the city is a work of art Quiet Riot november13
5.the team 6.their souls for gold 8.symphony hall 10.the new library 12.Astrom Chang 14.Sarah Coleman 16.Paul Ward 18.ort cafe
My name is Magdalena Szafranska (yeah San Francisco’s okay too), I drink tea, watch films and illustrate. I focus on portrait work but I do like to take a different approach from time to time.
Who are you? Bailey Ashton Witcomb, born and raised in Birmingham. What do you do? I’m a photographer/graphic designer. Favourite film? At the moment it has to be ‘Fast and Furious 6’, however my all time favourite movie is chick flick ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.’ Inspiration? Inspiration can come from anything, be it something not relating at all or something to which catches your eye and results in different avenues.
Who are you? Guile David Smith in Rugby I was born and raised, on the play ground is where I spent most of my days. What do you do? I’m an Illustrator focusing on a graphic style with some photo-realistic tendencies. My artistic hero is... Jamie Hewlett he was the guy that made me want to start drawing. Favourite film? It changes all the time I find it difficult to pick just one but at the minute it is ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ Inspiration? Inspiration for me comes from everywhere, I can be watching a film or reading a book and draw Inspiration from it to create something potentially awesome.
I get inspired by a hell load of stuff but I guess a lot of my work comes from fashion imagery. #one: This changes, depending on what I’m into at the time. At this moment it’s Noumeda Carbone (the detail in her work is insane!) Favourite album: Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra
Their Souls for Gold
How did you decide on the bands name? Our bands name was actually brought together from the lyrics to Converge’s ‘Cruel Bloom’. A few ideas were found and we all agreed on Their Souls For Gold and that was that. How would you describe the bands sound? Were basically metal core – so we do our breakdowns but we all listen to a range of music so those obviously influence our sound so some songs have a hint of death core about them, others straight forward hard-core and recently we’ve started to get a bit djent-y. What is your latest song about? Our latest song is called ‘Shipwrecks’ which is about moral decay in society today; how people don’t seem to have any notion of right and wrong. We used the metaphor of shipwrecks to symbolise those people who are born ‘out at sea’ with no one to guide them or tell them what they should and shouldn’t do. It’s just acknowledging that we can all succumb to this and occasionally ignore what’s right and do what we want. Where would you love to perform and why? Realistically we’d love to perform at the O2 Academy 1. That’s where lots of the band were into perform and it’d be a great indicator to us that wed ‘made it’ I guess. We’ve played the O2 Academy 3 a few times which is great, but only the big acts play the first stage. We would also love to perform at Download festival as it’s the home of rock and metal, it has an amazing atmosphere and the fans are amazing. What is the best thing about being in a band? The writing process, especially when a song really comes together towards the end of its writing when all the vocals, drums etc are in the song. Its kind of exciting when you stumble across something different and new that works. Which song is your favourite? Signs. Signs just has more elements in a song that make a metal track – fast paced drums, catchy guitar riffs and the lyrics really stand out when its listened to properly. Also shipwrecks. I just feel like it’s a lot more mature in terms of structure and lyrics then most of our old songs. It feels like a complete, cohesive song in every department. When is your next song released? Shipwrecks is released on January 5th.
The Sypmhony Hall My experience at the symphony hall was one of grandeur everything about the experience of being there feels first class. You are respected there and treated like an equal. It is my favourite venue for sound because of the wide expanse for the sound to reverberate around the room makes you feel like you are experiencing the birth of a new sound. These “Sonic Architects” weave their sounds around the room taking full advantage of the acoustic phenomenon of the building. To most people this place is for “boring symphonies by orchestral masters. To which I say ”Have you even been inside this masterpiece of a concert hall” Having seen my favourite singer there (Morten Harket pictured left
I can safely say that this is not a boring place, but one where all kinds of music can be played and heard in a magnificent way that should interest anyone. Granted I was sceptical about going there as a teenager I figured It would be less of an entertaining experience then when I saw him with his other band A-ha (Known primarily for ‘Take On Me but have also created many more masterpieces) at the LG Arena they put on a hell of a show, but the intimacy of the symphony hall makes it feel more like the performance is solely for you. It’s a different experience than any other venue can offer so I defy you to say this place is not interesting.)
The newly opened Library of Birmingham is certainly a beautiful piece of architecture but it’s not all about the aesthetic of the building it’s the inside that counts the myriad of books to ponder and whet your intellectual appetite is beyond comprehension. With a wide variety of books and collections for your approval go down and have a rifle through the pages and be entertained we have kindly given you the times so go down and appreciate the feel of a good book.
Opening times: Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am5pm, Sunday 11am-4pm.
The Library of Birmingham is a public library in Birmingham, it is situated on the west side of the city centre at Centenary Square, beside the Birmingham Rep and Baskerville House. Upon opening on 3 September 2013, it replaced Birmingham Central Library. The library, which is estimated to have cost £188.8 million, is viewed by the Birmingham City Council as a flagship project for the city’s redevelopment. It has been described as the largest public library in the United Kingdom, the largest public cultural space in Europe, and the largest regional library in Europe.
Astrom Chang is an accomplished Illustrator from Birmingham, he currently works as a freelance Illustrator. Astrom has proven him self on the website www.freelanced.com with high rating on all of his illustrations. A particular favorite of mine is the exquisite detail on the Hulk Illustration. Astrom has a BA Honors in Visual Arts and a masters (MA) in contemporary fine art specializing in Sequential art and Illustration and has worked with companies such as Life Line Publications.
Sarah J Coleman also known as ‘inkymole’ is a freelance type-based illustrator. Twenty years ago (if you, like myself are a student) was in your shoes. Coleman has graduated from the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, and every since has not stood still. Inkymole has worked hard to get to the stage she is now at. Night ti4me shifts (which have made sleep become a treasure) and driving around in a yellow 2CV to deliver her work (that’s how it was done in the pre-internet times. YES PRE-INTERNET!) has helped her build up a numerous client list; from Penguin to TIFFANY&Co.
What did you think of Birmingham when you came to study illustration? Describe it in three words. I can’t really describe it in three words, but it was my second choice - I only went there because I had been turned down from Nottingham! What makes it stand out from the other cities? I’m not sure it does! it has its own qualities... but so does every other city. I am fond of it because of the time I spent there and the friends I made, and still have, in Birmingham. What was your favourite place to go to in your free time? I hate to say this but I did not have free time. I was obsessed with working and doing the best I could so I rarely went out. When I did I tended to travel home to visit my boyfriend and family! I remember going to the Mac cinema on my own once to watch the new version of Wuthering Heights in early 1993, but it was research for my final project! I know you come to Birmingham every few months to work with the VisCom team here at BCU, what work do you do when you’re around? I teach aspects of illustration.
What have you done previously? I spent a lot of time dossing about, was in a few bands and tried making jewellery for a while. When my dad passed, I ended up being left an old Yashica camera and so one day I just picked it up and started taking pictures with it. I went to Wolverhampton University to study electronic media and specialised in video production. I then started doing pictures in night clubs and ended up providing shots to local magazines like Boutique and 69 magazine and it snowballed from there however it took about 10 years to get to a point where I could make a regular living from it. Whose work has influenced you the most? No one specific, when I first got into it there was a local guy called Matt Cannon who was the best known local photographer at the time, so I sort of looked up to him, but theres too many amazing photographers out there to name them all.
me interested! I get bored very quickly, and so a ‘normal’ mundane job was never really a viable option for me. My parents always used to think I was a bit lazy, but if I’m doing something I’m interested in, I’ll work all day and night to get it right. Was doing photography for a living what you wanted to do or did you have a previous career path? No, I tried anything creative – I used to make jewellery that got sold at galleries like the Ikon and the Birmingham museum and art gallery. I was then in various bands for about 10 years – one called ‘Thought Gang’ which got signed to EMI publishing. I still do a bit of music now. What motivates you to continue taking photographs? A few things – money, wanting to do creative things and if I’m honest probably the narcissistic need to be ‘known’ for something too.
What inspires you? What interests you the most about photography? It can be anything – nature, colours, shapes, textures, I suppose the creative side of it, and the fact it keeps other peoples work etc.
Paul Ward, phtographer from Birmingham, is from an artistic family of whom his mother was a florist and his dad played in a folk group in his spare time.
Can I have a bit of background and depth on what ‘the magic cinema’ actually is? The Magic Cinema is a Birmingham-based, semi-regular microcinema event that celebrates DIY filmmaking in all its forms. A Magic Cinema night will typically be divided into two halves with an interval in between. The first half is the “open-reel” section which is a platform for local filmmakers to get their work screened to an appreciative audience. We encourage people to stand up and say a few words about their film but this isn’t obligatory. The second half of the night offers “a selection of cinematic oddities and obscure gems from lo-fi and experimental filmmakers the world-over, both contemporary and historical.” These are films which I have personally chosen to show because I feel that they exemplify the DIY spirit of filmmaking and because they deserve to be seen by more people. My programming style is eclectic and perhaps counterintuitive, for example a film that you might expect to see playing in an art gallery will play alongside a film that you might expect to see on youtube; a film that you might expect to find playing at the LA Webfest will play alongside a film that you might expect to find in a skip. It is of course great fun to toy with audiences’ expectations in this way but mischief isn’t my sole motivation, I simply want to share some films that have inspired me as a nobudget filmmaker and broadened my understanding of the medium and its possibilities, and it just so happens that these films come from a wide variety of backgrounds and traditions.
What made you set up this event or inspired you to do so? You hear a lot about how the digital revolution has democratised the filmmaking process, how anyone can do it now and how the internet offers filmmakers an unprecedented platform to get their work seen by millions the world over. This is all true of course but the internet can be a very lonely place so I wanted to create an actual physical event where actual human beings can actually be corporeally present in the same place and time, with tea and popcorn, in a warm and welcoming environment, and appreciate, on a big screen, the amazing works of cinema that the digital revolution has made possible. Of course I’m not the first person to do this - I took a lot of inspiration from London’s Exploding Cinema, as well as Plymouth’s Imperfect Cinema; both of which are committed to creating and promoting alternative and oppositional modes of film exhibition. There have been a wealth of other such microcinema screenings and events throughout cinema’s history so I’m not doing anything new, but it did feel as though there wasn’t really anything of this sort happening in Birmingham at the time, so I simply took the opportunity to fill a void. Which is the best video you have saw being played at this event and why? I wouldn’t in good conscience be able to declare one film “the best”, but a film that stuck in my mind, partly because it was so unexpected, was a great little claymation film by Martin McNally called “Fear”. The film depicts, in exquisite detail,
a face undergoing some sort of grotesque transmutation. It was only short but it was extremely well executed and more than a little disturbing. Afterwards Martin told me that he had begun work on a longer, more ambitious claymation project but had since abandoned it because it was so time consuming. Martin, if you’re reading this, PLEASE FINISH THAT FILM! I promise to give it top billing at a future Magic Cinema. How long has this event been going? The first Magic Cinema was on July the 30th of this year and the second was October the 8th. The third will be December the 5th. The first two events proved that The Magic Cinema can exist, but looking forward we’d like to move beyond the present formula and test the limits of what a “film night” can be, perhaps by bringing in live elements and “expanded cinema” type stuff. This was touched upon at the last event with the Rebel Army’s hostile takeover of the night, in which they interrupted a film part way through and seized control in order to instruct the audience in the ways of “Rebellious Cinema”. The possibilities of a film night are endless, and we’re just beginning to scratch the surface.