Like a Phoenix from the Ashes, Stans Studio, Glasgow!

One of the most interesting art ventures in recent years was the Project Slogan gallery and studio. Serving a dual purpose as studio to Grays graduate and Slogan founder Sarah J Stanley but also as a gallery come party come hang out space for artists and like minded individuals, Slogan was a little bit special.

From the controversial window at the Torry space to the pay what you want cafe in Wasps, Slogan was a beacon for anyone who wished to consume their art in a different way, taking the emphasis away from the hushed high brow posturing of the major gallery and replacing it with a welcoming environment where a wide range of work was shown from high end installation pieces to low brow illustrations and paintings and a really strong emphasis on student shows. Slogan might have been Sarah's baby but we all nurtured it and it was good. 

Of course funding problems, lack of support from the Council and Wasps management all led to the eventual collapse of what was Aberdeen's main alternative gallery. And the void hasn't really been filled since, where else could you go for a freshly made sandwich, enjoy some Jack Teagle paintings, pick up a new zine and have a good chat with the owner before deciding how much you actually wanted to pay for your lunch? And the opening nights and parties were always fun filled events where you would meet cool people. Alas it is no more.

Thankfuly a move to Glasgow has led Sarah to start a new venture taking all the things that made Slogan so good and adding a bit of social awareness to create Glasgow's first pay what you want cafe. Ladies and gentleman, a big round of applause for Stan's Studio! Situated in the East End of Glasgow in an old hairdressers shop, it combines all the elements of Project Slogan but with a fresh start and a fresh energy that is incredibly exciting. Serving a range of cakes, home made soups and their own special blend coffee supplied my Mr Eion Coffe Roasters of Edinburgh. The shop is open to everyone and will be hosting a load of exhibitions over the coming year and already has a couple of small exhibitions under its belt.

Tonight will be the shops first Christmas party, the first of many I hope, just wish I could make it down.But if your in Glasgow and your looking for a delicious soup or a fresh coffee then Stan's has got you covered!

XL // Peacock Visual Arts at 40!

This year see's Peacock Visual Arts celebrate 40 years of existence, no small feat especially in an industrial city like Aberdeen. From its humble begginings as Peacocks Printmakers (Ltd) in the 1970s to the fully fledged Contemporary Arts Centre we have today has been a rather interesting tale taking in many branches and areas of expertise which has resulted in the Peacocks we know today. It might be worth checking out their history here.

Such a big milestone like turning 40 deserves a big show and XL is just that but its so much more. The idea was to celebrate Peacocks heritage and history but to also keep one eye on the future too, not an easy task. But through curating an exhibition of specially commisioned pieces from some of Peacocks most renowned artists but also including works created throughout 2014 by various artists through in the Peacocks print studio has led to a greatest hits collection. And I have to say a year in the life of Peacocks print studio is pretty damn good looking! 

Work comes from staples like Ralph Steadman and Frances Walker but also new additions from Adam Bridgland, William Moulding and Satterugly add a contemporary twist to the show along with one of Peacocks biggest collaborations to date with Below Another Sky artists adding work to the show, not to mention the incredible meachanical peacock created by the MAKE Lab! It can be easy to forget how much time and energy has gone into keeping Peacocks going but its shows like this that make it all worthwhile. Its a comprehensive show and certainly gives a great overview of where Peacocks has come from and also where its going and it looks pretty good.

XL will be on display until mid January but you can pick up one of the special laser cut postcard sets featuring work from the exhibition for £10 in the gallery and some print editions have also been made available via the new Peacocks Online Print Shop here so be sure to check em out and maybe add a little piece of the Peacocks legacy to your own home! 

Happy Birthday Peacocks.

A Day in the Life of David Shrigley!

David Shrigley is one of my favourite artists. Creating almost child like drawings but with a flow and wit that few can match, blending humour, satire and completely insane characters. Shrigley is so well known for his distinctive work that its pointless trying to do anything similar as you will forever be hearing "Oh its kind of like David Shrigley" I've even found myself saying it about some of his work, not realising it was done by the man himself.  

I think a big part of Shrigley's success has been the accessible nature of his work both in print form and through the classic medium of the art book, not to mention his original paintings and drawings which a load of my friends seem to own! Below you will find a short ten minute film about A Day in the Life of David Shrigley, produced by Cannongate Books who just happen to be releasing a new book "Weak Messages Create Bad Situations". For his latest tome Shrigley takes aim at the people in power, the Government and possibly anyone who got into a fight over knock down goods on Black Friday. The statement below is from the man himself.

"Lots of individuals in society today are feeble-minded. They don't know what the HELL is going on. Unfortunately many of these people are responsible for running THE COUNTRY. They don't know the difference between a PRECIOUS JEWEL and a piece of animal turd. Their ideas areMEANINGLESS, illustrated using RUBBISH imagery (often made by a computer). The stupid words they write are always in BAD FONTS. 
Yet still people HEED this nonsense. Maybe YOU are one of these people?
It's alright. I am here to HELP you. I have a FULLY-COMPOSED WORLD VIEW. I have STRONG opinions aboutEVERYTHING. And my ideas are HAND-ILLUSTRATED and use REAL HANDWRITING that you can trust. I know exactly what's going on and am WILLING to share my thoughts with you. If you LISTEN to what I say then things will quickly improve.

No more weak messages. No more bad situations. Shall we proceed?"

Yes David, lets! You can see some of David's work in the Below Another Sky exhibition which is currently on show at Aberdeen Art Gallery til January. 

Carhartt WIP x Polar Skate Co Collab Collection!

Polar Skate Co was set up and run by Pontus Alv. Carhartt started as an industrial work ware company based in Detroit. The two have come together to create some special products and collaborations which stretch across photography, art, advertising and fashion with some really cool results. 

Carhartt in their own right are a pretty cool brand having infiltrated the street wear world and established themselves with solid clothes and a good run of past collaborations with artists and musicians. And the collab with Polar continues that in fine style with a selection of t - shirts, jackets and accessories bearing the Polar x Carhartt badge but its also spawned a rather fine photo series by Nils Svensson, perfectly combining the grand and the grit with his shots of Polar team riders ripping up some classic DIY spots. Resident Polar artist Jacob Ovgren also knocked out some super rad graphics for the project and you can spy him in action in the video below. 

The perfect combination of art, skateboarding, fashion, photography, architecture & DIY culture! Check out some more Polar edits here and check out the full Polar x Carhartt launch deets here.