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Issue 1

Feint Issue 1 Contents

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News pages: Photography Art Books Music

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Portraits

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Viewpoint

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Craft

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Story

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Past

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Centrepiece

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Home

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Painting

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Illustration

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Contributors

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Irving Penn: Les Petits Metiers Until 25th July Foundation Henri Cartier Bresson, Paris Spanning the two years of 1950 and 1951, photographer Irving Penn embarked upon a series of portraits which was to become one of his most significant bodies of work, and is now the subject of an extensive collection on show at Foundation Henri Cartier Bresson in Paris. Small Trades is a collection of portraits featuring the local tradesmen of Paris, London and New York. Slaughterhouse worker, sword swallower, pastry chef, street cleaner, chimney sweep, the list of participants is endless. Some recognisable as traditional occupations, others such as the boner or draymen are now sadly forgotten. Perhaps there was a concern for recording the social changes brought about by the war, a recognition of the impending decline of the small trades. Plucked directly from the streets and enticed by token payment, the tradesmen would journey to the studio passing deliveries of couture dresses by Balenciaga, Dior or Schiaparelli. They would wait in line to be photographed after such distinguished personalties as T S Eliot or Audrey Hepburn. The late Irving Penn was a modern master of the last half of the twentieth century. A prolific and influential fashion photographer and social historian. Whether photographing a humble tradesman, cultural icon, or fashion model, his method remained the same. Characterised by a sober elegance, simplicity and rigorous perfection his classical minimalism seemed to fly in the face of fashion photography of the time. Penn studied painting at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art, under the tutelage of Alexey Brodovitch, the infamous Art Director of Harper’s Bazaar. He would also assist Brodovitch during the summer holidays. Penn began his career as assistant to Vogue Art Director, Alexander Liberman in 1943, and soon joined the staff photographers amongst such well known names as Cecil Beaton, Erwin Blumenfeld and Horst P Horst. Liberman suggested that Penn should undertake an ongoing series of portraiture for the magazine, for which Penn photographed many of the most notable cultural figures of the day including Marlene Dietrich, Alfred Hitchcock and John Cage, to name but a few.

The representation of tradespeople is far from an untrodden path. August Sander’s series People of the Twentieth Century famously portrays workers placed amongst the carefully constructed environment of their workspace. Eugene Atget, who was particularly influential for Penn, photographed tradesman directly on the street as they went about their business. In contrast Penn’s interests lay not in signifying character through habitual surroundings, but in dealing directly with the person, made clear by relocation to the neutral space of the studio. Furnished only with a discarded theatre curtain as backdrop, the tradesman stands alone carrying the tools of his trade. By placing them in a setting usually reserved for the privileged, Penn invites the viewer to consider the tradesmen from a new perspective. Published in the pages of British Vogue in 1951 (French and American Vogue also published the Small Trades portraits taken in their relative countries), the grid formation warrants a collective view of the various sitters, who appear almost like caricatures. Stood with their props and an accompanying description of their role, they could easily be mistaken for the cast of a film. We can only imagine the colours that are concealed by the black and white of the photographs, whereas the textures are made evermore defined, emphasised by the crisp detail and subtle gradation of greys. Penn’s perfecting of the platinum process of printing allowed him greater control over the finished print. His complicated procedure consisted of several steps and rendered his images full of the raw immediacy that reveals such things as the gentle gathering of dust in the creases of a steelcapped boot, the rough whiskers on a chin, or the recurring crumple of a waxed jacket. In fact it is not difficult to animate them with the clatter of their busyness, the rustle of bristles from a chimney sweeps brush, the chink of a milkman’s bottles, the hark of a cheese seller or a cobbler’s bid good morning. These portraits are far from silent. www.henricartierbresson.org

Les garçons bouchers, Paris, 1950 © Les Editions Condé Nast S.A. 4


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Henry Moore Tate Britain Until 8th August The sculptures of Henry Moore may seem inescapable but in each one there can be found something vastly different from the last. In each fresh observation a new perspective and understanding. These weighty masses – not determined by size alone – exude a powerful vitality, a living emotion in form, independent of what they have come to represent. Walking amongst them at the current exhibition in the Tate Britain, you become only too aware of their presence, as though the shape each displaces in space is larger than itself; they appear more than they are. In no correlation to their actual size, they have a monumental grandeur and raw strength. Although primarily concerned with the human form, Moore’s sculptures are not realistic representations, instead they take on an abstraction that arises from within the complexity of human psychology. Each carving acquires a personality that determines its features, humanising the abstract with a tenderness that promotes a proud assertive poise. Legs protrude from the slumped figures, rounded and truncated at the ankle. Hands clutch one another or frame the figure in a protecting embrace. A frequent subject is the mother and child, a tender human relationship, but one in which emotion is constrained when a mother’s gaze is averted away from the child. This relationship becomes menacing when a child appears to try to devour the mother as she holds him at arm’s length, or suckles on the mother who is reduced to a bosom only. 6


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From one room to the next there unfolds a journey. To begin the human form is easily identifiable, but it soon becomes less so. In an exploration of inner being, the outer shape bares the brunt of human emotion. Later works are further abstracted with only fleeting reference to the human figure, broken into two or more pieces they invite many more angles of view. Recesses thin until pierced by holes, penetrating the torso or pelvis, the space in the air being as important as the mass. Linking the front of the sculpture to the back, the hollows heighten the sense of three-dimensionality. Sometimes giving the impression of gaping mouths, the cavities appear to scream, aching and gaunt. Released from the confines of direct representation Moore was free to acknowledge his materials, working in harmony with their natural attributes and understanding their limitations. Using his favourite direct carving technique Moore worked closely with the material, reacting to the natural construction. The slow and sinuous rhythm of the sloping curves testifies to the precession and control of brute force needed to release the shapes from the stone or wood. Free of surface decoration bar a small indent for an eye or scoring along the hairline, the form is what it is, with no excrescences it is only conscious of shape and its intrinsic emotional significance. The works are weighted, patient and still, yet the different parts have a dynamic tension that gives each sculpture an overall intensity. Moore’s preoccupation with draftsmanship is visible in the sketches on show. Those most prominent were made during the second world war when Moore was confronted by vast rows of sleeping people in the underground shelters of the tube lines. Taking impromptu notes on what he saw, he later sketched out the lines of teaming bodies laid out along the platforms. Using a black wash over wax resistant crayons the rhythm of blankets and bodies continue, shifting into the darkness of the tunnel. There is a dramatic suspense in the still silence, a suggestion of desolation and impending doom. Pointed limbs reach out in the abandonment that comes of disturbed sleep, linking each sleeper to the next with a sense of solidarity and resilience. The room which carries the war drawings feels darker, more closed in. But this sense of confinement is immediately alleviated on entering the last room. Four immense Elm carvings, the biggest in the exhibition, have a sense of calm, of grounding and stability. The mellow amber wood is gently coaxed into meandering curves, honouring the timber. There is a sense of maturity in these final sculptures, a fitting close to the exhibit. www.tate.org.uk www.henry-moore.org

Reproduced by permission of The Henry Moore Foundation 7


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Martin Puryear Prints Cincinnati Art Museum Until 13th June Acclaimed sculptor Martin Puryear recently renewed an early affinity for printmaking, exploiting the medium’s flexibility and capacity for spontaneity in capturing his three-dimensional ideas. The allusive and poetic forms on paper constitute the current survey of a decade of Puryear’s printmaking at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Puryear’s interest in the history of objects - especially utilitarian - and their making is evident in his employment of the traditional craft techniques of carpentry and basketry. His etchings, drypoints and woodcuts demonstrate this predilection for direct handwork and physicality, involving scratching into metal or wood. The observation of cultural traditions and skills in making around the world inspired Puryear’s ardent respect for craftsmanship, which is evident in his masterful display of refinement and precision. At the same time he is suspicious of perfectnesses, liberating the work with a roughness that alludes to the process of it’s fabrication. The same sensitivity to materials which Puryear employs in his sculpture is visible in his attention to subtleties in texture, the delicate interlacing of lines and tactile markings. The lone objects in black and white carry nuances of the hand of the artist. Untitled III (State I) and Untitled III (State 2) both denote a receptacle form through minimal linear contours, differentiated only by a patch of faint shading and subtle changes in the mottled backgrounds. The understated compositions and sensuous pared down forms avoid obvious representation, acknowledging instead the suggestive power of lines and shapes. But there exists a dichotomy between simplicity and complexity, his work demands more of the viewer than the simple appreciation of shapes. At first they appear familiar, an amalgamation of useful objects, baskets and vessels, then there is a suggestion of organic shape, of natural forms or anthropomorphic characteristics. There exists a multiplicity of themes and inspirations, opposed ideas are held in tense negotiation, movement and stability, shelter and confinement, opacity and translucency, solid and skeletal, but the resultant forms are cohesive and compelling. Untitled I is a swarm of wavering lines, interlacing and converging at three points around a vessel form. Gaps in the loosely woven stark white lines are defined by the black background, conveying a complex dynamic between inside and outside. The allusive representative tendencies mean that the prints remain independent of specific interpretations, multiple readings can be deduced, but never quite grasped. In this way it is better to experience the work without the necessity to define it. www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org

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Cincinnati Art Museum, The Albert P. Strietmann Collection Š Martin Puryear, 2009 9


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Courtesy the artist and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Photograph: Hans Wilschut 11


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Š Sanderson 12


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John Cage: Every Day is a Good Day Various locations beginning at BALTIC, Gateshead 19th June Including approximately 200 drawings, watercolours and prints, the new Hayward Touring Exhibition will be the first major retrospective of the visual art of John Cage in the UK. In homage to Cage’s chance-determined techniques in creating his musical, written and visual work, the layout of the exhibition – height, order and position of the works – will be determined by a computer programmed to simulate I-Ching theory, removing any element of intention by the curator. John Cage (b.1912) is most notably renowned for his revolutionising of music, but less so for his visual art. He gave up painting early on when he pledged to his tutor Arnold Schoenburg that he would dedicate his life to music. Although he was always a close associate of visual artists such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and dancer Merce Cunningham, his own visual art is largely concentrated in the fifteen years before his death in 1992. Similarly to the deconstructive concepts underpinning Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades, Cage questioned the common assumption that an artist has unique expressive insight and shifted his responsibility from that of making artistic statements to posing questions. The ancient Chinese book of I-Ching describes a mechanism of chance-selected hexagrams that could be used as a tool for random selection. Cage developed this technique which he then used in opening his work up to possibilities not influenced by his own bias. Believing that no sound is unusable, Cage produced his compositions using such things as the sound of swallowing water, radios, the innards of a piano and even silence as in 4.33. As you can imagine Cage’s music did not take on the graphic appearance of conventional notation, instead the illustrated scores are overrun with feisty squiggles and interlocking lines punctuated by heavy black dots. Releasing the notes from their usual constraints the script is a realisation of Cage’s music in visual form, a depiction of sounds in space and time. Cage was invited by owner and proprietor of Crown Point Press, Kathan Brown, to create a series of prints, and from the beginning of 1978 he produced both etchings and monotypes. Continuing his exploration of non-intention he incorporated chance elements ensuring that each print was unique. Changes and Disappearances involved the cutting of copper plates into irregular shapes inscribed with markings, both created by chance, with the final prints using somewhere between 13 and 45 individual plates. The I-Ching programme was also used to determine the photographic element of the prints, randomly assigning the type of lens, f-stop and exposure so that at times no image would appear, giving the Disappearances of the title. For the Variations series Cage instructed the printers to mark dampened paper by placing it over a wad of newsprint which had been set alight. This left smoke and burn marks on the paper which Cage added to by further branding them with heated bars of iron, again using chance to determine their position. The appeal of the prints lies in their atmospheric quality, the residues of smoke like fragments of dirtied sky, scarred by the charred incisions of the hot irons. Cage’s work was not necessarily concerned with originality, but instead it was about tweaking the sensibility of the viewer, opening a narrowed mind to new and unconventional experience. He was not the slave of chance operations, but used them as a means to liberate his work from notions of order and taste. There can be found no intended expression of self or emotion in his images, no hidden meaning, yet they carry a brooding sense of importance and pensive calm. The exhibition will reveal the radicalism of Cage’s work, its continuing significance and profound influence on all aspects of his practice, visual art especially, but also music, writing, dance, performance and film. www.balticmill.com www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Global Village 37–48 (Diptych), 1989, Aquatint on brown smoked paper © The John Cage Trust 14


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High Jewelry by Cartier: Contemporary Creations By Sophie Marin Flammarion Out now High Jewelry by Cartier is a sumptuous collection of rare and exquisite designs brought together in a volume detailing the history of Cartier and the essential facets that tell the story of how Cartier came to be what it is today, the very definition of elegant jewellery. The eight chapters follow the threads of inspiration through from the stone, elements of design, composition, worldly influences and colour, through to the recognisable motifs of the panther, exotic flora and fauna. Period photographs and design sketches on paper reveal the development of an inimitable style. The book explains the evolution of contemporary pieces, many of which appear here for the first time in print. Founded in 1847 when Louis-Francois Cartier took over from his master, Adolphe Picard, at the jewellery workshop where he did his apprenticeship, Cartier stayed in the family for a further three generations. The French jewellery house remains renowned for highly detailed execution, technical virtuosity and excellence. The skilful craftsmen expertly balance lavishness and restraint, countering excess with the pure clean lines of geometric form. Cartier pioneered the use of platinum settings, the sturdiness of which allowed for more intricate placements, freeing jewellers from the heavy silver settings that can hinder delicacy and detail. Extraordinary gems; diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies and semi-precious stones are mastered by time-honoured skills using evocative combinations of colour and proportion. The juxtaposition of density and shine, as well as exactness of cut combine to make ‘the back as beautiful as the front’. Early neoclassical designs with countless diamonds mounted in platinum quickly progressed into the first jewellery to prefigure the Art Deco style, characterised by the abstracted shapes that we still see today. A curiosity for foreign tastes prompted the designers to look further afield to the shores of faraway lands and ancient civilizations. Influences from as wide reaching sources as Russian enamel work, Lèon Bakst’s designs for the Ballet Russes, Islamic pattern, Egyptian temples and legendary creatures of Chinese fables can all be found within the details of Cartier designs. A close relationship between the making and display of desirable jewellery has always been intrinsic to the working practice of Cartier. At the home of their retail outlet, workshop and archive - 13 Rue de la Paix, Paris - the customer is never far from the artisan busy at his bench. The Cartier customer is traditionally a woman of daring elegance, the jewellery she wears a declaration of inner spirit, made to be displayed. Such notable customers include Wallis Simpson, wife of the Duke of Windsor, actresses Elizabeth Taylor and Gloria Swanson, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar Daisy Fellowes and Queen Elizabeth II. To this day Cartier remains at the forefront of forward thinking and contemporary jewellery. New collections are eagerly anticipated, desired and marvelled. Each unique piece an enchanting and alluring feat of artistry and workmanship. www.cartier.com

© Flammarion S.A., Paris, 2009. © Cartier International, 2009 17


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Justin Grounds The Dissolving Out Now A Conversation with Justin Grounds Well-travelled multi-instrumentalist Justin Grounds has recently released his new album. The Dissolving is a warm mingling of experimental electronica and acoustic melodies. Could you talk a little about the electronic part of your music, the looping technique and sampling. I’ve been using different looping and sampling technologies since the Lexicon Jamman came out quite a few years ago, and over time I’ve developed my setup so that I can do more and more intricate things. For about the last year or so I’ve been using a homemade foot pedal that I made out of an old computer keyboard, I modified it so that it controls functions on Ableton Live on the laptop. All the acoustic and electro stuff runs through Ableton so it can sync together and so that I can play with the sounds on stage, reverse them, slow them down, send them through delays etc. The whole setup allows me to combine the acoustic with the electronica. Does your knowledge of musical instruments help you to feel more accomplished as an artist? Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been enamoured with music and especially with collecting instruments. I was given a violin at the age of four and have played it every single day since. I played the clarinet at school, then when I was a teen I got a guitar, drums, and fooled around on my Dad’s harmonium. It’s not really a matter of wanting to feel more accomplished as an artist, it’s more that I am really fascinated by creating different sounds. I find just playing the guitar quite limiting as a composer, you get stuck in the default G, D, Em, C sort of thing. What does the mix of live and machine manufactured sound bring to your music? I sort of see electronic sound and the laptop as just another instrument in the orchestra. I like discovering things, for instance if I send the thumb piano through a bit-crusher the sound it creates is a glitchy rhythm. The electronic stuff opens up a whole new spectrum on the acoustic sounds. Also, I really like the idea of combining the purity and cold perfection of the electronic sounds with the flawed, but warm and human sounds of the wooden instruments. For example when I’ve layered all the violins up, if I then bring in a deep sine wave synth bass it just all comes together to create this amazing sound. I like the idea of the divine and the human meeting. We’ve heard that you built your onstage electronic system out of old computer parts, do you adapt your instruments in a similar way? I often do things like de-tune the violin, or string it with a bottom C like a viola. I’m always looking for new sounds. You use some rather unusual instruments? I’m guessing you mean the Kalimba. Its a South African thumb piano that I found in California. Its just such a lovely pure chimey sound, and you can make a ‘wah-wah’ sound filter effect by just moving your thumb over the resonator

hole. You have to get a pair of pliers to tune it. Having a pick-up built in is cool as I can then loop it and send it through effects. Everywhere I play it the room always becomes so magically quiet, its amazing. Apparently it was used in ancient times to summon spirits. Your home is somewhat secluded, is this an important influence for you? I live in a little cottage on the beach in West Cork, Ireland where I have my studio. It’s a very rugged beautiful place and the ocean is present all the time. I love the times of hermitting away in the studio, playing with musical ideas without any pressure to make them ‘work’, experimenting with ideas, instruments and sounds. With electronic programming, it’s good to have plenty of time to sequence and program the really complex beats. It’s definitely important to have times of silence and seclusion, to try to listen to what’s going on in my head. But then the other half of the time I am on tour and in busy cities in venues amongst the bustle of it all. At gigs, having the audience there really interacts with how the song gets played. Because my live setup allows for a lot of ‘on-thefly’ looping and manipulating sounds, the songs have the potential to take really new directions. I’m really comfortable in both settings, the music comes out of both sides, sometimes in the quiet seclusion, and other times at the shows something spontaneous happens and new things are born. I guess the balance of energy and silence is important to my process. The music industry has received a lot of negative press regarding the TV produced talent of recent years, what do you feel is the industry’s perception of musicians like yourself? I think there are lots of different facets of the music industry, its not one big megalithic machine. There’s the very visible part on TV which you mention, which yes, is a big machine concerned primarily with producing very broad and dumbeddown records to appeal to the lowest common denominator and thus make a lot of quick money. I don’t have anything to do with this industry. There’s also lots of facets which to me just seem to be interested in being ‘cool’ and following trends. Again, I don’t really know much about this. But then there are lots of people in the world who are hungry for something uplifting, something that will speak to some deeper place within them. And yet, as an artist, you can’t really worry about being recognised for your talent. You just get on with doing what you love, creating something as pure as possible and hope that it will find its way its audience. Music always seems to find a way of subverting the mainstream and reaching the people it’s looking for. www.justingrounds.com

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Film stills from videos on www.justingrounds.com 21


Bonobo Black Sands Out now Bonobo is back with his highly anticipated fourth album, Black Sands. An album which illustrates beautifully Simon Green’s talent as both a musician and a producer, a master of stage and studio. Every track on the new album is a wash of swelling sounds, each note perfectly constructed. The gentle cascades and long strokes of a violin are broken by the emerging drum beat, flickers of electronica riffs and the hollow tapping of bells. A tickle of the cymbal preludes to the heavy, warm bass and deep synth, both of which are sheltered by the melodic rhythm of an infinite number of sampled and live sounds. The trembling vibrations of a saxophone, intensified by the fleshy vocals of Andreya Triana, are carried upon an immersive wave of throbbing instrumentals.

Like an enormous band, the clashing sounds are rallied together. Organised, intricate and technically purposeful, building into a maelstrom and breaking time and again upon the highest peak. Coming at you from all directions, it’s difficult to keep track of what’s what and when. Simon, the conductor, gently orchestrates his continually evolving soundscapes. Layers of chunky beats and a dense combination of hip-hop breaks, horns, strings and double bass culminate in orchestral highs that give a pure sound intensity.

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Simon has the ability not only to play most, if not all of the instruments but has the technical mastery of the digital age, sampling, recording and mixing the multi textural structure of the tracks. Combining his knowledge of traditional and electronic music, he brings to machine made music the instrumental honesty of live performance. Bonobo has, in the past, been condemned by the media to the dark recesses of some subgenre of dance music. But Black Sands is the sort of progressive album that will push through to a higher ground. www.bonobomusic.com

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A Study of the Romantic Attitude - Dior Couture 60th Versaillles Š Zanna 25


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Horse Man - Daylight Thuggary - Esquire Singular Suit Exhibition 2009 Somerset House Š Zanna 27


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Emma Cook SS10 and AW08 For Emma Cook the surface of a garment comes before the cut, whether branded with her signature wild prints or heavily embellished. ‘Surface decoration is key to our designs’ says Senior Design Assistant Abbie Shaw ‘we explore and develop new ways of creating our own fabric and texture, whether it be in embroidery, manipulation, dyeing or print. It needs to be something desirable but ultimately something new and exciting.’ The SS10 collection is just that, full of flounce and quirky prints. Cook was inspired by taxidermy found at the Horniman Museum and the deer and rabbits roaming the animal enclosure at Clissold Park by her home. Photographs of the animals were made into digital prints which adorn the clear cut, nude and blush tone dresses. One show which epitomised Cook’s fondness for surface detail was for AW08. The collection boasted an abundance of iridescent shine, likely prompted by sponsorship from Swarovski. Stepping away from her usual girlish femininity, the designs acquired a rockabilly edge with folk gothic or military styling. We saw gently flaring miniskirts in tiers of wavering ruffle and crystal encrusted lace patchwork over tie-dyed latex leggings. The inspiration was a mixture of circus performers, tattoos and gymnastic costume. Embroidery was produced by expert embroiderers in India who hand sewed Cook’s designs onto a mesh base, a timely task. The blur of the tie-dye was created in Emma’s studio by wrapping string and fabrics around the silk jersey and dipping it into the dye. When the embroidery returned from India the studio patch-worked all the elements together on the stand, the tie-dyed fabric as the dress base, then the embroidered panels and finally the crystal fringing. Cook’s techniques remind of the skills and handiwork you’d be likely to find in an old craft book, only modernised. www.emmacook.co.uk

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Dries Van Noten SS2010 Dries Van Noten’s signature style is a vibrant mix of ethnic exoticism and contemporary, uncluttered cuts. Brought to life through exquisite prints and sumptuous fabrics from the far-flung corners of the earth. A feast of luxuriant embroidery and intricate beading. For the SS10 collection Dries Van Noten honoured his established eclecticism, opulence and care-free sophistication. The cultural interweaving of traditional and contemporary expertise embellishes the hand-spun, hand-decorated fabrics, implausibly fine cottons and shantung silk. There are the long, colourful loose-fitting African boubou robes, Shibori prints, Javanese batik and Chinese Miao prints, all applied in the truest form of ancestral artisanal practice, not merely disguised as such. A colour palette sympathetic to these technical influences, malachite green, saffron, indigo and ochre are garnished with gilded buttons and the shine of cloth threaded with silver. www.driesvannoten.be

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The Craft of a Magazine by Natalie Dembinska I was asked to write about the craft of making a magazine, probably on the assumption that I might know something about this, which I suppose in some sense, I do. I made my own magazine for my final year project at university. I’ve worked at one for three years. I write, I assist, I sub, I even check printer proofs and mark on pictures corrections along the lines of too much magenta, a touch more cyan, clean up legs, check against original. Even so, I have no idea how to describe the craft of making a magazine. I could describe the whole technical process, do a sort of step by step how to, but then you could just look it up on WikiHow and you’d be much better off, though possibly still have no clue as to how to go about it. Truth be told, there may be a craft to all this, but I have no idea what it is. I wasn’t very good at it when I made my feeble attempt, so advice may not be the best thing to give. To me a magazine, well a fashion magazine, is one of my favourite things. The ones I look forward to most are Vanity Fair, Self Service, A, Fantastic Man, Apartamento, 10 and of course American Vogue. I like Vanity Fair because…well it used to be the double whammy of Grayson Carter and Dominic Dunne, but unfortunately Dominic is no longer with us and I have now transferred my affection for him onto Christopher Hitchins, mainly for him saying it’s ok to drink alone if you’re happy when you’re doing so. As for Graydon, well, what 36


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can I say? I heart you Mr Carter, I have done since I was about twelve and I always will. Should you be back on the market anytime soon, call me. Self Service is basically the perfect mix of unselfconscious fashion and great reads. They have that genius conversation section at the back where they interview anybody and everybody, (they had Glenn O’Brien and Bob Collacello interview each other, really, could you ask for any more?) and it’s always really really laid back, informal and really really interesting. Very few magazine reads read as well as those conversations. Then there are the insider Polaroids, which if you are like me and have a tendency to veer towards slightly stalker-ish behaviour, you will spend hours sitting at your kitchen table memorising the name and faces. And there’s something about those hard covers that make it feel more special. Why don’t more magazines do that? A is a busy body’s wet dream come true. Each issue is curated by a different designer and they get free reign to do whatever they want. It’s like a window into their head, a sort of ‘Being John Malkovich’ of the magazine world. And real, not something that will end in approximately 121 minutes during which you might fall asleep, especially if it’s around three in the morning and you’ve just stumbled home. Fantastic Man as the name would suggest, is fantastic and full of fantastic men. The whole premise is a look at these men who obviously don’t exist outside these pages as they’re smart, funny and give good comment, a bit like a fantasy made real. It also looks at the world of men in a witty way, subverting all its social norms. No one else does intelligent and quietly piss taking (in the best sense), commentary of shirt collars, packing, how to smoke a cigarette and drink whiskey like them. It has a sense of humour, and there’s nothing worse than a magazine that takes itself too seriously. I won’t mention names. Apartamento is like The Selby but in paper form. More to do with interesting homes of random people they’ve met and the stories of how they stumbled across these homes rather then interesting industry types. I mean, I love The Selby as much as the next person, it rarely puts a foot wrong, but Peaches Geldof! That’s a no no. Scraping the bottom of the barrel. What can I say about 10? The list of things is endless, I really wouldn’t know where to start so it’s probably best I don’t get started as we could be here all day. And then, finally, we come to the Holy Grail, the altar at which we all kneel, American Vogue. This is exactly what a million issue selling publication should be. Commercial perfection. And before you spit at me, commercialism done well, done to this level is a beautiful thing to behold. I realise I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent here but please bare with me. The craft of a magazine is dependent on it having a voice and communicating it clearly. Which is exactly what my favourite ones have got down pat. Each is distinct. You have to think of a magazine as a collection of crafts gathered between two covers. You have your photographers, your art directors, your stylists and writers gathered together in one place by an editor. Without these craftspeople you wouldn’t have a magazine. An editor is there to set an agenda so to speak, to set a tone and build on it. The craftspeople are the ones who translate a magazine’s voice into something palatable, the ones who engage the reader. They’re the ones who shape and add substance to what we await with baited breathe to read. Without them a magazine quite simply wouldn’t be. It would just be an idea waiting to be realised, an empty notebook. So in a sense there is a craft in putting together those few pages we so look forward to. It’s the craft of the people who fill up the pages, the craft of the person who gathers them all together in one place and gets the best out of them that they can. A place to show off their craft. www.10magazine.com

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Bespoke Tailoring Photographs taken at Alexander Boyd and Paul Kitsaros

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www.alexanderboyd.co.uk www.paul-kitsaros.co.uk

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Dunhill Aquarium Lighters Interviews with Peggy and Allan Bennett, Carol Pierce and Peter Tilley The Dunhill Aquarium lighters are delicate and enchanting, the Perspex body a three dimensional aquarium scene that appears to advance from the landscape. ‘The artistry involved in them was just incredible’ says Carol Pierce, Head of Hard Products at Dunhill. The first enters the Dunhill catalogues in 1949. According to records in their archive, the earliest were made by an unknown gentleman, then the job was given to a Ben Shillingford, a trained engraver of gold and silver. It is also on record that Shillingford had an idea that lighters were being completed by someone else at the same time as his work. Until recently it was a mystery as to who these unknown craftsmen could be. Allan and Peggy Bennett were having loft insulation installed at their home in Cornwall and came across Peggy’s preliminary paintings of Aquarium designs. ‘Most of them we threw away because we thought that we are were never going to want them’ exclaims Peggy. But they sold three to a specialist shop in Piccadilly ‘we had to iron them because they were so screwed up, damp and worn off on the edges’. The Bennett’s daughter had seen an Aquarium lighter on Flog It!, and not long after there was another on the Antiques Roadshow. They chanced upon a Bonhams evaluation day and took some pieces down. Bonhams had an arrangement with Dunhill to notify them if anything from Dunhill should come up at auction. This was the first they heard of the mysterious other makers of the Aquarium lighters. ‘They really popped up from nowhere’ says Pierce. ‘We were paid two pounds for a normal Aquarium and specials like the blue bird we got an extra 50 pence for’ recalls Peggy ‘rent was 30 shillings a week so you can tell it was pretty good then.’ Peggy worked as a painter on the Aquarium lighters, along with her friend Gwen. They would receive the engraved sets from Dunhill but only met Shillingford on one occasion. When her husband Allan began to take over the engraving, Peggy and he started to do the making between them, Allan engraving the design into the back of the Perspex which Peggy then painted. At the height of their work the Bennetts would produce somewhere between 12 and 20 sets per week.

Once the engraving was completed Peggy would paint the design from front to back so that any dots or other details done first would show from the front. The fish would be painted with French enamel varnish and backed with silver aluminium powder to make them appear shiny. Oil paint was used for the surrounding design. Peggy was surprised by how much the French enamel varnish has faded over the years, ‘I was shocked when I went to Dunhill’s. They are not what they used to be, which is sad, because they were much brighter at one stage’. The use of Perspex became prolific during and just after the war. The cockpit windows of the de Havilland aircraft were made from Perspex and there were lots of off cuts and scraps when they were decommissioned. The Bennetts experimented with other ways of creating the aquarium designs such as embedding glass fish inside the Perspex. But this meant getting a vacuum pump which filled the house with fumes. ‘The smell wasn’t so bad when you’re just drilling them’ recalls Allan ‘although I spoke to my son the other day and he remembers a smell, especially when doing the rocks, the deeper bits, using a larger tool, it would get hot. ‘They remember how the children used to complain about the noise, ‘well they would wouldn’t they’ quips Peggy ‘it’s like getting your teeth drilled.’ The Bennetts continued to construct the lighters until 1969 at the point when the petrol inside was being replaced by gas, ‘something to do with the pressurised can’ says Allan. However, the recent rekindling of their relationship with Dunhill has prompted the possibility of a new venture. At present Allan and Peggy are working on some new samples. Carol Pierce is Head of Hard Products at Dunhill Peter Tilley is the former Curator of Dunhill’s Museum and Archive www.dunhill.com

They had complete control over the designs and would use reference books to make sure they were accurate, having had very little knowledge of fish. ‘We had goldfish’ jokes Peggy. Each new design was different from the last; they never intentionally did two the same. Allan would use dentistry drills, guiding the various ends to create stones or seaweed on the seabed. He talks of the process as pretty easy when using the right tools. He used a bud-shaped drill end for the bodies which ‘you just had to guide about a bit’ and a smaller piece with a sharp edge and serrations for the fins. The scales were done with a little tiny drill, ‘just the same as they use to cut a tooth to stop a new filling coming out’. 48


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Weapons Copper Alloy Standard-finial 9th Century BC – 8th Century BC Copper Alloy Axe Head 10th Century BC – 8th Century BC

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Drawing for a Dagger and its Sheath Circa 1550 – 1560 Cast Axe Head 2500BC – 2000BC Copper Alloy Dagger 2500BC – 2000BC

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John’s House John Abbate started his career as a Store Designer for Ralph Lauren in New York, later moving to Italy with the brand where he transferred to Visual Merchandising. He is now based in London as the Head of Global Visibility, Store Design and Visual Archive for Alfred Dunhill. He travels all over the world as part of his role, buying props and visiting the stores. His home is a wonder of worldly goods, a setting of rich symbolism and spirituality. Similarly to his person, it is a trove of knowledge, story and wonder. Being there is alike to entering a place of holiness, reading a wealth of books, or traveling, if only for a moment, to the farthest reaches of the earth. An Interview with John Abbate. When you’re traveling you don’t really have room for big things so you tend to pick up small things. It’s completely unintentional, when I pick up something I don’t think of where it’s going to go at all, I just see the object, like it, and take it. Then when I get home it finds it’s place. So nothing is premeditated. It’s kind of the opposite. Wherever you go in the world religious objects seem to be the things that you tend to pick up. The whole flat feels a bit religious, but that’s not really intentional either. It’s more of a spiritual feeling. The mantle piece has lots of little objects on it, they are from all different religions and they are all in juxtaposition, somewhat in conflict with each other. There are also personal things of my family mixed in there a little bit, so it’s almost a bit like a temple or an ancestors offering. Either side of the mantle piece are these two little lions which I bought in Singapore, you see them in Asia a lot, they protect buildings from evil spirits entering. So, they’re on either side of the mantle piece, in a way keeping peace over all of the objects in-between. This relates to what the flat is to me, as my therapist said it’s a place I like to come to be depressed. I don’t know if this is entirely true, but it’s a place that’s comfortable to me. Because I’ve moved around a lot in the world, I’ve lived in four or five different countries, traveled to over forty. It’s the one place in the world that I feel secure. All the objects around me have a history and I know them. 66


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I’m Catholic by religion so you’ll find a lot of Catholic symbolism mixed with Muslim, with Buddhist and various other religions. Religion to me is something more personal, more spiritual. The fact that I’m Catholic isn’t really what it’s all about. Trying to dilute the Catholicism with other religions is really saying I believe in all of it, not just one. A lot of things I buy in flea markets rather than in shops. I try to buy antique things as opposed to new things, things that have a spirit to them because they’re old, and they were made in a time when people believed in whatever it was they were signifying. I don’t like buying things that are from one country in a different country, so if there is something Moroccan here, I bought it in Morocco. The stones are either from the village in Sicily that my father is from or stones from the river in Columbia where my mother is from. Her house was by a really beautiful river, so the black stones are from her river and the white stones are from the beach – my Italian family lives on the coast. So those are mixed together to symbolise my mother and father mixing. It’s very subtle though, all of the stories are only known to me.

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The kitchen to me is almost a bit more kitsch. So the signage that’s in there, the posters, they wouldn’t belong in the living room. They’re not old enough, antique enough, there’s not enough character. The kitchen things have a bit more humor to them, there’s signage from alligator everglade tours, Pancake House in Israel, and there’s this old poster that I bought in Italy, when I was living in Italy and moving to Paris, it says “un americano in parigi” which is an American in Paris. There’s one sign that says, “please don’t smoke” but it’s in Italian. I think it would be really obnoxious to have that in English, somehow in Italian it sounds better. The kitchen itself is actually really ugly so these objects help it a little bit. The bedroom is a bit more childish I would say - it’s probably the little boy in me - and a bit more personal. Above the bed are a bunch of clocks, that’s purely by accident, I don’t mean to collect clocks, I don’t mean to collect anything in particular, but sometimes clocks are cool. There’s one that will sing the call for prayer for the Qur’an. The batteries are out of that, it’s actually really annoying because it wails in Arabic. There’s only one working clock on the shelf because if they are all working there’s so much ticking, and they all tick at different times, it’s impossible to sleep. The whole place is full of symbolism that only I know is there, it’s a place of comfort for me. For someone who moves around the world so far away from home you have to surround yourself with these things, because you need to feel rooted somehow. It’s very upsetting to pickup and move - a new language, new country, new customs, new friends, you don’t know anybody, so I had to create my own little world, in which all the objects take me back to a time and a place. I’ve been told by people that read your past lives, that I’ve had many, many lives. So I couldn’t help but think, am I going back and visiting all the places I’ve ever lived, because we can, because in this life we have the means to travel. I almost feel like all this stuff might actually be part of a longer history, because I’m going back and visiting all those different places, and all those different me’s, without knowing it. I don’t know. Who knows.

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The Same Sky Sir James Guthrie Paul Sandby Joseph Mallord William Turner Vincent Van Gogh John Constable John Singer Sargent

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Emily Rand www.emilyrand.co.uk

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Emily Rand Illustrator Lucila Meller Fashion Assistant Fred Nieddu Tailor Matt Ager Sculptor Natalie Dembinska Writer

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Feint Magazine Issue 1: Through the Rough Hands of the Artisan

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