Nice People Issue 11

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S H E A F S T O P E N D E C K T H U R S D AY S EV ERY W E E K - 6- 1 1 PM

ALL SKILL LEVELS - 1 HO UR S LOTS - C LU B STA N DA R D EQ U IPME N T SHE A FST. C O M

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Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


Front cover design: Luci Pina (@luc.ipina)

Managing Editor: Meg Firth

Logo design: Julia Pomeroy (@j.uliapomeroy)

Co-founders: Tom Nixon & Meg Firth

Pull-out poster: Niall Unger (@niall_unger_illusration)

Printed by Mortons Print, Horncastle

CO N T E NT S 4

6

10

NICE GIGS UP NORTH

EADES

SAVVY

words: Eddie Smith

words: Lila Cusset

photos: Sam Joyce

photos: Emma V Booth

Our guide to the

How riotous band Eades

Powerhouse DJ Savvy talks

unmissable gigs reyt ont

descended on a quiet village in

with The Lila Booth about her

doorstep.

the Yorkshire Dales to record

journey of uplifting women in the

their debut album.

electronic music scene.

18 8

22

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LUCI PINA

AD DADA

KAYLEIGH SMYTH

words: Meg Firth

words: Meg Firth

words: Syd Gilbride

photos: Leah Anais

Get to know the illustrator

Meet the fledgling artist who is

Explore virtual realities with the

behind the cover of Issue 11

using his practice to celebrate his

artists breaking boundries with

who is inspired by archival

heritage and those who came

her immersive art.

footage and hip-hop.

before him.

FIND US Website: www.nicepeoplemagazine.com Instagram: @nicepeoplemagazine

Live sessions: @nicepeoplesessions Facebook: Nice People Magazine

GET INVOLVED Just send us a message on Instagram!

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NICE GIGS

REY T ONT DOORS TEP

UP NORTH SELECTED BY NICE PEOPLE MAGAZINE

WHAT’S YOUR FLAVOUR? Laid Back

LEEDS

Hot and Sweaty

SATURDAY 16th APRIL

Nice People Magazine Issue 11 Launch: ft. NAALI COLLECTIVE, Chia Kali & Phenicia Wharf Chambers For fans of: nice people having a nice time MONDAY 25th APRIL

English Teacher Brudenell Community Room For fans of: seeing a band before they’re huge

WEDNESDAY 4th MAY

Fizzy Blood Brudenell Social Club For fans of: big riffs and homecoming gigs FRIDAY 6th MAY

Otis Mensah Hyde Park Book Club For fans of: powerful lyrics, poetry and the Sheffield accent SATURDAY 7 MAY th

SATURDAY 30th APRIL

Poppy Adjuda Belgrave Music Hall For fans of: heart melting vocals that make a 45 min set feel like a moment MONDAY 2nd MAY

Eades Brudenell Social Club For fans of: reading about a band in a magazine and then going to see them x

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Something New

Ider Headrow House For fans of: wanting to be best mates with the people on stage FRIDAY 10th MAY

Joesef Brudenell Social Club For fans of: looking out the passenger seat window while it’s raining on the motorway

Vibey

WEDNESDAY 20th MAY

MONDAY 23rd MAY

Yard Act Irish Center For fans of: getting sweaty and loud with strangers

Nightmares on Wax Belgrave Music Hall For fans of: having a bit of a boogie on a school night

WEDNESDAY 25th MAY

THURSDAY 9th JUNE

Honeyglaze Hyde Park Book Club For fans of: Julia Jacklin

L’objectif Brudenell Social Club For fans of: wearing sunglasses indoors

SUNDAY 1st JUNE

TC and the Groove Family Brudenell Social Club For fans of: pulling that face when there’s an excellent beat and bassline

SATURDAY 2nd JULY

Skating Polly Wharf Chambers For fans of: fierce and electric noise being spat at you, but politely.

THURSDAY 15th MAY

Pond Brudenell Social Club For fans of: having a cig first thing in the morning THURSDAY 21tst MAY

Khruangbin O2 Academy Leeds For fans of: sitting in a beanbag at the afters

Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


MANCHESTER TUESDAY 7th JUNE

FRIDAY 1st JULY

WEDNESDAY 27th AUGUST

Kamal. Deaf Institute For fans of: North West london bars in North West england

Kiefer Deaf institute For fans of: jazz piano with boom clap beats

The Felice Brothers Gorilla For fans of: Canadian accents

Tank and the Bangas O2 Ritz Manchester For fans of: getting sweaty and vibey with strangers on the dancefloor

THURSDAY16th JUNE

WEDNESDAY 13th JULY

TUESDAY 17 MAY

Remi Wolf Academy 3 For fans of: not knowing what’s going to happen

La Luz Deaf Institute For fans of: drinking red wine and listening to lush harmonies

WEDNESDAY 4th MAY

th

The Lazy Eyes Deaf Institute For fans of: 60s psych with Gen Z wit WEDNESDAY 13 MAY th

The Big Moon Academy 2 For fans of: doesn’t matter just go to this gig! THURSDAY 2 JUNE nd

Flat Worms YES For fans of: muscular rhythm and psched out guitar leads

FRIDAY 23rd JUNE

Snail Mail 02 Ritz Manchester For fans of: moshing while crying over a broken heart

SATURDAY 16th JULY

W.H Lung Gorilla For fans of: chugging basslines

Illustrations by Ekaterina Sheath @ekaterina.m.sheath

MONDAY 27th NOVEMBER

TOPS YES For fans of: sitting on the grass when the sun is shining

TUESDAY 26th AUGUST

Tune-Yards Gorilla For fans of: watching The Klangers

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SAVVY SAVVY SAVVY SAVVY

SAVVY SAVVY SAVVY SAVVY 6

SAVVY SAVVY SAVVY SAVVY SAVVY

SAVVY SAVVY SAVVY SAVVY SAVVY

THE LILA BOOTH INTRODUCES:

Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


Music

S

VVY A S AV V Y *t/w: spiking

K

nown as Savvy by night, Ruby Savill-Downs has placed herself at the forefront of the Leeds electronic music scene. Her contributions have ranged from her electro driven club night Savvy & Friends, music journalism for the local BabyStep Magazine and, of course, her consistent appearances playing hard-hitting footwork, techno, and breaks on local lineups. Alongside hosting her radio show, Ladies Lovin’ - which analyses the history of women in the music industry - Savvy is on a mission to showcase the future female DJs. Ruby grew up in a quiet area of Essex which inspired her to make as much noise as possible. Raised by punk parents who were in a band together while she was growing up, this isn’t a surprise. Ruby also spent a lot of time exploring the art and music spaces of London “because there was nothing to do where we lived” - which inspired her to persue music. She mastered grades 7-8 in guitar, piano, saxophone, organ, and singing, leading her to teach music at 14. “Music was the thing that was essential to my life.” Her talent led to a scholarship to study at a grammar school for sixth form where she fell into the academic field of politics and philosophy, the subject that brought her to Leeds for university. “It wasn’t until I came to uni and started going clubbing that I reignited my love for music, and that was through DJing.”

Savvy’s journey on the Leeds airwaves began in 2019 with her radio show Ladies Lovin’ - a show that spotlighted the contribution of women to the arts. “We went through every decade from the 60s to the present day, talking about how women in music and art influenced and related to each other.” The show led to an event under the same name: “I wanted to DJ, but I didn’t know how. So, we thought, let’s just put us on the lineup and teach ourselves to DJ in the meantime. It was a month away, but we thought it would be great pressure for us to learn”. After DJing for the first time at her event, Ruby put on many more events under Savvy & Friends and Savvy’s House. Her motivation behind these club nights was to “create nights that are fun and safe for everyone”. “Going out is such a release, but the night is dangerous. Because of that, I’ve worked with a lot of collectives to try and make nights as comfortable for women as possible. I want to create an environment where people don’t have to worry about the things I’ve had to worry about before”. Public awareness of spiking was heightened at the end of 2021. A particularly disturbing detail was the rise of injection spiking, in what seemed to be a hate crime more than anything else. A collective of women known as Girls Night In was at the forefront of protest, holding a boycott of all nightclubs in Leeds on the 27/10/21. Thousands of students stayed in to protest the rise in cases in the hope that more would be done to combat it.

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The next step is to talk about the issue of tokenism and speak to promoters about the way they navigate curating lineups. “You’ve got to know who you’re booking and why you’re booking them. I’ve had experiences before where people have gone through a list of female DJs and just picked a few, one of them being me.” Understanding and appreciating the uniqueness in each individual, without categorising purely through gender, race, or sexuality, will certainly help filter out tokenistic bookings. This includes the appreciation of femininity in its own form. Equality comes from honouring potential differences, rather than ironing them out. “Your image doesn’t have to be something that you feel objectified by. Feeling confident in yourself instead of having to play it down is important. My image brings me confidence.”

I want to be booked in a meaningful way...”

Another hurdle to making club nights a better place is the inclusion and balance of all genders on the lineup. In a predominantly male industry, it is more necessary than ever to even out the inequalities. However, it can easily lead to tokenism. Savvy felt shocked at the beginning of her DJ career at how she could feel like so much of a token: “I’m still trying to navigate how I feel and talk about the issue of tokenism in music, inclusion riders, having space for women on a lineup, and how you do that in a way that honours the person. I still get booked for garage nights; I don’t play garage, I’m a world away from that, but I still get booked for it. I want to be booked purely on my talent, not because I’m a woman. I want to be booked in a meaningful way.”

“I want to be booked purely on my talent, not because I’m a woman.

It was a rough period for promoters; the clubs felt unsafe, and footfall was low. “Promoters definitely felt the negative impact. As a woman, I was scared anyway. The atmosphere for the nights was bad and we’d have to close events early. I think venues in Leeds did a good job of doing what they could, but there needs to be a lot more funding, and at a higher level, because the nightlife industry is such a big part of hospitality. It plays a big part in the formative years of people’s lives. A lot of people overlook that, it’s a shame.”

If you live in Leeds, make sure to go down and check out one of Savvy’s sets, or better still, one of her events. She is one to watch, and certainly an inspiration to all lovers of the electronic music scene. The Lila Booth

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Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


Music The Lila Booth is the spotlight project by Leeds-based DJ and booker Lila Cusset. With a regular slot on NETIL Radio, The Lila Booth provides a platform for emerging DJs on the underground UK scene. @thelilabooth

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photo: Sam Joyce

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Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


Music

DES A E

E

ADES

I

n late February 2021, the Northern village of Muker

record; a vehicle threatening to shake off its wheels

welcomed 5 raucous new faces to its 260 strong

through sheer velocity. Where many contemporary

population, as Leeds outfit Eades embarked on the

Indie bands favour post-punk minimalism, Eades push

recording of their debut album, Delusion Spree.

in a ragged, garage rock direction. ‘Backseat Politics’ and title track ‘Delusion Spree’ demonstrate their capability

“We realised we could go away and do it like you see in the

to produce singalong anthems, alongside songs like

films,” Harry Jordan reminisces, “so we booked an Airbnb.”

‘Smoking Hour’, which ebbs into more classic guitar

The singer and guitarist clearly has fond memories of

harmonies.

the band’s time in rural isolation; an irrepressible smile breaks across his face as he describes converting the

With the aid of a misused dining room, Eades finally

holiday home into a studio using curtains and a rug that

registered the desired sound on tape. “When you hear

once belonged to his great grandmother. They did not

those drums on ‘Reno’, that is the cottage,” Jordan

invite a producer. “It’s pretty mad that the record label

explains. “It’s in the music now. The way the guitar

let us do it. They must have trusted us.”

bounced off the wall and then hit the microphone and the drums, it became part of the sound.” The room’s ceiling

This trust comes hard-earned. Eades have built a firm

also concealed drummer Dan Clifford-Smith, while the

reputation in part thanks to their riotous live shows, a

group sought to “bring out our inner kids” during a game

showcase for the dual frontman energy of Jordan and

of hide and seek. “It took forever to find him.”

Tom O’Reilly. Away from the sticky floors and sweaty necks, flanked by parochial greenery, the band sought to

Jordan is candid about Eades’ palpable togetherness,

capture this vigour on record. Previous attempts, Jordan

describing his bandmates as “amazing musicians, who

admits, had failed to replicate the band’s fervent sound.

can put their ego aside.” This shared vulnerability allows

“Stylistically we wanted it to be raw, so we thought, let’s

lyricists Jordan and O’Reilly to craft self-reflective and

do it live in the room.” The result is a tireless, blistering

deeply personal lyrics, though they often contrast

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with the group’s brash musical style. It’s something that Jordan is acutely aware of, and relishes. “I remember listening to Lily Allen with my Grandad; he liked how she would be singing about darker, more serious topics, but her music would be really playful. I thought that was cool. It gives an edge and a character to the music.” Perhaps this is the key to Eades success, confronting the less palatable side of life with creativity, twisting it into something enjoyable. “I’ve always liked upbeat music, but life isn’t happy all the time,” he says. In addition to the album, Eades winter sojourn has led to an upcoming film, shot by the band themselves. “It’s a fly-on-thewall-style documentary. We tried to capture all the different sides of the band, I think we’ve got Dave – our old bass player – talking about how he makes his homemade pie.” In both culinary and musical terms, the band are in the midst of a creative spell as further promotion for Delusion Spree approaches in the form of a UK tour. In the lyrical introspection, the thunderous rhythms and the unaffected bare-faced grins, Eades will be bringing a small piece of the Yorkshire countryside with them.

Delusion Spree is out now on Heist or Hit. Eades play Brudenell Social Club on 2nd May.

Eddie Smith

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Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


They must have trusted us.”

“It’s pretty mad that the record label let us do it...

Music

photo: Sam Joyce

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Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


Poster created by Niall Unger exclusively for Nice People Magazine


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Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


Art

CI U L PI A N W

ith a lo-fi and sentimental approach to image-making, Luci Pina takes inspiration from archival footage to create an illustrative patchwork. Sifting through seminal music videos and forgotten documentaries to influence her work, Luci credits finding her signature style to hip hop. Much like how the genre borrows samples, Luci takes snippets of inspiration from resources to build her final pieces. “I sort of work in the same way a producer would with samples,” muses Lucy. “I take different bits from wherever to make something new.” Alongside personal narratives, Luci enjoys making researchled responses to Black culture with a loving consideration for politics and representation. Her work affectionately portrays vibrant scenes of cultural moments past; from the streets of Leeds’ Chapletown Carnival to the studios of iconic rappers such as Mos Def and MF DOOM. Her work often evolves into fake flyers that can be imagined pasted on underpasses in New York, their pastel tones and graffitiinspired typefaces magnetising you towards the party. With a signature style so recognisable and authentically Luci Pina, it’s easy to think that this evolution of style came naturally to the Leeds Arts University graduate. But, with refreshing honesty, Luci admits that she “felt lost” when searching for what she wanted her signature style to be. Her final university project was looming, and everything Luci was working on “felt forced”. Spending her time instead listening to music and watching the Netflix docu-series Hip Hop Evolution, Luci decided it was time to try something different to anything she’d ever done before. She embarked on a research-based project on hip hop and played with the different visuals that she encountered in documentaries and music videos.

“Watching Hip Hop Evolution, I realised the history of hip hop and how connected to Blackness it is. It made me feel inherently connected to it.” reflects Luci. “I always pinpoint how my work started looking now with that final year project at uni. That project to me was very special, it is my baby. I don’t think I’ll ever prefer another project more than that”. This research-led approach has informed Luci’s work to date; starting with a collation of sketches pulled from various sources, and ending with a layered response in which quotes, textures and iconography dance together on the page. Her fluid figures are at home within the piece; the canvas a refuge in which they’re free to roam the streets Luci sets in front of them, with the beats of a distant party pulsing through their neighbourhood. “Hip hop has such a wide history and there’s a lot of music to look at, as well as its influence,” Luci explains when asked about her process. “I started with looking into my favourite albums of the ‘90s and early 2000s. I focussed on each album and the visual language around it. Music videos, interviews, even seeing where they got different samples from in each song, and then I drew from whatever I found.” Freshly graduated and with this seminal hip hop project under her belt, Luci was featured in It’s Nice That and commissioned by SCRT (Stay Creative Co.), both opportunities solidifying that she had found her ‘signature style’. Coasting away from hip hop and feeling inspired after seeing her designs on SCRT garments, Luci decided to make some reggae trousers: “After I did my hip hop project, I craved some new content. I asked myself: What other genres do I like? What other music am I into? I settled on reggae after watching a documentary about the rise of reggae in Britain. I was inspired by the bands that brought up politics in their music but in a reggae way all about unity and love.”

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Until recently, Luci’s studio was her bedroom and coffee table, and she found herself craving a studio space where she “could work big, and not small anymore.” After a brief stint in a shared studio with artist and best mate Rosie Wainwright (@softandprickly), she was offered a space at creative hub East Street Arts. “Mine and Rosie’s place was our mini creative community,” Luci reflects with a smile. “But it was quite isolating”. Now, you can find Luci lovingly bowed over her work in her East Street studio: resources, sketches and initial concepts pinned all over the walls; the tinny beats of Lord Apex, MIKE and Mac Homme are heard through Luci’s headphones. Driven by the urge to engage with and celebrate Black culture, Luci creates personal and nostalgic pieces despite not ever being shoulder-to-shoulder with most of her subjects. It’s her intensive research and intelligent dissection of resources that make her work so intuitive and sentimental. With more personal projects in the pipeline, looking forward to a year of collaboration.

Blackness it is made me feel inherently connected to it...”

The trousers caught the eye of good friend John Christou of Habitual Pleasures (“Who’s lovely and amazing and I love him”), and together the two embarked on a similar project: a skirt that explored queerness and music. Originally considering making another pair of trousers, Luci and John instead settled on making something that defied gender binaries and celebrated the freedom of queer expression: “[John has] been thinking a lot about his queerness and wanting to explore it. We settled on making a skirt to tap into femininity. It’s inspired by the TV series Pose and the ball scene of the 1980s.”

“realising the history of hip hop and how connected to

Luci sewed and embellished the trousers with her pastel illustrations inspired by her investigation on reggae and dub culture: “I wanted to tear up a little at having a physical object that is such a beautiful celebration of Black UK reggae”.

Meg Firth

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Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


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Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


Art

AD DADA

A

D Raphael is an artist of many disciplines. Wielding power within his fine strokes, the Nigerian-British

artist is a storyteller with acrylic and ink. Light bounces off his subjects in his bold black and white pieces. Using deep lines and careful use of light and shadow, AD paints with respect and admiration. His bold, eloquent portraits of powerful Black icons are a powerful celebration of legacy, identity and heritage. Over the years he has honed his craft, completing a Fine Art degree at Leeds Arts University before embarking on a masters at Goldsmiths. It’s during this time in education where AD “developed as not just an artist but as a person”. Using Leeds as a playground for creativity and collaboration, AD met the important people who provided him with comfort and constant creative inspiration. Sophia Kaikitis (@skaiksart) was studying Fine Art while Zhama Jumbo (@ wisdomfortheworld, @ju.mbo_) was learning Animation, and the three of them developed a strong bond rooted in mutual respect for one another’s work. Sophia is a multidisciplinary artist that mainly creates work based on identity and the treatment of women in Turkish culture, while Zhama explores character design and portraiture through motion-mage alongside running a fashion line. “Not only are they extremely talented creatives, but they are also just pure-hearted people,” AD smiles with a glint in his eye. “They’re the positive energies you need around you when you’re almost 200 miles away from home. I have worked and collaborated with both of them countless times; every time we link up it is amazing.”

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The biggest inspiration in AD’s life however is his mum, who he credits with all his success: “She would tell my siblings and I that whatever path we choose to take, we have to make sure to give it our all,” reflects AD. “She told us to never compromise our beliefs or morals, and if we do this, success is sure to follow.” Living by this mantra, AD has embarked on a promising creative career, refusing to pigeonhole himself within one set discipline. While his early work proves his promising ability with acrylic paint, he has since explored exhibition curation, fashion lines and tonal portraits. Taking many forms, his practice is one that is conceptually driven, addressing mainly the Black cultural experience and diasporic identity. Within his exhibition work, AD has used everything from typography, screen printing and poetry to even curating documents to tell Black narratives within white Eurocentric spaces. In a collaboration between himself and multidisciplinary artist Femi Dawkins, AD curated a slideshow of 60 passport photos from his Nigerian-British peers. The installation was to celebrate 60 years of Nigerian Independence and featured alongside spoken word performances and powerful Union Jacks spraypainted in black. AD considers art as a “universal language” and uses his practice to “comment on larger social problems”. His ability as an artist motivates him to shed light on the immigrant struggle, institutional racism and ideas around postcolonialism. “I believe I have a responsibility to tell the stories of all those who came before me,” AD remarks with humble determination. “I feel like it is what I was placed on Earth to do.” His strong ability to tell stories and honour Black history has since translated into a fashion line. This started in the Summer of 2020, when AD collaborated with Nice People Magazine on a t-shirt to raise funds for Black Lives Matter Leeds. At the centre of the illustrated artwork is the Black power fist, a global symbol of fighting suppression. Around this are celebrations of Black culture and history, including the Black Panther, protest signs, afros and a peace dove. “I think fashion is very powerful: everyone wears clothes, it is a social norm, and we have the privilege to make a statement with them. As soon as you put on a garment, you are now endorsing that brand and whatever it says. You have to be careful about the message you are putting out to the world.”

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Images by Leah Anais

Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


Art

“I have a responsibility to tell the stories of those who came before me.”

AD is currently exhibiting a range of his works at the Watford Museum. With Watford being the city he grew up in, this first solo exhibition (entitled: OTA IBA YOMI) is a homecoming for AD. The exhibiton is a spotlight on AD as a local artist and is on until the 31st March.

Meg Firth

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K

F

LEIGH AY

S

MYTH

or millennia, reality has been limited to our capability to experience it, collect data through our senses and process our thoughts and feelings. These

experiences often influence how we perceive the past, present and future and help curate the foundations of society. Curiosity about our personal and collective future has been under review for centuries and with the increasing concern of the climate crisis and ever-growing dependency on technology, thinking about the future has become non-negotiable. For artists, exploring the connections between the digital and personal have been on a steady incline since the 1960s. Artists like John Whitney began experimenting with technology-based graphics - forging innovative connections between mathematics and visual art. Early explorations into digital-based artworks spurred a collective interest in how much control we have over our future and what new realities could form through these innovations. With some help from pioneering technologies, contemporary artists like Kayleigh Smyth - a freelance artist based in Darlington have been able to build bespoke worlds that reimagine our collective understanding of reality. For many, Virtual Reality (VR) is currently out of the realm of possibilities, but for some, VR enters at just the right time. Prompted by a friend who owned a headset, Smyth set her preexisting notions of VR aside and fell in love with the infinite possibilities VR had to offer: “It came almost naturally to me” she begins. “It was almost like [VR] was what I had to do”. With a background in illustration, Smyth is no stranger to drawing, but the introduction to the VR programme Tilt Brush offered an awakening to what illustration could be. “It wasn’t just about me painting pretty pictures” laughs Smyth. “It’s all down to feeling, it’s about how your body is taking in the space around you because essentially, it’s not real”. Understanding spaces that are designed to both mirror and distort our perceptions of reality, is incredibly hard. Especially when access to the technology hasn’t yet hit mainstream audiences. Hidden within a headset that spans the length of the average Nintendo Switch, is a window. “You don’t get a complete peripheral, but it’s pretty close” explains Smyth “you’re surrounded by an alternate 3D reality - a vast landscape that is essentially a canvas”.

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Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


Art

“It’s all down to feeling, it’s about how your body is taking in the space around you because essentially, it’s not real”.

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It’s difficult to conceive how the vastness of the landscape

“It’s that realisation when you’re sat in your bedroom

could be a welcoming environment for creation but for

questioning whether anyone is going to see you, like really

Smyth, this space offers an opportunity for new beginnings.

see you. I don’t mean follow me on Instagram, I mean really

“It’s limitless” she states with an ere of excitement. “There

look at my work and go ‘I want to [know more] about that

are no laws of physics, no gravity. You can change the

person. Having that is a completely different feeling”. For

whole scale of the world!»

all the praise from large organisations, Smyth remains grounded in her beliefs. “

The ability to move within these works heightens their relationship to our reality and is brought even closer

It’s important to note that the work of artists like Smyth is

through the use of audio. “Audio is around 60% of the

heavily supported by the community around her, especially

immersion; it’s a massive part of making someone feel like

in times of hardship. With headsets costing upward of

they’re there,” she says. This alignment of audio and visual

£1,000, access to her headset was one of fate, not fortune.

work seemed to fit perfectly within Smyth’s skillset. As a

When met with the reality that her degree performance

musician and visual artist, VR offered ample opportunity

was not going to take place the way she intended, Smyth

to explore each process’s relationship with one another: “I

took to Twitter to seek help. Met with an abundance of

think being a musician does help” she explains. “There is

messages offering headsets from across the world, Smyth

harmony between what is coming through the headphones.

caught the attention of Tilt Brush co-founder Patrick

It creates that relationship with what they are seeing”.

Hackett who offered to send over a brand new Oculus Rift headset, free of charge. In the early stages of her

Exploring VR and its accessibility is also something

career, Smyth remains hopeful that VR will soon enter

that needs to be talked about. It’s common for courses

the mainstream and become more accessible. “I think

to support creative explorations and completely miss

the change that will affect me will be how people access

the mark when it comes to talking about money. Often,

my work,” she says. With the increased funding by tech

graduates are expected to learn on the job, which can

giants such as Facebook, wireless headsets are becoming

put many in vulnerable positions. “I’ve already made

available to more consumers. “I’m hoping there will be

some mistakes by just not realising the rules of signing

somewhere where you can rent a headset or even just more

contracts,” says Smyth. This avoidance to talk about

conventions where it becomes normal to have them”.

finances can sometimes go the other way, she further explains: “It’s also about learning what your worth is and

It’s likely that with our collective need for the most

not overselling yourself.»

advanced technology at our fingertips, we will be seeing Smyth’s vision come to reality soon. Until then, supporting

In a society that has been built to question the validity and

VR artists through their 2D platforms will have to do.

cost of art, artists are met with an enate struggle to get their work out there - without having multiple avenues of employment on the side. And no, exposure is not an accepted form of payment.

Sydney Gilbride

Despite this and the global pandemic, Smyth’s selftaught strategy (with help from her collaborators) has pushed her to receive some career-altering commissions, most notably, The Royal Opera House. Commissions like these help freelance artists gain consistency in their commissioned work and give confidence in their creative process: “I’m still on a high really from that” says Smyth.

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Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


Art

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Nice People Magazine Spring 2022


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