Categories
inspiration

Sketches In The City

An offshoot of City As Material, Sketches In The City is an occasional series of observational expeditions in various locations across the capital. Mandy, Radhika and I sketch, take photographs and write poems and prose to form a collaborative eBook with underlying themes. Focusing mainly on people and interactions in public places – places that shape, and are in turn shaped, by the people in them – we’ve produced two books so far, and are working on a third.

Sketches In The City was our first attempt, created as a result of visiting the busy Victoria and Waterloo train stations – places which reveal an interesting insight of the human character when bored or stressed. Highlighting the material we collected on the day, this tidy scrapbook was an playful experiment with little interpretation or narrative, letting us take the time to view hectic environments from a different perspective than usual and refine our creative processes.

Sketches In The City: British Museum showcases the unique architecture and exhibits in the British Museum, looking at how visitors observe and interact with them and one another, as well as their grasp on the intangible knowledge that exists amongst that which we can see and touch.

Read them on Diffusion.

Categories
inspiration

Holy Ghost Zine

Unusually for an online zine, Holy Ghost, “a platform for artists across the world to show their work”, have also released three print volumes of art and photography by their various contributors. It’s interesting that a collective that initially started with an online medium (generally chosen as an alternative to print for whatever reasons), decided to go down the paper-based route as well – highlighting the still present value and popularity of printed publications. Holy Ghost also occasionally host work in gallery and project spaces, so it would be fair to say they’ve effectively become curators as well. Unfortunately, it seems the print zines have all sold out, but you can still take a peek at their shop here.

Categories
inspiration

Treasure Zine

Time for me to feature some staggering artwork from illustrator Helen Vine now, taken from her zine “TREASURE”. A 15 page, saddle-stitched, illustration / photography zine inspired by “cemeteries and taxidermy museums”. Thankfully I share this slightly morbid fascination towards various creatures of the rigor mortis persuasion. Her work is amazingly intricate and captures the beautiful patterns and textures of natural geometry found in animals – it’s mesmerising. I was so engrossed in the cover, I didn’t notice at first glance what appears to be a flamingo made out of leaves, subtly camouflaged amongst the other birds, or the wood-grain effect beak of some unknown majestic creature, one weary eye peeking out.

You can view a preview here. To get a copy (assuming she hasn’t run out, which wouldn’t surprise me) e-mail her at helenvine@homail.co.uk.

 

Categories
inspiration

Hours Zine

The first issue of Hours, a monthly photography Zine is available now, and apparently issue 2 launches tomorrow. Convenient of me to have just seen it now, eh? Each month, someone is chosen to take 24 photographs in 24 hours, using only a manual camera. Hours then develop the photos and publish the results. It’s a nifty concept, costing only a quid, plus the cover and minimalist design looks great as well. It could be a good idea to do something similar, combined with the spirit of our recent Pitch In & Publish series – each person takes an eBook’s worth of photos and makes their own document of the trip.

It’s available here.

Categories
inspiration

Zine Highlight: The Gentleman Caller

I’ve just ordered “The Gentleman Caller” by Andrea Kearney, but can’t wait for it to arrive, so I’ll highlight it instead. This caught my eye whilst browsing the Zines page on Facebook and seems to be a piece you need to appreciate in physical form, so I might post a few more photos of it when it’s in my mitts.

Its a beautifully surreal and cinematic illustrative zine, making use of double spreads to convey an amazing and disorientating sense of perspective. I love the bizarre imagery and the shading – it’s like a dream (or nightmare) rendered in a book.

It’s available to order here.

Categories
inspiration

Zine Highlight: Who ate all the pies?

“Who ate all the pies?” is an A5 illustrated zine by Mark Long, detailing some of the more amusing chants sang by football supporters in the UK. Though composed entirely with a red and blue palette, hes still managed to create depth with shading and contrast, and I love the multitude of faces – the seemingly simplistic lines belie some great characters. The chants themselves are hilarious, I wonder how many of the crowd are Sun headline pundits. It’s available here.

Categories
inspiration

SNAP Zine

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know I was a tad disappointed by the apparent shortage of literature and poetry zines. Thanks to the Zines page on Facebook, I’ve just found SNAP zine, an international short story and literature zine, complete with illustrations and photographs to accompany the text (and a free badge or two). Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any photos of the inside, but from the cover it looks like a joyous marriage of aesthetics and intelligent text. Might have to buy this to see for myself. It’s available here.

Categories
events

City As Material: Underside

Our fourth Pitch In & Publish: City As Material event was held last Friday, around the theme of “Underside”. Participating was our special guest, Alexandra Deschamps – Sonsino, alongside Giles Lane, Mandy Tang, Radhika Patel and myself. We met at Poppies Diner in Whitechapel, a cafe decked out in Americana, quotes from Hollywood films adorning the walls (though some a bit off the mark) and the most glamorous of culinary staples …. fried chicken and builders tea. This caff / diner hybrid proved a fitting start for Underside, a theme more ambiguous than our previous events.

Alexandra had suggested visiting the 4D Model Shop round the corner, to pick up some materials to work with along the walk. After acquiring  some unusual knick knacks, including miniature models of Barack Obama and the first lady, and a polystyrene egg (clearly novelty triumphs over practicality every time), we set off.

We were particularly interested in hidden flows in the city, and the alternative uses of the networks that these travel within. Alexandra speculated over what would become of BT’s phone lines in the future, once technology had outgrown their capability. Giles explained the history behind manhole and coal covers, and the abandoned infrastructures London rests upon. Our walk took us through side streets some of us had never traveled through, and the slow pace highlighted quirky features dotted around the city that are ignored in frantic daily routines.

During lunch, we fiddled around with our bounty from 4D, and after Alexandra experimented with using different props she had made against the backdrop of the Barbican, a place containing vast expanses, though also riddled with unusual nooks and crannies.

Once at the studio, we started to form the eBook, sketching the layout and deciding how the materials we had gathered during the day could work within our theme. We are in the process of creating it, so look out for the Underside eBook on Diffusion soon, and keep track of the discussion online with the #cityasmaterial hash tag on Twitter. You can view all our photos from the event on the City As Material Flickr page.

Our final Pitch In & Publish: City As Material event, “Sonic Geographies” is on the 10th of December. Book a place here.

Categories
inspiration

Zine Highlight: All My Bikes

I’ve just stumbled across “All My Bikes” by Chris Piascik, an illustrated zine showcasing every bike he’s ever owned. It’s a full colour, 28-page zine, and the quality of printing looks fantastic. The bikes are surrounded, and entwined with, associated words in varying fonts and colours; its not hard to see the effort and affection that has gone into creating this. There’s even several pages at the back detailing the story behind every bike.

It’s available here.

Categories
inspiration

Zine Review: Another Way by Ryan Todd

“Another Way” by Ryan Todd (courtesy of the Zines page on Facebook), is a handstitched illustrated zine, each page with a comical visual pun that is subtly different from the expected norm. It’s super minimalist, and doesn’t seem to have any cover or accompanying text (aside from the back cover credits), which makes these charming, witty illustrations all the more stark and poignant.

The use of purely primary colours lends a really nice uniformity and iconic tone to this zine; it’s quite visually arresting. I’m looking forward to seeing what Ryan creates next.¬† “Another Way” is available here.