Saturday, 20 September 2014

Eryn Inglis & Caitlin Hynes - Grays School of Art Degree Show 2014!

It seems like an age ago that we sat on the bus heading over to Grays School of Art to see the 2014 Degree Show, the highlight of the creative year for many and a chance for me to film some interesting stuff for work. Alas a change of jobs has meant I don't get to spend as much time admiring the work and meeting the new graduates.

But I made a special effort to catch up with two graduates who's work stood out. Caitlin is by far one of the most original talents to come out of Aberdeen in recent years with a distinctive style all her own and original ideas which have taken her on a rather manic journey. Focusing on female gangs, her work is infused with bright and brash colours, faces seem to be melting off the walls but treading a fine line between the macabre and the fun. Check out the short video about her degree show and ideas behind her work below!

From Sculpture I really enjoyed Eryn Inglis pieces, combining the security chains more commonly seen on shopping trolleys with some choice logs made for an interesting juxtaposition of closed verus open, chains or freedom, tied together with a distinctive shade of yellow. Also the tree's age old enemy the saw, looked on, menacing, rusted, silent. Again you can check out a short video of Eryn's work below along with some stills. You can also check out another piece I did on her here

Other students work which I enjoyed were the dreamy soft paintings of Julie - Ann Simpson, Catherine Ross beautiful landscapes and Ben Martins kinetic suspension piece looked cool. There was a lot of good work from painting and print making but a lot of the artists don't have websites so that's that!

Friday, 15 August 2014

C.S. Buchan, Best Girl Athlete & Fit Like Records!

C.S. Buchan is a name that's popped up on the blog a few times now, mostly for his rather beautiful music. And things have evolved quite a lot since I first became aware of Charley and his immense talents. Firstly his incredibly talented daughter who sings on much of his Material Others album has kicked off her own solo career under the guise of Best Girl Athlete. The name comes from a sports award Katie won a few years back so she is actually the Best Girl Athlete! So C.S. Buchan will be continuing to write and record but for the next wee while all efforts will be going into Best Girl Athlete who is writing her own material. You can listen to fruits of her labour so far on her Soundcloud page and also hear an exclusive track 'Hills' on the latest Glasgow Podcart. Also if that wasn't enough CS & Best Girl made a guest appearance on The Wab Labs special Tryptamines Galactic Synchronisation Experiment which you can watch here (warning does contain broad Scottish accents and swearing)!

Along with being involved in both bands Charley has set up Fit Like Records. An Aberdeen based label who have already released a split 7" with C.S. Buchan on one side and Indian Red Lopez on the other, read more about that here! Tomorrow Fit Like will be bringing their merry band of men and women down to Seventeen, formally One Up Records and now home to the Councils Cultural programme. Along with music there will be some short films and a chance to meet the man behind Fit Like, perhaps even bring along some demo tapes, you might bag a record deal! 

Check out some of the videos I've made with C.S. Buchan and Best Girl Athlete below, were planning to film the gig tomorrow as well to help give you a flavour of just how talented this lot are and you can find details about the event here! Nae bad!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Faile x Bast 'Deluxx Fluxx Arcade' @ Summerhall, Edinburgh!

So some of the biggest names in Street Art have held their first major exhibition in Scotland and its pretty special! I first heard about Faile and Bast a few years ago via Pictures on Walls who specialise in limited edition prints from some of the biggest names in street art and graffiti. You know those Banksy prints that people sell for £5000 and up, PoW are the ones who printed them and used to sell them for £200 a pop, just wish I'd actually liked some of them but hey ho. Along with Banksy they create editions for Invader, 3D, Pete Fowler and Faile & Bast

It was perusing these printed editions that brought Faile to my attention, their retro comic book styled graphics instantly stood out. At a time when many were simply appropriating and recreating already iconic images Faile seemed to be taking a different approach not only recreating but adding their own twist, subverting the images and creating something new and yet old. The same can be said for Bast, taking iconic Disney characters like Dopey and creating something recognisable but also a bit creepy. So it makes sense that these three powerhouses of paste ups should join forces and the "Deluxx Fluxx Arcade" is the result!

Bringing a real slice of Americana to the Edinburgh Fringe, Deluxx Fluxx is a tripped out adventure into the most coveted of gamer places, The Arcade Hall! Arcade culture might be on the wain a little but its still an ingrained part of the American culture, think about John Connors escape from the Terminator and films like King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters help to highlight how serious the arcade life can be! The arcade represents a place of wonder still, even now I dream of finding myself an adult with a childs mind, working for a toy company and setting up my own pin ball machine in my apartment ala BIG!

Deluxx Fluxx brings all of that wonder but filtered through the warped minds of its creators. Each game has been custom built and creates a level of interaction between art work and viewer that is simple and yet so effective. I spent about ten minutes trying to uncover the layers of a picture on one game, another involved making a 1950's cartoon girl do hand plants with a skateboard to avoid a shark circling the deserted island shes stranded on. If it sounds a little surreal then thats because it is! Its like walking into another universe of high visual stimulation and content overload. The neon foosball room through the back is like something from Batman Forever with its neon prints adorning every surface. Yet with so much work on display it doesn't feel like a single print is out of place. Every piece seems to compliment the next so while there's a lot to take in the show isn't overpowering. Along with the arcade Faile are showing a series of new works which have been finished during their time at Summerhall and are being displayed for the first time.  

The arcade can found in the basement of Edinburgh's Summerhall, a rather incredible building which currently houses a ton of exhibitions including works from Gary Baseman which ill cover later and a large scale installation by Antonio O'Connell. With so many great shows making up their summer programme Summerhall is a must visit spot if your in Edinburgh for the festival!

Friday, 1 August 2014

'Laptop Lapdance EP' by My Dry Wet Mess on Fine Grains!

Fine Grains bring you another heavy duty vinyl release from Berlin based My Dry Wet Mess. Gio spent the last few years building his own sounds and putting out releases on various labels, continually developing his craft and pushing his unique vision which is an interesting mix of dance music that works just as well in the club as it does on the living room turntable.

The Laptop Lapdance EP is MDWM first vinyl release and features 4 original cuts showcasing his production skills which weave around and reveal an interesting soul behind all the electronics and gadgets used to make the music. Of course being the son of Ennio Morricone's bass player and being introduced to hip hop and sampling at a young age probably played a part.

The flip side features a host of remixes from Glasgow's Auntie Flo's, Dam Mantle and 2 finely crafted remixes from Ikonika. The EPs artwork is also worth a mention featuring some cool design from Fine Grains founder Alex Horne, check out more of his design work here!

You can listen to the full EP below and order a vinyl or download via the Fine Grains Bandcamp where you can access all their releases to date.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

'REWIRE' Art x Audio Exhibition, Book & Vinyl Box Set @ Gamma Transport Division!

In a switching of roles Gamma Proforma bring you REWIRE, an experiment in vision and sound. The logic behind the show is based around music influencing visual art but flipped on its head. Instead of an artist being tasked with interpreting a musicians vision its the musicians and producers who will be creating sonic sound scapes to accompany fresh visual works from some of the biggest names in the Graffuturism movement. 

Gamma head honcho Rob Swain is no stranger to big projects having recently released a 20 year career spanning tome with sheOne as well as curating the Futurism 2.0 book / show in London. Futurism 2.0 was my introduction to Gamma Proforma and the arrival of my first order brought some excitement to my day and the over stuffed parcel brought more than just a book. T shirts, postcards, mix CDs and stickers all came spilling out when I opened it but its not the free stuff that's made me a fan of Gamma, its the quality. Time and effort goes into each project whether its a new t shirt design, a book project or exhibitions, with a host of great shows already under their belt at Gamma Transport Division in Edinburgh.

The exhibition is in place with the artworks being created right now but if you want to see the resulting book and vinyl box set happen then Gamma needs your help. They've set up a kickstarter campaign here, you can choose how much you would like to donate and select from various rewards with £50 getting you a copy of the book, a download of the album and a few other goodies but £100 will get you the book and a copy of the vinyl box set! If your minted and fancy owning one of the original artworks then a donation of £2000 or more can make this happen, I just wish I had that kind of money sitting around! But seriously they have a load of different options to choose from and its a cool project to support so check out the kickstarter.

As mentioned above the project will culminate in an exhibition, set to open in a couple of weeks at GTD in Edinburgh. You can check out some work from the various contributing artists below including Nawer, Sebastien Preschoux, Augustine Kofie, Jerry 'Joker' Inscoe, Poesia, sheOne, Stendec, Moneyless, Phil Ashcroft, Derm, Robert 'Tone' Proch, Sat One, Graphic Surgery, Felipe Pantone, O.Two, Roids, Clemens Behr, Christopher Derek Bruno, 108, Kidghe and Stohead, some serious talent and I recommend checking out each of their sites for more work! On the musical front you can expect some far out sounds from Luke Vibert, Divine Styler and Mark Lyken who swaps his paint cans for a mini moog for this project, you can check out the full list of musical contributors on the kickstarter page.

So donate if you can and make sure to show some love & support the project. And if they don't reach the funding target then well just have to settle for a night checking out some amazing art work from some of the best artists around right now! Win win as they say!

The Wild Dolphins of Aberdeen!

I wasn't too sure about these Wild Dolphins if I'm honest. And it wasn't anything against the artists involved or the ideas behind the project but more the concept of a twee art show, twee dolphins dotted about with pretty pictures on them. Don't get me wrong water colour landscapes are nice and fine art paintings have their place but when the majority of the work you see is based on the traditional then things tend to become a little stale and this is often the problem with creativity in Aberdeen. The cutting edge, the new school is often holed up in grays or its drowing in the apathy of the city and its lack of space to create and share work and ideas. If you asked me what kind of art I like then it would probably fall into the big murals, clean graphics, bold lines, street art, graffiti, tags, gritty and off the beaten track kinda spectrum, work you can stumble upon which has some sincerity to it.

But I have been pleasantly suprised and have really enjoyed checking out a few of these Wild Dolphins. Its good to have the old cynic inside you slapped once in a while and these Dolphins have certainly done that! Walking into work and seeing the buried skeletons of saber toothed tigers every day has been a real treat, walking through the train station to see the swirling waves or the doric wonder up in Old Aberdeen, designed by Gabi Reith has really helped change my perspective. And even more so than seeing them myself is seeing the reactions of others, families turning it into a hunt, searching out each creation, hairy bikers rocking up, jumping off their bikes just to get a quick snap next to one of the beasts and people of all ages stopping and taking a minute to appreciate a piece of art. Anything which gets people in Aberdeen to engage with creativity is a good thing! 

Its these reasons that have made this cynic a fan of the project and regardless of aesthetics you have to commend Aberdeen Inspired for delivering a project of this scale and for taking a chance on some new artists like Real Nice Collective and A Wooden Tree. You can check out more Dolphins via the Wild Dolphins Instagram and get a map of the different locations on the Wild Dolphins website.