ART PHOTOGRAPHY UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL C R E AT I V E A R T S M AG A Z I N E SPRING 2011
POETRY PROSE F E AT U R E S
Cover photographs by Sarah Pearson
Editor in Chief Tom Brooks
Editor Emma Davies
Promotions Officer Leah Eades
Art Editors Isaac Harland Kate Hollowood
Photography Editors Tristan Martin Jack Mitchell
EDITORIAL A domestic housecat might not be the wildest item on the menu for this term’s issue of Helicon, but we loved its vibrant colour in Robin’s shot on the right. Turn the page for many more examples of all that is wild in creative art: from wiredin snakes and gymnastic silhouettes in our photography competition to a poem about some rather angsty library books. If Helicon’s new to you, don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and check out our blog (details below). Our next theme is ‘nonsense’, so make sense of it if you can and send your art, photography, poetry, prose and features submissions to email@example.com before the deadline of 1st May 2011. We may be Wild, but we don’t bite. Tom and Emma
Poetry Editors Abby Worth Patrick Burley
Prose Editors Michaela Mare Rachel Stewart
Features Editors Dimitra Taslim
“THOU STRANGE PIECE OF WILD NATURE” WINNER
RUNNERS-UP For this issue’s competition, we asked for photographic interpretations of the above quotation, penned by Colley Ciber in his 1789 play ‘The Lady’s Last Stake’. As usual, you didn’t disappoint. James Scott-Baumann’s remarkably creepy shot of an owl leering through the branches (above) takes the top spot, and is accompanied here by the three runners up: (clockwise from immediate right) Dimitrios Kandylakis, Ione Bingley and James Clark.
DEFIANCE If you gather all the rainstorms in a fortress Do you think you can master the winds? Walls will burst, bricks turn to dust and crack the mortar. If you confine an ocean to a vase Do you think you can tame wild water? Glass will shatter to shards, and waves spill over. If you force the trees to grow in measured proportions Do you think you can control nature? Trees will sprout crooked branches and grass will be weeded. If you trample over imagination, holding it in burning contempt Do you think it will be crushed beneath your dreary-dull boulders of cynicism? We will dream on in defiance.
R O S E SANDERSON
One of the largest art collectives outside London, Jamaica Street Artists has been calling Stokes Croft home for fifteen years. In the second of a series of features on the studio, Dimitra Taslim meets resident Rose Sanderson for a quick chat.
A Bristol based artist who graduated with a degree in Illustration from UWE, Rose has exhibited in London, Glasgow, Amsterdam, New York and Singapore.
Tell me about yourself and your work. I’ve been living in Bristol for eleven years now; since studying for my Illustration degree. I’ve taken on many jobs, from childcare worker to bus driver, but finally decided to focus on art as a career in the last four years – although all my life I’ve never stopped painting and drawing. My work has moved into the realms of fine art, inspired mainly by natural history, entomology (insects), anatomy and strange creatures in general. I’m intrigued by the fragility of life and much of my current work is based on that – seeing the beauty in death, or the process of decay. I predominantly use acrylics and mixed media.
What’s your creative process? I like to experiment and to do that you kind of need to forget what you already know; which is hard. However, some of my work is more structured. I guess the process would be working with what inspires me, researching the subject with sketches and photos etc., and just going from there. If pieces work I keep them, and if they don’t then they go in the bin or get painted over at a later date. I often work with layers of paint and mixed media. Sometimes things get put away to view with fresh eyes in the future before coming to final decisions. I am not very good at making decisions: one of my hardest challenges is knowing when to stop, knowing when something is finished and not to over-work it!
How exactly are you involved with JSA? I’ve been a member of Jamaica Street Artists for about three years. Presently, I’m one of the directors for the building and joint first floor manager.
Tell me more about your subject matter. I am intrigued by how fragile life can be and tend to show this through dead animals; in particular birds which are generally very delicate creatures. To me, they represent freedom through the ability of flight, and I feel that I can paint them to look just as beautiful in death as they do in life. I also love insects; I always have done. Beetles survive on decaying matter by recyling life. Many insects take on more than one form – the obvious being moths and butterflies – which also fascinates me.
What has been your biggest challenge as an artist? How did you overcome it? I find that the hardest thing is not creating. Although finding inspiration and motivation can sometimes be difficult, selling myself is definitely tougher. I’m not a sales person, but you have to be good at promoting yourself to galleries and buyers – to get out there and try making a living from your career as an artist – which is not easy. It can be tough; income is irregular and I’ve had many other jobs alongside to support myself. There are setbacks and it can be emotionally draining. It takes hard work and determination but it’s the path I’ve chosen and I wouldn’t be here now if I didn’t love it!
Your favourite artist and why? I couldn’t narrow myself down to having just one favourite artist. There are so many and I am inspired by such a range of different work, from the traditional to the modern. I would say that I like artists whose work is unique, well executed and has a sense of freedom to it �������������� – ������������ not forced. I particularly like artists’ drawings, which I think have so much more energy to them and capture the initial moment much better than a finished painting.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Getting to where I am now: to be able to come to my studio and create; to be involved in exciting shows and gain recognition; to have people appreciate my work enough to buy it, or be inspired by it.
What is your greatest fear? Losing control and independence, having to go back to a boring job where I count the minutes until it’s time to leave.
Are there people that you’d like to acknowledge for their support? There are people from the studio that have been really helpful with regards to giving advice and motivation. Being around them is inspiring and makes my life here enjoyable. They’re a great bunch to be around. I’ve also had immense support and encouragement from my partner Chris, and my family who have made me who I am – all have told me not to give up!
Hopes for the near future? I’d like a solo show to work on, and maybe upgrade to a bigger space at some point, so I can work on larger pieces and break out of my confines! I want to see more of the world and be able to carry on as an artist.
Rose Saunders will be showing in ‘Yellow Wallpaper’ at the Bo-Lee Gallery in Bath from 19th March to April 18th; ‘Fin, Fur, Feathers’ at Will’s Art Warehouse in London from 18th March to 18th May; and is also exhibiting with ‘Will’s Art’ at Affordable Art Fair New York from 5th to 8th May.
“Books Barricade Selves In Library” “The Boss”, whose name is “An Anthology of Subculture: Towards a Historical Materialist Understanding of ‘Punk’ ” declared war on punctuation. She’s decreed that all future screed eschew any meaningfully delineated, or predisposed grammatical dictatorship. Which is, naturally, bourgeois and oppressive. insolidarity wefivelinesoftexthavedeterminedtoparticipate excludingperiodicaluseofthereturnkey likeso becausethisisapoem andillbedamnedifanyofyouaregoingtotakeawaymyreturnkeyrights (Also known as an “enter key”, but terminology is serious. The word “enter” participates in the false-consciousness of freedom set up by a Neo-Con government. That’s what The Boss says) Apathy works in the protesters’ favour: 9/10 people* say that if they saw a known ‘library book’ They’d leave it the hell alone. Experts (Chomsky, The Sun) are calling the movement “Punktuation” In retaliation, the ‘library books’ have released the following statement:
“we choose to reject the label Punktuation. It is reductive: It doesn’t acknowledge our position as respected academics and members of a hardcore-fuck-you -balls-over-the-grinder-like-a -snuff-movie -sword-of-damocles -shouting-swears-at-a-wall -with-my-spray-can-larynx rebel movement”
The ‘library books’ are stoic, demonstrating their commitment in a vow of silence A profound political protest, participants include people also Although they, by and large, tend to come and go. But like I said: ‘shit’s political but people got shit to do, dude’ Furthermore, ‘I gotta feed my kids, man’ Rumours abound of people removing ‘library books’ by force, stuffing them in bags scanning chips implanted in them at birth BY THE GOVERNMENT in an attempt to stem the tide of inner city crime. *and most 9/10 girls, bear this in mind LADS
Illustration by Rory Butterworth thenextlastday.blogspot.com
India Windsor-Clive: (from left) pen & ink sketch; silverplate print; photographic collage of still-life construction.
The Unspoken punctuation of an end. Then again, tomorrow is a long time And there is always a chance that the slippery fish will once more come my way, down the river, without any notice Of whatâ€™s changed; that glass eye look and his scaled pajamas that fit too close At once call and repel me. I await his arrival with (seemingly) no bait Except my appearance at the same river bend. That slippery fish is always the same; his colour-gone off, his tail too thin. He once seemed to take up the whole of the river. But time has changed its mind (I agree with its decision); That fish, once glorious, now occupies a sliver, the tiniest stretch. I encourage the opposite path, swirl my fingers as a hook, dip my tow as bait and watch him follow down the river And off the edge of the map.
Lydia Greenaway (and overleaf)
Maya Dudok de Wit
There was no sleep to be had that first night in the desert. By the evening, the day’s maddening heat had transformed into a feverish cold, testing his sanity. He found himself suffocated by the sandy air, and again and again he sat up against the pillows and tried to calm his breathing. The net hanging over the bed was heavy with the restless humming of blood-starved mosquitoes. Nothing in particular drove him out from under this protection, through the insects’ territory, and towards the window, except perhaps an unconscious sense that a change in position would do him good. The drylands below were utterly still, and not a breath of wind sounded against the chains which kept the compound gate bound to its posts. Yet he stood for a moment, looking out across the land and letting the sweat dry on him. Out of the silence, some loose-limbed creature came slouching into the clearing between the inner fence and the house. It was a lion: a sinewy, flea-bitten lion, made hungry and grey by the bleak savannah land. It paused below the window, sensing it was not alone. He was aware of his own heartbeat, which suddenly thundered in his ears with such pounding ferocity that it frightened him almost as much as the animal below. The lion picked up its head and looked in his direction, as if he, too, had heard the sound. He stared out through the window at the lion, directly into its golden glare. The lion stared back. His hands were still rough and stinging with blisters from pinching together twisted metal rods to form the chain link fences around the compound. His heartbeat pulsed in them, reminding him of the hours of labour now spent in vain. They’d overcompensated for any threat the desert could throw at them. They’d dug wide ditches between barriers, grounded everything in concrete and the space between the fences and the gates was covered over with barbed wire and titanium grates. There were no weak points, he had been told consistently; nowhere for tooth and claw to scratch a way through. That had made him feel safe. One by one, those insisted assurances trickled down into his stomach with the icy realisation of failure. That alone was more terrifying than the creature below him, which burned in the night with such raw, frightening energy that it seared the backs of his unwavering eyes. Indifferent, the lion slunk away into the darkness, to find its own, secret way home. In his bedroom, the mosquitoes buzzed mockeries at him for his vulnerable, pink flesh, and left slick, scarlet blood behind his delicate ears. Tamara Evan
‘Pylon Herder’ - Nick Soucek
Robin Cowie: ‘Step into the Mind’ (bottom); ‘Where I Used to Think’ (bottom right; with detail above)
She used to play with dolls,now she stuffs cushions under vest topsand weeps, holding her stomach,dreaming of -
twin boys with grins and butterfly nets stalking through savage grasses. Wasps, tiger-stripe shadows, alight in their hair and on their ears. They smell of sunscreen and the summer. -
is the theme for the next issue of Helicon, so ����������������� make sense of it if you can and send your art, photography, poetry, prose and features submissions to helicon.magazine@gmail. com before 1st May 2011.�