Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I’ve found out about, applied, and was accepted(thank you!) to a group show of small works at a new gallery on Vyner Street. Vyner street is a metaphorical gauntlet of galleries ranging from the very established (Wilkinson) to up-and-coming like DegreeArt.com (just don’t do an internship there in winter), to the brand spanking new like Cultivate.
According to their webpage (what else), Cultivate is an artist’s space as of 1 September, 2011 and according to Sean, one of the organisers, it opened to the public in a mad 22 hour rush. He seemed a lot less traumatized about it than I would have been, and seemed to rather enjoy it! And why wouldn’t he? It’s a new (ad)venture set up to be an artist’s run alternative to the London art’s scene. It’s DIY (everyone loves that) and very personable so far. Running for 6 months (or longer if possible), Cultivate is just finishing their first show, called Red, which opened with what seemed like a fun, rambunctious, birthing ceremony.
Their next show is called Little Benefits, showing small, affordable pieces to the benefit of all those involved. The entrance fee is a very reasonable 10 pounds, the artist gets their work shown (for sale) on Vyner street, and it helps to fund the gallery in their burgeoning months.
I’m of course new to the art scene and has had a very positive experience with those I’ve worked with so far and as I’ve just started, I welcome any opportunity I can get. This is also a second opportunity to see my work done for the Open Doors London: W12 exhibition that ran for the weekend of September 25th.
It’s also started turning the wheels in my curious brain about the role of the internet and information in my art and in my practice. During my library degree, we talked a lot about how the internet and the interactivity of the internet is changing information practice. I also hear all the time about how people did such and such using Twitter or how so and so built their career using Facebook. Maybe I’ll be the next success story.
Oh you’ve moved to London? Do you have an A-Z? A city and it’s map is a match made in heaven. There’s something about London that just screams out for a map, and not just the ease of getting lost on some of it’s Mediaeval streets. (I was going to say street plan, but that seems a bit generous.)
At the Museum of London, a fantastic museum for tourists and Londoners alike, there’s an area where the walls are literally covered with maps and it can cause a bit of a bottle neck. You can see that where your flat is used to be a field and that the roads are still the same hundreds of years ago in places. Or the spelling as changed. Or there used to be an airport near Waterloo Station?
The old tube maps are also fascinating. The Bakerloo line was much bigger for instance, and the old line kind of explains its current, rather odd path.
In terms of maps in general (with a US focus) there is a rather good collection of articles here on Brain Pickings. In terms of maps of London, there is a huge array here at MappingLondon.co.uk
Aside from providing an outlet for those obsessed with their city, maps are seriously beautiful designs and objects. They range from visually simply functional to extravagant and gorgeous. They can also be very topical such as this map of tweets in London.
Maps are also illustrated memories and histories. Traditionally, political or trade histories, but they can also be personal histories. A scribbled-on old A-Z for instance, or the book of a Carolinian neighbourhood in Everything Sings. The originator of the carved pumpkins map.
What’s with all the maps? Well, I’m still working on my map project, which plans in store for a second for the next OpenDoors. More to come.
I think anyone that lives in London develops a strong relationship to two maps: the A to Z and the iconic London Underground map. The A-Z gets crinkled, written on, places frequented are circled, phone numbers are written on pages and gradually this ubiquitous map becomes like a diary. It’s a visual memory of life, more like a date book or a calendar than a journal.
Imaged sourced from Tesco.com
For me, London is a place of very strong memories and experiences and my A-Z reflects this. I used to trace my route on it until it started to get impossible to use it for any other route. It is a visual chronicle of my time here. (It will be two years at the end of this month.)
I wanted to pursue this further and so I want to embroider these routes on a map. I want to trace where I’ve been, possibly colour-coded.
I know it’s more like an actual code. Like I said, it’s not a journal. The memories aren’t explicit, but they can be visualised. I plan on, after embroidering a map, on embroidering dissolvablefabric with the same pattern and dissolving the fabric, which will leave only the lines, an abstract pattern.
Cue rampant apologies for failing to write more often and half-hearted promises to write more blah blah blah.
Anyway, I’ve been busy! My friend from home visited for two weeks and I showed him around (mostly the pubs). Then I’ve begun the great Job Hunt 2011 (nothing yet, but somewhat promising despite my visa status and the apparent worthlessness of having two degree with only some experience.)
Oh and the art stuff, the web is up at Inventory Studio (pictures to follow when I get my butt to Whitechapel), the web dress is almost in one piece and I’m getting excited for new projects.
What I really wanted to share, I have a new, official, professional? website. It has the older projects uploaded and will have the dress pictures up shortly.
I built it using Indexhibit which requires some knowledge of website building, if you want to customise it which is fairly necessary as the plain one looks like one of those websites from the late ’90’s. After customisation, adding content is super easy and works much like WordPress posts. You chose a title for a ‘project’ and then can insert a description and as far as I know, as many photos as you want.
Anyway, check it out until the next post at some vague point in future.
I’m sure many of you have seen the tutorials online on how to make a dress form out of various household materials and with varying levels of dedication to being covered in those materials. Well I sucked up my claustrophobia and bought a men’s t-shirt and some tape in the name of not spending 100 pounds on an industrial dress form.
In case you haven’t seen it, here are the tutorials that I’m referencing and, in fact, used to make my personalised dress form.
Sourced from Threads Magazine
My friend Lenny from the RunnyCustard blog, came over to help wrap me in duct tape, amid many, many innuendos and a bit of accidental groping. (What’s a bit of groping between friends?) At first, I tried using packing tape which proved to be much too thin and provided little structural support. We then laid a layer of duct tape over the packing tape (as per the instructions) which worked like a charm.
Photography by Lenny Carter
I then went to my local craft shop and bought some fabric to cover the form and viola! It looks and works like at least a 50 pound dress form!
Photography by me.
And an obligatory web dress shot!
Photography by me!
One sunny day near to Liverpool street, I serediptiously dropped more webs around.