ront Cover Instructions
In case you hadn’t noticed, Carmen, on our front cover isn’t just for show. Give a pull on her tail and you’ll rip to reveal what’s underneath!
WHAT TO DO
Give Carmen’s tail a little wiggle
Carefully start to peel her tail back all the way to her head
Keep peeling until you finally reveal our front cover!
ditors Letter The journey to create the first issue and first ever publication, has been a long one, it has been enjoyable for the most part but also unexpected at times. With it’s difficulties, has come achievements and achievement is success. We as a team, believe we have created something worthwhile and special, its unfamiliar. Throughout this we have been able to gain so much knowledge from amazing people. Our publication has allowed us to bring these unique individuals into the light so that everyone can celebrate what they do. Not only have these people touched our lives we hope they touch the lives of our readers as well. Embrace these communities and fall in love with what they have to offer. It has been great fun so bring on the next. Everything from a tad odd to the eccentric, ODDFISH will exhibit/celebrate the creative and visual minds of a truly unique community. ODDFISH, the reason you’re interested.
ENTS. 1 2 4 8 17 20 28 38 46
INSTRUCTIONS PAGE How to rip the front cover
A small note about this issue
Small articles on big individuals
A group of individuals challenging how we percieve our world
KEEP ME CLEAN I’M NOT URANUS
The biggest non-conformist of all
ONE ROUND MUD HUT
A women who needs nothing, has eveything she’s ever wanted
4 IN 10 MILLION An artist, obsessed
THE ‘CAT-WALKS’ THE STREETS Praised on the catwalk but ridiucled in the highstreet?
A thank-you to everyone who took part in the current issue.
The Net Small articles on big individuals
â€œI built my celebrity, out of current day myths and symbols, like, forever young, shiny, blonde glamour.â€? WORDS ABDULLAH AFOLABI ARTWORK IZZI WESTHEAD
Pandemonia has gone from Fashion Week party crasher to VIP guest in three seasons. Created by an anonymous London artist, Pandemonia is a multi-media conceptual Art project centred around a female character constructed from symbols and archetypes. Her plastic exterior takes the form of a three-dimensional drawing halfway between the real and the imagined. Pandemonia is a vessel for the artist to travel through society, and pass through the medias eye into
the intersubjective world of myth and brand. Through public interventions, Pandemonia is absorbed by the media complex, appearing in print magazines, film, social media and major product advertisements, all to reach and effect public consciousness. In addition, using her celebrity life as a narrative, the London artist inhabits Pandemonia to create a wide range of Art and product that reflects and comments on 21st century life. She is a live viewing of her exhibited work.
Discover more at www.pandemoniapanacea.com Instagram: @pandemonia99
“It’s half pin-up model, half 80’s punk, with a twist of pop art. It’s a weird mix, but it somehow works.” WORDS GEMMA RICHARDS ARTWORK IZZI WESTHEAD
Robyn is an up and coming unique drag queen and inspiring filmmaker. She is a playful, dramatic and confident drag queen, which is reflected through her style. Robyn lives life to the fullest and doesn’t stop for anyone. She has always wanted the crowd to notice her differences, making sure that she shows what she has to offer, preforming for crowds hoping to make them enjoy themselves so that her
inner woman can be expressed. She loves to play around with every look she has. As she tries to keep it a tad different from the last, so that there is diversity in her work. “I’m not sure on the future of my drag as I like to keep things organic” As said here, she loves to stay with the flow of her organic mind. An idea is never finished because you can always adapt and change it for a continuous amount of time.
“The earth is our lover, we are madly, passionately, and fiercely in love.” WORDS CALLUM CONDRON ARTWORK IZZI WESTHEAD
Meet the shameless tree huggers of the world, Annie Sprinkles and Elizabeth Stevens. Two women brought together by love of earth, and with every passing day aim to change the metaphor from ‘Earth as mother’ to ‘Earth as Lover’. Before becoming the artists they are today, both women who have explored sexual femininity for over twenty years. Annie became the first porn star to earn a Ph.D. that later, led on to teaching college students the ways of femininity though art. Similarly,
Elizabeth exhibited her visual performances that explored themes of the body and feminism in gallery’s and theaters across the US and Europe. Eco-Sexual’s believe Eco-sexuality is an identity and therefore, practiced religiously. Talking erotically to plants, caressing rocks and being pleasured by waterfalls are often hobbies for the Eco-Sexual’s. These two women are on a mission to tackle ecological issues by making the environmental movement more sexy, fun and diverse.
Discover more at
Discover more at
Instagram: @robynkandi Facebook: Robyn Kandi
www.sexecology.org Instagram: @anniesprinkled @sexeology
PHOTO CHARLIE BRAMMER
Eco Erotica Should We Be Having Sex With The Earth?
WORDS CALLUM CONDRON INTERVIEW JESSICA BURT MODEL ALISTAIR COOPER
YES, says a growing movement that goes by the name of Eco-Sexuals. Eco-Sexuals believe that engaging in sexual relations with earth could, in fact save it. These earth loving individuals gloat about making love with trees, waterfalls and plants, bringing new perspectives to humans here on Earth. According to Google search data, the term ‘Eco-sexual’ has seen an increase over the past year. Marking 2016 as the year Eco-sexual fell into somewhat mainstream territory. This rapidly growing lifestyle is lived by an estimated 100,000 people and shows no sign of stopping. This year saw the first Eco-Sexual Bathhouse, An interactive installation at the Royal botanical gardens in Melbourne, Australia. Here, participants could fulfil their every desire between sexuality and ecology, their faces covered as they incubate a mask of sprouting seeds. They navigate through the dystopian bio land, submerging every pore of their body into the composting earth that surrounds them. The Eco-Sexual Bathhouse wouldn’t have been possible if not for the expertise of, Annie Sprinkles and Elizabeth Stephens. The two feisty ‘tree huggers’ are considered the most prolific inspiration behind Eco-Sexuals becoming mainstream. Composers of the eco-sexual manifesto which shares an Arcadian vision, like other movements. These ladies are on a personal crusade, and with each passing day seek a more united relationship between earth and its occupants. On first appearance, eco-sexuality couldn’t be more misread. In media, photographs of half-naked people engaging in sexual relations with an orchid, could easily mislead true intentions. In-fact the Eco-Sexual’s are after more than sexual pleasure and have committed themselves to saving the earth. The Pony Express say. “The duo wants to infuse the idealism at the heart of this vision with a darkness that acknowledges the degradation of our environment.”
PHOTO JESSICA BURT
Saving the earth is something most of us want to do. We contribute to this usually by recycling, being aware of our carbon foot print, trying to drink from glass not plastic bottles, etc. all the general actions that we are advised to do. The Pony Express say that we have ‘f*cked the Biosphere’ by mankind continuing to take our planet for granted and not thinking about the long term effects our way of life has on this glorious Earth. They go on to say, “We humans have continued to populate earth, taking what we call home, for granted. Since civilisation about 6,000 years ago, we have transformed the earth into our utopia. We humans have always craved a more improved way of life at spare of nature. Because of this, the increase of Ecological issues is rapidly accumulating. It’s too late to save the coral reefs- and the rainforests”. At this point the duo at the Ecosexual bathhouse are seeking sustainability, after accepting an imminent ecological apocalypse. Combatting the ecological issues, we face today such as global warming, deforestation and pollution is now far beyond repair. And because of man, we have created a spiral of depletion of Earth’s natural resources. As the Eco-Sexual’s continue to fight for consideration of Earth, the Pony express say “We’re not trying to win, we’re trying to go out in style”. With every attitude changed, the closer the movement gets to a more sustainable earth. Their mainstream debut is undoubtedly going to help them achieve a more open attitude towards the loving of earth, their eccentric ways confirms that this won’t be the first and only time we see the Eco-Sexual’s take over social media whether that be in a good or bad light. We find ourselves trapped in a cycle of overpopulation, with the want to thrive. We as a species have become ignorant to the epidemics we have caused. We see the earths landscape as an art project – constantly developing at an attempt create our ideal fantasy. The Eco-Sexual movement is going beyond what anybody else has to try, in the aim to revoke ecological issues. The Eco-Sexual belief that having sex with earth could save it, may seem a tad extreme for most people. In thought, we have f*cked up the earth anyway. So why not try it? More gently of course. But if having a relationship with earth isn’t for you, a little consideration improves the chance of sustainable life… for all life on earth. We had the pleasure of interviewing two different, yet distinctive individuals who identify as Eco-Sexual. Due to conflicting schedules, we were unfortunately unable to meet, but progressed to know each other reasonably well via email. Their responses to our questions are completely eccentric, one replying with honesty and to the point, another replying in a secretive yet expressive way. It has been a fascinating journey, learning more about eco-Sexuality and the personalities who take part, and we as a publication feel privileged bringing the movement into light.
Scan To watch The video
PHOTO JESSICA BURT
“I’m a highly sexual person with a sensual creative personality.”
Toby Jenkins Jessica Burt: Thank you for taking the time to answer some of our questions Toby. I’m intrigued to know what your first encounter with Eco-Sexuality was? Toby Jenkins: I first encountered Eco-Sexuality via my work as a masseur, whilst studying Tantric massage I was introduced to Eco-Sexual’s and found their views and passion fascinating. I have always been a highly sexual person with a sensual creative personality with a love of nature, the Earth and Tantra and find these areas occasionally overlap with Eco-Sexuality. I also partake in naturism, occasionally working as a life model and encountered Eco-Sexual’s in this arena too. I have always held nature in high regard and find it fascinating, I enjoy the liberating feeling of being naked, unashamed of the human body and have enjoyed exploring links between nature and sex, such as the eroticism of waterfalls, the sea and woodlands. It’s worth noting that many of the Eco-Sexual’s I talk to have hugely varying opinions on what constitutes an Eco-Sexual. JB: What was your first act towards identifying as an Eco-Sexual? TJ: My first act towards identifying as an Eco-sexual was surrendering my body to a full body orgasm under a waterfall in Norway, in the presence of some naturist travellers I had met. JB: What’s your most preferred sexual activity with mother nature? TJ: My most preferred sexual activity with mother nature would have to be in/under a waterfall and under the influence of Magic Mushrooms or other natural stimulants, although I must confess, my experience of Eco-Sexuality is quite limited compared to many and my journey is still in its infancy. JB: Do you take part in heterosexual sex? TJ: I do indeed take part in heterosexual sex JB: What do you prefer; taking part in heterosexual sex or Eco-Sexual acts? TJ: It’s hard to choose which I prefer out of Eco-Sexual and heterosexual acts, as the two aren’t mutually exclusive of course, but both can be amazing events. JB: Are you open about your sexual interest towards mother nature? Are you open to tell family/friends? TJ: I am probably only open about this facet of my life with selective groups such as other Eco-Sexual’s and close friends. I find a lot of people do not understand Eco-Sexuality, they are puzzled by it and see it as strange. Those who have experienced it or similar events totally understand in an instant. JB: Do you know any other people that also identify as an Eco-Sexual? TJ: I have vague associations with other Eco-Sexual’s but not close relationships as I can be quite private. JB: Do you have a partner? If yes, what are their opinions on Eco-Sexuality? Are they also an Eco-Sexual? TJ: I Don’t have a partner right now, but I would definitely like to find a partner to experiment with. JB: Is this something you see yourself doing for the rest of your life? TJ: I don’t see why I shouldn’t carry on experiencing mother nature into my future but who knows where life will take you?
PHOTO CHARLIE BRAMMER
Waves Jessica Burt: Thank-you ‘Waves’, for your lovely words, and for the intriguing poem. Could I ask, what compelled you to send it to us? Waves: My first commitment is to authenticity and to dialogue in any setting that can strengthen authenticity, especially in areas subject to conventional suppression or media distortion, as is true with erotic life generally and uncommon variants such as eco-sexuality. Seeing your post, I recognized the intention to make something genuine and worthwhile, and admired the effort to bring light to a little-understood experience, and thus sent a note. When asked the same questions as our interview with Toby, our anonymous ‘Waves’ responded in a not-so-structural manner. Like the words on the overleaf, it seems poetic and mysterious. Perhaps just like that of Eco-Sexuality? Waves: Always felt it. Very young. Always knew. Craving. Secret. First time. No plan, no fantasy. Short-cut through woods. Urgent. Stepped off path. Hidden spot. Virgin dawn. Instantly total. Could not hold back. Could not stop. Oh god. Suddenly: in love in love in love. Confused that night. Too weird? One-time aberration? But: insatiable. Never mind questions. Had to have it. Now. Next day. Same place. Even better. Longer lasting. Day after day. Nights. Summer. Heaven. Creative. Places. Times. Improvement. Risks. Then: big surprise. Offhand remark at party. What? Really? Can we talk? Out on the balcony? Delicate probing. Wanting, but careful. Testing the water. You too? Yes. Same. Intimacies. Secrets. Revelation. Whole new world. Ours. Us. This. Together. Places. Car trips. Cameras.
Waves’ poem can be found on the overleaf.
ARTWORK ANNA BOWEN PHOTO (OPPOSITE) JESSICA BURT
touching yielding secrets
Keep Me Clean I’m Not Uranus The Biggest Non-Conformist of All
WORDS CALLUM CONDRON
Earth, the largest and only known terrestrial planet to sustain life. This extraordinary planet features the most dynamic and vast landscape ever seen. A planet capable of sustaining multiple lifeforms unlike any other. In 1959 an estimated three billion people roamed earth, since then world population has seen a 100% increase. Now, an estimated 7.4 billion people populate Earth and is predicted to develop into nine billion by 2038. Earth has provided a home to all for the past 3.8 billion years and continues to do so. Overtime this immense planet has enabled us humans to live life with no limitations. The world really has been our oyster, and we have sure taken it for granted. We are subconsciously in a battle with nature. Our actions deface the surface of the earth, every day we cut down 27,000 trees to produce toilet paper. Every day, our human population density causes a negative effect upon the earth. Every day, we contaminate earths elements and every living thing by producing atmospheric pollution. David Attenborough once said “we are the architects of the urban world”. We are the cause of nature’s imperfections and are with each passing day losing the connection we once had with the natural world. The actions in which we have made haven’t gone unnoticed, Mother Nature herself has started to retaliate to the abuse we’ve inflicted. Behold, Mother Nature, the biggest non-conformist to ever exist. Mother Nature answers to no-one. One overwhelmingly powerful force capable of shifting tectonic plates and transforming the face of the earth in seconds. Natural disasters have always been recurrent since earths beginning’s but since civilisation, a spike in more violent disasters has been recorded. Our actions have been of key contribution to the severity of these disasters in more modern times. 1931 saw the world’s worst natural disaster in history. From the months of July to August the Yangtze River in China overflowed
PHOTOGRAPHY JESSICA BURT PHOTO (OPPOSITE RIGHT) CHARLIE BRAMMER
and caused a relay of unstoppable floods that would devastate a country. The flood spread over 20 Million acres, detrimental to the agricultural and economical infrastructure. This unstoppable force killed over 3.7 Million, furthermore, affecting 51 Million in total over the month. Natural disasters like this have been recorded all around the globe. Pakistan saw the most destructive cyclone recorded, Haiti was the victim of the most prolific earthquake in media and not forgetting the hurricane that tore apart Alaska in 1964. These disasters are small examples of what nature is capable of and for as long as we continue to use earth unnaturally, the retaliation will only become more recurrent and catastrophic. We have developed the earths vast landscape to mirror our vision. It could be seen that natural disaster are earths attempt to reset back to practicality, literally demolishing all man-made developments. Many leading scientists predict more natural disasters on a gigantic scale. Scientists recently discovered that 73,000 years ago, a collapsing volcano caused a 1,000ft mega-tsunami, making it the largest recorded. Experts predict yet another mega-tsunami to hit in the near future. It’s predicted that this mega-tsunami will be twice the size of big ben and would produce more energy than the all the explosives detonated in world war 2. Recognising the sheer force nature can produce, we have developed technology that enables us to foresee into the future. We can now detect when Volcanos will erupt, when dramatic weather will hit and when water will overflow. This scientific breakthrough is great and puts us one step ahead on nature but, and that’s one HUGE but. Any imminent threats we do foresee we can’t possibly stop. We must respect Earth as we want to be respected.
One Round Mud Hut A Women Who Needs Nothing, Has Everything Shes Ever Wanted WORDS CHARLIE BRAMMER PHOTO HANNAH PRICE
Emma Orbach, where to begin. This is a lady so very different to your average person, she doesn’t live the lifestyle like most of us do. She lives the life of a free spirit and is able do as she pleases because of her choices in life. In this era, we are all lead by electronic devices, they are what we interact with most and we forget what is around us. We have become unaware or even forget what the harm of these modern devices are doing to us in our homes, we forget the true meaning of life. The potential is endless, why not do something amazing? Emma is doing something amazing and she believes she doing something that’s right more than anything. She believes that what she is doing will leave no traces of destruction to the earth she lives on. Imagine if you could do that yourself, to know that you haven’t harmed the place we call our home. She lives off grid. This being; a lifestyle where there is no use of electricity or gas and it is very much a self-sustained lifestyle. She believes many humans have lost their ways in life and that they are just following pure greed into the consumer’s trap. She has made the choice to seclude herself from our world, and create her own. When visiting her land, it was a very different experience, you forget where you were previously and only focused on where you were currently. The atmosphere had changed, and my mood overall was lifted. I was at peace in this calm and quite piece of land which was situated in the heart of Pembrokeshire. Life here could be seen as an absurd idea in the eyes of many, if you were to spend just half an hour with her you would understand completely why she has chosen this lifestyle over any other. The knowledge that she holds, for someone with no access to the internet, is intriguing. She has coped without the one thing that we all rely on.
PHOTO (BOTTOM OPPOSITE) JESSICA BURT PHOTO (TOP OPPOSITE) CHARLIE BRAMMER PHOTO HANNAH PRICE
Thank you for giving us the time to interview you, I’m sure you’d have plenty of other things to be doing right now. Jessica Burt: I can’t help but wonder what your walls have been made from? Emma Orbach: It’s a secret recipe, but I’ll tell you what it is. So, most people who build a straw building use lime, but for me that’s quite a destructive substance because people quarry whole mountains to get the limestone, so I just use horse sh*t and clay mud from the land. People like limestone because it almost waterproof and its hard. But there isn’t any here and I don’t want to take part in quarrying. JB: So, what would you say your typical day here was, what activities do you get up too? EO: I like to move my body around when it’s cold, like today. So, I’ll chop some wood and carry some water. People go ‘you know that’s a lot of work to do’, well how much do you have to work to pay your fuel bills, I would only have to work for half an hour to keep me warm. I try to get to my phone as much as possible which is at the top of a hill a mile away, I get a lot of people calling me. In my perfect world, I’ve come to feel that as the sun is rising in the sky my energy has become strong, physical energy and I like to be in my body doing things like working the garden obviously and there is loads of stuff to do here it’s a very physical lifestyle. In the afternoon When the sun comes down I’m doing more gentle things, I tend to do healing or people just want to come see me to talk, that happens in the afternoon so I’m usually quite busy doing ‘people things’. I’ll then eat between one and two and then a little bit of time to myself, and then I’ll go back to counselling I guess you could call it.
Hannah Price: What type of things do you usually cook for yourself here? I can see it being quite repetitive. EO: Everything becomes simple when you live like this. As a group when we’ve all worked together on a Wednesday, we all bring a dish of food to share so we have an amazing feast, sometimes it might be all cake or rice (laughing). But I also like things really simple so like a bowl of steamed vegetables like sprouts, just lightly buttered or salt, and that’s a feast. Cooking isn’t very complicated, it used to be, I taught my youngest daughter how make lasagne on the open fire. I’ve cooked everything on the open fire; pasties, bread and cakes but I don’t tend to just do that for me, I’m happy eating really simply. Some people come and they go well I’m going to try living without a clock but how will I know when its lunch time? Well when you feel hungry. When people come, and stay I say find your own rhythm, experiment what that is. Maybe you need to be awake all night and sleep all day if that’s what you want to do; go for it, I’m not going to come and wake you up. So being free to explore what is right for you is important. To take yourself out of that ‘oh I should be doing this and must eat food because everyone else is eating’ if you’re not hungry don’t do it.
JB: How do you feel about climate change and global warming; do you think it’s a hoax or do you believe that it’s our doing? EO: I think it’s important not to get frightened of things, I thinks it’s time humans got real about how they are behaving and I don’t care whether its real or not. But basically, it’s important to understand that how we live on the earth has an impact on the natural system and its shocking what’s going down, we’re basically destroying the earth. Yeah I wouldn’t be at all surprised if climate change happens. I’m doing my best to live in a way that’s harmless, and that’s all I can do isn’t it. People these days are so cut off from nature, and cause and effect, so
Emma and her stream
“I just use horse sh*t and clay mud from the land to make my house walls.” 26
PHOTO CHARLIE BRAMMER
some people say to me “why don’t you have a tap in your hut”. I say because I LIKE to go fetch my water, it’s alive my water and drinking it out of plastic or metal doesn’t do it for me. So, when people turn a tap on they don’t know where that waters come from and they don’t know what it’s got in it. If everybody had to drink water from nearby where they lived maybe everybody would stop polluting the water. When people flush the toilet, they don’t know where that’s going and what effect its having on what and where, so they are removed from caused and effect aren’t they, so I can sort of understand why people don’t think about it. When you turn your central heating on you don’t see the oil refinery and you don’t see all the process that brings that to your house, your cut off from that reality.
ferent like gravity for example, so there’s an etheric crystal in here that you can’t see. I’ve got a massive crystal which is at the spirit house which I’ll show you at some point. I remember, I had a lot of stuff going on with the planners and this crystal ball used to live under an oak tree and we walked past it and we saw these planners and I said “Ah could you just stand still a minute I want to get you on my database”, they all sort of got nervous and shifted around (laughing). I could say that, that’s my computer, the inter-web is a lot more efficient and effective than the internet. My crystal ball never breaks down.
JB: What was it that got you into experimenting with crystal healing?
EO: I go there as much as I can, I have my mother there, and I like to swim in the sea like everyone else. People will say to me ‘are you completely self-sufficient?’. Self-sufficiency isn’t something I’m obsessed with. I grow fruit and vegetables and I have milk and eggs and cheese. I went to see friends over the river the other day with a box of pears saying, ‘help yourself’, so it’s like that here.
EO: So the problem is, when you ask me a question like that, the answer to it, is that we all have loads of life times, so in my world I’ve been doing it forever, so this lifetime it was my son who got me into it. He started collecting crystals. And I’d go “aw their nice aren’t they” and then later I realised they were more than just stones, they were beings. Some of the questions are going to have wacky answers, so I don’t want to go on about things that are way out. JB: No, I’m very intrigued please go on! EO: Okay so, there is different dimensions and how light operates and behaves differently, what we call physics is relevant to the 3rd dimension. But my feelings, as the vibration changes things get dif-
spend a lot of time with someone and do some healing for them and then they give me almost next to nothing. And I just think yeah just get real, because I do still need money. But I’m also in my perfect future we won’t bother with money because it’s just an idea. Money doesn’t make anyone happy apart from the odd few who are raking it in so I think money is a rubbish idea. CB: The world now works around money do you agree? EO: It does and money is based on fear really, it’s based on an unwillingness to share everything. We could just share everything couldn’t we. One year some people in this valley they had so many tomatoes they didn’t know what to do with them. They said they would go and sell it at the market in Newport, I said ‘why don’t you just give them away’. If you don’t need them why don’t you just give them away and then somebody else might decide to give away something else and then that would be fun. Why do you have to SELL IT.
CB: Do you head out into town at all? I heard you go there for tea and go to the beach quite a bit?
JB: How did your children respond, when making the decision of living how you do now?
CB: How is your situation for money, what’s it like buying day to do things for you? EO: People give me donations, this is a low impact healing and retreat centre, so people who spend time here would give me donations. People get annoyed at me, they always ask me ‘tell me how much is a donation’. I don’t know how rich you are and I don’t know how much you value what I’ve got here, that’s for you to decide. Some people almost give me nothing and some people give me masses. I feel taken for granted sometimes, because I may
The Spirirtual House
PHOTO (OPPOSITE) JESSICA BURT PHOTO (TOP) HANNAH PRICE PHOTO (BOTTOM) HANNAH PRICE
Inside the Spirirtual House
EO: It was awful for me, well they were teenagers, exactly the wrong time. It was just traumatic for me and they never went to school so I’ve been a full-time mother for 17 years. And then suddenly ‘I’ve got to come and do this’ and it was like ‘no do it now’. So, that was difficult for me. I think now they all understand I’m doing what I need to do and I think they respect that even if it’s not what they choose, they don’t give me a hard time. Sometimes my son is worried about me because there have been times were I’ve not had much money, and he says ‘why don’t you just get a job’ I say well I’ve got one but I’m payed by the universe when the universe thinks it’s a good idea not when I think it’s a good idea. We forget we have past lives, but there are things in us that are calling us to the level of our souls, so I feel I was being called back here all this lifetime, so before I had my children so 35 years ago I woke up one night it was full moon, it wasn’t exactly a dream, I woke up and was kind of babbling at my partner ‘hey I just realised we’ve got to move to Wales, we’ve got to start a community and we’ve got to do this and do that, and It feels like I had a big download of information from my spirit guides. It was like (the spirits) its time now get back to Wales. So, when I built my first hut, the first night I spent in it I was going ‘I’m back, I’ve got back, at last I’m back’ and I was so happy and I could feel this enormous sense of relief, unconsciously I knew I was going back to this because this is real, and I found my way out of all the madness. She almost live’s the life of a Flint Stone, an old childhood memory for most, or someone more recent like the Hobbit. In this low impact healing and retreat centre, you can go rest and take the weight of your shoulders, go experience the life of Emma and the many others that are around her in her settlement. She is very much into Chakra healing and mediation; the spiritual house is where everyone goes to socialise and be one with nature. They are thankful for everything they have and will receive in the near future. The spiritual house took just up to 6 months to create, and over 100 people from the communities and outside to help to create this magnificent building. The effort and love put towards it payed off. All the work was done by hand and materials came from local sources. As she says ‘Almost nothing in this hut has involved a builder’s merchant’. She wants people to realise that you can do without the consumer lifestyle. If we all packed our bags and lived like her would we save the earth? She is a teacher she is an inspiration, and she comes up with some wacky answers, but she is true and she is real. She has been spoken to by the spirits and she is doing, what she was destined for and this isn’t her first time, she has lived this life many times in other lifetimes. It’s time to ‘get real’ as she would say. Emma has recently got permission to build a community building, and continues living in her community with no intention of leaving.
PHOTO CHARLIE BRAMMER
It can be said with confidence that Maxwell Rushton’s art is all or nothing. Maxwell graduated from Leeds Collage of Art in 2012 with 1st class honours in Fine Art. This comes as no surprise. His blood, sweat and tears can be seen in almost every project he’s created, literally. ‘Buy in, Bleed Out’; a 330cm x 200cm canvas holding twenty pints and counting of his own blood, ‘Drawn Out’; Four, ten-meter paper rolls consisting of ten million lines and took approximately 386 days of seclusion to complete and ‘Inside Out’; a 4x2 meter canvas painted during a live performance with again, his own blood. The extremity of Maxwell’s work is compelling. He must be an intense individual, right? Wrong. As his front door opened, my idea of him completely changed. After researching in depth, the meaning behind his artworks and describing our culture as ‘brand obsessed’; dedicating an impressive sized canvas containing twenty pints of his own blood to the problem, I was even consciously aware to not dress myself in any obvious branding. Then his front door opened, and I was glad that I had not expressed my previous thoughts to the rest of the team as he could not have been more relaxed. The time spent at Maxwell’s felt like a conversation with a friend, rather than an interview with an artist. We as a team, feel privileged to have met such a talented and inspirational man. His works of art are not for the faint hearted and we are eager to see what part of Maxwell’s anatomy will be included within his future projects.
4 In 10 Million An Artist Obsessed
WORDS JESSICA BURT
PHOTOGRAPHY CHARLIE BRAMMER
‘INSIDE’ # 10
Jessica Burt: Hi Maxwell, so first things first, I’m keen to find out what inspired you to do the four markings and why it has stuck with you for so long?
Maxwell Rushton: The four marking are something I did since I was a kid on every piece of paper I would pick up, I would always scratch it on to tables etc. It was kind of obsessive and weird for a kid to do that. Then at university I wanted to pick where I would stand in the art world. I really love raw expression and primal way of creating artwork so it was almost automatic but then I had to think about how critical I am and how weak my position was to make that
kind of work. Since I was schooled artist full of inspiration of contemporary artists very much educated to perform a certain job, so I couldn’t make outsider art of the art work that I really had passion for and when I realised this sort of rejected the idea of it and moved the opposite one and started experimenting with super commercial or insider art or what ever synthetic way of making expression so purely focusing on marketing branding and stuff like that, but I always found like a infinity to these lines and so they sort of became more significant to me because where just this tiny little expression that was without influence, without this cultural
molestation. So I was like, I want to make all this commercial art but I also want to know what it feels like to meditate through art and so I chose those lines to do Drawn Out with. JB: I read the journal and it doesn’t seem like meditational process seems like it was quite stressful towards the end. Was it more than what you expected it to be? MR: Yeah, it was. I mean it started as one roll, which I was doing in London, and then I finished that roll and I really enjoyed finishing it and enjoyed the process of doing it. That wasn’t painful that was kind of the meditation, but you do find meditation in pain as
well that’s a huge thing. I finished that roll and then I stood back for a minute and that’s when I realised that there was only one ‘line’ and thought fucking hell, I’ve been drawing four lines, I’ve got to do three more now! I spent a year doing that one role working part-time, so I made the decision to move away to France to really concentrate on getting them finished because I made the first one when I was working part-time, and that took me about a year, so I thought I’m going to have to dedicate three more years doing this full-time. JB: Why do you think those four markings stayed with you? We’ve all drawn
MR- I have no idea why I started drawing them as a child. It was an intuitive way of mark making as a child, so its remained significant because it’s the only thing I have been able to create as an artist where I can stand by and say it hasn’t been influence by anything else, it’s just four very simple, vertical marks, and everything else I’ve ever made has been hugely influence by other artists such as Herman Rorschach, Coca-Cola, my Mickey Mouse paintings, everything is just full of pop influences. But the markings weren’t they were isolated from that so they remain very dear to me. I had been consistent with drawing throughout my infancy and into my adulthood. These marks represent the primal artistic spontaneity of a child, an expression still devoid of any of the influences of adulthood that cannot be attributed or interpreted by schooled thoughts. It was making these lines instinctively, it’s reflexive, they always felt natural to leave behind. JB: You briefly mentioned before about some new pieces you had been working on and described them as child-like drawings, do they hold the same intention of childhood innocence like the four lines by not being influenced by anything? MR- Yeah, I think they have a huge correlation to Drawn Out more so than anything I’ve ever done. It’s like trying to draw back like you were three years old. We are really acquainted of drawings by children aren’t we, But in terms of an art context its kind of weird, we stick them on the fridge? But I like the playfulness of that, I think there is some kind of purity drawing like a three-year-old. Trying to get my head, or my hand let’s say, to act or threeyear-old. I really enjoyed doing
those little sketches. They’re all just sort of a past time, I have a project called Sketchy that’s just me filling up sketch books of child-like drawings paired with quotes. I have one drawing and it did turn out into a family. Maxwell flicks through a sketch book placed upon the table we are sat. after flicking through the pages, cover to cover he cannot remember what book it is in. I mean ‘the family’ is starting to cross over into different territory, so I might try to ungroup them. But the family is also important, that’s not really touched upon in art. Art is really good at bringing to light issues that we don’t think of everyday or that we obsess about. The most generic way of making artwork is by what do we find cool? But family is a bit too corny isn’t it to put into contemporary art isn’t it? (laughs)
day doing some more lines. JB: I read in the journal you wrote during Drawn Out that you lost your vision. did it come back? MR: Yeah slowly, I could see everything beyond a point and then it was just super blurry it really freaked me out because I was half way through the one roll and I thought, I hope this isn’t irreversible! But sure enough it was a muscle, which I thought it would be, so it got back on track after I finished the project. JB: I’m fascinated by this project. When researching it, I felt so inspired by it due to what you put yourself through in order to achieve the final result. What would you say was the most difficult part?
JB: So you didn’t even take one day off?
MR: The most difficult bit was always when I was half way through a roll, because they both curled up at either side so in order to gage progression when they’re like that was almost impossible, so it just feels never ending. I mean months would go by and the rolls either side looked like they haven’t moved. But for me I really enjoyed progressing with an art work consistently, and there is a lot to be said of having a tempo through a piece of work and finishing it at the same rate you started it. Rather then the other pieces of work that I go that are tons of planning or conceptualising or waiting around for ideas to happen and then being able to execute them in a day and then that be the work, so it was nice to sort of slow things down, or speed things up at a really nice pace, every day I would be doing a bit of work and it would be the same work but it would be helping the first bit of work. Rather than sporadically moving from project to project. Do you want to see them now?
MR: No I didn’t stop drawing. I think I had a few days off doing the first one. The most I took off was about 3 days, but I put in a few hours in the
JB: Yes, I’d love to! Maxwell then leaves the table to retrieve the four, 10 meter, Drawn Out rolls. He unwraps the bubble wrap they are kept
JB: Is that why you moved away to finish the Drawn Out pieces because you didn’t want to be influenced by any aspect of our life and keep the purity flowing into the creative process? MR: Yeah that’s exactly the reason. I moved away because it would enable me to concentrate more on my work. I don’t speak French so moving to France was a good idea for me as it meant I couldn’t communicate or have any in depth conversations with people other than thanking them for the shopping. JB- Wow, it sounds very intense. I can imagine it being very lonely? MR- Yeah, definitely. Even simple tasks like going to the supermarket and buying shopping felt surreal, because I wouldn’t have talked to anyone in a good few weeks.
in and rolls them out. It seems strange that the four rolls that we have been discussing are now led out on the floor and draping over the sofa in front of us. I have been itching to get my eyes on them ever since we stepped foot into Maxwell’s apartment, in fact, ever since I began researching them. I look at the ten million, tiny lines then back to Maxwell, and feel a sense of awe that he has created such an incredible and intricate piece of work. It seems surreal that the innocence behind Maxwell’s childhood four line ‘doodle’, would later in life result in his eyesight being temporarily impaired, cause an excruciating trapped nerve in his back leaving him unable to walk at times and seclude himself for a year talking to near enough no one. Was it worth it? Seeing ten million lines upon a sheer four, ten meter rolls is nothing short of impressive. Who wouldn’t be proud of this project?
PHOTO JESSICA BURT
doodles growing up but for most people they don’t have an impact on their life. Why do you think they have been so significant in your life?
MR: Every painting or artwork that is finished is almost a dead painting. As soon as you complete something, the only thing that is living is the next thing. I’m not saying this project is dead to me it just feels like all the energy has left it now, because a lot of it was to do with the process. Extracts of Maxwell’s Drawn Out journal can be found overleaf.
Maxwell is currently collaborating with children to create life-size portraiture. Find his child-like sketches and other pieces of his artwork on his Instagram and website. www.maxwellrushton.com @maxwellrushton @maxwell_sketchy
The point of contact in my little finger had calloused into a lump which I have to balance on to draw. The months are starting to roll by.
My fingertips are smooth and my finger prints are almost non-existent on my thumb and index finger because of the constant rubbing.
I have trapped a nerve in by back from reaching across to the top of the drawing, I’ve hardly slept in the last three nights. The trapped nerve has eased.
I’ve moved into a hamlet in the French Alps to work on these remaining rolls in isolation.
I need to complete a further three identical rolls, which when exhibited together would resemble the repeated set of four lines which fill them - a fractal pattern.
When I unrolled the paper on the floor I realised that this single roll, once exhibited on a white wall, would look from a distance like one broad grey line.
I’ve been taking weeks out my job to draw these lines. After almost half a year of drawing I finished with my hand was cramping and callouses across my fingers.
I’m working on this roll whilst living in a flat in London. My body doesn’t move for most of the day, just my hand, everything else is perfectly still.
Saturday 9th May 2015, dull tears fell onto the paper as the project came its end. This drawing was trial and a rite of passage, being free of it is surreal.
There’s no part to the day that is remotely complex. Drawing has become as intuitive as breathing. Close to finishing now, just a month or so left.
I’ve drawn every day, since I started roll one around year and a half ago. I look up at things which I swear are moving but there is nothing, it’s annoying.
Worryingly, my eye sight has dulled. I’ve been staring at a surface just 15 inches from my face for such a long time that trying to focus on an object any more than a meter away is noticeably blurry.
Almost finished the third roll. Relief almost got the better of me as I edged into the last millimetre, but they were quick to subside. Another ten meters of work too complete.
Taken to talking to myself. My internalised thoughts are abstract and even though I have no audience I still tend to speak in coherent sentences.
The lump of toughened skin across my finger caused by the constant contact. My hand keeps shaking for hours after I’ve finished.
Trapped the nerve again. I know I’m getting something from this; I’m not sure what yet. It’s hard to see the end of this project.
The ‘Cat-Walks’ The Streets PHOTOGRAPHY CHARLIE BRAMMER MODELS ESMERELDA & KYLE DEEK FASHION DESIGNERS SARAH RYALL & OLIVIA TRISHA BELLA
Scan To watch The video
ONE ROUND MUD HUT
Pandemonia and her team
Brithdir Mawr Community
Annie Sprinkles & Elisabeth Stevens Izzi Westhead
4 In 10 Million
Assiting Art Director
KEEP ME CLEAN I’M NOT URANUS
THE ‘CAT-WALKS’ THE STREETS
National Botanical Garden Wales
25 Model Management
Sarah Ryall Olivia Trisha Bella