Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Cornershop

Kandy and I were in London his weekend to celebrate our friend Holly's birthday. Whilst we were down there we knew we had to pay a visit to 'The Cornershop'.
The Cornershop is an art project by Lucy Sparrow, who has made over 4000 felt versions of your favourite snacks, newspapers, cigs and booze, cornershop food essentials and much more out of felt the housed them in an unused cornershop space in Bethnal Green!
Two things I love are felt and snacks, so this was going to be a treat for me. Also most of my own artwork is made from felt, and in fact I recreated some my favourite teenage possessions and exhibited them last year (Make a Cup of Tea, Put a Record On).

So this cornershop was right up my street!


 

All items are placed on shelves, in freezers, behind the counter, just how they would be in a real shop! And like in a real shop, all items are for sale!






The whole exhibition is really fun and easy to relate to, who hasn't been in a cornershop?!

all my faves; Snickers, Peanut M&Ms and Starbar.

Sadly, pickled onion Space raiders not my faves UGH (gimme beef!)

Lucy working the counter!

I papped Kandy dreaming about Hubba Bubba.



The fact that the shop space is used as opposed to a mock shop in a gallery space just added to the feel, made it feel more real and completely accessible. Placed in the heart of an East London community it lacked any of the elitism of a lot of art spaces!


If you are in or around London go see it, it runs until the end of August.

More in formation HERE.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Boyhood/I Am Divine

It's come to the point now where I leave the house so infrequently, when I do I feel it's blog worthy!
So today (Friday) I went to see Boyhood. I have a few days off work so thought what better way to spend this lovely warm day by sending in a cool dark cinema for a few hours.
This morning I was thinking about going to see Boyhood when I got the offer to accompany the lovely Suzy and see it for free, so I was all hell yeah!
I didn't know much about it before going in aside from it was by Richard Linklater and featured the same cast as it was filmed over 12 years! I waited outside the cinema and saw a girl I went to both Primary and secondary school with begging outside of Sainsbury's and thought 'what is life?!?!', so I was hardly surprised when I came out of the cinema a few hours later thinking I'm about to have an existential crisis!

I'm not going to review the film and say what happened cuz I am rubbish at that and I don't want to spoil it. But I'll say a few words.

Firstly I bloody loved it, I mean it was like 2 1/2 hours long! I come from the John Waters school of films, where 90mins is as long as I want a film to be (I think I do everything so fast I don't even like long songs and some of my favourite albums are probably no longer than 25minutes!) so for me to sit through a film for that long is a feat in itself! And do you know what, it didn't even feel that long, at no point did I think is it over? It should end soon.

Secondly, it kinda blew my mind! Like I knew they used the same actors, but I was used to coming of age films where younger actors are replaced and older actors are made to look younger/older. SO I was sat there thinking oh look Ethan Hawke looked still kinda 90s at the start and now not so much, or haven't they made Patricia Arquette age really genuinely, and I had to keep telling myself THEY AGED IN REAL TIME!!!!

This also made me feel like I was growing with the characters, like when you really get into a book and by the end you feel like you are friends with the characters and a few days after you missed them. like watching someone's home videos for over a decade.

I left the cinema with a lovely warm feeling, yet that cloud of 'WHAT IS LIFE' aforementioned existential crisis!
I turned 30 this year and feel like I'm having a second adolescence and as much as I love a coming of age story I sometimes get freaked out by them. I'm currently reading Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, which is about two sisters going away to university. Towards the end of Boyhood, there was a lot about going off to University.
I pretty much sucked at higher education, once a highschool student most likely to go to university, I ended up being a 4 time college dropout and never made it to uni! Whilst most of the time I don't regret my education choices it's when I see/read stories like these I do regret it.
I feel like I missed out on a lot of things! I mean those college/uni years I did do stuff, but with my fear of change and new things and my natural state being 'let's just stay holed up in my room' I start to panic and worry that I didn't have that chance to grow.
I'm just being dramatic and what's done is done, but it's how I sometimes feel and how the film made me feel...

Anyway enough about me, the point being Boyhood made me feel, whether it was the impending second adolescence I am possibly in or the warm feeling I got, it made me feel and that's good.

I said to Suzy she must have really enjoyed it as she is a mother and it focusses a lot not just on children growing but parents too. Something for everyone.
In fact anyone that has ever been a teenager or unsure of the world (which I think is everyone!) then there is something you can relate to.

Indietracks is on this weekend and I am of work and feeling sorry for myself that I wasn't stood next to some steam trains in Derbyshire watching The Blue Minkies kill it. So the next day (Saturday) saw me hitting the cinema again (filling my thrice yearly cinema visit quota already!) to see the documentary I Am Divine.
I didn't really have any expectations of this, I know a few people who had seen it but don't really know what the general feeling about it was.
Unlike Boyhood it was my perfect film length at just 90minutes! And I was engaged for the whole time!
It was your early years-rise to fame-mainting your career- sad sudden death kinda documentary with anectdotes and commentary from friends and family and co-stars (Divine's mum, John Waters, Mink Stole, Ricki Lake, drag performers, PA's, and more).
I enjoyed seeing how Divine's look came about, his work ethic and him enjoying life. I also totally loved seeing all his looks!
I really enjoyed it and it seems they managed to fit it all in there without feeling like they were repeating themselves or missing large parts out. I don't think I learned much but enjoyed seeing all the footage, my only qualm was some of the graphics used seemed a little cheap and not in a good way, but I am fussy!
I laughed, I cried a little but mostly I felt inspired. With Divine's closing quote about dreaming big, working hard and believing in yourself left me feeling like I could do anything....
So off I went to dream big (and even when my mood turned sour after a one hour wait for the bus home) and fulfil my destiny!

Brown Girl(s) 2/ POC I need you!

Yesterday was the 26th day of International Zine month, and that days task was to contribute to a compilation zine. I didn't do that, unless you count my own!

Earlier this year (I think!) I completed a zine about me and my experiences with being brown! I cleverly called it Brown Girl...


As soon as I got back from the printers I remembered how I wanted to write about my favourite Caribbean foods, I kicked myself for forgetting.
I have since sold out of the zine (and hoping to get my arse in gear to get some more printed soon) but I got lots of awesome feedback and made me think in order for me to write about my favourite food I should just do another. But not one filled with just my voice. A lot of the feedback I got was how other WOC would like to tell their story.


So.... in short POC I NEED YOU! I want your contributions for Brown Girl 2! You can write about anything, your stories, whether it's about finding your place, your hair or food! You don't have to write, you can draw, collage, photograph ANYTHING I just need your contributions!

If you are interested get in touch: seleenalavernedaye@gmail.com

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Finding The Value

Friday night saw me taking a roadtrip to York for the opening of Finding The Value A group exhinition that features some new work by Alison Erika Forde.

The exhibition is made up of five artists(Andrew Bracey, Alison Erika Forde, Yvette Hawkins, Susie Macmurray and Simon Venus) and is in York St.Mary's, an old church that is an absolutely beautiful place.
Finding The Value see's the artists take items from the Madsen collection (which was left to Yorks museum trust by Peter Madsen, a collection full of paintings, sculptures, works on paper and much more) and create new works in response to those items they chose.

If anyone know's of Alison's work, you already know she loves to paint on found objects, old prints from charity shops, cupboard doors, whatever takes her fancy, so this was right up her street!
Alison did say she had never worked onto originals before so found it a little daunting.
Where she usually dreams up all manner of charcters, this time she incorparoted charceters from items she found in the collection, working on paitings, sculptures, tapestry works and an old scroll roll with a list full of ministers!

I know I am biased but it was all AMAZING! I love seeing everything she does, getting my face in her paitings, blowing my mind at how tiny she can paint and just getting lost in it all!


It's definitely worth a visit for her art, the other's art and the building alone!
Runs until 2nd November.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

The zines I have made...

It's July which means it's International zine month. Every year I tell myself I'm going to participate in it somehow, but every year I remember how much of a procrastinator I am and nothing gets done.
This year is no different, I need to get my arse in gear as my to do list is forever full.
Anyway in the spirit of thinking about zines I ventured into my bottom/zine drawer that's jam packed full of letters, notepads scraps of paper and all the zines I have made pre Sugar Paper.
Any zines I made after and including Sugar Paper are accessible and not tucked away in a drawer as these are my 'more serious grown up zines' that I actually do reprint.
The ones in the drawer however, the half done ones, the never to reach the printing stage ones, THE TEENAGE ONES will forever remain in that drawer!
I flicked through some of the zines and I cringed, I mean nobody, NOBODY wants to read all their feelings from when they were 15! The zines are full of all different things, gig reviews, pop culture nonsense, and the 'totally just got into riot grrrl in the last few years' of talking sex, liberation and empowerment. Also full of all that teen angst, self loathing and mostly boredom.

Now why, if I find them so cringeworthy and am never going to print them and hope all copies are now non existent and no one will ever see them again, why do I keep the masters?
I don't know maybe to remind myself that not all the things I felt as a teen will be felt now, growing older is good, you change, you grow, it's weird. But I think it's to remind myself of all the zines I have made and how much I like doing zines and if I ever think what I want to write about is stupid or I think I'm too old to be making zines, I look back and go I've been doing this since I was 15 and I bloody enjoy it!

SO in short happy international zine month, enjoy zines, making or reading, either way enjoy them.

Here's to another 15 years of zine making!

Friday, 4 July 2014

Sugar Paper # 13 OUT NOW!


Yes it's finally here, Sugar Paper #13- the adventuring issue!
Including knitted binocular bag, mango sorbet recipe, make a bowl from a coconut, which Goonie are you?, elderflower cordial, ackee and salt fish recipe and MORE!

Comes with free magnets to make your own compass.

Awesome front cover illustrated by Stef Bradley.

GET IT HERE!

Monday, 26 May 2014

London and it's yarn art!

Last week I headed to London, I was supposed to go and see The Julie Ruin, but the gig was cancelled, but I still got to hang with friends, go to a Becky Cloonan signing and surprise my sister with a Lush spa visit. I also got to see two awesome exhibitions:

Kandy Diamond- Death By Knitting
Prick Your Finger



Ok so I was obviously going to love this as it's Kandy's exhibition, but what's not to love about knitted film posters that are 3D!!!
Yes that's right she has machine knitted posters from movies that feature murder by knitting in some form or other and once you put on some red/blue 3D glasses the posters come to life! SO GOOD!

She has also made a zine to accompany the exhibition!

And 11 year old me particularly enjoyed seeing a knitted 3D Devon Sawa!


Miss Van- Glamorous by Darkness
Olek- Let's not get caught, let's keep going
Stolen Space gallery


I was super excited to see some Miss Van art up close and personal (thanks for the heads up Kellie!)
From street art to fine art, it was a joy to see those signature pursed pout ladies big on the wall. The collection at SSG was very Marie Antoinette meets magical forest party: Pastel hair, venetian masks, animal heads nude ladies, so good!
This was in the back room and in the front was work from Olek, another rare treat. A close friend of Miss Van (her show title is a quote from Thelma and Louise) Olek's work is an interpretation of some of Miss Vans pieces. She swapped paint and canvas for real life models, photographs and of course what olek is known for CROCHET!!!
The images were amazing and the walls were covered floor to ceiling in grey crochet, ARGH!


It made me want to go home and get way better at crochet. Also whenever I see a form of craft or textile art in a gallery space I get excited because I love to see traditional craft skills getting excepted as art!

I think it's totally fitting to just leave this song here....