September 2014 ISSUE 5
An independent magazine aimed at bringing the works of the young and talented to the whole world. Believing in ideas, thoughts and concepts, Garde Magazine follows the principle of simplicity and honesty.
Founders Cleo Tse
Copy Editor Marie-Josée Kelly
Creators Amanda Tong Flora Bhattachary Mercedes de Luis Tom Scotcher Sage Basilio
Évelie Mouila Katharina Gross Shieo Song Troels Flensted
Special thanks Karl Östgård
Editorial We are going through a lot of exciting change. It is indeed a challenge to balance being fresh graduates with looking for a job and keeping Garde Magazine up to standard. We realised time distribution is a very important task. But we also realised that if you do something where your heart is, it makes it worthwhile and a whole lot easier. We promise we will keep publishing Garde Magazine as this is where our passion and interests lie.
We would call the illustration, furniture and product design in this issue “experimental.” Not only do the creators use wasted or unexpected materials to construct their art, but they also have various styles, expand their boundaries and bring us to an entirely new creative stage. To continue, there is a new campaign which we are excited to introduce called Beauty Is… By reflecting creators’ thoughts about beauty, we can get to know them in a more intimate and personal way. Don’t forget to check out more on our website!
But okay, let’s cut the crap.
In this issue we are introducing cultural journalism through one of our special creators. This includes typical journalistic routine of interviewing and writing, but also includes something extra: illustrating.
Oh and there’s one more thing. We have added a new section to the magazine. We are welcoming anyone who enjoys writing art critiques or commentaries about anything related to creativity. Don’t be shy and do show us your talent.
Aside from this, we have “mature” ceramics and jewellery design. We think this adjective best describes the style of these two fields, as the creators have successfully captured simplicity and elegance.
Cleo & Natasha
CONTENT Amanda Tong // Ceramics Design
The sentimental ceramics lover
Katharina Gross // Furniture Design Aesthetics with rationality
Flora Bhattachary // Jewellery Design
Inspiration from the past and present
Troels Flensted // Product Design
Creativity comes with experimenting
Mercedes de Luis // Cultural Journalism The art of travel
Ă‰velie Mouila// Jewellery Design Jewellery rethought
Shieo Song // Ceramics Design Let the future lead the way
Tom Scotcher // Illustration Portraits of miscellanea
A piece of advice for When Arts Meet 2014
Amanda Tong Ceramics design
“Amanda Tong?” Clay and I are like best friends. Sounds weird, but nothing can replace the bond I have with ceramics. I’ve been using this material for almost ten years, since the time when I had my first ceramics lesson in Year 9, hand building Why did you pick ceramics over other fields some random sculptures, to now sitting on the wheel every day. I have developed a real underof arts? Ceramics to me is more human than any standing of clay, as well as discovering more other material, emphasising the sense of touch. about myself. It involves emotions and brings warmth to me in a way that I would like to deliver the same Could you tell us about your cross-cultural to other people. Using clay, I would say is the background and how it has affected your most direct and quickest way to construct obcreativity? jects in 3D. When you have an idea of a form, The reasons behind some of the traditional habits we have are intriguing. Each tells you can just get a bit of clay and make it. different stories and brings valuable insight How does ceramics represent you as which often leads me to explore and discover Meet Amanda Tong, the Hong Kong born ceramist who says she didn’t pick ceramics, but rather it was ceramics that picked her. Educated in the United Kingdom, Amanda shares her fervour for arts and design with us.
further. Having a cross-cultural background has opened my mind up to explore cultural diversity, allowing me to easily compare the two cultures that I am constantly surrounded by which often bring inspiration to my work. In her final project the Perfect Imbalance, Amanda was inspired by the importance of healthy food and reflection on modern people’s lifestyles. Combining
the Chinese philosophical concept – Yin and Yang, she created a set of tableware which aroused people’s attention towards their living. How much time did you spend on the project? For one piece, roughly around 30-45 minutes on the wheel throwing as well as turning inside and the base, followed by a two days bisque firing in the kiln. After glaz-
ing, another two days firing and finally, babe is born! I think I have created around 200 pieces in various sizes. Sadly, almost half of them have cracked due to different shrinkage from mixing the clay together. Keep testing and keep making! What kind of research have you done in order to work on this project? Most of the things that I researched are related to food (indeed my favourite part) including food display, food portion in relations to size of tableware, food diet … etc. The idea came up when I realised Western people have very few knowledge about the Eastern concept of YinYang diet which is something that I truly think people will benefit enormously if they understand it and put it into
practice. I truly love this project because it has enabled me to look at food from a new perspective, allowing me to gain a better understanding of how the Chinese food therapy works. I’ve also gained the opportunity to interview some well-known chefs in London such as Jason Atherton and Chef Tong Chee Hwee. How did you decide what colour(s) to use and what shape(s) to be adopted in every single piece? I’ve continued to use the mixed clay technique from my previous project. In terms of the colour, I wanted to show the actual colour of the clay itself. Black and white, symbolising Yin and Yang. Each of them have different percentages of black stoneware and porcelain, symbolis-
ing each of us have an unbalanced Yin and Yang energy within our body. I would like people to be able to touch and feel the pure finish of the clay, so I didn’t intend to put any extra layer of colour glazes on top. In terms of the shapes, I made use of the centrifugal force from the throwing wheel. Each of them is unique and has its own character, whether it’s circular or irreg-
ular forms. But sometimes I have to be careful not to overcomplicate the shape. After graduation, Amanda has returned to Hong Kong and maintained her connections with London. Cooperating with other Hong Kong students from the University of Arts London, there is an exhibition – When Art Meets as a platform to showcase their works.
What do you think about the prospective for ceramists in the UK and Hong Kong? I think ceramists generally would find it easier to live and work in the UK simply because people here see the subject of art and design differently. People are more open to new things and willing to accept new changes. In Hong Kong, I think people are just starting to get a bit more interested in handcrafted products. Perhaps I havenâ€™t fully explored the ceramic industry in Hong Kong, but I think the advocate of mass production often reduces peopleâ€™s appreciation towards craftsmanship. However, I know there is a group of ceramists who are working very hard to constantly raise awareness in this field so I am really looking forward to going back to Hong Kong and connecting with these people. What is your future plan? I would like to re-visit my previous collection, as I feel they are not fully developed yet. I just cannot wait to put them into the market! Will definitely keep on experimenting and making new products. I am also hoping to work between London and Hong Kong as well as having my products being sold worldwide. Most importantly, keep on creating work with positivity that will influence people to appreciate the value of traditional craftsmanship.
Amanda Tong - The perfect imbalance Growing up in the Chinese culture, Amanda is taught and always reminded about the importance of having a balanced Yin and Yang diet - consuming the right food to maintain a personâ€™s good health. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), food is categorised as having a cooling or heating effect on our bodies. This has less to do with the actual temperature of the food but more to do with its energies, known as qi. When qi is out of balance, disease is the result and balance (health) can be restored by consuming foods of an opposing temperature. The body should be recovered by eating the right food, rather than having to keep on taking medicine! In a contemporary dining context, the Perfect Imbalance would be the best to use for amuse-bouche (bite-size dishes) or petit fours (dessert). The idea is to serve one side of food with yin (cooling) food and the other, with yang (heating) food. Instructions can be given to consumers on how yin and yang food should be consumed accordingly to make the device (or our body) balanced.
The marbling of black stoneware and porcelain symbolises different shades of Yin-Yang on the hand-thrown pieces. Each of the pieces are imbalanced and designed to be presented on a wooden platter that creates a seesaw effect, allowing the pieces to tilt up and down according to the weight of each piece as well as the weight of the food. Through a subtle play of balance, The Perfect Imbalance allows diners to take control and adjust its balance, aiming to raise peopleâ€™s awareness on the connection between food and health as well as the importance of balance in life.
w i t h rationality Katharina gross furniture design
Working with two other designers, Ana Jimenez Palomar and Gigi Barker, in a design collective called “Cast of Creatives,” our creator from Germany, Katharina Gross, has continued sailing across a sea of creativity after completing her bachelor degree in Interior and Spatial Design and Masters in Furniture Design. “Spatial design focuses on a room, an area and a place, while furniture design is about an object. For me it is not about liking one more than the other. I love design and every aspect of it,” she said. Combining both her knowledge and deep understanding from the two degrees she obtained, Katharina always persists on aesthetics, both consciously and subconsciously. “My signature is the thought process behind designing. Hence my aesthetics would not change in a discipline.” “I am always asking myself the ‘why’ question. Why these materials, why that shape, why that pattern, why that colour… I have to be convinced by my own answers. My design has to make sense to me!” In her graduation project Waxploration, Katharina made use of wax to make different furniture. With such materials, the furniture has double meaning: not only a rational one, but also an emotional one.
“All the pieces came from the idea to translate the feeling of home and belonging into furniture. I focused on positive memories and traditions during festivities. When people all over the world celebrate, they use candlelight,” explained Katharina. “It does not only link the positive emotions and memories together, but also brings in the atmospheric qualities to a home. Wax captured a moment and it connects to memories. I am often drawn to freezing moments and wax is a perfect medium to fulfil the task. It is also very beautiful when it is in other forms,” she added. Other than the indepth meaning contained in Waxploration, Katharina has also considered the practicability of her furniture. The cheese-like home series of Waxploration does not only look yummy when it looks like
cheese, but it is also strong enough to hold the weight of a human. For Katharina, spatial design and furniture design seem to be able to collaborate. “I do not see contradicting principles in them; it is more
about zooming in and out. Oh! And surprisingly there is one thing they both have in common although I learnt them in different schools in different countries: “It is never about following the rules but bending
and breaking them. Plus, never believe it when somebody tells you it is impossible!” Yet distorting or even breaking rules means having nothing to follow, or not being practical when it comes to designs related to humans’ lives. Katharina said she does not worry much about that. “That depends on what you define as practicability, but for me practicability and aesthetics have to go together because it is a designer’s task…unless it is meant as a provocation.” According to Katharina, experimentation is also a very important step. “To make sure an abstract idea works in a concrete way, experimenting is the only answer! I will try an idea in different models to scale and have a look at how it works out in every stage.” Although her project is made of wax, there is no special handling needed. “I would love to sell my designed furniture and anyone could buy and use it. If there is a problem related to the design, I will fix it right away even if it is sold.” Katharina’s next step is to add more to the old project. She is going to work more on Waxploration and design cabinets and chairs with her materials.
Katharina Gross - Waxploration (Paris series) Paris tables are meant to be stacked up to the desired height. they are all handmade. I designed boxes out of perforated brass metal sheets and then dipped them into my wax recipe. The thought behind it is to use the process of candlemaking. Instead of a wick I dipped the whole box, and it created these stalagtide looks. When they are stacked up the drips interlock.
Katharina Gross - Waxploration (The cheesy home series) The base of the nesting tables made out of wax (mainly) is a 4mm acrylic glass sheet that I bent into a u-shape. Before that I worked with the process of lasercutting to cut out the circles. the circle pattern of the tables is the abstracted version of hot wax in a tray cooling of, so the wax itself creates these hole-patterns. I then poured the hot wax composite over the u-shapes from both sides. Due to the nature of wax, some holes clogged up, these reappear when you light the furniture from underneath. The tables are at a height, where it is also comfortable to sit on. Its very strong and holds the weight of a human.
p a s t and
present By Kristine Basilio
FLora bhattachary jewellery design
â€œJewellery has a uniquely personal and emotional connection [with the heart] and it is important to me that my work reflects this.â€?
Flora Bhattachary hails
from quite the art-oriented family background, but was discouraged to have anything to do with it. Her parents were not initially fans of her artistic aspirations and art school dispositions. Flora was hindered
Flora Bhattachary - Taxila Amethyst Ring 18-carat gold plated silver set with 16 3 mm trillion cut amethysts. Inspired by the relief carving on an ancient shrine from Taxila. This ring is a tribute to the first piece of jewellery I received as a child â€“ from the archeological dig in Taxila.
from following suit to her desire to go to art school. She was instead encouraged to undertake an academic subject so she pursued a degree in Intellectual History. “But I always had in my head that I wanted to study jewellery design,” says Flora. “And years later I left my job working in the creative industries and studied for a jewellery BA at Medway. Then after working as the Director of Electrum Gallery, I completed my MA at Central Saint Martins.” Her aesthetics reflect an inclination towards geometry, repetitive patterns and carvings. “Preferably all three together,” she says. Her works also demonstrate key aspects from her background
in history, which she says influences a lot of her designs. “Much of my inspiration comes from ancient and antique art and design,” she says. “I am particularly drawn to hidden histories and stories—whether from my own family or from the personal histories of my clients.” Her jewellery features a lot of precious materials. “From gold through to hand-carved precious stones.” Flora’s appreciation for ancient carvings was inspired by an ancient carved camelian bird she received as a child at an archeological dig in Taxila. “Since then I have always been drawn to carved stone and I was lucky enough to be able to work with Charlotte De Syllas,
Flora Bhattachary - Chauri Pearl Necklace 18 carat gold plated silver spiral pendant with 8 mm peacock pearl. Strung on 7.5mm peacock pearls. Inspired by the beauty of a carved ivory fly whisk, and the threat of a jade ceremonial dagger this piece reflects the opulence of the Mughal courts.
an expert precious stone carver in the UK. This has definitely had an impact on the bold use of precious and semi-precious stones in my work.”
As of now, Flora is tending to her Lubhati collection, which was influenced from family stories, Islamic patterns and Mughal and Hindu art, inspired from ancient Bactrian seals and ancient astro Her work ethic is very customer-oriented. “I love meeting logical geometry, through to the clients and hearing about their per- British experience of the C18th sonal histories,” she says. “This can Muhal Courts. often be really inspiring and spark Her next project is in the new ideas for collections! There is works, as she just completed a great satisfaction in producing a piece that really reflects a custom- collection of work that will be showing at the New Craftsman er’s personality and story.” in Mayfair. “Now I’m planning a new line of men’s pieces and also “Often people are quite a range of engagement rings for a keen to tell you about their perwedding show in Spring.” sonal family stories and histories and that can be where things get “I am keen to show my really interesting. I would always want to understand when and how work internationally,” she says of her long-term ambitions. “And the jewellery will be worn and the significance of the commission to to that end I have been talking to the client. I also always produce a some stores in Mumbai. My work paint-up of the suggested designs is focused on the mix of internafor my clients. This way they can tional culture influences, so it is important to have an international identify which designs they prefer and select stone cuts, colours, met- audience for the pieces!” al, etc.”
Flora Bhattachary - Jyamiti Carved Amethyst and Pink Opalite Pearl Rings 18-carat gold, hand carved amethyst and 8 mm peacock pearl ring. 18-carat and hand carved pink opalite set with 0.8 carat champagne diamond ring. Drawn from studies into Islamic pattern and ancient Bactrian seals, these rings sculptural pattern in striking hand carved amethyst and pink opalite.
Creativity comes with
experimenting Troels f lensted product design
There are two characteristics of Troels’ design: playful and experimental. The Danish product designer has been experimenting with various elements in his projects, yet it’s all far from being scientifically boring or repetitive. On the contrary, it’s the opposite: visually playful and fun! In his final project Poured Table, Troels gave life to the wasted materials from the High Street Factory and recycled them into tables. The colourful tables do not only look vibrant, but also contain hints of in-depth meanings.
“I was researching different ways to
reduce mass consumption and figured out there are so many different ways of limiting mass consumption, yet no easy solutions,” said Troels. “One of the things I was looking at was the relationship between manufacturing moving to the East and how the disconnection from production leads people to consume more.” Combining mineral powder and water-based acrylic resin, Troels has been producing tables which are all unique. None of them would have the same effect even when using the same composition of materials. “Because the material aesthetic in this project is so playful and colourful, the main focus for me was to allow this characteristic
to be the main character in the project. A table seemed rather appropriate for this material. I’ve just recently started to produce some tiles, so it’s a very diverse material with loads of possibilities,” he said. After graduation, Troels now has set up his own studio in Berlin and he is going to keep on experimenting. However, although he has now been an experimental designer, one of his intentions to design is very down to earth. “I had been quite frustrated by tiny things in my life that didn’t work properly. My friends used to describe me as lazy because I always looked for easier ways to do things.”
In product design,
Troels Flensted - Poured Tables Poured Table is a material’s focussed project where the behaviour and quality of a material is investigated through intensive experimentation. When pouring different colours of the material into moulds, the material flows together and creates it’s own patterns that are difficult to predict – these ‘frozen moments’ make every product unique.
other than designing products that are improving humans’ living, the aesthetic concern is also as important. “In terms of aesthetic principles, I use my knowledge for materials and try to create my design so the material or the manufacturing process plays a central role in the aesthetic, visual or tactility of the product,” he said. “ It’s always a balance between me controlling the product and allowing the material and manufacturing process to behave in its natural way and embracing the aesthetic deriving from this,” he added. Troels had a bachelor degree in Industrial Design when he studied in Copenhagen while he earned his Product Design degree in London. Both of them, according to Troels, are quite similar. “I figured out that my real passion is product design with a materials and manufacturing process approach.”
Comparing product design to his motherland, Troels believes the United Kingdom has more advantages for students. “The UK attracts a lot of international students which makes the design work so much more interesting because of the diverse cultural backgrounds. I really think this is a good thing that many of the foreigners come to the UK to study because it will benefit the creative environment.” Troels is currently experimenting with slip casting and different ways of applying colours to materials. At the same time, with his curiosity to lighting, he has designed three lights already and he is going to explore and experiment further.
“I want to keep experimenting with materials and try to push the boundaries of materials and processes. I’ll strive to keep doing experimental projects and if I can make a living from doing that, I see myself doing this for the Denmark is actually a country with years rest of my life.” of design background back in the 50s and 60s, therefore it was not as easy as others think to Currently, Troels is looking at differbe a designer in Denmark. “It was only since ent design galleries to see where he can sell the last 5 years that young Danish designers the Poured Tables. Making an agreement with started to come out of the shadows of famous Mystard to sell them through their online shop, Danish designers. The scene is changing in he said people can also buy them on his perDenmark,” said Troels. sonal website.
mercedes de luis cultural journalism
“I have always liked reading and writing letters by hand. Have you tried to write one recently? Do it, because although the process is not as fast as an E-mail, your words will be gently carried by pen and paper. The paper invites you to think about what you are writing and if you believe you have a soul, you can embed it onto paper, if you want. “But you should also think twice before putting your soul into a letter. See what happened to Hans Christian Andersen. He wrote many letters to his friends, but he did not allow this private correspondence to be published. Unfortunately for him, his friends decided to do it as a matter of public interest.
They betrayed him and sent these letters to the press. I read about this incident when I was a guest researcher at HC Andersen Research Centre, with those wonderful archaeologists of Danish literature.” Mercedes de Luis is a story teller who pays delicate attention to detail. Growing up in Palencia, Castilla y León in the North of Spain, she developed a passion for travel, nature, reading, listening and telling stories since she was a young child. “Every place deserves a visit,” says Mercedes. “The important thing is not only where to go, but who is with you, all the ‘W’ questions are important
(who, what, when, why, where).” An unforgettable memory of one of her first trips away from home was on a trip to Istanbul with two of her close friends. To this day, she can still recall the train rides and the psychedelic tunes of the Doors that whirred in the background. A desire to travel “Travelling ‘is a burning thing,’” says Mercedes. “Travelling is a fire; it easily starts and needs few reasons.” “Purpose is a necessary suitcase when travelling. When it ends, there is nothing left but ashes. Travelling saves us from the sands of time. Imagine it to be like the Captain in “Wolzeyc”
- Claudio Magris wrote of him in “Danube”- and getting desperate locked in a room, feeling the movement of the world outside, day and night. “I simply like the moving to be ‘on the road,’ such as the rhythm of the train or the music in my ears or going by car. Since travelling for the sake of learning through experience seems to be a forgotten ritual, it would be a good idea to read Paul Virilio, Claudio Magris, Bruce Chatwin, Josep Pla and HC Andersen because they evoke the art of travel in a way that well deserves to be thought about. The significance of nature Mercedes is deeply interested in nature and its importance. “It’s truth,” she says. “In Marienlyst Castle, there is a project to rebuild a romantic garden as it used to be in former times. We may create and find beauty, instead of destruction. In Torres de Oeste, Catoira, the Ulla River and eucalyptus surround the towers, as if it were a silent cemetery of time, stones and nostalgia. This place- its legend- is cared by its inhabitants, year after year.” “Nature is where we find ourselves. Our deep beliefs, our fears, our wishes – these all lay within wild nature. It seems it was this way at the beginning and I think it will continue until the end of
time.” Literature, poems and illustrations Mercedes says it was her vocation to tell stories. She pursued her studies in journalism at Complutense University, taking inspiration from the film ‘La Dolce Vita’ and ‘Harry’s theme’ in ‘Patriot Games.’ She is now a “multidisciplinary professional,” which she explains using an original and beautiful comparison between nature and journalism: “Journalism is formed with fiction of several landscapes and materials, not always with an order. That landscape is a reflection of what our culture is, already created and formed by different instincts. Often the storm comes and the landscape turns wild again. We try to start again, looking for a plan, following a river. Words do not carry us anywhere and too many words lose their meaning. There is not only one media to express oneself and Journalism is not isolated, it shares space with literature. One just needs to want to find dialogue and connection, instead of noise.” Travel literature When Mercedes gets working, her strategy is to “write, write and write,” she says. “As with any art, improvement is a question of time. But when it is also a work, I try to accomplish my writing was
every day.” Mercedes recently edited her little travel stories notebook, “Relatos de viaje,” which are tales of cities. She is currently preparing her next book. “I have to improve my technique. Let’s try it here,” says Mercedes. “What about this beginning, it sounds catchy, does it not? “En un lugar de la mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme…” Yes, we admit it does and we also bet it sounds equally catchy in English! Mercedes illustrated and wrote “Travelogues” by hand. “It’s a little book of city tales, one for Copenhagen, another for Berlin, one more for a train and another one dedicated to Irikaitz. Many dreams were created in that fertile ground. It was a very good year. All my loved beings were full of projects, energy and nostalgia, at the same time. I tried to write about that mood in “Relatos de viaje.” Always hoping to publish a book one day, to Mercedes de Luis - Travel sketches from Galicia
Mercedes’ excitement, “Travelogues” has already been sold! Poems and illustrations For Mercedes, a variety of wonderful things can serve as inspiration for her to create poems and illustrate. To her, painting is a pleasure to which she feels no time constraints. “The sea, music, friendship, silence, a good meal…create that atmosphere…to hear how the day disappears outside,” she says. “I guess that painting, poetry and music are ways for ‘the return to the woods.’ It’s where you feel wild and safe at the same time, so you can express all those ideas.” A trip down memory lane “One of the best experiences so far is working at Hotel.info, a place where innovation walks together with the old art of travel. Another great moment happened designing my projects of cultural travels.” “I am lucky to have friends who always listened about my projects. Finally, the projects became real and I Mercedes de Luis - Travel sketches from Copenhagen
able to travel to Denmark and do some research, goals stimulated thanks to the work done by J. de Mylius and J. Nørregaard and all those conversations with Josh and Jacob Bøggild, Anne Klara Bom, Ane Grum-Schwensen, Torsten Bøgh Thomsen, Anya Aarenstrup, the wonderful ideas by Solveig Brunholm, and the help by Katrina Gutierrez, calling to the sirens, at the HC Andersen Research Centre. “Once I started writing the first sketches about the Danish writer, it was time to meet Malisa Castiñeiras Isorna in Catoira, where she guided me to see the backstage of an amazingly beautiful village in Galicia, feeding a cultural tradition which is still alive and kicking. In the august moon, I had the honour of receiving support from the Foundation of the Arts in Denmark for conducting my musical travel project. For which I was delighted to meet Morten K. Roesen in Copenhagen, a brilliant stage director of the Danish contemporary scene, to interview the musician Peter Bruun and some others amazing artists. “All of them are somehow part of my projects. I luckily find myself researching into a topic that makes me enjoy and innovate in my way of thinking. And this art of travel is also what I find in Hotel.info, as a combination of internet and the old art of exploring the world. I can’t be but thankful to our nomad habits.”
My short text “Trans-Siberian” To end the interview on an even brighter note, Mercedes shares a hint of her poetic travel writing with us: “Just arrived to Yaroslavsky Station, Moscow. I have in my coat a small Moleskine and the Russian dictionary. I go into the crowd of soldiers, mothers
and girlfriends, until the platform is cleared and I go inside the Trans-Siberian, I assume this challenge that will test my descriptive skills. I do not travel alone, at the next stop, they will come up my traveling companions. As in a Paul Theroux’s book” I hope that all kinds of adventures occur without leaving the wagon. I walk to a widest
window from where I want to see the landscape. The train starts moving. Now I can hear it, the machine in motion. What a wonderful music! This is life in movement without end. I close my eyes to imagine what I’ll tell to my grandfather. Russia is one of his favorite trips. “The Trans-Siberian is for adventurers” we said at
home. I smile and desire to meet at the next stop with my fellow travelers. The train moves over the catenary, the creeping vine and rusty beams. Soon my soul will wander along the universal dance, through the thick Arctic tundra, steppe, prairie wheat, taiga, pines and firs. Anton Chekhov said about taiga once: “His strength and his magic does not lie in the
size of its gigantic trees, or in the depth of silence, but in the fact that migratory birds are the only creatures who know their limits”. Almost 10000km through the Russian Federation up to the delicate shores of the Sea of Japan”.
Jewellery rethought By Marie-Josée Kelly
Évelie Mouila jewellery design
Évelie Mouila’s designs reflect simplicity, practicality and sensuality. Most of all, her unusual but fascinating pieces reflect a desire to explore and re-think. The 25-year-old jewellery designer practices her craft because of her admiration of people and the human body. “By creating jewellery I study people and their bodies, but I also have to work with the
body’s surface — a surface that I want to understand more of,” explains Évelie. Her series “Juliette” conveys the latter. It is the collection she graduated with a Master of Arts in 2012. “My collection is about the lines of the body. The collection emphasises them but also creates new lines,” says Évelie. “I create a connection that you wouldn’t normally think about for a piece of jewellery.”
Before falling in love with jewellery, she experimented with a wide rang of mediums, from painting to graphic design. Garde Magazine asked her why she settled on jewellery: “it allows me to have dialogues with bodies,” she says, “jewellery has to be worn, therefore it has a direct connection to the body, but it is also an object that you can look at and appreciate on it’s own.” Originating from Guadeloupe, France, Évelie now finds herself “living between London and Paris.” Since her graduation, her work has been exhibited in both cities and she is currently working for a French fashion house. She enjoys the travelling and hopes to
Évelie Mouila - Juliette Collection My collection emphazises the actual lines of the body but also creates new lines and contours. It’s about an intimate feeling of wearing jewelry that only the wearer can feel. Part of the jewelry pieces have direct connection with the skin and are worn hidden underneath the clothes : the other part is the decorative element and is visible.
do more. “I have an exhibition in Tokyo at the end of the year, it’s called 3school project exhibition. I will also have a sex shop exhibition in London next year. It has never been an interest of mine,” says Évelie, but has more recently been considering the idea. “Through my art and design I want to communicate that the absence of decoration in a piece of jewellery doesn’t mean that it cannot decorate a body,” she says. “I want to bring it back to the basic idea of jewellery: which is the connection between the two.”
Évelie Mouila - Collect Collection Usually the body wears clothes, which is in close relationship also with jewellery that you can wear. For my new work I want to involve the clothes in this idea of wearing jewellery. I will work around notions like: visible and invisible feeling, the below and above feeling. Jewellery has direct connection with the skin and is worn hidden underneath the clothes and inversely. It’s about an intimate feeling of wearing jewellery that only wearer can feel. Use the cloth as a support/surface to set up jewellery can be a tricky and challenging interest to involve in my practice. It will push me to found news tricks and unexpected solution to materialize the relation: body, jewellery and clothes. My challenge will be to create jewellery that dress body as a cloth and clothe that dress a body as jewellery.
Ă‰velie Mouila -Juliette Collection Part 2 I started by taking pictures of thread on the body. My thread caresses the body and follows its lines and also gives new contours to the body. My pictures were a way to discover the body, trying to understand its shapes and contours. I used the picture as an inspiration to design jewellery pieces; I translate all my visual emotion (found by taking pictures) into wearable pieces. My collection emphazises adorment of the body translated into jewelry. The second part of my show is an image of a nude body in which I drilled holes to create a necklace. Then I held this actual picture against the sun and the sun going through the holes revealed the shape of the necklace. I used this image to capture the light going through the holes. I like the idea that your body becomes as precious and light as the jewellery youâ€™re wearing. This hole becomes for me the pearl/ bead of a necklace.
Ă‰velie Mouila -Mara Collection
lead the way shieo song ceramics design
One common perception of artists, we call them creators, is very abstract. The public usually understands them as living in their own creative
bubble, with no grip on reality, but this is far from the truth. Shieo Song, a ceramics design graduate from Central
Saint Martins, is a definite example of the opposite. She follows news and commentary closely; she has short-term plans ahead. She is, very much, living
in the world same as everyone else. “Social and political commentary has always been the theme I want to explore more in-depth before anything else,” Shieo said. Her graduation project, The Game, is an excellent example of this. The project aims at arousing viewers’ attention to rethink our world nowadays. The child-like figurines she creates are merely pawns whose lives and fate are controlled and manipulated by greater powers behind the scenes. It also questions the corruption and political instability in the world. “The Game was formed by many issues and key agendas in our world. The Chinese’ onechild policy is one of them. The
Shieo Song - The Game Materials: fine bone china, polished concrete The illusion of being in control is the inspiration behind this piece. The child-like figurines are merely pawns whose lives and fate are controlled and manipulated by greater powers behind the scenes, designed to question the corruption and political instability in the world today. Players or pawns? The manipulation of power in contemporary society.
child-like androgyny is my chosen character to represent the vulnerability of society,” she said. Ceramics and Shieo are inseparable, as it is the best tool for Shieo to express herself. She sees ceramics as having many purposes and meanings, which is why she relates to it so much. “Ceramic is such a seductive material, it can be tangible and also challenging. The material requires patience and a lot of effort to get the results you need,” Shieo explained. As a Chinese ceramist who has studied in the United Kingdom, she recognizes how privileged she is. “Coming from a cross-culture background allows me to see the differences and similarities of cultures of the East and West. Each culture’s adaptation of the fast changing world we live today has always fascinated me.” Shieo has no problems reflecting on her work as a ceramist: “I enjoy working with figurines as it can capture and direct the deepest of feelings. It is fun. I also like making tableware and other forms of vessels.”
Inspired by the world, she also has a philosophical approach to making her ideas come to life. “Transforming abstract ideas to concrete creations is just like how we learn to live our lives. Material itself is a great way to represent that already. Working and moulding clay by hand is a design process where my potential ideas and thoughts become reality.” There is no doubt that Shieo is without regrets following her dream of being a ceramist. She enthusiastically shares some of her upcoming plans with us. “My next exhibition Great Northern Events will be in Manchester, in the UK. My next project would be about human relations and interactivity. I am very excited!” she said. She has sold all of her pieces during two exhibitions showcasing her work, which hopefully is a sign of more positive things to come. Shieo is also in the final stages of setting up her private studio in London, where she will be based for the time being. But still, Shieo remains very practical. “Future, who knows? I will just focus on what is ahead, step by step.”
miscellanea By Karl Ă–stgĂĽrd
tom scotcher illustration
“An apocalyptic landscape of the yorkshire dales, cows and sheep being abducted with a drone flying into a big oak tree.” This motif might not be similar to anything he has done before, but looking below the surface, it actually fits well in Tom Scotcher’s repertoire of chaotic and free-flowing narratives. Though the above scenario is what Tom describes he would want to illustrate the most, one suspects it’s tongue-in-cheek. “I wouldn’t really know what [the topic] would be until I draw it,” he also says. Looking through his work, it’s clear that predictability is not Tom’s thing. His portfolio, though tenuously held together by his distinctive line work, is a mixture of mediums and themes. He himself describes his style as “a naturalistic approach to the miscellaneous, the mundane and the overlooked.”
His work often blurs illustration and comic. A drawing by Tom can have elements of a comic, or vice versa. “Comics are made to tell a story but I rarely have a definitive story or narrative. They’re often quite directionless. I’m a comic’s novice. I like the term cartoonist, I think it describes my drawings better.” As he always liked drawing, discovering that you could basically get a degree in it (graphic design at Central Saint Martins in London) made him “pretty sure that he didn’t want to do anything else.” “...doing drawings and things of that nature is the only way I can be expressive.”
His education seems to
have given him good insight into the illustrator community. Ask him about illustrators he likes, and the answer will be extensive – from old masters to contemporary newcomers. Looking through these references, old and new, show that they are similar in style
and content – much of it is irreverent and sustained by its own logic, which can be said to describe Tom’s own work. Stylistically, some elements are also found in Tom’s work. Eric Ravilious or David Hockney’s fondness for dynamism as lines swoop into move-
ment, for example, or taking a forgiving view of perspective, eschewing realism for an intended effect, as in Patrick Kyle’s or Edward Bawden’s work. Tom Scotcher - Collective Compulsive We approach a huge sheet of paper without a subject matter in mind and just draw off each other’s drawings. We swap every 5 minutes so that we don’t pollute a specific area with just one style. We’ve just done a project at Masterpiece Art Fair with the Swiss watchmaker Jaeger Lecoultre, which was great fun to do.
Though knowledgeable, Tom does not actively seek inspiration. ”It’s best not to look for inspiration; it makes the experience of finding it more worth while. If I’m looking at something interesting I always want to draw it, like a row of trees or an oddly shaped person, and I try to twist or distort it to coincide with how I feel it could look.” Tom doesn’t like to draw the same thing twice. Not surprisingly this is reflected in his work process. “Initially I have the idea, which stems out of a lot of other ideas that don’t seem to be as strong or don’t convey the message properly. Hopefully by that time I’ve reached a point where the idea perfectly demonstrates what I want to say or what the client wants to say about something. Then I go away with the initial burst of inspiration and do as many thumbnail sketches as possible, which is my
favourite part because I have the raw image already and it becomes a matter of staying as true to the original sketch as possible, without stripping it too much. Then I experiment with layout and typography until I’m confident to share it with another pair of eyes.”
items such as a lighter and a cellphone among the more chronologically appropriate matchbox, pocket watch and ink bottle.
His favourite project is his most recent “Collective Compulsive Drawing” – a collaboration between him and two friends. “We approach Tom won’t let petty a huge sheet of paper withrules limit his artistic expression. In his shortlisted compe- out a subject matter in mind and just draw off each othtition entry for a shoe comer’s drawings. We swap every pany advertisement, he chose to ignore the brief ’s “keep the 5 minutes so that we don’t poster modern” clause, instead pollute a specific area with just creating a lavish and anachro- one style.” The end result is a huge and dense drawing filled nistic collection board conwith unexpected and hilarious taining all the items a stylish shoe-wearer might be carrying. narratives.” Think of old specimen books Tom undoubtedly likes of plants or animals – defiwhat he does. To the question nitely not modern. His concession was to include modern “If you had not been an illus-
trator, what do you think you would be?” He answers briefly and perhaps despondently: “A postman.” Though this might suggest an all-or-nothing approach, he admits that living as an illustrator is hard and that he is thinking of doing a carpentry course to further widen his field. In the future, Tom sees himself collaborating further with other artists. For this, he is working on putting together a series of books and publications to send out to graphic design studios and agencies in London. His fingers are also crossed that he can try his hand on his first graphic novel – “a story about two adolescent boys on the prowl in Brighton.”
exhibition review A piece of advice for
When Arts Meet 2014 By Cleo Tse
When Arts Meet 2014 Organized by The Hyphen Project University of the Arts London Student Showcase
Going to this exhibition was a result of luck and good timing. One of our creators, Amanda Tong, who is in this issue of Garde Magazine, is a member of The Hyphen Project, which was the organiser of the exhibition. Formed by a group of Hong Kong students who studied in the University of Arts London, The Hyphen Project has been organising studentsâ€™ exhibitions since 2013. The exhibition itself is a marvellous idea because it does not only provide a platform for art lovers, but also contributes to the local art circle through local artists, even though they are educated abroad. The exhibition was held at the Jockey Club Creative and Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei, which is quite an ideal place for up-and-coming artists since the location of the venue does not convey an overly high-class feeling to visitors. It was very comfortable and inviting and as a student exhibition, I think it fitted quite well.
The following is a review, which includes my person-
al opinions/critiques. However, I absolutely appreciate each individual studentâ€™s effort that was put into the exhibition and strongly support their good work in the hopes that they will continue to help colour and liven up our city. Maturity of projects In the exhibition, there are projects exhibited that are done by students who have not graduated yet. I am not saying they cannot do good projects, but comparing these to final projects done by final year students, it can be seen that there is some room for improvement.
There is a logical reason behind this.
For final year students, the graduation project is the one of the key points relating to their artistic exposure and even their way to be approached, while first and second year students still have time to improve themselves. It is highly predictable that final year students would try their very best to do their projects and may have more experience as they have been doing arts at university for a longer period of time. Overall, I think it makes more sense to save the chances and exhibition space for final year students. Arrangement of works No matter what kind of exhibition is being held, spacious walking area is of high importance. It is not only for visitors and artists
to “walk and talk freely,” but also to allow some “viewing area” for visitors to solely appreciate a piece of artwork. Some pieces of art may be designed to be viewed from afar, where you can view the entire piece, and some works may need viewers to look at them close-up in order to understand them. Every single project deserves proper observation time to be appreciated. The intertwined combination is essential to provide an impressive and comfortable exhibition browsing experience. Location of students In the exhibition, some artists are in Hong Kong, while some have already gone back to the UK. For those who could not be present, it is not only a great loss to the artists but also to the visitors: artists cannot tell visitors’ first hand reactions to their pieces and visitors cannot talk to artists directly about their works. As an artist, it is crucial to think about when and where you want to locate. It does not only determine where you want to start off and exhibit, but also where to contribute to. I would still like to pay my respects to The Hyphen Project again. Its members work on a voluntary basis to make the exhibition happen. Although there is room for them to improve as it is only the second year of the exhibition, Garde Magazine will be longing for more exhibitions in the coming years.
Bringing you new subjects and section, Garde Magazine #5 keeps surpising readers as usual!