Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Stone Roses to reform?

At the moment all ears are open to hear if The Stone Roses will reform for a series of shows and a possible album. Now I know the nostalgia pull is immense not only for people of a certain age but for those that are discovering the band now who have become somewhat mythologised.   But for me it's not so much the live shows but what a new Stone Roses album cover would look like.

As I previously professed in a former post about the Stone Roses I was a big fan not only of their music and attitude but of their sleeves and the art work created by John Squire. They were a complete package. Well I think it doesn't take a genius to work out that if the Roses do reform it will be Cap'n Squire creating the album artwork. From looking at his last exhibition and his latest paintings a new Stone Roses album cover may have an eastern feel, I hope they still do the limited postcard or print with the vinyl singles! To see more of Mr Squires' work head over to his website.

Anyway only time will tell so I'll keep my long sleeve paint splashed top and Wrangler Bell bottoms (21 inch!!) in the wardrobe for the moment and wait to see if a reunion is on the cards maybe the world has moved on but I'll always remember this moment on BBC2…

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Everyone's a critic!

A bit of an unexpected post today, I was hoping to mention a couple of up and coming exhibitions taking place in London on the theme of maps but instead my I find myself writing about my own exhibition which has just been bombed. Yes you read correctly bombed! Now I know everyone one has the right to criticism but this is a touch too much!
I am of course making light of the situation and am being a little melodramatic and a little untrue, it wasn't my work that was the focus of such ire and anger but the building where my work was being exhibited in Derry, the Culture Offices based just off the Guildhall Square.

As you may or may not be aware Derry/Londonderry was awarded UK city of Culture 2013 last year, a great achievement, that in my eyes gives not only the North West a chance to show itself in an new light (that has nothing to do with sectarian violence) but the whole of Northern Ireland. However some factions of the political spectrum take exception to the letters 'UK' and what they represent. They then vent this dissatisfaction by placing bombs in the doorway of the Culture Offices. Now I'm not a politician and this isn't a political blog but speaking as someone from the area I can only see the accolade of City of Culture 2013 (be it UK or Irish, European or even Galactic!!) as a positive thing bringing renewed infrastructure, jobs, investment and tourism to the region. Believe it or not people still equate Northern Ireland with the troubles and violence and would rather visit the south of Ireland than the North, it's time to show them that it is about so much more than violence and what better way than giving them a good time and the putting on display the rich cultural heritage we have not only in Derry but in the North as as a whole. Everyone has the right to protest but not just by leaving bombs in the street.

Here are a few gems from Derry's rich cultural tapestry, taking in the Undertones, Our Krypton Son, Famous Seamus and a bit of Danna as well…

 I was only joking about Danna!

Monday, 10 October 2011


Just catching up on the news this week and came across these beautiful images of quasicrystals.
The Nobel prize for Chemistry was won by Daniel Shechtman for the discovery of these quasicrystals. Believe it or not this discovery was highly controversial, he was ridiculed by other scientists including a previous Nobel prize winner.

Although this is an excellent story of self belief and perseverance it was the patterns themselves which caught my eye and made me think directly of Islamic architecture as seen in the geometric patterns evident in mosaics, wooden grilles and ceramic art. Of course there is nothing new in art echoing nature, especially when mathematics is used as the base but at this microscopic level I find that astounding.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Poems to go!

Today is National Poetry Day, if your living in the UK, of course as well all know in France every day is National Poetry Day in fact this morning over breakfast I was helping my son memorise a poem about Autumn for his homework (he is 6!)

Coincidentally I came across the existence of Poetry Takeaway over the weekend and it seems apt to do a post on it today. The Poetry Takeaway is a mobile Poetry on demand service, that works much the some way as gourmet burger van; you roll up discuss with the chef what poetic delights your soul is hankering after and then, after a brief discussion about style, content and subject your poem is served to you 10 minuets later, handwritten in a little package made to order and all ready to consume or pass on as you may wish.

They are in London just outside the Southbank today so if your out and about and need a rhyming couplet to see you through the day then give them a go.

And as a nod to both National Poetry Day and the fact that yesterday was the birthday of one of Irelands best authors, Flann O'Brien, here is a short video of Eamon Morrissey reciting A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Collection box

I came across this charity collection box when I was in Derry last month. I hadn't seen a collection box like this since the early eighties! I remember the boy with a caliper outside the chemist and the blind boy reading braille perched outside the charity shop but now most of these have disappeared as they were outdated and not very PC, but unfortunately they have been replaced by generic perspex boxes or a group of people in day-glo tabbards requesting you to set up a direct debit.

When I saw the kitten box I was a bit thrown by the relationship between the kittens and Romanian Orphans but after a while I realised it was probably originally used for the R.S.P.C.A. (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and had been adapted to help raise money for Romanian orphans.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Culture Night catch up

The Bogside as seen from the city walls on Culture Night.
Culture Night has been and gone and I have been busy catching up  since getting back from Ireland. The night went in all too quickly, talking to people about the city, art and exploring the city after dark.

I spent most of my time at the Culture Offices meeting talking to people about what I do as a graphic designer  but I did manage to get out and about to see other events happening within the walls.
One of the highlights was Polly Morgan's exhibition Dead Time at the Void Gallery. It was the first time I have seen 'live' examples (please forgive the pun) of Polly's work and if you have the chance I highly recommend it.

I showed a few pieces of print work, the Pika Pika break up cards and a few paper cuts  including a new paper cut based on the story of Half Hung MacNaughton. All was really well received (especially as someone made off with a copy of a Sleeping Years EP and a couple of Arctic Circle pieces!)

It was a beautiful autumnal night, a little windy but not too much, all about the city were dotted pockets of light filled with people, laughter and the odd pint or two and it was so great just to pop in discover something new, have a chat and then go on to discover something else happening in a little cafe just down the street.

I wish I had been more active with my camera but in all honesty I was enjoying myself too much to worry about capturing the event. Any way here are a few photos of what I showed and of the city, if your around Derry and in 2012 I highly recommend it especially if you can finish off the night with a cold pint at Sandinos!