About Pennie Dawes

I'm Pennie, a Sculpture student from Wimbledon College of Art. Alongside my own art practice I have begun to curate Not a White Cube, a series of exhibitions promoting the non-gallery space. Through this I'm always looking for exciting new artists amongst the hustle and bustle of London and I can't wait to share them with you.

Rob Halhead-Baker

Picasso invented it, kid’s do it with dried pasta and Rob Halhead-Baker does it on the computer: collage. In an ever dominating digital age, collage has been brought back to life and re-embraced by many illustrators. However with thousands of young illustrators spilling out of art school each year, its hard to find something that possesses both technical talent and engaging imagery. Introducing Rob Halhead-Baker. Rob’s surrealistic work leads you into a technicolour world of inception style landscapes, floating telepathic nuns and old moustached guys with laser beams coming out their eyes. He breathes new life into the found imagery. All though the illustrations have their comical aspects they also hint at a real sincerity with a surveillance-esque theme throughout and elements of masculine dominance. With camera’s everywhere and political figures overseeing brain operations Rob Halhead-Baker has created an Orwell-esque alien planet reminiscent of the novel 1984.

It’s a tricky business, “I [Rob] spend my time scouring through vintage magazines and books I’ve collected and carefully pick images. Then combined with raw materials and digital manipulation I begin to play with composition, size and shape until the different elements fall into place.”

With a new exhibition coming up (follow his Facebook page for updates), an ever expanding practice; including life size pieces plastered up on the streets of london and new installation pieces, he’s certainly one to watch.

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Tori Stewart

You have to be blind to have missed the massive increase in colourful hair walking down both our high streets and catwalks recently. The pioneering salon at the root of this new craze is Bleach. Based in Dalston (east London), with a second salon in the basement of Topshop’s Oxford Street Store they’ve been blessing the nation with dip-dyes and crazy colours galore.

I took the opportunity to interview one of their newest techni-colour Bleach babes Tori Stewart…

So, bluntly, why hair? and why the love of coloured hair?

Honestly, when i was younger I wanted to be a car mechanic ahaha, its hard to believe really, but a family friend ended up getting me an internship at a salon and i loved it. I worked through the apprenticeships at a few salons but was craving something a bit different so I quite my job, moved to London and did a Foundation in Art. I think thats where i found my creative streak.

And now your working at Bleach, how’s that going?

Yea great! As soon as I saw the salon I knew I needed to work there! And there are so many inspirational people who work there, but yet they’re all just so relaxed.

Yea, you’ve got some great people working there.

I mean Tina Outen, she works at Bleach, and does some awesome editorial work, which is something I’d love to get into more.

Bleach, are involved in a lot of editorial and fashion work. Why is it you think that, excuse the fashion talk, hair has become the latest accessory? 

Ahaha yea. I mean your hair frames your face, even in the 90s people were using colour. Its just come back around stronger and a bit more fashion focused. Not just with grunge though, its really cross trend. I love that hair’s become something more that just stuff that grows out your head, people are paying more attention to it and becoming more experimental with it rather that being prim and proper.

So, if you could do anyone’s hair over who would you pick? 

Oh, I’ve no idea… Jesus?? ahahaha

What like the technicolour dream coat?

Ahahaha, wasn’t that Joseph?

I don’t think he’d much fancy a virgin bleach with blue & purple flashes though ahahaha. Failing that I’d turn a horse into a unicorn with 90s glitter hair extensions and ride it through the centre of london.

Ahahaha, fab. So, 2014’s just begun, what are you hoping to do this year?

Work wise, I really want to extend on my experimentation when it comes to hair and bring in my foundation work more, and take on some more editorial photoshoots.

Great! Happy New Year then.

Tori’s Blog

Bleach’s Website

Tina Outen’s Info

 

 

Phoebe Baines

In an artworld that has never had more money, it is unsurprising that it is being drowned by art work being bought, sold and shipped worldwide for the masses to admire and pay homage to.  The costs are exponential; the impact to the public, very little. In true reverence to the ideology of the dematerialisation of art [with an environmental and humble twist] Phoebe Baines is doing something different.

Having recently been funded by UAL’s Mead Scholarship, Baines has been able to take her temporary artworks on a tour of some of the UK’s remote rural landscapes far from the commercial grasps of the artworld hub.

Her works is simple but with high impact and only existing for a short amount of time. Overcoming the practical issues of being a working artist and incorporating it into her practice Baines has created some stunning and exciting work.

Sat down with some jerk chicken and corn on the cob [not your typical interview setting] we talked life, art and the issues facing young artists today.

What made you decide to make temporary work?

The idea for making temporary works came from a placement with a practicing artist. I had a first hand experience in the difficulties of storing old work, transporting pieces to be exhibited and the prices of shipping. I felt as though temporary work that were easy and fast to install and take down would side step these issues as well as speeding up my turnover of ideas. I found that this change also allowed me to expand the scale of work a lot more simply.

Who/What inspires you?

I’m inspired by all kinds of things mostly visual materials I see on the street, buildings and natural places. Artists who inspire me to push forward with my ideas and to be ambitious with my work are Ernesto Neto and Tomas Saraceno who both create the most immersive ethereal installations. Richard Serra has been an important influence for me in his approach to space and the way we occupy and engage with the spaces in our lives.

Do you see yourself as a land artist?

I find the best work comes from an interesting space and the outside world is a far better site for me than a clean white square. Because of my materials I wouldn’t classify myself as a land artist but in terms of the importance of the landscape / site in the work, there is an element of land art there; especially in recent works where the pieces have been made in natural surroundings. Whether it’s natural or urban it’s the ‘site’ that comes first and often defines the form.

What environmental concerns are expressed in your work?

I wouldn’t say my work has and overtly environmental message but i aim to bring up questions about humans in space. Although the materials are mostly man made and synthetic the setting is often natural and organic. The tension between the two is particularly interesting to me and I suppose that hints and mans relationship with nature.

Are you rebelling against the art world?

Rather than rebelling I would say I’m challenging the art world and it’s boundaries. I hope to integrate everyday life into the art world through using domestic / real life spaces rather than spaces created and cornered off for art. I see art and my work as a part of life not a separate entity.

What do you love about being an artist?

I love the feeling of satisfaction from growing an idea from the first thought right up until it’s physically in front of you. Having the freedom to test your imagination and challenge yourself to keep moving forward. The innate emotional connection with my work is what keeps me going when it’s all going a bit wrong!

Phoebe Baines’ lives and works in London, to keep up to date with her exhibitions and new works follow phoebebaines.tumblr.com