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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

HIGH LIFE

better, but in Lee Ryan’s story, the

I wonder what Lee’s reaction was when

phrase

for’

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

‘careful

what

you

wish

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

exacerbated

money has drained away. I met Lee in a

help.”

my

problems.

It

didn’t

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

in.

I

ask

him

if

he

ever

PRISON

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

multimillionaire.

£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

and

also

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,

terrible thing.”

millionaire.”

out of my Muslim friend. He was doing

LEE 3 and LEE 4.

two

Ducati

superbikes.

He

Lee’s life experiences with money have

Although Lee says he’s never thought

prayed as best as he could five times

FAILED

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

prayer.”

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.

replies:

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

dashian’s arse’.”

this little formula that I believe can

God, please make me a millionaire...’

truth,

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

LIFE NOW

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

“My

was two pounds for me.”

what his future plans are, he says:

professor of mathematics and I said

for

handling

he

the

nah nah, multimillionaire and I swear

trial

though?”

for

“Are

awaiting

misfortunes

quest

And he started laughing. I said ‘Nah

Whilst

they

“The

get you closer than you’ll ever get to

daughter’s

father-in-law

is

a

“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.

certain

jackpot. This isn’t the only story of

Saint

documenta-

“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

you.”

stolen cars in 1995, Lee won big on the

43

Paul’s.

We

did

a

patterns

that

keep

coming


in brief

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

new pets.

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

ty.’

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

ing.

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.

London.

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

madman.

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.

1

Words: Ria Sajit

Words: Sophie Hadley

Image: Rene Passet

Image: Glen E. Friedman and Rizzoli

2


in brief

“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-

years.

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

photographic images.

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

imagination.

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

bis.

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

quarters' slogan.

amply in the exhibition, Polke didn't seek

art.

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

says Holmes.

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

December 15.

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.

nomoreIKmpage3.org

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

isers.

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.

3

Words: Danielle Agtani

Words: Max Schwerdtfeger

Image: prensa420

Image: Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

4


REVIEWS

Exhibitions

Film

Music

Standfirst here xxxxxxxxx

BANKS at Brixton Academy

I’m tryna tell ya

Allen Jones at the Royal Academy

Modern Panic 5

that

Tim and Barry are the paps who snapped the

Everyone loves a good debate, and nobody's

458

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,

Just Jam.

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.

Academy.

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

Serena

Holocaust drama Run Boy Run (Lauf Junge Lauf)

There's

directed and produced by Oscar award winner Pepe Danquart is certainly an emotional

something

sad

about

a

film

They also infamously fell foul of the Metro-

Hackney

Road

became

a

shrine

to

the

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

Pemberton,

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

zi-occupied Poland.

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.

his eye.

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

floor.

the fine art world but the film and fashion

Alien.

inevitable Drake cover was disappointingly

Before saying their goodbyes, Srulik’s fa-

whose

empire

is

threatened

by

ther makes him promise that he must do what-

hours.

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,

sculptures

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 disturbed.

and breathy RnB girl-next-door vibes.

He eventually makes it to the door of a

industry.

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.

This

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.

battles

He finds shelter in Christianity and begins

includes

his

Amongst furniture

Orli deal

the

Ivanov's with

morbid

stark,

themes

and

of

hybrid

mortality

macabre,

Charlie

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

chair.

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.

in

raw,

The most frustrating aspect of this show

collection,

roughly-edited

documented

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.

it.

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

Jones

before

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

moving

works

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-

were

painting

ical macrocosm behind Freyja Dean's Idoll

Unfortunately for BANKS, it turns out the

children

with

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.

are

forced

into

adversity,

experimented onto

with

sculpture.

influenced

by

the

paintings His

earlier

European

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

ful watch.

car-contender. Profound apologies, Susanne.

its fallen soldiers. RIP Rashad.

Gardens until 25 January 2015.

as true bastions of the bizarre.

guest-appearance vocalist.

Words by Ria Sajit

Words by Ria Sajit

Words by Ed Oliver

Words by Danielle Agtani

Words By Ed Oliver

Words: Molly Turnley

46

Tuborg in hand, and if I hadn't previously

47


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

immediate space.

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

urban renewal.

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

pers’ names.

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.

40

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

compadre.

With

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.

Itseems

as

though

Rankin

doesn’t

sleep. This was the conclusion I drew from reading through the renowned photographer’s exhaustive CV prior to our interview.

From

co-founding

Dazed

&

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

(makeup

artist

and

beau-

ty editor at Hunger) teamed up with Rankin

for

a

fourth

installment

of

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?

his

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-

game creatively.

an idea that we’ve come up with around

is such a microscope on people’s per-

music. It’s always different.

sonalities,

After

talking

to

Rankin

about

chine until it’s executed to perfec-

insecurities,

differenc-

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

than another?

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

comfortable

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

years ago.

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-

1

es. It really makes things that you

for

people

by

treating


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

same things.

subjects,

I’ve just done a book called Fuck You

or

do

they

usually

trust

your vision?

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

I

– 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

images made.

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.

always

thought

that

LCP

[London

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.

tography world?

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-

with

final

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-

look

there

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

fields, really.

art director – it’s all there. To be

kind

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

different ways.

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.

but

the

team

through

of

but

the

course

then

camera

I

miss

the and

that

Take lots of photos. Yeah. Bottom line

be, and don’t produce shit. There’s

any

Profile for James Childs

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