KulaMag IUUSE 4 'Wellness'

Page 1

Issue #4

lifestyle & sustainability





KulaMag was launched in June 2020 but the concept and goals are a reaction to the world we all find ourselves living in and the path that economic growth has taken us over the past 60 years. Since we began KulaMag has already had 83,322 publication reads telling us were not alone on this journey.

To many of us it continually feels like we are bombarded with new levels of disinformation and fake news, most of it to divert our attention from the real issues which impact our daily lives, such as global pandemics and climate change.

So that’s what we decided to do – form a wholly Not-For-Profit collective of like-minded people focusing on positive change

During these uncertain times it’s paramount that individuals and groups feel connected to their environment and community or we’ll find ourselves on a path to disaster.

Kula run a KulaShop, giving you the opportunity to purchase bespoke artwork, prints, clothes and merchandise, supporting KulaMag in being as sustainable as the businesses and artists we support

ALL ABOUT US KulaMag acts as the conduit between community and the millions of inspiring people and businesses who are making a difference; whether that’s championing minorities, tackling waste, highlighting exploitation or improving health and wellbeing, KulaMag is a showcase for all those doing things well, while shining a light on those who continue to act irresponsibly. We do this through storytelling, art and expression, giving a platform to the unsung heroes who really are making a difference to the environment and our culture. The truth lies at the very core of everything we do and instead of just pointing at problems, we set about finding solutions to the fundamental issues of exploitation and greed which often lie at the core of most of the worlds problems. While we applaud lawful direct action, we are trying to promote systemic change by showing each other just what can be achieved if we all take responsibility, and we can all be happier and healthier at the same time!

We love showcasing local businesses, large and small, which actively engage in reducing their (and our) impact on the environment while producing fantastic food and products which enhance our daily lives. There really is no need to cut out quality and excellence by living more responsibly and we showcase this daily across all our platforms.



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We don’t have billionaire backers sitting in tax havens and we choose not to inundate you with adverts and pop-ups from companies which don’t align with our ethics but it’s no good championing sustainability if we’re not delivering on this ourselves. Currently we rely on four main sources of income, so if you love what we do, you can contribute in the following ways;

KulaMag already gives a platform to the champions highlighting minority causes, waste and energy reduction, exploitation of workers and environmental vandalism, and with your continued help, support and engagement, we will continue to bring forward an inspiring visual interpretation of what’s good and what’s not. 1. Sponsored advertorials showcasing local businesses, talent and excellence. 2. Sales of magazine and direct donation on our website. 3. Merchandising of our fantastic artwork, with receipt shared with the independent artists. 4. Grants and sponsorship. There’s more information about these on our website or contact us direct at info@kulamag.com All income is ploughed back into KulaMag to enhance what we do and develop new and exciting projects in the near future such as KulaTV and KulaMap; both providing platforms for innovative individuals and businesses to show off what they do. Initially they will be focused on Brighton but we hope to spread the word into Bristol, Cambridge and London over the coming months. KulaMag is nothing without contributors and engagement, with a large proportion of our team providing their services for free. However, we are always on the lookout for new talent and ideas on a commission basis.....

here's one of our KulaWolves, if your an artist feel free to design your own version and send it over for us to share!

...so if you feel you can bring something to the team, pro bono or paid, please get in touch.

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Welcome to KulaMag

ISSUE 4 Wellness

Welcome back to one and all for the 4th installment of KulaMag, our irreverent look at the world through an inclusive and diverse lens at a world that seems increasingly intent on self-destruction. Globally 2020 has, by anyone’s standard, been a challenge; in the UK there have been winners and losers, if you know a Conservative Minister or were an ex Tory Councillor its likely to have been a bonanza, seeing your dormant and failing Companies fast tracked to win Government PPE and Consultancy contracts worth billions, and generally profiting from a pandemic given them a happy glow, for the rest of us its been pretty grim. Keeping up with the inconsistent and confused Government messages and rules has been a challenge few of us will emerge from unscathed; humdingers such as ‘world beating ------ insert anything’, ‘following the science’ and my particular favourite, ‘protective ring around care homes’ will be triggering Covid PTSD in the UK for decades to come. For some of us this has been the first time that we’ve realised that ‘our’ politicians don’t always have our best interests at heart! Along with the more sophisticated thinkers, we’ve come to realise that our populist Government is only interested in staying in power, with fickle and uninformed public opinion leading policy. Case in point was the disastrous ‘herd immunity’ approach, espoused by libertarian jihadists like Julia Hartley Brewer and crucially, PM advisor, Dominic Cummings, which killed thousands than if they’d acted quicker with the initial lockdown and quarantine. Students in particular must have felt like they’ve been on The Pisstaker, newest gutwrenching ride at Chessington World of Incompetents. They’ve not only had to contend with the isolation and fear encountered by the rest of us, they have been variously scapegoated as super-spreaders, battled through distance learning, the loss of any discernible income then forced solitary confinement only to be subjected to the unfathomable wisdom of Gavin Williamson and his exam algorithms. The icing on the cake will be Brexit; the greatest example of self-harm inflicted on a country by its own U.K Government in living memory. For the next generation of voters it's been like the Hunger Games, without the scenery!

. Covid, and our politicians response to the pandemic has had a profound effect on the mental and physical wellbeing of all of us, some more than others but nobody can say that it hasn’t touched us all in some way. Within these pages we’ve attempted to retell some of these stories along with the images, artwork, lifestyle and inspiration you’ve come to recognise from KulaMag. As always we welcome your thoughts and opinions so please feel free to get in touch with our amazing team if you've got something to say or want to get involved. All of the team at KulaMag wish each and every one of you a peaceful and safe Christmas, hopefully with the ones you love; the old adage of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” feels like it was written for 2020, so here’s to new strength and new beginnings in 2021! Stay strong Mark Avery

Art by @fatma.lhr limited edition print for sale on WWW.KULASHOP.CO.UK


Our talent team




zenI message in 6



ydda M

want to volufon@tkeuleamra? g.com


Our custom front cover was a collaborative artpiece drawn by

his t e d a m o h w issue...

Dan Chase - Artist & Tattoo Artist Libby Wells - Artist & Tattoo Artist

Mark Avery Editor

Tash thomas copywriter, LQBTQ+ ACTIVIST

libby wells Editor

ina todorova

fatma al harthi copywriter, Artist



inez tully copywriter, Artist


maddy kest copywriter, researcher


Saffron inch copywriter, researcher


charlie bee content creation


Kay Knofi copywriter



christian wood Graphic artist

EMILY BROOKS Student gardener gardner

ANGELA SUSINI Kimberley edmonds author copywriter, model

PLANT DISCO Brighton plant centre

Kimberley edmonds copywriter, model

Luca Lorenzoni Illustrator

ConstandiaChristofi Christofi Constandia nutritionist, feng feng shui shui & & mindfulness mindfulness nutritionist, KULA MAGAZINE









Collaberative artwork by our team Libby Wells modelling intimates by @qrucific_thelabel collage by Fatma Al-harthi Limited edition prints available www.Kulashop.co.uk Modeling intimetes by @qrucifix_thelabel see page 24 for in depth article





What does being an artist in Brighton mean to you? I associate this city with creation and self-expression, it’s got a vibrant energy to it and you’re constantly meeting people from all backgrounds with vast talents. I've come to realize how artistic people can be from just how they dress or express themselves. I've met such amazing individuals in this city who have shown me that art doesn’t always just mean conventional art, but can be in anything or anyone.

Do you have any advice for artists in Brighton to help them stay positive? My advice would be to listen to yourself, really actually focus on how you are feeling and if you feel yourself sinking just stop everything and just be gentle to yourself. We live in quite a suffocating virtual world where we constantly are comparing ourselves to others, the scary thing is that we don’t always notice ourselves doing this. This is not reality; we design our own and when we take time out for just ourselves you will be so surprised by how many things you are capable of doing.

How has this year affected your outlet (art) and mental wellness? This year has been all about selfreflection. It has forced me to be self-critical, to work with the things around me and to see through my weaknesses. At one point I didn’t want to draw or create anything, I felt myself sinking quite a few times and the further I sunk the more effort it was to climb back up.


It’s a powerful feeling and can easily consume you, but it’s important to push through it because the more you persevere the stronger you will be in the end. I like to be positive and when feeling low I’ve realized how important it is to actually stop for a second and to listen to yourself and to your body. Persevere through everything because we’re stronger than we think ourselves to be and that feeling of accomplishment is like no other. KULA MAGAZINE 11

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent van Gogh ARTWORK BY iNA VRYKOLINA_


Tattooed by @libbywellstattoo

using one of Ina's original designs

You can catch more of Ina's

amazing artwork in our next

issue, and keep an eye on the

KULASHOP for limited edition






coming soon!


Changes to Sexual Mental Health by Inez Tully Illustration by @inezmae

We all remember first Covid lockdown hitting us in March 2020 and while restrictions eased and places reopened during the summer, the UK quickly went into a second lockdown in November lasting 4 weeks with tougher tiered restrictions continuing; all together the UK has been under Covid restrictions for over 8 months. The guidelines surrounding sex in lockdown have meant that unless you are in an ‘established relationship’, live with a partner or a partner is in your chosen ‘bubble’ sex is off the cards. Should we really be judging how safe someone is based on their relationship? Loneliness and mental health problems have increased since the start of lockdown and the tighter restrictions are leaving people isolated and starved of physical contact. Research has shown that sex can be a great stress reliever and can temporarily reduce symptoms of mental health challenges. Sex can 14 KULA MAGAZINE

also anchor us to the present, making us feel stable and secure in the now. It is unrealistic to think that every person who doesn’t fit into the government’s guidelines will abstain from sex. So, if you are planning on having sex with someone you don’t live with then here are some tips to help stop the spread of the virus:

Use condoms or dental dams Take a shower and wash your hands before and after sex Wash sex toys with soap and water and do not share them Limit your physical interactions by reducing the number of sexual partners you have Ask your sexual partner/s if they have other sexual partners If you start to develop symptoms you should isolate and tell your sexual partner/s.

Self-care is important more than ever, if one of the ways you can care for yourself is to be sexual (alone or with a partner) then give yourself permission to do so. If you are choosing to be alone, now is the time for self-exploration. Get to know yourself in these times of being distant. If not, express your sexuality another way through clothes, music, food or TV. Sexuality doesn’t have to be about coitus it can also be a mindset. My two pieces of advice for dealing with changes to your sexual mental health: 1. Be kind to yourself. It might not feel like it at times, but you’d be surprised how many people are also feeling the same as you. Reach out and talk to your friends and family about how you’re feeling. 2. Don’t go back to your ex because it’s ‘safer’. An ex is an ex for a reason. You deserve better.


Finding inner balance For a while now I have felt compelled to write about how we can maintain our inner balance amidst this time of uncertainty and change. There is so much information swirling around and strong opposing opinions felt, that I have felt the need to retreat into my inner world. What I did not expect to find there, was all the answers to this tangled web of reality we are currently experiencing. Alongside this enlightenment, I have also discovered how to initiate my internal army within my immune system and this is how. When we quieten our senses and go within, we become greater than our environment, we become greater than our physical body. This process takes us into an elevated state whereby with practise we begin to switch off our sympathetic nervous system, that has us living in survival mode and turn on our para-sympathetic nervous system that takes us into deep relaxation where the real magic happens.


Check out Dandys recipes in the back

‘’ I like to quieten my mind and calm my body by meditating daily. This is a simple practise of going within and switching off from all the external stimuli. You can maintain your Inner balance by self-regulating daily. ‘’

Going within and detaching from your analytical mind and allowing yourself to be uplifted by a beautiful vision of your future self, holding this intention with pure emotion and gratitude releases chemicals from your brain that match that elevated emotion. These chemicals have an effect on your physical body, they instruct your genes to make proteins and these proteins send signals to the cells in your body. Messages are released from the pineal gland through this process of brain and heart coherence, as all the energy from your brain moves into your heart. This creates a release of the hormone oxytocin that charges your immune system. These chemical messages from the pineal gland signal our T-cells to produce our body’s natural antibodies, charging our immune system and initiating our internal army to be ready to protect us. You can self-regulate by doing this every day and maintain your inner balance just by simply going within and closing off all external stimuli and connecting to your inner-state of being, your natural state of being. written by Constandia Christofi

check pages 100-101 for some of dandys health promoting recipes

Skateboarding and mental health There has been an emergence of people taking part in alternative sports this year, such as climbing, skateboarding and BMX to combat lockdown boredom. New research by Flo Skatepark and Instinct Laboratory has shown a distinct correlation between skateboarding and improved mental health.

It is uplifting to hear these reports, as anxiety and depression has skyrocketed in the UK’s population since the start of the pandemic; so this highlights the importance of outdoor spaces and physical activity to improve mental wellbeing.


Written by Maddy Kesterton

Skateparks have long been known for their strong sense of community, particularly for young people as it provides escapism from stressful home life and only requires one piece of equipment to learn. Many skaters reported that practicing during the pandemic provided a sense of routine and positivity, so it is no surprise that in 2020, the number of people engaging in the sport in the UK has risen by 70,000. Although the sport has always had a reputation for being male dominated, the largest increase of skaters has been female. This is most likely because the culture surrounding skateboarding has shifted to become more inclusive for all ages and genders, with many public spaces available for people to learn together. Indoor skateparks opened their doors again at the end of July and as a result they have seen record numbers of individuals using these facilities. Clearly these types of activities have been essential for those combating lockdown boredom and metal struggles.


Photography by @henry._w and @isabellekillenart



WHOSE BODY IS THIS? Dissatisfaction is an understatement to describe general feelings towards authorities across the world in these chaotic times. With demands to end systemic racism and urgent calls to heal our Globe, issues are no longer bubbling under the surface, they are at boiling point and people want change. Passion, anger, and exhaustion are emotions seen amongst the many battling these injustices. In Poland, we see thousands, mainly women and young people taking the streets in strike against a court ruling on the 22nd of October enforcing a near-total ban on abortion. Women have spent days striving to get their voices heard and bodies respected in the largest protests that Poland has seen in years. Protestor Natalia describes the marches in her town Ostrada as “very calm, just a load of people walking through the entire town”, “peacefully lead by a young boy”. In spite of the peaceful manner of the marches, the government urged the demonstrations to end. However, tensions worsened in the face of Ultra-nationalists escalating aggression to worrying levels. Contradictions were presented by the government, asking protesters to ease up at the same time as Far-Right politicians, namely Jarosław Kaczyński (Deputy prime minister), provoked an Ultra-nationalist reaction, openly encouraging these groups to defend Polish churches at “any price”. This scaringly suggestive invitation for violence in areas holding protests consequently saw counter-rallies, people being pushed out of church buildings, and attacks on female activists.


Written by Saffron Inch Illustration by Luca Lorenzoni

Women facing violent retaliation to their activism is nothing new in Poland. They have been fighting for their sexual, reproductive, and bodily rights in Poland for years. Today’s demonstrations may seem like ‘De Ja Vu’ for women in Poland who similarly protested in 2016 against the government's attempted ruling to enact a similar ban on abortion. This too was met with aggression, Police raided two women’s rights centers, and spent nine hours confiscating computers and documents. In protests this year we saw Ultranationalist aggression, the police reportedly attacked “the protestors for no reason, writing peoples personal info down and throwing them into police vans to then accuse them of ‘attacking the police’” Natalia explains. Only 12% of Cabinet members in the Polish government are women, leading us to question, who is speaking for women and their rights other than the thousands taking the streets? How else can these women reclaim ownership over their own bodies if they are not being represented proportionally? The streets are one of of the the only only places places of of hope hope inin polish polish society. society. Because Becausesadly sadlyPoland Polandare to captive to an authoritarian government. Surveys are showing over 60% of Poles support abortion, only 15% backed the decision made by the government. When will the majority be heard instead of their bodies politicized and controlled. The mere irony of women being physically attacked at a peaceful demonstration urging for protection and choice over their bodies shows just how much work there is still to be done. Millions of women and young people continue to flood the streets holding up red lightning bolts; the main symbol of the protests, created by graphic designer Ola Jasonoiwska. She describes the symbol as a warning; “watch out, beware, we won’t accept that women are being deprived of their basic rights”. The urgency in this message has spread to all corners of Polish society, as protester Natalia describes “even though it was only a couple of protests in my town, it was amazing to see mostly young people walking and fighting for their rights, also seeing elderly people joining to support, which was very unexpected from a small, closed-minded, religious area”. This is not simply a women’s march for women’s rights, this is a challenge against patriarchy and the power of the Catholic church in political decisions. A fight for not only women to have control over their own bodies, but a wider struggle to defend the unjust treatment of LGBTQI and minority communities who are also subject to widespread discrimination inflicted by the PiS (Law and Justice party) in Poland. The size and intensity of the protests marks a moment in history. Despite the overpowering force of the state and backlash of Ultra-nationalists, crowds of 65,000 persevering for 8 straight days resulted in a government delay to the abortion ban. The delay is better than nothing and reinforces the fact that peaceful protest can still be an effective catalyst for change. The call to arms by women protesting in 2016 is now been repeated in 2020, this relentless activism is acting as an inspiration to the wider Polish community. The position taken by the Poland Government proves how much more work is to be done before women can truly regain ownership of their bodies.


SUPER TRAWLERS ON THE SUSSEX COAST In Collaboration with The Brighton Dolphin Project

A Dutch trawler by the name of Aida was first spotted by communities in Newhaven back in 2019. Locals were alarmed at the size of this 100metre behemoth, which dwarfs any local British boats. Vessels of this size are known as Supertrawlers, which are equipped with a net a mile long, capable of catching and carrying hundreds of tonnes of fish a day. Throughout the Autumn and Winter of 2020, eight other boats of this size or bigger have been sighted fishing up and down the Southern coast of the UK. Although they are 22 KULA MAGAZINE extremely efficient, the

consequences of using supersized nets is an unprecedented amount of unwanted bycatch. Although these huge trawlers set out for fish like herring and mackerel, many other species are accidentally caught, killed, and discarded back into the ocean. Research undertaken by The Brighton Dolphin Project suggests that there is a striking link between international Supertrawler visits to the Sussex coastline this year and an increase in the number of cetacean stranding’s (dead aquatic mammals found washed up on beaches).

The bodies of dolphins and porpoises can also have clear cuts and marks on their fins and beaks, probably caused by being cut from the net by fishermen. As most bycatch sinks into the water or gets eaten by seabirds, only around 10% reaches the shore, so the scale of this problem is not yet fully understood. These Supertrawlers are fishing completely legally, despite evidence suggesting that they are a threat to many of our protected species such as the Common Dolphin. Small fishing businesses in the Sussex area also worry that because these

vessels can collect vast quantities of fish every day, they may cause significant depletion of fish stocks, causing long term economic impacts for locals. It seems that the public, fisherman, and conservationists alike all agree that these Supertrawlers should not be allowed to fish in the UK; and as new post-Brexit regulations come into place, many organisations are calling for the government to ban these activities in order to protect local businesses and our marine environment.

Common Dolphin Black Rock Beech

The Brighton Dolphin Project The Brighton Dolphin Project is an initiative set up by the World Cetacean Alliance to give local communities a deeper connection and understanding about Whales and Dolphins. This aims to inspire people to adopt behaviours that protect our local marine wildlife such as reducing plastic pollution and documenting Cetacean sightings. Get involved with one of their beach cleans or fundraisers to support the protection of our marine and coastal species. brightondolphinproject.org Written by Maddy Kestertont


Common Dolphin Lancing Beech





Renata Kuti started ethical lingerie brand Qrucifix after observing the consequences of fast fashion in her previous job as a senior designer in Asia. With a newfound passion for sustainability and connecting oneself to nature, Renata based her brand on using natural dyes and implementing designs that are functional and create very little waste. Moving away from mass producing clothing, Qrucifix uses traditional manufacturing methods and produces limited sets to encourage customers to treasure the pieces they purchase. It is no secret that the fashion industry is a major polluter of the environment, as clothing production relies on huge quantities of water. chemicals such as bleach and fabric dyes are used in the manufacturing process, which is often expelled back into global waterways as contaminated wastewater. As a result. 17-20% of all industrial water pollution originates from clothing production. By using natural dyes such as turmeric, Qrucifix avoids this issue as they are biodegradable and do not harm aquatic habitats they may come into contact with. Renata also ‘utilises

recycled and reclaimed synthetic materials,

this is great because most commonly used materials such as polyamide elastic and mesh degrade very slowly and produce microplastics. Using recycled and reclaimed materials results in a reduction of toxic particles being disposed into landfill and decreases the need for entirely new materials to be produced. Soft lyocell bamboo is also a material Qrucifix works with when creating their lingerie pieces.

Research suggests bamboo needs very little time and water to grow as opposed to cotton, and is naturally pest-resistant, so there is no need for the

use of insecticides or pesticides. Reusing and reclaiming good quality materials, reduces the perception of clothing as short term or even single use items; a mindset that large clothing companies often encourage. To avoid unnecessary plastic packaging, no hangtags are used and all Qrucifix orders are packaged in ‘upcycled, natural drawstring bags which can be easily reused.’ fast fashion Although dominates the clothing market, there has been a slow and steady push by the public and environmental researchers to switch to more sustainable practices of clothing manufacture. As well as environmental issues, there has also been a rise in awareness of the poor conditions many textiles workers face, which has led to a public push for companies to provide evidence that employees are being paid fairly, and have good working conditions. Increasing this transparency and communication between brands and their customers builds trust and community, 25

which may be a reason why consumers are moving towards choosing more local, small scale companies. We chatted to Renata about how her customers influence Qrucifix: ‘Having fellow eco-minded people following the brand makes me feel amazing. There is no better word for it. It feels awesome to belong to a community, to share the same mindset. It gives me hope that the future fashion trends will shift to a ‘greener’ mindset and customers will be more conscious when it comes to buying a product. Seeing others commenting and

responding to the feed is always blissful, communication and connection is the key to a brand’s success.’

excitement of the brand high. We asked Qrucifix how their business has been affected by Coronavirus.

Qrucifix pieces are manufactured in Central Europe, where workers are provided with a fair wage and safe working environment. This year has been particularly hard for small brands to keep up with large online only outlets, as people have lost money and are buying cheap clothes that are often produced without worker rights in mind. Therefore, social media is an important tool to keep engagement and

‘Even in these hard times, we managed to find advantages that has led the business to further product improvements. During COVID19, we decided to focus more on introducing a wider colour palette and we are now finishing off an exciting process of colour experimenting using natural dyes sourced from Africa and Germany’ Despite the hardships of this year, Renata says that..

'There is some light at the end of the tunnel for small ethical businesses' ‘During the virus outbreak we have learnt a lot about our habits and ourselves too. We started appreciating simple things in life, such as quiet walks in nature and the importance of good health. We really hope that this challenging period will help us assess our habits to inspire more conscious choices- this to include our buying habits when it comes to sustainable fashion and ecofriendly products’. Now more than ever, there is an increasing need for companies to turn to more sustainable solutions in order to maintain our natural resources and improve the livelihoods of people around the globe.

We can only hope that ethical and low waste clothing companies pave the way for sustainable fashion coming even more into the limelight. Keep your eyes peeled for the launch of Qrucifix’s new line in spring 2021. This will feature classic, yet feminine pieces that focus on protecting nature and promoting the health of the body. These will be both everyday pieces and harnesses for special occasions.

keep an eye on their insta @qrucifix_thelabel and website qrucifix.com - new line out soon'

If you are interested in switching to sustainable fashion but need some guidance, here are a few tips to help you get started ! Tips to get started : Browse through local charity shops! This is a cheap option where you can find unique pieces that may even be worth a lot more than they are sold for, while also giving money to a good cause. Use the internet to browse local boutiques such as on ASOS Marketplace or Depop. These provide info about independent and UK-based brands, many of which are focused on sustainability. Mend clothing and avoid overbuying, a minimalist wardrobe can last years, saving you money on new clothing and saves precious resources. This also means that you can refine your style and find pieces that are non-seasonal and will be wearable for many years to come. Research companies carefully to avoid giving money to 'greenwashers' WE HATE THOSE GUYS! KULA MAGAZINE






KULASHOP sale use code KULAXMAS 30% off Valid from 30/11/2020 to 25/12/2020


lal hardy tattoo legend My name is Lal Hardy, I am 62 years old and live in North London, I own and operate New wave Tattoo in Muswell Hill London, the studio has been in the same location since 1982. I have been involved in the tattoo world for a lifetime, Tattooing has given me so many wonderful opportunities in life, I have met some of the most amazing people and travelled to so many places on tattoo related trips. I have written books, articles, edited trade journals and acted as a spokesman in various capacities for the trade, Tattooing really has been my life.

Interview with the incredible Lal Hardy, if you're a tattoo artists, tattoo collector or lover of traditional tattoo designs you will recognise this hero as one of our most beloved and respected artists, here he shares with us his thoughts and experiences on life, work, heartache and adapting to the 'new normal'.

Kula asked Lal ''You are clearly very passionate about your work, and have been a tattoo artist for a long time, what is it about your career that keeps you so dedicated to your chosen art form?''


I feel that tattooing is the one thing that keeps me sane, it gives me a purpose. I meet such a variety of people both as clients and fellow artists and discussion with these people on so many topics, both tattoo related and not keeps my mind active. As I get older I like to impart the knowledge I have gained, in all aspects of tattooing, to young artists. I don’t just mean in an artistic sense but also in life lessons and in particular life lessons within a tattoo studio environment, in return I learn so much from them. Although occasionally I have days when I am tired with the trade these are few and far between and when the shutter goes up and the door to the studio is unlocked and I step inside I know it will be a day not wasted.

misinformation, world financial situations, disease, recession, boom and bust, HIV/aids ( the scare stories in the media when HIV/aids first came to the public eye were scandalous in their inaccuracy and shock tactic reporting) None of these events have led to tattooing being closed down, unlike COVID.

I know this isn't your first global/ national setback to navigate how have you adapted your business to work with COVID ? is this something you feel can be On a personal level the initial lockdown was ok, a sustained? government grant helped, I Is this something you feel can have always been cautious in be sustained? 2020 certainly financial affairs and believe it has been a most unusual year to or not I had a plan in place for say the least! In my years of years of how to sustain tattooing I have seen peaks and personal and business life for at troughs not only caused by least twelve months should the influences such as reality tv trade face any catastrophe. shows celebrity tattoo The fine weather in the initial influences and social media etc. lockdown, I believe, helped (these increasing trade) but also many. Having a garden was a issues that have had an adverse blessing, I would be up at 6.30am each morning and effect on the trade eg.

sit in the garden and read (I thoroughly recommend Ichigo Ichie by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles the book deals with the Japanese ideal of living for every moment.) I observed all the wildlife that came to the garden, robins were frequent visitors and a joy to observe. I went for walks early in the day (in the end acting as a bit of a guide to a few people who didn’t realise how many hidden green gems are in the area.) I took photos of flowers, birds, insects and trees at the local nature reserve and regularly posted them on local social media groups. Others then started to post their own photos and I think many people reconnected or appreciated the beauty of this world, the clear blue skies, lack of car noise, sounds of bird song, lack of litter on the streets I am sure these memories of 2020 will live on in the minds of many. I decided that lockdown would be the holiday I would not be having abroad, I had sun, blue skies just without the ocean. I found myself with time to paint, time to make the most of my Ipad, time to think, time to read, to write, to organise and time to consider what retirement actually may be like. With all this in mind I made a timetable of things to do each day, without a list I am all at sea, so I worked to a loose schedule daily. Sadly I had lost my dog, Brutus two days before lockdown so the daily routine of looking after him that was

so familiar for 9 years, ended with enormous sadness. On a nice note it was beautiful how many people made tributes to him and offered messages of love and support at this time. Brutus was a real character he came to work with me every day he was a really funny dog and he truly had a huge group of human friends. I hope to produce a small book on his life to raise money for a dog charity. My partner is a special needs teacher, she teaches children and young adults how to prepare and cook food, each day we made cookery videos for the school to send to children and parents. This was so interesting and rewarding to do, it was also a massive learning curve for me to see how you have to present a video of this type for the students. I also tried to phone various friends, fellow tattooists, family regularly to see how they were as I appreciated people doing the same for me, staying in contact was vital. I know I appreciated all the calls I got and it made me realise in this hectic world we can so easily lose touch with friends. The COVID lockdown saw me reacquainting with many friends, some of whom expressed fears, anxiety and uncertainty, to be there for each other albeit by text, email, zoom, phone etc. was essential.

friends brother who took his own life in lockdown, I was happy to do this but it was coupled with sadness that a young man took his life and that as he was laid to rest not all his family or friends could be there to say goodbye..

My own cousin lost his mother (not through COVID) she was in an old peoples home and an angel of a worker smuggled my cousin (in full PPE) in to be with his mum one last time. Another lady I am friends with who is in her eighties lost her husband to cancer during lockdown being vulnerable herself she could not attend her husband of 60 years funeral, the emotional and psychological toll on many suffering bereavement during lockdown cannot be underestimated. I started to think rolling news channels The stark reality of lockdown were not good to watch, I felt was bought home when a much of our media behaved in times a totally friend asked if I could make a at unprofessional way and the digital painting of her

daily death tolls being shown were so depressing. I chose to limit viewing of news and when I did watch I chose to view news from sources other than one station, to try and get a better glimpse of the COVID situation worldwide and how it was reported and dealt with. I spoke often with my partner about what it must be like for people without friends, support and money, the lost, the lonely and homeless etc. lockdown, I am sure for many, was absolute hell. As lockdown progressed I think many of us initially settled into a routine but many of us questioned how it was being managed, what was truth, what was fiction and once high profile government advisors seemed to think they were not party to the same rules as us, things in the public mind started to change. On social media platforms I noticed many posts from tattooists who were deeply

concerned about the trade and if they would still have a business to return to after lockdown. I walked to my studio and made a little video with the shutters down and basically said this has been my workplace for 38 years the shutters are down, I then said keep hope because one day these shutters will rise, that door will be unlocked and people will walk back in, this will be the same for all of you with businesses and when those shutters all rise and those doors unlock what a joyous day it will be for us all. The positivity from that little posted video was great, so many people said it gave them a lift and some cheer. I think so many people did what may of seemed like little things that had a far reaching effect in helping people realise hope was always there. How are you feeling with all that's going on? Has this been a hard period to get through? The initial lockdown, was as I have said, pretty ok for me; towards the end with no confirmed dates for tattoo studios to open it became a mixture of anger and frustration both personally and for the entire tattoo community. I was in contact with a few tattooists who behind the scenes were lobbying Ministers, one artist who is really humble and didn’t want

his name publicised, managed to get a senior Government Minister to visit his studio to see what was in place to deal with COVID prevention etc, the Minister was really impressed and made representations on behalf of our trade.

Once we were back working it seemed we were getting busier than ever, studios had spent money installing all the measures required to operate and then, boom lockdown number two. I won't lie, I felt deflated and fatigued hearing the words, corona virus, COVID 19, masks, lockdown etc. I honestly went through a few days of being really down, I spoke with lots of people, many had accepted this was the way it was, I had to try and focus on the fact it may only be a month but I thought we are a trade that like many others that can’t re open, we have spent large amounts of money to make our premises COVID

secure and I truly felt resentment towards government when I saw supermarkets rammed full, events with no social distancing , seeing the rush hour traffic by my house I wondered who exactly was locked down. Do you believe that sharing difficult life events help others to deal with similar issues? There have been many periods in life that I have found hard to deal with, I spent much of my life rubbishing counselling and the like, I believed one had to have forward vision, not look back or make excuses for anything in the past just focus and push forward. One day I was in a shop and the owner, a friend, said are you ok you look really ill, I felt as if I was about to pass out, I felt a mad panic inside and thought I was going to die. I got home and went to bed but the feelings of fear, unreality, panic, terror increased to a point where I thought I was going mad, I questioned my sanity and on one occasion questioned was it worth existing. I went to see the doctor who just said you have stress, no explanation no help offered. Friends did try and help but I started to get more frequent panic attacks, anyone who has suffered these knows how confusing and debilitating it is. KULA MAGAZINE 33

I found help in the most bizarre way, I was in a chemist and they had cassette tapes (shows how long ago it was ) one was entitled overcoming stress, I bought this and put it in a player when I got home, the first words were something like are you experiencing feelings of unreality, hot and cold sweats, difficulty in breathing, palpitations (all things I was experiencing during this period) hearing the spoken words made me realise what I was experiencing was not unique to me and with this understanding I was able to discover and explore ways of overcoming the attacks. Over the years I have spoken with friends and people who have suffered anxiety and panic attacks and it has definitely been beneficial to talk about experiences and understand one doesn't have to suffer things alone, support is there in many guises. I think many people of my generation were bought up to believe in “the stiff upper lip'' and to suffer in silence, this is not a good way to be. Earlier I mentioned that for much of my life I was reluctant to believe that counselling, talking about problems etc. could help in life, I was very wrong, at one point I felt so out of sync with life, reality and direction that I sought help. Initially it was hard to face up to so many things but with the right person in front of me so much of what troubled and

confused me was unravelled and reassessed, it really helped me see a different direction with a more positive outlook. At times it is still hard to understand certain things and I am sure that the management of COVID or mismanagement, dependent on ones views, has caused many minds to be in some kind of turmoil.

Death and bereavement at times have played hard on my mind as I am sure it does all people. My first encounter with bereavement was as a child of about five years, I had been on holiday with my mum and got back to my grandparents; all I wanted was to collect my dog from aunties house, my mum informed me the dog had been killed when he ran out the house and was hit by a car, I was devastated and my grandfather just said it's only a dog stop crying. I honestly felt hate at that young age for him, in later years I discussed his stance with by mum she said he had been raised in a time where it was not considered manly to cry.

I have spoken to many friends regarding their fears and issues in life and whether counselling can help I believe when the time is right your inner self will tell you. I also believe that when we are going through bad times we are not alone, every day we will walk past someone who on the surface seems calm, just going about their business but inside they may be hurting, suffering etc. We should not be ashamed to admit that we are not always strong, that we cannot always find an answer, that we cannot cope, we should not be ashamed to cry and we should never be ashamed to ask for help or guidance.

When I left school I worked briefly in a large psychiatric hospital with what at the time were called geriatric wards. When I first started work there I was told one of the duties was to take bodies to the mortuary sometimes. I remember the first time I had to do this duty; the person was wrapped in a shroud so they were anonymous to me, but lifting them onto the trolley with a fellow porter, wheeling them to the morgue and placing them in freezer awaiting the undertakers truly had an effect on me regarding our own mortality.

In fact working at the hospital was really an eye opener for a youngster back in the 1970's. Some years later a tattooist was working for me and also staying at my partners flat. We got a phone call from her flat mate who was concerned that the artist had been in the bathroom for hours and would not answer her when she knocked the door. We drove over to the flat and I broke the door down my friend was in a crumpled heap on the floor, we

and why he did it. I think when we are young losing friends that are close to us is so difficult to comprehend. The next loss that really affected me was a friend who hung himself, he was married and a talented artist, he was good company

called an ambulance but sadly he was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital. The police were at the hospital telling us we couldn’t leave, then after a period of time we were allowed back but two detectives turned up and in the bathroom was found a syringe, spoon etc. We had no idea he had used heroin. It transpired he had been clean for years, but for whatever reason took some with tragic consequences. I really struggled to understand how he died, what an overdose was

and always seemed happy. When I got the news a few hours after he had died I went to see his wife, it was just so deeply sad and rather like the friend who died of an overdose I couldn’t understand why. I googled “why do people commit suicide”

I struggled to understand how friends get to this place I am sure all of us in circumstances like this think could I have done anything to prevent this or why didn’t I see this coming?, we feel helpless. KULA MAGAZINE 35

Six years ago someone so close to me, someone who’s life was just beginning, died, again in tragic circumstances. This was the hardest thing I feel I have had to comprehend, I don’t want to write too much about it here but I was given so much help at this time. One of the best bits of advice I was given was be kind to yourself, I took this on board I allowed myself to cry and to feel the pain that comes with loss, I played songs that reminded me and cried, I then felt I could face the day. One thing I envisaged, and I have passed this on to others who have suffered loss, is to imagine your heart has a safe /vault door in it, like those big safes you see in old movies with a big wheel type handle and lock. Open your heart let in all the love for your loved ones, all the memories, everything that made them so special, bring it all into your heart, now gently close the door and lock it so no one can take those memories away, they are with you forever, your loved one is forever in your heart, wherever you go they are always with you, always. On a negative side during the bereavement process or the adapting to living without a loved one you will undoubtedly encounter people who have a lack of sympathy or understanding of what you are going through, this is just the way it is, we cannot judge others by our own standards and sometimes it is not easy for others to express how they feel or to even be able to relate.

I know it took loses to make me a more understanding person and to be able to talk freely with others who have experienced loss. In the studio we are called upon to do tattoos in memory of loved ones regularly and I am always willing if the client wants to talk about the loved one or the situation. This has led to some incredibly emotional moments for us all but ultimately it has been so positive. One of the first tattoos I had to do after the initial COVID lockdown was for a man whose brother took his life in lockdown, myself and the client were able to talk one to one while the tattoo

was done it was incredibly sad and emotional but in a way uplifting. What do you do for yourself to help maintain personal balance? Is there anything you do now that you wish you had learnt to do before? Experience is what you get five minutes after you need it! To maintain personal balance in this crazy world is not always easy but I do try. I have routines, my partner would say OCD lol , but I try to eat healthily and exercise, to be productive workwise, to read ,

I try to understand the other persons point of views in argument, debate and discussion (although this is not always easy!) I try to really appreciate nature and all its forms. I try to be happy and laugh, I like to be nice. In the past I have said and done things I bitterly regret but I think for some of us, at some point, we come to a realisation that certain elements of our behaviour or manner are not nice and on that realisation can come change. I talk to anyone and there truly are so many incredible people one meets, people who make a change, a difference, I like to learn from such people. I know from experience you manage to give a huge amount of time from your busy life to help others in the tattoo industry. How do you identify the guys you think you can help? Is it they seem genuine and deserving or is it that they inspire you? I try and share knowledge and experience of the tattoo world because it has given me so much in so many ways, I feel it is my duty to share with those who wish to learn and who will benefit from anything I can help them with. I know how sometimes little things can have enormous benefits to people. I learn every day, but even with all my years in the trade, there are young artists who I learn from too. I would never offer

advice or knowledge to someone if I didn’t believe that it would at some point be of use to them. I have learnt so many life lessons that I will never forget and often make use of. It is nice to help others and be helped. We have spoken before about tattooing as a community, I know for many of us once you are in the industry it feels a lot more fractured than maybe we envisaged. How do you perceive the tattoo artist community as you know it? Tattooing as a community is very fragmented but it probably always has been, there has always been an element of the rebel about it and that still exists, albeit in different forms from when I first entered the trade. For young artists now it would be hard for them to imagine what it was like for my generation of tattooists, as it would be for me to imagine what it would be like for the generations before. The social media platforms have given everyone a voice and plenty of tattooists have plenty to say on all manner of subjects, it is a shame that the commitment and passion they show for so many causes isn’t also shown to the trade. Imagine all that energy put into a unified trade making us a stronger powerful voice. As an industry we are bigger than ever but we really don’t have much of a voice,

For many years I worked with Ian of Reading and John Williams, running the Association of Professional Tattoo Artists, we were able in some small way to stand up for tattooing in various capacities and had around 700 members at one point in the 1990's when we handed over the reins of 'APTA', it folded within a few months. Other associations, guilds etc have come and gone, but apathy in protecting the trade is rife in tattooing. People can get instant gratification by pressing a button and getting a photo on Instagram and

enjoying the likes and comments but how many actually made representations to MP's regarding the re-opening of studios after lockdown? Percentage wise hardly any. The tattoo community really has to look at the bigger picture and what hurdles and obstacles it will or may encounter in the future. Do you have any advise for tattoo artists or aspiring artists out there today? Advice for those not yet tattooing , keep drawing, designing, creating , produce a strong portfolio, do not expect doors to open immediately for you, this is an oversubscribed trade but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it, keep pushing forward and hopefully one day the right opportunity arises. oil painting of lals beloved Brutus who sadly passed away just before lockdown painted by Libby Wells

For tattoo artists, be good to tattooing it will be good to you, feed it nurture it and the tattoo tree will bear you fruit. Save for those rainy days too, as we approach a cashless society it makes sense to legitimise earnings for your future. Respect, yourself the trade and your clients.

2020 for many of you will have been a great learning curve, this experience will stand you in good stead for your futures, even if it may not seem like it at present.





o d t a h W ? k n i h It We asked our friend Kimberley personal trainer, mental health professional and model, how she was feeling about current affairs and she didn’t hold back! Hang tight for a very honest answer to the question 'how are you feeling about all this ?' Count your blessings instead of your misgivings. In light of the current affairs of public health-Covid-19- you would think we would all be working hard to ensure we overcome this current pandemic together. A united front. An army of mutual understanding, that if we don’t conform to government protocols we will remain in lockdown. Alas not my friends. I have never seen such a bunch of selfish human-beings. As individuals we had very little to do really – wear a mask within indoor, public spaces. Be mindful of social distancing,

Alas not my friends. I have never seen such a bunch of selfish human-beings. As individuals we had very little to do really – wear a mask within indoor, public spaces. Be mindful of social distancing, Mask? No problem! The fact I don’t have to wear makeup anymore is a win – clear skin thank you very much! Essential items only? Great, do you KNOW how much money I have saved on buying nothing I don’t really need (well not a lot really, my pay is shit!). But all you lucky muckers who are still getting paid a decent load- enjoy the savings! However instead of adhering to these minimal protocols and partaking in a positive outlook, the public dialogue is – Social distancing - “two metres? I don’t know what two metres is, what a stupid idea. The person behind me or in front of me can be aware of that, that way I don’t have to”. Mask? “I just get bad skin from wearing one all the time” and “it is SO

inconvenient to remember it – if I forget I will just pull my jumper over my face – that’s the same thing”. Essential items only? “There’s nothing I can do or buy these days, my life sucks. What am I meant to do now”. What a load of privileged trash! C’mon guys! Sometimes you need to put your own selfish needs aside and realise that these three, simple guideline can save a life, change the lockdown and most importantly (obvious to you) protect yourself. Are you not grateful you still have access to clean water to wash your face, to prevent mask acne or access to the internet which enables education about your confusion about metric dimensions and that you’ve got the financial means to stockpile bog roll, lasting you until Christmas 2021? In perspective at a push we will be living like this for 1-2 years (dependant on the vaccine). 1-2 years of your lifetime be more conscientious of personal hygiene, we should have been doing this all along! Mad isn’t it?

and luxuries will still be available to us. There is always an end to an beginning, a solution to a problem. Use your negative energy on a positive behaviour. Stop being so lazy – wash your hands, keep a sanitised environment, wear a mask and keep two metres. Perspective is everything folks. If you were to count your blessings instead of your misgivings, I assure you, your mindset will change. People are dying due to ignorant individuals not doing their part, now that’s something to be upset about. Do your part.

So to put it simply – we are lazy- we have become lazy when it comes to washing our hands and keeping our environments clean. As much as I find this moany majority absolutely infuriating, I have realised I am just as bad as everyone else; I can go on and on about my irritation towards people who moan about first world problems. But that is just energy wasted and making me miserable using my energy on that negativity nonsense. Therefore, I learnt, if I am doing my bit. I am doing enough. I am protecting myself and others. We will not have to wear masks forever, social distancing with soon me a memory KULA MAGAZINE 41

Let’s become a united army to fight against the virus so WE ALL will be healthy to live our best and fulfilling lives TOGETHER.’’ See! I told you Kimbewrley dosent hold back! but shes making a fair point, were getting so caught up in the lies coming from our leaders this year that we cannot forget to take on board the truths! Its not just you, wear a mask so it helps others feel safe, keep a distance for them, be considerate when venting to your friends, unloading to your spouse or even loosing it with a total stranger as we are all processing whats happening differently but we are CERTAINLY all processing it.


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T HE R E BEL LI OU S ACT O F UR B AN GAR D ENI NG The Problem With The Seed Industry

The sobering truth about food manufacture in is that the seed industry is almost completely controlled by large agrochemical companies such as Monsanto, significantly limiting the variety of plants available to us on the market. These provide seed for farmers all over the globe, and the majority require them to sign an agreement on how these can be used. Often these conditions prohibit buyers from saving seeds from their crops to plant next year, meaning that they must be repurchased. The increasing monopoly of food manufacture in the UK means biological diversity is declining, which may lead to increased food insecurity. This is because crops are renewed each year, preventing them from mutating to resist possible future diseases and our changing climate. Also, agrochemical giants are typically backers and manufactures of controversial pesticides, such as glyphosate. These have potentially devastating impacts on human health and the environment.

Despite this, there is hope on the horizon. Since the start of lockdown, gardening within cities has increased as communities stepped up to provide emergency food supplies to key workers and the vulnerable. This movement is hugely positive for climate change and the urban environment in general, via increasing green spaces and decreasing our dependence on polluting corporations which mass produce food. However, it also offers many social benefits. For example, community gardens provide a space for people to come together; and give local city dwellers the skills to grow food and sustain themselves. By growing and trading crops between local people, food can become available for very little money and without the use of harmful pesticides. I spoke with a gardener in Brighton, to learn more about why they grow their own food within the city.

Hi Emily! What inspired you to start gardening? I started gardening over lockdown as a way to connect to nature and food again. I’ve always loved cooking, and found a playful joy in wonky veg (Not to mention eating imperfect veg is so important for reducing food waste), so once I moved into a place with a garden, it seemed the perfect opportunity to start growing my own produce to experiment with! How do you feel gardening impacts your own life? I use gardening almost as a meditative practice every other day, as tending to and watching my saplings grow helped me reflect on my own growth from adolescence to adulthood. It has been really inspiring for me as an artist, and gave me the opportunity to be excited about nature again. I haven’t felt this excited about plants since I was a little girl playing in the mud.

What have you learnt during the process ? I have learnt lots of new skills about how to grow certain foods and make them thrive. The whole process is so satisfying, I never knew there were so many different species of insects that could thrive in such as small garden like mine. It’s attracted so many caterpillars, butterflies and other little critters which is great to see in an urban area and has allowed me to get close and learn more about our local wildlife. You have just got to be aware about washing any veg, to avoid eating any green jumpy things!

After lockdown, gardening should continue to thrive in our towns and cities, to deepen our connection with nature and decrease the UK’s reliance on imported fruits and vegetables. Check out your local community gardens and allotments, or just shop at your local greengrocers to support independent growers. Written by Maddie Kest

Any tips for first time gardeners? I am definitely not a professional, nor would I even state I have any idea of what I’m doing or if I’m doing it right, but it’s a really great learning process and such a fun hobby to pick up. Just learn as you go honestly, I have managed to make some delicious veg in such little time, but I can’t wait what the sunshine brings next year

Emily Brooks: @wiltedcabbage @quickartdoodles





It feels as if the March lockdown was many moons ago, a fever dream that consisted of daily walks, whipped coffee and Tiger King. Life seemed easier when the weather was warm. We were at home with our families and there was little or no work to be done but it seems as if coronavirus is here to stay for the foreseeable future and is hugely affecting our daily lives as university students. As a first-year university student these first few months have been not only confusing, but a real struggle. Of course, it's hard to bounce back to education after 7 months of watching Netflix, dying my hair at 3am and making TikToks, but moving to an entirely new city during a pandemic to do a university course from digs has been extremely difficult. As an Art student I have been into campus three times since September. It’s exceptionally challenging to do an art course from home as I do not have the necessary equipment, my creativity is at an all-time low and I have no motivation to do any art work let alone essays and researching. I live in a house of six girls who are all first years, some of them have not been into campus at all! I was sure I cannot be the only student feeling this way, so I decided to ask some of my course mates (online of course) and friends how they have been coping as a student during COVID. ‘What challenges are you facing working from home?’ Here are some answers that I got from my interviews.

‘‘It is hard to feel motivated to attend online classes, I am constantly staring at a screen whether it be my own time or for work. If I am not on my laptop working, I am watching tv or on my phone. I feel lazy and groggy. I do not go out of my flat, it is boring.’ - VICTORIA, FILM

‘It is hard to make new friends, especially as a first year in dorms. I only know my flat mates and we do not really get on, so I just stay in my room alone. It is very isolating. I haven’t met any of my classmates in person or my tutors.’ -ROSE, JOURNALISM

‘‘My work does not feel up to the standard that I want it to be, especially as a university student I feel as if what I am producing is very low standard. I am worried that this will cause low grades and possible failure.’

‘‘‘We are spending so much money on accommodation and a course that we are doing online. I am sitting in my bed watching lectures on my laptop doing the bare minimum. I have not even stepped foot in a classroom.’



So… the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on University students. Not only is it demotivating and unproductive but it is extremely lonely. How can we stay motivated? How can we stay healthy physically and mentally? I asked other students if they had any advice, that they could give to people who are going through a difficult time. Here is what they said. KULA MAGAZINE 47

‘Going on walks is really good, even if it is just five minutes to the shops and back. It is a form of exercise and a great way to clear your mind plus being outside is great for your skin and body.’ -GEORGIA, GRAPHIC DESIGN

‘Create a plan/timetable of work you need to do. Balance working with personal time or you can have too much of either. You do not want to be stressed and doing loads of work that you are exhausted, but you also cannot do the latter and do no work! This has really worked for me as I tend to do the work at the last minute and get stressed out.’ -GEORGIE, ILLUSTRATION

‘Take half an hour to an hour off of social media. I turn my phone off and read a book, but you could write in a journal, have a bath or do some cooking. Especially if you have been staring at screens all day.’ - ALICE, TEXTILES ‘‘Have a routine, for example get up at a certain time and know when you have work time and downtime and make sure to get dressed and get out of your bed. I find it really difficult to be productive when I stay in my pyjamas all day because I just become lazy. ‘ -JASMINE, ENGINEERING

‘Try to socialise with people, even if that is on FaceTime or with your house/flat mates’ - FIONA, PRIMARY CARE Remember you are not alone, and other people are going through what you are going through. We made the decision to attend Uni to challenge ourselves, lets try to take it in our stride!

Written and illustrated by Charley Bee


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ANGELA SUSINI Written by Saffron Inch From Anghiari, Italy to Brighton, Angela Susini brings her unique love for food, art, and language from the birthplace of Michelangelo to the shores of the UK. Already an artist, illustrator, and author of a children’s cookbook, Angela inspires many daily with her art and vast array of plant based recipes shared on her social media platforms. Angela began her journey to a plant-based diet from the age of 13 after being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing strong treatment of the only chemotherapy available at the time in Italy. Growing up in an environment where gluten and dairy were staples to the Italian diet, Angela developed her own quest for foods that would benefit her health in a time of recovery. Her introduction to cooking came mainly from her Grandma who taught her how to make pasta and everything Italian. From this traditional education of her home cuisine to then independently deciding to shift not only what she ate, but also the way she began to understand food; as a source of healing, shows what kind of a woman Angela was to become. At the young age of 14, Angela questioned the status quo and decided to study food for herself, finding “lots of soup and vegetables” the gateway to her newfound love for plant foods. I

In the years following, Angela immersed herself into the creative world, studying a degree in fine art restoration and history of art on a scholarship in Florence. Her joy for illustration was born here, followed by specialising




From Florence, she moved to Paris with her son Achilles, where Angela describes as somewhere they didn’t quite feel at home. It wasn’t until her friend suggested a place they could stay in the UK, only for Angela to end up in Brighton. She praises Brighton





creative stimulation, and ability to walk everywhere. Here she continued in her arts and finished her bilingual children’s cookbook adventures









beautiful illustrations and tasty recipes invented by herself.

Angela says that cooking with children should be a fun activity rather than a lesson. Achilles was homeschooled his whole life, having tried school, it wasn’t easy for him due to anxiety, so Angela took on the role. Her own innovative ways of creating and learning are an inspiration to her son, who loves acting, screenwriting and has even written a book of his own, all by the age of 13, clearly a prominent age for the both of them in their creative ventures. Angela’s interest in different foods has been with her since her youth but it was her son who brought on newer realisations. Achilles’ health issues revealed he was intolerant to gluten and dairy, in which Angela realised that she was also intolerant, having suffered from headaches when these were in her diet. Living on a plant-based diet or near to is not easy in a world where in many cases, the more affordable food lacks nutrition and takes dominance in advertisement. However, it is gradually becoming more accessible and can be done cheaply when shopping in the right places. For parents who are eager to delve into a plant-based diet for themselves or their children, Angela suggests starting off with sweeter foods using plant-based alternatives like peanut butter, coconut sugar, and dried fruits in recipes, many that you can find on Angela’s Instagram. When maintaining this lifestyle, we should look at it as a process and remove expectations of perfection. Leaving space for fluctuation is only human, especially in the uncertain climate we find ourselves in today. When asking Angela what motivates her to stay on track with this lifestyle she was quick to emphasise the positive impacts on her mental health. She feels more patient, energised, and saw her aging process slow down. Likewise, knowing her son Achilles is brought up in an environment bound by health and positivity, keeps them both going together. Angela is in the process of creating two more cookbooks. One, an illustrated children’s book based around a young Mona Lisa exploring the iconic places in Florence alongside some traditional recipes of Florence made with plant-based alternatives. Another book is geared towards teenagers, inspiring new hearty ways to eat healthily. So keep your eyes open for what it to come. Angela says she sees herself in Mona Lisa for her similar love of art and cooking. When we look at the legacy of Mona Lisa alongside the innovations Angela has to offer, it is only right to agree and see Angela as a woman who leaves a unique mark on the people and places she encounters; a Mona Lisa in Brighton.


It’s clear that 2020 will be a year that is mentioned in the history books of tomorrow. It will forever be recognised as the year the world was forced to stand still. The year the Western world really opened its eyes to racism, the year Donald Trump didn’t win the election and the folly of Brexit. However, with all these things happening simultaneously, it should also be recognised as the year of Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Each of these major events has had a massive impact on society and in turn has resulted in us as humans feeling a huge shift in energy. Many of us have been left feeling as though our entire universe has been flipped upside down and in many ways it has. Never before have we experienced an attack on the human race that has been so invisible and so unstoppable. For the first time we have been forced to come together as a global community in order to work for our survival.

But how does this affect us as individuals? In March we were told we would have to work from home as the shops closed and the schools shut down. In our naivety we all took to home baking, home workouts and 2hr lunch breaks. However, as the reality of the situation truly started to set in, the country was divided into those who were thriving and those who were just surviving. But what are the long term solutions? It’s very clear that the world we once knew has officially become part of our history,

So how do we navigate this new “normal”.

Take your time We have become so accustomed to our fast pace world that we no longer know how to slow down. As the world is shifting into a new gear take the time to think about what this may look like for you. If you have been unhappy in your current set up perhaps now is the time to start listening to that inner voice and make a change. With the world being so uncertain no one is making any rushed decisions giving you the luxury of time when making big moves.

Make you own schedule We have spent so much time being forced to do things on a schedule that wasn’t always right for us. Having to be in the office by a certain time, only allowed to have a lunch break that is 30mins and receiving judgmental looks when going home early (if that was even an option.) For those of us who are now working from home we have been awakened to a whole new way of working. Firstly your day doesn’t have to start at 7am with waking up early enough for your 1hr commute to the office. Instead you can use this time to rest, to meditate, to spend time with your children or to watch Netflix (whichever suits Spend time outside you.) When the work day does begin it’s up to you how productive you want to be. If you choose to watch a full Christmas movie during your lunch break, that’s ok, as long as you don’t mind spending a little longer at the end of the day finishing everything off. However studies have shown that people have actually experienced increase productivity when working from home as they are away from all the office distractions.

This is something many of us have previously taken for granted, always having the freedom to go wherever we want whenever we want. But the pandemic has changed that. During the first lockdown many of us felt the harsh effects of quarantine and enforced self-isolation. Whilst this may have been viewed as a necessity for the good of the nation it had damaging effects on our mental wellbeing.

It’s important that even as we continue to experience government lockdowns you find the time to be outside and to reconnect with nature. There are countless benefits gained from going for a walk in the forest or a run along the beach. Studies have shown that time spent in nature can be an antidote to stress. Lowering blood pressure and stress hormones, reducing nervous system arousal and enhancing the immune system. So get out there!


The Future It’s ok, not to be ok This isn’t just a cute quote to post on Instagram. This year has seen an increase in the use of social media as we have used it to fill our countless hours inside however it has also exacerbated many preexisting issues. When you scroll through your news feed and see person after person apparently “#winningatlife” whilst you are struggling to find the energy to get off the sofa don’t beat yourself up.

These are just a few things to consider. Remember there isn’t a right way or wrong way to navigate this time. The most important thing is that you take care of yourself and that YOU come first. Now is the time to create a future that excites you, a future that makes you feel safe, a future that makes you Happy.

Using social media as a way to connect to others and to find inspiration is great however when it starts becoming your personal bully, step away. This is the time to start doing the things you always wanted to do but never had “time” for, meditating, learning an instrument or getting enough sleep. You should also know that just because someone else’s life looks shiny and perfect on Instagram it doesn’t mean it is or that yours isn’t good enough.

Written by Tash Thomas @_Breakingthedistance One of our KulaHeros !


By Inez Tully

Symbol Soup is the moniker under which Michael Rea creates music which combines DIY rock with country, folk and glitchy electronics. Lyrically, songs lapse between conversational and surreal, exploring disillusionment, relationships and mental health. Upcoming LP “Cattle Grid” offers a more playful, at times cartoonish take on this sound. Polterguys is a song about seeing people close to you being unable to look out for themselves because of mental health, drugs/alcoholwhatever that may be. It’s also about our collective

tendency to retreat into ourselves, and the need to find commonality in these moments. The playful instrumentation (singling saw, wobbly keys) and conversational lyrics keep it fun against this subject matter, more Scooby Doo than Paranormal Activity. I have been lucky enough to listen to Symbol Soup’s new record Cattle Grid. The instrumentation is unique, playful and strong. I found this album to be well curated and confident. There wasn’t one song on the album that I wanted to skip. 55

Interview with Symbol Soup How did you find being creative in lockdown? Being able to get lost in writing and recording has still been a total joy and something I’m very grateful for. What has been challenging is maintaining any kind of perspective- releasing music without playing with or to anyone can feel completely abstract. I actually finished mixing the album on about day 3 of the first full-on lockdown, so there was definitely a feeling of ‘what do I do with this now?’ At the moment I’m finishing some recordings that Jonny (drummer) and Will (bassist) tracked last year. It’s all new versions of songs I’ve put out before, but closer to the way we play them live. I’ve missed playing shows so it’s a nice way to stay somewhat connected to that.

Did you draw on any specific inspirations when making the record? I was reading a lot of James Tate’s poetry. His poems are funny and surreal and feature some brief and absurd character appearances, which is something I think works really well in songs, where the whole thing might be just 100-200 words long. His narrators also often have their own weirdness, which I like. The comedian Catherine Cohen, too. I don’t know if shed describe it as Instagram poetry, but that’s where I see her poems. She manages to capture thoughts that would usually be lost, or most people would feel self-conscious about or not see the value in. I love humour in music and always want to lean more in that direction. Musically, Arthur Russell was an influence this time round. The posthumous compilation ‘Iowa Dream’ came out last year, and I think it’s amazing that you can listen to that and ‘Love is Overtaking Me’ as albums when they’re essentially a collection of unreleased demos. He combined so many disparate genres and it all works together under these really clear,

sweetly sung vocals. That super prolific approach is inspiring, and on a more literal level there are some instrumentation and production elements I tried to emulate. Tell us about the album title, Cattle Grid? A Cattle Grid can be a transition point or a boundary depending on who’s trying to cross it. A lot of the songs are about witnessing or going through change and feeling stuck at the same time. The album also uses a lot of Country musical aesthetics, so the title’s a little nod to the inauthenticity of that coming from Milton Keynes, a 50-

year-old town in the South of England with its grid systems and concrete cows.

Which song from the record means the most to you? Probably Armour Drama or Wafer.

What were your experiences with mental health over lockdown? My job is in a supported living house for people in mental health recovery. Obviously, there can be a sense of hopelessness that we’ve all experience, and noone enjoys prolonged isolation. For people with preexisting condition, though, a lot of the usual strategies for

improving mental health just haven’t been possible. There hasn’t been the same access to therapy, or volunteering and supported employment routes that can build a fuller, more connected life.

You mention the need to find commonality, do you think the commonality is more important to talk about while we are in a pandemic? Absolutely. Without meeting up with your friends and having that spirit level it’s so easy to ruminate on things that really shouldn’t matter. There’s also something weird about this current phase of COVID (stage 3?) where it’s easy to forget why we’re locking down in the first place. It’s important to remember that lockdown is ultimately something we’re choosing to do for each other’s wellbeing, not just this oppressive set of commandments.

Do you find it hard to talk about mental health in your practice or is it something that comes easily to you? Hard, basically! I think it can be really easy to come off as glib talking about this stuff. In the music I listen to there’s unfortunate phenomenon where the artists who most effectively captured the darkest feelings are people who ultimately didn’t recover. I hope that’s something that can change as the way mental health is talked about and treated changes.

Cattle Grid is out Jan 22nd, 2021 Listen to Polterguys now on Bandcamp and Spotify Find Symbol Soup on: Instagram: @symbolsoup Facebook: @symbolsouptheband Bandcamp: symbolsoup.bandcamp.com Spotify: Symbol Soup


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Written by Saffron Inch

Chris wood My name is Chris Wood and I'm currently in my third year of university studying graphic design. I come from Cambridge originally but moved to Brighton two years back. My work reflects a combination of analogue and digital techniques I have gained studying different disciplines within the arts. Much of my work reflects the experimental nature of my process where I am always trying to come up with fresh ways to bring my work back to life. I have a keen interest in fashion within graphic design and am currently working towards going into this area of the design industry.

Take a look at my booklet 'The Denim Revolution' where I explore the nature of fast fashion and different brands approach and how to enjoy your denim sustainably.

Chris Wood



4-5 6-7

Introduction Fast Fashion & Environmental Impact

8-9 10-11 12-13 14-15

Hiut Denim Everlane Charity Shops Mr Porter / Net-A-Porter Blackhorse Lane Ateliers Know The Origin MUD Jeans Old Town ELV Denim

16-17 18-19 20-21 22-23 24-25

So what’s the big deal with denim anyway?


enim, we’ve all heard of it, and it’s more than likely we all own an item of clothing made from it. The rich indigo blue fabric with its iconic zigzag style stitching has become a global fashion icon in its own right, dominating the scene for decades now. Walking down the high street in your local town centre you will see all kinds of clothes made from it including jackets, jeans, dresses, shirts and overalls. The story of denim began some two hundred years ago, in the city of NÎmes, France. Tailors there invented a way of weaving cotton to create a reinforced type of fabric. This process of weaving made its way to America, and was initially used to create overalls for mine workers during the gold rush of the 19th century. During this time, a businessman by the name of Levi Strauss began selling what he called ‘waist overalls’ at his wholesale store in San Francisco. Jacob Davis, a Nevada-born tailor purchased some high strength denim from Strauss for his own business, however the overalls he created fell apart with ease. Davis came up with an idea to use small metal rivets in certain parts of the overalls that would split under tension. Hearing about this, Strauss decided to Since the creation of jeans, denim itself has become one of the team up with Davis and gain a patent for this concept, from which most globally recognised clothing materials on the planet. During the classic pair of Jeans as we know them today was born. the 1950’s, celebrity icons such as James Dean and Marlon Brando influenced the ‘Rebel without a cause’ movement, using denim jeans as a way to demonstrate this bad boy attitude. Although it has taken many different forms in popular culture, these days denim is seen as an essential part of everyone’s wardrobe. The scale of the global fashion industry is continuing to expand year on year, with new fashion labels and manufacturers appearing all the time. The growth of consumer needs has led to a very dangerous environmental situation. Large clothing retailers are making choices to cut corners in the denim manufacturing process. Cheap materials and chemicals are being used to cut down costs and speed up production, at the expense of both the local and wider environment. If you want to find out how to put a stop to this, read on! If you already shop for denim responsibly, read on anyway!


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The process undertaken in many denim factories also has very adverse effects on the environment. Raw cotton is sent off to factories to be spun into the yarn needed to weave the denim material. Due to the high demand of specific cuts and styles of modern denim clothing trends, polyester is substituted in for part of the garments. These synthetic fibres cannot be broken down in the same way cotton can. When polyester infused denim products are discarded, they cannot decompose in a landfill and will remain there for between 20 and 200 years. It doesn’t stop there however. Denim clothing is associated with its classic indigo blue style, which in its original process was derived from natural sources. To cut costs again, large scale manufactures use chemicals in the process that are extremely harmful to the local environment. In some instances, materials such as copper, lead and mercury have been found in water sources located close to denim factories.



Lets start at the beginning of the process, with the cotton. Did you know that it takes around 7,760 gallons of water to produce 1kg of pure cotton? Of this, 0.68kg is required to make a standard pair of denim jeans. This means that on average you need 5,276 gallons of water to create one pair of jeans. That’s a lot of water for one item of clothing. Using such large quantities of fresh water on such small products has dire consequences not only for the planet itself but also people living in areas where cotton is grown. In addition to this, dangerous synthetic pesticides and insecticides are used in the growing process. These chemicals alter the soil composition and can reduce the fertility of the land.

Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is a concept know by many, but perhaps not fully understood. In most high street clothing shops, fashion trends change four times a year so suite every season. Instead of re-using the seasonal wear from the previous year, they create brand new clothing and discard the previous years if it does not sell in a sale. Combine this with cheap affordable clothing and you end up with huge amounts of clothes being sent to landfill each year. The fact that fashion trends always come back around and remain it circulation begs the question, is fast fashion necessary? Although many large denim manufacturers like Levi’s are making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, the key is the consumer and educating them about ways around fast fashion that will benefit both the planet and their wardrobe So how exactly can you help prevent this from happening? Denim Responsibly. New denim manufacturers are being introduced to the market all the time, who are making a conscientious effort to reduce environmental damage and halt fast fashion. These brands come in different forms of business. Some focus on using locally sourced materials and handmade techniques to offer a high quality product. Others focus on reducing environmental damage in the manufacturing process. This booklet will guide you through some of the current responsible denim manufactures. Between them they offer a huge range of clothing items in a variety of colours and cuts.


Hiut Denim



iut denim is an independent denim manufacturer based in Cardigan, Wales. Their company is built on a story of hard working townsfolk who lost their jobs in the denim industry in 2002 due to the company moving away. Hiut brought the denim back into Cardigan in 2012, and along with it many jobs for the locals.

“We make Jeans, that’s it, do one thing well” Their mission is quite simple, make jeans and make them well. All of their jeans are made from 100% ethically sourced cotton, all of which are hand sewn in their factory by their skilled workers. As well as just being a jeans manufacturer, they have also started several campaigns such as the ‘no wash club’ to connect with their customers and change peoples attitudes to how we use denim. You can find a large variety jeans on their website for both men and women. If you are looking for jeans of a high quality that will last you a long time, this is the place to look.

Image source: hiutdenim.co.uk, 2020

www.hiutdenim.co.uk 9



Everlane is an internationally recognised clothing manufacturer who in recent years has been making strides to cut down their carbon footprint and create ethical garments. Their aim is to have all of their cotton certified as organic by 2023, which will have a huge impact on how their denim products are created. In terms of denim itself, they offer a huge range of products from jeans to denim shirts. This type of responsible denim manufacturer is one that operates in a similar way to high street shops in terms of its branding and advertisement. If you are new to the idea of responsible shopping and would like to buy clothes that resemble those in high street shops, go here! Just remember to keep a hold of that denim as it will last a long time if you treat it properly.

Image source: www.everlane.com, 2020





Image source: www.cardiff-times.co.uk, 2020


www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www Most people know about charity shops as a source of new clothes, www www however it’s one not many people are keen on exploring. Shopping www www at a charity shop provides you with a wide choice of clothes that www www you may not usually see in a high street shop. www Often when looking through a charity shop, the difficult www www part is finding clothes in your specific size. However, there are www www many charity shops that utilise websites as a way to sell their www www clothes. As a customer this means you are able to sift through all www www their denim with ease and can locate your specific size. Charity www www shops are also a good place to look if you want to get rid of your www unwanted denim. This circular cycle benefits great causes and can www www offer some quirky fashion items that you wouldn’t be able to find in www www any high street shop! www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www.cancerresearchuk.org.uk www.onlineshop.oxfam.org.uk www.redcross.org.uk www.sense.org.uk www.bhf.org.uk www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www


Mr Porter & Net-APorter


Mr Porter/Net-A-Porter is quite a substantial company as a whole, however they take great care in the manufacturing of all their clothing items. They make a point of outlining the different types of sustainable materials used to create their clothes including bamboo, tencel, recycled cashmere and of course, organic cotton. They, like many of these companies believe in classic denim made the right way. The dyes used to make the denim are derived from the plant based indigo dye, which is all natural. Alongside this they use 100% organic cotton to create a responsible and fashionable product. If you are looking for some vintage looking responsible denim clothing, look no further (but do keep reading).

Image source: www.net-a-porter.com, 2020

www.mrporter.com www.net-a-porter.com


RE/DONE is not your average denim manufacturer as they have a slight twist on the way they create clothing. In simple terms, they take old denim items that people no longer want and either repair them or change them into a new style to suit every customer. They quite often take specific brands of denim clothing such as Levis and turn then into other garments. On top of this, their factories operate under strict environmental rules that include water recycling during dyeing, using organic cotton and other natural materials. You can find their garments in many different shops all over the world, but if you want to see it all at once, go check out their website.




Blackhorse Lane Ateliers 18

A small scale company with big ideas, Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is build on good quality denim with years of experience behind it. All of their products are hand crafted using organic cotton and Europe sourced cotton. To reduce the concept of fast fashion, BLA offers a lifetime repair service on all of their garments. Their workforce is built up of highly experienced denim makers with a passion for making it. This is evident in the variety of denim styles, such as selvage, Japanese and Turkish. This is the place to look for a classic denim look from a company that cares.

Photograph by Anton Rodriguez, Image source: www.studionicholson.com, 2017



Image source: www.ethicalbranddirectory.com, 2020

Know The Origin


Know The Origin is a company built on fighting bad working conditions and negative environmental impact. Set up in 2015, their main goal is to be as transparent as possible when making clothing. Their website features detailed articles on how all of their clothes are manufactured and how they have made extensive efforts to fight the fast fashion industry that facilitates bad working conditions.


They offer a wide variety of clothes aside from denim, however their range of denim products is extensive and fruitful. Their styles are there to suit all ages and shapes, and on top of that come at a good price, so if that sounds good to you, go have a look!



Image source: www.mudjeans.eu, 2020

MUD jeans

MUD is proud to be a true driver in the fight against fast fashion and pollution. The company works on the goal to be a completely circular brand, meaning the clothes are bought, used then sent back or recycled and so on. Season-less fashion is also key to their brand, encouraging people to buy clothes to last season after season. If you are feeling brave enough to try out some double denim, this brand offers a wide variety of stylish double denim outfits for any occasion and any fit. Go on, give it a try.



Old Town

24 Image sources: www.old-town.co.uk, 2020

Old Town is an interesting company with a very specific take on their clothing style. They offer handmade denim clothing and more, from cotton overalls to classic workman style trousers. Many of their styles are reminiscent of older worker outfits, however they want to create a contemporary style that stands out. Situated in Norfolk, they produce many different clothing items by hand, all created from UK or Europe sourced organic materials, to minimise their environmental impact. If you are a fan of the contemporary worker style, give them a look.



E.L.V Denim


Unwanted jeans that would be sent off to a landfill are picked up, pulled apart, sewn up and sold on by E.L.V. Denim. This company creates iconic and eye catching styles from old jeans that are bound to turn heads. They operate using only organic cottons in the remaking process. Each garment is handmade by one of their experienced makers, with no two items being the same. They focus on reducing the amount of clothes discarded to landfill sites and discouraging fast fashion through recycling. Do you want an original denim garment that helps fight the trend of fast fashion? Do you like the idea of half and half wash denim jeans styles? Look them up, they have loads.



The future of denim and the wider fashion depends on people starting to buy responsibly. The world cannot sustain large quantities of synthetic waste being put into landfill each year. Thousands of people cannot continue to be put through bad and potentially lethal working conditions. This guide only brushes the surface with everything that is available. There are so many small scale manufacturers who work hard to create a reliable and sustainable fashion industry for the future.



Why wear a mask? 90% RISK


30% RISK




1.5% RISK



That's why!

Twinkling lights, the smell of cinnamon in the air and festive bells jingling in the distance. When the nights grow longer, firing up your senses could lift your spirit. That’s why Nottinghamshire mental health workers started the Light Up Locally campaign at the beginning of lockdown 2.0. To boost mental health during this period, particularly for NHS workers, the campaign encouraged locals to put up their Christmas decorations early.



Light Up Locally has grown to a nationwide campaign. Their Facebook group, created to share festive pics, now has over 600 members. Campaign co-founder Maria Ditch told the BBC that she’s even had people from Spain sharing their photos!

In the UK, 1 in 3 people have SAD 'Seasonal affective disorder' a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons, this can leave you feeling low and lethargic. At it’s worst, it can lead to suicidal thoughts.

The sentiment behind the campaign is, of course, heartwarming. It could brighten the lives of thousands, struggling over the holiday period. But is there a dark side to Light Up Locally? Kula Mag investigates what effects the Christmas campaign could have on us.

Among other treatments, light can be used to mimic sunlight. But did you know even fairy lights can brighten your mood? They don’t mimic sunlight but instead can trigger a positive emotional association. Christmas lights are often associated with happy memories and the meaning behind the holiday.



Hygge, the Danish concept of cosiness, was everywhere a few years back. Drinking hot chocolate on a rainy day, snuggled up on the sofa with a book? Pure Hygge. But do you know what the most hyggelig thing is? Christmas, of course! Candles, blankets and festive scents. When the room is lit by goldenhued light, we tend to feel more relaxed and in a better mood. Apparently, people think more creatively in warm lighting - and even get along better. This could come in handy when locked up with family. You love them, but 4 weeks is a long time to see their face for 12 hours a day…

THE ONLY HELPER AT HAND If you’ve ever sought mental health support from the NHS, you’ll know how long it takes to be referred, be assessed and get appointments. The process could take weeks - if not months. If you’re sick of waiting, maybe you can take up self-help until the NHS services are available. Small gestures of self-help (think yoga, meditation and baths) towards yourself can make the world of difference! And if putting up your Christmas decorations early could be the reason you get up in the morning and appreciate your surroundings, why not?! Literally no-one’s gonna judge everyone’s doing it!

HOPE With many not being able to see loved ones, experiencing loss, job insecurity and poor mental health, It’s an understatement to say that the pandemic has taken its toll on everyone. It may feel like there’s nothing to be grateful for, or look forward to. Decorating your home with fairy lights could serve as a reminder that there will be better days. Christmas is often associated with happy memories and coming together, which might put an instant smile on your face. Light Up Locally could generate hope for the arduous months ahead.

TRIGGERED LONELINESS & ISOLATION Light Up Locally could cheer to families who together, but what about who are isolated from families - or worse, don’t family?

bring live those their have

Being surrounded by Christmas lights for an extended period serves only as a reminder to some of how lonely and dispairing they feel.

Seeing happy families all over social media could trigger a bout of depression and loneliness in those experiencing isolation. There’s conflicting evidence of whether suicide rates lower during the holiday season. Some experience crippling sadness from the juxtaposition of forced happiness vs how you actually feel. Some studies show that valuable social contact from festive gatherings can heal a tortured soul. But this holiday season, it’s still unclear if we’re going to be able to visit family. If it’s a caged up Christmas this year, some will be spending not one, but two months alone for the holiday. People who don’t celebrate Christmas will feel left out too. Back in 2016, it was revealed that 9% of the UK don’t celebrate the holiday. It might not sound like many, but it’s still a good 6,000,000!

WASTED RESOURCES? If you’re energy conscious, you might cringe at the thought of how much electricity is wasted on Christmas lights. A Reddit user pointed out that the money could go towards “mental health services that are struggling under the number of people requiring their services”. From this point of view, maybe those who aren’t in critical need of mental health help could help those that are. At the end of the day, it’s your money to spend as you wish. Plus the fact - a response to this was that it’ll take more than £18 to support the NHS’s mental health infrastructure! In actual fact, the majority of Christmas lights nowadays are LED which cost considerably less than traditional incandescent ones - so it’d only cost you around 90p per month to have your Christmas lights that whole time. But what about the waste? Almost 500 tonnes of Christmas lights are discarded in the UK each year. This initiative could incentivise the public to buy even more decorations than they normally would!

What do you think? Do you think this initiative noticeably improved mental health during lockdown 2.0? Will this joyful spirit continue as we come out of lockdown into the tier system? Or do you think it’s just a bandaid that distracts from bigger issues? KULA MAGAZINE 93

plant disco NEED A PICK ME UP?

Lockdown! lack of social interaction, sudden change of routine, disconnect from nature. What has being cooped up all day done to our mood? According to Science Daily, a population with higher levels of exposure to Greenspace are more likely to report good overall physical and mental health by way of reduced stress levels and a reduction in premature birth. Exposure to plants can also reduce blood pressure, so it follows we need plants around us to feel good. Avid gardeners, Greg Thompson and Kelsey Nelson know plants in the house means a better mood. They felt compelled to do something to help the Brighton community feel better during Lockdown so they found a way to keep plant supply flowing when all suppliers were closed. "Like us, people wanted to nourish themselves in gardening but were struggling to find plants through their regular channels with Garden Centres and Florists closed,” explained Greg So, they created PLANT DISCO, an online shop selling quality plants at bargain prices all with free, same delivery. Greg and Kelsey offer in-depth advice for free with their service, to ensure you choose the right plant for you, so you receive the benefits most needed. Various plants bring a range of healing properties, including removing humidity, improving air quality and reducing stress.

Plants for anxiety Greg explained to us ''The human brain is hard-wired to get stress-relieving benefits from being around plants. Phytoncides, a chemical in plants, is a proven stress-relief for humans. For novice plant owners, at first, it can be daunting to look after your new plants. The last thing we want is for stress-relieving plants to cause anxiety due to the stress of looking after them! Therefore, we advise getting very low maintenance plants like: Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia ‘Nicolai’) These sunseekers are happiest in bright direct sunlight and need frequent watering. It’s also known as the Wild Banana or Crane Plant.



plants for





and soul.

The Strelitzia is known for their lush, tropical foliage that makes you feel like you’re in their beautiful natural home of South Africa. They make stunning architectural plants, due to their tall erect stems and wide, banana-like, paddle-shaped leaves. Devils Ivy (Scindapsus) is very robust and nearly impossible to kill. It manages in almost any light conditions and needs infrequent watering. It can be hung from a shelf, trained up a wall or just in a pot. The tops of the leaves appear as a blotched marbled yellow and green combination, with each leaf being unique from the others on the vine. Once placed in a sunny to partly shaded location indoors, Yucca (Yucca gigantean) houseplant care is easy. They only need watering once every one or two weeks as they're drought resistant, so if you’re on holiday or just simply forgot to water it for a month no problem!

Fittonia in 12cm nursing pot

great mind

Black eyed susan's

plants for better air quality

French lavender

As winter approaches and the weather turns, we’ll be spending more time indoors with the heating on. Air quality in homes is worse during the winter months due to lack of circulated air from opening doors and windows. Plants provide a great alternative to purify the air by removing toxins like formaldehyde and xylene from your home. A plant we recommend for this is the Areca Palm or Butterfly Palm, a relatively easy-care indoor houseplant that has much going for it. The palm doesn’t just filter the air but also adds moisture to the atmosphere, absorbing all the toxins and leaving the air clean and fresh. It’s a natural cooler that can remove xylene and toluene from the surroundings. Also the hearty Spider Plant are very easy to look after. They also love indirect sunlight, well-drained soil and do well in many different climates and conditions.

Best plants for excess humidity: Most plants put moisture and oxygen into the air but some take humidity out. We live in a basement flat and humidity can get to unhealthily high levels. humidity causes damp, which poses a host of issues for you and everything in your space. Rather than wasting electricity on expensive dehumidifiers, we use beautiful plants instead. The best ones are Orchids.

They remove impurities from the air like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, and what’s more, their arching sword-like leaves look beautiful in hanging baskets, atop shelves or on your desk. They also regularly produce “babies” that are easy to propagate and give to a friend to share the plant love! Alocasia Zebrinas are not only good for your physical and mental health, but they are fab-u-lous to look at! With their unique zebra pattern stems and arrow-shaped leaves that are believed to mirror the floppy ears of an elephant – hence the alocasia zebrina’s other name, ‘elephant ear’.

They not only look and often smell amazing, but they also help lower indoor humidity. They love humid rooms and are great at absorbing moisture from the air. Boston Fern, with their huge and lush foliage helps them to decrease the additional ambient dampness in your house and stop mould and fungus growth. Boston ferns are Epiphytes that propagate safely on other plants or things. They catch nutrients and humidity from their surroundings. They’re great in bathrooms!


Its a no brainer right?, less stressed, lower blood pressure, better air quality and less humidity with same day delivery to your door. You may never have thought about house plants much, other than a nice decoration in a room but clearly they can be beneficial addition to any home. 2020 has been one colossal knock after another to our health, so it seems the obvious chose for us now to do all the things we can to take control of our environment and help improve our wellness.


If you love what we do and want to help our 'not for profit' thrive and remain independent please make a donation You can do this on www.kulashop.co.uk PS we offer a free digital print to say thank you

INEZ TULLY @inezmae

These pieces are part of a collection called "She said you're a good liar." They were created as a response to my thoughts and feelings surrounding lockdown and mental health. The key themes in the pieces are windows, eyes, tears, wheels and paths. The medium I like to use is charcoal and mono-print. Creating texture is very important in my work.

Limited edition prints available www.kulashop.co.uk



To make the dough mix flour and oil

200g of plain flour

together. In a separate dish mix water and

3 tbsp olive oil

salt, make sure salt is dissolved completely.

1 tsp of salt

Slowly add water to the flour and make a soft

75-100 ml water


For the filling

You might not need all 100 ml of water. Just

1 medium potato

add enough water to form a soft dough.

1 small onion

Cover and leave it for 20 minutes.

4 tbsp oil

While the dough is resting, make a filling by

Handful of frozen peas

frying onions until golden, add chopped

1tsp of curry powder or smoked paprika

potatoes, frozen peas. Season with salt,

40ml water

pepper and some spices (curry powder or

Salt and pepper to taste

smoked paprika) and add water.

Extra oil for frying.

Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Once potatoes are cooked, break potatoes with a fork or masher. Let it cool down. Divide the dough into 4 and make balls. Roll each of the dough into 20 diameter circles. Place the potato filling in the middle of the dough, fold the right side covering the filling. Fold the left side to the right and then fold the bottom half towards top, forming a triangle shape. You can use little water on the edges of each circle to seal. Lightly fry each parcel in olive oil for 2-3 minutes, turning approximately 30 seconds each side or until golden. When frying the samosas use high heat, that way less oil is absorbed. For a healthy version, fry them without using any oil.

Recipe by Nigora @nigorascreativekitchen 98 KULA MAGAZINE

HOLLY JOLLY MUSHROOM PIE Ready rolled puff pastry 2 brown onions (diced)

HOLLY JOLLY MUSHROOM PIE 2 carrots (chopped) Ready rolled puff pastry 1 stalk of celery (chopped) 2 brown 200gonions frozen(diced) peas 2 carrots 2 packs(chopped) of chestnut mushrooms 1 stalk of celery (Chopped) 1 pack of shiitake mushrooms 200g frozen peasred wine 150ml of vegan 2 packs ofvegetable chestnut mushrooms 200ml stock 1 pack shiitake mushrooms 50mlofplant-based milk 150 ml ofgranules vegan red wine Gravy 200ml stock 1 tbspvegetable dried Rosemary

Recipe by Molly @veggiebinch

50ml plant-based milk Remove your ready rolled pastry from the fridge in Gravy granules

1preparation tbsp dried Rosemary Turn your hob to medium heat Remove your rolled pastry and from1 the fridge in preparation Dry fry twoready onions, 2 carrots stalk of celery until Turnsoftened your hob to medium heat Remove the contents from pan and set aside DryAdd fry two carrotsmushrooms and 1 stalk of celery until softened one onions, pack of2shiitake and two packs of Remove the contents from and set aside chestnut mushrooms to pan the pan, cook in 200ml of stock (I Addused one mushroom pack of shiitake stock)mushrooms and two packs of chestnut mushrooms tomushrooms the pan, cook incooked 200ml add of stock (I used mushroom Once the have the vegetables and stock) 150ml of vegan red wine to the pan Once thethe mushrooms add the vegetables Turn up to highhave andcooked let the wine cook off for 10and minutes wine to the pan of gravy with some 150ml vegan red Boilofthe kettle and make up 150ml Turngluten-free the up to high and let the(to wine cook off for 10 minutes gravy powder your taste), rosemary and the Boilplant the kettle milk and make up 150ml of gravy with some glutenfreeSlowly gravystir powder (togravy your taste), rosemary theminutes plant milk in your and cook on low and for 10 to Slowly stir inthe your gravy and cook on low for 10 minutes to thicken sauce thicken the sauce Preheat your oven to 220°c Preheat oven todish 220°c Fill anyour ovenproof with your pie filling and leave to cool Fill an ovenproof dish with your pie filling and leave to cool until until it’s no longer steaming it’s Cut no longer steaming your pastry to the size of the pan your pastry tocan theuse sizethe of extra the pan Cut(optional)You pastry to make your Holly Youshapes can use the extra pastry to make your Holly shapes (optional) Top your pie with the pastry and bake for 20 minutes at Top220° your pie with the pastry and bake for 20 minutes on 220°


SUPER-CHOC BROWNIE BALL 100g unsalted pecans 20g of desiccated coconut 20g of cacao powder 2 heaped tablespoons of almond butter 50g of pitted dates 1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup Pinch of Himalayan pink salt Dash of mineral water

Blend the dry ingredients first for a few minutes Then add the almond butter, dates and maple syrup The consistency should be sticky and clumped together. If it’s still crumbly and falls apart, just add a dash of mineral water. Roll into little balls. Refrigerate For ten minutes and store in an airtight container. This recipe makes about 20 balls.

by Dandy @silverdragonwellbeing


Great for a post workout snack as its full of plant based protein!


zelnut milk a H l m 0 5 better) 2 n e v e n e z ro banana (f 1 medium n berries e z o r f f o l A handfu ate 1 pitted d o powder a c a c f o p ts 1 heaped powder a c a m f o 1 level tsp powder b o r a c f o 1 level tsp nut butter a e p f o p s 1t lly smooth a e r il t n u Blend g onwellbein

Mood lifting and Balancing The cacao is rich in tryptophan which releases serotonin and the maca acts as a natural hormone balancer

g @silverdra by Dandy


Raw avocado and lime cheesecake by Angela Susini


Panzanella by Angela Susini


Beautiful artwork by a ase Exclusive terview comi g to you soo ! Keep a eye o our sta @kula_mag !

KULAMAG'S SERVICES Brighton's new magazine, KulaMag, are ready to partner with you. Here are just some of the great opportunities we can offer you and your business. We work closely with you to create natural, genuine and unique content using our local talent.

CUSTOM ARTWORK Our local in house artists produce bespoke artwork made especially for you. We can offer oil paintings, digital art,


illustrations and sketches to promote your brand, sharing content across our platforms and collaboration with the Kula Collective. Prices on application

ADVERTORIAL PACKAGES Kula work with you to create unique advertorials to showcase your business. These can be published in our online and print magazine, social media or used on your own platforms.

SOCIAL MEDIA SWAPS We love to offer social media swaps for our selected collaborators, where we coordinate posting, share photos, stories, bios and video on an agreed day to promote and showcase each others' great work. FOC


Kula also offer shop space where you can sell your goods through our secure online store. We also offer full print and merchandising services for both artists and businesses. All enquiries welcome, email Info@kulamag.com We look forward to working with you