October 2014 ISSUE 6
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-JosĂŠe Kelly
Creators Caterina Ljung
Laura Louise Blaker
Contributors Sage Basilio David Madsen
Special thanks Karl Ă–stgĂĽrd Klas Sundkvist
s se ri rp su
MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE
Greetings from Garde Magazine!
We are remaining optimistic as ever about the future of this publication, as we continue to bring you more than any of our previous issues have contained. In this particular issue, apart from six creators from the fields of ceramics, jewellery and three-dimensional designs, we also have included photography and illustrations. After brainstorming about what topics would interest readers, we have also added two fresh sections to the magazineâ€Ś TA-DA! We would like to express our gratitude to Swedish artist Klas Sundkvist who is going to have an exhibition in China with his fellow artists. He has been extremely busy yet still replied our burning question about the theory and concepts of abstract paintings. A new section for commentaries has also been included! Danish movie-holic David Madsen is on board to share his passion and views on mov-
ies - both old and new. The first movie he will share with us is The Eraserhead by David Lynch. We welcome any kinds of commentaries or critiques as long as you express yourself and reasons well, which are two areas we insist on a lot. We are not limited to movies, but rather everything related to creativity speaks to this magazine! So if you are interested, do not hesitate to send us an email, Facebook message, comment or anything. We want to hear from you! Finally, we would also like to add that this has been a difficult month not only for us, but also for Hong Kong. As a media/publication, we know that we should stand neutral when it comes to politics. But we strongly believe that core values, such as the freedom of speech and democracy should be held up high because after all, it is these freedoms that allow the growth of culture and creativity.
Last but not least, happy reading!
Cleo & Natasha
CONTENT Hikari Shiba // Illustrations The girl and the seal
Laura Blaker // Ceramics Design
Giving is as rewarding as receiving
Hyerim Kim // Jewellery Design The nature of jewellery
Michael Chiu // Photography The art of being flexible
Caterina Ljung // Illustrations Charming and childlike
Rhian Malin// Three-dimensional Design
Participation increases emotional connection
What is it... Abstract painting
Little thoughts about abstract painting by Swedish artist Klas Sundkvist
Movie Review - Eraserhead
A dream of dark and troubling things â€“ how Eraserhead compares to the rest of David Lynch filmography
The girl and
the seal Hikari Shiba illustrations
By Karl Östgård
“‘Kyu’ is the sound a baby seal makes. You can listen to it on Youtube by searching for ‘baby seal crying.’” It’s not all article research that involves watching videos of cute little marine mammals, but when writing about Hikari Shiba, a self-professed ”baby seal illustrator” from Japan, it kind of becomes necessary. ‘Kyu’ is the name of Hikari’s main character – a playful and cute little baby seal. Kyu pops up in many different places – from teaching children their ABCs to hanging out with celebrities such as David Bowie or Salvador Dali. Even though he is a baby, Kyu has been around for almost two decades. ”When I was small, I fell in love with a baby seal soft toy at an aquarium in Tokyo. Since then, I’ve been drawing ‘Kyu’ for more than 19 years.” Hikari does not think Kyu will ever grow up
- “but he’s a special baby so he can do anything he wants to do.” Since drawing had been Hikari’s great passion for so long, she was naturally interested in going to art school. But after finding no attractive alternatives, she instead elected to try a degree in English literature. “I was enjoying learning English at my high school at that time. But to be honest, I was more interested in learning English and [learning about] Western culture than English literature itself. So why did I choose English literature? Because I thought that through learning English Literature, I would be able to understand Western culture and history.” Even though Hikari was not in art school, her passion for illustration could not be suppressed. She wrote a dissertation on Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit, a popular illustrated children’s book, when she was a final year
gree at the University of Arts in London.
“While I was researching into her [Beatrix Potter’s] life and work, I realised that I had a desire to be a children’s book illustrator, like her. But I was trying to ignore my desire because I thought it would be too late to start pursuing my goal to be an illustrator and I started job hunting in different areas like the other students around me.”
Hikari draws inspira Hikari likes the flexibil- tion from chatting with family ity and possibilities inherent in and friends to visiting museillustration. “Illustration can be ums and antique shops. When found on walls, in newspapers, imagining the personalities and on food menus, on biscuit tins, backgrounds of the artists she on clothes - almost everywhere sees, she gets inspired to draw in our daily lives. And most of new work or polish old ideas. them convey someone else’s Her favourite mediums are message (e.g. a company, an water colour and colour pencil. organisation, a politician…), not only that of the illustrator But let’s not forget him/herself. Kyu here! Hikari’s treasured character finally stepped into “I think illustrators add the spotlight at the end of her more value to the original mes- illustration degree – during sage through their own unique which she had never shown filter. For me, illustration is the to anyone from fear of being best platform to achieve what copied or criticised. I want to do - work with peo-
However, Hikari’s health condition stopped her job hunting at that time. After recovering and being encouraged by her parents, she finally decided to follow her dream and took up an illustration de-
ple to create value for people.”
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Hikari Shiba - Ga
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“I gradually found my illustration course to be torturously hard. I didn’t enjoy what I drew during the course at all because I drew something else, not Kyu. I didn’t realise or maybe I kind of ignored the fact that Kyu is what I feel most joyful and happiest drawing. I think I was trying to be good at drawing something else. One day, however, my tutor found my Kyu doodles on a small piece of paper which I accidentally put in my sketchbook. He said: ’This
is the best drawing you’ve done in this class! I can see great potential in this character.’ That was an eye-opening moment. I had never imagined Kyu would receive such an encouraging comment. From that point, I gradually started showing Kyu to my friends and other illustrators.” “I’ve gotten very positive reactions from the audience. I’m always encouraged by hearing people say that he’s compassionate, intelligent and funny. I’m happy when I hear people
Hikari Shiba - Collaboration with David Bowie
say ‘Kyu is cute’ too, but when I see or hear people show their interest in the message that Kyu tries to impart (e.g. environmental issues, historical background, etc), I regard my illustration as successful. “Besides environmental problems, Kyu wants to work for children’s education,
health and safety. He is also concerned about overhunting of his fellow seals and animals, and he’s planning to visit nursing institutions to heal people’s hearts.” As you might have gathered by now, Hikari has a deep attachment to water and the ocean. Her motifs
are often marine-based, with fishes being another preferred subject - “their shape, scales and body movement are so enticing. Maybe it’s because I’m a Pisces.. I can just sit on the beach or watch fish swimming in a tank for hours.” When asked what else she could have pictured her-
self studying, the answer is clear: “It would be oceanography. I find working at an aquarium or on a ship as fascinating as working as an illustrator.” After finishing her ABC book of the ocean, Hikari is planning to continue the concept in other themes such as the forest, the kitchen or school. Her “Kyu and celebrity” illustrations have prompted her friends to ask her for their own portraits with Kyu, which is another project she’s now working on. Lastly, she is enjoying doing window drawings regularly at a fishmonger’s in North London. “My long-term plan is to establish a Kyu brand by producing a series of children’s books and comics and collaborating with various companies and organisations. I want to open Kyu galleries in Tokyo and London where people can meet Kyu at anytime.” “I find my happiness and joy can make other people happy and joyful. I feel a bit sorry for Kyu for ignoring his potential for such a long time…but now, I can say proudly: Kyu is my best own unique illustration. I hope Kyu will offer many children and parents the opportunity to share fun and precious times together, like I did with my parents when I was little.” Hikari Shiba - Comic
Hikari Shiba - from Childrenâ€™s book
Laura blaker Ceramics design
The theme of my project is to create a subtle yet intriguing contrast between a flowing form influenced by historical drapery and geometric surface design inspired by contemporary architecture.
This will also create a contrast between the perceived lack of control with the way the fabric hangs, and the much stricter lines used in the surface pattern. The surface design almost looks as if it is growing across the form, perhaps holding it in position, suggesting the two opposites are working together in harmony. Laura Blaker - Duet
Laura Louise Blaker, a free spirit, has her curiosity and passion planted on surface with different materials and skills. Although she is not the type who says “I am predestined to study ceramics design,” the encounter of that particular skill was simply meant to be.
the subject when she started studying ceramics design. It could possibly be the reason why she was not limited to anything: neither the materials nor themes of her project.
“Topics I have researched for my projects tend to range a lot. I don’t focus “I had no idea what I wanted to too much on the same thing all of the study at university, but I knew I wanttime,” said Laura. She usually finds a lot ed to focus on a particular skill rather of inspiration from taking and editing than doing a more general subject. I did her own photographs, finding patterns workshops involving ceramics and went and repeating them to create symmetrito an open day at Central Saint Martins.” cal images. The discovery of the unlimited possibilities in ceramics amazed her and soon “Iteration is the key to keep myshe became determined. self inspired. Once I get my mind in the moment, there’s nothing that can stop Laura did not know much about me. After the early part of my degree, I
Laura Blaker - Spoons
became increasingly interested in geometric forms,” added Laura. Although Laura holds no limitations to herself topic-wise, she always persists on a characteristic of her projects. “I wish to have others investigate my ceramics closely. I would design complicated patterns and hidden lines on the pieces so people need to pick them up and investigate under light to see. “I like ceramics, it is inspiring to look at and can also be explored by touch,” she said. Another signature of her works is that they are more decorative than practical in their usage. Laura called her works “gift-wares,” which are usually treated as gifts rather than functional creations.
This was a research project I undertook which resulted in me producing 55 completely unique spoons. I wanted to investigate different methods of making and decorating using ceramics. I chose to make spoons as I think of them as objects that you can give to people as a gift, especially if it is one of a kind.
Laura loves giving gifts due to the satisfaction of seeing someone enjoy what she has put into it. She hopes that people feel the same way upon receiving her work as a gift and taking time to appreciate the details and patterns. â€œI do not feel that ceramics has to function. Some of the most beautiful things can only be seen and never used, just like the pleasure of watching a sunset or a fantastic view from a mountain. I donâ€™t believe you have to be able to use something to appreciate it and understand it.â€? In her project Spoons, Laura has revisited her foundation project and further explored more possibilities of creating spoons. She has made more than 50 spoons in different ways. It started out as an experimental project and the spoons
I used many different methods including pinching, slip casting, molding around objects, as well as combining ceramics with another love of mine; which is fabric. I designed prints which I applied both to the fabric and ceramics. I also carried out some more unusual methods, such as creating spoons using pieces of other objects including plates, to challenge the idea of a traditional spoon.
Laura Blaker - Natureâ€™s promise
These little acorns were designed and made to be gifts or tokens which would passed between people, to act as a reminder that nature is all around us and has ultimate control. The acorns have a base covered in fabric, with little copper hats. They are only a few centimetres big - a perfect size to carry around with you.
are of no use, yet Laura has learnt a lot from it.
likes a lot. “It was a real turning point for me as it helped me discover what areas I was “I recorded each most interested in, which spoon in a book so I could was surface pattern design. I remember how they were am now able to push myself made. This allows me to into new areas and new poscreate a sort of diary and sibilities which aided me to reference book if ever I want move forward in my creative to look up techniques or career.” inspire myself.” Currently, Laura Her latest project The is working full time in an Grand is entirely different entirely different field from from her ceramics project. textiles and ceramics. Yet she Making use of stitching, a has her plan set. Although sewing machine and emher current job is not related broidery, Laura feels this is to her degree, she is confisomething extra from her dent to produce more work previous works. “I spent in her free time with enough a lot of time creating and money. I could control and see it transform in front of me, “I have found a stuwhile you can’t always predio I can use at the weekends dict what it would be when to make and fire my work doing ceramics.” which is very exciting. I am very much looking forward Stoke Research Proj- to using ceramics again!” ect is another project she
This project was based on research undertaken about crystals, I spent a lot of time drawing and making maquettes! I wanted to create pieces with layers making the audience more curious and to feel the need to investigate them further. The layers are created using glazes, acrylics, carving and decals; and each and every crystal is one of a kind - no two are the same. I found this project a great way to develop my hand building and fettling skills, as well as being able to develop ways to add the layers and design a suitable surface design for the pieces. Lines and geometric shapes were also a big part of this work.
Laura Blaker - Curiouser and curioser
jewellery hyerim kim jewellery design “Silver is the best medium to show [the] intention of my design as the material has its pure white colour. Indeed, all of my products are produced by my hands. Naturally, I prefer to use a sort of material to use easily. In this case, silver.” Hyerin Kim hails from one of the busiest cities in the world: Seoul. “It’s the capital city of South Korea,” she says. “And it’s got leading development in IT, which I used to believe would run the future without attention to the [natural] world.” Moving to the UK changed her perspective on that and birthed a fascination for a new wave of art.
“The significant distinction between jewellery designs and other designs is that jewellery is closer to pure art than others as it emphasises practical functions. Therefore, I can say that jewellery is sort of like wearing sculptures on your body.” “These days, people are looking for their own way to improve their quality of life in a rapidly changing society, such as urban gardening and slow food. In the same way, plants are also trying to survive in the city. And I focus on that strong survival idea with the weeds in Strong Survival—they grow everywhere, even in between bricks and within the tracks in the tube stations.”
The transformation is key. “I focused
on their distinct characteristics in terms of strong survivals in the city. The characters of Buddleia are numerous buds and flowers in butterfly shapes, so I chose those kinds of features to express this plant to the public. Thus, I designed them growing everywhere on the body in random order. The other one is about ivy, which always covers up everything. My ivy series was designed using an individuality within my rings.â€?
Hyerim Kim - Strong survival (Ivy) This is the project which is jewellery using plants successfully invade in urban area. We usually call them the weed for the simple reason that we do not want. I focus on their strong survival in the city. The aim of this project is that people could discover new vision and value about the weeds, which have been living with us for a long time. I hope it could change peopleâ€™s negative perception of weed by this project.
With dreams to make it into the artisanal market, Hyerin plans to stay in the UK for a couple more years. “I’m interested in investigating the slow movement phenomenon,” she says. Ambitiously wanting to explore further into the world of jewellery sculpting, Hyerin is definitely an artist to watch out for.
One of weed is the Buddleja, which is one of weeds near us. We can easily find them any places, especially tube station. The feature of buddleja is growing between bricks or even small crack. The design of buddleja used random arrangement using the theme growing on everywhere. The other one is the Ivy, which is a familiar plant around us. I am concerned about jewellery, which invades on the body, covering up body and growing up the crack of body.
art of being
flexible michael chiu photography
By Karl Östgård
Michael’s photography, whether it’s shot in colour or black and white, is characterised by stark contrasts, bleakness and a strong sense of alienation or solitude. This is both ironic and fitting, as most of the photography portrays people in busy cities – a place where you technically never are alone, but possibly very lonely. The people in Michael’s photography are often obscured in some way – fences, glass, a turned back or some other barrier. Only a few of his photos show any kind of crowds or busyness – mostly his subjects inhabit a near-deserted urban landscape. Somewhat surprising then, is Michael’s other area of interest: portrait photography. But despite his somewhat desolate
urban photography, his portraits can be lively and energetic, showing people’s unique features and personality.
my bills. Seriously. I work as a photographer and it pays the bills (though sometimes it doesn’t...). I am never really a Fine Arts Photographer... I am not that good “Sometimes it is difficult for with working around a concept and me to figure out whether I should developing it into a piece of art. photograph the essence of that When you work as a photographer, person, or whether I should look you need to be flexible, you need to for the side of the person that no show your client what you can do one has seen before. It is quite dif- and fulfil the brief,” he says, laughficult to strike a balance for me, and ing. “But more than that, photograI am always learning from failing phy to me is also entertainment.” and re-doing.” When asked if he thinks he Michael’s interest in poris concentrating on fashion, Mitrait photography has landed him a chael disagrees. ”I am still figuring number of fashion-related and oth- out what kind of a photographer I er commercial opportunities and he want to be. The world of fashion does recognise the work side of his is fascinating for me, I get to see a skill. lot of crazy people doing all sort of crazy creative work, but I guess “For me, photography pays I need a lot of training and practice
Michael Chiu - Dystopianâ€™s Dream (Prologue) Dystopianâ€™s Dream is a collection of cityscapes taken in various places including New York City, London and Hong Kong. This project explores the ruthlessness of the metropolis.
before I can say ‘I get it.’ Perhaps I shouldn’t really set myself to be only one kind of a photographer (i.e. Fashion Photographer, Still Life, Architecture...). I’m merely a photographer that loves shooting different people.” Though he recognises the recent civil disobedience campaign in Hong Kong as ”a wake up call for everyone, from this
moment on, that things will not be the same,” he has not been documenting it very actively. ”I don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable when they are getting photographed (after all, [the protest is] illegal), so I tried to avoid taking headshots or closeups of people. I don’t have enough time to follow the whole thing as close as I
want to - I only went there for a small amount of time. Also, I am never really comfortable of taking photos in a protest.” Michael’s plans for the future are not crystal clear. Continuing the ”Dystopian Dream” project is up next, but beyond that is unknown. As Michael says: ”I have given up on planning my future since late 1989.”
Michael Chiu - Girl with Flower I used flower, something that is usually considered as a symbol of beauty, and present it as lumps and tumours on the modelâ€™s face.
Caterina ‘Kiki’ Ljung Illustrations
With flat, brown hair, round eyes and a tiny nose, Kiki Ljung looks just like Bambi. She jokes about being refused coffee on several occasions simply because waiters often mistake her for being too young to handle caffeine!
“My cultural background and sense of home is very [confusing]. My father is Swedish and my mother Italian, but my child and teen years were spent growing up in Brussels where I attended an international school,” she says. “I have always been a foreigner, but this Describing herself also gives me a natural as a positive and easy-go- ability to make every city ing person, Kiki, who will my own.” be turning 22 at the end of this year, is a lively and Over the past four fervent illustrator and years, Kiki has been “livdesigner. ing in the creative-melt-
ing pot that is London,” she says. Calling it the perfect place for her to be in at that period of time, she describes the creative energy of the bustling city as both unique and important for shaping the person and designer she is today. It was in London that Kiki completed a Bachelor in Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins. “While having spent the totality of my degree complaining about poor
Caterina Kiki Ljung - Tongue Twister (Cat Claw) Originally inspired by Magrittes article ‘Words and Images’ on the ambiguity of the connections between real objects, their image and their name; I seeked to create a series in which the image and its meaning were playful. Each illustration in the series is acting out an English tongue twister. Tongue twisters are sentences deprived of coherent meaning, made up of words put together by sounds not grammatical logic. For this reason, the image without its context will appear strange and unsusual. The final outcome for this project are a series of 8 screen printed illustrations and a Book of Tongue Twisters.
teaching, looking back, I am thrilled and grateful for the years spent there, primarily thanks to the beautiful fellow artists and friends I have made there,” she says. This year, Kiki left London for Paris and has just started “a new chapter as an
independent illustration freelancer,” she says. As both a designer and illustrator, Kiki says the terminology is not of great importance. “There is a broad range of art forms within and beyond the graphic arts that I engage with,” she says. “Mak-
ing things that look good, which is the basis of design, is something I enjoy and that can be applied to anything. My designer instincts take over most of my normal day activities; from the way I write the postcards that I send to the way I serve food on a plate.”
Asked about the details of her illustrations, Kiki says “I would describe my illustration as being quite charming and childlike due to my simplified imagery and my visual playfulness through use of vibrant colours and compositions. “I aspire to make work that is accessible and enjoyable to everyone,” she says. ”I have developed an individual style that I feel is true to myself and made up my own fictional characters and visual worlds.”
is something I do naturally and I have never had any ambition doing something I’m not fully devoted to,” she says.
this is something I do both by hand and on the screen. I try out a few possibilities Kiki further describes combining different compoher work as “always pictorial sitions, textures, colours and and seldom abstract.” She adds When she was in styles, until I have a favourite. I that “while always including school, Kiki says all her projrarely stick to the chosen initial some element of illustration, ects were personal. “I figured sketch, but allow the image to the shape varies: I have made that if I liked it, everyone else change and form itself as I go books, 2D wood sculptures, would too. Bruno Munari once along drawing.” screen and mono prints, pilwrote ’A thing is not beautiful lows and patterned scarves.” because it is beautiful, as the Some artists that Kiki he-frog said to the she-frog, it has great esteem for include She recalls her mothis beautiful because one likes Henri Rouseau, Henri Matisse, er drawing a lot for her sister it.’” René Magritte, Kazimir Mawhen she was little. “[My levich, Sol Lewitt and Bruno mother] would start drawing When asked about her Munari, to name a few. For a shape and we had to guess typical work routine, Kiki says inspiration, she looks at many as quickly as possible what the this: “I begin with a hot cup artist websites, magazines and shape was turning into. I was of coffee and my Internet tumblrs. hugely impressed by this and browser. I do an extensive bit remember thinking it was the of research both visual and “I spend a lot of time coolest skill in the world. It contextual to get a good feel in bookshops, especially the became my biggest aspiration of the theme and of the main children’s section for a browse to be able to imitate her.” characteristics of the image through the picture books or I’m going to produce. vintage markets where I hunt Kiki says designing and for old Disney comics and illustrating was never an “ac “Then come the bird illustration guides, which I tive choice” that she made. “It sketching and the collaging, collect,” she says. “I also go to
Caterina Kiki Ljung - Tongue Twister (Black Bear)
galleries and shows, I pay attention to flyers and metro posters that look interesting and I look at food labels, road signs etc. The beauty of design is that it’s everywhere!” One of Kiki’s favourite works is her screen-printed series ‘Tongue Twisters” that she made in her last year of university. “My friend and fellow colleague, Tom Scotcher, actually helped trigger the process while we were discussing ideas,” she says. “The project is a collection of popular English tongue twisters and their graphic representation. As the tongue twister is a random sentence put together for the purpose of sound with no coherent grammatical logic, its visual counterpart becomes strange and surrealistic. I did a lot of research surrounding Magritte’s ‘Words and Images’ on the ambiguity of the connections between real objects, their image and their name as context for this project.
Caterina Kiki Ljung - Me in my 30’s personal drawing
“The outcome became a series of very fun images with unusual compositions. I also made a bound version of the drawings into a children’s book with the visuals on one side of the spread and the sentences on the other. The lot was exposed in my first group exhibition titled ‘Two Thirds” at Backall Studios in Old Street.” What makes Kiki positive and confident in her work are her past experiences – some pleasant
and some that she needed strength to overcome. “In my final year at university I was given a tutor that was my complete opposite. We were always disagreeing, she thought my style was too ‘cute’ and ‘commercial’; Art shouldn’t be ‘cute’. “I chose to stick with her and listen to her advice because I believed she would push me forward and into different new directions that would ultimately make the struggle beneficial,” she says. “Unfortunately it came with very big self-esteem issues and I questioned my creative identity a lot. Towards the end I decided to just do whatever I wanted to and draw only for myself. This decision was instantly rewarded as I received huge amounts of positive feedback, which made me feel comfortable about sticking to my own style and strengthening it.”
Caterina Kiki Ljung - Tongue Twister print and display
“I have always considered myself a person with little ambition, not because I’m lazy, but because I have very humble and simple dreams. What I want is to keep doing illustration for a living, work hard, collaborate with brands and people that I admire and make work that I’m proud of,” she says. “I would very much love to write and illustrate a children’s book one day. I want to travel and live in many different cities and I want to do it with a person that I love and with a dog in my backpack!”
My final project, born out of my passoon for bird guidebooks and watchers illustration.
Caterina Kiki Ljung - Birds birds birds
I designed 100 unique bird characters, my version of my own imaginary bird guide. The design of each bird is restricted to singularly consisting of differently sized and rotated half circles. A selection of 20 two-dimentional bird illustrations were brought out of their flat paper context into real life solid objects and made into wood sculptures. The wood sculptures were put on display in an installation in front of a large format drawing of a garden, bringing the birds back into a natural-like context.
Rhiam Malin Three-dimensional design
â€œI love the idea of involving people and letting them get an experience from my projects rather than just having an object to take home with them. I believe that by letting the user be involved in the process of making it makes them love the object more as they have a stronger emotional connection with that object.â€?
Rhian Malin is
a Three Dimensional Design graduate from Camberwell College of Art. This specific course allowed her to explore different materials and patterns. Had it not been for the course, she would have studied surface design or textile design. Rhianâ€™s love towards design is very pure. The process of seeing raw materials being turned into objects simply mes-
merises her. She especially likes how ceramics can leave impressions on people and become unchangeable after being fired. “Beautiful hand crafted objects is my signature and ceramics is my favourite. It’s such a relaxing material to work with. You can spend a whole day at a wheel with the radio on and the day passes you by in no time at all. I am also very fond of the
be recognised by a lot of people. I want my designs to be un In her graduation project derstood by everyone, not just Hand Held Vessels, she invited people with a strong grasp on people to make their own mark ceramics or design. I was also on pieces of ceramics by holdbought up around the willow ing them in hand and leaving a pattern in my Nan’s house so it unique shape. Then, she added has a strong sentimental value to the iconic British willow pattern. me personally.” “It’s British and so am I. Cobalt blue works so well on porcelain and the pattern could
The project was initiated by Rhian’s curiosity towards how people interpret and make their
Rhian Malin - Hand Held Vessels A collection of tactile vessels created by inviting participants to gently squash a freshly thrown porcelain vessel to the shape of their hands, making each one completely unique. Magnified details from the iconic, British, blue and white Willow Pattern are then projected onto the vessels distorting to the individual forms of each one, further accentuating the unconventional contours.
own impression on materials so that they become individual. The vessels have now been sold to various people already. Currently, Rhian is working on promoting Hand Held Vessels. She has participated in the London Design Festival at Design Junction and it was an exciting experience for her. Although she does not have any upcoming projects, she still has a lot left to do with Hand Held Vessels. Rhian’s main goal is clear: to never stop creating in her biggest area of interest, which is participative design. “The objects go beyond the notion of just being owned, but being loved too.”
What is it...
Swedish artist Klas Sundkvist talks about his abstract painting style and how to inpterpret it in general
Swedish artist, Klas Sundkvist, creates abstract paintings and tells Garde Magazine about the stories behind his special style. From the perspective of an artist - what abstract paintings really are and what they mean - Klas helps us make sense of it all. G: Garde Magazine K: Klas
Klas Sundkvist - Dancers
G: How did you develop your abstract painting style? K: The challenge in creating a painting is to find the motive. Usually for me the creative process begins with a thought, a feeling, a glimpse or something I read. A visual image is created in my mind and I normally do some sketching before I start to work on
the canvas. I work exclusively with oil paint on canvas, which is a material that I find works simultaneously with my temperament. The slow drying process of the paint prevents me from rushing through the process and I have to “rest in the painting” and wait… Things happen in the creative process, the subject changes over time and the early intentions of how the painting would look like will sometimes come to life. I go from concrete to abstract and from abstract to concrete; this continues for a long time until one day the painting says it’s ready. G: Are there stories behind your
Klas Sundkvist - Sisters
Klas Sundkvist - Sisters in red
paintings? How are you inspired to paint them? K: I usually read a lot, wander and think about how the image is constructed. The method doesn’t always work, because it never gets as planned. But the process is still important for me. My most recent paintings are based on Shakespeare’s sonnets. I read one or more, and sometimes I come across something that attracts my mind and the process begins. G: When would you do representational and abstract paintings? K: All creativity comes from a need. It does not mean that I do an abstract painting. It can be semi-abstract or figurative. Normally I’ll start painting, depicting, then slowly it’s transformed into an abstract form. G: Do colours have special meanings to you when you paint? K: The colour is central to my paintings.
It provides a mood and clues to the subject’s meaning. G: How would you suggest our readers understand abstract paintings? K: It’s in the eye of the beholder ... the meaning of an abstract painting is that it provides no concrete answers, no motive. The answer is formed in the observer and is based on your own imagination and experience. Abstract painting is like musicians improvising, they are searching for something that cannot be described and suddenly, at best, you can find something. Abstract painting is a style without the prerequisite solving process, a process of hard work, late nights and oceans of coffee. It is a search outside the figurative into a world of forms and colour. Klas is going to exhibit in Xiamen, China. Garde Magazine wishes him all the best!
MOVIE review A dream of dark and troubling things – how Eraserhead compares to the rest of David Lynch filmography by David Madsen
‘Eraserhead’ Directed by David Lynch, Produced by American Film Institute, 1977
When talking about the bizarre, black and white movie Eraserhead from 1977, it is nigh impossible not to mention its creator, David Lynch, in the same breath. His filmography contains such cult hits as Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart and many more. He is a filmmaker who seems to use the medium of film, not as a way to tell stories in any traditional way, but instead uses it to express and visualise his own troubling thoughts - from Blue
Velvet’s look at the dark side of middleclass-American, suburban culture, to the thin line between dream and reality explored in Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr. and Inland Empire.
whether you think his films are deep with symbolic value or whether you think they’re utter nonsense, they are all very entertaining, unique and well made.
With this in mind, The reason for his Eraserhead may be David popularity seems to be the Lynch’s most encapsulating narratives and worlds he is work, pretty much summing able to create, the bizarre char- up every element, every tradeacters that inhabits them and mark and every weird idea that the sense of black, disturbing would come after this, his first humour that is always found in feature film. The following his dialogue and use of imagarticle will examine some of ery. This means that no matter these elements.
‘Eraserhead’ Directed by David Lynch, Produced by American Film Institute, 1977
The story itself is pretty simple. It revolves around Henry, a lonesome factory-worker, played by the enigmatic oddball and David Lynch-favourite, John Nance, whose girlfriend, Mary, unexpectedly gives birth. The child however is born prematurely in a foetus-like state, leaving it in a feeble, helpless state. The table-bound foetus’ wrangled cries and abnormal appearance proves too much of a handful for the nervous Mary, and she leaves Henry to take care of the monstrosity on his own for the rest of the movie. While the foetus functions as the film’s central plot-device, seemingly representing and visualising Henry’s fear of fatherhood, most of the films’ surrounding characters and surreal dream-sequences are left ambiguous to either be interpreted on their own, in light of the rest of the
movie or completely ignored by the viewer. Take the prologue for instance: It starts with a shot of a lumpy planet, floating in space, with Henry’s head superimposed sideways on top of it. The camera then directs the viewers attention to the planet itself, panning over the moonlike surface of it, until it reaches an unidentifiable tin box with a hole in the middle. Inside this tin box is a man, referred to in the credits as ‘Man In the Planet’, sitting on a chair, in an apartment looking out of a window. As he turns a couple of levers we switch to the shot of the planet with Henry’s head still superimposed on top of it. Henry opens his mouth and out comes something that resembles either a foetus, very early in development, still clinging to the umbilical cord
or something that resembles a single sperm. It shoots down to the planet and lands in a puddle of gooey water. After this scene the movie seemingly ‘starts’ with Henry leaving work. That’s a lot to take in and in true David Lynch fashion he only vaguely alludes to the meaning of any of the imagery the prologue throws at the viewer. The aforementioned Man In The Planet is never identified nor is it ever stated, explicitly or implicitly, what his purpose in the movie is. As I mentioned before, this vague type of exposition is not uncommon in David Lynch’s filmography. However, Eraserheads’ particular sense of fragmentation from scene to scene and lack of any real context for most of the characters and scenes in it
almost gives it the structure of a montage of similar themed short-stories coupled together. That the movie was made over a 5 year span somewhat explains this lack of coherence from scene to scene, though it also makes it obvious that Lynch was and still is an artist first and a filmmaker second. Another way in which Eraserhead follows the style of Lynch’s later films is its cinematography, sound-design and overall mise en scène. First of all the movie is entirely filmed in black and
white. While many modern black and white movies, especially smaller, experimental films, use this technique as a crutch to appear more ‘artsy’ or intelligent than they actually are – a movie such as Escape from Tomorrow is a perfect example of this – David Lynch uses it here as a tool to empower the foreboding atmosphere of the movie. The lack of colour and use of low contrast gives the viewer the feeling that the world itself in which Eraserhead takes place in is actually void of colour. This makes it
feel alien and uninviting. This sense of alienation is complimented by the sound design, which, as it always is in Lynch’s films: absolutely haunting. The background is filled with a constant noise which consists of howling wind, leaking steam pipes and loud humming, while the sound effects always seem to come from off-screen or not quite fit with the object they should be representing. The latter is especially evident in a particular disturbing scene in which a group of puppies sucking at the tits of their
‘Eraserhead’ Directed by David Lynch, Produced by American Film Institute, 1977
mother, sound like scattering rats. At some point it simply becomes unclear whether the sound design is part of the soundtrack or actually originates from the world itself. While many films try to draw the audience in through use of a somewhat familiar and relatable setting, Eraserhead almost seems to want to push its audience away with its audio-visual style. With the movies mute colour-palette and eerie sound design combined with its
garbage-filled interior designs and barren factory exteriors, it manages to create a constant sense of dread in the viewer that is hard to put into words. While Eraserhead at first glance may seem to diverge from the director’s later works – especially in its black and white colour-palette – upon further inspection, it is clear that the film very much is a David Lynch-movie through and through. Most notable of these similarities is the many mysteries the story throws at the viewer, which is left unanswered and so it is up to the
audience to wring some kind of sense or meaning out of them. That is, if they choose to do so. The movie can just as well be enjoyed with the mindset, that it is a representation of a foreign universe, which we aren’t part of and will never come to understand fully. This, when taking into account what mad, wonderful mind brew up this dream of dark and troubling things, is perhaps the most fitting interpretation of the movie.
6 creators with 2 new sections=more surprises in the October issue of Garde Magazine!