Exploring Arts, Culture, Music & Film within Bristol.
Out of the Squat... Coat of Arms Paris Natty Fuudhood's Great Adventure Horseplay Featured UWE ArtistS
Joe Stanton Chris Price
Featured Artist - Joe Todd Stanton/Chris Price
FEATURED UWE ARTISTS Chris Price
Chris Price is a second year Graphic Designer, obsessed with tea and cycling. Suffering from Cystic Fibrosis led to the creation of his piece, Cyclung, which illustrates how cycling is key to helping him to maintain good lung function. He is planning to create ten limited edition prints of the piece, in order to raise money for the CF Trust, the UK’s main Cystic Fibrosis charity. You can find more of Chris’ work and details on how to purchase a print at: www.designingontea.tumblr.com.
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Joe Todd Stanton
I am an illustrator currently studying in my third year at UWE. I would say my biggest influences when I was younger were people like Ralph Steadman and children’s illustrators like Maurice Sendak and Quentin Blake. I think it’s these artists use of lines to create an amazing atmosphere and sense of movement in their work that I have always been drawn towards. In terms of recent inspiration, I am currently trying to branch out from this by looking at artists that use colour as a bigger part of their work, since I feel it has always been something I have had a weakness in. Two examples of this are Micah Lidberg and Mike Mignola.
Editor Jenny Pearce Sub-Editor Ed Sharp
Creative Direction & Design Holly Catford catford.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Franklin iamjackfranklin.co.uk email@example.com
Contributors Jack Brown Georgia Boss Johnson Rebecca Davey Harriet Dunning Phoebe Flaxton Lucy Gordon Matt Hoare Sam Hudson Nicole McCartney James Moorton Lizzie Newman Martha Ostick Jenny Pearce Jessica Pratten
As an illustrator, I definitely still feel like I am discovering how I work, not only with colour, but also how I take my ideas from sketches to finalised pieces. Part of this being that I have always found the idea of turning a drawing in my sketch book to something that is finished a daunting process. One of the ways I have been trying to solve this recently has been by using a photocopier in my work, since it gives me an instant physical outcome and restricts me from having the infinite possibilities that editing your work in Photoshop provides. Currently I am working on a project looking at one-page narratives that will hopefully turn into a series focusing around the ideas of stories that loop on themselves http://joetoddstanton.tumblr.com/
Chris Price Joe Todd Stanton Ella Stearns Ed Tolkien Ollie Tong Kelly Ye Oliver Wu
Special Thanks Paris
Contact UWE Publications Frenchay Campus Coldharbour Lane Bristol, BS16 1QY www.westerneye.net
Typeset Grotesque MT Std Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk & Warnock Pro
Feature - Squating
Out of the SQuat and into the streets Matt Hoare Earlier this month, members of parliament gave the green light to a parliamentary bill that makes the unauthorised occupation of residential buildings a criminal offence: the Legal Aid and Sentencing bill aims to put a stop to squatting once and for all. In a city such as Bristol, which has a comparatively high number of squatted properties, what effect will this legislation have on the cities inhabitants?
Right now in the city of Bristol, the bailiffs are busy; court orders are increasing, eviction notices are en masse. The crackdown on the notorious squatting culture has begun. From the village of Clifton to the endlessly embattled ‘Free Shop’ in the heart of Stokes Croft, people are being turned out onto the streets all around Bristol. We only need to think back to April of this year to sense a change in government squat policy, when the Met launched a string of raids against squats across London on the eve of the Royal wedding. As of this month, squatters will find themselves at the mercy of the criminal courts, with a potential 51 weeks in prison for occupying empty residential properties. Why are lawmakers bringing in these new laws and what do the government hope to achieve? The Ministry of Justice recently published a report entitled ‘Options for Dealing with Squatters’ which asked 2217 organisations and individuals how they felt towards the creation of any new offences. Overwhelmingly, 90 percent of responses argued against taking any action on squatting. However, the Ministry argued that as 1990 responses came from a campaign organised by SQUASH (Squatters’ Action for Secure Homes), they “have taken a qualitative rather than quantitative approach” to the matter. In other words, the government have other interests to consider. Property owners and associations all wanted an end to squatting, complaining about the time and money spent, as well as the occupied social housing space. Landlords claim to lose much in prospective income; private homeowners have protested against groups of people inhabiting their private property; companies object to commercial land being used by the homeless. There also seems to be a clear consensus among government officials that squatting and other criminal activities go handin-hand. Undoubtedly the drug trade is a prevalent aspect of squatting around the country; the pre-Royal Wedding raids also demonstrate the fear of protest groups and radical activists developing in such communities. The LASB can be seen then, as a multi-faceted piece of legislation, which intends to both halt the loss of property income, and to provide an obstacle to other illicit activities. But do squatters really deprive others of housing and landlords of their income to such an extent? How many occupied properties are disused and empty, and how many are actually peoples’ homes?
There have recently been a number of cases in London, including one that involved a doctor and his pregnant wife being locked out of their £1 million home following the intrusion of 14 squatters. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke believes the measure is needed because “far too many people endure the misery, expense and incredible hassle of removing squatters from their property”. Conflictingly, the Metropolitan have identified 224 squats around London, reporting that the majority of properties were unused or abandoned. Furthermore, SQUASH reports that there are five million people on local housing lists, with an estimated 650,000 empty properties in the UK. Why, with so many people in need of shelter are these homes empty? One middle-aged man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was evicted from a squat in Bristol city-centre two weeks ago. After being kicked out by his parents and unable to find work, he explains how the prospect of squatting can look attractive to many. “We didn’t have a landlord so there were no house rules to follow, no council tax… I don’t have a job so I pay no taxes”. When asked why he doesn’t apply for housing benefits and government support he states: “What’s the point? I could ask the government for someone to pay for me to live…or I can squat in an empty building…and I choose to squat”. But it is not just deprivation that tempts people into such communities; for many the squatting culture is an attractive lifestyle choice. This is especially true in Bristol, where a vibrant artistic scene has developed, in part from squats. Much of the urban art, club nights and sound-systems originated from the Bristol squatting scene. They are also capable of being theatres for debate: some, more politically-orientated communities provide a freedom of expression not commonly seen in mainstream culture. There has even been a “rebelrestaurant”, with professional chefs serving restaurant-quality food in a squatted building. ‘The Red Factory’ epitomises how squats have the potential to constructively contribute to communities: formerly a disused cardboard factory, it is now used by squatters to teach foreign languages, maths, host film nights and provide yoga and meditation sessions to the deprived St. Pauls community. ‘The Free Shop’, which allows people to leave unused items at the shop for people to take away for free, is Stokes Crofts longest surviving squat and its most embattled. Set in two long-derelict buildings in the heart of the Croft, the Free Shop has faced countless attempted-evictions from the council, and with the arrival of the L.A.S.B, faces a no less uncertain future.
The criminalising of squatting will affect people all over the country, especially in southern cities such as London, Brighton and Bristol, which have a high density of squatted properties. Some will be rendered homeless, some will be forced to live off housing benefits, and charities will face greater strain. And what will become of the buildings? Six months after eviction, Telepathic Heights still stands empty and unused. Is this the future of other Bristol squats? It is impossible to stereotype a squatter; squats are made up of people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and creeds: from those who intrude on people’s homes, to those who inhabit abandoned buildings; those who destroy versus those who regenerate; those who deal in drugs and commit acts of crime, and those who actively contribute to communities. Characterising a culture’s negative side only serves to distance people, and criminalising a whole group of people based on tenuous research does little to help mend our “broken society”.
Coat of Arms
House music's Coat of Arms Jenny Pearce These days it seems all too often that house music is forgettable, filled with lacklustre hooks catering only for posers that wouldn’t know a beefy bass line if it slapped them in the face. This is not the case with Coat of Arms. The big bass duo, consisting of Bristol’s own, ‘Eats Everything’ (aka Dan Pearce) and Birmingham’s ‘Chris James’ (aka Chris James Crowther), are seriously one to watch at the moment, promising to “keep the fun in house music going” with their own brand of bass heavy house. Signed to Bristolian label, Futureboogie, these guys were the sound track of my summer and are looking even more promising for the winter months. My personal favourite at Aeon festival in Devon, they kept the whole of the Jam the Channel tent dancing till their legs hurt. When I decided after Aeon that I would like to interview the fun loving pair, they were relatively unknown. But now with a following of big names such as Annie Mac, they are on the path to music stardom. Even though Dan is working on an essential mix for Radio 1, Coat of Arms took a break from their busy schedule to discuss what they hope to bring to the scene.
How would you describe the music you have been making together?
I love the Luna remix you did for Vadrina’s new EP ‘The Shining’. Tell us a bit about it.
House music really!! With big bass! We try to go into the studio with three key elements in mind; as mentioned ,bass, nice melodies/ chords and the odd vocal here and there. There seems to be a good combination as Dan has his foot in the door with regards to labels that like big bass i.e Dirtybird, whereas I (Chris) am on slightly more housier labels, such as Off Recordings. But there is a massive crossover in our styles too, as I have made big bass records and Dan has made some nice deep house cuts. To be honest as long as it makes us move in the studio, we’re confident others will dig it also, and so far this has been the case.
Thanks! It’s a really cool and diverse EP on a great upcoming label headed by Marcin Czubala, who is a lovely guy. We were really chuffed to be asked to remix it as it lends itself to our style.
What can you two together bring to the scene? We think we can keep the fun in house music going. The scene consists of loads of artists who, we think, take the whole industry too seriously and try to pigeon hole genres of music. When we get together, we are always looking to make or play something that people will remember, not a set or track that is forgettable. We think the most important element is that we still keep our sets and music “house related”, so we sometimes go out of the boundary to garage, tech house, deep house, techno, but manage to bring it all together. What is your favourite Coat of Arms track? ‘Is This Something’ was the track really that put Coat Of Arms on the map. It got signed to Futureboogie straight away and we were pleased that Julio Bashmore (One of the label owners) wanted the track and played it regularly. The track then caught fire, as Jamie Jones used it in his radio 1 essential mix from Ibiza and his fabric CD mix too. I (Chris) think the reason why I love it the most, is that it represents us best- big toms, ethereal synths, and big vocals. Do you feel that Birmingham and Bristol’s sounds are different? If so, how? Yeah possibly. Bristol has had a massive spotlight over it for the past 12 months or more, and a lot of artists from there are getting a lot of well deserved attention. I (Chris) personally have only been a few times, but, I have to say the people are more friendly and relaxed about things in the South west than in Birmingham. There seems to be a harmony in Bristol where everyone is out to help everyone or is genuinely pleased when a local is doing well. Musically, the difference may come from the fact that there is a lot of bass action going on and you have to look at guys like Julio Bashmore, Eats Everything, Appleblim etc who have been pushing that sound. I think Birmingham is a city that has been a sleeping giant in terms of great house music. It’s only really thanks to Face over the past 2 years that we have had a scene down here. They have been putting on huge parties, with acts likes Claude Von Stroke, Heidi, Catz N Dogz, Lee Foss, Jamie Jones etc...the list is endless really. People from all over come to Face, and this has really put Birmingham back on the map in my opinion.
What else are you working on? We have a track due out on Pets Recordings called “What You Need” ,which has been getting some great support. We also have two remixes lined up, one for Get Physical and one for Off Recordings, which we will be working on very soon. We should have some new original material out early next year too. You have a following of big names in the scene, such as Annie Mac and Catz and Dogz, how does that feel? It feels pretty damn good to be honest, as some of those guys are an inspiration to us! We have been big fans of guys like Catz N Dogz for a while, we love the ethos of anything goes (as long as it is still housey) ,which a perfect example of would be their massive record on Mothership ‘Im Not Crazy’. I think this record really opened our eyes to the possibilities of using big bass in house records correctly. Having artists that we’ve looked up to love, play and chart our music is what we work for. There is nothing better than your peers telling you you’re doing well or that can you do some work for/with them. Dan, as you are from Bristol, where is the best place to play? Where is the best place to go? The best place to play is definitely Motion, because it is always busy and the crowd is always well up for it! The way you are treated and the way you are looked after as well is second to none. The best place to go is also Motion, club wise. Ciao burger is my favourite place though!! Also Dan, you claim to ‘eat everything’, does this issue of Westworld leave you salivating? Of course, every issue does! You can listen to Coat of Arms at www.soundcloud.com/ coat-of-arms-music
Paris - Natty
Bristol’s love for Parisian Art
It’s a cold November night, but there is a warm sense of anticipation surrounding Thekla, as the crowds flock aboard to pack out the boat, all here to see one man, Natty. As he will later state himself, he’s been away for a while, working on new material, and journeying the US, but is finally touring the UK once again. He receives a rapturous, if not slightly, comically intoxicated introduction from a member of his entourage. He finally enters the stage to massive cheers, and stares out into the crowd with almost a sense of arrogance, before bursting into his own personal brand of reggae soul, opening with a track from his new EP Change. He exclaims that he “always enjoys coming back to Bristol” before unleashing one of his bigger hits, ‘Cold Town’, onto the crowd, creating an ecstatic response. Yet it is not until he rolls into most notable song ‘Bedroom Eyes’ that the crowd really gets going, practically singing the whole song for him. He interacts with the crowd well for someone who professes himself to not enjoy talking on stage too much. He takes a moment to dedicate a song to one of the producers from his debut album, Man Like I, who sadly passed away a year after its creation, giving a stirring performance of ‘Things I’ve Done’.
Jessica Pratten Whether you know it or not, Paris’ work is a highly integrated part of the Bristolian lifestyle; from the vibrant flowers that greet you within the central area of the Bear Pit and the 80’s inspired lettering on Jamaica street, to the adorably edgy Herbert’s Bakery wonderland mural in Montpellier. Paris, AKA Graham Dews, is one of Bristol’s primary street artists; his visually futuristic graffiti murals and pieces presenting a career marked distinctly by a love for graphic design, alongside a lucrative, inbuilt use of design propaganda. Upon moving to Bristol Paris gained a first class honours in Fashion and Textile Design at UWE. Paris told Westworld his “time at UWE was fun”, that “he learnt a lot about print and artistic expression” and that he “met some cool people”. In addition to his degree, Paris has over 20 years experience of street art, much of which can be viewed throughout Bristol; along with many other pieces in Germany, France, Switzerland and Spain. He remains part of the TFC Crew, creating close connections to other well-known Graf artists including Dicy and Feek, creator of Bristol’s famous Albert Park Camel. Paris has many impressive clients, for whom he
delivers fresh, innovative work, which in my opinion never fails to impress. His clientele has previously included E4, BBC, Rankin Photography, Warp Records and Ed Sheeran, as well as painting various tents for Glastonbury Festival over the last ten years. His current project, however, may be his most global, becoming artist-in-residence for international band Coldplay. Since earlier this year, ideas based upon the history of wall painting and public graffiti have inspired both artist and band. Paris was responsible for the bulk of the album artwork for Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto as well as their single Every Tear Drop is a Waterfall, both covers presenting a futuristic spectrum of colours. He has since decorated their instruments and stage sets, and continues to develop alongside the band. Paris cites his influences and inspirations as “sci-fi, Bando, the city of Paris, Lokkiss, and the Berlin Wall” Paris’ work can be found both on his website and on his blog at these addresses: parispopstop.blogspot.com paris1974.com
A powerful, ten minute long jam-come-song follows, where he abandons his usual stance with an acoustic guitar in front of a mic stand, and dances round the stage whilst chanting into the microphone. He keeps the crowd encapsulated in what could have easily turned into an arduous experience. He clearly highlighted his talent not only as a songwriter and musician, but also a performer – something which is compounded by the fact his show sold out completely. July moves to both remind everyone of the joys of the summer just passed, but also to affirm a realisation of how long we have to wait to enjoy hot weather again. Natty moves on to inform us that the end of the gig is near, to loud sighs of dismay from the followers, but he at least gives us something to salivate over. He states, to huge cheers, that he will be releasing a new album at some point next year, and says that whilst this is his last song, he will at least “make it last a bit”. What follows is a powerful, extended performance of the titular track from the Change EP, with his live band staying on stage past his exit to hang out the instrumental. His performance throughout the night can confirm that his UK “comeback” tour is a success, and leave all who experienced it with the feeling that there is a lot more to come from Londonbased Natty, not least the promise of a new record in 2012, which is enough to warm a few hearts as they drift off into the foggy Bristol night.
Fuudhood's Great Adventure
Fuudhood's Great Adventure
In the final issue of last year, I wrote a piece on Louise Halswell, an ex UWE student and winner of the 2010 Student Entrepreneur of the Year award. Helping her as an intern at her independent clothing company, Fuud, over the last few months, I was taken aback by what a hard-working and determined individual she is. Living off a usual night of just five hours sleep, she still managed to create amazing and individual festival style fashion, whilst staying perhaps one of the friendliest people I have ever known and taking me under her sparkly wing. Since then, Louise has continued to excel as a fashion designer and business owner, recently taking the huge step of moving her studio from Bristol to London. It was the end of an era. But, for Louise, it was just the beginning of an exciting step towards bigger and better things. I caught up with Louise to discuss her progress, from the glamorous highlights, such as designing for the stars, to the not so glamorous, such as working in a basement with no electricity. You see Bristol as your second home, why did you make the decision to leave us? I moved to London to expand the business and make new contacts. Bristol is a brilliant place to start a business, but I feel you can only go so far there. And how did the move go? Hectic to say the least! I have moved in to a temporary studio in the basement of my house which is very basic! It has no heating, light or electricity! It has also been quite a task locating shops for all my basic business needs i.e. fabric, printing, etc and the Post Office queues in London are insane! It all seems to be a tube ride away rather than a two minute walk, which is slowing production down a bit.
What are the positives of moving? In the three and a half weeks I have been here, I’ve picked up four new stockists in Finland, Switzerland and London. I have also opened a week long ‘pop up shop’ with four other hat designers and met a number of stylists who have already been requesting hoods for shoots. So all in all, I’m very happy with progress so far. What are the not so positives? The main downside at the moment is the studio, as it is making it very hard to find interns and it’s just not a very nice working environment to be in for up to 18 hours a day!!! Apart from that, the travel just makes simple tasks take so much longer. So what advice do you have for any other students or fashion students wanting to take the same plunge you have? Make sure you have enough money or work first, to compensate the increase in travel and general London costs. Research the area you are moving your studio to, to make sure that you know where the nearest fabric shops are. And what do you find most challenging as a fashion designer and business owner? The most challenging thing would be just keeping on top of the business side as well as the designing. It’s really hard to be constantly creating and coming up with new ideas whilst trying to do accounts, PR, marketing and general running of the business. What can we see in your new collection? At the moment, I’m big on feathers, sequins, leather, metallics and studs. It’s a collection of pure statement headwear. Festival fashion is all about colour, print, sequins and more. I just want to bring a bit of that party aspect to winter fashion, whilst still staying snug and protected against the elements.
Who is the collection aimed at? If you want to add some serious glamour to any outfit or just have fun in winter, regardless of the miserable weather, then Fuudhoods are for you. There is a Fuudhood for any person and any outfit. You’ve had some exciting work recently. Tell us a bit about that? My feather hoods have recently been used for a shoot with Delilah and I’ve been working on a new clothing collection for girl band, Stooshe. What are your plans for the future then? I will hopefully be increasing my stockists and expanding Fuudhoods. I’m going to be working more with artists and musicians for stage and performance hoods and clothing. I am also re-launching and re-naming my label Sew That Jazz and bringing out a festival collection next spring with the widest variety of Onesies, customised fancy dress, bedspread couture and lots more. If you have any suggestions for Louise’s new clothing label name (think fancy dress, bespoke, fun, ambiguous, wonderland, experimental), send them over to sewthatjazz@ googlemail.com The winning name will be announced at the end of January and the winner will receive a complete festival outfit. You can find Lou’s brand, Fuudhoods at www.fuudhoods.com
Horseplay - Sposorcraft
Sponsorcraft – Funding Student Imagination
At a time when Higher Education budgets are being trimmed and student funding is becoming increasingly scarce, wouldn’t it be handy if there was a way for you to raise money for your projects and events independently? Well now there is. Cue Sponsorcraft. James Moorton Horseplay. Instantly you are drawn in. Is it the inviting prospects of sturdy limbed animals, inundating the dance floor? Or perhaps the excitement you feel for a gay club that is not called ‘OMG’ or ‘BENT’. Not that these venues are anything to mock of course. They are heaven for those who like bubblegum music and funloving freelancers, which, even I do in the right mood (and in good company). But Horseplay seems different (bare in mind I have not yet attended). We are promised alternative dance music, disco synths, cheap beer, a house-party vibe and a whole lot of sweat. Horseplay’s blog appears to replicate my dreams. I can picture the basement below the cavern club; a narrow stone staircase down to the bass filled dance floor; slim, wonky candles in cubbies along the murky yellow walls; and a newly formed couple getting acquainted on the worn maroon sofas. Men with moustaches, nose rings and trucker shirts throw dance moves reminiscent of Eastern Europe, while dark eyed, bleach blonde women in miniskirts and fishnets cackle over their green bottled beers. We could be in Berlin. We should be in Berlin. Of course I could be wrong and this could turn out to be
another night where everyone is happy other than me, and the search for the perfect night will continue. But I am holding out a beacon of hope. On a night out in Manchester I was scorned at by a man who must have been the only heterosexual in all of Canal Street for offering to buy him a drink. It can only be up from there on in. If you currently find yourself reading this with a warm grin on your face, then I advise and encourage you to join me at this monthly event, whatever your sexual preference, and hope not to find the inevitable flaws in this stupendously promoted night - I will be modelling a denim shirt and a stunning hook of facial hair. Facebook.com/horseplaybristol
Sponsorcraft is a web space where students can post up any ideas they have that are in need of funding. Your proposals will then be viewed by a plethora of potential sponsors – including alumni and business groups. Individually, sponsors are unlikely to give you all the money you need, but they will give you a chunk of it. And combined together, all these smaller chunks will help you hit your target. This method, called crowd funding, has proven extremely successful elsewhere but has never before been brought to the university scene. Using Sponsorcraft means that you won’t have to spend time pitching your ideas again and again to hordes of potential sponsors either in person or on the phone. And you’ll never be reliant on a single sponsor. Over the summer, I had the pleasure of interning as a designer with the team, during which time I got to know the genial bunch, and was impressed by their passion and belief in the project. They themselves being not (too) long graduates, and, in their time, key players in their respective student society and event organisation scenes, know first-hand how tough it can be to secure funding and make ambitious projects come to fruition. Whether you’re a sports club, a society or an individual student, as long as you have an idea that needs money, Sponsorcraft is the new place to go. These ideas can be pretty much anything. To some extent, the crazier and more adventurous they are the better. Sponsors not only want to feel like they are making a difference, they want to feel like they are helping to make something really exciting happen! Watch out for the imminent launch of the website and get in touch now at firstname.lastname@example.org to be one of their maiden projects! Visit their blog at sponsorcraft.com to find out more.
Preoccupation - Short Story
Preoccupation Oliver Tong
Dawn breaks over a motionless city. Beams of light from the sun mark their territory across building after building. Slate, brick, stone and marble all feel the hot intrusion. Distant birdsong falls foul to distant motors, and it begins. Day. Day is starting for here – wherever here may be. Awash with sunlight, the early workers groan into life. They drink their stereotypical coffee – although I’m certain they’d much prefer tea. Their day begins once they are filled with caffeine; once it has entered their system they can finally think of what’s ahead. They read the stereotypical newspapers; they are shocked by the news of a murder, and are made to feel good by the news of a celebrity giving money to an obscure charity that their agent told them would grant them great publicity. This piece of news, in fact, makes the reader have faith in humanity; the reader feels that by feeling affected by this story and retelling it to others, they are in fact showing that they themselves are a good person. They say “If I had that kind of money I would certainly give to charity, no doubt about it.” Bullshit. However, what they do not realise is that it’s a sorry excuse for altruism, and that the machine they are part of is funded by this false kindness. These workers remember last night’s dreams, yet over the course of breakfast the dreams of these workers fade into memory to be retold at lunch, though they will be hugely exaggerated for effect. However, this is not my preoccupation; not the pre – to these workers occupations, this is not what I want to tell you about, I am not concerned with these menial cogs in life’s rather large watch, ticking toward the end. The preoccupation here, my preoccupation, is the appreciation of what is seen and of what is heard. Beauty. The city is slowly realising that its inhabitants are waking. The hum of cars crowding the air, the groan of a bus kicking into life. A block of flats rises high above the smog and breaks into the blue. Inside, lights flicker into life and curtains are pulled open; some with vigour, others cautiously, suspiciously. Tiny faces peer from the windows; different genders, hair colours, clothing choices. They are unaware of one another, window below window all peering, all watching. They look out into their unchanged world, as the dead hours fade away, and day is resurrected. Traces of the night linger and cling to life; rubbish thrown in drunken stupor, graffiti and the echo of violent words on the air. The traffic lights that do not sleep are finally doing a job again, have a purpose again. They stop cars, let cars go, give pedestrians the chance to run across the road, they are red and amber and green and they mean nothing – yet we have all
learnt that they mean something. The sight of a city waking is a magical thing. Looking from above you would witness a maze of concrete and grass filling up with people ready to solve this maze – for they know the layout but they do not know the variables (the concrete mixer that was not there yesterday, the mugger down the alley that is used as a shortcut, the sports car that speeds across the normally quiet road...) Each day the layout remains the same but obstacles are removed and added. The collective beep of alarm clocks would deafen, yet you hear only your own – your morning routine is the morning routine. It’s 7.30am before Noah is awoken by his alarm. Alarm is a sound to be heard, what the clock may look like, digital or analogue, really makes no difference here. He allows a few moments every morning, a few moments filled with a knowingly false hope of something that can never be. He hopes his blur will become a beautifully focused image of life. A minute passes and Noah lifts his way from the bed, his sheets are plain – off-white, colourful sheets are merely a superficial accessory that he will never appreciate. He reaches for his cane, and does the same thing as every morning; he approaches the window. He wants to see his world, he is always looking – it plays on his mind, preoccupies his thoughts. What is seen? Noah’s blindness leaves him empty, he does not know what stereotypical coffee looks like, he cannot understand the shapes that we call letters written on the stereotypical newspapers. He can only be told. Description is false – full of exaggeration and hyperbole. He is watched from across the road by another human being, coffee in hand, peering from behind their curtains but Tom does not know that he is watched – and this is sad. Adjectives do him no good, if you do not know what it is like not to see, then how can you tell a man who does not see what he missing. Noah will never see his world awaken, and we will never know how that feels. We are forever preoccupied with ourselves, with our own problems. So much so, in fact, that we assume a blind man can comprehend what red is, or can be told what his own face looks like. I am preoccupied with what is seen because I can see it and want to see it; Noah is preoccupied with what is seen because he can’t, but desperately wishes he could.
Do you have a short story (1000-1250 words) that you think our readers would enjoy, or would you like to write one? Send it over to email@example.com and you could be featured in next month's issue!
Weekend Review - UWE Prizewinner
win prize for sonic sculpture
Level two Fine Arts student Harriet Bowman has joined forces with London based musician Ben Socrates to win a £1000 Ideas Fund Innovators award for their project titled ‘Field Song’, a sonic sculpture that generates music when viewers move around it. Harriet discusses their design, “We are creating an interactive environment which is an experience dependent on and controlled by viewer interaction.” She adds, “Field Song takes the idea of generative music and adds a tactile visual element - a magnetised framework of hanging metal sculptures that repel from visitors passing through the space.” The intention is that the audience determines the music depending on the path they take through the room.
Georgia Boss Johnson
A lot can happen in one weekend. Lives can begin, end, be disrupted, be improved and even the simplest of encounters can enlighten and alter them at the most unexpected of times. Andrew Haigh’s British drama Weekend expresses this beautifully, creating a story centred around two guys who, over a few days in Nottingham, meet, sleep together and begin to feel things they could not have anticipated. What makes this film stand out from every other done-to-death boy meets girl type story is how refreshingly honest and believable it is. The story begins with Russell (Tom Cullen), a shy and thoughtful man in his twenties, living alone and working as a lifeguard. It seems he is ‘absolutely fine’ with his life but goes out to a gay bar in search of some company. This is where he meets the confident aspiring artist Glen (Chris New). Although we do not get to see their first moments together, we are there the morning after as they try to fill in the gaps of their previous alcohol fuelled evening. Russell heads off to work but clearly they are not content with a simple one night stand as they meet again later, and this is where we see a real connection brewing. What is so wonderful about this film is how it manages to avoid stereotypes and clichés. There is no epic fight scene or dramatic kiss in the rain, it’s just a very intimate and understated representation of what might happen upon meeting someone you like. And yet, it is in no way boring. In many ways it allows you to engage with the relationship even more as they talk, drink, have sex, take drugs and just become comfortable together. This could have been a very tricky thing to do had it not been for the extremely believable and moving performances from both Cullen and New.
Haigh’s approach is particularly unique in depicting a gay relationship on screen. Similar films tend to focus around someone struggling to accept their sexuality, or society discriminating against them in some way. Weekend is simply about two people as they get to know each other and possibly fall in love. Would it have had the same impact had it not been focused around a gay couple? Yes, I believe it would. The beauty of this film is in its uniqueness and its compellingly realistic portrayal of the beginning stages of a relationship; any relationship. I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot as the magic of it is in how their relationship develops (just look out for the scene when Russell finally has the chance to come out to his dad. If you don’t produce at least one tear from this, I will be very surprised!) Weekend is currently being shown in art house cinemas across the country. I strongly urge you to go and watch this exceptionally touching film that will leave you feeling both warm and heart-broken, with the desire to have a weekend similar to this one. Director: Andrew Haigh Cert (UK): 18 Runtime: 96 mins Cast: Tom Cullen, Chris New Rating: 4/5
Ben initiates his musical talent by creating chords which harmonise with one another to create a perfect harmony which also has the ability to intensify and become over whelming. Ben is currently studying a Music Masters in Piano Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. He specialises in classical and contemporary repertoire but also has a considerable background in jazz, world music and improvisation. He has written music for solo piano, chamber ensembles and electronics. Field Song represents a new challenge in composing with technology to produce generative music in a tactile space. Wayne Lloyd, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at UWE Bristol, said, “Like all true innovators, Harriet and Ben have come up with a hybrid concept with real impact. It fuses fine art, technology and music to broaden the audience’s awareness of what is possible. Recognition of our students through competitions and prizes is great testimony to their talent. The application process also provides the skills required to acquire funding for projects.” Alex Gilkinson, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education enthused, “We have some very talented students at UWE who are keen to make their mark. Our congratulations go out to Harriett and Ben for creating such a beautiful concept. The support from dedicated and inspiring lecturers continues to demonstrate how good teaching leads to many successes in competitions of this kind.” The Ideas Fund Innovators is a UK based funding scheme for 1625 year olds that aids to make ideas into a reality. The fund offers £1000 to designers of all creative disciplines. This freedom of a choice of combined disciplines has been ideal for Harriet and Ben to fuse their talents in both art and music. The money awarded by the fund will contribute to the production and promotion of the design with the intention of exhibiting the piece in Bristol, Brighton, London and beyond! Field Song is a design that works with the concept of fascination and realisation for the viewer. Harriet speaks out to other aspiring designers, “My advice is to apply to everything that appeals to you and if you get it then it’s fantastic but if you don’t then you will only learn from your mistakes.” As an artist, Harriet is constantly thinking up new ideas for designs. She is currently working on a piece of her own which deals with similar concepts to field songs, working with space, audience interaction and tension. For more information about the Ideas Fund Innovators or to follow Harriet and Benn’s blog please visit www.ideastap.com and search for the relevant tags.
The Capsule Collection
The Capsule Collection
Amid rumours that UWE students studying Fashion will no longer have their final showcases funded by the University, here at Westworld we thought we’d help out our fellow undergraduates with some well-deserved publicity and recognition. A group, comprised of second year Fashion students, have created The Capsule Collection; exhibited within the gallery space at Bower Ashton. They have created a “smart-casual” look for the designer Erdem, inspired by “the cosmic night sky, birds, and the colour palette of the kingfisher” “With buttoned up print shirts, high waisted trousers, sheer pleated skirts revealing striking, printed underskirts, the bold colour palette and clashing prints create a sophisticated and elegant look”... “This is a collection for the fashion conscious” Students involved in this project include Martha Ostick, Ella Stearns, Lucy Gordon, Kelly Ye, Phoebe Flaxton, Harriet Dunning, Lizzie Newman, Nicole McCartney and Rebecca Davey. To find out more about The Capsule Collection, and for pictures of how the collection was created, go to www. inspireme-erdem.tumblr.com
November issue of Westworld the arts and culture publication of the UWE SU