John Kilburn

Bristol Born John Kilburn’s  enthusiasm for illustration goes back to the early years, his first go at illustrating a book during primary school, where he produced the masterly “Ossie and the Boogy Boogy Boo” for a project about Australia.

John graduated from Falmouth University with a distinction in Authorial Illustration in 2012, and since then has been making his mark on the “small but burgeoning scene of artists in Falmouth and Cornwall” with illustrations in many different forms, from paintings and comics to pop up books and coffee packets. His strikingly detailed pencil art and bright colours create somewhat of a signature style, but all of his works possess their own unique character whatever the medium.

What strikes me about John in comparison to other artists of his demographic is his involvement in the community at large. He runs a small art space in Falmouth with other graduates and works closely with the Cornwall-based Atlantic Press; which works to publish first time works of authorial illustration. He also takes part in various life illustration and comic events around the country – keeping an active role in the artistic community.

John Kilburn has made an impact nationally and locally with his work, and with his art space just kicking off, and the final project for his masters, The Golden Plaice (which happens to be an illustrated book about a clever prawn searching for said ‘plaice’) is being shipped off to the USA as part of the Yale Center for British Art collection.” I find it hard to say no to anything” he says “I always look to push myself in new directions and unfamiliar places.”

 Visit www.johndkilburn.com to feast your eyes on his work.

Charlotte OC

Charlotte OC’s first single ‘Hangover’ contains very little of the slumping misery that the post-booze malaise usually produces.

Instead, it’s a whirling and confident statement of sultry strut that suggests the artist, at just 22, is as comfortable in the dirty romance of electronic beats as she is in the piano led ‘Stolen Car’ which is an exploding ballad of cool, cold nature; cinematic and serious, it’s Hollywood sentiment via Blackburn and Berlin.

Her debut EP also contains the emotional ‘Cut The Rope’ which has lyrics that loop with that lilt that Lana left us gobsmacked with. “I’m running in circles, I’m losing it all” she declares as instruments clatter in a crescendo of midnight madness.

Many artists have attempted to encapsulate the sound of Berlin in their music and often the British have managed to do it best (we’re looking at you, Mr Bowie) and in this EP ‘Colour My Heart’ Charlotte OC offers another slick and lush love letter to the grey city.

A decidedly melancholic but positively plush mesh of Britain and Berlin, the record is Europe exploding into glitter, dust and danger – devour it, wherever you are.

 

The White Building

Hover over the black capital letters of THE WHITE BUILDING on their website and it transforms into a conquettish HI THERE. Such playful, whimsical use of coding/CSS is, perhaps, inevitable of the Hackney Wick building that is known, particularly in glitch-kitsch enthusiast circles, as “London’s centre for art, technology and sustainability.” Run by SPACE Studios, the building runs a unique residential program involving artists from the famed James Bridle, who instigated the movement of the New Aesthetic, to Jesse Darling, John Rafman and the duo Kyoung Kim and Daniel Rourke who run the fantastic GLTI.CH Karaoke project.

It’s inspiring and refreshing to know that London still has innovative artistic hubs: more than a simple gallery or exhibition space, The White Building is a carefully curated space for cultural phenomena. From residency studios to event spaces and CRATE Brewery & Pizzeria, The White Building combines everything us humans need from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – food, drink and a roof over our heads – and turns it into a post-internet sanctuary where anything and everything can happen.

The building itself was born as a section of the Clarnico Sweet factory and ended its lease of life as a print works. David Kohn Architects has rebirthed the location as a “space for creativity, built by and for local people, resonating with its historical context” even as the work that goes on within often strives towards the technology of the future. They’ve hosted seminars, talks on bio-aesthetics, eco-futurism and dystopia, discussed the untangling of the digital future and advanced awareness of Paranormal Activity – an introduction to anomalistic psychology. It’s undeniably a pavilion of art, education and the future of big ideas.

What does the future hold? Temporary Sculptures by Klas Eriksson, an art installation and collective performance spanning geographical locations around the world will be ushered in on the 22nd of February, and James Bridle will be giving a lecture On the Rainbow Plane on the 26th of February, “investigating the relationships between the public understanding of technology and networks, and the classification of people and things performed by technologies. He will explore the embdedded politics, from the technological gaze to data shadows, immigration, deportation, and rendition.” Definitely a talk not to be missed.

Even more excitingly, curator and writer Omar Kholeif has edited a new book entitled You Are Here: Art After the Internet, published by Cornerhouse, which arose out of a year-long residency at The White Building and claims to be the “first major publication to critically explore both the effects and affects that the Internet has had on contemporary artistic practices… Responding to an era that has increasingly chosen to dub itself as ‘post-internet’, this collective text traces a potted narrative exploring the relationship of the Internet to art practices from the early millennium to the present day.” If you’re interested, The Creator’s Project has written an in-depth interview with Kholeif in regards to the book and our post-internet relationship with the aesthetics of today.

To keep up to date with The White Building’s activities, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Cwtchy Cwtchy

Fashion can seem like quite a cruel place; with the idea that the only way to look amazing in an outfit is by starvation.  One person who is shunning this idea is designer Sonia Edwards, with her new brand Cwtchy Cwtchy.  The concept is simple, yet genius, and in fact, has been protected by intellectual property rights, meaning no one can copy what is described as the “unique, distinctive cornerstone of the brand”.

The concept is this: the waistband of clothing is cut into a ‘V’ shape, creating an optical illusion of longer legs and a nipped in waist; whilst flattering and enhancing the wearer’s natural curves.

Cwtchy Cwtchy’s signature ‘V’ shapes appear to be a natural progression; with Sonia having always been intrigued with the idea of optical graphic techniques and the French ‘trompe l’oeil’ (deceive-the-eye); resulting in the creation of forced perspectives and three-dimensional optical illusions in both form and shape.

Although an extremely new brand; Cwtchy Cwtchy offers an extensive collection, ranging from skirts and leggings to swimwear, all offering the flattering ‘V’ waistline.  Sonia’s clever designs have made it so that the clothing can either be worn separately with other brands; or can be mixed-and-matched with other pieces of the Cwtchy Cwtchy range; with many pieces able to connect via hooks and buttons.

To have a look at the figure-flattering collection, head to the Cwtchy Cwtchy website; or Facebook and Twitter.

Hannah Williams

Say whatever you want about fashion bloggers but if Susie Bubble falls in love with something, it means that it IS the next big thing. When I saw one of the world’s most important style bloggers saying that she rooted for someone and proclaiming them the next big thing, I instantly knew that it is a person that Born in Britain is looking for.

Hannah Williams graduated from University for the Creative Arts in Epsom in 2013 and since then her works has been positively received not only by the bloggers’ world but also publications such as New York Times and the Independent. Getting the Womenswear Award at the last Graduate Fashion Week she made sure her first showcased collection is a one to be remembered – what we saw on the runaway did not look like a newbie’s first steps, it was a fashion statement. Delicate pastel colours played surprisingly well with silicone pieces and beautifully embellished accessories.  Yeah, these feminine designs you see next to this article are made of silicone – that’s an innovation right here!

The young designer’s inspirations are also vast, including the surreal sculpture work of Daniel Ashram and 1920s flapper girl jewellery. Knowing that, we can also see a tiny bit of 1920s nostalgia coming from her designs that helps them not to be obviously futuristic but truly one in a kind.

With the amount of work she puts into her research and designing process, natural talent and backing from one of the fashion industry’s most well-known names, this young (she is only 22-years-old!) designer has a bright future in front of her and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for Hannah Williams.

Want to keep up to date with the next big name in the making? Go check her website!

Image Source: Gwf.org.uk

Claire Moynihan

From far away, a collection of Claire Moynihan’s sculptures may look less like art and more like something that belongs in an entomological museum, but that’s part of their appeal. Using a unique sculptural fiber technique that turns embroidery 3D, this UK-based artist creates jaw-dropping realistic insects out of  simple materials like thread and felt. These charming miniature sculptures, which often represent the insects in close-to-life size, have been seen in venues such as the Courtauld and the Royal Academy. This sewing genius currently lives and works in Hertfordshire.

Moynihan presents her insect sculptures both as single ‘bug balls’, or in groups where she mounts them in glass boxes and even  adds scientific labels for an extra realistic effect. In her artist statement, she says she finds humor in presenting her finely-worked realistic sculptures as scientific displays. She also hopes to raise the profile of insects often described and treated as ‘pests.’ By celebrating them in her artworks, she hopes to possibly change the general perception of these under-appreciated creatures.

The technique Moynihan uses is mainly unique to her own style of working, but it is loosely based on the 17th century technique of stumpwork, which was used to give textiles a puffed-up, sculptural effect. However, with Moynihan’s freestyle sensibility, she transforms stumpwork from an embellishing technique to a method for creating fully 3d sculptures in the round. Her working approach is truly unique, and she may even be among the craftiest of textile artists. You can find out more about her work, as well as see more close-ups of her incredibly life-like creations, at her website: http://www.clairemoynihan.co.uk/ . I highly recommend taking a peek, since it was truly difficult to pick just three images to feature!

LUCY BRYDON: WRITER AND FILMMAKER

So It Goes: even though the title could be the one for a contemporary bestseller with a happy ending for bored teenagers to read on the beach, Lucy Brydon’s short film is not one that can be associated to cheap drama. Her work tackles psychological issues and focuses on complex characters that are completely laid bare by her uncluttered style. In this nine minute clip, she exposes the paradox of art, which can be both overwhelmingly oppressive and liberating, through the character of a young woman who is struggling to free herself from the psychological domination of an artist who believes that she is his muse.

You just take from meis her final cry before she turns away from him, and is one of the rare spoken parts of the film. So It Goes is indeed largely speechless and there is not much dialogue or music to fill in the empty silences of the protagonists’ lives. A train passing, a phone ringing, a shower running: the sounds of real life become more powerful and build up a tense atmosphere that explodes at the end. In that way, Brydon’s scenario is extremely close to reality and it is almost as if her camera was stuck to the skin of her characters to reveal entirely their thoughts, their questions, and their emotional identities.

It is clear by the maturity of her style that Lucy Brydon already has experience in film making. She graduated in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Warwick, and then completed a Master’s degree in Film Directing at Columbia University, after expanding her experience in the field in Shanghai, where she worked for five years in journalism, film production and art shows. Today, she has an impressive list of contributions to films, festivals and exhibitions, and even publications (she was a contributor to the 2014 Introduction to Scottish Documentary Film). Her work has received international awards, including the Dewar Arts Award and the Panavision New Filmmaker Award, and she now runs Shy Film Productions in London. The icing on the cake? She is originally from Edinburgh…

 

Find out more on her official website or follow her on Twitter.

LUNA SILVA

School musicals. If you are one of my kind, they will evoke painful memories of endless rehearsals for two-line parts and overpriced tickets that the entire family insisted on getting to watch your timid and sole appearance on stage. For Luna Silva, on the other hand, the school play was a time of excitement, of frenetic activity, and probably of massive stress. Yes, Luna was ALWAYS in charge of the music for what was possibly the greatest event of the year at my school – and as we all saw her handle the extremely important responsibilities that this implied, we all knew that she was made for music. A few years later, our predictions seem to be confirmed: she has not let go of her ukulele, and, with a bindi on her forehead and a smile on her face, she composes and performs pieces of world music that accompany her through her various travels.

Despite her young age, Luna has clearly already found and worked on her musical style, which harmoniously mingles pop-folk notes with melodies that are specific to a particular culture. In “Rain”, for example, she sings in three different languages – French, English and Spanish –, simply sitting on the beach in Málaga with her inevitable ukulele and a red flower in her hair. Add to her very feminine and soothing voice, and I assure you: you will feel Spain (I swear). No need for autotune or synth (those probably make her blood boil): it is in a simple, authentic way that Luna’s work takes us on a journey.

Today, Luna is a student at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where she participates in a variety of shows and events, all of which can be found on her Facebook page. She is currently recording an album and making new videos that should be released soon. In the meantime, if you’re feeling blue, you can check out her Youtube channel – instant inner peace guaranteed.