Xenia Moseley

Design and craft has vigorously changed and adapted to the attitudes of the now and for this reason it has seen a current resurgence. Xenia Moseley is a designer/maker trained at Brighton University, who uses British skills and material as a cornerstone of her artistry. Her current project is entitled “Journey Women”, citing its inspiration from the word “Journeyman”. Which literally means an apprentice who moves from one town to another, gaining an experience of different workshops. Considered an original way to learn a trade whilst developing character, experiencing community, life and travelling. Xenia has done just that, travelling down the River Ouse, East Sussex, in search of the traditions that are still being practised today.

It’s all very good embarking on a journey like this a few hundred years, but to start it now, explore and export it through the ways of today, is something else. It is not only poetic to yearn for the handmade but it was once essential.

Xenia’s trip was fruitful, she visited and studied the skills of a wool spinner, cobbler, boat builder, basket weaver and upholster. Thus Xenia was able to create a boat that celebrated the crafts she had learnt and symbolises an on-going journey. Its a manifestation of the materials and craft methods encountered, transformed into a useful object that’s also a metaphor of collaboration and learning that is alternate to our entrenched, modern systems.

Xenia’s trip raises questions about our attachment to the objects that populate our habitats. The manner of buying attractive objects in comparison to making them with our bare hands or knowing who did, makes life today a fountain of choices. Xenia’s work projects a yearning for a milder way of life and a merit on making it yourself.

You can check out Xenia’a Links

www.xeniamoseley.co.uk

www.journeywoman.co.uk

Barnaby Sax

Being a descendant of a family of filmmakers, Barnaby Sax grew up on and around films sets all of his life. All that exposure has without a doubt motivated his compositional and observational style. He starts by meticulously arranging and photographing scenes, which are then uploaded and extensively edited. Finally being perfected in several maquette stages of painting and coloration in preparation for the full size oil painted version, in all of its glory. His tendency to use valiant slabs of colour could also be traced back in much the same manner, to a life in Africa as a British kid. Although now, Barnaby is very much rooted in London, citing the city’s calculated and clinical personality as finding expression in quite a bit of his work.

As a collective Barnaby’s work could be considered inconsiderate, but upon further inspection there is an uncomfortable sensation derived from the inability to label or categorise what we see. This is particularly relevant in a current society where we seek to classify everything in order to deduce and comprehend it. A lot of his work has its foundations in the photo-realism of the late 20th century, yet here he deliberately skews the sense of realism to jar the viewer’s perception. Barnaby compares his own work in essence to an artistic elaboration on Sigmund Freud’s “The Uncanny”. Which for those of you who don’t know, details an instance of where something can be familiar yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of being uncomfortably strange.

His work is almost a wunderkammer (a cabernet of curiosities); you never quite know what’s going to pop up next. The motif of masking something tangible, plays with the idea of creating an additional exterior to something identifiable versus decoration as a craft, all of which Barnaby tests in his explorations of art.

You can also check out Barnaby’s work on-

http://www.emergegallery.co.uk/barnaby-sax.php

 

Hardeep Pandhal

Hardeep Pandhal is a recent Glasgow School of Art MFA graduate, by way of Birmingham (birth) and Leeds Metropolitan University (for his undergraduate degree). Firmly placed as a British maker, Pandhal’s work is surprising; using humour, bold colours, and not being afraid to think a bit differently about how we experience art. This makes his work decidedly not stereotypically contemporary British, as his work leans away from the current tendencies of allowing work to be dominated by clean lines and therefore constrained by framing and wall space. Pandhal’s work is vibrant, not shying away from the use of strong colours and pop culture references. Though there’s nothing ”flat” about his work; it tackles issues such as power and subjugation, picking up cues from experiences both his own, others, and imagined.  It offers a look into an alternate universe, completely imagined yet rooted in our reality. It’s rare that you’re afforded a smile when you walk into a gallery or museum, but that is exactly what I experienced when viewing Pandhal’s work at the Glasgow School of Art MFA Degree Show. His CV piece really hooked me, and keyed me in to the honesty and self-awareness it seems he has, alongside being able to point a finger back at himself and the art world with all its idiosyncrasies, without seeming bitter, jaded, or self-deprecating.

Pandhal is a diverse maker, being equally adept at using various mediums, such as video, illustration, installation, and a combination of all these. He says of his varied practice, “When I draw, I draw cartoons, when I do video, it’s quasi-documentary or spoof. I have been making a lot of autobiographical stuff – the point of this is demonstrate how difficult it is to make something pure and uninfluenced – or something not prescribed to an already informed audience. This is probably why my work is often said to be distinctive – it’s not really – I just do base stuff, which seems out of place  – or rare to find – at least it was on my course.” Pandhal is very clear on his influences, and sites his mum as making the most original art (makes our hearts melt). Other than that, it seems conversations with all limbs of the art world that he encounters and an open mind are the key factors inspiring his work.

 

If you’re curious to see more of his work, he’ll be showing at Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Spike Island, Bristol and ICA, London “alongside” his mum.

 

www.imyselfamwar.com

Leon Eckert

Munich born Photographer Leon Eckert is studying design at Goldsmiths College London, a place where thought and intention is exalted over simple cosmetic. At sea on the east coast of Spain one moment, witnessing riots with fire bombers the next, wherever or whatever Leon always has his trusty camera on hand ready to capture. He has travelled through China, worked in advertising production in Barcelona, flown into Tokyo and strolled the harbour of Hong Kong to name but a few; It’s this awareness, an understanding of the culture he has experienced, that permeates the very purpose of his work. Leon believes that every time he puts his finger down to press the shutter, he is advancing his “eye” for imagery, whilst fulfilling his need to document his endeavours.

For one of his enquiries, Leon explored the notion of public transportation, questioning the experience gained in return for the price of a ticket. In this instance a day ticket was purchased, which enables the purchaser to a full 24 hours of transport, yet rarely is this ever fully exploited. Riding 60 different buses continuously over 1460 minutes, Leon nearing exhaustion managed to capture a couple embracing in front of the bus during the latter of his journey. This couples stolen moment of affection suddenly becomes a public event, much like the transport itself.

Leon’s photographs are determinedly direct; a gritty state that comes from examining the root of a situation. They’re hearty intention is tied with a vastness and stillness that becomes vibrant in its celebration. The focus on the events impact over their visual state is beauteous in design and admirable in content. Leon’s work emphasises the relevance of communal experience in the advent of social media living.

 

You can also check out Leon’s Website, Blog and Facebook page at the links below!

http://www.leoneckert.com/

http://leoneckert.blogspot.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/leoneckertphotographer

F.U.R.S

F.U.R.S is a London trio which features a brother and sister partnership within it. The small unit emblematises a lot of what the band stands for as, according to lead guitarist Liam Wade, the three-piece loves “short, sharp, direct music that you can sink your teeth into”. A short spell working in California with the local bands like Allah Las ingrained this ethos into the band and saw them embed the chilled sensibilities of the West coast into their music.

Added to this is a strong, female-centered theme in the band. While citing Blondie as one of F.U.R.S’ influences, Liam has described in interviews composing the bands current tracks whilst reading literature by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. Novels like ‘Venus in Furs’, from which the band derives its name, feature strong and liberated female characters.

Fresh of a tour supporting Johnny Marr I expect the band is working on a solid release to back up the strong image and thought behind F.U.R.S.

Check out the video for lead single STRIPTEASE and head to sound cloud for more!

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Jordan Reed

It’s lucky, in a way, that I have to be constantly on the lookout for new and exciting musicians and artists when I’m writing this blog. What’s even luckier that I have a whole plethora of talented friends, right under my nose. Here’s another Sheffield-based master of indie acoustic rock: Jordan Reed. Hailing from Ruislip in London, his silky voice and talented guitar playing have been getting him noticed in musical circles here – turns out it’s not so grim up North, after all. Let’s get to know him a little better…

What did you want to do when you were a kid?

I wanted to be an astronaut. I’ve always been fascinated by science and space and I thought there was nothing cooler than being someone who goes out there and experiences it first hand. One year, I got given a telescope kit because I wanted to learn more about the stars, but it wasn’t very good, so I ended up learning more about my neighbours than the night sky…

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m always watching movies; I find I can draw a lot of influence from these. You can get a lot of advice and wisdom from films – ‘Rooftops’ by Lost Prophets was inspired by a Zach Braff movie, didyaknow?

 What or who are your influences?

The people around me. I try to include my relationships with my friends and family into what’s going on with my music – they’re such a huge part of my life, and it’s a good way of documenting my feelings at that time. Like a musical diary. I like Green Day and Jack Savoretti and Johnny Cash a lot, though.

 How would you describe your ‘sound’?

I’m still trying to discover my own sound right now. A “not-as-good-but-hopefully-one-day-I’ll-be-like John Butler Trio”.

What was the first album you ever bought? (No judgement; mine was Britney Spears. Shameful.)

My Chemical Romance ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’. What. An. Emo.

Yeah, wow… let’s move away from any sharp objects. What would be your perfect gig line-up?

The Beatles, that would have been awesome. And Queen. Nirvana. (I’m going for the ones we know we can’t see, in this purely hypothetical situation).

What’s your proudest achievement?

Scoring the winning goal at a national football tournament when I was 11 or 12. Sad that I’ve not done anything that noteworthy since.

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve got a few gigs in the pipeline but nothing’s set in stone yet. I might work on a side project or two, but for now I’m just developing my sound and focussing on improving my craft.