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Issue 3: Adulthood

Autumn 2010


Photograph by Matt Woodroffe


CONtents 2. Editor’s Letter 3. Miriam Sturdee Bio on our front cover artist 4. Timepiece A poem by Bram E. Gieben with an illustration by Miriam Sturdee 6. Life After Graduation Aneira Davies talks to young graduates 9. Little Sister Lucy [Featured Artist]: Rachael Macintyre interviews fashion designer Lucy Balloch 12. Adulthood A frank look at this month’s theme by Paddy Hare 14. Clubbing Ali George is made to feel older and wiser by today’s teens. Accompanied by a Miriam Sturdee illustration 16. Life as a Football Fan Dave Cadwallader looks at football growing up 18. Handhold A reflection on Adulthood by Paul Derham with a photograph by Matt Woodroffe 20. Ten Years Creative piece by Indira Kemp 21. I Refuse to Grow Up Image by Nannick De Costa 23. A Contrast of Adulthood Image by Socks Rolland


Editors Letter

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n the last issue of Brikolage I described Adulthood as cynical; and on initial receipt of our contributions I didn’t feel entirely proved wrong. It seemed as if most people were reluctant to depict Adulthood because they felt they were not an authority on it. And when they did it was very negative; connoting the idea of Adulthood as boring, serious and basically something nobody wants to be. However most of our contributors were in their twenties so they were adults, they just didn’t believe it. When I looked again,

I saw that these adults, and the adults portrayed in our stories and images, are a mixture of this; what they are told being grown a up means and what they actually are. Responsible, rebellious, mature and childish all at once. Indira Kemp’s piece made me glad that as an adult, although I have to do my accounts, I can do them in pyjamas. Matt Woodroffe’s photograph of the suited man with an ice cream made me laugh out loud. Brikolage autumn issue proves to me that being an adult is far from boring and I am thoroughly looking forward to Old Age!

http://bit.ly/cN31g6

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KETING MA

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...graphic print tees, baking fairy cakes and skateboarding filmed with the phantom camera. Poppy Bending Beckett http://vimeo.com/10574657

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KETING MA

...Mumford & Sons, Katie Cupcake’s adorable jewellery and Hyperbole and a Half’s blog. Indira Kemp

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...the X Factor, ninja cats and sharing platters. Amanda Svensson Falk http://bit.ly/VTC3v

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...Impressionist Gardens exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh and these very unadult shoes by Irregular Choice. Rachael Macintyre http://bit.ly/9tAqtm

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This autumn we love...

...kicking leaves and a fresh new breeze Richard Bullimore http://www.ninjatune.net/solidsteel/

Assistant designers: Matt Woodroffe and Alison Wilson


This autumn Brikolage chose an illustration by Miriam Sturdee for our Adulthood front cover. Miriam wasn’t always an artist. Or at least, it wasn’t always what she was going to be when she grew up. Her route to art bypassed psychology and marketing, but not without influence. She describes her works as psychologically inspired portraits and things that go bump in the night.

When asked what she thought about Brikolage’s autumn theme Miriam said “Adulthood is a prospect full of the joy of doing those things you always wanted to do (like getting a motorbike) but also peppered with great inconveniences such as tax returns and electricity bills. The modern adult likes to pretend they are only on the cusp of adolescence, whilst reaping the rewards of being taken seriously. Artwise, it is a difficult topic to cover - there is as much looking backward as there is forward - a meeting of themes.” Miriam’s recent exhibitions include venues as exciting as a castle in Slovenia, to a group show at the Candid Arts Trust in

Islington. You can check out her painting and printmaking in October at the Islington Contemporary Art & Design Fair, as well as a range of humorous cards straight from the right-hand side of the brain. http://www.linemaker.co.uk/ Illustration by Miriam Sturdee




TIMe Piece

by Bram E. Gieben

Timepiece was also used as the lyrics on a track of the same name by Double Helix. As a poem, it was first published in ‘The Chemical Poets Manual 01’ (Red Squirrel Press, 2008).

Bram has a free digital EP “Synaesthesia” which is coming out on www.blacklanternmusic.com early August.

This is just one line One rhyme One moment passing, suspended in time Like attention fixes perspective Stretches the subjective into a sign: A shimmering hypersigil, communicating The shared understanding of an abstract refined. Or were these moments wasted Infinity tasted briefly Sweetly, as illusion My own collusion making narrative out of abstract To allow me to examine the famine of meaning At the hollow centre of it all Can’t make any sense of it all It all blurs into one thing Me looking out through my eyes Wearing this disguise of metal rings, ink and skin Learned how to sink and swim Think rationally, reject God And at Christmas, sing hymns A parallel contradiction Lie bursting from constructed seam To merge into truth, fiction, and elements of a dream So which is it? The mash up and the melee of a story told The gory details sold and reproduced Elements distilled, product produced This frozen time, my stolen rhyme Which makes you stop and listen in To find the kernel truth within The pretty lie Or is in truth this moment not The living proof that nothing matters All is empty Only you and I present as I narrate the present and it Passes into past An infinite number of grains of sand as they Trickle through the glass For as long as we stand here To witness them pass


Illustration by Miriam Sturdee




Life after by Aneira Davies

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ife after graduating is an important part of growing up and becoming an adult. This in-between-ajob-and-a-dreamcareer stuff can be hard and, as such, propels the individual into a sense of limbo, drifting somewhere between adolescence and fullyfledged adulthood. It is even truer today, with a higher number of young graduates moving back home in order to save money. I have decided to interview two young graduates, Eleri and Scarlett, who are both still searching for the perfect job. Eleri graduated last year with an English degree, has worked for a clothes company and currently lives in London. “I do see a Scarlett graduated in 2008, Adulthood with a degree in than what Textile design, You just get has completed a number of placements in the design industry and currently lives in South Wales. So, how does it feel to have graduated and be in this position now, in a time of economic recession? Eleri: It’s a competitive game out there. It’s hard for anyone to get a job, especially in a sparsely populated area, such as Wales,

where I come from, as there are no jobs. Scarlett: Disheartening. Everyone has a degree these days. You have to have something extra, such as an MA or a PGCE, but you still don’t know whether that’ll be enough to get a job. How does it feel to be one of many applicants for one job? How do you cope with this? Eleri: It raises your game. You apply for jobs that are outside your field, simply to get a job. Though, it is not necessarily what you want to do. Scarlett: You have to go with the flow and not take it too seriously. The odds are against you, so you’ve got to show that you’ve got more talent.

difference. is easier you think. on with it”.

What is your dream job?

Scarlett: Working within the design industry, travelling the world, searching for inspiration for trends. Why did you choose the path you did after graduation? Eleri: There are definitely more opportunities in London. You can settle for any job, because you know the dream job is around the corner. It’s where I want to be.


graduation Scarlett: After graduating in textile design, it wasn’t easy to get a job in that field. I needed to move home to save money in order to move to London. There’s not much around here for design. I would have to move away unless I wanted to start my own business. How do you feel you differ now to when you first graduated, in terms of growing up? Eleri: When you first move to a city, you think the world’s your oyster, but you soon realise that it’s different to how you imagined. I’ve definitely grown up and achieved a lot. You learn as you go and will make childish mistakes along the way. Scarlett: When you graduate, you think that you will get a job, but the reality of the situation hits you. Everyone knows that the arts are difficult for work, but you have to pursue your talent and what you love. The reality of not getting a job in that field is quite tough and does change you. What advice would you give to young people, on the cusp of growing up, possibly going through a change in their lives, that you wish you’d have been given? Eleri: Everyone has to learn for themselves. Now that I’m a year on from graduating, I feel that it’s a lot worse. I’m no longer at the top of the pile jobwise, because there

are younger, fresher people. It’s not necessarily true, but you feel like, if you are going to get a job in these hard times, one thing you’ve got over other people is your recent graduation. Scarlett: In hindsight, I’d tell everyone that it’s better to enjoy (life) whilst you’re young and not take life too seriously. Accept the reality, enjoy (life) in other ways and hopefully the job situation will get better eventually. Where did you see yourself when you were a child? What were your dreams? Eleri: I wanted to grow up and make lots of money. I saw myself living in a city and retiring to the country. I wanted to be a ballerina. You can never predict what you are going to do, but you can always have aspirations. But sometimes the reality is more exciting than the dreams. Scarlett: Ever since I was four, I wanted to be an artist. I used to wake up at six o’clock in the morning and make creations. This was always a natural course for me to take. How would you describe yourself, agewise? As a youth, an adult, or in between?

Scarlett: I feel much younger than I am. Especially when I think in a year, I will be in my mid-twenties. Do you see a difference in being an adult to what you thought it was when you were younger? Eleri: I do see a difference. Adulthood is easier than what you think. You just get on with it. Scarlett: I used to think that 24 was really old and that I’d be married with children by now. What important life lessons have you learnt on the way to becoming an adult? Eleri: Not to be naïve, because people will take you for granted; and to be positive about life. Scarlett: Aim high. If you aim high, you might not end up doing what you thought, but you may do something that you love. You may achieve more than you would have if you’d aimed low. At what age, if any, did you start feeling like an adult? Eleri: Recently, since getting my first proper job. Scarlett: Maybe when I am too old to use my young person’s railcard.

Eleri: An adult.




Little Sister lucy Interview by Rachael Macintyre

When Brikolage decides we would like to feature Little Sister Lucy in our Adulthood issue she, like most of our contributors, shies away from the notion of adulthood and worries why we picked her to feature. As if adulthood is such a negative thing when in fact most people who have contributed to Brikolage thus far are out of their teens, if only just. I tell her that she was chosen because her product, her lingerie, is adult. I don’t tell her that another reason may be because she has managed to set up and run successfully her own business, which to me seems quite adult. But, maybe my life to an outsider’s point of view seems adult? I doubt it, but it’s a thought. I meet Lucy at Victoria on Leith Walk in Edinburgh. A cosy pub lit by candles, with mismatched tables and cushions on sofas and my favourite place to go for a good beer and wasabi peas. After the befuddled Leither with yellow teeth finally got over the confusion of what it is we were snacking on (“is that mushy peas hen?”) and moved on from constantly interrupting us with “whut is it yer doin here then?” to “well, wun ye get two wummen

tigether…” I managed to get some questions in and we ended up having a really lovely chat. Little Sister Lucy is underwear; cute and comfortable lingerie sets made from silk and decorated with bows and frills and lace. Lucy’s collections are themed. These themes are mostly inspired by fabrics. Having studied printing textiles at the Edinburgh College of Art her love started with fabrics and how they can be mixed; the patterns and the textures. When asked about this, immediately her passion for this leaps out at me. Her eyes spark and she moves her hands a lot more, miming the feel of the material between her fingertips. This feeling is the soul of Little Sister Lucy. The way a fabric feels against your skin can change a garment from average to really special. This is what Lucy calls “Little Luxuries”. Buying something that makes you feel good, that lies on you like an extra skin.




Because she starts her collection from the fabrics she comes across, each set of lingerie comes with a range of accessories in the same fabric and under the same theme. Broadening her designs also widens the appeal of her label. From a small purse to an underwear set she has something for every taste and every price tag. She knows what it’s like to not be able to afford something (a feeling experienced by most students) and tries to make small luxuries for just that purpose. Lucy works from home. There are good and bad sides to this. She starts off with the bad, telling me that she finds it difficult to separate her working life from her personal life. There’s always work to be done and when she’s at home she can’t get away from that. I point out the positive: being able to choose her working hours, for example. Duly noted, but then she can hardly sit at home in front of the TV when her work is piling up in the corner of her eye. Being self employed must require a lot of self motivation, but I suppose that’s where loving what you’re doing comes in. And this is undeniably one of the most positive parts to Lucy’s work. She is able to work with something she is incredibly passionate about and so, in a lot of ways, it doesn’t feel like work. I ask her for advice for anyone else who wants to set up their own business. She initially seems baffled


that I would ask a question implying she is in a position to give out advice. From my point of view she is running her own business that she loves; that seems fairly successful and, if anything, I wouldn’t mind some advice. Fortunately for her, but perhaps not for us readers, she achieved Little Sister Lucy quite organically. She always knew she wanted to work for herself and when she graduated she practically went straight into doing just that. She applied to http://www.scottish-enterprise.com for a grant and that was that. She tells me living in Edinburgh helped a lot. Edinburgh is a good place to be if you are creative. People are open to new things and are always keen to learn. Pop-up shops are a good example. A bunch of designers get together in a space for a day, a week, a month and create a market of fresh goods designed by local talent. This is also an important step into success as it opens up connections with other designers and buyers. Meeting other people where you can share ideas and embrace the importance of things done with heart and personality. So, how does Lucy react to Adulthood? The same way a lot of people do (almost all of whom are adults). I want to know why she retreated from the word and it’s because it has so many negative connotations. It brings along the ideas of mortgage, kids, taxes, responsibilities...and then, I add, these are juxtaposed with the freedom and independence that adulthood entails. Unlike any of the other themes in Brikolage this year Adulthood is the only one in which you are old enough to do as you please and young enough (and also old enough) to still get away with it. Lucy thinks of her parents when she hears the word, adulthood, but then tells me her mum doesn’t even

consider herself an adult and has often wondered when she will grow up. So, maybe we’re always in a state of adolescence? I am told that it doesn’t mean anything; adulthood will never be what you thought it was going to be and so, I suppose, you never know you are one.

Photographs by Rorie Balloch

On that philosophical note I realise we have completely diverted from the subject of Little Sister Lucy, but have had a really interesting conversation about the meaning of adulthood. And come to the conclusion of… well, nothing really, other than it is a word with no real meaning, just a lot of baggage attached to it. And after all of that brain work I think it’s time to treat myself to a “Little Luxury” care of Little Sister Lucy. After all, I’m an adult. I can if I want to.

11


Adulthood

by Paddy Hare

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o here we are at Adulthood, issue 3. When the prompt for creativity came through, I’ll admit to being somewhat stuck with the concept of adulthood; I spent a great many years being a child and duly feel I am an authority on my childhood, and then a similar amount of time being an adolescent, and feel that I am of a similar level of expertise when it comes to my adolescence. So then the time came to write about adulthood, and in all honesty I don’t feel entirely capable to write with any kind of anecdotal authority on the subject of being an adult. But I surely am one. I am beyond all credible claim to being a child or adolescent, to even the most condescending of people, so here I am attempting to write about adulthood, or rather what it means to me. Should you be a faithful Brikolage reader you may remember my piece about childhood, about the fearlessness of childhood and how with fear we cannot grow, and without growth I feel that we stagnate, if not recede, which really is not the way forward. Yet adulthood is more than the fearlessness of childhood. I could perhaps hark on about responsibility, but I don’t really feel that responsibility is the essence of adulthood. While it certainly features, I personally

don’t feel it is the most defining factor. I also believe in the capability of adulthood, in the past I have defined my being ‘grown up’ as being able to deal with issues that have stumped me in the past, yet time and time again I am humbled by problems beyond my experience, so I defer to older, wiser people, in order to seek the answers I desire. It appears to me that being an adult seems to come with a lot of potential shackles: parenting, bread winning, social standing, the list drags on. I imagine it is a sign of my youth that I wish to declare a fairly loud ‘fuck that’ to responsibility. Equally though, my youth provides me with a fairly obnoxious source of optimism, a quality that I’ve found to provide no end of disgust amongst certain adults. This optimism denies me the acceptance that adulthood is a collection of shackles, of responsibilities, of a denial of freedoms. I refuse to believe that being an adult is worse than being a youth, or a child, otherwise (and again do excuse my youthfulness) why the fuck would we grow up? I mean for crying out loud it’s the 21st century, I’m sure any physical limitations can be overcome when it comes to enjoying being a grown up, there are no excuses to not have even more fun and adventures and learning and growing than those pesky youths. Many times

in my life I’ve heard the phrase youth is wasted on the young, my retort as a young person, is that wisdom is wasted on the wise. Gosh dare I say it wisdom is almost an excuse for failing to act. So, while I’m young and I can get away with this, ‘Fuck you wisdom, you’re holding us all back.’ So I should probably draw some conclusions of asort.In short, I think in my 24 years of being in this world, I’ve met some poor excuses for adults. People who are, beyond all doubt, adults, that fail to be more than, in my opinion, children and youths. However I have met people who have retained all the brilliant qualities of childhood and adolescence and, incredibly, have built on those fantastic personal foundations and become something more than the sum of the parts that preceded them. To me, that’s adulthood. To borrow some internet vernacular; any adult should be able to convincingly own anyone of junior years. If you have the fearlessness and curiosity of a child/youth mixed with the understanding of an adult, then you will always be able to argue/fight/convince anyone of your point of view. Youthfulness gives you the conviction to fight, but adulthood gives you the strength to hold firm. Think of it as a building built in reverse; adulthood is the foundation, and youthfulness is the flashy, compelling, and inspiring visible product.


Photograph by Matt Woodroffe

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C

g n i Lubb

eorge by Ali G

Twenty-somethings!

Want to check how adult you are? Why not try a trip to an alternative nightclub? For those of you not in the know, most “alternative” clubs play what is know as “alternative anthems”, i.e. the Kerrang! TV playlist circa ten years back, with the odd rock classic or arbitrary Pendulum track chucked in. At 25, you remember these ‘anthems’ from the first time round. You were only doing standard grades, that was barely any time ago! However, at 22, you probably just missed the nu-metal phase, and it’s possible that along with Cho Chang and the rest of these kids you genuinely think that ‘I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ is retro. It isn’t. Anyway, you’ve got into town, you’ve shown ID and pointedly ignored the withering glances of the bouncers on entry. Once there, make a beeline for the front of the dance floor, preferably wearing glo-sticks your much more inebriated mate produced on leaving the flat. Then, wait to see if they instantly increase

the volume of dry ice to mask your embarrassingly elderly face, before retreating to the bar to take advantage of the liver destroying drinks deals. Stand around awkwardly for a while, watching the 17-year-old in the ‘Pop Punk Is Not Dead’ shirt strawpedo a pitcher of tennents whilst thinking ‘Oh, but it is mate. It is.’ Read Gropey McFeelyouup the riot act because you’re sober enough to work out which of the creepy old men it was who grabbed you from behind. If you are not yet an adult, you’re more likely to elbow the nearest person instead, who will probably be one of your friends, or failing that a total hottie. Like, how embarrassing. If you think that the best song of the night is ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’ from The Blues Brothers, you might just be a proper grown up. But now Blink 182 are on, and as the only adult present it’s up to you to teach these naive kids how to pogo. Good luck.


Illustration by Miriam Sturdee

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Life as a football fan By Dave Cadwallader

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dulthood is about many things. I’ve legally been one now for just over seven years and so far I’ve concluded that it’s mainly about taxation and timing my laundry for just before I run out of boxers (still not quite got this right which usually results in at least one day a month being “holey boxers” day). There were the parts of becoming an adult they told you about in books, the new body hair, how to cook your own dinner, where to find the clitoris. A larger part of adulthood is managing your childhood dreams and aspirations against the grim truths that dominate the reality; Santa Claus isn’t real and your parents have had sex… a lot.

in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster) recommended a switch to all-seater stadia, a safety recommendation after the death of 96 people. The England success and the subsequent celebrity status afforded to Paul “Gazza” Gascoyne and Gary Lineker along with the success of Manchester United in the 1991 Cup Winners Cup saw a spike in football’s popularity not seen since the 1970s. This should have been the dawning of a golden age. Instead, after the events of 1990 and the establishment of the Premier League in 1992, football quickly became dominated by money. Vulgar amounts of cash were spread around and I could no longer bring myself to watch it.

Like all children, I started off dreaming I could grow up to become all things. Monday through Wednesday I’d be an actor, Thursdays and Fridays I’d be a cowboy saving the girl in the wild west, on Saturday I’d play for Manchester City and on Sunday I’d drive for McLaren F1. I did consider being an international rockstar at one point but I can’t sing and despite repeat attempts I can never quite manage to play the guitar. As I grew older these dreams became diluted. I could act but I’ve always had too much skin for my head and so lacked the matinee idols looks required for acting. I didn’t like horses so the cowboy thing was just impractical. I wasn’t scouted at a young enough age and so both Manchester City and McLaren were out the window.

The conversion to all-seater stadia meant two things, firstly to compete in the top divisions of the competition clubs had to invest money into their stadium to ensure they met the requirements. The offshoot of this meant that ticket prices had to go up to repay the investments made and because they couldn’t fit as many fans in as before. Secondly, the growth in popularity led to the possibility of increasing television revenues and this in turn led to the breakaway formation of the Premier League. (Prior to 1992 television revenue was shared between all the teams in the football league, from the top of Division One to the bottom of Division Three. This naturally meant fairer competition across the spectrum and so an increasing amount of teams being relegated and promoted. The formation of the Premier League meant that the money was now split just twenty ways, creating a largely unchanging top tier. As time has gone on and more money has gone into this top tier it has decreased the competitive chances for lower league teams. Naturally, every team wants to do well and get into the Premier League so more money is spent, money normally borrowed from the bank, normally on the basis that they can repay it once they’ve reached the higher leagues. In the meantime the top clubs began a spiral of needing to spend more on players and player’s wages to ensure they stayed in the top tier and kept seeing the larger revenues – they had to spend big to ensure they earned big.)

What didn’t change was my love of these things, with the exception of football. As I grew up, the rose tinted glasses came off and I came to terms with the seedier, less attractive sides of the stars of the silver screen and my love of the wild west developed into the common desire to see life away from the rat race and the desire to explore. In 1990, however, football changed. UEFA lifted the ban on British teams competing in European Competitions; England reached the semi-final of Italia ’90 (English fans liked seeing their team do well, whilst everyone else liked watching the English lose to the Germans); and most importantly the Taylor Report (which was commissioned


Before going any further I’ll address the elephant in the room - Formula One. I never stopped watching. Despite the money poured in I couldn’t bring myself to look away. In 1989 I sat down at my father’s request to watch the British Grand Prix and in particular the bright yellow helmet of Ayrton Senna… I was hooked. Watching him throw the red and white McLaren around corners whilst driving over 100 mph and positioned in the car in such a manner that made his face the crumple zone. Yes he made a lot of money, but the Ayrton Senna Foundation poured most of that back into an education system for the underprivileged children of Brazil. Every corner of every race, you could see the passion and the drive through the helmet and his death in 1994 was like a martyrdom to the sport - who was I to stop watching?

time to return. As previously mentioned I had a soft spot for Manchester City in my youth, this came from feeling sorry for them as they got relegated whilst their neighbours United won everything going. My fandom for City was confirmed when I realised that every Manchester United fan I met (and there are quite a few of them in Northern Ireland) was a twat. City were a team with history, home to players like Bert Trautmann and in my generation Niall Quinn and of course the tragedy of Marc-Vivenne Foe, yet somehow they had managed to get themselves into the third division and had never thought to give the showers at Maine Road a hot tap. I picked up the affair where I had left off… then things went south quickly.

Approximately two weeks after the start of the 2008/09 season Manchester City were taken over by Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Limited who promptly signed Brazilian football star Robinho for a record transfer fee. Money poured in but that money went to marquee signings, players who were working for the paycheque, their ridiculously inflated paycheques, as opposed to the badge. When a club who competes for a place in the Europa League starts bidding for the likes of Kaka and Samuel Eto’o it can be easily concluded that the owner does not have his “It simply became an increasing eyes on a long term vision of youth number of millionaires scuffing development but more on bragging about owning a team filled with, up a lawn and leaping in pain well, Galacticos.

Football, on the other hand, had no martyr. It simply became an increasing number of millionaires scuffing up a lawn and leaping in pain when no-one had touched them. Then came David Beckham and with him came a line of perma-tans, hairstyles, wags and clothing endorsements. The sport became a parody of itself, it’s own little green zone of cars and scandal whilst the people who watched it saw ticket prices soar and a father could no longer afford to bring his kids to the game.

So the top clubs have found themselves in this self-defeating money spending spiral and the signs that it might be damaging in when no-one had touched them”. the long term are all too obvious (Liverpool facing collapse and the Beyond the pitch there is the anti-Glazer protests at Manchester United) but so what? moral dilemma amongst foreign ownership. Chelsea F.C Like the executives who lost their money when Enron are owned by Roman Abramovich, a Russian Oligarch collapsed or when the credit crunch hit, surely these who has been accused of blackmail, accepting bribes clubs are just getting what came to them? And we as for controlling interest in Russian Oil (just after it’s the fans who cheered are just getting what comes to us? privatisation by Boris Yeltsin), not to mention theft Well, that’s not completely true. I am aware of the general and share-dilution. This is a man who has made the disbelief that may follow this statement but football, like vast majority of his fortune through the Aluminium Wars, all sports, is an art form. They do after all inspire love and essentially a large gangland style war in Russia over devotion in equal measure. In short, fans don’t deserve the newly privatised aluminium industry in which more this, we don’t deserve to see our hard earned cash pay than 100 people were killed. Sheikh Mansour who owns some twenty-one year old chav £16,000 a week or some Manchester City is a member of the Royal family of the South-American journeyman in excess of £100,000 UAE, a series of states that demanded 23 young men a week. Like lovers of poetry, paintings and music undergo hormone therapy after being caught engaging we’re hooked and nothing you can say will convince in homosexual acts. us we’re wrong. There is a conclusion here, but it’s a messy one. In the I got back into the sport in the summer of 2008. I had a same way that adulthood is on some level about coming bet on with a friend that I would give football another go to terms with the less desirable aspects of reality, being if he in turn tried rugby (his subsequent pathetic efforts an adult football fan is about wishing your team the best to follow the sport may wind up being documented whilst secretly hoping the owners will have something elsewhere). History would prove that I picked the wrong nasty happen to them and their families…

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Handhold by Paul Derham

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eing an adult - still not one of those things that makes any sense to me, in either purpose or experience. Childhood ends with adolescence, adolescence ends with adulthood, and, well, adulthood just seems to be the rest of it, the whole world in time as it is left to us once the majority of the crazy making hormones settle into some kind of holding pattern around port sanity. This adult world, made up of rent, bills, bank accounts, overdrafts, and mortgages; jobs, second jobs, third jobs, careers, bosses, colleagues, stresses, worries, and responsibilities; billionaires, shareholders, redundancies, insurance, benefits, and copyrights; news, opinion, bias, spin, truth, lies, politics, wars, and hypocrisy; leaks, national security, global security, global warming, terrorism both international and domestic; death, loss, hurt, betrayal, beauty, love, trust, friendship, sex, passion, lust, rage, and peace; and all this a mere fraction of a fraction of the swirl of collected created consciousness of human life on planet earth. There’s a lot to it; there’s far too

much to it. From the trivial to the vital, the sublime to the ridiculous it just swirls round and round and we’re alive until we’re not. I need a handhold, a lever, a lighthouse. It doesn’t just feel necessary or helpful; it feels important. A voice rings out from the centre of the hurricane and cuts through the panorama of the storm. It provides a frame for the chaos that makes it no less complex, no less terrifying, but at times infinitely more beautiful. A simple act of creativity ripples outwards with a tingle and an electricity. Its fractal nature makes it just like a rainbow; the same in form but utterly unique to the observer. From the seed of an idea to the wave of its genesis and execution washing over an audience, there is a continuum of expression of truths and falsehoods about that adult world. Their resonance may not momentously move the world as we have been taught and conditioned to view it but they don’t need to. That resonance perpetuates the fractal process of insight and creation allowing truth and lie to touch us in a place beyond the concerns that distract us and become that rare thing that has actual meaning. Meaning itself, and I’ll try not to

be all academical (sic), is a bit of a fucker too. It’s one of those nebulous concepts that when expressed in simple phonemes has people cock their heads at you and write you off as either a big flake or an insufferable bore, and regardless of being guilty as charged a little sensitivity to ones failings is always appreciated. Meaning in art seems sometimes to be typified by the horrid cheesy love song lyrics that stab themselves into your hind brain – it can have no relevance to your life and experience, just coming out of subspace and rooting itself in your consciousness like some beautiful psychic cancer forcing you to feel it despite yourself. I found it in a proud and selfish king gifting his kingdom to an enemy, a young hitch-hiker telling her sad and solemn driver all the contradictions and nonsense she can be utterly convinced of, an entire universe of tiny, tiny points of light and colour, a man being the man for his time and place, a fist crashing off guitar strings, and a verse descending into sheer guttural utterances to name a scant few. These are expressions I try to look to in the gloom, hoping for some guidance towards that feeling of wonder I know can be part of whatever experience I may have left.


Photograph by Matt Woodroffe

19


TEn YEars

by Indira Kemp

It was such an obvious thing that it was absurd it came as such a shock. But it did come as a shock, when she woke up on the morning of her twenty-third birthday and realised that it had been ten years ago since she had entered her teens. And it was a shock, too, to realise that she was no longer a teenager, but well and truly established in her twenties and, therefore, unarguably an adult. She still felt like a teenager - she’d even been pleased to see her birthday fell on a weekend day, which meant nothing if you didn’t go to school anymore and had to request weekend days off. Incidentally, she had forgotten to request her birthday weekend off and had forgotten to arrange a party, despite telling everyone for months to “save the date” - just another reminder of how very un-adult she felt she was. She got up and made herself a cup of tea, finishing the last of the milk and adding it to a shopping list scrawled on the back of an envelope, and sat on the sofa in front of the TV. She held the mug absent mindedly to her lips and gazed through the television, not seeing or hearing the programme that was on. Ten years! Really? It felt like she was still thirteen... What had changed? I mean, a lot, obviously. She had been through and left school, been to uni, had relationships, sex, break-ups, drunk too much, vowed to never drink again, put on weight, lost it again, fallen in love with 24, fallen in love with Lost, fallen out of love with Lost, secretly watched Big Brother,

stopped watching Big Brother all together, lost friends, met new ones, had a first job, moved away from home... Sure, ten years worth of life was sitting in front of her, smiling vacantly and wondering if it could shuffle away from scrutiny again, back to the recesses of her mind. It was all there - but at the same time... Nothing had happened... Nothing had changed... she was still thirteen inside, or that’s how she felt. The letter box pinged loudly as the postman delivered the morning’s mail, making her jump and splash tea on a cushion she had distractedly been hugging. She swore and tried to mop up the tea with her pyjama sleeve, realising as she did it that her mum would never mop up tea with her pyjamas, which led her to try and work out what the best thing to do to remove a tea stain from a cushion cover was. Perhaps she’d just turn it around on the sofa and hope noone noticed...? Well, it didn’t look too bad... Maybe you couldn’t see it? No, you could definitely see it... She swore again, pulled the cover off the cushion and took it to the kitchen sink to “deal with it properly”, before hanging it to dry and then collected the mail. There were several birthday cards; one from her Granny; others from her aunts, uncles, cousins and friends scattered across the globe. A couple from friends diligent enough to remember to buy, write and post a card despite living in the same city. And the obligatory bills. She put the

bills on the dining table, which was tucked into a corner of the small diner/living room area, and went to shower - she felt weird paying bills in her pyjamas for some reason. Like somehow the sleepy relaxedness of bedclothes didn’t mix with the responsibility of bill-paying. She turned on the shower, a delicate act of precision to get a regular temperature the human body could handle without being lightly boiled or succumbing to hyperthermia, and undressed. As she stepped under the water she looked at her shampoo - it was a different brand to the one she used ten years ago. But her hairdryer was the same! It had been a birthday present, on her thirteenth birthday - ten years ago... Pure madness! Her hairdryer was ten years old. She could remember opening it, and feeling extremely grown up and pleased. Were hairdryers meant to last ten years? Maybe it was too old and would blow up in her face any day now? She got out of the shower, got dressed and put her makeup on. She’d had a prized purple lipstick when she was thirteen that she was just a little too shy to wear in public (thank god, in retrospect!), but loved all the same. It had come free with a magazine. It made her look like a corpse, her dad had said, and laughed when she scowled at him in response. She went through to the diner/living room with her laptop, put it on the dining table and switched it on, ready now to pay the bill. God, what did she


think she would be doing at twentythree, when she was thirteen? She hadn’t thought about it, she realised. Apart from an infantile desire to be “a vet or an artist”, she hadn’t thought about it. Would her thirteen year old self be disappointed, to see her now; an adult with a degree, working in a cafe, paying bills and buying food and even going to the gym? She remembered a feeling of inadequacy, of always being in the dark, of being “too young to understand” which fueled a longing to be grown up and to have arrived. Arrived where? Here she was, most definitely an adult - had she arrived in adulthood? Because she certainly didn’t feel any more accomplished, or any more like she understood what was going on or why... It was the apparent freedom she had longed for... And yet she felt more trapped than ever. Why? What was trapping her? Bills. Money. Life. It was the way that life was - you went to work and you got a flat and you paid bills and you couldn’t just opt out because it didn’t make sense anymore... Could you? Her thirteen year old self had had dreams of travelling the world, of being free. What was stopping her? Waitressing was hardly her dream job... And the flat was nice enough, but the six month lease was over next month... She logged into her bank account and checked her balance. Her heart started beating faster, as she searched for round the world tickets... She was going to do it - why not? She was going to buy a round the world ticket... A month from now she’d be in....

Image by Nannick De Costa

21


The Fruitmarket Gallery

Martin Creed Down Over Up 30 July – 31 October 2010 A major exhibition of new and recent work by Martin Creed, one of Britain’s most highly-regarded and popular artists. Creed’s work captures the public imagination, while also attracting critical acclaim for its generous, accessible approach. His work most often takes the form of interventions into a given space, re-ordering readily available materials which are a familiar part of everyday life. Childish Things Fantasy and Ferocity in Recent Art Louise Bourgeois, Helen Chadwick, Robert Gober, Susan Hiller, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy Curated by David Hopkins 19 November 2010 – 23 January 2011 This exhibition focuses on a very specific moment in the post-dada/surrealist take-up of toys and early childhood as themes in art. Centred on the work of certain British and American artists who came to prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s, the show sets in dialogue a number of seminal works on the theme of toys, childhood, child development and the cultural conditioning of children. The Fruitmarket Gallery is a publicly funded art gallery of national and international significance, and is Scotland’s premier contemporary art space. The Gallery aims to make contemporary art accessible without compromising art or under-estimating audiences. Its programme of exhibitions of Scottish and international artists is world-class and always free.

The Fruitmarket Gallery is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland No. 87888 and registered as a Scottish Charity No. SC 005576. VAT No. 398 2504 21. Registered Office: 45 Market St., Edinburgh, EH1 1DF


a Contrast

of adulthood

This is a collage with brown parcel paper, photocopies and ripped pieces of a 1956 issue of ‘’Good Housewife Magazine’. The photographs are of my grandparents when they were my age; early adulthood. The collage presents the stark difference between their early adulthood; the 1950s, and mine; the 2000s.

Image by Socks Rolland

23


Photograph by Matt Woodroffe

Thank you to the Brikolage team and thank you to all of our contributors; we love seeing how regular contributors’ work has developed and we love seeing new work by new people. Without you all there would be no magazine. We’ve got a strong team that sometimes finds it hard to keep Brikolage going with, as yet, no funding. If you or anyone you know is interested in being part of an exciting new magazine then please get in touch! This year’s theme is Age. We’ve done Childhood, Adolescence and Adulthood; now all that is left is Old Age. It is the last theme in this year’s Brikolage and we’d love to see how it inspires you. Next year we’re planning something completely different theme wise, so if you’re yet to contribute to Brikolage 2010 Age then get creative!! Whatever medium you express yourself in; fashion, painting, writing, music, dance or film take inspiration from Brikolage. However direct or abstract we want to hear from you! For more details email Rachael Macintyre or Indira Kemp info@brikolage.co.uk

www.brikolage.co.uk

Adulthood  

Responsible, rebellious, mature and childish all at once

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