Bonjour my little balls of bellybutton fluff that are quite cute really so you leave them where they are. I’m madly getting everything ready for my reading in Brighton this weekend (for the Fringe Festival) so expect more on that next week.
In the meantime here are some short films, some on writing, some on art, some just creative, from a video, article and exhibition project called The Fifth Sense between Chanel (yes, the perfume/designers) and iD. Vice has more info.
I like Jellywolf because it gives you a really good insight into my life around age 19-24: lots of luminous clothes and clubs and a world not quite set in reality.
Here’s the director, Alma Har’el, talking about making films.
Photographer Harley Weir discusses her photography and film work.
Her final project became portraits of five different artistic women. The first is poet Zariya Allen.
Next is dancer Manthe Ribane.
Then artist Christine Sun Kim.
Then photographer Momo Okabe
Lastly actress Oulaya Amamra.
Finally, here is a video of the mirror sculpture exhibition by Es Devlin. See you next week!
Last weekend my friends and I decided to go look at a house. “Why?” You ask, “there’s houses everywhere. Look, I can see one now.” Well, yes, but this one “there’s one with a red door, and a green door, and…” Shush! As I was saying, this one is really special.
Talliston House and Gardens in Dunmow, Essex, has been a project of the owner, John Trevillion, for 25 years. It started as a regular ex council house and has become an art piece where every room exists in a different era, from a New Orleans voodoo kitchen to a late Victorian front room.
My favourites, however, were upstairs: a study from 1929 New York filled with occult books and props, a ‘haunted bedroom’ and 1960s Cambodia in the attic.
They’ve still not quite finished but there’s lots of things upcoming. They hold murder mystery nights, people can stay over on special occasions, plus there’s viewings, poetry and music nights (you can watch the videos on their youtube channel) and an event in October with actors occupying the rooms. Honestly, we thought it was wonderful. Visit if you can, and finally here’s a video showing how it was made (note: they had help completing it so don’t worry, they’re almost done):
Whether you believe in ghosts or not (sorry, not me) these ‘spirit photographs’ from The Year of Halloween blog are rather fascinating and spooky. Put your eyes on them and you won’t be disappointed. Unless you were expecting a picture of a cheeseburger, then you will be disappointed. I’m hungry.
The other day I again found myself in the situation of avoiding work. It happens when I have more to do than usual. At a point in the afternoon I suddenly think, ‘maybe looking through twitter isn’t the thing I ought to be doing right now,’ and then I hopefully get on with things. Most of the time.
Sometimes doing a bit of excercise helps, sometimes telling yourself off helps, and sometimes doing it all tomorrow works just as well.
Everyone who does arty things involving self-discipline, whether they work freelance or do it on their own time, recognises this feeling.
This animation by Levni Yilmaz, from his ‘Tales of Mere Existence’ series, outlines the whole thing perfectly:
Other writers will certainly recognise this situation:
As you may know (or soon will) I like to share discoveries of artisticness in their various forms so I was pleased when my friend Steve – who’s busy getting his own art site finished – showed me this website by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo.
Some bits remind me a little of Robert Crumb and others of David Firth, but its all definately unique. Have a look!
For anyone interested Devo did a film by Neil Young with Dennis Hopper called Human Highway.
Here are three videos of them doing songs of theirs from the seventies. They were silly and didn’t take themselves seriously, which is a good habit to get into. The first clip includes a rather annoying lady from the show ‘Fridays,’ which sometimes featured Andy Kaufman:
Sometimes when my friends are doing artistic projects I like to pretend I’m a real alternative model. I’m not, of course, but I have an active imagination. For Halloween this year a friend, Graeme Wallace, took some pretty pictures of me and here they are!
Most of the articles/stories on this site I’ve written for fun (unless they’re segments of published stories), but this one appears on a travel site. This version’s better. Hidden within these words you’ll find my previous life as a student of Bath Spa University. Bits of it are very studenty, such as the preoccupation with pubs.
If lively entertainment and surreal festivals are your thing, Bath is the answer when you want something a little different. From punk to street parades, it has it all.
Forget the pretty Georgian buildings (although they are lovely) and drunken students singing rugby songs; if you’re a tourist in Bath there is a lot more to see. If you’re around in the summer both tourists and locals alike will recommend the Bath Fringe Festival. Beginning on the 25th May and ending on the 10th of June, it’s a two-week journey into the surreal with performances from underground theatre groups in various venues around town. Many are often set in the Chapel Arts Centre, Bath’s ‘alternative arts venue,’ alongside late night pubs and parties. Let me tell you, it was an experience hearing a Dalek recite a DaDaist poem at 1 in the morning.
However it is the parades the festival is best known for. Only on the street party Walcot Nation Day (Walcot Street of course) can you be confronted with the likes of an 8-foot furry spider; it may be a man on stilts in costume but it’s still impressive. In the brilliant sunshine the chaos of the day becomes more and more pronounced, “I ended up on the back of a stranger’s bike handing out fliers for an art exhibition whilst being followed by circus performers swallowing fire,” recalls local Susie Morris, 27, fondly.
Crazy festivities aside, for those a little more local to Bath there is still a lot to keep a person entertained when the slow-walking tourists have gone. Aside from watching the ever-present street performers in the Square by the beautiful cathedral, or strolling around market stalls of alternative/hippie clothes and jewellery, you could sample the local flavour on a pub crawl. Start with vegetarian pub The Porter Cellar Bar, which is good fun with a variety of music (it’s best if you like it very loud), and full of pierced eye-candy both male and female. Through the gradually ascending hip hop or other ‘cool’ music you’re bound to meet all the young things of the area, and downstairs you’ll occasionally find bands, acoustic performers or comedy.
Next, off to Mandolin’s, the gay pub, which is always very full at the weekend; next there’s the Bell, favoured place of hippies and Rastafarians, and finish at the Porter Butt. This last place is famous for “loud and vicious” techno and punk nights, and is proud of its lack of shine. Andy Tanner, the landlord, lovingly describes it as having “a 1970s floor, nicotine walls and a flock of parrots to collect the dust, and the best pool table in Bath.” Something to bear in mind is the massive variety of ales on offer.
Upon waking the next day with a very sensitive head and a need for something more soothing, you can have a good breakfast at one of the many art cafes.
Upstairs in these venues are often poetry nights or art exhibitions, and there are a number of open mic nights (evenings that encourage anybody to grab the mike and perform) held monthly in assorted sites. Anyone can have a go as long as they’re brave enough, and a bar is always available.
If hair of the dog is the only way, head for the aforementioned Bell on Walcot Street. Settle down with a bottle of Weston’s cider amongst the canal dwellers, grizzled old hippies and dreadlocked residents to a soundtrack of folk or reggae, and later on liven up to a ska band at weekends. As happy hour reaches ever nearer, you have a couple of options open to you. You can either head to On the Video Front DVD rental and savour the joys of Hammer horrors, video nasties, worldwide indie cinema, the entire two series of Twin Peaks and many, many more; or you can head back down to the Porter and begin the journey all over again.