Sunday, 12 October 2014

Mr Turner

Mike Leigh's latest film 'Mr Turner' opens later this month. It coincides with the Tate's exhibition focusing on late works by JMW Turner, perhaps Britain's greatest ever painter.

Here's a few trailers, clips and interviews.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Hybrid Supercars

Supercars came up in discussion today at the Art Club as young artists tried their hand at developing a 'car for 2050'. This was an admissions brief set by a well-known automotive styling degree course a few years back. 2050 sounds incredibly futuristic, but for these students, they'll be middle-aged. Will we be jetting about the skies in hover cars? Will fossil fuels be truly scarce?

Enter Lamborghini, who launched their Asterion at the Paris Motor Show today. a 910 horsepower plug-in hybrid... 'Asterion' is the perfect name - many argue it is the true name of the minotaur - itself a hybrid, stalking the labyrinth.

More here at the Telegraph.

Read more about the history of design at Lamborghini, here. 

Check out the Transport Design degree courses on offer at Northumbria and Coventry - both heavyweight institutions in the field.  Also check out the New Designers expo for related information.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Designed to Deceive

It's well worth trying to call into Wadham College, Oxford this week if you can, to catch the small, simply-curated but rewarding exhibition they're hosting as part of the Photography Oxford Festival. The show closes on 5th October.

Amongst the fairly well-known examples (Hitler, Stalin, and their 'disappearing' political enemies) there's some fascinating unfamiliar territory, exploring other interpretations of deception and ambiguity, as well as a little light relief from images associated with dictatorship and war.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Gaming Architecture

OK, another gaming post - I know a lot of you are obsessed with Minecraft. I've never played it, but it's received a lot of press this week, following Microsoft's £1.5billion purchase of the game.

This article from the BBC highlights some of the astonishingly complex 'architecture' players of the game have been developing and building - lots more examples linked from their article.

You can find a more interactive image of the Cathedral build here. 

Gaming Photojournalism

A fascinating article in Time magazine this week, to coincide with the re-release of 'The Last of Us' for PS4.

Time Magazine hired war correspondent/photojournalist Ashley Gilbertson to 'embed' himself into the game, and trial its new photography feature, allowing gamers to document images during gameplay.

He offers some fascinating insight into the role of the photographer in conflict zones, 'shooting' film or digital images, and the difficult ideas surrounding the taking of 'beautiful' images of horrific events. It resonated heavily with the James Nachtwey documentary I've discussed on this blog before, 'War Photographer' - highly recommended viewing if you're interested in a deeper consideration of the ethical issues at hand.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Oxford Photography Festival

An exciting new event for Oxford's cultural calendar arrives this month - the inaugural Photography Festival. There's a wide range of exhibitions and talks taking place across the city.

I really like the look of Finnish fine art photographer Susanna Majuri's show at the Story Museum; dreamlike fairytale narratives, richly layered - but somehow avoiding sentimentality.

All the information you might need can be found here.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Fabric Shop

A really fun project - a pop-up newsagent in east London, where all the merchandise is handmade - sewn from felt. Artist Lucy Sparrow took seven months, and 300 square metres of felt to produce this fantastic spectacle and although it's about to close, you can purchase objects from her site if you get in quick...

Guardian newspaper article here. 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

A Man and his Horse

A fantastic short from emerging and rapidly-ascending film-maker Bennett Johnson, featuring the work of sculptor Nick Fiddian-Green.

The short caught the attention of the LA Cinema Festival of Hollywood, where it was awarded Best Documentary.



I finally got round to seeing this fantastic film recently - part documentary, part art, filmed aboard a fishing trawler primarily using GoPro cameras. 'Trawlermen' it ain't - this is an extraordinarily immersive experience that feels like an assault on the senses. It's non-linear, and entirely wordless.

It did receive quite a bit of criticism too - I sought it out after reading this brilliant summary from Stephanie Zacharek, which was meant as less-than-complimentary: a self-conscious tone poem concocted from oblique camera angles, shots held longer than it takes a tadpole to reach maturity and nighttime images enhanced with a psychedelic glow. An alternate title for it might be David Lynch, Gone Fishin'."

Even were that to be the case, I'd watch that...Here's a clip. 

Leviathan Trailer July 2012 from Sensory Ethnography Lab on Vimeo.

Single Brushstroke Dragons

The hiatus is over... back to posting some more random art-related spots!

The Colossal blog has delivered once again - although I think they feature far too many bland and generic 'expressive portraiture' and cheesy illustration artists, there's still some real gems.

A tiny studio in Japan has been producing small, cheap dragon paintings, produced at speed for visiting tourists. The brushwork is really deft and confident - they're great fun.

Skip to 2:25 for the fun part, but here's the whole painting being produced from scratch.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


An exciting blockbuster exhibition opens this week at the British Museum.

At the centre of the exhibition will be a 37 metre long warship, the largest ever found.

It will also be the first exhibition at the British Museum to make use of the new 'Sainsbury Exhibition Rooms' newly built to house temporary exhibitions.

Here's a great recent article on why Viking culture still elicits such a strong response from us, from The Independent.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Grasshopper Rider

A perfect 10 second animation by Wayne Unten. Great fun!

If you watch it several times (and it's hard to resist), look out for some lovely subtleties.

Golden Age of Insect Aviation: The Great Grasshoppers from Wayne Unten on Vimeo.

See more of Unten's work on his blog, here.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Dark Days

Marc Singer's compelling documentary, 'Dark Days', is about to be re-released by Oscilloscope Laboratories.

Here's a short clip - the first 10 mins are in the video below.

I first saw the film around 2000, and must have watched it dozens of times since. Disenchanted with his superficial life as a New York model, Singer started hanging out with the homeless around his own neighbourhood, before discovering the stygian community inhabiting the railway tunnels of NYC. Singer lived among these people for some time, before the idea came to make a film about their way of life - the honesty and camaraderie displayed by the various characters he introduces us to in the film is obvious and genuine as a result. His new friends acted as crew in the film, rigging lights and building tracks for the camera. The film also features a superb soundtrack from DJ Shadow, in his prime.

More here from the Guardian. 

Here's the first 10 mins of the doc:

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Artist Jailed for Use of Endangered Species in Taxidermy

A while back I made a couple of posts relating to taxidermist Enrique Gomez de Molina (here) and I only just found out the artist was actually jailed for 20 months, and fined $6000 for involvement in the illegal smuggling and trading of various endangered species.

More detail here.

It somewhat taints the artist's statement on his own website:

MyModernMet has a great little article on the AfrikaBurn giant sculptures, well worth a quick read. This South African festival is similar to Nevada's famed Burning Man event, complete with huge constructions, including this 9m high work by Daniel Popper.

Popper's installation came into its own at night, when LED shows on the figure's 'heart' and digital projections created a fantastic show.

Check out a range of Popper's installation work on his site, here

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Water Bomb Wigs

Fun, but technically accomplished photography from Tim Tadder to start the year…

More over on the SunnySkyz blog, here.

I'm also a fan of Tadder's 'fish heads' series - his sitter's heads emerging from the water, gasping for air.