Mat Hay Photography

Recent graduate from Edinburgh Napier University Mat Hay had his work on display at the recent Graduate Show. His photographs were eye catching, powerful and I just wanted to know more…

His website showcases his vast photography experience in different settings including portraiture, stunning landscape shots (my fav is the San Diego one) and great ‘movement’ shots of skaters. Mat has been shortlisted for the graduate Futureproof exhibition held in Glasgow and Aberdeen (fingers crossed).

Mat’s graduate project ‘The Messenger’ questions the power of storytelling, persuasion and the workings of religion. His work is so intriguing and held a deeper meaning than the other works on display. He was kind enough to answer some of my questions…

What was your inspiration behind your graduate project (left)?

‘It started with a visual anthropology project I was doing on Varanasi on the Ganges, and the Hindu rituals and beliefs which dominate the lives of the people in that area. While researching different religions, including Hinduism, and reading Van Gennep’s book ‘The Rights of Passage’, I became fascinated with the countless religious stories and beliefs around the world today. This led me to consider how as humans we seem to rely on science and logic to exist but we still have an instinct to believe in some pretty unbelievable stuff. It is a very interesting situation to be in’.

What were the challenges of this project?

‘The big challenge was dealing with such large groups of people and working without a budget. The cast and crew all volunteered their time for free so I tried to get each shot done quickly, particularly in the freezing mid-winter Scottish weather. Everyone was really committed though which was fantastic. The biggest positive was the people and the locations – they made the project!’

How about a bit about your yourself?

‘I’ve been exploring lots of different types of photographic work during my degree studies which has been great. I’ve met some really interesting and accomplished individuals which has really helped to develop my thinking and practice. I think the highlights recently have been working for Nadav Kander then, through that, getting to interview Broomberg and Chanarin who were a large part of my discussion in my dissertation’.

And what are your plans now that you’ve graduated?

‘My plans are to expand this project over the summer. Then I’ll hopefully move back to London to carry on assisting others while starting some new projects of my own’.

Check out Mat’s work on his website and look out for future exhibitions displaying his work. Good luck Mat, with such skills I’m sure we’ll be hearing about your work in the future.

Early Cartographers

Early Cartographers are a multi-instrumental acoustic outfit currently purveying their own upbeat folk(ish)-pop melodies across Sheffield. Encompassing a diverse range of musical influences and styles, not to mention beautiful harmonies and a huge array of different instruments, Early Cartographers  are quite the musical-melting pot. With a seemingly ever-evolving line-up, it might be a fair to assess them as less of a band and more of a musical collective, a description which seems to fit a group who confess they prefer playing “in parks, allotments, on rooftops and the back rooms of small cafés”, although they are happy to play more conventional venues too. This collective ethos coupled with the sharing of the song-writing load, the vocals and, indeed, the instruments, means that this group come across as something rather wonderful, carving a unique niche for themselves in a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult for bands to stand out.

The music itself is quite glorious, moving effortlessly as it does between soft and ethereal to powerful and resounding, all the while laid over with perfectly balanced harmonies. Poetic lyrics are intertwined with a rich musical canvas of acoustic guitars, strings, percussion and brass, giving each track a multi-layered quality that builds and soars into something quite captivating.

If you’re after something unusual, simultaneously uplifting and haunting, poetic and with the ability to enchant, then you’ve come to the right place. For more tracks, news and live dates, head over to the Early Cartographers website or check out their Facebook page. Ooh, and don’t forget to download their EP ‘The Wolf Chorus’ via their bandcamp.

From the Sea to the Land Beyond

My love for the cinema led me to be given the amazing opportunity of working at Sundance Film Festival in London. I got to see some amazing films as one of the great perks of the job. Whilst working I was lucky enough to witness the unusual collaboration of director Penny Woolcock’s and the Brighton-based sextet British Sea Power’s film From the Sea to the Land Beyond.

As I took my seat in the Indio music venue at the o2 arena, I was not sure what to expect- a screening or a gig? When the lights darkened, and the crowd chatter softened, out walked six silhouettes. The mysterious silhouettes took their seats next to their instruments on the front of the stage. The band began to slowly introduce soft seaside sounds, and the silent film began to play. British Sea Power brought to life the silent narrative and From the Sea to the Land Beyond took my imagination back to what I image the early cinema to be like- watching a silent visual, accompanied by a live orchestral score. This feeling of being in the early 1900s was also visually enhanced by the footage Woolcock edited together.

From the Sea to the Land Beyond is a film/ documentary about the British coast, which depicts our British love for the seaside. Woolcock made and edited the film through sourcing one-hundred years of film heritage and footage stored in the British Film Institute. Woolcock weaves together the BFI’s footage of the coastline, transforming audiences into experience World War I and II, and allowing audiences to witness the end of Empire and a decline in industry. Woolcock also takes audiences to across the country from Blackpool to Brighton, and to beauty pageants and to beachside parades. Woolcock documents the rich history Britain, the British coastline and British cinema has. These rare visuals are not something that you see everyday, and were reminiscent of some of Sergei Eisenstein’s films I have watched, such as Battleship Potemkin– except not nearly as harrowing, nor full of dark tones, but being more reminiscent due to Woolcock’s use of montage. Woolcock accompanies these images with the musical score by British Sea Power. British Sea Power’s musical skills brings the footage alive through the combination of a musical soundtrack and natural soundtrack such as the sound of wind, seagulls, and ships, allowing for audiences to escape into the British seaside.

It is unsurprising that this film has naturally gone down well with crowds and critics, such as Catlin Moran in The Times, [I] fell down a dream. From the Sea to the Land Beyond really was something else”. This is a film not to be missed.

For more info on this unusual film, check out;

The official website:

http://www.landbeyond.co.uk/

Watch the live launch:

http://thespace.org/items/e00016c4?t=cmbx7

To buy and watch the film:

http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_24996.html

Introducing emerging artists: Pablo Antolí

 

PABLO ANTOLÍ

WHO

Pablo Antolí is a London-based Mexican photographer and filmmaker interested in the creative tensions between the documentary and constructed image. Working across different formats, his work explores the themes of history, memory, and identity. He obtained a Master in Photography from the London College of Communication and since then he has been working on personal and commissioned projects in Europe and Mexico. Alongside to his image-maker practice, Pablo Antolí has also lectured and delivered workshops on photography and moving image.

Introducing emerging artists: Pablo Antolí

WHY

His Bachelors Degree dissertation, The Multimedia Photographic Documentary: An Investigation into How the Application of Semiotics and Design for New Media Can Repurpose a Photographic Documentary, has been published by Verlag Dr. Müller and he is contributor and photography editor at Los Hijos de la Malinche

WHAT

Pablo Antolí is now working  in a series of photographs that explore the interstitial urban space where Our Lady of Guadalupe shrines inhabit. The Urban Guadalupe project proposes the creation of an artist’s book consisting of a collection of photographs of Our Lady of Guadalupe in an Mexican urban context. Guadalupanas images in various forms inhabit interstitial spaces between public and private. The documentation of these virgins is motivated by the symbolic and historic importance of the Our Lady of Guadalupe as an image.

 

MORE!!

http://www.pabloantoli.com/

http://map12.info/?/Artists/Pablo-Antoli/

Ekin Balcioglu

Ekin Balcioglu is a recent graduate of Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, where she received her BA in Menswear, and where she wishes to continue on to her MA.

Despite her fashion background, Ekin has drawn and painted most of her life – She decided to study menswear at CSM in an effort to combine her interests of shape, volume, and texture within her usual every day practice of painting and water-based media. Her interests grew into blurring the boundaries between mediums, taking the solidity of fabrics and the fluidity of painting and producing what has become more fine art than fashion. However, despite this difference, Ekin has so far been awarded several prizes for her work in painting/drawing figures.

The artist’s interest in water-based media stems from the unpredictability of it – Unlike other mediums, she doesn’t have complete control over the final outcome, resulting in abstract, blurring forms. Her ‘Untitled’ ink on paper series reflects her interest in the form, specifically that of the human form, and how that, combined with the fluidity and unpredictability of the ink, can create almost anamorphic, animal-like, formless beings.

 

– Killian

Soo Eun Baik

Soo Eun Baik is a Korean artist living and working in both Seoul and London. She has received her BA and MA degrees in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design.

Soo Eun’s work focuses predominantly on the medium of painting – utilizing watercolour, gouache and acrylic paints to achieve her desired pieces. Following her MA course at Chelsea, Soo Eun decided to focus on and then later on stick to painting the landscape in watercolour – This stemming from her interest in the medium’s translucent, fluid consistency, relating back to her relationships between (what she refers to as) her inner and outer spaces. The landscape becomes a metaphor for integrating these inner and outer spaces in association with the finished painting’s material property.

Through an abstraction of her perspective, tone and colour, she releases a surrealistic, fantastical environment that appears if from a transient, dream world.

To see more of Soo Eun’s work, feel free to visit her website here – http://www.sooeunbaik.com/

 

– Killian

Luiz Stockler

Animation is a difficult game, and one that takes a great deal of time and talent to do even a little of. But when done well, a nicely executed animation can be more arresting and memorable than any simple illustration or art piece. And Luiz Stockler certainly manages to capture the enviable trio of success in his work: style, skill, and (when needed) emotion.

Vovô is my personal favourite example of his work, and it won a variety of awards after it’s first screening in 2011. It’s a heartfelt and very touching short film recounting Luiz’s memories of his Brazilian grandfather – vovô meaning granddad in Portuguese. The style is simple and sketchy, but has a beautiful tone that makes it a powerful piece of animation. However being his graduate film for the University of Wales that he made over two years ago now, Luiz has since moved on to some other really interesting projects, including a looped animation display for RCA’s 2013 Work In Progress show.

Presently Luiz has just (as of two hours previous to me writing this very article) finished Montenegro, his MA graduation film for the Royal College of Art- a film about a young man going through severe depression and anxiety because he’s slowly losing his hair (it also features a brief cameo from Zinedinne Zedan). I have yet to see the final film, but am sure it will live up to the high standard set by his previous work.

You should also take a look at his illustration and sketchbook work, they have a real sketchiness and sense of wit to them that’s lovely to see. Also all of the work mentioned above can be found via the links at the bottom of the page, so go take a looksie.

 

What’s the most recent update on your latest film Montenegro?

Ummm…I’ve literally finished it about an hour ago…YES!

What would you say is the biggest inspiration for you and your work?

I’m pretty inspired by the small things I notice in the everyday world around me. Situations and the humour or poignancy in them. Also, i get ideas from things I read or hear, poetic phrases or combinations of words resonate with me quite a lot, my illustrations have a strong relationship with words. Most of my work generally starts off as being a series of anecdotes that I have written down in my book, sort of like sketches, and at some point I get them all together and write something with it

Your illustrations are also really accomplished pieces with a great sense of style- was choosing between animation and illustration, or even fine art perhaps, ever a significant choice for you?

Actually no. ‘Art’ or ‘Fine Art’ always sounded so serious to me – As a kid, the idea of people scratching their chins before deciding to pay ridiculous amounts for a pile of bricks seemed insane. I just liked making comics and drawing obscene things in my books. Then I discovered Hiroshige and Lowry when I was about 15, that totally changed my perspective on what was ‘Art’. The little people in Hiroshige’s paintings reminded me of Herge’s drawings in the Tintin books. There was playfulness and humour (just like the pile of bricks…) and these were drawings from a few hundred years ago. I remember thinking how amazing they were. But yeah…fine art never crossed my mind really…I love art so much and I get a lot of inspiration from painters, sculptors etc..but it still sounds too serious now. Animation/illustration, a lot of the time, makes me think of childhood and fun…which is awesome

What does the immediate future hold for your career?

I’m graduating at the end of the month from the Royal College of Art so I guess I’ll be freelancing (unemployed) until further notice…but hopefully Montenegro will get into some festivals and I can travel and with it and see audiences enjoy it…or not

And finally, do you have any favourite musicians or bands you like to listen to whilst working?

Lately I have been rinsing the new Daft Punk album – Random Access Memories, its really great. I also listen to a lot of Devendra Barnhart. When I really need to concentrate and focus, I prefer to listen to podcasts rather than music – Radiolab has kept me entertained the past few weeks, you can learn a lot whilst animating

LINKS

Website

Vimeo

Tumblr/Blog

Twitter

Mary Benson

Mary Benson is a young fashion designer from the Northern city of Leeds. This creative 22 year old produces some of the most amazing and forward thinking designs I have seen in a long time! Before creating the ‘Mary Benson’ brand in 2010, she had already gained a huge list of experience within the industry that has helped her on her path.

Her past experience included opening a pop-up shop with her friends at the age of only 16 and appearing on Mary Portas’s TV programme ‘Mary Queen of Shops’. Not to mention working at some of the most iconic brands within industry, such as my personal favourite Alexander McQueen as well as Vivienne Westwood and Richard Nicoll. Since then her designs have been featured in all sorts of amazing publications such as Vogue, Rookie, and WGSN as well as being worn by fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson and singers like Rita Ora and Brooke Candy.

I think her designs speak for themselves, so it is definitely worth checking out her Tumblr site! I’m predicting she will be the next big thing at London Fashion Week! Apart from making me regret not studying fashion design, Mary has now inspired me to start up my very own pop-up shop, so friends get in touch!

All images from Mary Benson website and Tumblr

Website http://marybenson.co.uk/index.html

Tumblr http://mary-benson.tumblr.com/

Holly Khraibani-Cousins

Holly Khraibani-Cousins is a well travelled illustrator from Dagenham, currently living in Tewkesbury and studying in Worcester.

Whilst Holly is about to embark on her third year of a BA Illustration course, she is already accomplished in her field.

She recently exhibited biographical art work, on the life of Billie Holiday, at Worcester Art Gallery and Museum.

Holly’s illustrative style is developed and mature, as the prolific nature in which she works has helped her to perfect her drawing.

She uses a variety of media, unafraid of trying something new. Past works have seen experimentation with colour, line and tone, using anything from watercolours and ink to collage, paper cuts and type.

Holly also uses visual metaphor in her work and often uses her designs to convey an important or serious message, sometimes with comedy, although she is particularly interested in producing imagery for children’s books.

Aside from university, Holly is also an experienced former hair dresser, a wife and mum to baby Zein. She is a brilliant role model for hard working women.

Her determination and passion is clearly visible, as it transforms through her inspirational art work. Long may it continue.

 

 

Posted in Art

Introducing emerging artists: Simone Padelli

 

SIMONE PADELLI

WHO

Born in 1986, Simone Padelli, is an Italian photographer and artist. After his graduation from “Libera Accademia delle Belle Arti” of Florence in 2010, he became close to fashion photography working at Gucci in Florence. One year later, he decided to moved to London where he took a Master’s Degree at the London College of Communication in December. Now he works as a freelance photographer mainly fashion, architecture and design fields. He is collaborating with “LineaShow” photographic studio in Prato and he is about to create a CoWorking space in Florence together with other young professionals, photographers, designers and photo retouchers.

WHY

Beside his professional experiences, Simone’s work has been published in Harpes Bazaar magazine, and displayed in several solo and group exhibitions in UK and Italy. He developed different series of photographs  around the concept of “Sublime” in contemporary visual art, and the role of the “aesthetic experience  “.

WHAT 

In his pieces Simone researches the understanding of Art in the world.

Art is in the world. It is the skill to give shape to a concept. It is the puzzling experience that can transform reality into a metaphor.
It is a mixture of intuition and research of the artist, which facilitates the viewer to look  beyond the first glance.
Is a manifestation of beauty? Is art a manifestation of truth?
Surely, throughout history, art has been capable of creating a pleasurable experience even if it is revealing the terrible side of human nature; which is not a manifestation of beauty, but is dimly a representation of the sublime
.

 

MORE!!

http://www.simonepadelli.com/
Simone Padelli MAP 12

 

Renegade Brass Band

Do you like funk? Do you like jazz? Do you like hip-hop? If you answered yes to any of these questions, well get ready, because your mind is about to be well and truly blown.

Formed in Sheffield back in 2009, and comprising of eight horns, two percussionists, a scratch DJ and a live MC, the Renegade Brass Band are quite simply a tour-de-force of funk and soul. With a incredible live reputation preceding them, and a whole host of hi-profile festivals and support slots under their belts, it is safe to say that this twelve-piece are currently creating some sizeable waves in the industry. Named by the Sheffield’s premier dubstep and hip-hop night the Tuesday Club as one of their top live acts, and having recently played the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show live in Manchester, it cannot be long before they explode completely.

Keep your eyes peeled for new material coming shortly, as well a whole host of live shows. For more information (and of course more tracks), check out the Renegade Brass Band website and Facebook page.

Sylvia Moritz

Sylvia Moritz has never strayed from artistic disciplines, having studied Graphic Communication from an early age at Die Graphische in Vienna. Encouraged by her college tutors to cross borders, the multi-media artist and designer flew the nest at 19 en route to America. Here she discovered a lot about herself and her discipline, studying Illustration in Boston, and partaking in a six-month printmaking course in San Francisco.

On the back of a range of practical and industrial skills acquired from her travels, Sylvia enrolled at the University of the Arts London. In 2012, she found herself back in America on an erasmus exchange programme, this time showing The Big Apple what she was made of, in a six-month intensive at The Parsons New School for Design. She made the most of state of the art facilities, gaining advanced knowledge in branding and packaging design from peers such as Lance Wyman (Mexico ’68) as well as honing her illustrative expertise, mentored by reportage fanatic Veronica Lawlor.

The Austrian is an advocate of both the use of traditional and digital techniques that work hand-in-hand with one another, and such an ideal is conveyed in a lot of her work. Observations of Moritz’s surroundings play a vital role in shaping the direction of her practice. Usually with underlying environmentalist attitudes, her stunning mark-making qualities display a meticulous attention to detail and an enviable dedication to the creative arts. She continues to develop her style and relentlessly pushes herself to improve with every project she participates in. And the hard work has paid off, recently winning a Best of Year award with the D&AD for a project with the V&A.

Sylvia must be congratulated on her immaculate level of craft, her delicately balanced tone and liberating colour combinations. In the main image we capture an insight into her exotic amalgamation of geometric elements that satisfy the eye hypnotically – a feat of technical excellence comparable to that of the late and respected Escher. One can only hope that Sylvia continues to lead us on inspiring journeys through her labyrinthian creations. I have full confidence that she will.