Words: Rachel Willcocks Image: Sophie Hadley
Winning the lottery: curse or blessing? Lee Ryan won £6.5 million in the National Lottery in 1995, but he believes the money was cursed, after praying to God as a joke to become a multimillionaire.
The chances of winning the jackpot are
When telling me about the weeks lead-
approximately 1 in 14 million, which
ing up to the win, he says that in
is probably why I’ve never played the
a phone call to a friend he’d said:
game. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t
“Something massive is going to happen.
asked myself what I’d do if I won mil-
I’m telling you. It’s going to be good
lions of pounds.
and bad but this is big, I can feel it’s pressing on me.”
It’s fun to imagine that winning lots of money can change your life for the
better, but in Lee Ryan’s story, the
I wonder what Lee’s reaction was when
he found out about the lottery win -
springs to mind. In March 1995, a cou-
was he ecstatic about the news? “No.
ple of months after the National Lot-
Not me, everybody else was. Only a
tery’s launch, he scooped £6.5 million
couple of weeks after my girlfriend’s
that changed his life forever.
mum died, it came out of the blue and
we’d have given all that money back Since the win he’s spent time in jail,
just to have her back. I did try to
experienced the millionaire lifestyle,
do everything to take my mind off it -
made poor financial investments and
buying as much stuff as anyone could.
spent two years living on the streets.
But it was like being a junkie - it
He believes the lottery win was a curse
made me just want more. For me, it
and says that he’s far happier now the
money has drained away. I met Lee in a
café in the Elephant and Castle shopping centre, a backdrop of misplaced
Having enough money to throw at your
wealth and aged misfortunes that has
problems and hoping that they go away
similarities with Lee’s experiences.
must be a strange predicament to find yourself
thought the money had made him greedy.
Lee got involved in crime at a young
“No, my boyhood dream was to own a
age: “I believe it all escalated from
Ferrari and I’ve always wanted to fly,
stealing a sweet in a shop. It’s very
which I can do now. No, I wouldn’t say
difficult to get out, if that’s all
greedy because we doled out a lot of
you know and that’s all your friends
money that the press didn’t tell you
know.” Whilst serving time in jail at
about. It was one aspect of the win
the age of 25 for smashing up a load
that was great.”
of Rolls Royces, he joked with his cellmate and prayed to God to become a
Lee moved from a council house to a
£1 million mansion, attempting to lock himself away from the world and the
touch it. We tried to make a point of
go back, it is what it is. I’m happier
He wasn’t religious during his time in
invasive press. He blew his cash on
what it was all about. Basically, it’s
now I’m on this path that I believe is
prison - but believes that the money
the likes of a helicopter, a plane,
just a complete control system of mon-
the truth. It’s made me almost bomb-
he won was cursed from the beginning
ey, and when you realise we’re all on
proof. I’ve done it all - I’ve been
because his prayer to God was a joke.
bought a range of fast cars with per-
the hamster wheel to nowhere, it’s a
homeless, been in prison and been a
He explains: “I was taking the piss
sonalised number plates: LEE 1, LEE 2,
out of my Muslim friend. He was doing
LEE 3 and LEE 4.
Lee’s life experiences with money have
Although Lee says he’s never thought
prayed as best as he could five times
led him to focus on bigger things.
of himself as greedy with money, it’s
a day, and when he’d finished I said
Lee’s poor financial decisions result-
Throughout our chat he brings up top-
easy to dismiss the fantasy of win-
to him ‘Malik, what did you pray for?’
ed in a number of failed business ven-
ics that some would call conspiracy
ning the lottery as a dream fuelled by
and he said, ‘the safety of my mum and
tures. He moved to Kyrgyzstan with a
theories: a satanic banking system, a
greed. And despite the fact he seems
my family, my wife and kids.’” So, I
new partner he’d met in London and
corrupt government and the fact that
to have found a path on which he’s now
went in the corner and did a quiet
was reported to have lost £2 million
we’re all owned by the state.
happy, his story proves that having
in business ventures. These included
five years for bringing in heroin. He
more than necessary can lead to misery easily.
schemes to build a fish farm and text
When I ask him what drives him, he
He continues: “Malik always used to
message-based lottery in China.
call me bastard. ‘Hey, bastard! What
“I know you’ve had a lot of misfor-
that’s what important to me now. We’re
Just before he leaves he tells me:
you pray for?’ Well, I said, ‘Dear
tunes,” I tell him.
being lied to. People are being killed
“I’m fascinated by odds and variables.
all over the world and in the meantime
I’m going to win it again! I missed
people are saying ‘look at Kim Kar-
£100 million by one number. I’ve got
this little formula that I believe can
God, please make me a millionaire...’
says. “Certainly, every venture I en-
I’ll never get in trouble again and
tered into with that money failed. For
I’ll give a shit load of it away’.
me it’s a curse, no doubt. I see it
winning. The buzz would be for me to
He said, ‘you bastard, you be careful
like this, for the £2 stake I’ve expe-
Lee has just finished writing a book
win again, I have to say.”
what you ask for.’”
rienced a lot of stuff, travelled to a
and talks about putting a lottery tick-
lot of countries, and every purchase
et in each copy. Discussing with him
was two pounds for me.”
what his future plans are, he says:
professor of mathematics and I said
nah nah, multimillionaire and I swear
And he started laughing. I said ‘Nah
get you closer than you’ll ever get to
“I don’t have anywhere, I don’t own
‘Martin, I think I’ve discovered some-
lottery, becoming the first British
Speaking about his time living on the
anywhere, I don’t pay any taxes - I’m
thing.’ ‘No, don’t talk rubbish. It’s
lottery millionaire to go to prison.
streets for two years, Lee says: “I
glad about that. I’m not driven by the
all random!’ he said. But when you
He returned to prison for 18 months
loved it. I spent eight months at Oc-
thought of making lots of money.”
start to look into things, there are
aged 34, six months after winning the
cupy sleeping in a tent outside of
I ask if there’s anything he’d change.
jackpot. This isn’t the only story of
“See, that’s pure fantasy and hypo-
back. Watch this space, I’m telling
strange fate that led to Lee’s win.
ry about that but the media wouldn’t
thetical. As much as I would like to
stolen cars in 1995, Lee won big on the
The Institute of Sexology: Small but perfectly informed
Cara Delevingne’s art campaign for animals
Narrow escape for northern nightclubs
Sex toys in tortoise shell from the 1930s,
Cara Delevingne is, among many things,
2000-year-old bronze tintinnabula (wind
an animal lover. If she’s not modelling,
But The Kazimier and Nation, two popular nightclubs at the heart of the Liv-
chimes) shaped like penises with birds
acting or being snapped with high-pro-
erpool creative scene, have been given a reprieve after being threatened with
legs, a small Shunga shell, and painted
file friends, you might find her with her
closure at the end of November.
manuscripts of Kamasutra - these are just
pet bunny Cecil. Delevingne cares for all
some of the items on display at the Well-
things furry and has launched a new art-
Nation is the home of the city's beloved Cream, which began in October 1992.
come collection's Institute of Sexology -
themed animal campaign called #Art4Animals
Cream has since been launched as the most commercially-successful club night in
Undress Your Mind.
to celebrate pets and to eradicate cruelty.
Ibiza; people flock from across the globe to stomp until sunrise in Amnesia.
I had to fight my mind getting distracted
Perfectly timed just before Christmas,
To tear down Nation would be to pull up the roots of this long-standing club
by thoughts like ‘how many men in here have
Delevingne wants everyone to know that
night. “It'd be sad to see an independent venue that has so much character and
an erection right now?’ This was especial-
pets are for life and not just for good
culture shut down, just for profit and housing...”. The clubs were under threat
ly disturbing as I kept finding myself next
presents. Set up with her activist friend
from a planning proposal to renovate part of Wolstenholme Square (where they're
to a 60+ gentleman with white Einstein hair
Sophia Kerrison, they aim to educate poten-
situated) to build housing, shops and leisure facilities.
who was breathing heavily, bending down to
tial owners on how to best look after their
get a look at the Chinese ceramic couple
It seems there's a common trend in which artistic spaces are being sacrificed to make room for moneymaking schemes like housing developments and new shops.
Glen E. Friedman’s My Rules brings US subculture to life
copulating. Partnered with online creative communi-
While there is need for housing in the city centre, it has been agreed, at least for now, that the clubs will not have to be torn down. While the clubs are by no means safe, this does mean that they'll be able to continue operat-
Hoping to indulge in phallic worship, this
ty Talenthouse and charity New Hope Animal
No photographer has captured the golden age
is not THAT kind of sex exhibition, but
Rescue, Delevingne has invited everybody
of punk, hip-hop and skateboarding quite
an introduction to ‘the interdisciplinary
to get involved. She has invited creatives
as well as Glen E. Friedman. From the late
Karis Griffith, a worker at The Kazimier said: “It'd be sad to see an inde-
study and classification of human sexuali-
to submit animal-themed artworks and has
stand up against animal abuse, and help
1970s through to the mid '90s and beyond,
pendent venue that has so much character and culture shut down, just for profit
already seen an exciting level of response.
provide those animals who have suffered, a
Friedman has been at heart of the most ver-
and housing, but it wouldn't be the end of the Kazimier, it's an exciting new
From illustrators to painters, members of
second chance” says Delevinge.
satile scenes in the US.
beginning.” Objectors at a council meeting at Liverpool Town Hall - which was
Slowly making my way through the elegant
the public have been submitting weird and
grey space, I learn about different aspects
wonderful designs that have a chance of
“I’m so excited to be teaming with Talent-
Friedman’s new book, My Rules, showcases
of Sexology in rooms dedicated to these
featuring in the #Art4Animals exhibition in
house to launch #Art4Animals and support
some of his unique and iconic photos from
different approaches and times.
the brilliant work New Hope Animal Rescue
the emergence of hip-hop in the '90s. The
But they insisted there was not an immediate need to tear down the clubs in or-
does in helping remove vulnerable animals
contemplative expression of Public Ene-
der to proceed. London's Ministry of Sound narrowly avoided the same fate ear-
called to discuss the proposals on November 18 - did admit that there was need for housing development in the area.
‘The Consulting Room’ teaches of Dr Sigmund
Entrants are encouraged to invite their
from danger, particularly animals that have
my’s Chuck D staring down the barrel of the
lier this year. It was threatened with closure following a new plan for housing
Freud and Dr Marie Stopes – I especially
friends and family to vote for their work,
been turned away elsewhere. Owning a pet is
lens, sat in a shadowy prison cell. Por-
development in Elephant and Castle.
enjoyed a collection of letters to Stopes
as the most popular will automatically
not all about the ‘cute factor’, it in-
traits of a baby-faced LL Cool J donning a
which demonstrated that humans have changed
feature in the exhibition. Delevingne will
volves a lot of time, love and money.”
chain and pastel blue bucket hat. Run-DMC
Words: Dominic Brown
little while beliefs and fashions have. I
sift through the other artworks and curate
hanging off a wall teemed with graffiti
Image: Mike Carney
also liked Freud’s porcupine.
the rest of the collection.
Continuing on, I also visit 'The Tent',
“I’m concerned by the level of cruelty
‘The Classroom’, ‘The Box’, ‘The Laborato-
suffered by animals at the hands of humans,
ry’ and ‘The Home’. This brilliantly curat-
and I believe we have a responsibility to
More details are available on the Art4Ani-
somewhere in NYC.
mals website. Not only that, but Friedman caught onto the kinetic energy and vivacity of legWords: Louise Bonner
endary hardcore bands Fugazi, Black Flag
ed exhibition leaves you in ‘The Library’
and Bad Brains. Capturing the raw power
- a tribute to the sexologist’s archives’
of their early shows through stark mono-
where literature mentioned in the exhibi-
chrome shots. One in particular that stands
tion can be browsed.
out is half-naked Henry Rollins gargling a microphone in his mouth, screaming like a
The fairly small exhibition is drier than I
expected but perfectly informed. More than a static display, there will be talks on cruising, researching porn and examinations of sexology pictures from the late 19th
Another component running through the book
Jamie xx ballet
century, from the first of December.
is the early days of skateboarding. Intensely saturated photographs of skaters Jay Adams, Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta up
Producer Jamie xx has created a score for a contemporary ballet piece inspired by Jonathan
in the air, using drained pools as substi-
You can visit the exhibition at the Insti-
Sanfran Foer's book, Tree of Codes, set to premiere at the Manchester International Festi-
tute half-pipes. You can even see a young,
tute of Sexology, 183 Euston Road, London
val next year.
sandy blonde Tony Hawk in '84 on Friedman’s
NW1 2BE, until the September 20, 2015.
website. Foer's novel takes Bruno Schultz's collection of short stories Street of Crocodiles and
Words: Paula Wik
reinvents it as an entirely new narrative altogether. Those unfamiliar with Jamie xx's work
It’s an amalgamation of three vital
Image: Courtesy of Wellcome Library
will know him better as the genius beatsmith of Mercury Prize winning British band The xx.
sub-cultures rolled into one badass book,
He is also a solo producer and DJ in his own right, and has collaborated with the likes of
basically. An exhibition of Friedman’s work
visual artist Quayola, Four Tet and Gil Scott-Heron in the past.
is taking place over the next couple of weeks in central London. If you check it
The project will also involve critically acclaimed Icelandic visual artist Olafur Eliasson
out you’ll find more than 50 shots, some
(who you might know as the creator of the giant sun that was installed in the Tate Modern),
which haven’t been showcased before, such
Wayne McGregor as choreographer and various dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet and McGre-
as rare photos of Ice-T and Ian Mackaye.
gor's Random Dance Company. McGregor believes that the novel is a "powerful point for de-
Friedman’s exhibition is at 14 Henriet-
parture for [the] collaboration on stage - where constellations of light, shadows, bodies,
ta Street in Covent Garden, running until
objects and sound dance at the edges of darkness".
January 18, 2015. You can buy a copy of My Rules at rizzoliusa.com.
Words: Ria Sajit
Words: Sophie Hadley
Image: Rene Passet
Image: Glen E. Friedman and Rizzoli
“Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010” at Tate Modern
Bob Marley: lead vocalist for the cannabis revolution
'No More Page 3' campaign to release Christmas single
Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010 at the Tate
Perhaps tired of this bourgeois world, he
Modern is the first exhibition since the
chose to leave his home in Dusseldorf and
artist’s death four years ago and cele-
travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan on
"If the biggest selling newspaper is say-
brates his life’s work, from his earliest
the hippy trail; with the exhibition in-
ing ‘shut up girls and get your tits out’,
abstract pieces to his experimental latter
cluding video footage of Polke smoking with
it’s going to have an effect!" says cam-
Afghan tribesmen. The use of video once
paigner Lucy Holmes.
again demonstrates how open the artist was Through 14 generously-sized rooms, you
to different media Alibis: Sigmar Polke
For 44 years now, The Sun has flaunted
begin to learn how an East German refugee
1963-2010 runs until February 8 2015 and
women on Page 3 with massive breasts and
became one of the most influential artists
costs £14.50, with concessions available
little biography – Holmes and her campaign
in post-war Germany and Europe as a whole.
'No More Page 3' want the feature and its
Each space covers a different stage of his
The exhibition also shows how Polke una-
career, from pioneering capitalist realism
shamedly experimented with hallucinogenic
to the way he disturbed and warped printed
drugs as part of his artistic process. Some
She's been dedicated to the cause since
art focuses on magic mushrooms, while an-
its conception in 2012, now Holmes has
other presents Polke as a powdered drug.
made her boldest move yet by organising
sexism dropped for good.
Swastikas are a recurring aspect of many
the production of a Christmas single.Now's
of his paintings, reflecting the deep scars
The challenge with exhibiting work from
the Third Reich and the war left on his
Polke is that he's simply too prolific and
varied to fit into a recognised artistic
The family of reggae icon Bob Marley are
It portrays the unease at the number of
category. The exhibition does however try
planning to launch the world’s first global
former Nazis who were rumoured to still
admirably and successfully.
cannabis brand: Marley Natural Fine Canna-
Holmes said: "We had to think about how we
could reach as many people as The Sun. We
hold positions of power in Germany as late as the 1960s.
the Time by singer/songwriter Miss Baby Sol is going to help build support nationwide and beat The X Factor to number one.
It also gives the audiences in the UK,
thought – what about getting a song in the
where Polke isn't well known, examples of
According to its marketing material, it was
charts?" 'Go big or go home' is the head-
With capitalist realism, an area covered
some of Germany’s most important post-war
developed to honour Marley’s life and carry
amply in the exhibition, Polke didn't seek
his message of social justice and the bene-
to celebrate the concept of consumerism,
"We aren't saying we hate boobs, nudity or
fits of cannabis.
but rather the sudden accessibility of
Words: Max Schwerdtfeger and Sebastian Moss
everyday objects made possible by the Ger-
Pictures: The Estate of Sigmar Polke /
Marley, who died in 1981, was a well-known
all that's important about women is that
man economic miracle of the '60s.
DACS, London / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
advocate of ‘the herb’, as he called it,
they are desirable. It's disempowering,"
which he said brought him inner peace and
sex. We love boobs! But Page 3 is saying
furthered his creativity. “When you smoke She found inspiration for the campaign
the herb it reveals you to yourself,” he said.
The Ladies Who Lunch
when she realised the biggest image in The Sun was always a woman posing in her knickers. "As a woman, it kind of felt
“He felt it was important to the world. He looked forward to this day.” Marley’s
The Ladies Who Lunch is the debut production of budding actresses Issy Wroe Wright and
like a slap in the face," she said. “We
family say the aim of Marley Natural is to
Dore Rubinstein. Based on the music by composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, the seamless
have this in a family paper, what's this
promote Jamaica’s positive attitude towards
transition of 16 songs tells a linear narrative about romance, heartache and desire.
saying about how we value women?” asks Holmes.
marijuana in areas where cannabis is legalised but negative stereotypes still exist.
Sondheim is known to musical lovers for his wit, inventive lyrics and is considered the ‘God of Musical Theatre’.
Page 3 has been a hot topic for debate since it’s arrival in 1970, a time when
The venture has the financial backing of Privateer Holdings, who describe themselves
The Battersea Barge is literally a barge on the River Thames; you're led down a flight of
sexism was rife. Holmes continued to say,
on Twitter as ‘a private equity firm stra-
stairs into a venue which, from the outside, is very difficult to imagine as building work
“Society is still journeying towards
tegically investing in the emerging legal
dominates that part of the river, from Vauxhall Bridge to Battersea Power Station.
equality. We need to keep creating a world for both men and women. Page 3 says it's a
cannabis field’. The Barge is the ideal venue for The Ladies Who Lunch as the actors can move around the au-
man's world. It really has to go!" Now's
Rita Marley, Bob’s widow, said: “My husband
dience mid-song with ease, a technique which adds authenticity to the performance.
the Time will be officially released on
believed ‘the herb’ was a natural and posi-
Despite the subtle audience involvement, The Ladies Who Lunch retains a quality that's
tive part of life. He felt it was important
lacking in many productions over the winter period, appearing to strike a perfect balance
to the world. He looked forward to this
between the communication of serious themes whilst keeping it light-hearted and fun.
words: by Louise Bonner image: Via no more page 3 website http://
day.” From the first song, You Could Drive A Person Crazy, sang by the entire company, to the The products will be released in 2015 in
song from which the show takes its name, the cast display their remarkable vocal power and
areas where cannabis use has been legal-
ability to portray a story without a script or dialogue. The songs interweave brilliantly
ised. A number of American states have de-
to make the narrative fast and fluid.
criminalised the drug in recent months. In a tiny venue, at full capacity on the day of review, The Ladies who Lunch is an evocaThe Marley Natural brand will also offer
tive production giving the audience the perfect opportunity to see the young cast’s tremen-
cannabis and hemp-infused topicals, such as
dous skill for storytelling on the stage.
sun repair creams and lotions. The cannabis used will be grown using organic fertil-
For anybody wishing to see something uplifting, meaningful and avoiding pantomime frivolity
in the build up to Christmas, The Ladies who Lunch at the Battersea Barge is ideal.
In the UK the law continues to prohibit the unlicensed growth, sale, possession and use of cannabis.
Words: Danielle Agtani
Words: Max Schwerdtfeger
Image: Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox
Standfirst here xxxxxxxxx
BANKS at Brixton Academy
I’m tryna tell ya
Allen Jones at the Royal Academy
Modern Panic 5
Tim and Barry are the paps who snapped the
Everyone loves a good debate, and nobody's
struggles to get released and it's even sad-
emergent London grime scene of the mid-nough-
better at sparking one than British artist
weird, warped and wonderful this month, as
year old singer-songwriter, born and bred
der when the film isn't even worth the long
ties, and have since established themselves
Allen Jones. If you're unsure why his work
Modern Panic touched down for its annual out-
under the Californian sun and over 15 min-
journey. The film was screened in the UK for
wait. Serena premiered at the BFI Film Festi-
as the brains behind online music channel
is controversial, all will become clear when
ing. Now in its fifth year, the exhibition -
utes late to her sold out show.
the first time at the Phoenix Cinema as part
val last month, starring Jennifer Lawrence,
you walk into his exhibition at the Royal
curated by James Elphick of renegade London
of the UK Jewish Film Festival.
Bradley Cooper and Rhys Ifans.
art collective Guerilla Zoo - has garnered a
I'm surrounded by black-attired youths,
reputation for showcasing the most provoca-
eyes bulging with intoxication and a will-
Run Boy Run
Holocaust drama Run Boy Run (Lauf Junge Lauf)
directed and produced by Oscar award winner Pepe Danquart is certainly an emotional
They also infamously fell foul of the Metro-
Enter Jillian Rose Banks, aka BANKS, 26
Twin brothers Kamil and Andrzej Tkacz de-
Bradley Cooper plays timber tycoon George
politan Police when they attempted to host
You’ll be greeted by a sculpture of a wom-
tive and surreal mixed media work the modern
ingness to bop back and forth to the infec-
liver astounding performances as Srulik, an
an event at the Barbican earlier this year.
an, half-naked wearing bondage gear on all
art world has to offer.
tious beat of a drum machine for a good few
eight-year-old Jewish boy depending on the
townsfolk who want to protect the land and
In 2012 they ventured to Chicago to document
fours, supporting a glass tabletop. Works
warmth and kindness of strangers in a Na-
make it into a national park. Cooper's per-
the city’s footwork scene. For the unini-
like this have prevented Jones' career from
This year's crop of obscurities was headed
formance is decent as mild mannered George
tiated, footwork music is a sub-genre of
being widely celebrated, unlike other art-
up by the final sculpture work of the late,
Songs, Drowning, Waiting Game and Beg-
Pemberton, who has that gleam of ambition in
ghetto house, a 160bpm sample-storm of com-
ists from the Pop Art generation such as
great H.R Giger - stunning physical reali-
gin' For Thread were real crowd pleasers.
plex rhythms, rapid-fire drums and chopped
Hockney - that is, until now. His latest
sations of his bio-mechanoid life-form de-
However, the stripped-down version of Warm
vocals, sculpted specifically for the dance
show highlights his contribution to not only
signs, including the space jockey pilot from
Water wasn't particularly memorable and an
the fine art world but the film and fashion
inevitable Drake cover was disappointingly
Before saying their goodbyes, Srulik’s fa-
ther makes him promise that he must do what-
ever he can to survive but never forget his
When George meets Serena, he immediately asks
Jewish faith. The movie begins with a win-
for her hand in marriage; Serena is George’s
try, desolate landscape, as a weary Srulik
dream woman; confident and alluring, with an
Premiered at the ICA this November, I’m Try-
struggles to walk; weak from hunger, his
extensive knowledge of the timber industry,
na Tell Ya is a frontline snapshot of that
The exhibition comprises almost 100 works,
feet swollen from the sharp cold.
but things start taking a darker turn when
scene, a movement born in the Chi-town pro-
from paintings and rarely-seen drawings to
via emaciated male forms and animal skulls,
didn't live up to expectations. Goddess was
disaster strikes between the couple.
jects and now a ubiquity in clubs across the
his famous sculptures. While his abstract
whilst Jean-Luc Almond's oil portraits dis-
a debut album full of promise, with brief
globe. Its popularity is largely thanks to
expressionism paintings are beautiful and
tort the human visage into something dark
snippets of BANKS' life told through smooth
and breathy RnB girl-next-door vibes.
He eventually makes it to the door of a
drip-fed to the audience. Elsewhere,
partisan woman named Magda (Elisabeth Duda)
Sadly, flat character development and rushed
exposure from labels such as Planet Mu and
clearly demonstrate his curiosity and intel-
who nurses him back to health and helps him
scenes hinders the film from thought-provok-
Hyperdub, and the trailblazing Teklife crew,
ligence, most people focus on his sculptures
create a cover story; a Christian war orphan
ing storytelling. Oddly, the sexual chemis-
headed up by DJ Spinn and the late DJ Rashad,
of the female figure.
named Jurek Staniak. Faith obviously plays a
try was lacking considering their dynamic
who passed away suddenly in April.
major theme in the movie, as Srulik strug-
in Silver Linings Playbook was enigmatic,
gles to keep sight of his during a time when
hilarious and witty; so it may be down to
The film journeys to the epicentre of this
Jews were being persecuted.
poor writing on Christopher Kyle's behalf
ghetto culture - studios, bedrooms and dance
and direction by Susanne Bier.
He finds shelter in Christianity and begins
Tuesday Gates' taxidermy provided moments of
was that we really wished for her to pull
depicting women as a hat stand, table and
lighter relief, her pieces alive with twist-
it out of the bag, but all to no avail. We
ed humour and charm. Similarly Paul Michael
needed more. We needed the frontwoman BANKS
Broome's fake composition of an electrical
had promised us she'd be. And we didn't get one.
The moment this collection was exhibited in
health and safety nightmare warranted both a
form. Veteran producers Traxman, DJ Clent
1969, it invoked disgust among feminists,
second glance and a wry smile.
The most frustrating aspect of this show
As you can probably tell, the live show
to commit to it, something that was common
The initial stages of George and Serena’s
and RP Boo reflect on the origins of the
but the exhibition tries to show that these
amongst Jewish children during the Nazi oc-
relationship like their wedding are superfi-
sound, while new-breed artists such as DJ
works demonstrate Jones’ keenness to exper-
Personal highlights were the large format
on it, BANKS isn't on social media sites,
cupation. One particular part of the film
cially executed. Their relationship takes an
Earl and Manny demonstrate their mastery of
iment with popular culture’s various depic-
felt and wool based work of Lucy Sparrow -
as all her associated pages are run by her
echoes Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me, when Srulik
interesting turn when it is fuelled and torn
the drum machines and dance moves that make
tions of femininity. Needless to say, this
both her ode to London Be Still My Beating
management. Refreshingly, she seems like
meets other children his age who’ve been
apart by jealousy, selfishness and deceit.
isn't an exhibition visited by children.
Heart, and the bold satire of It's Britney
the kind of girl who isn't sucked into the
Bitch. Stefy Pocket's Girls From Da Hood
blatant self-promotion that comes with the
separated from their families.
Strangely, in a generation which thrives
Based in Smoky Mountains, the landscape is
It’s a sound architected by a symbiosis of
As a retrospective exhibition, we see how
documentary photographs of Caribbean ghetto
celebrity status on networks such as Insta-
The group survive in the forest, occasional-
breath-taking as the mist billows over the
production, DJing and footwork dancing - the
life added vibrant colour and culture, and
gram, Twitter and Facebook.
ly stealing chickens, vegetables and clothes
trees and Pemberton's timber yard. Serena's
latter being the most vital to its blueprint
it was hard not to be blown away by the myth-
from farms. Unlike Stand By Me, Run Boy Run’s
lush furs and even Rhys Ifans' 'John Mar-
- and many of the scene’s protagonists spe-
ical macrocosm behind Freyja Dean's Idoll
Unfortunately for BANKS, it turns out the
ston' bounty hunter look appropriately por-
cialise in all three. As Manny composes a
traditions and Abstract Expressionism, while
World, a reimagined Pandora's Box.
production of the album is much more im-
Srulik having to learn quickly how to sur-
trays 1930s North Carolina, but without much
beat on an MPC, he describes the process as
pieces from the late '60s show the influence
vive in a cruel world.
substance to the story, it reduces it to
“dancing in his head”.
of Roy Lichtenstein.
dress-up. The film is a mixture of intensity and heart-
pressive than the frontwoman. A stage presUpstairs a playful montage of sketches ran
ence and ability to connect with an audi-
from Deptford surrealist duo Candykonk, fol-
ence is paramount.
At the heart of it all are Spinn and Rashad.
The exhibition is an intimate exploration
lowed by two anonymous pieces featuring a
break, with moments of colour as Srulik uses
Serena's story had plenty of potential but
Spinn the creative powerhouse knocking out
into the career of this controversial art-
man simulating sex with a dead swan and a
Had this been the first time I'd listened
his innocence to seek shelter on various
lacked proper direction to give it that ex-
15 tracks a week, Rashad the class clown
ist. For those intrigued by his works, mind
woman slowly removing her pubic hair with
to BANKS, stood on the sticky floors of
farms.Despite exploring a very dark period
tra oomph. Had the project been left in the
effortlessly chopping samples while heavily
and influences, it is definitely an opportu-
some tweezers. Provocative indeed.
Brixton Academy with a stupidly overpriced
in history, the film often has charming mo-
hands of Frank Darabont (think Shawshank Re-
intoxicated. I’m Tryna Tell Ya is a candid
nity to grasp what makes this groundbreaking
ments thanks to excellent performances given
demption), or Ang Lee (think Brokeback Moun-
insight into a game-changing, grass roots
artist tick. Allen Jones on display at the
Another successful year for James Elphick
heard the ambitious girl inside Goddess,
by the Tkacz brothers, making it a delight-
tain), Serena may have been a worthy Os-
subculture and a touching tribute to one of
Royal Academy will be showing at Burlington
and Guerilla Zoo, maintaining their status
I'd have thought her nothing more than a
car-contender. Profound apologies, Susanne.
its fallen soldiers. RIP Rashad.
Gardens until 25 January 2015.
as true bastions of the bizarre.
Words by Ria Sajit
Words by Ria Sajit
Words by Ed Oliver
Words by Danielle Agtani
Words By Ed Oliver
Words: Molly Turnley
Tuborg in hand, and if I hadn't previously
Words: Fraser Thorne Image: Fraser Thorne
Infinity is now – hidden views of London In London there’s an active network of people who explore the city, from the highest heights to the deepest subterranean levels.
On a brisk autumn day I’m shown around by my personal
phone to let us in. The attraction for the explora-
London tour guide Scott, a young chap whose words
tion of a monolith of social housing is born out of
aren’t anchored to his age, but reflect the kind of
its architectural characteristics. Rising high above
wisdom and gusto you’d expect to hear from an icon-
the city, much like the Orwellian skyscrapers of the
oclastic, freight-hopping hobo.
financial districts, the structures provide the best views of the city, allowing its guests to take unique
Treading carefully around the roof so as to not
ner-city life. Council blocks, tunnels and transport
... not that anyone shouldn’t be able to see it.” We
arouse the suspicion of the occupants below us,
networks all contribute to a clearer comprehension of
continue to seek out more rooftops. As the day gets
Scott points out the many other high rise buildings
how things function. But this isn’t solely about why
later, we find ourselves pushing our piece-of-shit
around the city that are regular haunts.
a dystopian metropolis has shat out ‘no entry’ signs
bikes back to South London in a bid to go up one last
and three-prong fences, it’s about the intrinsic cu-
tower block.The highest yet that day, the view is ex-
With the acuteness of a seasoned birdwatcher, he be-
riosity of human nature: ‘what’s behind that door?’,
pansive; the surrounding alleys and thoroughfares lit
gins easily identifying the different blocks by name
‘how do I get down there?’, ‘what’s up that ladder?’
up by the tungsten street lamps; London’s glittered
and locality, from Balfron Tower to Aylesbury Es-
Sometimes it’s just nice to know ‘what’s over there’
skyline resembling an air-sprayed hoodie you’d cop at
tate, all of which come with their respective tales
rather than allow your understanding of things to hit
a Puerto-Rican state fair.
of delinquency. Scott tells me about crews of locals
a brick wall of presumption.
Our aim is to see views of London City from locations
photographs. For those within the close-knit circles
that are seldom frequented – places that often war-
of explorers, photography is to some extent a shared
rant visitors getting nabbed for trespass. The term
goal; the documentation of these places is the only
that’s been coined for what people like Scott are
intervening action between the individual and the
up to is ‘Urbex’, an ingenious portmanteau that was
bunning spliffs at the top of tower block stairwells, discussing in localised slang about ‘some man’ who’s
It’s not only the rooftops that you’ll find Scott
are slowly but surely being replaced with expensive
We leave the elevator at floor 27 and take the stair-
‘gonna get tucked in’ while he’s hidden on the other
peeking over to double-check the resident caretaker
inner-city pads. With the demolition of the Heygate
side of the door, and stories of Bond-esque ‘eleva-
isn’t on his tail or the police aren’t pulling up at
Estate, the precedent has been set for an impending
tor surfing’ for free thrills. It sounds like these
the front door. It’s below the ground you’ll find
visits often bear witness to some haphazard affair.
him as well. Inherited from the Victorians, London’s
probably invented by the same literary saviour that gave us ‘vajayjay’ and ‘frape’.
well up one more level. Daubed in a red dry-wipe For most of the coterie of urban explorers, the ac-
marker, which was probably lifted from some 15 year
tivity is of personal value and the comprehension of
old’s classroom, are bubble letters and Disney car-
their activities to those outside of it is irrele-
toon characters, the inevitable ‘man-smoking-spliff’
vant. Scott leads me by bike to an east London coun-
drawing and other recognisable sports logos and rap-
cil estate, not far from the city’s EC2 postcode. As
underbelly consists of a multitude of hidden laby-
The landscape of the city is changing and its oldest
The compartmentalised London estates lit up in the
rinths and tunnels, many of which have been traversed
foundations are being closed off, but there remain
night sky.“With a bit of effort anyone can come up
by Scott and his merry band of modern day explorers.
those who will seek to explore its fabric come what
Of course we aren’t the first people to skulk around
much open to visit and they should be. Finding these
While they don’t provide the same sweeping cityscape
is the documentation of these places that are rarely
places is how I make sense of the city and by ex-
views, they’re deemed the veins of the city. Because
witnessed, notwithstanding that in years to come will
ploring these places you’re exposed to varying walks
they’re difficult to reach, the real Gs of Urbex are
hold its validity as a record of the city’s archi-
of life,” Scott tells me. For Scott the action of
revered for entering them. The way they’re accessed
tecture and the conditions of society that occupy it.
finding the elusive views and secret spaces of Lon-
remains sacrosanct amongst the people who do it, as
don runs side by side with the ability to articulate
Scott informs me: “I guess it is quite nice knowing
After half-an-hour of taking photos, absorbing the
a certain understanding of societal aspects of in-
you’re one of the very few people to ever see this
view (which was great apart from the semi-naked bald
we lock our bikes to the railings outside, a resident from the 27 storey block approaches the main door.
in this corner of the building, where traces of acI’m drawn into a fake conversation about an imagi-
tivity and drug-abuse are in abundance.This, howev-
nary friend that lives inside the block, and as the
er, isn’t our last stop. Scott pulls out a set of
tenant taps his key against the electronic door-lock
janitorial keys and swings open the steel door to
we pass into the building after him, still chatting
the rooftop where we’re exposed to the metropolitan
about our non-existent friend who won’t pick up his
landscape of London Town.
The thing is that many of these high-rise blocks
may. What makes Scott’s photographic work profound
here, but they never do. These places are pretty
fellow we could see lavishly smearing marmite over his dinner in the adjacent apartment block) and discussing how joyous it would have been to have brought a laser pen with us, we locked up the doors on our way out and took the rickety, vandalised elevator back to the ground floor. As we exchanged a few more anecdotes on casual trespass, security guard chases, abandoned mental hospitals and accidentally derailing a locomotive over a carton of guava Rubicon and a rollie, I observed the noise and franticness of life on ground-level compared to the peacefulness up there on the roof. For the explorers, a crowbar or a pair of bolt-cutters doesn’t just break a fence or door; they break the cycle of everyday life and offer places that can provide peace in a rapid, unresting civilisation. The time has come to bid farewell to my trusty locksmith-meets-Kerouac-meets-Ray-Mears
one last toke and the ritual popping of the cardboard carton on the ground, we go our separate ways, the sound of spent wheels squeaking off into the concrete jungle.
Words: Katrina Schollenberger Image: Rankin
Harder than you think Artefact catches up with LCC alumnus Rankin to talk about his latest photography projects and books.
sleep. This was the conclusion I drew from reading through the renowned photographer’s exhaustive CV prior to our interview.
Confused magazine at London College of Communication in 1992 alongside Jefferson Hack, to owning his own magazine project Hunger and creative agency The Full Service, Rankin has explored almost every creative outlet in between. Whether you realise it or not, many of the iconic portraits, edgy music videos and memorable, vivid advertisements you’ve seen over the past decade or two were made by him. Once in a while, creative forces collide to produce something worthy of the title Artist. Andrew Gallimore and Rankin are no exceptions to this. Gallimore
ty editor at Hunger) teamed up with Rankin
their beauty book series, titled An-
series of images that show off their
Over the time of your creative part-
very quickly, I know what I like. My
drew Gallimore by Rankin. Unfolding in
talent.I think with Andrew, he’s prob-
nership, how did you decide together
piece of advice I would give to other
a series of pictures from their crea-
ably the first make-up artist, maybe
what concepts would be most fitting
people when they edit is, if you like
tive partnership over the years, in-
the second [whose work is a] truly a
for the book?
something instinctively, immediately,
cluding new material shot exclusively
collaborative process. I love him as a
Interestingly there’s no one approach.
don’t over analyse it - go for that.
for the book, the images don’t shy
make-up artist because he really does
The death masks were very much my idea
away from the bold, the beautiful, the
enjoy the process of discussing how
as I was doing a project on death last
With your portrait work, how do you
dark and inquisitive.
the picture should be lit, what the
year and he was my makeup artist of
get your subjects to come across the
model should be doing, what the model
choice to work with on that.
way you’d like in photographs?
should be wearing, acting … it’s been
We both developed ideas from that and
I think that everybody who thinks they
forthcoming book project, I realised
my favourite book to date to do on
that became the death masks you see in
should have a formula of how to work
that his strengths derive from an un-
make-up apart from a book called Caro-
the book. It’s never ‘how did that hap-
doesn’t really understand the subject.
derstanding of himself and the crea-
line Saulnier, who I love because both
pen?’ It’s more that [with one or two
Subjects are inherently different hu-
tive process. He probably does sleep.
of them are – you could throw the word
pictures] I can explain the rationale,
man beings that have different atti-
But that’s because once he has a vi-
genius around – they are creative ex-
[but more often] it’s been a theme for
tudes, have different approaches, per-
sion or a project, he makes everything
cellence. They are at the top of their
an issue of the magazine, or its been
sonalities, relationships. The camera
around him run like a well-oiled ma-
an idea that we’ve come up with around
is such a microscope on people’s per-
music. It’s always different.
chine until it’s executed to perfec-
tion. This energy is what has allowed
How did you meet and how long have you
him to become such an established name
been working with Andrew?
How do you go about selecting photo-
can feel uncomfortable about look big-
in the creative industry – and to add
I always think I met him on a shoot
graphs to be published in your books?
ger; it’s a very revealing process.
another publication to the 33 books
with Beth Ditto but he says we met be-
What makes one image stand out more
Especially with digital. I think if
already under his belt.
fore that. He’s very good friends with
you can get past that and make it more
Beth and I love her so much. We worked
Oh, that’s just instinct. He had a
What was the inspiration behind Andrew
together once on that – and I think
lot to do with editing this book, a
them like human beings and realising
Gallimore by Rankin?
I met him originally through Dazed &
lot more than I would normally allow.
that everybody gets insecure.
Andrew’s book is the fourth in a se-
Confused. It was probably about five
You know, as a collaborator I gave
Even your more famous celebrities have
ries where we choose a make-up artist
him more free rein, I really wanted
insecurities - then really it’s that
that we think is a real artist and we
him to be satisfied by it. But I’ve
easy. It’s about kind of being aware
give them the platform to produce a
been doing this for 20 years, I edit
of what that person is like and trust-
es. It really makes things that you
ing your instincts about them. being inquisitive. I’ve been inquisAre some people easier to photograph
itive right from the beginning, I’m
than others? Do you ever face stylis-
excited, I still get excited by the
tic/creative clashes with your famous
I’ve just done a book called Fuck You
Rankin and lots of the images in there
That’s a good question. It’s hard to
are like the stuff I used to do. Other
say - it would be a lie to say ‘no’ and
people might see it, but I I’ve always
say everybody loves me and takes my
seen my style to be very instinctive.
lead. But I think probably the majority of people will do that. The major-
What did you take away from your time
ity of people will trust my instinct,
at London College of Communication?
but there are a few people that don’t
– to me it’s no biggie either way,
College of Printing, as it was named
it’s like adapting. To me it’s collab-
then] was good because it taught me
oration. You should always collaborate
how to deal with the real world, be-
with your subjects and be open to what
cause it was so tough then to get your
their view on the world is - their
view on the lighting, their view on
It’s a good hardening experience for
the image. Over time I just have be-
actually being out in the real world.
come very aware of what people feel
There were a lot of hurdles you’d be
when they look at a picture. Because
put through to borrow equipment, etc.
Everybody thinks that things should be
of digital, people can go and look at the image right away. I can pick up,
Because you’ve been in the industry
sary to live in the past or to look
handed to them on a plate. Actually,
I’ve almost got a sixth sense for what
for so long, is there anything you’d
back with rose-tinted specs, it’s much
they should work very hard for them.
they’re feeling. That in itself is a
consider to be a lost art in the pho-
more interesting to see what you can
very exciting thing.
do, where you can take it and how you
Do you have any advice for aspiring
can utilise the technology.
photographers at UAL?
Your photography covers many creative
I kind of feel like the negative [as-
areas, from advertising and fashion to
pects are] gone for commercial pho-
So if I was to do a film project, I
is, stop fucking talking about it, get
iconic portraits. What area is most
tography. Shooting on film you have
would do it on the basis of not having
out and do it. You’ll learn so much
satisfying to photograph?
all the great creative collaborations
that control, having that small amount
more from doing it. You know, thinking
It’s all satisfying, it’s all fantas-
of excitement [about not knowing] what
about it is part of talking about it,
tic. I love my job. And every day I
thing would be yours and you would
you’re going to get. And that’s mag-
and if you don’t do it, you don’t learn
wake up with a smile on my face be-
ic in itself. A friend said to me the
much about yourself. The act of making
cause I do something I love and very
was that great magic, the alchemy of
other day ‘why don’t you do a Polaroid
art is as informative as the act of
few people get the chance to work at
it. Obviously with digital and with
project where you take a load of Po-
thinking about making art, or talking
this level and kind of build a machine
Instagram, everybody has an opinion
laroids, and don’t open them, and send
about making art.
around me so I can do what I want every
... I’m pretty happy about that, on
them to people?’.
day. I can be a filmmaker, a photogra-
some level because I think it allows
The act of opening them is a really
I suppose that advice spans across all
pher, I can be a graphic designer, an
everybody to be a part of something
exciting feeling in itself, and you
art director – it’s all there. To be
feel like you’re part of something.
Yeah, absolutely. But there are a lot
honest with you, you end up being a cu-
of dictatorial and visionary thing,
So I think when things shift in tech-
of people who think you should think
rator because your working with people
the alchemy, the mad scientist, the
nology it doesn’t mean that things get
about it a lot more, or talk about it.
that are better than you in those ar-
magic that the film had. Waiting for
lost. I think they just get re-used in
There are a lot of people who talk
eas and its really kind of about your
it to be processed, or processing it
about the way their work is going to
instincts about those things, trying
yourself and seeing the ‘neg’ …
to push people to do great work, and
of those things bring a whole other
How do you see your style evolving?
no excuse now [in photography], there
that’s what I really love. The art of
dimension to it and I do miss that,
Its funny because I look back at what
is no financial excuse not to. Digi-
it – remembering the art of it – the
I think that photography misses it
I’ve done and I don’t really see it
tal makes things almost free to cre-
commerce of it is really important.
… but things move forward and pho-
evolving, more than me learning tech-
ate. So start creating, you’ll learn
tography is such a young, technolo-
nically how to use things in a dif-
more about yourself creating than just
gy-based art form. It’s not neces-
ferent way. It all comes down to me
talking about it.
Take lots of photos. Yeah. Bottom line
be, and don’t produce shit. There’s