Issuu on Google+


barry adamson brighton rockers barry adamson

Barry Adamson returns with a brand new, dubtinged single, the deep, brooding and playful “Brighton Rockers”. Available to order now on super-limited flexi-disc postcard complete with digital download or standalone download over at iTunes.

Also find Barry’s track “The Sun and The Sea” on Manchester Compilation THIRTY ONE. All proceeds to CALM www.thirtyonesongs.com

All profits go to CALM. Buy the single and donate at www.barryadamson.com

brighton rockers


CALMzine is the first port of call for all your manspiration needs. We all have issues at the end of the day, so what do you want to talk about? Who do you want us to talk to? We want to hear from YOU. Email us your ideas and views at editor@thecalmzone.net If you want the hard stuff, go to the CALM website: www.thecalmzone.net or follow us on twitter @CALMzine thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

3


©globalstreetart.com

INTERVIEW WITH

TOM ‘INKFETISH’ BLACKFORD by Lee Bofkin @globalstreetart Tom ‘Inkfetish’ Blackford has been painting on the streets for over a decade. Inspired by Japanese comics, he has a dark sense of humour that permeates many of his characters. CALM catch up with him as he prepares for his debut solo show ‘Imaginary Friends’, which combines childhood images with adult themes…

Relying on Yourself “I’ve been making art forever. It’s been an obsession throughout my life - something I can always fall back on no matter what else is happening. After Anime and Manga started hitting the UK around 1992, I wanted to be a comic artist or animator. At the same time, graffiti

6

was exploding around me and everyone at school was getting into it. Graffiti was the cooler of the two obsessions, which suited my rebellious attitude. I chose the name ‘Inkfetish’ eight years ago to reflect the fact that I was concentrating on illustrative work on walls. In trying to distance myself from traditional graffiti, since I’d got into trouble through bombing, I was taking on commercial work as a freelance illustrator. Ultimately, I still consider myself an illustrator, although when people ask me what I do these days I usually say I’m a painter. As far as painting illegally goes, there are ways for me to do it, but the drive to ‘get up’ has been overshadowed by other things.

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


I’m a self taught artist in every respect. After studying illustration for a year and a half at university, I quit after learning nothing. I was frustrated that the conventional artistic route I’d chosen hadn’t allowed me room for self expression. It wasn’t until I dropped out of university that I started taking the technical side of graffiti seriously. I’ve never thought London was a great place to work, simply because there are so many graffiti artists these days and not a lot of places to paint. Saying that, when I speak to guys from my crew like Rews from Melbourne and Achoe from Norway, they tell me how good we have it regarding spots compared to their cities - so maybe we just moan a lot. I visited Tokyo recently, which was impossible to paint. There was not one legal spot in the whole city! Thankfully, I hooked up with local artists IMA and GKQ who were able to take me into Chiba, a city next to Tokyo, where we were able to paint. The punishments in Japan for illegal graffiti are ridiculous.”

Artistic Development “My art is pretty much a visual series of manifested daydreams. I couldn’t tell you who’s specifically influenced my art or shaped my aesthetic approach - I think style is something that develops subconsciously. That said, Japanese animation and comics have had a huge impact on my life and I think that’s clear in mycharacters. The commercial graffiti related work I’ve done has been fun, but I was truly honoured to be asked to exhibit at Pixar. The show was based around one of my all-time favourite movies ‘My Neighbour Totoro’! I will never forget the experience of showing my work amongst some of the World’s leading concept artists and animators. I’ve wanted to do a solo show for the last three years, but finding the right time and place has been more difficult than first thought. I’ve felt in a great place creatively this year, and so producing a body of work on canvas seemed to be the natural way of showing how my work and it’s themes have evolved

©globalstreetart.com

outside of my street work. In a way, I’m glad it’s taken so long for this to get off the ground as I’ve never felt so ready for it. It is important for me to try and keep an equilibrium between my fine-art (indoor) work and my street work. If I’ve been doing a lot of commissioned art, I’ll naturally feel the need to go out and do something just for myself. I’m also trying to master building a closer relationship between my canvas and street work right now (in terms of technique). I want to paint some bigger walls too - I’d love the opportunity to spend a week painting something outside!” For more information about Tom’s exhibition, check out www.globalstreetart.com/imaginaryfriends Visit the Inkfetish website here www.inkfetish.co.uk

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

7


D

epression is a draining spectre to live with and one that’s hard to get rid of. I’m getting there, but there are always the occasional setbacks and sometimes they hit so hard I feel as if I’ve wasted all the help given to me, leaving me with a feeling as if I’m right back at square one on my unsteady road to recovery. I got to a point where my life was becoming a mechanical process of living day to day, with no happiness or drive and I was increasingly questioning and doubting my existence. My confidence was below base - through the floor. I felt alone in my own home – a supposed safe place of comfort and happiness; instead it felt like little more than four walls and a chair. I had stuff; more chairs, comfortable ones, books, music and plenty of things at arm’s reach that I could do; But life, with it’s simple impulse towards motivation, was a total blank except for a destructive focus on negative over-thinking. Voices of advice were listened to but then faded away as the conversation became over bearing and critical,

10

therefore most of the advice failed and thoughts of the worst possible ends dominated. My brain was gripped, my personality a prisoner. Loneliness and paranoia excelled in achieving their goal of debilitating me to such an extent that I risked losing sight of what others seem to take for granted. By all accounts, I was losing a mind that had held it together for others and without realising I was failing to hold it together for myself. My mind, once filled with dreams and hopes, struggled daily with a fight against debilitating cynicism. Life simply didn’t seem worth the effort anymore. I struggled intensely with the idea of calling the doctor. Before long, a few days of attempting to make the call turned into a few weeks of staring at the phone, completely incapable of using it. What stopped me making the call was the stigma surrounding mental health. I was embarrassed and frightened that I would be discriminated against in both my personal and work life. I thought I would

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


never be taken seriously again, having an official record of suffering from a condition that fell into the uneasy realm of mental health. Eventually, I found what little self-esteem I had left and dialled the number. Next thing, I was in a GPs office, stammering at a doctor asking them for help. The doctor was warm and welcoming. I wasn’t judged and was treated with respect and understanding. I found doors opening to positive progressive advice and guided help. I was initially given medication to treat my symptoms. The meds seemed to numb my soul. I felt doped, plastic and empty - not an ideal tool for recovery, but part of the healing process all the same. I was referred to the NHS ‘Healthy Minds Team’ and was initially given a course of guided self-help sessions with a mental health practitioner. These sessions helped me to understand what depression and anxiety were and how they affected me, both physically and mentally. I was given workbooks to fill out and diaries to keep, along with guides and exercises to rationalise my thoughts. When I started reading about ‘abstract thought and abstract behaviours’, I felt abnormal as I didn’t understand the clinical terminology but I went with it and used those terms as further aides to recovery. The few friends I had left advised me to push for counselling, since my depression at that stage was far too deep for the self-help sessions to sort out. I needed more focused one-on-one help. I needed to express myself and empty my thoughts onto a professional, so I asked my doctor to refer me for counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). I was offered 8 sessions that could lead to an addition of 2 extra. Was this enough? No, not at all. It was all too brief, but what limited time I had was very helpful and supportive. As the session limit was set, my negative thoughts stepped in. My mind became obsessed with the limited time I had and found myself wondering if I could cope when they came to an end.

Throughout these counselling sessions I was given the tools to rationalise my negative feelings and overthinking. I found that I was doing what I thought would please others, before considering pleasing myself and in turn undervalued myself as a whole. Most important of all I was getting more focused personal support. I could talk and express myself to someone who could openly tweak and adjust my faults and give me positive guidance by correcting my emotional posture. I found myself constantly self-analysing my thoughts and moods, often finding that the scenarios that I’d over thought and got worked up about were totally unfounded. I started to understand that I couldn’t read the future, I was no medium. The future, by definition, is fiction not fact.

I WAS EMBARRASSED AND FRIGHTENED THAT I WOULD BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN BOTH MY PERSONAL AND WORK LIFE. My counsellor was, and is, awesome and I wish I still had their help and guidance. I am improving all the time, although I do slip into anxiety and paranoia that gets picked up by my nearest and dearest. I try to use the snippets of guidance I was given to help me when I do falter. I am more relaxed about admitting to suffering from a mental illness since realising that I am simply one of the 1 in 4 people in the UK who suffer from this curable condition. There is no need to feel embarrassed to ask for help. We can overcome other illnesses and infections, and depression is no different. Depression can be tamed and overcome, but the limit on one to one treatmentneeds to be lifted and the Government and NHS must provide more time and help. Talking it through was what helped me the most. It’s not expensive.

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

11


A word from our cover artist: “Initially coming from a fine art background, I graduated from UCA Canterbury in 2006. However, rather than inspire me, the course left me very disillusioned with the art world and my options as a painter. I moved to London and embarked on a regular 9 to 5 lifestyle, something that I became dissatisfied with very quickly. Inspired by the wealth of street art that I was seeing in London, I set about starting to paint again, desperate for a more creative outlet. My first exposure to painting on a large-scale was a commission at The Royal Albert Hall and it gave me the confidence to start putting my work on the street. The idea with the majority of the street pieces is that they tell a meaningful story of their subjects, they aren’t just pretty portraits, they are people who I believe deserve to be immortalised. I find it so much more interesting to paint people who have a story to tell, painting pieces that have a direct link to where they are painted. Working in the studio is just as important to me. I am forever striving to improve and push myself as a painter and this gives me the opportunity to experiment with a plethora of fine art styles and mediums and allows me to explore the more abstract side of my personality.� www.slowbenart.com

12

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

13


Stik is one of London’s most popular street artists. His distinctive black and white stickmen have appeared and disappeared in Central and East London over the past decade. Owners of Stik’s art include Brian May, Tinie Tempah, Goldie, Chris Martin and Bono. “My work has a broad appeal because it’s very friendly” says Stik. However, despite the obvious commercial appeal of Stik’s work his focus is far from cashing in on his growing popularity. Instead he is much more focused on art that supports the community, such as his involvement in the Festival of Dangerous Ideas with Tony Benn. This is more remarkable when you learn that Stik was living in a homeless shelter two years ago. He is 30ish (he won’t be more specific), with a slim build and short hair; his jumper is torn in two places. When people ask to take pictures with him he is accommodating but puts cheap over-sized sunglasses over his own glasses to mute his identity. Stik is

14

extroverted when he talks about the present and his future but becomes introverted when talking about his identity and his past. I ask for his real name but he won’t tell me. “My name is Stik. I don’t give out my name because I’m a graffiti artist. I still paint illegally.” But it’s more than that. Stik’s past has been difficult. Some ten years ago Stik became homeless. He won’t give details on how he ended up there, but it’s clearly an unhappy story spanning a number of years. Stik found it hard to hold down a stable home. He describes it as being stuck in a trap. “Art totally took me out of homelessness. It kept me focused and on the right track.” When he moved between homes, the only thing Stik would take with him was a huge box containing hundreds of sketchpads. “I’ve always drawn stickmen on walls. That goes right back. When I became homeless I was really out of the system. There was

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


no thought of being in galleries at all; art was just my way of communicating.” Stik started painting larger pieces around East London using white emulsion that people would leave on the streets once they were finished decorating their homes. When he painted outside, people would stop him in the street and ask him to paint their houses, which he did. Stik says if you can

see the wall from the street he’ll still paint it for free. “I don’t have a formal education. I learned from other graffiti and street artists like Doze, Zomby, Run and Roa. Street artists learn a lot from each other. There’s a mutual understanding between street artists who risk getting their work out there.” He has also learned from fine artists like Giacometti and Anthony Gormley. “I always visited art galleries”, he says. During a difficult period eight years ago Stik met Gormley in London gallery White Cube and

gave him a book of his drawings. Stik had made a collection of some 50 drawings, photocopied them in a corner shop and stapled them into booklets. Gormley thanked him and said he also worked with lines, which meant a lot to Stik. I ask him how many stickmen he’s drawn. “Millions” he says “But they’re not just stickmen, they’re people. People became stickmen. They’re shorthand for emotions. They reflect how I feel. The curve of the back, how tucked in the chest is, if the arse is sticking out, whether they are knock-kneed. There’s a lot in the bend of a knee or the shrug of a shoulder.” Stik gets lost for a moment doodling on my pad. At one point Stik found a job cleaning the toilets at The Foundry, a pub and arts venue that was the centre of East London’s alternative arts scene for a decade. Banksy had artworks at The Foundry and it also became the site for Stik’s first solo show. In winter 2009, after a period of homelessness, Stik went to a drop in centre who found him a place at St Mungo’s hostel in Hackney (one of his paintings is still in their back yard). He saw his time there as sink or swim. He was in the hostel for just over a year, which he says was his most productive time. “A lot changed when I moved into the hostel. It was a good space. I painted a lot of work in the streets.” Inspired by his past, Stik started linking his art to local

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

15


news stories and social issues, often depicting those who slip through the cracks. He was commissioned by the NHS to produce a series of murals around Hackney to depict the effects of various drugs for an addiction education website. In 2010 Stik painted a large illegal mural in Glastonbury town centre. After the council removed the piece the local newspaper ran a campaign where residents asked Stik to come back and repaint it, which he did. The local people now look after the mural, removing any tags. In 2011, when Stik moved out of the hostel into more stable accommodation, he was offered four solo shows: at the Subway Gallery on the Edgware Road, with the Lava Collective in Covent Garden, at KOP in Bristol and at Graffik Gallery in West London. All four shows sold out. Stik is now in a much better position and he’s choosing to pursue his social aims. In the summer of 2011 Stik was invited to Gdansk, Poland, funded by the British Council, to paint a large-scale street piece as part of the Brit Cult Festival alongside Gilbert and

16

George at the Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art. Last Christmas his posters were sold at a fundraiser for St Mungo’s. This year Stik installed an unauthorized artwork on the outside wall of a Hackney charity. The charity sold the work to a private collector for £5,800. Stik later learned that the money raised from the sale went to support a series of youth street art projects, which he was very happy about. Stik feels very good about his success “It’s opening up lots of opportunities for me. This is a new chapter in my life.” Clearly, a lot has changed very quickly and Stik is reassessing his life. People often take pictures when Stik steps outside of his studio on Pitfield Street, a regular stop on street art tours. Most recently he has been invited to LA and offered solo shows in Paris and Montreal. Rarely do you hear of an individual whose life is so literally and figuratively affected by their art. Stik: an inspiration to the end. For more information see www.stik.org.uk and www.imitatemodern.com.

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


DEPRESSION IN THE BRIT-ASIAN COMMUNITY: A SOCIAL INTRODUCTION by CALM Ambassador Rikesh ‘RKZ’ Chauhan

In September of this year I made one of my fortnightly trips to CALM’s awesome London HQ, and the topic of depression within the Brit-Asian society came up. Furthermore, the increased stigma of ‘depression’ within Asian society. My name is Rikesh, but I’m commonly known as RKZ, a 22 year-old R&B musician. I have Indian heritage, with my father and mother moving here from Africa and India, respectively. I have found it difficult to talk about my feelings in the past, and have only recently found solace in opening up. In the last few months, my family noticed some changes in my behaviour. I was a lot quieter, I kept to myself and my conversation was muted. I couldn’t help what I was feeling, and couldn’t do much to stop it taking over. After slowly being reassured that talking was okay by a great friend at CALM, I began expressing myself more and it helped. It still does. I have a very open-minded family, so talking to them about how I felt was an easy process once the proverbial ice was broken. However, this is not always the case with some Asian families. After a long discussion with my father regarding depression, he mentioned a few things that resonated with me. “We often underestimate the stronghold that depression can have on our minds.” Within the Asian demographic the concept of depression can sometimes elude people, usually because we do not know much about it - thus immediately dismiss it. This habit is something we need to break. We need to understand how serious depression is, and how much it can affect someone’s life. Yet, more importantly, we need to know how to spot it in others. After witnessing first-hand the importance of talking and expressing thoughts, I wanted to get a deeperrooted understanding as to why depression has so much stigma associated with it in Asian society. I decided to

RKZ conduct a social network experiment via Twitter and Facebook to find out exactly that. I posted the following: Guys rarely open up about their feelings. Am I right in saying with ASIAN men, you just DON’T talk about it, period? Why? I know of so many guys (in my family too) that have suffered from depression. But it may as well be taboo talking about it. I followed that up with: Why are Asian people (I’m not saying ALL Asians, but the overwhelming majority) afraid to talk about their feelings? Suicide is most definitely preventable, but self-alienation through stress and depression is one of the biggest catalysts against. This caused a surge of notifications and replies: ‘It’s quite sad, I think because they’re expected to be strong male figures that they feel they can’t seem... weak, but it’s far from weak to be able to express yourself in any way. Ah, Asian community just don’t seem to grasp suicide I don’t think, like it’s so brushed under the carpet! We seem to kind of have ‘unity’ among our families but we fail to properly talk about things, about problems and things we’re going through.’- @Majinbibi, Shabana Musaji.

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

17


up you fear of losing the friends & family that you depend upon, through stigma & not knowing how to react. And that’s not necessarily an evil trait, it’s more human in that there’s only so much people can help before impacting on your own sanity. And that bottling up of issues, trying your best to take each day amongst the dark thoughts of self-harm & suicide destroys you more.

KISHAN RAMSAMY ‘..sometimes it’s about their pride. They don’t feel like they should tell someone because of what others may think.’ – @MonicaK92, Monica Kumar. ‘So true. It’s nearly always about what other people think.’ – @Nish_Panchal, Nish Panchal. ‘I think they do open up but they are very selective to whom, and I find that they often seem to have trust issues which hold them back. My brother is comfortable with talking openly because my dad made it ok to be that way. So many things have happened to us and there has been depression in my family, but we know we can always turn to each other. More Asian families need to have that openness. It starts with the parents setting the example IMO.’ – @ Jyojo_B, Jyoti Badwal

Ultimately we need to be a more caring society across the spectrum to allow us to provide proper genuine support without stigma. But easier said than done when so many of the good people out there themselves have their own challenges & scars to bare for life.’ @BrokenSoulBoy, Kishan Ramsamy The social experiment gathered opinions from twentyfive people of various nationalities and backgrounds. Although this first-hand analysis was extremely small-scale, the overwhelming response was that of pride and appearance: the self-conscious nature of wondering what people will think and say about us, is a reason why we dismiss something like depression – it shows weakness. It is not weak. In fact, opening up and admitting you think you may suffer from depression takes incredible mental strength, and courage. In 2013, CALM will be actively working more within the Asian communities of London, spreading the awareness and eradicating the stigma surrounding ‘depression’. Depression IS curable, suicide IS preventable.

‘Is there a cultural element? To a degree, whole expectations of our family & community expect us to be resilient, absorb the pain, and seeking help or opening up, causes great dishonour amongst your family and community. It could make your circumstances worse. Many of our parent’s generation went through so much turmoil, poverty, forced marriages, racism etc. & overcame many obstacles. In comparison to all those sacrifices made, there’s no sincere support for Asian guys to seek help without being considered a disgrace. There are wider points that transcends cultural issue and affect all of us. Many times people are dealt with such a raw pack of cards that not even their friends or family can understand or help them with. By trying to open

18

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

NISH PANCHAL


THE AMBASSADORS RECEPTION Introducing….BLAISE At CALM we have a band of merry men and women who are proud to call themselves Ambassadors for our campaign. But who the hell are they?? Tell us about yourself… My name is Blaise, but I also go by the name Sub Conscience, and I’m in the music game. I run a blog and label called Sampleface. I rap, I produce and I love making music and taking people on a journey, because as human beings we have a broad spectrum of emotions and I like to capture each and every one of them. Why did you get involved with CALM? RKZ [another CALM ambassador] and I ran a music magazine together called 16Bars and we both used music as an outlet or a venting point, so what attracted us to CALM was the involvement you have with music and the creative way you go about getting your message across. You confront the problem of male suicide, which doesn’t get much publicity because as a man you’re supposed to ‘Man up’, tough it out no matter what happens. I like the way CALM are trying to confront that male stereotype. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? I have two, actually. Firstly, never be afraid to travel. If you stay in one place, things get stagnant, so get out there, meet people, talk to people. That’s how you grow. Also ‘The anticipation of the kicking is always worse than the kicking itself ’. I remember my PE teacher telling me that when we were about to play rugby against one of the county’s hardest teams, and he was right. Things are never as bad as you think they’re

going to be, so just get stuck in and don’t be scared. What is your ‘lifesaver’ track guaranteed to make you feel better when things are tough? The track Slippin’ by DMX . It has the line in it ‘I’ma be that seed/that doesn’t need much to succeed’ which always appealed to me. And also ‘Calm Down’ by Joe Budden. I had a volatile temper at times as a kid, but no matter what I was going through, when I put that track on it just used to calm me down. Simple as that! What is your one rule for living life? Here, me and now. What I mean by that is there is no past or future, just a consistent now. One point you might be feeling really happy and at another you may feel really low, but no matter what has happened in the past or what may happen in the future, you always have the opportunity to change and get what you want out of life. @ConscienceSub facebook.com/officialsubconscience

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

19


THE GRAFFITI SUBCULTURE: NANCY MCDONALD When it comes to graffiti subculture, Dr. Nancy McDonald quite literally wrote the book on it. Her 2001 book “The Graffiti Subculture” explored the themes of youth, masculinity and identity in New York and London. Since more than a decade has passed since publication CALMzine thought it was high time someone caught up with Dr. McDonald to start to explore the difference between then and now. .. So tell us about the graffiti subculture back in the 90s… My studies were between 1992 and 1997, before the Internet started celebrating graffiti. At that time graffiti culture was very insular and not accepted. Graffiti writers were seen as a public enemy. The culture was kept like that to keep the public out; there was an anti-commercial stance – writers were hesitant to open up to commercial elements. Graffiti writers had a power in being illegal and being hated; they thrived on it and there was a feeling that being commercial would lead to losing this power. There were no t-shirts or canvases back then! Before I wrote Graffiti Subculture, subcultures had been understood in class terms (i.e. Punk was

defined as a working class subculture). Graffiti was interesting because it was chiefly defined by gender and not class (i.e. writers were overwhelmingly male). Although the culture looked anarchic to outsiders, it was actually a very efficient rule-bound subculture. There was a set hierarchy in graffiti – you had to pay your dues and there was something like a career ladder! I was interested in why graffiti writers were almost always men. I found that graffiti subculture facilitated a transition between youth and adulthood for young males. Anyone could take part in graffiti – the subculture transcended who the person was and where they came from. Writers would choose a new identity and then choose how other people saw them. At an age when young men are quite insecure graffitiserves an important purpose. The writers couldn’t operate in society as adults because they didn’t have the resources. Graffiti didn’t really require you had physical strength or cash – all you needed was a lot of bravery and daring. Proving yourself was important within graffiti; there was a pressure to be seen as never giving up. Dedication was respected. I found that the illegality of graffiti had a real value. Because the police and public hated graffiti, the writers completely controlled theculture. Graffiti allowed young

20 thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


men to own something at an age where, in reality, they owned very little else. That ownership of the subculture was directly linked to its illegality. So what changed between then and now? Today it feels as if graffiti is less set apart – it’s less hated and more accepted by the public. It is interesting to me that now, with the internet, the culture is far more accessible. I wonder how the subculture has been affected. I wonder what graffiti is doing to protect its illegal boundaries or if it can protect those boundaries at all. Perhaps the division between legal and illegal graffiti is less important today. Of course, although the internet may have made graffiti more acceptable to the public, it can also connect people writing illegally in different countries more easily. If increased train-yard security has shrunk the illegal graffiti writing scene (in the UK for example, and perhaps everywhere after 9/11), then the internet may have better connected illegal UK graffiti writers with writers in other countries.

It’s very likely that the culture of illegal graffiti is international now because of websites and forums. Also, if it becomes too difficult to write graffiti in one country then writers may travel more. Low cost airlines are another change in the past 15 or so years! Globalization doesn’t just affect companies; there are good reasons to think it can also affect subcultures. What is immediately clear is that with the advent of internet there are unanswered questions of how one can experience an illegal subculture now. Although there are more women writing graffiti today, which is a major change, it’s not clear if this has affected the illegal graffiti scene so much. Hardcore train writers are, unsurprisingly, still predominantly male.

Interview by Lee Bofkin, www.globalstreetart.com thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

21


1

MISTER MUMBLES London’s most rumbustious roustabout shares his appreciation for the capital’s hippest underground street art Recently, I was out on a leisurely ramble with my nephew, Humbert. As we kicked our way through autumnal leaves ‘neath the afternoon’s mottled sunshine, talk turned to nature, then art. Listening to Humbert eagerly profess his love of Rembrandt, Monet et al took me back to my own youthful days of artistic folly. Oh yes, I was often to be found under the cover of darkness stencilling walls with my own particular brand of deliciously wry socio-political commentary – either that or just crudely daubing giant, fat penises on toilet walls in permanent marker, with loads and loads of spunk flying out the top of them, spraying all over the place. It was tremendous fun. Inflamed by the burnished memories of yesteryear, I realised it was high time I passed on my knowledge to the next generation. I would take Humbert on a street art tour! This suggestion was met with enthusiastic nodding, as I imagined it probably would be. After all,

Humbert’s one of these caddish young fops who insist upon wearing their tweed trews slung so dangerously low that their underloons peep out in a most alarming manner. I really do wish that silly mother of his would go to Burtons and buy him a ruddy belt!

Destination I: The disused railway line, Crouch End Initially it was something of a struggle to persuade Humbert to venture down onto the muddy track with me, as he was worried about getting dog muck on his box fresh Nike Air Brogues. I assured him that what we were about to see would be well worth the risk, and gingerly he followed. The first piece I showed him is simply titled ‘Today’[1] A brilliant existential comment on the nature of the present, it forces you to ask yourself that timeless question – “what am I doing today?” If the answer

22 thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


2

3

is “absolutely nothing whatsoever” then perhaps the next piece I showed Humbert will give you food for thought. ‘Fuck a Pagan’[2] is something I’d certainly never considered before and now, since actually trying it, is something I’d certainly never consider again. I got the pubic nits. Just then, as I was reflecting on how they turned the hair around my anus into a demented funfair, I heard an anguished cry. Humbert had slipped in some wet dog muck and fallen over.

Destination II: The Cally Road After a good ten minutes spent helping Humbert scrape the dog muck off his trews with a clump of dead leaves, we hopped aboard the omnibus and headed down the Caledonian Road. I showed him ‘Humungous Hound’ [3] to start with. I rather like this piece, even though there’s something about the paws that’s not quite right. Humbert was less keen on our canine chum – perhaps because the overpowering pong of dog muck was still following him around quite literally like a bad smell. We then took in ‘BMD’ [4]. For a bit of fun, I asked Humbert what he thought ‘BMD’ could possibly stand for. “Big Middleclass Dickhead” was my favourite of his suggestions, although “Bum My Dad” had me chuckling at the thought of sodomising my own brother. When I explained that it actually stands for “Bob Marley’s Dobber”, Humbert nodded sagely. Well, apparently Bob Marley did have a rather fat stubby willy that bore an uncanny resemblance to a bingo dobber – so why not create street art in its honour?

Destination III: Bloomsbury

4

Mark – a clever play on the word “Mark” as a proper noun and “mark” as a verb. Humbert was suitably impressed, taking pictures on his fancy smartphone as we went. Then I showed him ‘Mobile Bone’ [7] . Watching it dawn on Humbert that the same smartphone he’d been snapping away on merrily not five minutes before was also slowly cooking his brain with filthy death rays was quite a sight to behold, especially when he smashed the blasted thing to smithereens in front of a terrified group of pensioners visiting London on a day trip from Plimpton-uponRye. As I explained to them, that’s the power great street art can have on a young and impressionable mind!

5

6

7

Making our way up through Bloomsbury, we were privy to many outstanding pieces of street art. These included a stunning sculptural piece by Trampsy, titled ‘Ace in the Hole’ [5] , and ‘MARK’ [6] by thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

23


Destination IV: Soho “If there’s one thing about Soho I love more than the prostitutes, it’s the street art”. That was my opening gambit to Humbert as we headed down Berwick Street, just as it was Pater’s to I all those decades ago when he first introduced me to street art. Here, I showed Humbert a marvellous work by a newcomer to the scene, Sanjay. Titled ‘Buzzer 5’ [8], this experimental piece tempts the viewer to explore their personal limits – dare you ring Buzzer 5? Humbert dared. A window opened above and an angry man shouted at us to fuck off; a neat finishing touch indeed! Finally, I took him to see two of the most revered (and most imitated) pieces of street art out there – “WET PAINT!”[9] (beautifully ironic) and of course, “TOiLETS FOR CUSTOMER’S ONLY”[10] (the attention to detail superb, the misplaced apostrophe perfectly positioned). I watched as a glassy tear of joy rolled noiselessly down Humbert’s cheek and sploshed onto the pavement with a plip. My work here was done – another street art convert! I charged Humbert a cool fifty notes for the hokey tour, bundled the stinky little tyke onto the next tube home, then gallivanted back into Soho to spend my earnings. And so it was that, with a little encouragement from Candice, I created my very own Jackson Pollock-esque ‘piece’ behind those bins that evening. As I said, this street art lark can be tremendous fun! Follow Mister Mumbles on Twitter @Mister_Mumbles

8

9

10

24 thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


CALM COMPETITION Everyone loves a T-Shirt, right? Right. Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this issue’s CALM competition prize. Win a great big CALM goodie bag replete with such juicy treats as a copy of the awesome Thirty One Songs album featuring the likes of Elbow, Delphic, Mr Scruff and some bloke called Noel Gallagher, our awesome new SAVE THE MALE Tee, as well as a healthy dose of guitar picks, badges, key rings and back issues. Because you’re worth it… To get your hands on this priceless bundle of goodies answer this simple question (the answer is somewhere in this issue):

Q: What is the name of the London pub and arts venue where street artist Stik got a job as a toilet cleaner?

Send us your answer either via our Facebook page, or email your answer to editor@thecalmzone.net and we will pick a winner at random. Competition closes Dec 1st 2012. The winner will be notified after this date via email. www.facebook.com/thecalmzone


For centuries scientists have developed and refined theories to help better explain the natural world. The big question is can these theories be applied to the world of parents to help better explain the inelegant flux of fatherhood? Let’s take one of life’s little everyday situations. Nothing major, just one of those depressingly regular little moments that happens so often it scrapes and scratches away a little more at your soul each day.

did it (for reference purposes the last five sentences I only think in my head).

Occam’s Razor

You walk into a room in your house and find crayon/paint/food on the walls/ceilings/my face.

This is the principle of parsimony, economy or succinctness named after a 14th century Franciscan friar William of Ockham. Basically, the most likely explanation is most often the correct one. In “the scenario”, the crayoning/smearing culprit most likely won’t be ‘the wobbly blue catbird’ that your child blames. It will most likely be them, the little smeary bastards (again, that thought I try and keep under wraps).

Schrodinger’s Cat

Newton’s Third Law Of Motion

The Scenario

Simply stated when you observe particles you can affect how they behave. Schrodinger created a thought experiment using a cat, a box and a vial of poison triggered by a degrading particle. Schrodinger stated that the cat will be both dead and alive at the same time because the poison triggering particle can both degrade and not degrade at the same time. In short observation affects reality. In the context of “the scenario” your child has behaved in a certain way because they haven’t been observed. They’ll tell you that they don’t know what happened, but I know. Oh yes I know, goddamnit. It was him. He’s the one that did all the smearing. He did it. He

As you will no doubt remember, this is the law that states every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I find the best reaction to the smearing scenario is to go to the kids’ sweet tin when they’re not looking and nick all the choicest sweetie morsels. Simply then deny all knowledge of the sweet theft by claiming they were all eaten by a wobbly blue catbird. Parents: 1 Children: 8. In your face, kids. You can follow Frazzled Daddy on Twitter @FRAZZLEDDADDY

26 thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


27


NEXT ISSUE: CHRISTMAS SPECIAL FEATURING GAZ ‘HO HO HO’ COOMBES OUT DEC 18th 2012 we b Go to www.thecalmzone.net for features, opinion, forums and competitions to keep you busy until the next issue of CALMzine. Plus find out how you can get involved with the Campaign Against Living Miserably. 28 thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


Everyman by chris sav

.. .

CALMZINE

NEEDS YOU

Would you like to write for CALMzine? Do you have a photographic eye? We want great writers, interviewers, bloggers, tweeters, artists and photographers for CALMzine and the CALM website. What’s your obsession, your passion? Music, sports, arts, gadgets, fashion, comedy, gaming – or something further out of the box? Can you write about it, picture it, tweet it? Can you conduct a gripping interview? We’d love to hear from you, and in no time your work could be on our website and in these very pages.

Get in touch with Rachel at: editor@thecalmzone.net


©globalstreetart.com

LONDON’S TOP STREET ART SPOTS

In association with Global Street Art ©globalstreetart.com

©globalstreetart.com

1. Stockwell Park Estate, Stockwell The sunken ball courts at Stockwell Park Estate (also known as ‘The Pen’) are on Aytoun Road. There is enough space for roughly 20 graffiti pieces, which change over almost every week during the summer. Photographs of the pieces here posted on the internet have led to interest from international graffiti writers wanting to paint there. One local writer, Solo-1, pours a huge amount of time and effort into keeping the place clean, and the impact has been measurable over the past decade. You’ll often see amazing pieces by Bonzai, Lovepusher and Cemo, amongst others. Community Trust Housing is well aware of the cultural value of the space and often takes tours of councilors around the ball courts. Also, if you’re in the area and looking to take pictures of more graffiti, Brixton Skatepark is a short walk away. 2. Shoreditch: Old Street to Brick Lane East London is the centre for street art within the city. Seemingly limitless stencils and posters adorn the area, as well as more traditional graffiti pieces. From Old Street station you can walk down Great Eastern Street towards Brick Lane, ducking down Rivington Street, Curtain Road and Redchurch Street en route. Check out the walls by Village Underground (Great Eastern Street and Hollywell Lane), including the commercial wall the lovely folks at End of the Line run. There are other side streets with art along the way, and more just off Brick Lane itself. Check out the giant Phlegm mural on Heneage Street (off of Brick Lane) that Global Street Art arranged!

©globalstreetart.com

30 thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


3. Trellick Tower, entrance on Elkstone Road,Kensington As West London has become more gentrified in the past 10 years, the amount of graffiti has fallen. There are still some places wheregreat graffiti can still be seen, however, and the bottom of Trellick Tower is probably the best. It’s a relatively large space with high walls, where you can check out work by talented writers such as Vibes and Roids. Thanks to the efforts of various writers, who help keep the space clean, the quality of the graffiti in Trellick Tower has gone up over the past year, with writers typically painting larger-scale pieces. 4. Leake Street tunnel, by Waterloo Station Leake Street is just around the corner from Waterloo Station. It’s by far the most accessible and convenient graffiti space in London and was the site of Banksy’s 2008 Cans Festival. New work goes up all the time but, sadly, a lot of it does not last long enough to get good pictures. Good work is often tagged over quickly. Sometimes you might get lucky and see some cool pieces by Tizer, Cept, Parlee and others, especially justafter a jam or on a writer’s birthday.

©globalstreetart.com

©globalstreetart.com

©globalstreetart.com

5. Parklands Walk, near Highgate Station After the top few locations, there are quite a large number of smaller graffiti spots around London, from ball courts to skateparks. Parklands walk is a former railway track that became a popular path for joggers and dog walkers. It runs from near Highgate Station (entrance off of Holmesdale Road) to Finsbury Park. There are a few bridges along the walk, a youth centre and a playground or two where graffiti is either legal or tolerated. Occasionally, you might see pieces by the Toasters, Whome and some of the Burning Candy folk. If you’re in the area you can also pop up to Alexandra Palace; there’s a skatepark there with space for a few graffiti pieces you can photograph. For more great street art visit www.globalstreetart.com thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

31


To paraphrase the Krays film – some people have nothing to say and say it too loudly. Worse still, these people often decide they have nothing to say, (too loudly), in public when surrounded by people who, quite frankly, don’t give a fuck, no matter how often the gobshite in question paces the train platform shouting into his Nokia, spreading the news about his recent trip to Paris at a decibel level that makes the need for a mobile something of a moot point. I’d wager good money that most people know a Train Platform Gobshite, or can recall a Pervy Middle Management Guy who shouts very loudly about ‘a deal’ and dropping big sums of money into the conversation whilst simultaneously managing to disparage the secretary of whoever he’s doing the deal with and suggesting she wants to shag him. Even worse, ever been in a hotel or bar where these human loudhailers are all congregating for ‘a conference’? Gangs of them, competing to shout the loudest about the most insincere, vapid business deal they can think of. They might as well be toddlers betting who could do the biggest poo. I often wonder what the collective noun for them would be (I do this a lot – it’s a good game. Play it with anything – ‘awkward teenagers’ for example… would they be ‘a puberty’, ‘a bumfluff ’, ‘a fumble’, ‘an embarrassment’..?). I’ve considered a few: ‘a dick comparison of middle management’; ‘a massive fib of gobshites’; ‘a sex pestery of executives’ – you get the gist… I’m not sure why these people annoy me so much – actually I do, it’s because they’re annoying – and it’s probably because they’re always tall and I’m not, or simply because they show such utter effrontery in their lack of awareness that there is anyone else in the world other than them, their wife, their mistress, their boss, or their golf partner they’re shouting to on the other end of the mobile. It’s just not… dignified. Plus, if I *was* tall, I could grab their phone and throw in front of the Heathrow Express. That would be amazing. Until I get an unprecedented mid-thirties growth spurt however, I’m just going to have to make do with muttering and ranting. The Bastards, they’ve won again. You can follow Chris on Twitter: @wonky_donky

Do you have something you want to rant about? Send 300 words to editor@thecalmzone.net 32 thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


Our entirely unprofessional agony uncle offers his entirely unprofessional advice… Q: I’m 18, about to go to college and I’m shitting myself. Any tips on how to deal with the first few weeks? Phil, Camberwell A: GET ABSOLUTELY LEATHERED. Just kidding, DO NOT GET LEATHERED. That is the road to ruin and Facebook photos. Look, mate, college might be the best time of life. Or, like me, it might be a place you just have to get through to get to the fun stuff, like adulthood. Seriously. Go to freshers, check out the student hall. Say hello to people. Smile. Ask a mofo if they’re a fresher. Yes? ICE MUTHA FUCKING BROKEN! And if you meet a dickhead, never mind. Be nice, brush it off, talk to some one else. Job done. Q: I’ve recently got a job as a PA in an office and now my mates are taking the piss out of me for having a ‘girl’s job’. Any good come backs you can give me? James, Highgate. A: Fuck you. B: ‘And how much did you earn last month? Really? That much? That’s as much as our paid intern! Good for you, man!’ C: I’m the only guy surrounded by hot women five days a week. Not like your little sausage farm down dead-end valley, that must be heaven!’ D: Fuck You. E: Your mum was impressed though. F Your girlfriend was impressed though. G: Hell, even your dad was impressed. K: Fuck you. Q: I’m in a ‘friends with benefits’ situation with a girl who is getting a bit attached, but I’m just in this for shits and giggles. Am I an arsehole? Alfie, Mile End A: Did you have an agreement before? Yes: Ya’ll need to talk before shit get real. Let her know how you feel, no bullshit. No amount of boom boom time is worth living a lie. But still, She knew what this Tesco sold, why is she asking for Waitrose goods? No: You’re an arsehole. Do the right thing and let her find someone better. That’s right, better. Because you’re an arsehole. Signed, Jeremy Kyle. (NB: You’re not an arsehole, you just messed up. There’s no way to fix this without coming across as a supreme dick, but no worry; you will get plenty of chances to redeem yourself) Q: Are you a leg or a breast man? Chris, Westminster A: Are we talking about Chicken?

Do you have a question for JOSH Email us on editor@thecalmzone.net

NOTE: Josh is not a qualified expert. He’s just a joker. However if you do want to know some more about him, go to www.poejazzi.wordpress.com If you need professional advice, call the london CALMzone helpline on 0808 802 5858. Outside london call: 0800 585858

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


weekends matter with skiddle

For the latest gig and clubbing news, lineups and of course the cheapest tickets go to skiddle.com Plan your weekend with skiddle:

skiddle.com/whats-on

Photograph courtesy of Matthew Comer thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58 www.matthew-comer.com

35


CONNECT WITH

TOPMAN.COM MOBILE SOCIAL ONLINE

thecalmzone.net - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


CALMzine Issue 6