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design Bablake | Issue 9 | Summer 2012 | ÂŁ5 | issn: 1758-5236

theteam @stretchmag

Student Editor’s Notes ‘With sport on everyone’s mind, whether eagerly waiting the highly anticipated 2012 London Olympics or still bearing the scars of cold mornings of PE, this summer we wanted to offer you a magazine that touched on the creative side of sport a little but overall would be an ‘Art and Design’ issue, filled with creativity and originality. It has been a pleasure leading a team with such vision, creative energy and passion for their articles as well as an enthusiasm to work together. I hope you enjoy the issue as much as we have compiling it.’ Ellen Parker

Teacher Editor ‘Ellen Parker has been an immaculate Editor. Her enthusiasm for the magazine has been consistently impressive from start to finish and she has led her extensive team with admirable calm, giving everyone licence to produce articles that match their interests but firmly keeping them all to tight deadlines. In Amelia Brook, we have discovered a photographer with phenomenal talent- in 2 days, she created and recorded half a dozen photoshoots that would have taken a national magazine weeks and thousands of pounds to produce! Thank you also to Suki Vraitch for her boundless energy and initiative as Deputy Editor, and Mia Davies for her spirit and tenacity as Assistant Editor. As always, it has been a pleasure to work with the whole team, plus I am very proud of their issue.’ Mark Woodward

The art design issue Issue 9 was brought together by: Ellen Parker – Student Editor Suki Vraitch – Deputy Editor Amelia Brook – Creative Editor and Chief Photographer Mia Davies – Assistant Editor Abigail Stinton – Marketing and Sales Editor Oliver Warlow – Photographer Emily Thornhill – Textiles Creative Reporters: Ollie Adébisi, Coral Billingham, Lucy Burns, Matt Corden, Marlie Cummings, Erin Hushon, Ellen Luo, Nicole Minty, Mwelwa Mukwashi, William Hine, Avril Patel, Holly Twigger, Joel Venson Guest Contributions by Ben Duffy (leading sports photographer) and Russ Thorne. With thanks to: Mark Woodward – Teacher Editor and Photography Paul and Luke Dibbens – Design ( Ben Duffy – Photography ( Alex T Smith ( – Stretch logo – and Lorna Syson Textiles ( for their unfailing support Mia Davies, Erin Hushon, Marlie Cummings, Ellen Parker, Avril Patel, Abi Stinton, Emily Thornhill, Joel Venson and Suki Vraitch – Models, Make-Up and Styling Bablake HE and Textiles Department Particular thanks to: Natalie at Gladrags for the loan of clothes for the Olympic Shoot Sytners, Coventry Cover art developed from initial sketches by Oliver Warlow. Stretch is a student magazine produced by 6th formers at Bablake School in their work experience week. Opinions expressed in the articles do not necessarily represent official school viewpoints.



Nail Art

with Jenny Longworth

Stretch Editor Ellen Parker caught up with Jenny Longworth, nail ambassador for Revlon Did you always want to go into nail art? No I wanted to be an actress when I was growing up. I learnt to do nails as a sideline and never thought it would become my full time career. How did you get into nail art? I’d always had my nails done and thought I’d be good at it. I did an evening course and did nails part-time to earn extra cash. I then moved to London and went to the London College of Fashion to complete a degree in Make-up. I started working in the fashion industry doing nails and make-up but then decided to specialise in nails. What has been the highlight of your career? Doing the front cover of UK Vogue! This was the magazine I read growing up so it was very poignant. Do you enjoy doing your own nails? No I hate it! It's such a chore, but I love it when they are done! Is there an artist and/or designer who inspires you? I look to lots of different artists and designers for inspiration. I always go to museums and exhibitions to research fresh ideas. My favourite artists are Tamara de Lempicka and M C Escher.

Whose nails have you done? The list is endless but recently I have done Jessie J, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Penelope Cruz and Azealia Banks. Your job seems very glamorous, but is there a downside? Yeah you work long hours sometimes. I've been on sets for over 24 hours before, sometimes in the cold and rain too. There's a lot of waiting round for manicurists. You have to carry heavy kit around and work in uncomfortable situations, so my body and back have suffered the most! Do you have creative freedom when it comes to designing your clients' nails or are you told what to do? It depends. Sometimes there is a really specific look when working on a shoot. When there is a client or brand involved, you have to give them what they want whether you think it works or not. On editorials you have more freedom, but it's generally a collaboration between photographer, stylist, make up and myself. I think it's important to have your input and let your style shine through whilst being able to read what people want and what works for the whole look. It's a balancing act. What are your top 3 nail trends for this season? Embellishment, pastels, texture and effects like fades and ombres are big this summer

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Probably living in America, perhaps with my own product range or something like that.

If you could do ANYONE’S nails, who would you pick? Lil Kim… or someone I idolised when I was younger.

What do you enjoy most about your job? The amazing places I get to visit, the legendary people I meet and the stories I hear!

What are your favourite nail products to use? Revlon for polishes, CND for acrylic nails and L'Ocitane for skincare.

Would you say what you do is an 'art'? Definitely. It's a very specialist skill and nails are proving now they are an art form in their own right. @JennyLongworth


Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012

practical The Japanese art of paper folding comes from ‘ori’ meaning ‘to fold’ and ‘kami’ meaning paper writes Amelia Brook

Behind the Folds


Origami involves one or more pieces of paper, no cuts, no glue or tape and only creases, as it is all mathematics. Anything, from the simplest crane to the more complex two foot tall sculptures of Yoda, can be made from origami. It was first documented in Japan in the 6th century when it was used for religious ceremonial purposes, as paper was expensive. As paper folding became more popular, the price of paper also fell meaning it became an art form for the rich and poor. The crane is the sacred bird of Japan. In 1797 ‘How to Fold 1000 Cranes’ was published promising that if you made 1000 cranes you would be granted one wish. Because of this, the crane has become the country’s national symbol of peace. This ancient art even influences modern day technology. Japanese scientists have designed a small paper airplane no longer than 10 cm, which they hope to launch into space and survive its descent back down to Earth. The prototype has already passed a durability test in a wind tunnel and the real model will soon be made. From this they hope to learn more about aerodynamics to help them remodel their future spacecrafts.

'There is now a granite statue of Sadako in the Hiroshima Peace Park that acts as a symbol of the devastating effect of nuclear war.' You cannot deny that origami is art. It combines maths, science, creativity and colour to create very intricate, majestic creations. If an art form can survive for over 5 centuries, you know that it will be a timeless genre, especially in a large continent like Asia. A popular story that is now passed down to the Japanese generations is that of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl from Japan. When 2 years old, Sadako was blown out of her window by the atomic bomb which landed in Hiroshima in 1945. 10 years later she was diagnosed with leukaemia and started to make 1000 origami cranes to follow Japanese folklore and make a wish to live, but after seeing other sick children she said she would wish for world peace instead. Although she died before she could make her wish with only 644 cranes made, her classmates made the rest of the cranes and at her funeral she was buried with the full 1000 cranes to show their respect. There is now a granite statue of Sadako in the Hiroshima Peace Park that acts as a symbol of the devastating effect of nuclear war.



cov made in

Made in Coventry is an ecofriendly shop allowing local people and visitors to the city to buy unique items made in the city research by ellen luo

'It’s a venue for artists and makers of a wide range of goods to submit their work for sale. From jam to jewellery, face cream to cupcakes, knitting to paintings, music to books, all items made in Coventry will be considered.'

2 Tone Village Unit 1 The Courtyard At The Rear of 74-80 Walsgrave Road Coventry, CV2 4ED 07896741604


Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012


Get your GladRags on Stretch retrod a path taken by the Fashion team in issue 5 and caught up with Natalie Haynes, owner of Coventry boutique GladRags. Interview by ellen Parker & Mia Davies

Please remind us how you started with fashion I didn’t study fashion. After I finished my Psychology degree at Coventry University, I worked in a clothes shop reinforcing my interest in fashion and having my own shop, which was my aspiration as a young child.

What made you go into vintage fashion? At the time I came up with the idea of GladRags, I felt there was nowhere in Coventry that really offered vintage clothing. I liked the idea of picking what I was interested in and what I wanted to sell and mixing different items of stock.

How did you actually start GladRags? I put together a business plan and took it to the bank. As the shop is so small, I didn’t need a really large loan and GladRags was born.

When you were younger, was there anything or anyone that inspired you to go into fashion? Not really, like most girls I have always been into fashion but nothing specific really has inspired me.

Where do you see yourself in the future? This is a time where I really need to start thinking about where I want to go with GladRags. Fortunately, the shop has done really well in the last 12months. It has come through the recession and really established itself. GladRags started out quite strong and I am lucky it has come so far. There were a number of times through the recession where I considered giving up, many days were terrible, but with help from my sister we went back to the original creative GladRags and have prospered. This shop, along with others alongside it, could be knocked down in 3 years to make way for a new shopping centre. With this in mind, I will need to plan a relocation but wherever I move to, I’ll look hopefully to maintain a shop in Coventry.

How do you feel knowing that GladRags has lasted 5 years? The first 2 years were fantastic – both fun and crazy! As I said earlier, years 3 and 4 were horrendous because of the recession, but this year has been great thanks to everyone that has been loyal to GladRags. Initially, I had no money really for stock so made my own products such as putting elastic into old jumpers to make them more retro. (Natalie laughs remembering this.) It was going back to this unique style during the recession that helped turn GladRags back around within a few months. It had become quite ‘brandy’ but we have now benefited from a wider, loyal client base. Facebook: Gladrags Coventry


21 celebrity

Jonathan Ross questions

Stretch never fails to be so grateful for the willingness of major names to talk to us. This year we contacted comic fan TV presenter Jonathan Ross on Twitter (@wossy) to see whether he would answer some of our questions. This is what he said, live from Comic Con in the US by Ellen Parker & Joel Venson


Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012


here did your love of comics come from? I fell in love with them when I read my first few Marvel comics. I was born in 1960, so I was probably about 7 or 8 when my big brother brought some second hand in a junk shop. They were Daredevil and the Fantastic Four and Thor. He liked them, but I loved them and started collecting almost immediately. What gave you the idea for ‘Turf’? I liked the idea of an old style Hollywood gangster film, from maybe the 1930s mashed up with horror films from the same period, then I got crazy and added an alien as well; but the first idea I had was of gangsters trying to get away from a rival gang who happened to be vampires. What is your favourite genre of comics and why? I don't really have one. I like all comics. If you could have one super power for a day, what would it be? The ability to say the letter 'r' or maybe flight. No, the ability to say the letter 'r'! Who for you is an iconic designer? I love design! In clothes, I'd say Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood (the early punk stuff), Yves St Laurent for his revolutionary women’s wear of the 1960s, Alexander McQueen, Pierre Cardin and more. In furniture: Joe Colombo, maybe also Ettore Sottsass, and Philippe Starck. In glassware: Émile Gallé and Les Frères Daums. In architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright, of course, but also Nash and Wren… and I liked the house building kit that Phillippe Starck put out a few years back. In products, there are loads of designs I love without knowing where they came from: plastic radios from the 1960s, perspex desks and so on. I love the futuristic design that was popular in the 1970s. For you, what is more important, the design or the designer? The design. Who inspires or has inspired you? Loads of inspirational people: Dario Argento, Sir David Attenborough, David Bowie, Winston Churchill, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby, Brian Eno, Nora Ephron, Akira Kurosawa, Lady Gaga, David Lean, John Lydon, David Lynch, Malcolm McLaren, Vladimir Nabakov, Peter Tatchell, Rufus Wainwright. I could go on really! Do you have people that choose your clothes or do you choose them yourself? Both, but I prefer choosing them myself. No one makes me wear stuff though, so I guess ultimately it's always me. Did you enjoy art when you were in school? Yes, but I didn't really do it properly. I never chose it as a subject and felt I should try to do well academically like my elder brothers. I regret not following my own desires more.

Did you always want to be in showbiz? Probably not. But as I grew into adulthood, its appeal increased. Is art a big part of your life? Yes! If you could design a dream room, what would you have in it? I’ve more or less done this already as my office in London is filled with 1970s furniture, comic book art, and Japanese toys! The carpet is zebra skin and the walls are covered in the designs of Florence Broadhurst, while the woodwork is in bright orange and lime green gloss, in the style of Joe Columbo's palette from the 1970s. My office at home is similar, but with a more precious collection of comic book originals on the wall and my comic collection all filed and on display. Is street art creation or vandalism? That all depends on the art… and the street! Some is just territorial pissing. If you could pick someone to play you in a film about your life, whom would you pick? Meryl Streep. Whom would you like to draw you? Gil Kane or Rubens, as I am getting chubbier as I get older. Where’s the best place you have even been to? I love Tokyo, New York, Swanage, Blackpool, Paris, London, San Francisco, Moscow, Hong Kong, Seoul and Rome. I tend to like everywhere and it’s what’s inside that makes the difference as I believe you can be happy anywhere. What’s your favourite piece of art you own? Not sure! I have a small drawing done for me by the French comic book genius Moebius (Jean Giraud), who died earlier this year. I also have the art for the Marvel fan club poster from the 1970s created by Jim Steranko, but it’s hard to choose favourites.  Do you prefer canvas art or sculptured 3D art? Canvas. Do you have any strange phobias? Nope. Do you think David Beckham should have been in the Olympic Squad? Maybe. Now, the question of the early summer. Have you read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and if so, what did you think? Nope! And finally, as part of the director’s cut, some of the Stretch team wanted to ask you if you would rather have a griffin or a cactus as a pet but were too shy to ask! Griffin!!!



illus tra tion Stretch tracked down exciting young illustrators who are regularly blogging on their lifestyle written by Ollie Adébisi Lord Whitney is the collaboration between Amy Lord and Rebekah Whitney, both 27, who met studying Graphic Art and Design at Leeds Met. Both had a background of working in retail merchandise, styling and film & set design, so in 2009 decided to set up by themselves. ‘We decided to set up as self employed as we wanted to be able to be creative everyday and work on our own ideas and briefs. What initially began as a bit of fun has slowly established itself into our brand. The name Lord Whitney came from our surnames yet seemed to fit with our work perfectly. The first project we worked on together was in the last week of university; we combined our skills in photography and illustration to create a giant 3D theatre set. It was quite distinct but we shared a sense of humour and had a vision of what we wanted to do. Though the first time either of us had worked in this way, we never looked back and have been creating large 3D illustrations ever since. From kids we were encouraged to be as imaginative as possible and often entered a magical imaginary cardboard world; we seem to have come full circle. Becoming self employed was a leap into the unknown. We had no funding, although great support from people around us has helped us get this far. Working for yourself is not easy in the early days as unfortunately money does become key to what you can do, but our belief in what we do and our determination and passion to create work has always kept us going. Working collaboratively has always worked well for us both; the way we work is very organic and more often than not ideas come from a fully collaborative process plus we involve other writers, designers or someone in a totally different field from us. We always love the process of learning someone’s way of working and having the chance to feed into ideas. It's been a really exciting, eye-opening, stressful (at times) and wonderful adventure and we are still learning so much. We've worked in cafés, temped all over Leeds and stuffed envelopes to fund where are, so don't think it all has to happen straight out of uni. It's a long, gradual process in the creative sector. We love what we do and love that.'

‘I guess just like any teenager I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. I know I don’t want a desk job and admit I’m scared and a little shy, but eventually I think I’d like to open a print shop or a clothing store, something related to the arts.  What started me drawing were pretty things out of my reach. I’d draw them as my little way of keeping things without actually purchasing them.’

Tales from the Creeps is an illustrator from Canada who illustrates her life as a teenager with daily sketches. Her fashion conscious illustrations of girls and short snappy quotes are hugely popular. We asked about her aspirations and what motivated her to start drawing. 10

Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012


Stretch laments the apparent demise of the cartoon… or is it alive and well?

lostart? So is the art of cartoons a long lost medium and, if so, is it possibly one of the most regrettable absences of our time? Written by Mwelwa Mukwashi & Coral Billingham 'Sales figures of iconic comics like the Beano have declined over recent decades bar a flurry of purchases from nostalgists.'

Cartoonists are some of the most underrated artists in society due to the negligent attitudes towards comic strips and their ilk. It seems that we have forgotten a newspaper cartoon’s ability to make us chuckle on a truly miserable morning by a bus stop in the drizzling rain. Most would agree that comics were more appreciated in the 20th Century. The comic books produced by Marvel were seemingly every young boy’s primary education, while now superheroes such as Spider Man, The Hulk and Superman are primarily recognised by their respective movies and actors. This all seems a shame when cartoons over time have ranged from the extremely imaginative Batman to the notoriously mischievous Dennis the Menace in the Beano. Sales figures of iconic comics like the Beano have declined over recent decades bar a flurry of purchases from nostalgists. However all is not unwell since cartoonists are definitely in demand for their ability to add political punch and sardonic satire to reports in broadsheets such as the Guardian. Invective and vitriol towards politicians, always a rich seam but never more so than now, have allowed cartoonists to flourish? Throw in current European economic crises and ever-increasing ire towards the financial sectors, and the cartoonists’ sketch books look as if they will remain full to overflowing for some time. Let’s applaud these artists for their witty banter and creativity! Is there an art award for the funniest and most innovative of these cartoons? Can we not bring this art back into the limelight for all to appreciate? If nothing else, we would like to take this opportunity to post our appreciation of the cartoonists’ fine work and the chuckles they create for us on a schoolday, often just before we walk into a triple lesson of A Level Statistics.





through a All images by Amelia Brook

Morocco 12

Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012




1916, it was a bonechillingly cold night. Over the silence of no-man’s land, the odd crack of Jerry gunfire could be heard. In the living pits of hell, two infantrymen sat in a pool of mud, shivering. Fear and anxiety forced their way through the calm mask that the men wore. written by Holly Twigger

the unknown enemy ‘Hand us a ciggie, will ya Fred?’ a lone voice croaked. ‘You can have a ciggie, Bert, but only if you open the Bully Beef, I’m starved!’ spoke another. The two friends sat in utter silence as they dug into their rations. They turned their metal-capped heads as a runner flew past them; they looked back at the other, their eyebrows raised. ‘There’s no need to ask where that runner came from, aye Bert?’ Fred sighed. ‘No doubt that HQ is saying we have to go over the top,’ said Bert as he picked up his Lee Enfield rifle. He started to carefully strip and clean his most loyal defender, despite the cold that was setting into his fingers, so that he would be ready for the day ahead. His chum followed suit. The sarge shuffled over to them with his head down, trying to be invisible to Jerry snipers. ‘Got a light?’ With a shaking hand, Fred struck a Swan Vesta match and held it in a cupped hand towards his superior. The three comrades exhaled, smoke billowing out of their chattering mouths. All was still. The wind blew the smoke along the battlefield, the cries of thousands of dying men whistled through the trenches and tunnels of the Somme. A steady beat of thundering marching feet suddenly filled the calm.


Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012

‘Jerry must be on the move. I’ll search up top.’ Bert grabbed his periscope and leant against the frozen mud walls, lifting his scope to his eyes. Astonishment filled his face. ‘Bloody hell, I ain’t seen no Jerries like this!’ The formidable Roman legion continued to march ever forward, towards their hated enemy; the Gauls. Line by line, row by row, they advanced. They had walked for many leagues, but the only noise was the odd clanking of the shields and the short swords slapped against their sides slick with sweat. The Legatus legionis called a halt to his column, the soldiers stopped in perfect unison. The same breeze that carried the cries of the dying men caused the Legatus’ plume to shudder. After a few moments’ pause, the continuation of the drumming signalled for the soldiers to advance. The Romans marched in battle formation only to discover that their enemies did not throw spears or shoot arrows but instead had sticks that belched fire and smoke. As the sun rose, the Tommies poised their rifles ready to shoot. The lines of Roman shields glistened. There was row after row of armour-clad soldiers, each one as intimidating as the next. Bert reached down for a smoke grenade; pulling the pin he sent the grenade forth into the air. With an almighty

boom, smog spread through the air cloaking the oncoming Romans. Leaning against the trench wall, Bert cocked his weapon. As he sighted his rifle ready to fire, the smog slowly dissipated, revealing an empty battlefield, the Roman soldiers had vanished, leaving an eerie silence...

'Bert grabbed his periscope and leant against the frozen mud walls, lifting his scope to his eyes. Astonishment filled his face.'


Something to dye for

Our creative objective to produce some limited edition tote bags produced some fantastic results, so here’s how to join in the fun! by Emily Thornhill, Marlie Cummings and Ollie AdÊbisi Step 1 Ask permission before you get to grips with fabrics, tie dye paint and irons! Step 2 Wash the fabric, as this enables the dye to be soaked up more easily, and leave to dry. Step 3 Use rubber bands to hold the fabric in different patterns. Step 4 Put the fabric into a bowl of dye and leave for about 2 minutes. It’s also worth dipping half of the fabric in one colour and the other half in another. Step 5 Take all the bands off the fabric and hang to dry. Step 6 Simply dry iron the fabric and, hey presto, your uniquely customised masterpiece is created.



archi tec ture

Stretch reporter Joel Venson comments on the impact made upon him by the Russian architecture he saw on the Bablake trip earlier in the year Whilst in Russia, standing out among the busy 21st century shopping centres and industrial buildings, I saw many old Soviet buildings that are iconic images in travel brochures advertising modern Russia. Of those iconic images my favourite was St Basil’s Cathedral, but there were many palaces and cathedrals scattered around Moscow and St Petersburg, which vied for my attention: such as the Winter Palace which Trotsky and the Red Army stormed in the October Revolution of 1917 and the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. Underground too, the city’s metro was elaborate and decorative. It was almost refreshing to see the old style buildings stand amid the modern Russian architecture, as they capture the history of the Tsarist rule in Russia and the Communist Revolution, which affected the nation’s lifestyle so much.


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'...I saw many old Soviet buildings that are iconic images in travel brochures advertising modern Russia.'


the art of lying Stretch reporter Matt Corden argues his case for politicial propaganda in the days of Soviet communism.

Anyone reading this with even the slightest understanding of the Communist Block in Eastern Europe will be acutely aware that human rights in that region might not bode well with Amnesty International or the views of recently deceased anti-totalitarian intellectual Christopher Hitchens. The various propaganda posters that flooded Soviet society during the Stalinist-era in particular conveyed a very different image. Socialist realism was the only permitted art form after having been analysed carefully by the censorial Goskomizdat, the State Committee for Publishing, which ensured any form of anti-Communist propaganda was eradicated. The socialist realism movement was not applied exclusively to artists; literature, film, radio and even the education of children were all carefully controlled by the State. Stalin relied heavily on this art form; he was presented as the hero of the Soviet people and as a disciple of his predecessor Vladimir Lenin. Were these truthful depictions of Soviet life or were they barefaced lies? It is perhaps a surprising fact that 50% of the current Russian population still consider Stalin a great statesman and the

Soviet Union was arguably the main driving force in defeating the Axis-powers during World War II. Perhaps the pseudo-religious element of the artists’ depictions could thereby be considered a viable representation of public opinion. Although that would depend on who you were and how you behaved. After having murdered Kirov (an ex-ally) in late 1934, the Soviet Union moved into an era known by Robert Conquest as the ‘Great Terror’. During this time, NKVD officials (The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs ) were given quotas to shoot random members of the public on the street, the Soviet Army was purged of almost 40,000 members and  wealthy farmers considered to have bourgeois tendencies were thrown into the Gulag to be worked to death on the rapid industrialisation programmes. Cultural freedom was kept to an absolute minimum  and worship for the ‘great leader’ was compulsory. You’d therefore be forgiven for thinking that Soviet propaganda art was a fictional utopian lie. Either way, the cult-of-personality art form that was inseparable from Soviet society was continued by Khrushchev and Brezhnev as a vital political tool for maintaining their image.



Stretch reporter Will Hine has a bit of a rant about the lack of soul in current chart dance music

creating electricity


hoever said music is ‘food for the soul’ was a wise person, however I can’t help but wonder whether they would rush to say the same about the current state of the chart music now. With the rise of superstar producers such as David Guetta and, does electronic music really still feed our soul? For decades, electronic music has been denunciated for being ‘soulless, synthetic noise’, yet so much of the finest electronic creations has been jampacked with the deepest emotional allure and soul-filled creativity born from the heart. Nowadays though the most popular mainstream music seems enough to numb any poor 14 year old's ears that dare catch its rhythms. With digital audio workstations (DAWs), the software that creates the music, now ever easier to get your hands on, due to the never-ending pirate sites, any man and their dog can create music and does that mean if anyone can now make music, it cannot contain any soul? Well, that all depends on your definition of soul. One argument critics always use against electronic music is its lack of emotion beneath the surface, behind the machines that create the sounds. The allegation being, music made by machinery- rather than by pinching a string on an instrument- absolutely cannot possess heart or soul. The art of being able to craft a stomach-churning chord sequence or hitting that outrageously difficult high note has supposedly been cast out and ground under the foot of the modern day electronic musician. Looking back at the likes of Can, Neu! or Kraftwerk, pioneers of electronic music, while they did not have the most cutting edge production skills compared with the likes of today, they still tried to convey emotion through their chord progressions and often clumpy vocals. These provocative sounds appear extinct within the electronic music industry nowadays, with the focus being on coming up with a cringeworthy one liner about ‘getting down with


Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012

shawty tonight’ or the bane of the music industry over the past 2 years ‘baby, baby, baby, oh’ that makes seemingly every guileless teenage girl think, ‘oh yeah, I can totally relate to that’. Despite all this negativity, there is, believe it or not, some hope, hope that those reading this will

'Just listen to Asa and Stumbleine, who create what can only be described as heartmelting sounds.' perhaps one day log onto their laptop and enter in the search bar ‘alternative electronic’. With just a minute searching, the abundance of unknown producers there are creating some of the upmost mindblowing music for free is staggering!

Just listen to Asa and Stumbleine, who create what can only be described as heart-melting sounds. They have recently collaborated and released an EP, alongside free albums of their own, with the most organic and soothing sounds of the modern age. Yet it astounds me how artists of this calibre, who produce innovative and soulful music on a regular basis, are so unknown. It appears today the general public really do want mechanised, unoriginal tracks overplayed on the radio instead of songs that really dig down into the roots and art that is music. Whoever thinks electronic music has no soul is foolish; it is not the electronic artist leeching the life out of the diseased body of popular music but the mainstream contempt of the producers such as Guetta who rule the world. Electronic music does have soul; you just have to dig deep enough to find it.

gaggle From The Mouth Of The Cave The Art and Design Issue’s favourite new band is Gaggle, a 21 piece female choir, where banshees and sirens abound. Phenomenal artwork and costumes too!

photograph by Danny North Debut album ‘From the Mouth of the Cave’ OUT NOW!


The art of

ballet Ballet is a performance art that has lasted over many generations, so why has it been so popular? It is very classical and elegant, but one of the strongest features is its appearance. The sheer amount of time spent on the artwork for a single show is what makes ballet so remarkable, and ballet is not just simply one piece of artwork, it is a whole event writes Nicole Minty

See, and for more information. 'Ballet has a prestige and lure. Shows consistently sell out and expectations are always high.'


Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012

The dancers must keep to a strict and healthy lifestyle. Constant rehearsals ensure every dance and pose looks perfect; then there are the hours spent stitching and embellishing the fabrics into spectacular costumes to keep that authentic elegance. Ballet has a prestige and lure. Shows consistently sell out and expectations are always high. It is truly inspiring that the whole team- dancers, artists and musicians- never disappoints and will always make an evening flawless. The choreography along with the music played by an orchestra is always complemented by the aesthetics; when everything comes together, it is no surprise that ballet is extremely popular.



bakery Find Maria’s Bakery in Coventry Market, Stall 37 – 38, CV1 3HT Coventry, United Kingdom

Photography by Amelia Brook Sketch by Ellen Luo




Playground Photos by Amelia Brook


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Costume and Make Up: The Stretch Team Models: Marlie Cummings, Mia Davies, Erin Hushon, Nicole Minty, Ellen Parker, Avril Patel, Abi Stinton Location: Coventry


Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012




Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012




Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012



Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012

'The Olympic Torch was said to represent the nation and the design and manufacturing of London and the UK.'

The Olympic Torch was made in Premier Sheet Metal in Coventry. Each one was made from aluminium sheets, which are resistant to heat and corrosion. The material of the torch was lightweight; with each one weighing just 800g, it was easier for the younger bearers. The design of the torch is different from previous torches as the UK’s design is triangular rather than a traditional cylindrical appearance. The torch was fused together, and also adapted for the Paralympics where an extra part of the design could be attached to wheelchairs. Overall each torch has 8,000 holes and a machine punctured 1000 of those every 54 seconds. These holes were created by lasers which were developed for use in aero engine turbines. The holes provided the torch with a transparent design and the 8,000 holes represented the 8,000 torchbearers who took part in the relay. The Olympic Torch was said to represent the nation and the design and manufacturing of London and the UK.

Erin Hushon & Avril Patel




alter native olym pics Erin Hushon & Avril Patel

Gladrags kindly lent us a number of the clothes in this photoshoot.


Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012

Thanks to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and 2012 Olympics in London, fashion has seen a new patriotic style with a larger use of red, white and blue and inclusion of the Union Jack. This patriotism has also been very evident in business advertising and numerous products have incorporated the Great Britain flag. From high street shops such as New Look, Next and Topshop to independent boutiques like Gladrags in Coventry, this patriotic influence has been clear.

Marlie: blue & white strapless dress – £10 Joel: model’s own clothes Abi: blue & white striped body suit – £8; red & white striped shorts – £24 Ellen: Union Jack Dress – £28 Mia: red jumpsuit – £45



modern art traditional art 34

Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012

Stretch reporter Lucy Burns explains her stance:

The Herbert Sculptural Gallery specialises in the new innovative and futuristic inspired sculptural art. Thus, each piece wholly and utterly inspires different and unique reactions. After observing all the beautifully crafted pieces, one piece really stands out: Peter Hiorns’ striking ‘Malefactor’, the skeleton of a bird hanging like a crucified figure, captures something exceeding expressionist and abstract, depending on the individual’s feelings and emotions. This emotional response makes modern art superior to beautifully crafted traditional pieces.

Stretch reporter Holly Twigger offers two traditional pieces to admire:

After looking at all the exhibits in the Herbert Art Gallery, two traditional pieces stand out. Francesco Furini’s ‘Head of a Girl’ is a fantastic beautiful piece of work from 1640, with very pleasant light highlighting the features of the young female subject, while David Wynne’s ‘Yehudi Menuhin’ impresses with the simplistic impact of its face, hands and violin.

You have heard the views of our Stretch reporters; now why not visit the Museum to find out for yourself which side you will take! Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 10am to 4pm; Sun 12pm to 4pm. Jordan Well, Coventry CV1 5QP 024 7683 2386



Stretch reporters Abigail Stinton and Suki Vraitch visited the Coventry Transport Museum, home to one of the largest collections of road transport in the world – 300 cycles, 120 motorcycles and 250 cars and commercial vehicles as well as over a million archive and ephemera items – and created a timeline for the museum's biggest design icon – The Mini.

10 facts about the Mini (with thanks to The Guardian) 1. Issigonis's first design sketch for the Mini was drawn on a napkin in Switzerland. 2. In 1961, racing driver Stirling Moss was banned for a year for speeding in a Mini, allegedly while testing it for a Sunday paper. 3. In 1964, BMC tested a 2.3-litre Mini with engines at both ends. It was so fast development was dropped.


4. Rumour has it Issigonis designed the door bins in the original Mini to hold a bottle of gin and several tonics. Or maybe it was just pints of milk. 5. How many people can you fit in a Mini? The record is 66, apparently. 6. Longest Mini convoy? 269 cars. 7. Joanne Westlake was the first person to be born in a Mini.

8. Actor Kevin Spacey once paid $130,000 for the last classic Mini Cooper to be built. 9. Most famous death in a Mini? Marc Bolan of T Rex, who was in a crash in a 1275 GT. 10. The breathtaking escape through the Turin sewers by gold bar-filled Mini Coopers in The Italian Job was filmed in Coventry.





The Mini Mk 1 was launched

The first major redesign occurred with the production of Mini Mk 2

'The Italian Job' featured a Mini car chase, filmed in Coventry. This film was remade in 2003

The Mini Mk 3 was launched

Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012

Free admission 10am – 5pm daily

Did you know? The Mini has been in production for 53 years and was announced to the Press on August 26th 1959.

museum fact file Oldest item: 1818 Hobby Horse Strangest item: 1900 ‘Freak’ Cycle Most significant item: 1888 Rover Safety Cycle 2001 The new Mini was relaunched, after investment from BMW.

Most controversial item: 1985 Sinclair C5 Slowest vehicle: 1897 Daimler (c. 12mph) Fastest vehicle: Thrust SSC (c. 763mph in 1997) Best loved vehicle: 1929 Austin 7 Swallow Biggest design icon: Mini Best kept secret: 1962 Triumph Italia 2000 designed by Michelotti





The Mini Mk 4

The Mini Mk 5

The Mini Mk 6

The Mini Mk 7



art of our era


Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012

Stretch reporters Matt Corden and Joel Venson polled the pupils and staff at Bablake School, one of the Midlands’ leading mixed independent schools, about the styles of art and design that are defining the 21st century. The list went‌

Mosaic Banksy Evolution Optical Illusions World 3D Street Graffiti and Urban Minimalism Sustainability Contemporary




Body art gets a lot of exposure these days, both in the media and on the skin of the increasing number of people choosing to wear large, visible tattoos. But with all that exposure comes a fair amount of misinformation, so here are a few useful little things to know about ink, whether you love it or hate it, writes Russ Thorne


Tattoos are not, and never have been, a mark reserved only for criminals and general rogues. In fact they're as old as humanity itself and have been used to show rank or faith, denote royalty, explain where a person has come from and their tribal lineage, pay tribute to the dead, and much more.


The oldest tattoos found so far belong to Otzi the Iceman, a Bronze Age man from 3300BC whose body was found preserved in ice bearing multiple tattoos. No, 'mum' wasn't one of them.


Although most modern tattoos are done by machine, some older techniques endure – tattoos are tapped into the skin on rakes made of sharpened bone, or poked in using needles mounted on bamboo sticks.


Some tattoos are thought to give you magical powers – certain traditional Thai tattoos, administered by monks, are believed to stop bullets. (Few people want to test that theory, though.)


Cheap tattoos aren't good, good tattoos aren't cheap. If you're legally old enough to get a tattoo, wait a few years, save up, and if still seems like a good idea go to a great artist to get it done. You're less likely to regret it that way! Russ Thorne, author of ‘Blood & Ink: The Art of the Tattoo’ is a freelance writer whose contributions regularly appear in The Independent. We thank Russ for his guest feature.



reco ended Marlie: Banksy

Av: Ben Howard

Emily: Caroline Kirton

Erin: Chloe Green

Amelia: Coldplay and Frida Kahlo

Joel: Noel Clarke

Abi: One Direction

Matt: Malcolm Sayer

Nicole: Alexander McQueen

Ollie: Metronomy, Friends, The Rapture and Santigold


Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012

omm d artists designers Suki Vraitch

Holly: Gustav Klimt

Lucy: Vincent Van Gogh

Mwelwa: Tim okamura

Suki: Michelle Wibowo, Elsa Schiaparelli

Coral: Erin Cox

Oliver: Katsushika Hokusai, Julian Beever, Jen Stark

Ellen L: Martin Parr

Mia: FS Lowry

Will: Fred V & Grafix, Lenzman, Technicolour & Komatic

Ellen p: Andy Warhol

woody: Tom Lewis, Pete McKee, Peter Saville, Philipp Starck, 23 Envelope



STELLA MCCARTNEY CORRECT KIT Victoria Pendleton models Stella McCartney's Olympic range.

The Great Britain Olympic Clothing line was designed by Stella McCartney and produced by Adidas. It was unveiled at the Tower of London.

T photograph by Ben Duffy


Stretch | Art & Design | Issue 9 | 2012

he collection provided up to 175,000 items of sportswear for 900 British athletes competing in the Olympic and Paralympic sports at London. The sportswear has been in development for two years and Stella McCartney has designed the clothing line in a way that the flag is broken down and shown in different ways. Many people criticised Stella’s design, as people believed it lacked the colour red, and involved too much of the colour blue, therefore not showing our national colours. It is said that an athlete’s appearance could help the way they perform so therefore the clothing wasn't just designed to be efficient for each discipline, but also for psychological performance enhancing. Italy’s Olympic clothing line was designed by Armani, while Ralph Lauren designed the United States of America’s clothes for the worldwide sporting event.


Stretch presents its traditional whimsical treatment of its theme. We would be worried, if you already knew that: Holly Twigger and the Stretch Team

art design trivia

Leonardo da Vinci spent 12 years painting the Mona Lisa's lips. Roman statues were made with detachable heads, so that one head could be removed and replaced with another. Henri Matisse's painting ‘Le Bateau’ was hung upside-down for almost 7 weeks without anyone noticing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. When Leonardo da Vinci's ‘Mona Lisa’ was stolen from the Louvre in 1912, 6 replicas were sold as the original, each at a huge price, in the 3 years before the original was recovered. During his entire life, artist Vincent Van Gogh sold just one painting: ‘Red Vineyard at Arles’. Pablo Picasso could draw before he could walk and his first word was the Spanish for ‘pencil’. The world famous Louvre Museum and Art Gallery in Paris, built in 1190, was first used as a fortress. Photography: as no art is. Ringo Starr was the narrator for the original episodes of illustration classic ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’. Bablake former pupil and illustrator Alex T Smith’s creation ‘Claude’ will feature on National Book Tokens from Autumn 2012. English artist Andy Brown created a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by stitching together 1,000 used tea bags. The first illustrated book for children was published in Germany in 1658. Salvador Dali’s paintings all include a self-portrait. The first pencil appeared in 1565. The term Art Nouveau was taken from the name of a shop that opened in Paris in 1895. Bauhaus, the school of design that aimed to reconcile industrial mass-manufacture with aesthetics, was closed down by the Nazis. Andy Warhol almost died when he was shot three times in the chest by Valerie Solanis, an ardent feminist and one of many who thought Warhol was abusive and controlling. Aristotle said: ‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ Pablo Picasso said: ‘Everything you can imagine is real.’ X-ray technology has shown there are 3 different versions of the Mona Lisa under the visible one and it is also measures just 75cm by 52.5cm.


Stretch 9  

The Art and Design Issue- Bablake's student magazine.

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