Posts Tagged With: Art

Shopping Patterns

drawer and wrapping paper collage

patterned paper collage

pastel display collage

I went shopping and took these iPhone pictures and stuck them together in collages. The first image is from House of Fraser and All Saints, the second is Paperchase and the third is from an art shop.

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Categories: Art, Design, Photography, Random, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Aurora Borealis Sandwich

Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy character The Audience

‘It’s insane,’ said a friend of mine after watching Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy.

That’s the ultimate accolade for a show which has been described as biting into an aurora borealis sandwich. Known for the phenomenally successful Mighty Boosh, Fielding has created a colourful world of bizarre characters in psychedelic settings which boggle the mind. It’s a kaleidoscope of lysergic humour, which takes in Sgt.Pepper, the most dazzling extremes of glam rock and more than a large dollop of The Banana Splits. Remember them? Andy Warhol features as Noel’s cleaner, with a voice like Stephen Hawking and a laugh that comes as tickets. It’s a hugely entertaining visual wonderland, with artistic and cultural splashes on a canvas of indefinable humour.

It’s about to end it’s first run, so grab the final episode on Thursday 8 March on Channel Four (UK, sorry about that – emigrate) or watch the series on 4 OD but hurry because the episodes are  expiring in order.

Categories: Random, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Edward Hopper – The Great American Realist

Edward-Hopper-The-Long-LegI want you to meet my favourite painter! He died in 1967, the year I was born. He was off my radar too, until a TV producer friend of mine dragged me to the Edward Hopper exhibition in London at the Hayward Gallery in 1981. I was 14, developing a casual interest in painting and drawing to the extent that people would shove paintbrushes in my hand or position canvases in my path.

Horribly distracted by hormones, I sleepwalked through my audience with the Great Master and acquired a few postcards and a ‘so what?’ attitude on the way out. How I…want to slap my younger self.

Edward-Hopper-sketch-for-nightwindows

Picture by Charles Ritchie

Within a few years I tuned into the quiet magic of Hopper and my fascination with his realist style led me to study him for my Art A-Level (un-slapped.) I tried to paint in his style, aping Hockney’s early photo-realistic paintings but all the while aiming for the monumental stillness of Hopper’s human subjects, which were often dwarfed by the faded grandeur of his architecture.

Edward Hopper Chop Suey

It could have been his rugged, windswept landscapes or the stark and beautiful light of New England but I was spellbound by some undefined, elusive quality. There is a sense of desolation, a profound loneliness to much of his work. It makes me think that for all our sound and fury, there is an emptiness to our existence. Hopper didn’t discriminate between an extravagant Painted Lady or the bold functionality of a light house. He saw beauty in geometry, and he loved the way sunlight paints those shapes, completing them.

Edward-Hopper_Lighthouse-Hill

Edward-Hopper-Room-in-Brooklyn-1932

His study of dereliction or vacancy is equal to his celebration of our grand achievements. The fanciful facade of a 19th Century theatre is rendered with the same wonder as a simple tenement window glowing at night. But it was the pause for breath backstage which preoccupied Hopper, the noises off. The people in his paintings are very much still-life: quiet, reflective characters captured in oils. If Film Noir had been a colour medium, it would have looked like a Hopper painting.

Edward Hopper Night Windows

The great drama of Edward Hopper’s figurative work lies in the mystery of what happened before the moment captured – or what happened after. Although his execution of the human form comes second to his masterful landscapes, the enigma lies in their sense of ennui. Each one seems to be slightly uncomfortable, anticipating something.

Edward-Hopper-Cape-Cod-Morning

Hopper found majesty in our surroundings, exploring the way we impose ourselves on the landscape. We build boxes and we put ourselves in them.

Edward-Hopper-Early-Sunday-Morning

Edward-Hopper-Highland-Lighthouse

Edward-Hopper-Cape-Cod-Afternoon

Edward-Hopper-Captain-Uptons-House

Categories: Art, Photography, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A Tour of The Northern Quarter – Part 2

vintage type writer keyThe weather’s sh*t but the clothes are fantastic!

Manchester would be perfect if it was just a little closer to the equator. The second part of my tour of the Northern Quarter looks at the wonders hidden between the boutiques and the bars.

metal bird sculpture
The light in Manchester can be really stubborn. This picture was unusable until I started experimenting. It’s amazing how much information can be extracted from the pictures we delete. This one went through iPhoto and Photoshop and I was surprised at what came out. These metal birds are just round the corner from my apartment. Everywhere you look in the Northern Quarter there are tiles or sculptures, murals and installations. The streets are paved with poetry! You can read Lemn Sissay as you walk up Tib Street.

Where home
truths trickle
home and confide
where the silent
forests brood

We even had a Banksy which was lovingly painted over by the City Council.

wall tile mural tib street

This mural was right outside my lounge window for years, and it was only when I took this picture that I noticed how rich it is, detailing the history of the neighbourhood.

Tib Street terracotta parrots
These terracotta parrots, loyal to Manchester, can be seen roosting above the flickering neon of Matt & Phred’s jazz bar.

Read A Tour of the Northern Quarter – Part 1 here.

A Tour of The Northern Quarter – Part 3

Categories: Photography, Random, Travel, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Tour of the Northern Quarter – Part 1

Northern Flower shop digital painting the vibes

Vintage type writer keyIt’s a mecca for DJs and clubbers, artists and fashionistas. Manchester’s funky town features vintage clothing, specialist record shops and art galleries. The Northern Quarter has a rich history boasting Italianate architecture and the first cotton mill. These days it’s all street art and café culture. Bohemian, or ‘vibrant’ as an estate agent might tell you as he shows you round a loft apartment, but you try getting some sleep at night…!

tiled wall art

These are the tiles of Tib Street, the details echoing the famous pet shops which stretched from Market Street to Swan Street.

Read A Tour of the Northern Quarter Part 2 here.

A Tour of The Northern Quarter – Part 3

Categories: Photography, Random, Travel, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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