Monday, 20 March 2017

London Street Art 2008?

I recently discovered a back up drive rammed full of photos from years gone by. A quick search revealed these snaps from London back in 2008. As new work goes up all the time a lot of these pieces have either been painted over or have been destroyed in the case of the Invader pieces. Anyway, thought it would be fun to share them, I remember the Sweet Toof & Sickboy collab piece well and the Banksy & D*Face cars, I think the D*Face Bomb was pretty new at the time. It was fun walking around and spotting those old Invader pieces, I think some of the later ones were just off Oxford Street too.

Note the garages down in the Star Yard just off Brick Lane which is now an open plan space and a must check site when in London!  Fanakpan has been creating new works there every few months for the past year or so. As always if you want to try and keep up with the ever changing walls then Hookedblog is a go to site, great photos and information about a wealth of artists, a real essential resource for documenting street work. Hard to believe I took these photos 9 years ago, pre blog!

Friday, 17 March 2017

'The Hop Head Project' by Fierce Beer!

If you like beer then you're probably familiar with Fierce Beer and their back story. Founded in 2016 by Dave Grant and David McHardy, Fierce Beer is an Aberdeen based micro brewery specialising in beverages for the craft beer market. The whole thing came about after Dave met David at a brewing tech course and struck up a friendship over their shared interest. Almost 12 months later and with 14 beers on the market to say they're doing well would be an understatement! Of course the collapse of the oil sector led to them both being made redundant and provided the catalyst for them  to follow a bit of a pipe dream which seems to be working out pretty good and shows what you can do with a bit of vision and hard work!

As part of their initial promotion the company created giant metal Hop Man logo's to be sent out to bars and stockists. When it passed before the eyes of Stu Allan an idea formed, why not get the crème du la crème of Aberdeen's artists to customise the logo's with their art work. I mean after all  we've seen the success of the Wild Dolphins and Painted Doors project, the formula is a winner and certainly BrewDog have utilised numerous local talents to help add a bit of cool to their bars. So Stu set about assembling his wish list of artists, some of whom have taken part in previous projects but also a few who are totally new to me and 'The Hop Head Project' was launched.

Each artwork had to be produced on the Fierce logo but apart from keeping the logos basic shape the artist were free to do what they wanted. For such a simple design the breadth of work from the artists is quite incredible and each head serves to showcase the best of their respective creators. Below from left to right you have Caitlin Hynes, Katie Guthrie, Shirin Karbor, Jetpack Dinosaur, Ugly People, Tomasz Wrobel, Honk, Caroline Moulding, Craig Fisher, Steve Murison, Stu Allan and Kilo Alpha Editions. Each one is like a perfect shot of each artists style and kinda makes you forget its a giant beer logo. The project was launched in Bos N last week which of course featured a river of Fierce Beer and the party was in full swing when I left, before things got too messy.

The Hop Heads have now moved downstairs to Rye & Soda where they can be viewed for at least the next few months so there's plenty of time to see them in the flesh. You can also enter a raffle to win Stus piece with all monies raised going to a local charity. Its great to see local guys doing well but its nice to see them do it with no gimmicks like sending a crate of beer to horrible cretin Donald Trump. Fierce Beer let the beer do the talking, its all good from what I hear and anyone who wants to give a platform to local artists gets a thumbs up from me. Huge props to Stu for organising the project and bringing such a great group of artists together, hopefully this is the first of many events and collaborations!

Monday, 13 March 2017

'Stuffed Gallery 2017' at Newave Gallery!

Its sad to think that Stuffed Gallery 2017 might just be the last show at Newave Gallery, at least as we know it. With the pressures of running a business combined with the current financial climate in Aberdeen it looks like Newave will be handing over the lease on their current space to new owners leaving them in a bit of a no mans land. Its clear to see the amount of time and love that has gone into Newave over the last few years, quickly standing out from the other galleries through its policy of supporting local artists and especially recent art school graduates. Along with SMART Art Agency they've really aligned themselves with the younger art crowd and give a platform to great artists like Catherine Ross, Ade Adesina and Chris Wells. But its been an up hill battle and for the most part has been a self funded venture which is sadly unsustainable.

However there's a few really positive things to consider. Firstly the current exhibition is one of many such group shows that has brought together an eclectic and diverse range of work and has proved to be a good formula for the gallery. Secondly with the rise of online sales Newave could be set to capitalise on the hard work they've put into building up their name and using it to curate and sell work via the web. It would allow them the freedom to move around minus the constraints of a physical space.

This Stuffed show really is packed full of work and serves as a perfect example of why Newave has been so essential for the creative sector with art students work sitting next to established names and work that stretches across all mediums. I mean there really isn't many galleries who would do this in the North East and really the quality of the work speaks for itself. Painting, portraiture, photography, print, sculpture all feature including one piece made from old skateboards. Every show hosted at Newave has had its merits and it'll be sad to see them go but with their love for what they do and incredible drive it'll only be a matter of time before they're back, in what form I don't know yet but I wish them luck going forward. Its been truly unique and inspiring!