The Nostalgia Edition
WE INTERVIEW THE CREATIVE COLLECTIVE TEARING UP BRITISH FASHION // INTERVIEWS WITH COLOUR THE ATLAS, MISUN AND LITTLE COMETS // EXCLUSIVE VIEWING OF YORK ART GALLERY 2015
NOSTALGIA AUTUMN/WINTER 2014
3. LOOK DON’T TOUCH // 5. LE CLIQUE, C’EST CHIQUE // 7.GIRLS ON FILM // 8. STICKS AND STONES // 14. DIOR NO MORE // 15. THE VINYL REVIVAL // 16. ANALOGUE ESCAPE // 22. STRENGTH IN STYLE // 23. LET’S DANCE:
INTERVIEWS WITH COLOUR THE ATLAS, LITTLE COMETS AND MISUN // 25. CHILDHOOD
PLAY // 26. A FUTURE LONGING //27. EXPOSÉ: YORK ART GALLERY // 29. HARDTALK: WEBSOLUTE DISTRESS // 30. HARDGIRL TALKS SICILIAN GLAMOUR
WE DID THIS.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: ROBBIE HODGES // DEPUTY EDITOR: RACHEL THOMPSON // MANAING DIRECTOR: FLORENCE MITCHELL // HEAD OF PHOTOGRAPHY: THOM CORBISHLEY //HEAD OF ADVERTISING: ALEX IGHALO // HEAD OF MARKETING: ERIN RODGERS // FASHION EDITOR: SOPHIA ANDREWS // FASHION DEPUTY EDITOR: ISOBEL WILKINSON // FASHION DEPUTY EDITOR: KITTY ROBSON // FASHION DEPUTY EDITOR: AMELIA RICHARDSON // CULTURE EDITOR: BELINDA QUESTED // ARTS EDITOR: CATRIN PODGORSKI // ARTS DEPUTY EDITOR: NADIA HUSEN // HEADS OF PRODUCTION: MADDY CRAMMOND // HEAD OF PRODUCTION: ALICE YOUNG The Nostalgia Edition; an opportunity to reflect and a catalyst for change. ‘Look to the past and move to the new’ is the spirit we’ve striven to capture in the seventh issue, a message that is perfectly embodied in ‘Sticks and Stones’, our cover shoot for the edition. Unshackling nostalgia from the paisley cuffs of vintage hipsteria, we’ve grasped the past with a searing passion: no to the burnt, yes to the rare. From the cornrow-clad cover of issue seven, a host of whack content spills forth. Take a look at my interview with #Levelism. The creative collective who drove London Fashion Week bonkers last season sit down with me to talk inspiration, aspiration and where they’ll be driving menswear ten years from now. If art is your bag, don’t miss Belinda Quested’s exclusive behind-thescenes exposé of York Art Gallery: set to be “an iconic landmark within the British art scene”, find out exactly why inside. Wanting to kick-back? – Indulge in our fashion editorials or peruse Alex Ighalo’s musical Q&As with up-and-comers Cloud The Atlas, Little Comets and Misun. Without wanting to reveal too much more, I’ll leave you to your own devices. Instructions for reading are as follows: 1. Make a hot drink; 2. Grab some cake (pizza will suffice); 3. Get comfy; 4. Read. Once the paper’s disintegrating in your excitedly-clammy hands, make sure to get in touch and let us know how you found it. The Nostalgia Edition; an opportunity to reflect and a catalyst for change.
LOOK DON’T TOUCH
Play dress-up with HARD. We bring you the runway looks you can’t afford (to miss) EDWARD CURTIS
A graduate from the London College of Fashion’s Design and Technology Womenswear (BA) course, Curtis describes his aesthetic as a collision of maximalism and simplicity. Hypnotised by the sashes of colour that bound the body, HARD fell under the narcotic spell of Curtis’s Pre-Raphaelite inspired graduate collection.
The geometric constructions that graced the runway at Roksanda Illincic saw the designer splice old-school glamour with modern technical mastery. Illincic nailed sophisticated empowerment without the overt sexiness that is too often seen as synonymous with female strength. Impeccable tailoring came in the form of fifties-style pant-suits set-off against audaciously faux chubbies and tough steel belts.
MARC BY MARC JACOBS
The shiny metallics, vibrant brights and Japanese animé influences of Marc by Marc’s AW14 collection saw the designer turn cyber-futuristic on a timeless coming-of-age fairy tale: Alice In Wonderland. Jacobs channeled those fearless adolescent years through clashing hardcore moonboots with pigtails, over-sized socks and a knock-out attitude to match.
For AW14 Ashish sent candyfloss, crowns and kick-ass accessories down the runway culminating in one of their trademark sequined tees. “Love will win” was the slogan this season; a bold plea for equality and a slap in the face to Putin (amongst others)’s anti-gay legislation. With light-up platform trainers grounding each look, the young London-based brand’s collection was a call to childhood naivety, wreaking of innocence lost.
At Miu Miu, sharp, clean and classic tailoring was dipped in candy-frosting and doused in glitter for AW14. Evocative of the ‘chic’ popular schoolgirls immortalized in cult films like clueless, Prada’s layering of cellophane-like colored plastics with pastel-perfect quilted nylon created a look that was seductively sweet.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALEXANDRA CRAVEN, TEXT BY AMELIA RICHARDSON AND ISOBEL WILKINSON
PHOTOGRAPHY: TABZ WILSON
LE CLIQUE C’EST CHIQUE FORGET YOUR MODS, YOUR TEDDY BOYS AND YOUR HIPSTERS: THERE’S A NEW SUB-CULTURE SHAPING BRITISH MENSWEAR. ROBBIE HODGES SITS DOWN WITH THE FOUNDING MEMBERS OF #LEVELISM TO TALK LFW, SARTORIAL SUBVERSION AND THE FUTURE OF FASHION Lightning flash bleaches the dulled stone of Somerset House as the LFW host’s triumphal arch ruptures into a restless cacophony of bursting strobes. Lancing the barricade of photo-bloggers-cum-freelance-stylists you might expect to find a celebrity, on the leash of a PR company, dressed to the nines in a designer they’ve never heard of yet claim to “love, love, love”. Not today, not now. The barricade falls as blinded editors, strewn across the cobbled courtyard, don their shades proprietorially; their neglected taste buds latent with anticipation. “We just turned up and turnt up”, Charley Van Purpz, the trailblazer of creative collective #Levelism would explain months after. “It was the first time we came out properly as a group and it was done so well that I can’t even fault it.”
One seasonal shift later and I’m sat outside a café with some of the collective’s core members, interrupted now only by the autumn rustle of tumbling leaves and the sporadic snapping of Tabz Wilson, #Levelism’s in-house photo boff. “It was literally crazy” Jerome Kodjo, one of the team’s many models tells me in perfectly unbroken, Parisian English. Any dedicated follower of London Fashion Week would have found it hard to have not stumbled across this exclusive team of selfstyled dandies. Blogs were abuzz, papers and magazines scrabbled to snap them up and social media boomed with fashionable glimpses and chic shots of the group. Little attention was set aside for the geniuses belying the beauty. Given the team’s uniformly inter-referential sense of style, the simple story of their formation comes as little surprise. Romeo Hakem, suited in a black two-piece set off against a pair of Adidas ZX Flux,
informs me, “It came about through mutual friends, we realised we had a strong bond and we’ve been around for four months since, not that long”. “We are a collective. If anything we are a creative collective. We do have stylists, we have designers, we have two photographers, we’ve got models and we even have a chef in the group”. Jostling Jerome for having undertaken an engineering degree prior to embracing London’s fashion scene, the group jokingly add ‘pilot’ to their lengthy list of deployable services. It may have been mentioned in passing but plans to rocket sky high aren’t miles away for this chipper crew.
The man’s got a point and it’s this analytical pointedness that makes #Levelism more than a collective, more of a sub-culture. “The future is going to be a complete mixture of cultures and backgrounds where the only restriction you have is going to be yourself,” Charley assures me to resounding approval, “through social media you can be or do anything”. It may sound a little space-age hippy but I admire the team’s faith in humanity during a decade that’s mimicking the seventies in all the wrong ways. Despite being on the precipice of Cold War II, and confronted daily by a severe terror warning, the team are unanimous in their optimism: “the future is ours for the taking”.
“IF ANYTHING WE ARE A COLLECTIVE. WE HAVE STYLISTS, WE HAVE DESIGNERS, WE HAVE TWO PHOTOGRAPHERS, WE’VE GOT MODELS AND WE EVEN HAVE A CHEF” Slouched in his seat with legs crossed and a fedora roosting on his crown, Charley stresses in the most chilled way possible the non-exclusive tenet of the collective; “we’re building a buzz around the group and people from all around the world are using the hashtag so we can’t really estimate the scale of #Levelism right now”. A bubbling undercurrent in British fashion, the group have already secured campaigns with heritage brand Palladium and high-street hit Criminal Damage. But, reeling from their instant success, the team are restless for more. Charley outlines the group’s ultimate aim, “we want to be established enough that an exclusive company will come to the group and be like, “here is the budget, here are the clothes: shoot a campaign for us”” It’s not all about the big bucks however. When asked about that Alex Proud article in The Telegraph Online [‘Cool’ London is dead and the rich kids are to blame], Charley rebuffs the sensational social media hype. “It’s just Youthism, they’re just following. Most young people don’t have a clue what’s going on. It’s just somethingthat’s happening, other youths are involved in it so they jump on that bandwagon.”
GIRLS ON FILM
AMELIA RICHARDSONCHARTS Consider this daring claim: Chick Flicks THE ‘SO-BAD-THEY’RE-GOOD’ teach us valuable lessons about fashion. TRENDS SPAWNED BY THE Imagine, without Mean Girls, we would ‘FLICKS OF HER CHILDHOOD. still be in the dark ages of wearing a pony tail more than once a week.
Whether you watch it for the opportunity to vocalise your memorisation of the entire script, or solely to reconfirm just how sexy Aaron Samuel’s hair looks pushed back, Mean Girls is the Holy Grail of our generation’s nostalgia towards the high school experience. Comparing high school chick flicks across the decades reveals wonders about fashion trends, both at the time, as well as their re-emergence in later eras. An era evoking nostalgia for some, and enlightening to the younger generation, the eighties graced us with the iconic cult film, Heathers. If you haven’t seen it, just picture Mean Girls with bigger hair, better shoulder pads and a lot more murder. Besides from leaving viewers with some unforgettable moments - such as Regina George’s eighties twin necking a cocktail of drain cleaner - the style is to die for (no pun intended). You are instantly mesmerised by the opening sequence of antagonist, Heather, beguilingly adjusting her blood-red scrunchie; nails glimmering; blonde eighties perm glowing like the locks of a Botticellian angel. blonde eighties perm glowing like the locks of a Botticellian angel. The scrunchie has hijacked countless teenage girls’ wardrobes over the past year, to complete the 80s street look. I am a sucker for these puffy pieces of perfection, despite Carrie’s famous claim that “No self-respecting New York woman would be caught dead in a scrunchie.”
However, there is another era that has invaded fashion of late; saturated with crop-tops and cornrows: the 1990s. Nostalgia has infatuated our generation, ‘90s kid’ has become a badge of pride. Finding an old Barbie crop top or sparkly choker lurking at the back of your wardrobe is like discovering a diamond (only this bling is more fake than all the Mean Girls’ ‘Plastics’ combined). The popularity of the 1995 chick-flick, Clueless, has skyrocketed in recent times, inspiring ‘I-G-G-Y’ Azalea’s ‘Fancy’ music video. Some may question the taste in a yellow plaid two-piece and kneehigh socks (an homage to Vivenne Westwood? Maybe that’s a stretch...), even Alicia Silverstone described her character, Cher, as a “materialistic bitch” and despised her preppy getup. However, many fans consider Cher’s style as gospel. Some claim to love it ironically, but surely buying a £35 t-shirt from Urban Outfitters sporting Silverstone’s face goes beyond satire? Next, came the confusing and cringeworthy decade of the noughties. The time of denim skirts, diamante belts and the gift that just keeps on giving: Mean Girls. Even though ‘fetch’ will probably never happen, perhaps some styles from this film will take off in the future (pink on Wednesdays, anyone?). Looking back at the fashion of this high school hit evokes a ghastly flashback to my own school disco getup (scarf belt and all). Many said that the scrunchie could never be cool, yet they appeared on Ashish’s runway at 2014 London Fashion Week. So who knows? Maybe in a few years time, Topshop will be packed with Regina and Cady’s ra-ra/ skirts, cargo-pants and flip flops. Now that, would be fetch.
STICKS AND STONES
HOLD YOU R HEAD UP AND REACH THE TOP. HARD PAY HOMAGE TO THE WARRIOR FASHION THAT DEFINED A DECADE AND SHAPED A GENERATION.
Previous page - Hannah wears jacket and top from H&M, mesh jacket tied around waist from River Island, jeans from Topshop, underwear from Calvin Klein Underwear // This page - Bianka wears knitwear, skirt and bag from Dog & Bone Vintage, jacket from Internacionale, socks from O-Mighty, Nike trainers // Opposite page - Lizzy wears jacket H&M, lurex top from Sue Ryder Vintage, velour halter-neck from Urban Outfitters, shorts from Nasty Gal // All accessories stylistâ€™s own
Opposite page - Hannah wears outfit as before // This page - Bianka wears quilted jacket sweater and shorts from Dog & Bone Vintage, trainers and socks from Nike. // Next page - Hannah wears sheer dress from Asos, bralet from Topshop, shoes from Dr. Martenâ€™s, socks from Nike and underwear from Calvin Klein Underwear.
PRODUCERS: SOPHIA ANDREWS & THOM CORBISHLEY // PHOTOGRAPHY: THOM CORBISHLEY // STYLISTS: AMELIA RICHARDSON, ISOBEL WILKINSON, KITTY ROBSON // HAIR: SOPHIA ANDREWS // MAKEUP: HAMY PHAM
In fact, after his expulsion from La Maison Dior following an arduous court trial, Galliano disappeared from the world of design. Only recently has the ponytail-sporting designer reemerged from the darkest depths of the fashion world as Creative Director at Maison Martin Margiela. So what, may we ask, has caused such sudden acceptance? Is he understood to have paid his dues? Or put more bluntly, is it that the fashion industry is willing to ignore bigotry in its nostalgic lust for talents past?
“AS PILLARS OF INNOVATION AND SUBJECTS OF CONTROVERSY, THE TWO NAMES ARE MORE A PERFECTLY MATCHED THAN MAY APPEAR AT FIRST GLANCE” Alike to McQueen in his downfall, there has been speculation as to the extent which the designer may have suffered at the pressured hands of the industry. There is undoubted hypocrisy in the circumstances surrounding Galliano’s return: those who once condemned now covet his genius and, in an instant, they accept him once again. Many whom would not have dared mention his name are rejoicing upon his return – from Nina Garcia to Kanye West, Galliano has been granted a clean slate. Looking to the future partnership of Galliano and Maison Martin Margiela, there is a seeming aesthetic contradiction; the romantic extrava-
MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA X GALLIANO WHAT’S HE DONE
NOW? KITTY ROBSON ON LIFE OUTSIDE BARS FOR FASHION’S TEARAWAY BAD BOY.
ILLUSTRATION BY LUCY WEGERIF
If one thing is for certain, it’s that John Galliano is himself a controversial topic. Whether it was turning to my clueless flatmates or approaching clued-up fashion journalists, in researching for this retrospective article it became evident that Galliano’s character is a mottled one that severely divides opinion. Following Galliano’s maladroit exile from the fashion industry in 2011, the anti-Semitic comments the designer made have become ingrained in his legacy.
gance of Galliano s hard to imagine in coalescence with the deconstructed intellect of Martin Margiela. But, as pillars of innovation and subjects of controversy, the two names are more perfectly matched than may appear at first glance. As Renzo Rosso, president of Only the Brave (the holding group of Maison Martin Margiela), elucidated about Galliano’s new position ,“I always believed in brave, unpredictable choices, and this one is no exception”. Indeed, the current Galliano is a leitmotif for feelings of nostalgia. Whilst rose-tinted glasses can hide the harsh realities of an industry steeped in contradictions, it is only through acknowledging its mistakes that the industry can evolve. And evolve it must, lest more talent is crippled by the relentless whip-crack of the fashion world.
THE VINYL REVIVAL ISOBEL WILKINSON CHATS WITH ‘VINYL EDDIE’ ON THE LEGACY OF VINYL. Despite living in The Digital Age, where music is easily streamed and downloaded through outlets such as iTunes, Spotify and YouTube, Vinyl sales in the UK are reported to be at an all-time high since 1996 and aren’t set to stop anytime soon. With sales expected to reach the one million mark this year, the ‘vinyl revival’ has succeeded not only in re-kindling sparks of youth in the old fogies, but also in capturing the hearts and souls of the technologically-savvy, Tamagotchi-loving generation. In venturing far from the depths of their iPhone screens, they have succeeded in uncovering the full and rich tones found exclusively in the dusty ‘grooves’ of vinyl. When talking to Eddie Parkinson from the popular York record shop ‘Vinyl Eddie’, I posed the all-important question: “Just why are young people embracing the resurgence of outdated technology?” In response he gave two reasons: “Firstly there is a feeling of ownership and involvement with a piece of vinyl. People spend a lot of time talking about records with us in the shop.” “Secondly they say it just sounds better. Compressed files do not have the same warmth and feeling of authenticity. The odd flaws on a vinyl can add to this feeling of satisfaction and connection with the original artist.”
Vinyl encourages music to become part of a social atmosphere: it evokes a connection that demands to be shared amongst family and friends. As Eddie stated: “Vinyl is
a bit like a good quality wooden chair; you nurture it, care for it and talk about it with friends. Download is convenient; a bit like the plastic chair in the garden that is easy to use and just as easy to throw away after a couple of winters when it gets a bit grubby.”
“VINYL IS A BIT LIKE A GOOD QUALITY WOODEN CHAIR; YOU NURTURE IT AND CARE FOR IT ” As a product of the Digital Generation myself I can certainly see the value in physically possessing, and being responsible for, a piece of music- a privilege denied to us by downloads and cloud storage. It is vinyl’s fragile vulnerability that makes it so appealing, perhaps, as Eddie would say “like a good quality wooden chair”. The love that a vinyl has received over its lifetime is etched onto it: our personal stories transposed onto a physical, living piece of music. The essence of nostalgia. But maybe I’m missing the point; it is not the technology alone that evokes nostalgic memories, but rather the music itself. “Technology is merely a tool” according to vinyl guru Eddie, “whereas music is more spiritual and socially engaging and has been through the history of mankind.” Music is a binary force that successfully transcends generations, social classes and geographical borders. It broadens minds, influences fashion and shapes culture. Perhaps it is this sense of community, found exclusively in vinyl, which makes it so trans-generational, inclusive and popular in the 21st century.
SCAN THIS CODE FOR BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE
Previous pages: Tess wears dress and coat from Topshop, shoes from H&M. Tess wears roll-neck knitwear from M&S. This page: Lowri wears Breton top from Zara, skirt from Asos, coat and shoes from Topshop. Harry wears two-piece suit from M&S, roll-neck from Uniqlo and shoes from Clarks Originals. Next PAge: Tess wears roll-neck from M&S, skirt from Asos and boots from Office.
PRODUCERS: THOM CORBISHLEY AND SOPHIA ANDREWS STYLISTS: SOPHIA ANDREWS AND ISOBEL WILKINSON HAIR: SOPHIA ANDREWS MAKEUP: RUIYING CHEN
STRENGTH IN STYLE.
In 2014, women have come far to prove their equality to men. Today’s context provides the opportunity to look back at the inspirational women of this century, women who have never been afraid to stand up for what they believe in. Women who are formidable forces on the stage, screen and in the workplace with killer wardrobes to boot. RACHEL THOMPSON WRITES.
“Fashion fades, only style remains the same” Coco Chanel worked as a club singer and hat maker before becoming one of the greatest fashion designers the world has ever seen. Thank Coco Chanel for enabling women to wear trousers to work. In fact, she’s the reason women can run and walk and breathe properly, as she ditched the whalebone corset back in the 1900s.
“Never complain, never explain” Kate Moss ushered in a new age of modelling in the Nineties with her waifish frame and razor-sharp cheekbones. She overcame turbulent relationships, a 2005 drug scandal and years of hard partying to become a multi-millionaire businesswoman. She may have hit 40 but her style remains resonant, and her understanding of style is unquestionable.
“The more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realised that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating.”
Emma Watson marks the next generation of inspiring, sharply dressed, powerful women, with due admiration as voted fourth best-dressed woman in the world. Watson is a classic beauty with a great character and modern edge. She is undeniably stunning on the red carpet and onscreen, and additionally as the UN Women goodwill ambassador she has compelled many men to articulate their support for the #HeforShe campaign, which speaks out against gender violence and inequality.
Whilst changing the world, these inspirational trailblazers have worn some of the most powerful outfits of all time. Some clothes don’t just make a statement – they make history, and assembling an outfit of this nature is like selecting armour. We salute the women (and the wardrobes) who made the world take notice, whatever their chosen field
LET’S DANCE YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE HEARD OF THEM YET BUT WE CAN GUARANTEE YOU WILL.. ALEX IGHALO CHATS TO LITTLE COMETS, COLOUR THE ATLAS AND MISUN ON YOUTHFUL INSPIRATION, FIRST GIGS AND THE BLOOD, SWEAT AND WORSE ALONG THE WAY.
CHAT WITH LITTLE COMETS Q: Can you describe Little Comets in 5 words? A: hard-working, self-producing, left-field, indie, guitar. a couple of doubles there, hyphens save everything... Q: Did you always know that you wanted to become musicians? A: I think from an early age we all wanted to be creative. Being a musician is probably something we all fell into slightly, for different reasons. Rob and Mickey’s dad always played guitar and wrote songs for himself while they were growing up. When they started to play instruments it’s something they did quite instinctively. Myself, i loved to sing as a kid, not sure if i was any good, but loved it all the same. Learning to play guitar was something i had to do for accompaniment really Q: You’ve just got back from touring America what was the reception like over there? A: It has been pretty amazing to be honest. The crowds are really receptive to the songs and really listen, even at festivals. It’s still so strange to see people in a different country, so far away from our home, singing along and knowing more of the words than we do! Q: As a band what’s your favourite shared memory? A: Our first gig together after a week of rehearsals, it was pretty nerve racking.
SCAN FOR FULL INTERVIEWS
‘AVE A NATTER WITH COLOUR THE ATLAS Q: First things first Jess, what made you want to get into music? A: I’ve always loved music from day one. My uncle had a little studio in his garage and me and my cousins would go in there and write little songs; they were awful songs, but it kind of grew and developed from there. My cousin is the most incredible musician, growing up with her was the best! We would just bounce off each other and she really inspired me to make music. Q: Were there any bands/artists who inspired you growing up? A: Vocally, Eva Cassidy was my inspiration, she had so much soul and emotion, there was just something mesmerising about her. Band wise, I was surrounded by a lot of Rod Stewart, the Faces and a little Rolling Stones too. I always remember dad telling me how Rod Stewart suffered from bad stage fright, which gave my poor stage-frightened self a glimpse of hope back in the day! Q: You have a new EP coming out, did you do anything/try anything different? A: So many things are different. Last summer (2013) we started working with producer Stu Rowe, a fellow Swindonian. We’ve never been as creative as we are now, everything has so much more depth and musical quality. We’ve really given ourselves time to figure things out and we’re happier than ever with our sound.
MEETING MISUN Q: Who were your favourite artists growing up? A: MISUN - I grew up loving Billy Joel, Janet Jackson, The Strokes and Belle and Sebastian. Nacey is obsessed with John Frusciante and was into grunge and hip-hop early on, and later house music. Jon’s first influences were Metallica, Bob Marley and Nirvana. Q: If you had to compare you music to a band or artist in history, who would it be and why? A: MISUN - I feel deeply connected to Janet Jackson and Billy Joel. If I could combine the two, I feel that it would reflect to a great degree where I come from and what I love. Q: What’s your favourite memory from touring? A: JON - My favourite memory would have to be when we did a Pacific Northwest spring tour with Bear Mountain, and we were literally shit on by a giant cattle transport truck. We were behind the truck in the left lane, and all of a sudden we were plastered with cow poop. We had a pretty good laugh about it until we got to the truck stop and tried to wash it off. TERRIBLE SMELL!! Q: What are your plans for the future? A: MISUN - Our future plans right now include the release of our Debut Album, “Superstitions”, due November 11th. We also plan on hitting the road in early 2015 both US and UK, and have been writing and recording new material throughout the last several months separate from the record. We never really have a lack of ideas. Plan on seeing us this coming new year!”
ILLUSTRATION: ALI AMER
CHILDHOOD PLAY “A sheet of paper folded up and unfolded” and “some blu track kneaded, rolled into a ball, and depressed against a wall”, or Work No. 79 and 384, were the two pieces that most entertained the group of school children who stood a few feet ahead of me at Martin Creed’s Hayward Gallery retrospective. The Hayward Gallery on London’s Southbank was filled with his most notorious pieces, and little can I still believe that this graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art and receiver of the 2001 Turner Prize had an exhibition hall full of pieces that I’d been creating back in primary school with vegetables and poster paint.
“VEGETABLES AND POSTER PAINT” - CATRIN PODGORSKI DISSECTS CONTEMPORARY ART’S RELATIONSHIP WITH CHILDHOOD NOSTALGIA.
Jeff Koons’s Celebration series has a similarly commanding presence. His enormous balloon animal sculptures cast in polished stainless steel, seen recently at the Frieze Art Fair, have been critiqued for being too gaudy, a “vision of aesthetic hell” and “non-art”. After his latest exhibition though, his hyperbolic nostalgia blown up to such heights had a largely positive reception.
For all we know the influx of inaccessible contemporary art has left the general public aching for artists like these to produce works with which we can finally emphasis, that turn us into the best versions of ourselves: the childhood And yet I loved it. The automated lightbulbs, editions. I remember being taken around the the piles of sports balls, the sheer accessibility of Tate Modern at a young age and eagerly chargthe art: it’d been a long while since I’d enjoyed an ing through the Rothko room, past Margaret exhibition quite this much. It was in Half the Air Harrison’s political banners, looking desperately in the Given Space – a room filled floor to ceiling for something colourful or something to climb with white balloons – that I began to feel really on. Creed brings that out in the viewer, reviving wistful; wasn’t this just like my best friend’s 8th their childhood wants and loves, and subvertbirthday? ing the notion of the intangible artistic essence. Koons’ swimming pool inflatables and stainless I, and the other viewers around me, reactsteel lobsters smell of coca cola floats and childed in differing ways to Creed’s colourful work. hood holidays abroad, not the commodification Some tut-ed, some sighed, but of capitalism as a million dollar preserved shark most laughed, most left smiling may well do. and cheerful, if a little confused. Contemporary art is often tarred “Part ordered, part random” is how Creed deby the brush of ambiguity, mis- scribes his work, and this resonates first quietly understanding and confusion, then louder and louder with my own childhood. and yet it’s through the medium This is the art –not regressive, but appreciatively of childhood nostalgia that art- nostalgic – that is best received. And we love it. ists like Martin Creed have reclaimed the platform.
FEATURED POLAROIDS PURCHASED BY THE AUTHOR OF THE ARTICLE FROM A MARKET-STALL IN BERLIN.
A FUTURE LONGING. ARE WE A GENERATION OF INFRINGING VOYEURS? NADIA HUSEN ADDRESSES OUR PEVERTED RELATIONSHIP WITH ABANDONED MEDIA
When my extended family get together, I troop up to the attic of my house, sneeze at the disturbed dust, and choose an impossibly heavy, gold-bordered photo album. We sit together and exclaim at these brief glimpses in a time before my aunts were mothers, before my grandparents went grey and where my mother seemed more radiant than I can ever remember.
but take photographs of every minute of every day. We have various photographic mediums; Snapchat and Instagram are worldwide phenomena that affect our daily lives; filters advertise a false sense of nostalgia for a time that has not yet passed into the Past. More selfies (just selfies!) are taken everyday than photographs were taken in the entire Victorian Age, the birth-era of photography. With so many mundane and irrelIn markets and shops of odds and ends, pho- evant images being uploaded onto Facebook, it is tographs of similarly loved relatives and friends easy to question whether the pangs of nostalgia go ‘on sale’ for strangers to take home, the true are felt as strongly by us as by our grandparents. perversity of which practice is not recognised. For them, a sepia-ridden image is a treasured They wade through a jumble of people and plac- possession, proof of existence, truth that they, es that have never met whose only common too, were once young and carefree. link is the box they share; a box of aching loss. Strangers who know nothing of the person or the To hold a photograph, to physically have to event are now handling precious memories and turn the pages of an album, or to watch a recordfaces in search of something ‘pretty’ or ‘artsy,’ or ing of your brother falling into a swimming pool even, dare I say, ‘edgy.’ These voyeurs know, at fully clothed a decade-or-so later is a communal most, the date or location scribbled on the back, event. It is something more than watching on a if they’re really lucky a name or two may be re- social media website, where the sheer number vealed to them. But, for whatever reason, the on- and poor quality of uploads lessens meaning. It looker takes these forgotten moments to a new is something to be experienced and revelled in home because they mean something to them. together, where nostalgia is not a yearning for times gone by, but a collective happiness and With the Digital Age going from strength to disbelief that such magical moments were had. strength, the landscape of photography is for- These moments were captured by somebody ever evolving. Careful and thoughtful artistry is who felt these points in time worth savouring, becoming a thing of the past; shots are no longer and are therefore precious beyond understandlimited and cameras no longer sparse. We have ing – even more valuable when your parents had a camera with us at all times – how far away is to hunt down the video camera and a fresh casyour phone? – with a memory card capacious sette to do so. enough that we could quite literally do nothing
ILLUSTRATION: ARUN SHARMA // PLAN: USHIDA - FINLAY
EXPOSÉ: YORK ART GALLERY 2015 BELINDA QUESTED TAKES HARD ON AN EXCLUSIVE TOUR.
As 2015 draws nearer and nearer, York Art Gallery enters into key stages of redevelopment in preparation for its reopening in the summer of next year. Only a few weeks ago I was given an exclusive insight into the progress thus far of the redevelopment. What was revealed to me was an exciting combination of both drastic redevelopment and respectful conservation.
Under strict orders to leave the gallery’s Victoriana façade untouched, I was curious to see how the architect would go about giving the interior an entirely new look.
Prior to slipping on my fetching hard-hat and corresponding steel-capped boots for my tour of the construction-site-cum-exhibition-space, I somewhat pessimistically assumed that any attempt at modernization would contribute to the mismatched styles seen already in the gallery. However on viewing the interior it became apparent that the gallery has undergone a dramatic change, and is now following in the footsteps of many other galleries all over the country in receiving a drastic dress down. Currently unadorned and uncompromisingly white, This is not the first time the the gallery is set to be peppered with arches and gallery has undergone change. dramatic glass features. With the bombing of the building Whilst this modern, minimalist style arguin the war that was only repaired in 1951-2, and various refurbish- ably detracts from the history of the building
A fundamental aspect of any city, York’s city Art Gallery holds a distinctive cultural position within a city already steeped in history. With works dating from the 14th Century to the present, the Gallery provides a thorough account of Western artistic History. However, since building work started on the gallery in 2013 many have been wondering what this will mean for both the gallery itself and for York’s national status as a center of culture.
-ments, (the most recent being in 2005), the Gallery’s image as a whole has constantly been undergoing change.
itself, archaic aspects remain. The biblically themed tiled panels that flank the classical portico for instance. Instead of completely destroying the interior to create a modern appearance, the architect has done well to utilise previously ignored aspects of the building to enhance its new appearance. Namely the glass ceiling which is now exposed to all floors of the building, creating a stunning luminosity that fills the space superbly.
Whilst York Art Gallery is taking a somewhat predictable approach to the interior design of the building, their new position as the Centre for British Studio Ceramics firmly establishes York as an individual and iconic landmark within the British Art Scene.
Indeed, both the recently built mezzanine floor and the South Gallery will display some of the York Museums Trust’s collection of over 5,000 studio ceramics. Furthermore, this landIndeed, the architect has stayed true to the mark launch will be marked by a solo exhibition history of the building whilst managing to bring of the works of Clare Twomey who has been it up to the current gallery standard through commissioned to display her work soon after the opening up large, light spaces that allow for opening. lucid movement between rooms. This will unSet your expectations high and then raise doubtedly improve the status of the gallery as a modern, relevant cultural base for Yorkshire as them further; great successes, both regional and well as revitalising interest in the space and the national, await this gallery. Like the developworks inside. Further initiative has been taken in ment of the city of York itself, the architect has bridging the old and the new through the joining successfully brought the gallery up to modern of the Museum Gardens and St. Mary’s Abbey. A standards whilst staying true to the original debold move which is intended to provide a more sign of the Historic space. For an Art History stucoherent cultural space within York, a space that dent deprived of this local and national treasure 2015 couldn’t come soon enough. was shared prior to the war.
“AN INDIVIDUAL AND ICONIC LANDMARK WITHIN THE BRITISH ART SCENE”
WEBSOLUTE DISTRESS! MADDY CRAMMOND CHATS STUDENT LIVING AND THE TRIALS OF INTERNET DEPRIVATION
The Internet, Wikipedia informs me, is a ‘global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard internet protocol suite to link several billion devices worldwide.’ A rather dry description perhaps, but impressive-sounding enough to emulate the incredible, sprawling, omnipresent modern-day giant of the Internet. Who could live without it? Yet that is exactly what I have found myself doing for the past three weeks. A new party pad, combined with four excited but essentially clueless students, has slowly culminated in a terrifying heap of lost connections, unpaid bills and confusing phone calls. Sorting out Internet ‘tomorrow’ has turned into ‘a few days’ and then ‘by the end of next week’. We’re on the home stretch now, a router finally on its way, just one week more of Internet-less existence ahead. But it’s been an interesting few weeks living life offline. To cope with the disparate reality we found ourselves in, my housemates and I began reverting to pastimes that wouldn’t be out of place forty years ago. We listened to the radio, bouncing from channel to channel to avoid the ever present chart hits, and eventually discovered the weird appropriateness of Classic FM to cook to. As evenings drew in, we clung to each other’s company. Instead of retreating to our individual cyber-realities, we spent time together chatting face to face. We read together, created art, decorated our house, bought pot plants, moved the furniture. The sense of isolation was peculiarly soothing. As inconvenient as the situation was,
there were definite bonuses. It just felt – how to put this? – more human. However, living without Internet makes one realise quite how prevalent it is. Our source of knowledge? Google and Wikipedia. Our key to communication? Hotmail, Facebook, Skype. Our university work? Snug in the ethereal regions of email and the VLE. Entertainment? Youtube, Netflix, and too many other weird and wonderful crevices of the online galaxy to mention. Work, play, relaxation, information: so many elements of our lives are situated in a strangely separate realm from us. Being absolutely, unequivocally cut off from this realm slammed home the facts about today’s world – that being online is absolutely crucial. Despite all the negative effects of the Internet – the anti-social behaviour, the dangers of social networking, the distance from others around us – it is undeniably convenient. It makes life so easy. The installation of our internet next week will be a relief. No more midnight trips to the library because you just have to look something up, or awkward Facebook messaging in other people’s houses just while you have the chance. For day to day life, it seems, the Internet is vital. With reason: it’s allowed us realms of opportunity, worlds at the click of a cursor, a crowd of people at our fingertips. Living without it has been restricting, but it’s a shame that the world without Internet has become such a hostile, problematic place. I’m glad we managed to hack it.
H A R D ’ S R E S I D E N T FA S H I O N B L O G G E R TA L K S S I C I L I A N G L A M O U R Growing up, my Grandmother was my first fashion inspiration. Her classy Sicilian figure, her sense of style and innate ability to match colours, made her my first icon. She always aims to give classic pieces her own touch; brightly coloured accessories, a velvet jacket, lace and embroidery are never amiss. The idea of nostalgia made me think of my Italian roots, specifically the glorious Baroque style Sicilian architecture which is highly referenced in fashion. Great artists have found inspiration in this fire-filled land; Dolce and Gabbana primarily made it their own signature in their latest collections. The reason why I find Sicilian style so captivating is its romantic sex appeal: the transparency, the dark contrasts and the highlighting of the most feminine features, transforms an outfit into a story. The woman that Dolce and Gabbana, among others, identified in this Mediterranean haven is ambitious, confident and manages to balance a raw sexuality with an apparently conservative style sensibility. Territorially and stylistically, Sicily’s not new to invasions but it always manages to maintain tradition. Personally speaking, I’ll never grow tired of crafted lace, high-waisted skirts and percussionist high heels. No matter what passing fad takes my fancy each season, a feeling of nostalgia for my Sicilian roots never wanes.
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The Nostalgia Edition; an opportunity to reflect and a catalyst for change. ‘Look to the past and move to the new’ is the spirit we’ve striv...
Published on Nov 24, 2014
The Nostalgia Edition; an opportunity to reflect and a catalyst for change. ‘Look to the past and move to the new’ is the spirit we’ve striv...