May 29, 2011

Roarin' Around

It was back in the 60's that department stores really stocked everything, and one could wander into Harrods and casually purchase a pet lion cub from the 'exotic animals' department, on your way past haberdashery and manchester.  Christian the lion spent his first year of life living it up with his Australian carers in their London flat, cruising around in the backseat of a Bentley, dining at restaurants, and reclining on the chaise longues  at his digs in the furniture shop aptly named 'SophistoCat'.

The vicar of the Moravian Chapel nearby was approached to allow Christian the run of the graveyard, and every day he was taken there to roar around and play football.
Once, when he was brought along to a seaside picnic, he dipped his toes reluctantly in the water and intimated with a shudder that it was disagreeably cold. But he was eventually persuaded to swim in the English Channel.

"Sometimes, he'd see people staring at him through the back window of the car, keep very still on purpose - and then, just when they were convinced he was a stuffed toy, he would very slowly turn his head and freak them out."

excerpts from The Daily Mail

Ljus utan skuggor

Kah Bee Chow
Ljus utan skuggor

concrete, glass, cyanotype on silk, broken glass and mirror, globe pendant lamp, sanded floors, blanket, digital print, towel, sawn homeware catalogue, cup, steel chain, steel tube, found rocks.

A glittering array of carefully contructed mountains of polished glass, gently draped printed fabric, stoically robust grey columns and the reflections of plants/chains/crystals/aforementioned items caught in broken shards of mirror, while bright sunlight bears down and casts shadows that perhaps weren't meant to be there.

Kah Bee Chow's installation for the Malmö Konsthögskolan's annual exhibition open days was indeed a highlight. I love the feeling of seeing your friends make great work, which in turn inspires your own efforts.

May 25, 2011

Notes on a Scandal

 Crowd scenes from Malmö Stadion, where the game was held and eventually called off due to hooliganism.

Yesterday's 'derby' was the show-down between the two rival footballing cities of Skåne, Helsingborg and Malmö, whose teams (HIF and MFF) are also sitting first and second  respectively, on the Allsvenskan points table. Every time these rivals rendezvous the police are out in force on horseback on the streets, cautiously eyeing up raucous revellers. Chartered buses roll in from out of town, and patrol cars cordon off roads around the train stations to direct the flow of human traffic alighting from them, mingling with the sky-blue clad Malmö supporters wandering around the streets drinking cheap beer, letting off flares and chanting incomprehensibly.

The match was aborted after thirty minutes of play; after HIF scored a goal, enraged Malmö supporters pelted the Helsingborg goalie with firecrackers and one crazed fan brazenly burst onto the pitch to attack the goal keeper head-on. The man was carried by police, pall-bearer style, off the pitch and play abandoned.

The match is being referred to in Swedish press as 'The Scandal Match' and the HIF goalie keeps stating he is 'very shocked'.

Photographs via Sydsvenskan

May 16, 2011

From a Holiday

Diffust Deren - Sarah Jane Gorlitz / Ubåt U3 at Teknikens och Sjöfartens hus, Malmö / Chilled lobster on the street, Copenhagen / Window display at a Danish Auction House with polar bear and reflected surrounding architecture / Façade of Frederiksborggades Is ice cream parlour, Nørrebro, Copenhagen.

A small collection of photographs taken over Easter, 2011, when friends visited. Travels and adventures in Malmö and Copenhagen, when the weather stayed warm just for them it seemed, and as soon as the last one left, reverted to windy, chilling, and grey.

I prefer looking at holiday snaps in groups of five or so. Too many, and I lose interest, not enough, and I am unable to build up some sort of narrative or aesthetic connection between each image. I like to think of photographs 'fitting' with other photographs, I suppose that is why I have always held an interest in diptychs, jump cuts, film stills and so on and so forth, and the implicit/explicit nature of the pairings or collections - whether it be by colour, light, composition or subject matter, or the background and storytelling behind the images themselves.

One criticism about the referential nature of my art practice is that the audience is not necessarily privy to all the links, hints, references, plays-on-word and in-jokes behind them. Perhaps not, but maybe there is enough to build on by the aesthetic of the image/artwork itself.

Matching palette

The Central Bank building in Azeri Square, Baku, Azerbaijan / Julie Christie with telescope.

May 9, 2011

Song Choice

On Saturday my friends in New Zealand banded together to celebrate one of my best friend's birthdays in true karaoke style. It pained me not to be there to join in the hours of drunken fun, but at least gave me a moment to ruminate of what I would have sung had I wished to assault them with my strained vocal chords.
It is quite hard choosing a truly worthy karaoke song: you want a song everyone knows, so that they can join in on the chorus or take over if you are truly mutilating the said song. You would not want a song to be too long, with a drawn out guitar solo, as no one goes to karaoke to hear someone sing an instrumental. Preferably the song should have a poignant or meaningful memory associated with it and others present, possibly you have drunkenly listened to at a previous time. I have discovered that the most enjoyed karaoke songs are ones people don't take seriously - its is most likely they have been played on solid gold - perhaps even over the christmas period.

And, if you are someone such as myself, the song should be relatively easy to sing. Therefore, as my now preferred karaoke song of choice, taking all of the aforementioned points into consideration, I can only conclude that next time I am in a karaoke room I shall break into a slaughtered rendition of

Rod Stewart's Maggie May

Items of Interest

Isamu Noguchi / My Name Florence Tee / Buoy Rope Bag / Ngaio Marsh / Lady Michael Balcon as Minerva by Madame Yevonde / Danger Man

Some recent items of interest and things that have caught my eye: portrait of Isamu Noguchi in one of his elegant chairs - one thing I would like to do with my life is make chairs; recently I bought this tee shirt from the Swedish shop weekday - ironically (or fatally) it was named the 'My Name Florence Tee', and after that there was no looking back; have started another art project knitting fishing line whilst probably diminishing my already failing eye sight, the main inspiration for this stems from various rope covers for buoys; I also recently completed reading Ngaio Marsh's autobiography, she will always stand as one of my favourite authors alongside Raymond Chandler, Haruki Murakami, Joseph Heller and Herge; Lady Michael Balcon as Minerva looking rather similar to a cover of a Chandler/James Bond novel, with shades of Twin Peaks thrown in for good measure; Danger Man, perhaps the precursor to 'The Prisoner' - I swoon every time John Drake says his token catchphrase 'I'm obliged' and wish I could incorporate this into my everyday parlance except no one else would understand what I meant by it. I also appreciate Danger Man's relatively realistic fight scenes, at least compared to other spy programmes of the time.

May 1, 2011

Såsom i en spegel

Photographs of Malmö as taken through a periscope at Teknikens och Sjöfartens hus (The joint Maritime Museum and Museum of Technology).
On the lookout for enemy war ships, unsavoury characters, and unknown flying objects.


The Royal Wedding screened live at Sendlinger Tor cinema in Munich, Germany. 29th April 2011, and, judging from the screen, around 11am.

(Lukas Barth/dapd) via the Atlantic

Studio Visit

April contained a bevvy of exciting experiences, including the start of a new, full time, Swedish speaking job, an amazing Easter sojourn from aforementioned job with visits from three wonderful friends, the commencement of time spent in my new basement studio, and the beginning of a new project mentioned here previously. Hurrah for April, I say, as I still come to terms that today is in fact, the first of May.

The white striped shower curtain I am at present embroidering on in my new studio / close ups of the North Pole, which Robert Peary reached on the day of my birth in 1909, and the mystical 'Crocker Land', of which the map claims to have plotted / Ryan documenting the work in progress /studio portrait of the artist with invisible artwork.

Plans for May include afternoons after work sewing white on white, and perhaps fitting a couple of afternoons playing basketball in between.