
Monday, 1 February 2010
My new film, working titled The Dangers of Damp, is now in post production. I'm extremely excited to have lined up the gifted Owen Oppenheimer as editor. Check out Owen's work here. He's a real talent.
Shot in Martha's Vineyard Massachusetts last summer, the film was temporarily on hold while I had baby Iris. (I'm hoping to sneak her a cameo role though.)
Interesting fact of the day is that Marthat's vineyard used to have a large deaf community in the 18th and 19th centuries, due to prevalent hereditary deafness traceable back to an English bloodline. It even boasted it's own widely spoken language, Martha's Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL). More info on that here:
I intend to have a subtitled version of the film as a tribute to the Vineyard's history, and so that all English speaking deaf people can enjoy the film.
Friday, 29 January 2010
All it took was a fresh bagel, a cycling granny in a purple hat, a grown man in shorts at Spitalfields city farm, a sunny day, and a swift dash down Brick Lane warning buskers about the oncoming fuzz, and I was in love again.
Shoreditch I'm sorry. I didn't mean those terrible things I said.
If you want to get to know Shoreditch you could start here.
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Today is lacklustre, dotted in sick puddles and bereft. Just bereft. Yesterday was the official most depressing day of the year. Shoreditch is hungover, and it hasn't slept since Saturday. Last night's broken car windows have lost their diamond shimmer. Queen Victoria sits on a policeman's face in Hackney Road committed to canvas by last decade's next big thing.
The asymmetric fashion clones cling to Shoreditch High Street like maudlin limpets with heavy fringes. They are knock-off pirate boots and mock depression, each trying to anti-fashion the others to shame. Faux-Westwood ideologies swathed in black- on-black layers. They haven't slept since Saturday, and they wish, they really wished they were anywhere else. They wish they understood Huxley. But photographing stranger's outfits for an anti-fashion blog with have to do. The pretty one is golden-bored, she makes the others puke inside, hating their own gaudy joie-de vive. They try to match her sublime ennui but Bethnal Green Road sneers back. It is useless.
Shoreditch High Street is shit for prams. No make-up, bad hair-day. E1mum is stressed out and sweaty. One of the clones snorts a half-laugh at her Ugg Boots. Fuck them. LO hasn't slept for days and HD is sleeping in the other room. Probably the change of routine has messed DD up. Does anyone have the answer? FYI Not slept since saturday LOL. It's a mare.
Doodle-Bug Boy thinks it's nineteen forty -fucking-five. He is tweed, is spats, is high waisted ebay trousers and a leather satchel. Wavering down Charlotte street in a ribbon of contrived fluidity he fancies he's being louche. A dirty-stop-out on a Tuesday morning. He hasn't slept since Saturday. How decadent! At the crossing E1 mum catches him looking at his i-phone. His Blitz cover is momentarily blown. He replaces it, pocket-watch-smart, in the breast of his original British Army Despatch Riders Coat. He'll be spinning shellac tonight in Hoxton Square. Ducky.
Fashion man is long-gone-forty, and ketamin is keeping him alive. He once invented some really hot trainers for Nike, but now he's flying solo. Clingers and waddya-dos hang to the outside of his shop pretending they can afford stuff, pretending they can help out at the next runway show. He taxes fags off them, and then breaks eye contact . He talks to Boy George on the phone until they piss off looking neutered. He hasn't slept since Saturday, it's the only fucking way to work.
There's a vase of water in reception at the design agency. It's all about going back to basics. Reception girl clatters back to her desk in important heels. She hasn't slept since Saturday. Who says there's a law saying you have to have flowers in a vase? You've got to think outside the box. It's all about reinventing perception.
Shoreditch is hungover, and it hasn't slept since Saturday. Today I hate Shoreditch.