Issue 5: Square
Contents Oh how edgy you are...
Rennie Moffat interview
Square - an image by Paulo Caravello
It’s Hip to be Square - reflections from Ali George
Square Me This - a poem by Zana Rose
A Display Box of Fun [Featured artist] Rachael Macintyre meets Daniel O’Dowd
Tea and Cupcakes - a story by Rachael Macintyre
Toast - an illustration by Sanna Dyker
Lunch in the Square - a story by Kim Bergsagel
Editor's welcome It’s been a tough 2011 for Brikolage so far and unfortunately this will be the last issue in the near future. We’ve had difficulty raising money to fund the magazine and this has lead to problems with finding committed people to make Brikolage happen. However, Designer Alison Wilson and I have no intention of calling it a day, so rather than seeing this as a mournful action we are taking a step back to gather ourselves and our aims for this creative platform before taking it out again, bigger and better than ever. Brikolage is a great concept and I really believe in what it’s trying to do. The past few issues, including this one, has had an amazing team of people working behind it with an equally wonderful amount of creative people contributing towards it. I’ve been so proud of the work everyone’s done for Brikolage and of the creativity of the people involved. This issue has been put together almost entirely by Alison and I, so I apologise for its lateness, but like all of our past issues I am proud to present it to you. We’ve got some wonderful stories, images and inspiring work in here and I certainly hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. When you see Brikolage again it will be brilliant and it will be everywhere - we’ll even finally have a fully fledged website! So please keep your eyes and ears open for us and I hope that you will either by reading Brikolage again or contributing towards it. And either way I hope you’ll be inspired!
Creative Director Rachael Macintyre is a puppetteer, writer and aerial performer who set up Brikolage as a platform for creative people wanting to showcase their work.
Designer Alison Wilson likes comical signage and having madcap adventures. She also enjoys designing, writing, learning new things and being inspired.
With thanks to Indira Kemp 3
s an inherited iPhone owner myself I know the joy in finding an app for every possible function â€“ both useful and completely useless. Iâ€™ve had an app with the theory test questions in preparation for my driving test, and I also have a virtual ocarina. I also travel regularly back and forth from Glasgow to Edinburgh, and when I donâ€™t fancy reading, I can play one of the many games and puzzles that are available. But there are so many to choose from, aside from the big names like Angry Birds, and it can be pretty hard to decide which apps to go for. I tweeted this very modern dilemma to my online friends and before I knew it I was being directed to Temple Racer, an original app created by Rennie Moffat.
Words by Racha
It might not initially appear as such, but creating a gaming app for mobile phones is definitely an art form. It involves firstly coming up with a concept that will engage the player, and then having to make it appealing visually and developing an accessible mode of gameplay. When I started thinking about the complexities and many different disciplines involved, I became fascinated. I have no computer skills other than basic use of internet and Word, so the idea of creating a game that pops up on a little screen and does its own little thing certainly impresses me. For that reason (and the fact that Temple Racer is made up entirely of squares, nicely tying in with our theme), I decided to get in touch with Rennie and find out how he got to where he is now - and discuss the art behind the science of gaming apps. Rennie Moffat is a first generation Canadian immigrant with Scottish parents. Art was
The square, even though i basic, boring shape is a shape and the possibilities
ael Macintyre and Alison Wilson
it can be seen as a very a very balanced, strong s to utilise it are endless.
something he was always interested in and was encouraged by his parents. While the rest of his hockey team were visiting the shops during a tournament in Buffalo, NY, his dad was taking him to the Al-Bright Knox Art Gallery. It was this experience which awakened his interest in art. Rennie graduated from Humber College in Toronto in 2008 with a degree in Graphic Design. He started doing layouts for flyers and other bumf for major companies, but then the recession hit and it became a challenge to find work. He turned to designing websites on a freelance basis, but this wasn’t particular successful either. Then in August 2009 he read an article about the iPhone app market and he figured, “I could do that”. He’d begun to learn coding through Flash and HTML web design and thought if this really was a modern-day gold rush he wanted in on it. With further support from his parents Rennie spent a year learning how to use the software and programming language and created his first app; Temple Racer: The Beginning.
emple Racer is a simple racing game with ten levels and retro-style graphics. The basic premise is that you have to pilot a temple – yes, one of those immobile stone structures in which the devout gather to honour their deities – towards its meeting point with the Green God – but you need to get it there under time constraints and without encountering any enemies. Rennie says that the gameplay is ‘heavily influenced by early Nintendo games, with the gameplay inspired by classics such as Mega Man and Super Mario Bros - but then turned it on its head’. 5
It’s a combination which has proved popular - the app has been downloaded over 15 000 times, and has been described in customer reviews as ‘entertaining yet challenging’. The game uses squares and other basic shapes to make up the characters, and wears its retro-influenced 2D graphic style proudly. Rennie admits he isn’t a great drawer of human forms, but loves the aesthetic of structured shapes. In Temple Racer he utilises the basic principles of design, shape and repetition to create a game layered with a strong visual appeal.
Rennie dismisses the notion that the square is a basic and boring shape. He sees it as balanced and strong with endless possibilities, and a shape which can convey either a clean, modern aesthetic or evoke memories of a clunkier, less high-tech era - and everything in between. I imagine the square will be influencing his game designs for some time to come. You can buy Temple Racer from the Apple App Store at http://bit.ly/fdaJzE. It costs 99p at the time of writing.
Square by Paulo Caravello 7
t o be square
by Ali George
(unless you’re more of a blob)
“Surely,” I say to my flatmates, slumped in a line on our sofa like a cross between Hollyoaks and Nuclear Armageddon, “Surely those are the glasses of a 1990s ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’ campaign?” We are watching TV, where an advert for cough syrup featuring a man in dreadful glasses has just been shown. “They’re indie-chic,” one of my companions explains. “They look cool if you’re one of those indie girls with the delicate bone structure of a fairy queen.” “I used to have a pair of glasses like that,” her boyfriend chimes in. “Does that mean I looked like a fairy queen?” There is a pause.
“No,” she tells him, “you’re more of a Troll King.” Whether male or female, the geeky indie look is an unforgiving one. Essentially, to pull it off – the fitted shirt/brogues/skinny jeans version or the cotton dress/cardy/shoes with white socks – you need to be something of a wispy body type. This is a problem in my house, where we’re prone to consuming a lot of cheese and dough. Our musical credentials are sound enough. Everyone except me is in a band, and two of those bands have done live sessions on Radio One alongside numerous other exciting and credible things. Meanwhile, I once DJed for a Pigeon Detectives support slot (I’m not proud; I was on the committee of the alternative music society at uni and it was necessary). But, our musical coolness notwithstanding, if
we try to dress like Laura Marling or Orlando Weeks (to choose two people at random from the NME cool list) we end up rocking the bin bag full of porridge look. ‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ indie-chic aficionados might say, ‘Laura Marling and Orlando Weeks just wear jumpers and jeans! It doesn’t matter what size you are, nobody can muck that up!’ I beg to differ, you weirdoes, who probably match your ideal weight in the body mass index (I’ll have you know that thing classes George Clooney as obese). As a curvier person you can spend several hours pouring yourself into a pair of skinny jeans and end up with a muffin top regardless. Any shirt or blouse sits as though you’ve done the buttons up in the wrong order and gives you the silhouette of a triple scoop ice cream cone. The addition of a quirky jumper makes you look like the middle-aged sociopath that still lives with their mum even though she’s been dead for several years. And oversized fashion glasses complete the image not by making you appear geeky in a cool way, but more like you’re a special person from a documentary about some weird middle-American cult by Louis Theroux. But who wants to look like a cross between Jarvis Cocker and the Pied Piper? The Troll King, maybe, but he is a sad and lonely man with a predilection for frightening goats. Those who can rock this look are made of angles and juttings, and I laugh at their attempts to wear silly glasses and figure hugging jeans whilst simultaneously becoming incredibly successful and popular. Someone pass the pizza.
Square This Oh how
edgy you are You neglect passion for curve
Your use grows long and far angled
it hits a nerve Straight in your own content Oh how rule you stay For you are obedient Linear, you are suited this way
by Zana Rose
Featured artist A display box of fun by Daniel O’Dowd Words by Daniel O’Dowd and Rachael Macintyre
Daniel O’Dowd is an Architecture student, studying at the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA). However, architecture was not an instinctive choice for Dan, who has long been interested in all creative mediums. He has always been interested in art since living next to the Samye Ling Buddhist Centre on the banks of the river Esk, which is surrounded by artworks, sculptures, and a contemplation garden. He was particularly inspired by the Thanka paintings. But it was in his last two years of secondary school and with the encouragement of his teachers that his love of art blended with his interest in graphics and the idea of studying architecture started to grow.
However, even as he was choosing what to study after school he wasn’t yet set on the idea of architecture - in fact, the reason he chose the ECA was that it offered courses in both fine art and architecture, as well as sculpture and computer graphics – and consequently it gave him the choice to dabble in many different disciplines he found equally inspiring. He admits that narrowing it down to architecture was a difficult, and last-minute, decision. Dan admits he initially found it hard to understand and embrace what he refers to as the “architectural concept”: that is, going from an idea of what the building is supposed
to be and what it’s supposed to represent, and then translating this idea into an architectural language from which you can construct the physical structure. Eventually this challenge proved too irresistable, and he settled on a degree in architecture. In this submission, especially for Brikolage, he was inspired by the idea of taking two cubes and pulling one’s clone out of the other. He envisions this building being a bar or a small night club, located in Festival Square in Edinburgh. It’s transparent so that when you look at it you see a large static geometric building with a very organic movement inside it. Dan describes the overall effect as
“a display box of fun”, designed to enhance what is otherwise a dead space with life and purpose. He tells me about the theme Square and what inspires him about it:“The square, in terms of design, is an amazing shape. It’s related to one’s body in a big way. Most of what we do in our day-to-day life is at 90 degrees to the earth, so in most cases it’s a shape that just makes sense. [The squares] inherent beauty comes from our relationship to it, its functionality, its right angles and the ease with which it integrates into our world. For example, a cylindrical desk would be very difficult to draw on… On a personal note I find
"The Square, in terms of design, is an amazing shapeâ€?
it very annoying to have a table that isn’t square unless it can be centred in a room. [Square] has been described as a shape that implies safety and reliability.” Architecture is a synthesis of form, function and location, and Dan has also worked on designs for a geology centre based around a volcano and a plan to revitalise the centre of Dundee. As well as finishing his architecture degree, Dan is experimenting with other artistic styles. He has just finished an illustration and graphics project for Spoonfed, a performance that played at the Traverse in February. He is also rediscovering painting, life drawing and portraiture.
His view on life and art is simple:“As someone who has so many different design interests, it’s hard to see myself being tied down to any one discipline for the rest of my life like I’m married to it - I really do love architecture, but I also have a great love of drawing and working with my hands so it’s not amazingly clear where things will go at all”.
Tea and Mary woke up to a glorious sunny morning. Through the curtains covering the window directly opposite her bed, golden beams of light were shining. They hit the two far corners of her room, crisscrossing yellow paths that faded out as they drew close to her. She sat up fully, relaxed her shoulders and sighed a sigh of extreme satisfaction. What an absolutely marvellous day it will be today. She ran her hand over the pink brocade blanket that draped across her knees. Shadows highlighted her legs beneath the covers. She wiggled them to be sure they were her legs. They were. The two posters at the foot of her four poster bed where exactly equal in distance to the corners of her room. Symmetry made her happy. Friends also made her happy. She thought with excitement of her day ahead. Louise, Harriet, Juliet and Miriam for tea and cupcakes. What joy it will be!! When did she need to start getting ready? She had fortunately already prepared the moist miniature treats and topped them with thick creamy icing and sprinkles of pink flakes. All that she had to do was set the table and, of course, get herself ready. She glanced at the clock on her bedside table. It was 8.30 and her friends werenâ€™t coming until 11. She had
plenty of time. What c while she waited? She l her soft feather pillow to think. As her eyes saw a shadowy figure of her left eye. She turn look behind her and it corner of her room by t smiled at it, turned bac her eyes.
The shadow stands red spattered across scream. A flash of ligh darkness.
Mary sat forward, ba eyes wide. She looked 8.38. She decided n and get up and get ready. Having plenty o everything meant tha make it absolutely pe swung her legs out from and they appeared, legs and feet, out of the She put her bare feet g ground and stood up full weight on them. S out her white cotton she breezed over to th her room to set the tab square pink plastic proudly up to her, read its sweet treat goods. S the matching pink pl equally around it. One
Story by Rachael Macintyre Scarf knitted by SarahLouise Macadie Cakes by Jennifer Wightwick at www.makebakecake.com
could she do leant back on w and started s closed she e at the back ned slowly to stood in the the door. She ck and closed
over her, its front. A ht then utter
ack straight, at her clock. not to think t everything of time to do at she could erfect. Mary m the sheets slim, naked e pink fabric. gently on the p to put her Straightening n nightgown he corner of ble. A small, table stood dy to receive She arranged lastic chairs e, two, three,
four. Perfect. She loved symmetry. She walked into the centre of the room to review her work. She stood directly in the middle. In front of her was her window, still beaming light from the curtains. She looked to the top right corner; her tea room all ready to serve up the most delicious snacks and conversation later on. The top left corner her wardrobe locked shut. Inside were all of her precious, beautiful things and she kept the key in a locket round her neck. She turned to face her bed. The other two corners of the room were darker. A gap between her bed and the wall cast a shadow across them and it crept up towards the ceiling. She never went to either of those corners of the room. She swiftly turned again and walked across to the window. She flung open the curtains and an almost white light shone into her eyes and filled the whole room with an uplifting glow. She walked towards her dressing room ignoring the small shadow in the corner by her door. She began to open the wardrobe. Did she forget to lock it? She hesitated. A creak as the door swung slightly; nearly open, nearly closed. She couldn’t quite see what was inside it… She grabbed it quickly, hurled it open and laughed. Inside, her
dresses, all pink, were hung there one by one. Each wrapped in plastic to protect them from dirt and grime. She knew exactly what one she wanted to wear and pulled it out, gently, softly, and displayed it against the glow from the window. Perfect. A simple shaped dress with no detail, just a brilliant colour. She heard a sudden chorus of laughter. They’ve all arrived and they haven’t even said anything to her. Mary quickly strode over towards the tea room. She stopped on the way and laid the dress on the bed. A dark shadow was following her footsteps. She continued towards the giggling ladies and saw them all sitting there, eating her cupcakes and sipping tea from her china set. They gossiped and laughed. There they were; one, two, three four. All sitting on their chairs in perfect symmetry around the square table. But no place for her. Where was she going to sit? She watched them all hoot and laugh. They were stuffing cakes into their gaping red mouths and tea was dribbling down their fat chins. Mary was rather angry. Louise and Harriet let out a huge guffaw and out of Harriet’s mouth
flew a piece of sponge topped with a pink flake. At this Juliet and Miriam rolled their fat bodies on their seats and clung to their sides with hysteria. Tears rolled down Louise’s fat cheeks and as they did her pink slimy tongue slipped out of her mouth to catch the salty drops. They looked more and more disgusting to Mary the more and more they laughed. With no place for her at the table. They kept laughing. Their bodies rippled and shook with each burst. Cake on their faces and tea stains on their dresses which clung to their fat. The buttons began to stretch. Mary could hear the fabric tearing. She watched as the buttons on the back of Louise’s dress pulled and tugged, desperate to break free. A pop. A white button flew through the air and landed at Mary’s feet. The sun outside disappeared as a cloud cast a shadow across the room. Black. A scream. A shout of someone’s name. Red spilled across the cakes. Flesh ripped. Another scream. Silver tearing into red pink and white. Wet hair on the floor. A crack. Nails scraping across skin. A flash of light and then darkness.
Mary woke up, eyes wide. The sun was shining through the window again. She looked down at her blood soaked white cotton nightgown. She ran her hand across the fabric. The blood was thick and lumpy. She looked at the ripped bodies that lay on the floor. As she sat down on one of the pink plastic chairs she heard her name being called. Someone entered through the door and asked her if she’d like to speak to them today. She walked over to the bed. It was afternoon now and the sun had moved. A shadow was cast across the tea room and she could no longer see the bodies. The voice asked her question after question and she stared ahead. It was simple. She liked symmetry. There were five of them.
by Sanna Dyker
Lunch in the Square or The Spy s Sandwich by Kim Bergsagel
I sit in a square. That is to say the place in which I sit is called a square. It has grass and trees and benches which allow you to stop and ponder with anonymity. A path cuts through the square like a diagonal slash, an exit at each end spewing the contents. No-one bothers you when you sit in a square. I sit on my bench and watch. It is lunch time. It is always lunch time when I sit in the square. The man opposite me brings sandwiches. He unwraps them carefully, peeling back the upper layer of bread to reveal the filling, then sniffs gingerly. Satisfied, he replaces the bread and settles in to enjoy the picnic. I smile to myself and wonder. Did his wife make the sandwiches and does he suspect her of malicious poisoning or is she just a bad cook? A woman walks past. She wears elegant heels which clip clop as they make contact with the path and a handkerchief falls to the ground behind her. I open my mouth to call it to her attention and see the man stop, sandwich hovering between parted lips. His fingers twitch nervously as he hesitantly reaches for the delicate fabric. Just at that moment she turns, her body swivelling on the perfectly formed stilettos to face him as he holds out the casually discarded handkerchief, a pale yellow square trimmed with lace. She smiles as she waits for him to deliver it to her. He is temporarily confused. Placing the sandwich down carefully in itâ€™s box, he places the box on the bench and stands, his fingers carefully tucking his shirt into his trousers. A dog trots to the bench and sniffs at the sandwich box. Lifting its brown paws it raises its body to fully explore the culinary delights and licks itâ€™s lips in expectation. The box takes on a life of its own as it moves in jerks across the bench, aided and abetted by the dog, itâ€™s nose buried deep inside. In less time than it took the man to contemplate the contents of his sandwich, the dog has demolished the remains. Satisfied, he trots away, his tail declaring his delight. The woman has the handkerchief in her hand and she smiles at the man, her fingers resting lightly on his arm. He looks startled and I see a flash of something silver in her
hand. He pulls away and a shadow crosses his face. The dog whimpers at my feet and regurgitates his snack as though delivering a present to me. I reach towards it and it looks at me with sorrowful eyes and sinks slowly to the ground. The man has pulled away and is making his way rapidly to the exit. The woman glances to the right and I follow her gaze. An overcoat behind a tree. A glint from the overcoat. The glint takes form and aims towards the man. The woman stands, I watch, the man is at the exit, the gun fires.
Four corners of a square The perfect square. I used to think. Red blood oozes from the manâ€™s shirt. The dog lies motionless at my feet. I will not eat in the square tomorrow.
19 Photography by Alison Wilson
Brikolage is going on hiatus - but weâ€™ll be back! Keep an eye out for announcements, and in the meantime: