Keep on Tweeting
Over hear d
Man says to his dog who is wearing a coat:
@NicolaGeoff @Company_B_UK really brightened up #ventnorfringe yesterday despite the pouring rain! ! #vfringe17
“Well Teddy, I didn’t think there’d be this much rain”
Wednesday 9th August 2017
Pa r a d i s e by Hunter S. Tom
es, I know it isn’t exactly the weather we were all hoping for. The ash leaden skies are enough to send anyone into an uncontrollable rage, not to mention the flash flooding and howling gales, but you’ve got to remember folks; Ventnor is subtropical. A picturesque subtropical paradise. A SUBTROPICAL PARADISE GODDAMN YOU. Oh, I’m awfully sorry, let me just compose myself. Hi, I’m Tom and I hope you’re having a super time. Gee! That Fringe launch party was really something last night huh, oh how we laughed! So nice to see so many familiar faces, and so many new ones too. Now, I was speaking to a first time attendee, and they happened to bring up the carnival. Hmmm. That made me think. How does one possibly begin to explain the carnival? Well, I began by saying that there’s a procession, with floats and costumes and pints of cider in plastics. There are fireworks later on and
stands that sell fidget spinners and £12 unlicensed Disney balloons. There’s music and dancing and fundraising and... Then it struck me, I couldn’t possibly begin to do it justice. I wanted to describe a vast sprawl of pure elation, an other worldly visceral wonderland. But the words wouldn’t come to me. So I stopped talking, regained composure and told her that if she missed it, she would regret it for the rest of her life (in hindsight I probably should have mentioned it’s an annual event). She stared at me as her eyes filled with tears and said ‘thank you’. Sorry that last bit wasn’t true. Long story short, if The Wicker Man had an original soundtrack by Jorge Ben Jor – you’re only half way there.
Image by Tobias Penner
Be there or be square.
time when a falling out of love can be devastating, and the breakdown of a friendship can be even more so. I’m certainly interested to see where the song writing goes as this band matures.
Tea at the VIF by Matt Hitt
ailing form North London, Girl Ray are a band in their infancy, or to be more accurate, in their adolescence. Still in their teens this trio, made up of Poppy (guitar/vocals), Iris (drums) and Sophie (bass) are on their way to great things. Naming themselves through word play of the surrealist artist Man Ray, there are hints of art school sensibilities, years
before the possibility of university. Their first single, Trouble was recorded on what would have been their last day of school and released late last year, yet the sound is certainly beyond their years. Their songs document the typical dramas of that difficult age between school and real life. That
They are already writing and making brilliant music; lyrically intense yet light and witty, the songs almost feel like they belong to a different time. Girl Ray are taking us back to a more lo-fi time and feeling. In a musical world that has had a recent influx of indie girl groups, Girl Ray are offering something markedly different. The 90’s influences here are evident. As I listen, my mind is taken back to bands like Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Hefner (who in my opinion are widely underrated, check them out too if you’re in the listening mood), Stereolab and, at times, the Pipettes. Vocally there is a somewhat more historic influence. The Nico-esque vibes lead singer Poppy is giving out are strong, in a very good way. I’ve always been a fan of a low, breathy, nicely disinterested vocal and find myself smiling as each song unfolds to showcase dreamy tones. There is some nice vocal layering put to good use, but they have avoided the trap of the overuse of reverb which can ruin a good song almost before it’s started. Girl Ray’s debut album Earl Grey was released last week on Moshi Moshi Records, who in their time have managed notable successes such as Hot Chip, Metronomy, and Florence and the Machine. Here’s hoping that they have similar fortune with this trio. Where can you catch them I hear you ask? Well you’re in luck. As part of Ventnor International Festival, them good folk the organisers have granted our town a special treat in bringing Girl Ray down and they will be playing at St Catherine’s Church on Friday at 8.30pm. I would heartily recommend going along o check them out, there could be big things in these girls’ futures and wouldn’t it be lovely to say that you caught them before they hit the big time. www.soundcloud.com/girlray
Miss R eid's Lonely Hearts Club “I can feel it coming in the air tonight. And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life”. Insert drum break. Mr. Box Office is a fan of Phil Collins, poetry and hugs. If you would like a formal introduction to Mr. B Office, then drop in an eloquently written sonnet to the Ventnor Exchange, or gaze at him suggestively whilst he capably serves you at a number of venues around the Fringe. So capable. So huggable. We V-town Fringers couldn’t live without him. x
Fr inge Fashion ista A
s you may have noticed, it rained yesterday. Now I’m not saying that I don’t like wet weather clothing, but there’s only so glamorous one can be when donning a ‘cag in a bag’. You all looked lovely, and were wearing the best accessory in your possession – a smile. I spent my day wandering the streets, hoping to stumble across some sartorial excellence, when all of a sudden I saw a lady of a certain age, a certain style. This woman was half elegance, half pashmina. Wrapped in an enormous shawl in burnt copper and teal teamed with simple skinny jeans and a blunt asymmetric bob, this woman obviously knows how to wear a statement. Sadly, before I could approach her she disappeared into the frozen aisle of Co-op then I lost her. If you’re reading this and you know who you are, well done. You were my first Fringe Fashionista of the week. Keep up the good work.
Wednesday; What to do by Laura Clare Reid
arlings, welcome to day two. You’ve still quite the week ahead of you, so how best to prepare?
1 – It is very important you locate and beeline to the Ventnor Exchange, the beating heart of the Ventnor Fringe Festival. It will be buzzing with artists newly arrived, Fringe volunteers reuniting. There is a wondrous selection of craft beers and other swell boozes to choose from, as well as a damn fine cup of coffee. Take a seat with your desired drinkable, take a free programme and start planning your week. Hints and Tips – you can buy your tickets from the bar and you should do so as quickly as possible. 2 – What to wear? You have a week of carnivals, theatre, gigs, dancing, socialising, wining and dining ahead of you. WHAT TO WEAR???!!! Never fear, our town boasts three of the finest charity
shops on the south coast that can satisfy all your wardrobe needs. Hints and Tips – explore the carnival costume rails, they are very exciting and sparkly. 3 – Explore! Have a wander around the town and become acquainted with the various venues, bars and busking spots; they will be brimming over with fantastic fringe fun all week. To prevent geographical confusions, there is a handy map in the free Ventnor Fringe programme with all the above labelled for your convenience. Hints and Tips – Ventnor has a few rather steep inclines and some venues are a bit of a walk to get to, so check where your venue is and make appropriate footwear choices/ travel arrangements. You are now ready. Go forth and Fringe.
Image by Tobias Penner
a r t_house_l i f e by Catriona Macaulay
eautiful bright white spaces are brilliant places to hang art, don’t you think? art_house_life: Electric Dreams –Adventures in the Unreal is a contemporary arts project based at 35 Medeira Road by two artists, Joanna Kori (Jo) and Albedo Marz (also known as David). Much of the gallery is adorned with huge canvas paintings and digital collages. We got a sneak peak of this stunning collection on the Monday night before Fringe kicked off... So to get stuck in, by the front door is a bird created with Jo’s unique sculpting style, made with gum tape and linseed oil. This seemingly delicate bird sits by the light, showing the layers of tape with a smooth shiny finish, almost as though a seagull had sat patiently inside a mould for the piece. Her previous exhibition at the Quay Arts in January featured a curtain adorned with artist tools. Jo tells me that the curtain concept came from the realisation that technology has overtaken so many art forms and how long would it be before these beautiful tools became outdated fossils in the art world. The installation also included floating artistic figures working with their hands, along with several perched and flying birds; brothers and sisters to our door-side companion.
Steven Paul Sales by Laura Clare Reid Who are you and what do you do? My name is Steven Sales. I’m 33 ½. I was born on the Island, but I currently live and work in Bristol. I hate using the term artist, but its essentially what I do - I make objects and things about the physical and cultural identity of places. I like dancing to disco and cooking; and especially cooking to disco. Describe your connection to Ventnor and the Fringe. The first of my Island family moved to Ventnor in 1900. My great-great uncle’s name is inscribed on the War memorial near Ventnor Park, so Ventnor has always felt like my ancestral home. It’s been my cultural home since being a teenager, frequenting the beaches, footpaths and pubs. I’ve had many friends perform in the Fringe and have seen firsthand what a great experience it can be. I didn’t want to miss out. Tell us about what you are bringing to the Fringe. I’m presenting a sound installation at the Errant Stage, which explores the uncertain future of the native Island dialect. I was fifteen when I first
realised the island had its own unique set of words and over the past 18 years it is clear that less people are using these words in everyday life. Some Island words describe actions which don’t exist in the English language. Kurn for example, refers to the turning of a flower into a fruit. I hope the installation excites people about this wonderful aspect of our Island heritage. One previous Fringe memory you hold dear. Watching Stealing Sheep last year. The balmy weather and the venue helped to enhance the atmosphere that evening. I remember a moment of just looking around, being surrounded by mates and realising I didn’t want to be anywhere else. This year you are most excited about... It goes without saying that I am really excited about presenting my own project, but I’m also looking forward to seeing Childhood, Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads performance piece at Trinity Church and Puppet Bingo.
“I’d seen this article last year while I was making the piece where it said within a generation or two our hands might not actually be capable of using these tools. That’s when I did lots of casts of artists hands in positions they might take to use the tools. So it was like a responsive piece.” – Joanna Kori Jo has been working for over 20 years as an award-winning games and interactive learning designer alongside her long-term sculpture, installation, drawing and print projects. She has three installations in mind for her next project (to eventually be shown in 35, Madeira Road), that have developed on from this exhibition. Hopefully we’ll be seeing this pop-up at next years Fringe… She is more than happy to talk to you about her work, but the exhibition in art_house_life is quite heavily centred around David’s collection. David has been producing art over the last 60 years and spoke to me about his inspirations, and the process he went through to produce some of his pieces. Two large canvases (one in the kitchen and one on the staircase) caught my eye in the house, David went on to tell me more about the pieces. “The paintings were really about the failure of the Islamic revolution really. I was somebody that was extremely impressed by the sheer size of the democratic voting for the Ayatollah Khomeini when he came to power. 97% of Iranian people voted for him and in 3 of 4 years that revolution was betrayed. Some of the dark themes that are in the centre of that painting represent the bodies, the effigies in Tehran and all the rest of it. In the Middle East, right from the time of the Mongols,
the horse represents a whole source of power.” – Albedo Marz (David) For those unfamiliar with Ayatollah Khomeini, he was an Iranian philosopher and revolutionary, who ultimately led the revolution to overthrow the Pahlavi monarchy in Iran. His ideals changed so much over the course of his reign as the country’s supreme leader, that his original principles were lost as was his huge public support eventually resulting in his exile.
Interesting fact: Khomeini was the man that put out a fatwa on Salman Rushdie. These two paintings are like split screens, one half of each painting is very dark with strange, eerie-looking shapes peering through the darkness and the other half, bright and bold. A horse features in one of these and a few of David’s digital prints, symbolising the Arab influence to the image. There is a lot of history in David’s work and social political struggle. Some of his newer pieces follow a different socio-political pathway, I noticed another painting, the first of his latest series called Shape Shifting. “It brings together the traditional themes of painting, landscapes, objects, still life and figure painting but they’re all brought together as signs of a disintegrated environment. Most of my work is fragmented in one form or another and it’s part of how I see it, a disconnected world. I know everybody talks about it as a connected world but I see us as very disconnected.” – Albedo Marz (David). David goes on to talk about how heavily reliant we are on media and technology in modern day. His latest inspiration draws from his idea of a disconnected world and how being so remarkably connected in this way will ultimately cause worldwide dysfunction. It all comes back to the idea of being under surveillance, having every personal detail on show for the world to see and how this will ultimately affect society. Shape Shifting is a bright and energetic piece, I’m interested to see where the other seven in the series end up, from the sounds of it, they could get quite dark… The exhibition is open all week so make sure you get down to 35 Madeira Road to see this distinctive collection before the end of the week.
A big thank you to Ventnor Town Council for their support and printing this year’s Fringe Review.
Wednesday 9th August 2017