Peter Drew

Walking around Glasgow over the past few weeks, I noticed scraps of colorful figures with cube-shaped heads pasted to the sides of a few buildings. I didn’t know it at the time, but these scraps were the remains of Peter Drew’s graffiti rendition of one of the most famous scenes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The series consisted of 16 wheatpaste figures accompanied by speech bubbles in different locations, a project which he began in April and finished in September, just before returning to his home in Adelaide, Australia a few weeks ago.

These graffiti pieces make you wonder how Shakespearean tragedies like Hamlet would have played out if they were set in our world of technologically-mediated communication. Would Hamlet’s ruminations have the same impact if he posted them on Twitter or texted them to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, complete with a few appropriate Emojis? How Drew divides the soliloquy up into tweet-friendly chunks and gives his Hamlet a pixelated, emoticon-like face brings these questions to the forefront.

However, these weren’t the only issues raised by the emoticon soliloquy. While Drew was putting the wheatpastes up around town, he was also completing his Masters degree at the Glasgow School of Art. Putting up these works, despite their temporary medium, without the city’s permission was seen as a potential cause for expulsion from the program. The controversy was even featured on the New York-Based art blog Hyperallergic. Drew held off on completing the series to avoid expulsion, and was finally able to finish his vision last month.

While this project, and the controversy surrounding it, is particularly exciting and brings up the opportunity for heated debate about graffiti’s legality and to what extent a student in art school should be allowed to practice it, Drew’s other works are equally interesting. The monumental portraits of family and friends from his hometown seem to be on the opposite end of the spectrum from the generic emoticons of Drew’s interpretation of Hamlet, and give a completely different impression, adding an impressive breadth of variety to his projects.

If you would like to see more of Peter Drew’s graffiti art, check out his website. He also has a blog where he writes about the ideas behind his projects as well as issues facing graffiti artists today.

Waitress–The Film

Waitress, the film, is Stephen Sheriffs directorial debut. Originally studying Law, and then moving to New York to look into acting, Sheriff has now returned to Glasgow, armed to the teeth and hell-bent on creating something magical.

This film has been causing a lot of talk throughout Glasgow’s creative environment, and is much anticipated. What is impressive, is not only the fact that this is Sheriffs first-ever film and it is generating so much attention, but that it is doing so because he is aiming to show a different side of cinematic Scotland. He states in an interview with Mel Bestel, that so much of Scottish cinema has a history as being bleak, dark, and tackling a heavy reality. Though he does not dismiss this, he simply wishes to shed a little light on gloomy Scotland, and has therefore set out to make a film speckled with magical realism and elegance.

He is inspired by the likes of David Lynch and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whom are masters at the craft of distorting a story into a slightly askew reality, however always maintaining a polish and elegance. This bit of elegance, as shared by Sheriff in his filmmaking, has seen him collaborate with much of Glasgow’s underground creative lot; incorporating local actors, artists, costume designers, venues, and the like. Waitress has been crowd-funded and sponsored all across Scotland, involving the community and opening up for collaboration.

This makes the film such an honest inspiration for anyone with drive and a DIY mentality; it is testament to the positive abilities of incorporating and accepting that social networking is a massive part of our daily life. Sheriff has utilised this very effectively in his filmmaking, by being active on these platforms to facilitate his filmmaking process. Currently halfway through the filming process, Sheriff hopes to finalise the project by next year. Set to be thirty minutes long, many are already waiting with bated breath for the release of what will most likely be a little bit of sparkle in Scotland’s cinema history.

 

Keep an eye on their facebook and website for further information and tasty preview morsels.

Alice Jacobs

Alice Jacobs graduated from Glasgow School of Art with BA in Fine Art: Sculpture and Environmental Art in 2012. She creates mesmerizing installations, changing perception of space and constructing new environments using light. She works with spatial transformations, altering surrounding architecture, objects and atmosphere.

Alice’s artworks convey important religious and philosophical questions. Her project “the body of light” relates specifically to Buddhist meditations, yet connecting to other religions through the idea of “inner light”. This sculpture, made of light and reflective qualities of water, is an attempt to materialize  inner intangible light into a visible presence.

“Separated from any image, natural light or gauge of the actual depth or length of the space, the audience is left looking at something that is there, yet without any perception of what it is that they are looking at. Something, but almost nothing at all.”

This artwork resonates with everyone on different levels. The purity of the message is so powerful, it almost pulls you in a meditative state. It connects with the deeper levels of consciousness, urging the viewer to look within himself.

Her past exhibitions include yours is a body light, The Beresford Gallery; The Art of Tea, Harry Barnes Building and RSA New Contemporaries 2013.

Alice is also a  co-founder of Flux Laser Studio, along with fellow GSA graduate, Philip Longstaff.

To see more of her works, visit www.alicejacobs.co.uk

David Galletly

Trying to think of a way to ‘sum up’ David Galletly and his work in a pithy little intro sentence, ideally with some kind of witty remark or pun involved somehow, is almost impossible – and believe me, I tried.

For as much as you could try his portfolio is just far too varied, with his style and approach altering to fit whatever brief he was working to at the time. 

As he says himself he doesn’t “necessarily have a favourite way of working” rather preferring to “bounce around as much as I can”. But there definitely are two main styles there: an intricate line-based patterned approach, and a more quick and fun cartoony one. And in an illustration world where it’s very easy for designers to become obsessed with this notion of a utterly-set-this-is-my-style-and-I’m-stuck-with-it-for-the-next-forty-years, in a really lovely refreshing way Galletely doesn’t seem to mind his more relaxed experimental approach. Rather he focuses more on just “consciously trying to make things that I don’t immediately hate”, which in my opinion gives his work a great sense of enjoyment and vibrancy to it. Plus it’s a good maxim for life in general I feel.

And if these various talents weren’t enough Galletly has forayed into the world of film and animation as well; alongside his illustrations for Scotland-based beer brand Innis & Gunn he produced a flip book and hand drawn animation of the evolution of an oak tree. Using stop motion animation he has also made a ridiculously fun and adorable music video for Kid Carnival’s You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night- you can watchg it here on the left hand side.

LINKS FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT:

Twitter

Website

Facebook

 

He was also kind enough to answer some questions for me, so here’s a charming wee interview:

What or who would you say are you biggest inspirations?

Looking at work by other illustrators often makes me jealous so I’m often better motivated by people in totally different fields. For years, people like Adam and Joe, Michel Gondry and Vic Reeves have been filling my head with ideas.

More directly, I guess, comics have always been pretty important to me. I remember pouring over Calvin and Hobbes collections in the local library when I was young – Bill Watterson’s attitude to his work and refusal to sell out in any way whatsoever taught me that, y’know, funny pictures are valuable things and you don’t necessarily need to be a tortured artist to be credible. The Moomins, Peanuts, Krazy Kat and Little Nemo are all fantastic.

Recently I’ve been psyched to hear that Chris Onstad’s amazing Achewood is set to return and I’ve also rediscovered my love of Disney through theme-park focused blogs like longforgottenhauntedmansion.blogspot.com. Marc Davis’s work as an Imagineer in particular has been a joy to pour over. He’s unmatched when it comes to telling a story in half a second flat 

 

As a Scottish and Scotland-based designer, have you ever felt at a disadvantage (or even like you’ve benefited) for not living in London like many designers?

I think I’d get eaten alive in London. It’s not for me. My workload divides up fairly evenly between Scotland, the rest of Britain and overseas and almost every project across the board comes through email. It’s very rare that I’ll talk on the phone with a client, let alone meet them in person. As a fairly mumbly, shy fellow, this suits me pretty well. Without the internet, I wouldn’t have a job.

Saying that, Glasgow is a really great place to live and work. I’m from Stirling originally so the city still feels big to me and there’s always loads of stuff going on. Through places like Recoat in the West End, I’ve met people and worked on things that would have never come my way if I was locked in my studio all day.  

Being a one-man-band means it doesn’t take much more than a computer, some paper and a desk to doeverything I need to on any given day. When facing the reality of going 100% freelance after years of part-timing, I’d settle my nerves by adding up my  modest outgoings and telling myself stuff like ‘right, if I can find 20 people in the whole world to pay me 1/20th of this number, I can survive’. It’s going ok! I’d have lasted a month in London.

Rather than complicate things (the death of print! etc), I really feel like technology will allow more artists, designers and illustrators the opportunity to support themselves through their work. Do some sums! Make a plan!

 

What has been your proudest moment of your career so far? 

Without wanting to sound like a stuck record, supporting myself through my artwork for my first full year felt like a massive achievement. It’s a position I’d hoped to reach for a long time and, after a few false starts, I finally got there. I’ve no idea how long this ‘career’ will continue but, for now at least, it’s exactly where I want to be.

 

What does the immediate future hold for you and your work?

I’m working on a few really exciting things – some secret animation stuff which is kinda new territory for me, a lot of illustrations for the awesome Edinburgh-based beer company Innis and Gunn and some odds and ends for my long-time favourites, Fence Records. I hope to work on more large-scale projects with Team Recoat as soon as we find the right project and my website is feeling a little neglected so it’ll be getting a wee overhaul too.

A new set of problems have also been presenting themselves recently and I’m trying to fight through them as best I can. These are the fairly unromantic, shouldn’t-really-complain-about, things that nobody really prepares you for: Time management!  Lack of drawing practice! Writers (drawers?) block! Working out how the hell to get on the property ladder as a freelancer! Weight gain!

 

 

 

Holy Esque

Holy Esque are a four-piece indie-rock band hailing from Glasgow.

What immediately grabs you when hearing Holy Esque is the distinctive vocals of singer Pat Hynes. There’s a gravely tone to his voice which is incredibly unusual but it really makes them stand out – if you don’t believe me have a listen to some of their songs on soundcloud.

They’ve been around for a couple of years now and in that time they have toured with The Raveonettes, got noticed at SXSW Festival a few weeks ago and they will be playing this years Great Escape Festival too. Two festivals which are great for finding new music.

I imagine we’re going to be hearing a lot more from Holy Esque in the future but in the meantime have a listen to their latest single ‘St’ which was released on the 25th March.

The Monty Hall Problem

Glasgow-based band The Monty Hall Problem have been making music for two years now. Having met at school, Lewis, Mark, Ryan, and Timmy quickly developed a great musical repore. Now, with an album coming out early next year that they have funded themselves, a record deal is on the horizon for the four piece combo.

From the formative stages in Glasgow, the boys are now steadily going their separate ways. They now bridge their hometown and Edinburgh, and play most of their gigs in these two cities. They make it work with a combination of hot talent and fierce dedication.

Music is the ultimate goal for all four: their indie, rock n’ roll vibe hones in on the sound of a younger generation, of which they, crucially, are a part. They write all of their own music, testament to outstanding creative powers, and the inspirational use of brass and keyboards gives a profoundly emotive tone to their songs. Their influences include the likes of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Glasvegas, and the Vaccines. They draw a lot of comparisons with these last – tapping into that same young indie vibe, but putting a uniquely Glaswegian crunch on the lyrics and riffs.

Future plans include the promotion of their first album, entitled ‘Is This a Dream or Am I This Lucky’ after a track on the album. Under the tutelage of producer Roger Shephard, it will be out in early 2013. What follows is anyone’s guess, but there are whisperings of a UK tour. For now, check out upcoming gigs on their facebook page, or email that at themontyhallproblem@live.co.uk.

Come see The Monty Hall Problem play in Edinburgh next November 27th for the Scottish stint of the Born in Britain Creative Showcase. Details on the facebook event page.

Konx-om-Pax

Konx-om-Pax aka Tom Scholefield is an animator, director and audio/visual artist based in Glasgow. The name “Konx-om-Pax” is taken from the title of a series of essays published in 1907 by famed occultist Aleister Crowley, it translates as “Light In Extension.”

Tom Scholefield connects esoteric and pop-culture, blurs the boundaries between different mediums, and experiments combining sound and 3 dimensional animations into interactive art pieces. He makes music and animations, creates short films, videos and sleeve designs. He has made music videos for Mogwai, Jamie Lidell and Hudson Mohawke. His works are best described as a merge between music production and installation art.

This year he released his debut album on Planet Mu “Regional Surrealism”. His created animation for the album trailer effectively accompanies electronic music and shows off his skills as an animator and visual artist. This animation is a detailed and complex fantasy world of futuristic structures and mechanisms inhabiting a monochromatic environment. Mechanical mountainous terrain is a successful interpretation of the cold, ambient and atmospheric instrumental music sounds.

Tom Scholefield is interested in alternate realities and different states of being. His works celebrate cultural variety, intertwining esoteric and futuristic ideas into fantastic worlds and surreal artworks. To see more of his works visit this website www.displaycopy.net

Eleanor Stewart

Books are generally used for mental activity- reading, learning, gathering inspirations and ideas, but Eleanor Stewart also transforms books into models and creates exquisite animations. She exploits the full potential of the written piece, visualizations of music and abstract ideas are made of the same book paper. She converts books into a three dimensional world- experience that can be achieved just in our imagination, but now becomes real.

Eleanor Stewart is an animator, model maker and an illustrator. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2009 and received the Bram Stoker Medal for most imaginative work and a D&AD Best New Blood Award.

I would like to introduce her created animated film for the Classical music work ‘Hoedown’ from the Rodeo Suite by Aaron Copland. Hoedown from Rodeo is her interpretation of the music into paper animation. She beautifully captures the mood and atmosphere in paper cut outs, characters are lively and vibrant, creating an impression of music sheets coming alive.

Her recent project is a film called ‘Raindrops’ for Microsoft in partnership with Hyundai. It is an animation about Hyundai recycling rain water at its factories. To find out more information check out her website www.eleanorstewart.co.uk

 

Rachel Maclean

Rachel Maclean is a talented artist expressing her opinion about our culture through variety of mediums. She is a former graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, now based in Glasgow.

She creates unreal psychedelic spaces from signature objects and images that represent today’s reality. Identity and gender issues, ideal body image, consumer society and values of our culture are questioned in her works. She picks social values and tendencies, exaggerating them and shifting into the realm of absurdity and artificial grotesque imagery. It is a parody, a masquerade that through a positive and happy mask points at today’s culture.

Rachel Maclean is using different media- video and digital art is accompanied by installations, paintings and sculptures. Recent projects include the videos “The lion and the unicorns”, “Over the rainbow” and series of digital prints “Girls”.

Her artworks tell a story of time travel- history, present issues and future imaginations are combined in a provocative, bold and unique manner. Dream-like spaces and fantasy characters address the matter of consumerist obsession in a teasing way.

To see more of her works visit this website www.rachelmaclean.com