India Rose

“I hate anything that limits my creativity.”– India Rose

With an obsession for trainers, photography and anything from Wang’s collections, no wonder India Rose’s 90’s influenced style has created such a buzz in the fashion blogging world. Fashion student India created her blogspot site when her college tutor encouraged her to launch a blog to discuss her interests and begin her very own photography portfolio online.

 “I stopped it for a while, as I didn’t really feel passionate about it once I gained a place at Nottingham Trent, but then something spurred me on to start it again. I can’t remember what, but whatever it was I’m thankful for it”

India has taken a fresh and distinct look on the androgynous style that has captured the attention of young bloggers and independent retailers, making her online presence grow and grow. I asked India to explain her style and where the inspiration comes from;

 “Everywhere really. Most of my friends are male, so I take a lot of inspiration from them and apply it to my own wardrobe. I like the way their style looks effortless, but yet it just kind of works. It’s also heavily based on durability and comfort. I like that. I also find inspiration from blogs, people I see on the street, music, art, old movies. Basically whatever I like the look of.

 I think it’s important to take inspiration from things that aren’t directly related to you or what you know, as you’d be surprised at the way you interpret the unknown. I was also interested to know if British styles and era’s inspire India’s style in any form. “It’s a difficult one to answer, because I just wear what I like. I suppose right now, whether I’m conscious of it or not, the raw aesthetic of the 90s has filtered into my style. My look is never overly polished, and I like things to look a little worn in. I suppose that’s quite British.”

The fashion communication and promotional student has a lot of exciting new projects and collaborations in the pipeline after graduating in July.

 “I can’t see myself working a 9-5 for the rest of my life, and I feel much better working under my own schedule and direction.So watch this space and keep up to date with her blog at http://indiaroseblog.blogspot.co.uk/

Apart from being slightly in love with India’s style, I also admire the way her personality shines through her media presence and constantly manages to be herself. Which is always her top piece of advice for any new (or old) bloggers out there, “Be yourself”.

Let’s be thankful for that unknown motivation that gave India Rose’s the inspiration to start blogging again.

You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/indiaroseblog

https://twitter.com/imindiarose

The Natterjacks

The Natterjacks are an indie folk duo hailing from Chesterfield in Derbyshire. Playing together since 2010, Freddie Bingham and Mark Evans create a rip-roaring, foot-stomping brand of folk that’s accessible, enjoyable and downright excellent.

On first listening, you’d be forgiven for thinking there were more than two people making up this band. Both multi-instrumentalists, Bingham and Evans use mandolin, kick-drum and banjo alongside their two acoustic guitars to create a multi-layered musical track that beautifully compliments the rich vocals. Their sound has distinctly nu-folk feel, with the pair taking their influences from the likes of Fleet Foxes, Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons, and the overall sense of dynamic vivacity that underscores every song makes them a worthy listen, both recorded and live.

The Natterjacks have already built up a dedicated local following, pulling in new fans daily through their storming live shows and the regular release of new tracks via their Soundcloud page. Some of these tracks are free to download, and all of them are – astonishingly, considering the level of quality – recorded in either Mark’s room or Freddie’s shed.

With a session for BBC Introducing’s ‘The Beat’ already under their belt, and both an EP and a new video in the pipeline, the Natterjacks are surely ones to watch – I personally hope we’ll be hearing a lot more from them in the future.

For more information about the Natterjacks, check out their website. You can also like them on Facebook, or follow them on twitter: @thenatterjacks

Victoria Horkan

Victoria Horkan is a fine artist based in Leeds. Studying an MA in textiles at Huddersfield University allowed her to explore the usage of different mediums. Her creations combine a staggering attention to detail with vibrant and passionate colouring, producing eye-catching work that is impossible not to notice.

‘Victoria’s work offers a bold, vibrant and expressive milieu of forms and colours that falls somewhere between the realms of impressionism, abstraction and expressionism. Taking inspiration from the natural world, her paintings make reference to creatures from the sky and sea.’ – Victoria’s Statement.

There is a great deal of life and freedom to the work, with a somehow calming effect, without the restraint of artistic intensity. A youthful energy encourages to viewer to move, to engage with the enchanting visual story being told and discover more.

In ‘Fragments’ (Image 1) we see hundreds of shards of photographs, freely yet intricately layered over oil paints, creating a mesmerising assortment of visuals that stay in the mind. ‘Masterpiece’ is no doubt a word that is often used to describe artworks that perhaps do not reach the criteria, but in this case, Victoria Horkan’s work is an exemplary example of a masterpiece. It would be hard to argue with the impeccable level of talent that this artist has.

Exhibited in London, Leeds, Belfast and Edinburgh and with clients in America, Italy, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – Victoria Horkan, like a butterfly, is fluttering to the top of the fine art world.

Kassassin Street

Kassassin Street are a band hailing from Portsmouth. With a new take on traditional style, these original, self-produced young men are whipping up a storm. I caught up with Rowan Bastable, the lead singer from the band, and asked him about the history, music and the artwork of the band.

“Kassassin Street started officially 2 years ago, though we’d been jamming together in various forms for a while before that. I met Nath at school and started playing guitar around the same time he was learning drums, it was an ideal excuse to bunk out of P.E. If I’m honest I think that’s where the two of us really discovered music – during P.E.”

Rowan described to me how, through the process of experimentation and endless hours of recording, the band managed to form ‘epic’ new sounds that would later become fully grown-songs.

Influences

“I’d say we listen to a lot of psychedelia, 60’s and 70’s pop/alternative bands and electronic music when together. I’m really into the experimental bands of the 70’s. We share a joint passion for Krautrock, with the likes of Can, Kraftwerk and Neu! Giving birth to music that rid itself of all convention. Sonically and emotively I believe Krautrock rules, it’s like the soundtrack to life, a constant journey, a flowing of time with a repetitive beat paralleling the monotony of everyday routine. It’s escapism art in it’s purest form.”

Society

“I think we are living in a very unique Britain right now, a country amidst constant change. I feel very much a part of the forgotten generation, our dreams swept away amongst the greed of the political generation before. We now live in ‘unavoidable times’ with ‘unavoidable cuts’ and the young are paying the price in education fees, redundancies and interest rates.”

Centre Straight Atom (featured video)

As an admirer of this band for sometime, I had to showcase them. I remember the shiver sent down my spine the first time I heard ‘Centre Straight Atom.’ An absolute belter of a song, and despite being over 4 minutes, it doesn’t lose attention, in fact it demands it. I was curious as to it’s meaning and origins.

“It isn’t actually about nuclear warfare at all. It was really a response to a BNP rally in Portsmouth, (the bands hometown). They chose to swoop on Portsmouth for a demonstration because of it’s links with The Navy. They were not made to feel welcome at all, and I wanted to document that.”

Artwork

“The artwork was designed by Ryan. Moloko Vellocet is the psychoactive milk that Alex and his Droogs drink in A Clockwork Orange. I really like the Nadsat language they speak in the book.There wasn’t a lot of deep thought to it though. It just sounded great! I’ve just phoned him and he said that he knew we wanted something psychedelic when he started designing it, so that was at the forefront of his ideas. He wanted to use lots of flowing lines and colour to make the cover eye-catching and different from the artwork of our first EP. I like the fact that no matter how long you stare at it, your eyes continually pick out new shapes amongst the lines.”

Touring now, with new material in the works, there is more to be expected from this refreshing gift to the rock band genre. For more, visit here.

 

 

Jim Demuth

Music videos can be a great place to discover emerging film talent. My attention was recently grabbed by British band Django Django’s new music video for their latest single ‘WOR’.

The video is directed by Jim Demuth and takes the form of a mini documentary. The subject of the film are an extraordinary group of Indian men, who make a living driving motorbikes and cars around a vertical, cylindrical wall – the ‘Well of Death’. This makes for inspiring footage, but it is not just the interesting subject matter that causes the video to stand out. The visuals are entrancing. Demuth combines extreme close-ups and handheld camera shots, some taken from inside the sideways vehicles, to the effect that the viewer is subsumed in the action. The daredevil men, and the fairground patrons, stare straight down the camera lens in a confrontational and contemplative engagement with the viewer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojVsXB12zC8

Jim Demuth’s other work includes short film ‘Aokigahara Suicide Forest’, a morbid yet fascinating look at Japan’s most popular suicide spot at the foot of Mount Fuji. Geologist Azusa Hayano, who walks through the forest regularly, describes the cultural relevance of the forest and, chillingly, looks for signs of recent deaths. The film shares the harsh white lighting of the ‘WOR’ music video, and the same handheld camera-work.

Short video ‘Pricasso’ makes for more light hearted viewing, if an Australian man using his penis to paint sounds like your kind of thing. Both videos can be found at the link below. Demuth’s films have so far proven themselves to be constantly concerned with intriguing subject matter and are filmed in a thoughtful yet refreshingly liberated style.

http://vimeo.com/jimdemuth

Moscow Youth Cult

Moscow Youth Cult is a hybrid analogue/digital wonderbeast duo hailing from Nottingham that produce glitchy video game infused synth-pop, with a dark edge. That in of itself is quite a mouthful, so thankfully the guys of Moscow Youth Cult describe themselves, much more astutely, as VHS pop. They take a lot of inspiration from their own nostalgia towards the transition between the digital and analogue, which our generation is arguably the last to witness. In fact, their initial collaboration stemmed from doing a sound installation to celebrate the anniversary of an analogue video game, and from then on they’ve maintained this inspiration.

Their gigs are known for being all-encompassing; paring their performance with wow-flutter degraded VHS tapes projected and displayed on old, obsolete television sets. There’s an uneasiness to their sound, as well as their video material, that can be attributed to a lot of the old school analogue set. If you’ve ever re-watched your favourite childhood television program, you probably know what I’m talking about. These programs have lost their sense of innocence and naivety, which has been replaced by an extreme wave of nausea and paranoia lingering around the corner, projected by adulthood. Like an acid puked main character of such a show, Moscow Youth Cult is able to incorporate this creepy sense of doom with euphoria, creating a saturated manifest accompanied by overwhelming visual penetration (their music videos are proof).

Almost masquerading as the theme song for a video game hero, their atmospheric pop gives us the sense of a major event looming; as if an asteroid is about to hit Earth and it’s our mission to stop it. There’s a physicality to their music as well, found in the humanity of the imperfections created by this way of breeding sound. Super-charged with deep layers stacked high, not unlike one of their influences, mainstay electro-pop artists Boards of Canada; Moscow Youth Cult want you to dance while getting lost in their alternate reality. Happiness Machines is their full-length debut, which features fourteen tracks full of the uncanny and celestial. Rumor has it that they have a new album in the wings as well.

For more information, a free download of the Hive Glow EP, and masses of audio/visual assaults:

www.moscowyouthcult.co.uk

 

John Biddulph

John Biddulph is a Midlands based musician, originally from Cromford in Derbyshire. (He is also a relative, if you hadn’t already guessed)

John likes to experiment using electronic and sampled acoustic sounds and instruments, to create soundscapes.

 His latest album, ‘Terra Nova’, was composed to celebrate Scott’s remarkable journey to the Antarctic. It was first performed as part of the Centenary celebrations at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.
 
‘Terra Nova’ was the name of the ship that took men, animals and supplies to the South Pole.
The music explores themes and imagery that comes from Scott’s own journal.
 

A pianola was shipped to the South Pole; the folk song it plays in the recording reflects a yearning for home perhaps. Hoosh is the strange stew-like brew that became a real comfort in difficult times and Simpson’s Corner is where all the measuring devices for weather and an array of batteries and circuits were kept. Scott spoke poetically of the ice singing and poignantly that “all the daydreams must go” as the journey neared it tragic end.

If you would like to listen to some of the music John has produced, you can search for him on iTunes, where you can also listen to another album ‘Galilean Moons’.

https://itunes.apple.com/nz/artist/john-biddulph/id301053670

His music is also available to downnload on Spotify.

 

 

Celeste Morton

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was a standout weekend for everyone involved. Freelance photographer and Graphic Designer Celeste Morton captured the day strikingly with photographs that each depicted a character with a story to tell.

“I headed to Westminster bridge on the monumental day, overlooking the jubilee boat parade, I’m not a die hard royalist but I was fascinated to see the special amount of effort people had gone to to witness the Queen. The weather was grey but spirits were high, and everyone seemed excited. I snapped the boy on his father’s shoulders just as a helicopter passed above and he turned to look, with the flag almost unfurling from his head like a speech bubble.”

“Regarding the girl; there was a fenced off pen for the armed forces, and it struck me how young some of the cadets were. I was watching them more than the big screens with Her Majesty on it, they were extremely intriguing people. This girl was particularly good to photograph, as she kept on craning her neck to watch the screens and she looked very important in her little navy hat, like innocence and youth dressed as a grown up. Lovely embroidered lettering as well. Even I can’t deny the uniforms are sensational.”

Celeste combines her love of photography with her discipline of graphic design. Living in London, she is constantly observing ongoing events. More of her work can be seen here.

Hannah Chester

Hannah Chester is a Textile Designer based in London.

Having recently graduated from Chelsea College of Art, Hannah now creates fashion garments, which she creates from the design to the finished garment. This includes making the fabric.

Hannah refers to symmetry, repeat pattern and illusion when creating her beautiful fashion pieces. She also carefully considers colour.

Hannah often works with the concept of mirror imagery in her design, which enables her to create new and interesting shapes and patterns. These designs form the remarkable foundations of her garments.

To date, Hannah has worked on several high profile projects and collaborations, including showing her work at Shoreditch Town Hall, as a part of ‘London Graduate Art Festival’, March 2013, featuring promising artists from across London.

She has also been in this years January TFRC publication, which highlights the most promising students to graduate from University of the Arts in 2012.

Currently, Hannah is working with customising fashion pieces, as she gains inspiration for a more ‘wearable and everyday collection’, without losing her signature geometric style. One part of this project, includes working on a Tom Ford sample piece, using heavy machine stitching and lots of hand dyed threads.

To see more of Hannah’s amazing work , you can look at her blog (where you can also contact her);

http://hannahlchester.tumblr.com/

 

Alessi’s Ark

 Doesn’t everyone know that one person who’s so talented and lovely that it’s almost annoying? Well, who would be annoying if they weren’t also so disgusting nice and likeable. And I’m afraid to say I’ve now found that person in music form: singer/songwriter Alessi Laurent-Marke, who performs under the name Alessi’s Ark. 

After leaving school at 16 to pursue her music Alessi is now only 22, but already a seasoned veteran of the UK music scene. Not only has she worked on albums with the likes of Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis, but she’s also toured multiple times with the likes of Laura Marling and recently contributed vocals to Young Colossus; Maccabees frontman Orlando Weeks’ new venture.

I actually found her work through a friend recommending me Tinsmithing, the first track on her recent album The Still Life. It’s a song which sets the tone for much of her work: beautifully clear vocals with a folky edge and a snappy beat.

And her singing style is the type that can make you stop and pay attention even after only hearing one song- it’s a little bit ethereal, a little bit elfin. In that aspect she’s rather similar to Joanna Newsom; she’s clearly not afraid to experiment with her vocals and track layering, giving many of her songs an almost dreamlike quality.

A lovely compliment to her music is her interest in art as well: she has her own etsy shop selling various stitched and hand drawn pieces she’s made, and her website actually features all her own illustrations, which are just as sweet and charming as her music.

And if you didn’t think she was quite sweet enough already, she even has her own blog, Brain Bulletin, where Alessi simply shares any songs, films, or artists that she comes across and really likes. It’s a lovely insight into her own life and tastes, and she does share some musical gems there.

 

Website

Youtube

Facebook

Etsy shop

Danielle Callaghan

I would like to introduce a fantastic, hard-working and consistently breath-taking illustrator, Danielle Callaghan. Danielle originally hails from north Yorkshire, just outside the picturesque seaside town of Whitby where she is surrounded by countryside, and many, many cats.

Right away from looking at Danielle’s work you can see how she is influenced by her love of nature. Her primary interests are natural history illustration and conservation, and her subject matter includes all wondrous creatures, from the tiny and fragile honey bees, right up to the wild roaming red deer. She also has an undying love for birds, and spends her free time out in nature looking out for her feathered friends. She has an in depth knowledge of all the animals she researches for her drawings. Ask her about the habits and quirks of whatever beast she happens to be inking, and she will tell you, ‘the number of chirps a cricket makes rises in frequency with the temperature.’

This attention to detail is not eluded in the execution of her drawings. Flowing, elaborate compositions brimming with intricate patterns, her drawings consist of delicate pen an ink lines layered with a subtle palette of natural shades and tones. The composition of her work always seems to allude to her overall message, whether that be about the plight of the honey bee, the decline of the humble frog or appreciating the noble life of the red stag.

I will leave you to admire, ooh and ahh over Danielle’s work on her website and blog. Danielle is also preparing for her Degree show, opening in Edinburgh College of Art on June 1st so if you are in the area, come and see her work there as well.

Posted in Art

Sabrina Collares

Sabrina Collares is a contemporary illustrator originally from Brazil, based in London. Despite being a self-taught illustrator, there is no denying the talent and artistic vigour of Sabrina. Having participated previously at a workshop Central Saint Martins, as well as other illustration activities, she is very pro-active, and engaged in her subject area.

The work is proof of this. Despite using a limited number of tools (mainly pencil, pens and markers) Sabrina manages to create incredibly striking pieces of art.  In ‘O Gigante Novatel’ (Main Image), Sabrina uses incredible attention to detail to visualise her imaginations. A fantastic floral smorgasbord grows from a natural figure, perhaps symbolising desires for a more greener world. Despite stylistic undertones of 1960s psychedelia, a cutting black & white beam adds that contemporary edge, somehow bringing it into 2013.

I was lucky enough to ask Collares a few questions regarding her inspiration. She will be the first to admit her methodology is unorthodox, having been self taught as mentioned earlier. Sabrina informed me that a lot of her work stems from her dream world, allowing her creations to be ‘instinctive’ pieces of work that don’t develop from sketches, they just simply materialize.

“When I sit down to draw I am not even sure what is going to come up, after finished I look up the symbolism behind the colors, thematic, geometric shapes, whatever is on it. My drawing is done very meticulously and it can be quite a stressful and slow process”.

Having been exhibited by Saatchi and Emerge Gallery, Sabrina is boldly venturing up the creative ladder. For more of Sabrina’s work, visit here.