Posts Tagged ‘Art & Design’

Exhibition: Hare Styling – Original Art Raising Funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital

Heartbreak, 17 Bulstrode Street, London W1U 2JH. UK
16th April – 8th May 2011

By Guy Sangster Adams

Stella McCartney, Untitled, for Hare Styling

Stella McCartney, Untitled, for Hare Styling

Over 200 high profile figures including fashion designers, pop stars, actors, models, hairdressers, broadcasters, chefs, and artists, such as Stella McCartney, Paul Smith, Ronnie Wood, Sunday Girl, Cheryl Cole, Eliza Doolittle, Helena Bonham-Carter, Thandie Newton, Twiggy, Nicky Clarke, Jeremy Paxman, Jamie Oliver, Tracey Emin, and Jack Vettriano, have created unique artworks to raise funds for two new operating theatres at the preeminent London children’s hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Tracy Emin, A Kiss to a Hare, Hare Styling

Tracey Emin, A Kiss to a Hare, Hare Styling

Each canvas features their stylistic interpretation of an hare, many of which using the outline from an hare drawn by 15 year old Angelica Van Clarke, who had a life-saving operation at GOSH when she was just two days old. The Hare Styling event has been created by Angelica’s father, hairdresser Michael Van Clarke and designer Karen Welman, and is one of the initiatives of the HAIRraising appeal, which was launched in 2010 by leading members of the hairdressing community, including Van Clarke, Nicky Clarke, Charles Worthington, Daniel Galvin, Andrew Barton and Trevor Sorbie. HAIRraising’s target is to raise £1 milllion for two new specialist neurosurgical operating theatres which will help treat 20 per cent more children requiring pioneering brain surgery.

Ronnie Wood, Unititled, Hare Styling

Ronnie Wood, Unititled, Hare Styling

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity needs to raise £50 million a year to help rebuild and refurbish Great Ormond Street Hospital, provide vital up-to-date equipment and fund research into better treatments for the children. The hospital is one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals with the broadest range of dedicated, children’s healthcare specialists under one roof in the UK. The hospital’s pioneering research and treatment gives hope to children who are suffering from the rarest, most complex and often life-threatening conditions.

Sunday Girl, Selected Tails from Beatrix Potter, Hare Styling

Sunday Girl, Selected Tails from Beatrix Potter, Hare Styling

All the Hare Styling artworks will be sold by auction and online bidding opens on 14th April 2011 at Giving Lots The sale continues for six weeks, culminating with the Hare Ball a glittering evening of entertainment and fundraising at The Dorchester Hotel, London on 26th May 2011, at which 20 of the top canvases will be sold at a live auction. Both online bidding and ticket applications for the Hare Ball are open to everyone (for more information, please see the links at the foot of this article).

Cheryl Cole, Untitled, Hare Styling

Cheryl Cole, Untitled, Hare Styling

Heartbreak, which is sponsoring and hosting the Hare Styling exhibition, is a new gallery based in a six storey townhouse in the Marylebone area of London. The gallery offers an holistic approach, both representing and publishing the work of their artists, designers, and photographers in-house.

Hare Styling at Heartbreak
runs from 16th April – 8th May 2011
at Heartbreak, 17 Bulstrode Street, London W1U 2JH. UK
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3219 5170
Opening Times: Mondays to Saturdays 10am – 6pm; Sundays 11am – 4pm

Hare Styling:
Giving Lots:
The Hare Ball:
Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition: Going Nowhere Fast – D*FACE

Corey Helford Gallery, 8522 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, California, USA
9th April – 27th April 2011


By Guy Sangster Adams

Defining his work as ‘aPOPcalyptic’ (“a metaphorical backdrop for the corruptive persuasive consumerist folly that has been force fed into society”), London-based, internationally-celebrated, sculptor and street artist, D*Face, is transforming the Corey Helford Gallery into “a multi-media vault of aPOPcalyptic new works” through April 2011. Exploring and satirising society’s celebrity obsession, with paintings, sculptures, and installations Going Nowhere Fast focuses on the deaths of an all-star line of American icons, from Andy Warhol to Michael Jackson. The powerful imagery placing the viewer in the position of having to choose whether to embrace, reject, laugh, or deny, D*Face’s narrative take on popular culture, the American dream, fame, power,  money and mortality. The exhibition also includes, Flutterdies, a series of sculptures created from real butterflies and insects and spray can caps.


Influenced by punk music, graffiti, skateboarding, and citing Lichtenstein, Haring and Warhol as early inspirations, over the last decade D*Face’s work developed from creating stickers which he “adhered to lamp posts and electrical boxes” along his route home from his day job, to posters, posters which “became more ambitious… and somewhere in between I quit my job or maybe that was I got fired, either way the inevitable had happened”, to the multi-media work which has been exhibited worldwide on city streets,  galleries, museums, and sold at auction houses, and made him one of the most prolific contemporary urban artists of his generation. His commissions have included Penguin Books 50th Anniversary covers, a portrait of Pope Benedict XVI for The Vatican, and his most recent collaboration was with pop star Christina Aguilera on the cover art for her number-one selling album Bionic.


Going Nowhere Fast – D*FACE
Runs from 9th April – 27th April 2011
Corey Helford Gallery, 8522 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA  90232. USA
Open: Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm to 6:00pm

Corey Helford Gallery:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition: Dorothy Circus Gallery – Private Collection Carnival

Dorothy Circus Gallery, Rome, Italy
12th February – 20th February 2011
(NB: Private Collection Carnival is open to the public from 15th – 20th February; whilst 12th – 14th February (incl.) admission is reserved solely for collectors and accredited representatives of the press, museums and other institutions etc)


By Guy Sangster Adams

Later this year the Dorothy Circus Gallery will celebrate its fifth birthday and it begins its anniversary year in inimitable style with a move to fantastic new premises in via dei Pettinari, deep in the beautiful and historic heart of Rome, and inaugurates the new space with Private Collection Carnival. The exhibition brings more than 50 works from the highly successful Pop Surrealism exhibition which the Dorothy Circus Gallery presented in collaboration with the Jonathan LeVine Gallery at the Museum Carandente, Spoleto, Italy, from June to October last year (to read Plectrum’s coverage of the Pop Surrealism exhibition click here).  Amongst the highly influential and innovative artists featured in Private Collection Carnival are Mark Ryden, Joe Sorren, Marion Peck, Ron English, Ray Caesar, and Colin & Sas Christian (there is a full list of the artists included in the exhibition at the foot of this article).

From the exhibition Private Collection Carnival, Joe Sorren, Portrait of Gelsomina and Romeo, image courtesy of Dorothy Circus Gallery

From the exhibition Private Collection Carnival, Joe Sorren - Portrait of Gelsomina and Romeo, image courtesy of Dorothy Circus Gallery

All of the works in the Private Collection Carnival are from the personal collection of Alexandra Mazzanti, the owner and director of Dorothy Circus Gallery. In describing the exhibition, she says, “in perfect harmony with the Surrealist roots of the 1930s, the figurative prophecies of Pop regenerate in a constant movement between the registration of the real and an immediate dreamlike reworking.” On this borderline, as she says, a new world is revealed “somewhere between reality and dream, where girls with large eyes and slender bodies hide arcane secrets and helpless and sad demons play with monsters, where everything looks like the real but transcends it, telling a new and ancient mythology.”


From the exhibition Private Collection Carnival, Leila Ataya - Her Highness, image courtesy of Dorothy Circus Gallery

“A space on the border between New York and Wonderland,” is how K.N.Wikstrand described the Dorothy Circus Gallery when it opened in 2007, and over the last five years Alexandra Mazzanti has championed Pop Surrealism, Lowbrow art, and new figurative art tendencies, and during that time gallery has been responsible for introducing to the contemporary Italian art scene many key international artists including Joe Sorren, Ron English, Colin & Sas Christian, Jonathan Viner, Camille Rose Garcia, Alex Gross, Tara McPherson, James Jean, and Travis Louie. Mazzanti has also championed influential Italian artists such as Nicoletta Ceccoli, and has equally remained committed to “launching tomorrow’s new stars and talents”.


From the exhibition Private Collection Carnival, Mark Ryden - Bear Girl, image courtesy of Dorothy Circus Gallery

The second incarnation of the Dorothy Circus Gallery will, as Mazzanti says, “preserve the magic of the ‘First Circus’ style”, but adding to it “a touch of luxury” not least in its white velvet dressed Art Bookshop, and will continue to transport the visitor to Wonderland.

Private Collection Carnival features works by: Mark Ryden, Joe Sorren, Marion Peck, Camille Rose Garcia Alex Gross, Ron English, Sas & Colin Christian, Kris Lewis, Ray Caesar, Jeff Soto, Travis Louie, David Stoupakis, Adam Wallacavage, Tara McPherson, Miss Van, Lola, Nicoletta Ceccoli, Esao Andrews, Scott Musgrove, Jonathan Viner, Kathie Olivas, Natalie Shau, Mijn Schatie, Michael Page, Tim McCormick, Nathan Spoor, Paul Chatem, Ken Keirns, Ahren Hertel, Leila Ataya, Aaron Jasinski, Niba.

Private Collection Carnival
runs from 12th – 20th February 2011  (NB: the exhibition  is open to the public from 15th – 20th February; whilst 12th – 14th February (incl.) admission is reserved solely for collectors and accredited representatives of the press, museums and other institutions etc)at Dorothy Circus Gallery,
via dei Pettinari 76, 00186 Rome, Italy
Telephone: +39 338 9499432

Tuesday – Thursday 11:30 to 19:30
Friday and Saturday 15:30 to 19:30
Closed Monday and Sunday

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Articles in Plectrum – The Cultural Pick with associated content to this article:


Exhibition: Incubi Celesti/Heavenly Nightmares – NICOLETTA CECCOLI

Exhibition Preview: Interruption – A Retrospective of Work from 2004 -2010 by JOE SORREN and Collaborative Sculpture by JUD BERGERON and JOE SORREN

Exhibition: ART FROM THE NEW WORLD – A Big Brash Exhibition of the New American Art Scene

Exhibition/new work and interview: AMY GUIDRY

Exhibition: Beautiful Again (Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise) Images by JT BURKE

Exhibition: Incubi Celesti/Heavenly Nightmares – Nicoletta Ceccoli

Until 23rd December 2010
Dorothy Circus Gallery, Rome, Italy

Olympia by Nicoletta Ceccoli, from the

Olympia by Nicoletta Ceccoli, from the exhibition Incubi Celesti/Heavenly Nightmares

To celebrate their fourth anniversary the Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome, Italy, are presenting a solo show by the artist and illustrator, Nicoletta Ceccoli. Born in the Republic of San Marino, where she is still based, Ceccoli studied animation at the renowned Academy of Fine Arts, Urbino, Italy. Her book illustrations, have won her international acclaim and many awards including an Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, four ‘awards of excellence’ from Communication Arts, and a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators in  2006.

Her paintings are also gaining increasing renown and have equally been exhibited internationally, and she was included in the Pop Surrealism exhibition presented by the Dorothy Circus Gallery in collaboration with the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, which ran from June to October this year at the Museum Carandente, Spoleto, Italy. It was the first exhibition to provide an overview of Pop Surrealism, and the curators,  Alexandra Mazzanti and Gianluca Marziani, presented an impressive and exciting line-up of forty international artists. Amongst them two artists who have particularly influenced Ceccoli, Mark Ryden and Ray Caesar.

Castello di Cuori by Nicoletta Ceccoli from the exhibition Incubi Celesti/Heavenly Nightmares

Castello di Cuori by Nicoletta Ceccoli from the exhibition Incubi Celesti/Heavenly Nightmares

She also cites as key influences, Paolo Uccello, the 14th/15th century Italian painter and mathematician, Winsor McKay, the American cartoonist and animator, Edward St John Gorey, the American writer and artist, noted for his illustrated books, Domenico Gnoli, the Italian artist, illustrator, and stage designer. Remedios Varo Uranga, the Spanish-Mexican Surrealist, and Stasys Eidrigevicious, the Lithuanian born artist whose work includes painting, graphic design, book illustration and photography.


Incanto by Nicoletta Ceccoli from the exhibition Incubi Celesti/Heavenly Nightmares

Ceccoli’s ten new works for Incubi Celesti/Heavenly Nightmares, are a tribute to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. The paintings explore dreams, both the nature of dreams vanishing as one wakes up, but also childhood dreams that vanish as one grows up, and more particularly the rites of passage of a girl to womanhood. There is also a theme of liberation; when one awakes one is liberated from one’s dreams or nightmares, for better or worse, just as when one grows up one is liberated from the dreams and nightmares of childhood, for better or worse.

Incubi Celesti/Heavenly Nightmares –  Nicoletta Ceccoli
Runs until 23rd December 2010 at
Dorothy Circus Gallery
Via Nuoro 17
00182 Rome

Telephone: +39 06 7021179 / +39 06 70161256

Opening Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 8 pm
Admission: Free


Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Nicoletta Ceccoli

Dorothy Circus Gallery

Further Reading – articles in Plectrum – The Cultural Pick with associated content to this article:

Exhibition Preview: Pop Surrealism READ ARTICLE

Exhibition Preview: Art From The New World – A Big Brash Exhibition of the New American Art Scene READ ARTICLE

Exhibition Preview: Interruption – A Retrospective of Work from 2004 -2010 by Joe Sorren and Collaborative Sculpture by Jud Bergeron and Joe Sorren READ ARTICLE

Exhibition/new work preview and interview: Amy Guidry READ ARTICLE

Exhibition Preview: Interruption – A Retrospective of Work from 2004 -2010 by Joe Sorren and Collaborative Sculpture by Jud Bergeron and Joe Sorren

California State University Fullerton/Grand Central Art Center, California, USA
6th November 2010 to 8th January 2011

Flagstaff Cultural Partners/Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
22nd January 2011 to 25th February 2011

By Guy Sangster Adams

Interruption exhibition

Interruption - A Retrospective of Work from 2004 -2010 by Joe Sorren and Collaborative Sculpture by Jud Bergeron and Joe Sorren California State University Fullerton/Grand Central Art Center, California, USA ©Joe Sorren

Unveiling ten new paintings and bringing together ten works created throughout the last decade on loan from international collectors of Joe Sorren’s work, who include Courtney Cox/David Arquette, Patricia Arquette, and Nike Brand President, Mark Parker, Interruption is the first museum retrospective of the work of this highly influential conceptual artist. The exhibition also includes eight, new, bronze sculptures that Sorren has created in collaboration with Jud Bergeron. Interruption also marks the publication of the book, Joe Sorren – Paintings 2004 – 2010 (Gingko Press).

Born in a suitcase factory in Chicago, Illinois, USA, though as he is keen to establish, “not inside of a suitcase, mind you.” A surrealistically humorous retort that brings to mind Oscar Wilde’s, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Lady Bracknell’s infamous exclamation ,”In a handbag?”, when she discovers that as a baby her prospective son-in-law was found in a handbag at London’s, Victoria Station. Her ladyship would probably be equally aghast at Sorren’s childhood hobbies growing up in Arizona, first in and around Phoenix, and then Flagstaff, where he is still based, which he lists as “running and jumping” and “spit[ting] in the wind.”

Interrruption Joe Sorren

Interrruption Joe Sorren ©Joe Sorren

Early pop cultural inspiration for Sorren came via Dynamite, the children’s magazine that ran from 1974 to 1992 and featured a heady mix of magic tricks, punch out or assemble puzzles, games, postcards, and masks and the like on the back cover, plus fold out posters, sometimes in 3-D, alongside coverage of television shows from The Six Million Dollar Man to Beverly Hills 90210, film stars, and rock and pop stars. He still has, as he puts it, “a half-way decent collection of Dynamite Magazine posters that range from issue #3 (Robin Williams as Mork) to issue #7 (Jessica Lange as Mork’s dentist).” Before wryly adding, “actually that is not true, I don’t have the Jessica Lange poster anymore, not since the 2003 incident at Pay-n’-Take in Flagstaff, Arizona.”

Sorren began  painting in 1991, graduated with a BFA from Northern Arizona University in 1993, and held his first solo exhibition in 1995. Since when, along with contemporaries such as Mark Ryden, Todd Schorr and The Clayton Brothers, he has become a key figure in the new American art scene, playing a major role in the rise of the genres Pop Surrealism and Lowbrow, whilst also producing work that is its own genre, the genre of Sorren, and inspiring a new generation of artists into the bargain. Over the course of the last 15 years he has exhibited in galleries around the world, gaining international acclaim, garnering many awards, and a similarly international roster of collectors and fans. Whilst his work has also featured in an host of publications including Rolling Stone Magazine, Time Magazine, the New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic Monthly, on television in NBC’s ER, and the film Penelope (2006) directed by Mark Palansky and starring Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, and Reece Witherspoon.

Headlong by Jud Bergeron and Joe Sorren

Headlong by Jud Bergeron and Joe Sorren ©Jud Bergeron/Joe Sorren

Warner Brothers, Fox and Atlantic Records have also all used Sorren’s work, and he created the cover art for the two Tweaker albums, The Attraction To All Things Uncertain (2001) and 2am Wake Up Call (2004). Tweaker is an alternative rock collaboration founded by the Grammy Award winning producer, musician, songwriter Chris Vrenna, who also played drums with Nine Inch Nails and is the current keyboard player with Marilyn Manson. Tweaker has featured contributions from many famous musicians including Johnny Marr, Will Oldham, Robert Smith, and David Sylvian.

The fashion designer Donna H. Baxter, founder of Elsie Katz Couture and collector of Sorren’s work, says of him, “Joe’s success has always been so much larger than his ambitions.” Certainly, as is borne out from the above paragraphs, Sorren’s rich sense of humour belies any taking himself too seriously. What is serious is his passion and commitment the creation of new work rather than to the trappings of celebrity.

A sense of humour along with “skilful chaotic moments of inertia” are key facets of the sculptures that he has created with Jud Bergeron for Interruption. Bergeron is a New York-based sculptor, who studied classical sculpture with Lacy DeGarenday at the prestigious Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA from 1988 to 1991. After which for the next ten years he worked as a mould maker and master patina artist at foundries across the USA. All of which has lead to current renown for his “ability to take metals, wood and patinas to a sublimely abstract level.” He has exhibited extensively in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and Santa Fe. In 2004 he was selected for The Hearts in San Francisco public art project, for which he fabricated a 6ft x 6ft abstract, steel heart that was installed in front of the War Memorial in San Francisco. He is currently finishing work that will be installed in downtown Sacramento, California, USA, as part of their art in public space programme.

Interruption – A Retrospective of Work from 2004 -2010 by Joe Sorren and Collaborative Sculpture by Jud Bergeron and Joe Sorren
Runs from 6th November 2010 to 8th January 2011 at
California State University Fullerton/Grand Central Art Center,
125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, California 92701, USA

Runs from 22nd January 2011 to 25th February 2011 at
Flagstaff Cultural Partners/Coconino Center for the Arts,
2300 N. Fort Valley Road (Highway 180), Flagstaff, Arizona 86002, USA

Further Reading – articles in Plectrum – The Cultural Pick with associated content to this article:
Exhibition Preview: Pop Surrealism READ ARTICLE
Exhibition Preview: Art From The New World – A Big Brash Exhibition of the New American Art Scene READ ARTICLE

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too


Joe Sorren

Jud Bergeron

California State University Fullerton/Grand Central Art Center,

Flagstaff Cultural Partners/Coconino Center for the Arts

Exhibition Preview: Interior: Constellations – Tereza Stehlíková

Kingsgate Gallery, West Hampstead, London NW6. UK
17th September – 3rd October 2010

By Guy Sangster Adams

In Teresa Stehlíková’s The Story of Violet (Go Together Press, 2007), her illustrated book for children and adults, her eponymous young heroine wonders, “How can it be so beautiful here? Why are all the colours more intense than in the world at home? Why can’t it be the other way round? Why does it feel more real here than in the real world?”

Like Violet’s reverie, Interior: Constellations, Stehlíková’s new mixed media installation, allows the viewer to become completely immersed in beautiful, atmospheric, and mysterious, richly coloured interior and exterior images, from spiral staircases to spirals of forest flora and fauna that swirl the familiar and the unexpected, into new realities. Heightening one’s perception of reality in order, as she says, “to offer a fresh and poetic vision of the world” is key to the work of the multi-talented, Czech-born, London-based, Stehlíková, who is an artist, filmmaker, writer, co-editor and founder of the cross-disciplinary biannual magazine, Artesian, and lecturer in animation. Whilst also continuing to work towards a practice-based PhD at the Royal College of Art, in London, “researching ‘tactile memory’ and its relation to the moving image”.

Interior: Constellations develops her work with tactility and memory, as she says, “both thematically and practically, as the means by which time imprints its histories into objects and sites and as the process whereby those stored impressions might subsequently be retrieved.” Made on location in the Czech Republic and Iceland, all of the pieces in the exhibition, “focus on objects and places charged with individual or collective resonance,” says Stehlíková, from her childhood home to “the equally resonant landscapes of the natural world,” and all are “imbued with the textured potential of the un/conscious”.

Stehlíková is influenced by the rich tradition of Czech Surrealism and in particular by the highly influential artist and filmmaker, Jan Švankmajer, whose work has similarly inspired Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, and the Brothers Quay. Švankmajer worked closely with his wife, the equally inspirational Czech surrealist artist, Eva Švankmajerová, and when the Communist Czech regime banned them from making films for seven years in the 1970s, they worked pseudonymously creating other artworks, including three-dimensional ‘tactile art’. “As an art form touch is a sense without any defined convention,” Švankmajer has said, “it has the advantage of not lending itself solely to aesthetical purpose. That is why touch can bring into our consciousness a great amount of authentic material.”

The French philosopher, Gaston Bachelard, is also a primary influence on Interior: Constellations and Stehlíková’s work in general. In particular his book, The Poetics of Space,  which explores how we experience intimate places, and how our perceptions of houses and other shelters shape our thoughts, memories and dreams. The final chapter puts forward Bachelard’s concept of ‘intimate immensity’, which Stehlíková has utilised in the exhibition in the way that her work “plays with notable shifts in scale and point of view”.

Using projection, assemblages, and photography, Interior: Constellations creates an evocative multi-layered experience, that is aesthetically, sensorily, and theoretically inspiring, and both a wonderful trigger to the imagination and an underscore to the importance to allowing one’s imagination freedom. In the words of Švankmajer: “Imagination is subversive, because it puts the possible against the real. That’s why you should always use your wildest imagination. Imagination is the biggest gift the humanity received. Imagination makes people human, not work. Imagination, imagination, imagination…”

Tereza Stehlíková will give an Artist’s Presentation at the Kingsgate Gallery at 2pm on Saturday 2nd  October 2010.

There will be also an off-site screening event during the exhibition (date tbc) of new and recent films by Tereza Stehlíková, alongside work of influence by Jan Švankmajer, Stan Brakhage and others. For more information check the links below.

Interior: Constellations runs from 17th September – 3rd October 2010
at Kingsgate Gallery, 110-116 Kingsgate Road, West Hampstead, London NW6 2JG. UK
Telephone: 020 7328 7878

Open Thursday to Sunday 12 – 6pm
Free admission

Tereza Stehlíková:
Go Together Press and Artesian Magazine:
Kingsgate Gallery:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition Preview: Inspired by Soane

Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, UK
10th September to 1st October 2010

By Guy Sangster Adams

Damien Hirst, Vivienne Westwood, Richard Rogers, Tracy Emin, Grayson Perry, Manolo Blahnik, and Daniel Libeskind, are amongst the host of contemporary artists, architects, and designers (a full list follows at the foot of this article) who have been inspired by Sir John Soane’s Museum and have contributed original artworks to an exhibition and ‘blind sale’, Inspired by Soane. They join generations upon generations who have been similarly inspired.

One hundred and seventy-five years ago, Issac D’Israeli, the British writer, scholar, man of letters, and father of the British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, wrote an evocative letter to the architect Sir John Soane about how inspiring the museum  he had created within his home was. “Your Museum is permanently magical, for the enchantments of art are eternal,” he wrote, “some in poems have raised fine architectural edifices, but most rare have been those who have discovered when they had finished their house, if such a house can ever be said to be finished, that they had built a poem. All this you have accomplished…What the nation wanted your hand has bestowed.”

Between 1792 and 1824, Soane demolished and rebuilt three houses, numbers 12-14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, ultimately creating what is now 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Through the success of his architectural practice, Soane was able to build incredible collections of books, paintings, sculpture, antiquities, furniture, timepieces, and architectural models, drawings, and salvage. These collection include Egyptian, Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance  antiquities, such as the sarcophagus of Seti I, and Roman bronzes from Pompeii, Neo-Classical sculpture, paintings by Canaletto, J.M.W. Turner, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Hogarth’s The Rake’s Progress and An Election.

In 1806 when he was appointed Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy, Soane proposed opening his house for the use of  Royal Academy students the day before and the day after each of his lectures to view his collections, and began to arrange his collections accordingly. In 1833 he negotiated an Act of Parliament to settle and preserve the house and collection for the benefit of ‘amateurs and students’ in architecture, painting and sculpture. The Act came into force on his death in 1837, since when the Museum’s Trustees have continued to uphold Soane’s aims and objectives, and generations of people have continued to be inspired by his collections, and by Soane.

Inspired by Soane brings together the 208 pieces created by artists, architects, and designers in the UK and USA, who this summer were sent blank, framed cards and invited to create an original work celebrating the museum. The works will all be displayed anonymously and visitors to the exhibition will be offered the chance to buy a £200 ticket which enters them into a draw which guarantees ownership of one of the pieces on view. Though no one will know which piece they have ‘bought’ until an official adjudicated draw takes place at a fund-raising gala held at The Banqueting House on 7th October 2010. The monies raised by Inspired by Soane will go towards Opening up the Soane,  a £7M project to restore, refurbish, and improve the Museum.


Inspired by Soane runs from 10th September to 1st October 2010
at the Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields,  London WC2A 3BP, UK
Telephone: 020 7405 2107

Open: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm
(Also on the first Tuesday evening of each month, 6-9pm)
Free entry

Sir John Soane’s Museum:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition/new work preview and interview: Amy Guidry

By Guy Sangster Adams

Everything's Coming Up Roses, from the Beneath the Surface series of paintings by Amy Guidry  ©Amy Guidry

Everything's Coming Up Roses, from the Beneath the Surface series of paintings by Amy Guidry ©Amy Guidry

Throughout the summer of 2010 Amy Guidry has enjoyed a very busy exhibition schedule in which her paintings have been included in a sequence of shows across the USA: from the multi-media, 2010 Art Melt at the Louisiana State  Museum, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which opened on 15th July, to the Cam Rackham curated, The Black Plague Art Show, which opened the following week at The Congregation Gallery, in Los Angeles, California, to the Wally Workman Gallery’s 30th Anniversary Exhibition in Austin, Texas, which opened on 7th August. That schedule continues from summer into autumn with her work included in two shows which both opened on 27th August in her home state of Louisiana, Where Are They Now? at the Slidell Cultural Center, Slidell, which runs until 25th September, and the 23rd September Competition, at the Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, which runs until 8th October.

For Guidry, who was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina, but grew up in Slidell, exhibiting at the Slidell Cultural Center carries an added resonance. Because on 29th  August 2005 Hurricane Katrina, which caused so much destruction and loss life along the Gulf coast from Florida to Texas, made its final landfall near the mouth of the Pearl River, with the eye straddling St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana and Hancock County, Mississippi, before sweeping North East, where it caused its most severe devastation in Louisiana’s largest city, New Orleans. St Tammany Parish, as Guidry explains, “consists of several cities and towns such as Slidell, Mandeville, and Covington,” and as a result of the damage caused by the inundation created by the hurricane, the Slidell Cultural Center’s original premises have been in disrepair ever since, and it is now housed within the Slidell City Hall.

All of the artists included in Where Are They Now?, which features fine art, photography, sculpture, culinary arts, animation, graphic design, and performing arts, were former students from St. Tammany Parish who have gone on to pursue careers in the arts.

“Exhibiting in Slidell is important to me for several reasons, Katrina was devastating, but Louisiana has proven to be resilient,” says Guidry, who still lives in the state, in the city of Lafayette, “I really wanted to do something positive for my hometown, for the community, and for the arts.  I would often go to the Slidell Cultural Center to see exhibits while I was in high school and I was always impressed by the gallery.  When they had closed due to Katrina, I was disappointed, but glad to know that they still had the funding to rebuild.  Though they are in a new building, it’s still nice to go back and to be a part of one of their shows.  I grew up in Slidell, I went to school there, and I was actively involved in the arts whether it was through school or local art competitions.  Coming back, I hope to serve as a good example of their arts programs as well as a positive role model for students that are interested in a career in the arts.”

Guidy’s paintings in the exhibition are taken from her series, Beneath the Surface. Working in acrylic on canvas, Guidry’s paintings stem from, as she says, “two loves: psychology and art,” and the themes she explores, “involve the human psyche, who we are and how we interact with each other, including our relationship with other animals and the natural world.” For Beneath the Surface, as she explains, “I took issues of current social as well as personal interest and portrayed them in a sometimes humorous manner.  I felt humor helped soften the political blow a bit in order to reach a broader audience.  I was more direct with the content in hopes of getting the viewer thinking and questioning, and hopefully taking action as a result.”

Adaptation, from the series of paintings New Realm by Amy Guidry  ©Amy Guidry

Adaptation, from the series of paintings New Realm by Amy Guidry ©Amy Guidry

Her entry for the 23rd September Competition is taken from, New Realm, the series of paintings with which she followed Beneath the Surface. The New Realm series is, “essentially a modern fairy tale which re-writes the role of women,” says Guidry, “I wanted to challenge the notion that women are weak and always in need of some prince to save them and whisk them away. New Realm portrays women as strong and independent.  The overall look of the series is more dreamlike: birch trees and white, wintry backgrounds.  I did incorporate a lot of imagery typically considered ‘feminine’, such as high fashion, butterflies, as well as a light color palette.  However, many of these symbols represent freedom, growth, and change.  The haute couture fashion incorporated into the series alludes to royalty, which is typically seen in fairy tales, but with a modern approach to make the series more current and relatable to the viewer.”

The Alexandria Museum of Art is housed within the former Rapides Bank Building which was built c1898 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The September Competition is held annually and is open to any artist aged 18 or over from across the USA. The sole judge and juror of this year’s competition is the artist Kelli Scott Kelley, who is also Professor of Painting and Drawing at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Kelli Scott Kelley’s involvement was an added draw to Guidry, as she says, “I’m a fan of her work, though I’ve never met her, so I was especially interested in entering.”

For me, the six canvases that Guidry has already completed of her new series, In Our Veins, make a more pronounced break from her two previous series, and represent something of a change of direction, and I am keen to find out if she agrees and if so whether this change is in response to specific stimuli. “I have to admit that “In Our Veins” is certainly a more pronounced break from my previous work,” she replies, “I’ve worked in a surrealist vein for quite some time, but I did up the ante on this series. At the time that I started In Our Veins, I felt that I needed to challenge myself technically and conceptually.  I think that once I made that realization, that’s when I stopped censoring my own ideas.”

To do this she has adopted a very different conceptual approach for In Our Veins. “Most of  the imagery has come has come from dreams and free association exercises,” she says, “which is the complete opposite of what I was doing before.  I would brainstorm and write down words or phrases and do numerous thumbnail sketches in order to come up with a concept.  Now I’m letting my subconscious lead me to the concepts.  Any dream or image that comes to mind while half-asleep, I quickly sketch it as soon as I can and make sense of it later.  I’ve never been a risk-taker, which is all the more reason why I think it’s time to take the risk with my work.”

The Wild West, from the series of paintings In Our Veins by Amy Guidry  ©Amy Guidry

The Wild West, from the series of paintings In Our Veins by Amy Guidry ©Amy Guidry

That she is now taking direct inspiration from her dreams, and given the change in direction that In Our Veins represents, leads me to ask Guidry whether her dreams were always so vivid, or has there been a motivating factor that has made them become more so of late. “I don’t think my dreams have changed, I think that it’s my approach that has changed,” counters Guidry, “by not censoring, or maybe I should say editing my creativity, I’ve noticed that images and ideas are much more abundant even if I’m sleeping.  I’ve also learned to tune out noise, whether it’s environmental or mental noise such as thinking of errands or my to-do list.  Tuning out everything else has helped my creativity, or at least I’m more aware of it now.”

In common with her two previous series, In Our Veins continues to showcase Guidry’s latent talent to create acutely detailed, beautifully realised canvases, that cleverly subvert the initial welcome, or the ‘no need to think further’ security of being within familiar territory, that a benign style may provide, such as the pop art of Beneath the Surface, or classic fashion illustration of New Realm, with surreal flourishes, darker symbolism, details that only jar on closer inspection, or a message that percolates and reaches fruition upon reflection.

But taken as a whole, this juxtaposition is more immediate and more pronounced in the canvases of In Our Veins. As across phenomenally dramatic and beautiful land- and desertscapes, the paintings meld The Searchers’ VistaVision vast panoramas with the unsettling vision of Dali’s The Persistence of Memory. Because these iconic wide open spaces are inhabited by the likes of a human skeleton surmounted with the skull of an horse, an hare atop the ravaged corpse of a man, and traversed by the disembodied heads of animals and birds that have roamed free across the lands. Forget mere high definition, the exceptionality of Guidry’s mix of photorealism and surrealism, creates a fantastic heightened definition that presents a hyperreality that forces one to address and, with hope, redress our reality.

Untitled Heads, from the series of paintings In Our Veins by Amy Guidry  ©Amy Guidry

Untitled Heads, from the series of paintings In Our Veins by Amy Guidry ©Amy Guidry

“I have never been particularly impressed by how Westerns portrayed life as good vs. bad,” says Guidry, elaborating on the themes behind In Our Veins, “in reality, the land, environment, people, and animals were all seen as a means to an end.  I wanted to portray this in my own work by using this ‘character’ that I came up with while half-asleep, the skeleton with the horse skull, as well as the desert, as symbols of cowboys and horses, all typical Western imagery. I called the painting, The Wild West, as a reference to how the United States, itself being part of the West (hemisphere), is still taking over land, resources, etc. to this day.”

In addition to the Dali-esque air to In Our Veins, there is also an element of Magritte, as there is in various paintings from her earlier series, particularly Everything’s Coming Up Roses and Complacent from Beneath the Surface. I am interested as to whether the work of these artists was a conscious inspiration on In Our Veins. “I wouldn’t say that I was consciously thinking of Magritte since I try to tune out everything else when I’m working and let my creativity take over, but I’ll gladly take the compliment!” replies Guidry. “Even with a positive influence such as Magritte, I feel that it may inhibit my ideas and lead me to something more contrived. I will say that Magritte and Dali have been two of my favorite artists since a very young age, so their initial influence occurred long ago.”

Six canvases in, In Our Veins is still ongoing, as Guidry says, “I have a ton of ideas that I’m still working out as I go. I’m letting each painting lead me to the next.  Since I was looking to challenge myself technically, these pieces are also taking much more time to complete due to the detail, complexity, and the fact that I’m now adding glazes to make my paintings more like oils.  I’ll be working on these for awhile…” It is a fascinating and exciting prospect to see where Guidry’s journey into the landscape of dreams and a nation’s collective memory will lead next.

Where Are They Now?
runs from 27th August –  25th September 2010
at the Slidell Cultural Center, first floor City Hall,
2055 Second Street,  Slidell, LA 70458-3403, USA
Telephone: +1 985 646-4375

Open: Tues-Fri, 12pm – 4pm; Sat, 9am – 12pm
Free entry

23rd September Competition exhibition
runs from 27th August to 8th October 2010
at the Alexandria Museum of Art
933 Main Street / P.O. Box 1028, Alexandria, LA 71309-1028, USA
Telephone: +1 318 443-3458

Open: Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday 10am-4pm


Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Amy Guidry:
Slidell Cultural Center:
Alexandria Museum of Art:
Wally Workman Gallery:
Louisiana State Museum:
The Congregation Gallery:

Exhibition Preview: Beautiful Again (Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise) Images by JT Burke

The Grant Bradley Gallery, Bristol, UK
28th August – 2nd October 2010
Hotel Estela, Barcelona, Spain
2nd July – 28th September 2010
Brooks Institute Gallery 27, Santa Barbara, California, USA
5th August  – 29th August 2010

By Guy Sangster Adams

Portal to a Beautiful Place by JT Burke, from the exhibition Beautiful Again (Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise)

Portal to a Beautiful Place by JT Burke, from the exhibition Beautiful Again (Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise)

A glittering and gilded ornithic array, including flamingos, peacocks, humming birds, and wide-eyed owls, grace the 26 resplendent images that make up JT Burke’s latest body of work, Beautiful Again. Which also cascade luxuriously with glistening flora and fauna, as daisies, roses, thistles, and leaves, kaleidoscopically merge with frogs, rabbits, and iguanas. Drawing inspiration from ancient Rome, Renaissance manuscripts, Muslim arabesques, Hindu and Tibetan mandalas, Burke has crafted each work from individual photographs of discarded costume jewellery which he finds, as he says, “at swap meets and yard sales and conjure them into new images of life in ebullient and glorified forms. They dance and soar in front of me in harmonic expressions of trinket afterlife joy. A big, blingy, bijou Shangri-La.”

The images presented in Beautiful Again, both explore Burke’s theme that “paradise is a myth,” that it is “a concoction of our own devices created to comfort us from the rigours of daily life and the sorrows of the human condition,” whilst he also seeks to “perpetuate the myth” as he “create[s] visions of a remanufactured utopia.”

Beautiful Mask by JT Burke

Beautiful Mask by JT Burke, from the exhibition Beautiful Again (Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise)

From 1984, JT Burke worked as a commercial photographer, cinematographer, and graphic designer, work for which he garnered many awards. But in 2006, he and his wife the artist, Leanne Triolo, retired from commercial practice and reconfigured BurkeTriolo studio as a fine art studio and publishing house, and began exhibiting their work from 2009.

Beautiful Again, is presented by Richard Scarry, the executive director of the Los Angeles based Corey Helford Gallery, and the exhibition’s arrival in Bristol comes hot on the heels of the highly successful Corey Helford curated exhibition, Art From The New World, which ran at Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery from 15th May to 22nd August 2010. READ PLECTRUM – THE CULTURAL PICK’S PREVIEW OF ART FROM THE NEW WORLD

Beautiful Again (Perpetuating the Myth of Paradise) Images by JT Burke
runs from 28th August – 2nd October 2010
at The Grant Bradley Gallery,
1 St Peter’s Court, Bedminster Parade, Bristol, BS3 4AQ
Telephone: +44 (0)117 963 7673

Open: Mon-Sat, 10am – 5pm
Free entry

The exhibition is also showing:

from 2nd July – 28th September
at The Hotel Estela Barcelona
Av. Port Aiguadolç, no. 8, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain
Telephone: +34 93 811 45 45

Open daily: 9am – 9pm
Free entry

from 5th August  – 29th August 2010
at Brooks Institute Gallery 27
27 Cota Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101, USA
Telephone: +1 805 690 4928

Open daily: 10am – 9 pm
Free entry

All works will be for sale, prices ranging from £600 to £3500.

JT Burke:
The Grant Bradley Gallery:
Hotel Estela Barcelona:
Brooks Institute Gallery 27:
Corey Helford Gallery:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition Preview: Pop Surrealism

Presented by Alexandra Mazzanti and Gianluca Marziani
In collaboration with Dorothy Circus Gallery (Rome) and Jonathan LeVine Gallery (New York)
Museum Carandente, Spoleto, Italy
26th June to 15th October 2010

By Guy Sangster Adams


“Landscapes, bodies, animals, history, nature, objects: this is the world reinterpreted by Pop Surrealism,” say Alexandra Mazzanti and Gianluca Marziani in describing their current exhibition, and continue evocatively, “a no-space where everything looks like the real thing, but where we perceive suspended atmospheres, a sense of agonizing waiting and silent doubt and danger, where abnormal silences or strange noises are coming.”

Depending on one’s point of view, Pop Surrealism is either interchangeable with Lowbrow art, or a separate but closely related movement. The term Lowbrow was coined by painter and cartoonist, Robert Williams, for the title of his influential 1979 book, The Lowbrow Art of Robt Williams, which collected all his paintings to date.  Following its publication, as Barret S. Bingham writes on Williams’s website, “the seminal elements of West Coast Outlaw Culture slowly started to aggregate,” or to put it another way, a new art movement was born. A style of art that Williams has described as, “cartoon-tainted abstract surrealism.”

Portrait of Romeo & Gelsomnia by Joe Sorren

Portrait of Romeo & Gelsomnia by Joe Sorren

In 1965, having pursued a career as a fine artist, Williams had joined the studio of Ed Roth, Rat Fink creator and legendary figure in California’s hot-rod and Kustom Kulture, and his work was influenced not only by this, but also by the underground comix culture which he became part of in 1968, when he joined the San Francisco based, Zap Comix Collective, whose number also included highly influential underground artists Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton. These influences fused with inspirations from film noir and apocalyptic, and from across a subcultural breadth including psychedelia, and punk rock, to inform Lowbrow art, though equally earlier art movements, particularly Dadaism and American Regionalism.

In 1994, Williams founded the magazine, Juxtapoz, which has gone on to be one of highest circulation art magazines in the USA. Juxtapoz has played a key role in championing the new American art scene, both through celebrating and helping to define Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism, whilst also embracing and showcasing the work of diverse range of urban and contemporary underground artists, across a multitude of genres, such as neo-figurative, street art, pervasive art, which have mushroomed through the 1990s and into the 2000s.

Landscape with Deer by Marion Peck

Landscape with Deer by Marion Peck

The impressive and exciting line-up of forty international artists that Alexandra Mazzanti and Gianluca Marziani have gathered for the first exhibition to provide an overview of Pop Surrealism are no strangers to the pages of Juxtapoz. They include husband and wife, Mark Ryden and Marion Peck, Joe Sorren, Todd Schorr, Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Gary Baseman, Sas Christian, Ray Caesar, and the leading Italian proponents of the style, Nicoletta Ceccoli and Niba (for a full list of participating artists scroll down). The exhibition features more than eighty works from the participating artists, works which Mazzanti neatly encapsulates as:

“The confusing and hallucinated psychic automatisms of the surrealist movement are now mixed with the American hot rod culture, underground comics and punk music, creating a perfect chaos , where absolute iconographic anarchy reigns . Pinups from the 50’s smile at a gothic Alice rival of Lolitas dancing softly to the songs of the Pixies and Cure. Scenarios inspired by Hieronymus Bosch are filled with strange animals, clumsy figures and comical demons. A paradoxical atmosphere with weird presences that reminds us of a David Lynch film, a multicultural melting pot: street culture, pure pop, bizarre illustration, manga culture, tattoo art. It’s everything that comes from videogames, indie music and sci-fi to strange multicoloured skulls celebrating the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos.”

Pop Surrealism runs from 26th June to 15th October 2010
at Museum Carandente,
Palazzo Collicola, Piazza Collicola, Spoleto, Italy.

Full list of participating artists: Mark Ryden, Joe Sorren, Todd Schorr, Shepard Fairey, Marion Peck, Camille Rose Garcia, Alex Gross, Ron English, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Sas Christian, Kris Lewis, Ray Caesar, Jeff Soto, Travis Louie, David Stoupakis, James Jean, Adam Wallacavage, Tara McPherson, Missvan, Lola, Esao Andrews, Scott Musgrove, Jonathan Viner, Naoto Hattori Natalie Kukula Abramovich, Kathie Olivas, Natalie Shau, Mijn Schatje, Ana Bagayan, Michael Page, Tim McCormick, Nathan Spoor, Paul Chatem, Ken Keirns, Aren Hertel, Leila Ataya, Aaron Jasinski, Nicoletta Ceccoli, Niba.


Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Dorothy Circus Gallery:
Jonathan Levine Gallery:

Shop & Exhibition Launch: Mark Powell/A Celebration of Style – Cool London Through the Photographer’s Lens

2 Marshall Street, London. W1F 9BD
Exhibition runs 17th June 2010 – 17th July 2010

By Guy Sangster Adams

Twiggy by Barry Lategan 'This is the face of '66 TWIGGY the Cockney kid at sixteen' © Barry Lategan

'This is the face of '66 TWIGGY the Cockney kid at sixteen' Twiggy by Barry Lategan © Barry Lategan from the exhibition A Celebration of Style: Cool London Through the Photographer's Lens

In some ways it seems extraordinary that Mark Powell’s new shop, which launched on 17th June 2010 at 2 Marshall Street, Soho, London, is his first shop in 20 years. Such is the dash that he and his suits have cut in those intervening two decades, from the streets of Soho, of which he has become an always immaculately attired intrinsic part, to his client list that includes internationally famous actors, rock stars, and models, such as George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Keira Knightly, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Bryan Ferry, George Michael, Paul Weller, Bianca Jagger, Naomi Campbell, fashion labels with which he has collaborated, including Michiko Koshino, Mulberry, PPQ, and his own Mark Powell Autograph range for Marks and Spencer, and the films for which he has designed costumes, like Absolute Beginners, Shopping, Gangster No.1, Pimp,   that to have had such success without a shop front is surprising.

Mary Quant by Romano Cagnoni 'Mary working in her studio in Chelsea' © Romano Cagnoni

'Mary working in her studio in Chelsea' Mary Quant by Romano Cagnoni © Romano Cagnoni from the exhibition A Celebration of Style: Cool London Through the Photographer's Lens

Powell’s first shop, Powell & Co, which he opened in 1984 in Archer Street, Soho, when he was just 24 years old, and his suits which re-interpreted influences from his East End childhood, including the style of the Krays (for whom he later made suits), and earlier looks such as the 1950’s Neo-Edwardian, and 1930’s mobsters, have subsequently being recognised by The Savile Row Bespoke Association as, “the missing link between Tommy Nutter and the New Generation Savile Row tailors of the early 1990s.”

In light of all the above, it is very fitting that the opening of Powell’s new shop should also include in the basement gallery the exhibition, A Celebration of Style: Cool London Through the Photographer’s Lens. Curated by Sandra Higgins, the exhibition features fantastic photographs by the host of photographers that Powell has worked with since opening his first shop. The works on show, all of which are for sale with 10% of the proceeds going to Powell’s chosen charity, Great Ormond Street Hospital, include Barry Lategan’s iconic 1966 shot of Twiggy, Iain McKell’s 1982 photograph of Madonna for the cover of Number One magazine, which was the first cover shot she ever did and which has never before been printed for sale, and his trilogy of photographs of Kate Moss, taken last year for V Magazine, which have never previously been for sale as an edition. Other photographs on show are Romano Cagnoni’s Mary Quant at work in her Chelsea studio, John Stoddart’s Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, Bruce Fleming’s Jimi Hendrix, Derrick Santini’s Lily Allen, and Patrizio Di Renzo’s photograph of the writer, broadcaster, and Soho habitué, Dan Farson.

Lily Cole by Iain McKell  © Iain McKell 'London Lily'

'London Lily' Lily Cole by Iain McKell © Iain McKell from the exhibition A Celebration of Style: Cool London Through the Photographer's Lens

A Celebration of Style: Cool London Through the Photographer’s Lens, curated by Sandra Higgins, runs from 17th June 2010 to 17th July 2010
at Mark Powell, 2 Marshall Street, Soho, London. W1F 9BD


Mark Powell
Sandra Higgins
Barry Lategan
Romano Cagnoni
Iain McKell

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition Preview: Ray Lowry London Calling

Paying tribute to Ray Lowry, 30 artists create reinterpretations of The Clash’s iconic ‘London Calling’ album cover
Presented by The Idea Generation Gallery in support of the Ray Lowry Foundation
18th June – 4th July 2010

By Guy Sangster Adams

The Clash London Calling cover created by Ray Lowry © Pennie Smith Ray Lowry: London Calling, 18th June – 4th July, www. Ray Lowry Foundation.

The Clash London Calling cover created by Ray Lowry © Pennie Smith. From Ray Lowry: London Calling, 18th June – 4th July 2010, www. Ray Lowry Foundation.

London Calling is one of a handful of extraordinary albums that with every facet, from songs to sleeve, bring together and harness the talents of all those involved at just the right moment, that coalesce layers of inspiration, innovation, and insightful creativity, and that remain as powerful and influential on the day they are released as they are, in London Calling’s case, 30 years later. The Clash wrote (with three exceptions) and performed the songs, that include the seminal title track, The Guns of Brixton, Rudie Can’t Fail, and Train in Vain, Guy Stevens, the legendary manager, producer, and Mod DJ, produced it, Pennie Smith took the iconic photograph of Paul Simonon smashing his Fender Precision Bass on stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21 September 1979, which Ray Lowry incorporated into his design for the cover, which has become one of the most identifiable and loved album covers of all time.

Lowry met The Clash when they played at the Electric Circus in Manchester, supporting the Sex Pistols on the infamous Anarchy in the UK tour. A friendship began which lead in 1979 to The Clash inviting Lowry on their 1979 US tour to be, as Strummer dubbed him, the band’s “official war artist.” From there, Lowry was invited to design the sleeve for the band’s third album, London Calling, which was released in December 1979. An avid fan of 1950s rock and roll, Lowry was inspired by the cover of Elvis Presley’s debut album cover, from which he took the idea for the pink and green typography, and married it to Pennie Smith’s photograph of Simonon, which at first she did not want used because it is out of focus.

Billy Childish's reinterpretation of the cover of London Calling © Billy Childish/L-13 Light Industrial Workshop.

Billy Childish's reinterpretation of the cover of London Calling © Billy Childish/L-13 Light Industrial Workshop. From Ray Lowry: London Calling, 18th June – 4th July 2010, Ray Lowry Foundation.

“The London Calling album cover had to feature the infamous pink and green rock ‘n’ roll lettering. God made me do that ….” Lowry said, “Actually I had no idea that it was out of focus. Half blind at the best of times and probably half pissed at the time, that simply had to be the one.”

Born in Greater Manchester in 1944, Ray Lowry had no formal art training, but became a renowned illustrator, cartoonist, and satirist.  The 1960s counter-culture magazines, Oz and International Times, both published his cartoons which lead in the 1970s to the beginning of his long association with the NME, for which he produced pocket cartoons, strips and a wide variety of illustrations. He also became a regular contributor to The Guardian, Private Eye, and Punch, and also wrote a column for The Face magazine. Towards the end of life, Lowry had stopped working for periodicals, and was focussing primarily on paintings and drawings. Following an highly successful exhibition of his paintings in 2008 at the See Gallery in Rossendale, he had begun working on a series of paintings inspired by Malcolm Lowry’s semi-autobiographical novel, Under the Volcano, but he died suddenly on 14th October 2008.

Cathy Ward's reinterpretation of the London Calling cover ©Cathy Ward.

Cathy Ward's reinterpretation of the London Calling cover ©Cathy Ward. From Ray Lowry: London Calling, 18th June – 4th July 2010, www. Ray Lowry Foundation.

To pay tribute to Ray Lowry, and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of London Calling, the exhibition features the reinterpretations of the famous sleeve by 30 artists who have been inspired by Ray Lowry. They include Paul Simonon himself, and key associates of The Clash at that time: Kosmo Vinyl, The Clash’s press agent, manager and spokesperson, Johnny Green, The Clash’s road manager, and Don Letts, whose 2003 documentary about The Clash won a Grammy Award. Plus a diverse line-up that attests to the breadth of Lowry’s influence and includes: Tracy Emin, Billy Childish, Malcolm Garrett, Julien Temple, Kevin Cummins, Humphrey Ocean, John Hyatt, John Squire, Nick Hornby, Keith Allen, Arthur Smith, Harry Hill, Cathy Ward, John Butterworth, Magda Archer, Ian Wright, Amy McDonaough, Sam Jackson, Luke Jackson.

Each artist has looked at how Ray influenced their art as well as the personal influence he had on their artistic output. As celebrated photographer, Kevin Cummins has said, “Ray Lowry’s cartoons, Pennie Smith’s photos and Nick Kent’s rambling prose were the three things in the NME that had me standing in the rain waiting for the newsagents to open every Wednesday at 7am. I couldn’t wait to devour it all so I could be as cool as they obviously were.”

All the new works will be exhibited, for the first time, alongside a retrospective of Ray’s work. The original sketches, designs and ideas for the album cover, private sketchbooks, personal letters and previously unseen photographs, paintings and more will be on show, to provide a personal insight into the mind and work of Ray Lowry and reveals his motivations and working practice.

John Squire's reinterpretation of the London Calling cover © John Squire

John Squire's reinterpretation of the London Calling cover © John Squire. From Ray Lowry: London Calling, 18th June – 4th July 2010, www. Ray Lowry Foundation.

The exhibition also marks the launch of the Ray Lowry Foundation which has been created by Samuel Lowry, Ray Lowry’s son, and Julian Williams and Jackie Taylor, the directors of the See Gallery, and will work in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University to provide a scholarship to a student studying a course in art to a higher degree level, and also to make financial awards linked to individual art based projects. As the Ray Lowry Foundation exlain, “Ray valued further education and would have liked to have supported his interest with more formalised training but due to family circumstances this was not an option. Ray wanted to study, he wanted to improve his skills and develop new styles, Ray would probably have been a challenging student bringing a edgy controversial twist to the art world. The foundation has been set up to help fulfil dreams for others that Ray was not able to.”

Following the run at the Idea Generation the exhibition will tour the world, before the new works created for the exhibition are auctioned in aid of the Ray Lowry Foundation.

Ray Lowry: London Calling
Runs 18th June 2010 to 4th July 2010
at Idea Generation Gallery, 11 Chance Street, London E2 &JB
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm; Saturday & Sunday 12pm – 5pm
Admission: free.

Ray Lowry & Ray Lowry Foundation:
Idea Generation:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition & Auction Preview: The 100 Helmets of The Vader Project

Freeman’s Los Angeles, USA
Auction Preview Exhibition 12th June – 20th June 2010

Lyon & Turnbull, Edinburgh, UK
Auction Preview Exhibition: 25th June – 27th June 2010

Freeman’s Philidelphia, USA
Auction Preview Exhibition: 5th – 9th July 2010
Auction:  10th July 2010

By Guy Sangster Adams

The Vader Project: Platicgod

The Vader Project: Plasticgod

With its fantastic re-imaginings of Darth Vader’s helmet from the Star Wars films, The Vader Project has created iconic layers upon layers which were already heavy with iconography and reference. As a young viewer of Star Wars, one never quite loses the mixture of fear and irresistibility that grips one when first exposed to Darth Vader on screen. John Mollo, the wardrobe master on Star Wars, has said that “Darth Vader’s helmet started as a World War I German Stahlhelm helmet”, the shape of the latter remained pretty much unchanged through the World War II and is in itself an instantly recognizable and charged object. Which equally was co-opted and customized by post-war subcultures, in particular rockers and multifarious motorcycle gangs.

The Vader Project: Gary Baseman

The Vader Project: Gary Baseman

The curators of The Vader Project, Dov Kelemer and Sarah Jo Marks of DKE Toys, first conceived the idea in 2005 and went on to commission 100 underground artists and designers, including Shag, Gary Baseman, Ron English, Jeff Soto, and Plasticgod (for a complete list scroll down), to customize a 1:1 scale authentic prop replica of the Darth Vader helmet. The results wonderfully subvert one’s responses to an innately recognizable object, familiarity and the shock of the new co-exist, the vividness and adornment add to the allure, but the menace – like a flower in the barrel of a gun – is never completely forgotten.

The Vader Project: Yoko d'Holbachie

The Vader Project: Yoko d'Holbachie

The Vader Project was first unveiled at an exhibition in 2007, since when it has toured the world, but now enters its final chapter with a 10-day exhibition in Los Angeles, a whistle stop 3-day visit to  Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh, before moving to Freeman’s Auctioneers and Appraisers in Philadelphia, where after a 5-day preview, the helmets will be sold at auction. A limited edition catalogue is also available, and at the Los Angeles exhibition there will be a catalogue signing event, with 20 of the featured artists, on 12th June 2010.

The Vader Project: Shag

The Vader Project: Shag

The Vader Project artists:
Josh Agle (Shag),Troy Alders, Kii Arens, Attaboy, Anthony Ausgang, Axis, Aye Jay, Gary Baseman, Andrew Bell, Tim Biskup, Mark Bodnar, BXH HIKARU, Andrew Brandou, Buff Monster, Mister Cartoon, Chino, Mr. Clement, Robbie Conal, CRASH, Steven Daily, Dalek, Dehara, DGPH, Cam de Leon, Devilrobots, Yoko d’Holbachie, Bob Dob,Tristan Eaton & Azk One – Thunderdog Studios, Marc Ecko, Eelus, Ron English, FERG, David Flores, Brian Flynn – Hybrid Design, Paul Frank, Gargamel, Huck Gee, Fawn Gehweiler, Mike Giant, Girls Drawin Girls, Dan Goodsell, Gris Grimly, Joe Hahn, Haze XXL, Jesse Hernandez, Derek Hess, Itokin Park, Jeremyville, kaNO, Mori Katsura- RealxHead, Sun-MinKim & David Horvath, Jim Koch, Frank Kozik, David S. Krys – DSK Designs, Peter Kuper, Wade Lageose – Lageose Design, Joe Ledbetter, Simone Legno – Tokidoki,  Mad Mad Barbarians, Madtwiinz, Marka27, Mars-1, Bill McMullen, Melvins, Mori Chack, Brian Morris, Nanospore, Niagara, Mitch O’Connell, olive47, Martin Ontiveros, Estevan Oriol, Alex Pardee, The Pizz, Plasticgod, PlaysKewl, Dave Pressler, Ragnar, Jermaine Rogers, Erick Scarecrow, Secret Base, J. Otto Seibold, Sket-One, Shawn Smith, Winston Smith, Jeff Soto, Damon Soule, Bwana Spoons, Jophen Stein, Suckadelic, T9G, Gary Taxali, Cameron Tiede, Touma, UrbanMedium, Usugrow, Michelle Valigura, VanBeater, Amanda Visell.

The 100 Helmets of The Vader Project
Auction Preview Exhibition 12th June – 20th June 2010
Including catalogue signing by 20 of the participating artists 12th June 2010
Freeman’s Los Angeles, 6812 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, C.A, U.S.A.
Open Daily from Noon to 6pm
Admission free.

Auction Preview Exhibition: Friday 25th June 2010, 10 am -5 pm; Sunday 27th  June  2010, 2 am -5 pm; Monday 28th June, 10 am -5 pm.
Lyon & Turnbull, 33 Broughton Place, Edinburgh. EH1 3RR U.K.
Admission free.

Preview exhibition/viewing: 5th July to 9th July 2010
Freeman’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, 1808 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, P.A. U.S.A.
Open daily 10am – 6pm
Admission free

Auction: 12 noon Saturday, July 10th 2010

The Vader Project:
Lyon and Turnbull:
DKE Toys:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition Preview: Palate

Scion Installation L.A., Culver City, Los Angeles
22nd May 22 – 12th June 2010

by Guy Sangster Adams

Palete: James Reyolds

Palate: James Reynolds

Palate, playing on the homophony with ‘palette’, features new works and installations by an international group of artists exploring the idea of food both as a muse and a medium. Curated by the LA-based writer and editor, Zio Fulcher, who was managing editor of Shepard Fairey’s highly influential Swindle magazine, and whose book, The History of American Graffiti, will be published shortly, the exhibition showcases work by Clare Crespo, Jeph Gurecka, Scott Hove, Tamara Kostianovsky, Alan Macdonald, James Reynolds, Martha Rich and Jeff Vespa.

Palate: Tamara Kostianovsky

Palate: Tamara Kostianovsky

Clare Crespo, the author of the creative cookbook/art books, The Secret Life of Food and Hey There, Cupcake, has crocheted “a smorgasbord of fun foods,” whilst Jeph Gurecka’s  installation exploring the idea of food as sustenance, is built from bread he baked himself. Scott Hove and Tamara Kotianovshy’s have both contributed outsize sculptures. Hove’s monstrous cake sculptures “reflect on the relationship between the natural world and mechanical civilization, and the drama that occurs during this interaction,” and Kostianovsky’s giant slabs of meat are made from items of clothing.

Palate: Jeff Vespa

Palate: Jeff Vespa

Anachronistic items, such as grocery bags, baked beans, and chips appear in the stylistically classical paintings of pilgrims by the Scotland-based artist, Alan Macdonald. The series of photographs by London-based artist, James Reynolds, document the last meal requests by Death Row inmates. Cakes proliferate in the illustrations of Martha Rich, who is currently studying for an MFA in painting at the University of Pennsylvania, whilst fast food looms large in the giant Polaroids by artist, photographer, and Editor-at-Large  of, Jeff Vespa.

Palate: Candy Wrapper Museum

Palate: Candy Wrapper Museum

Palate also includes a large exhibit of retro candy wrappers, from Darlene Lacey’s Candy Wrapper Museum, which she founded 33 years ago, a vintage cookbook library, and a wall of vibrantly coloured, hard-to-find sodas.

Palate runs from 22nd May to 12th June 2010 at the
Scion Installation L.A., 3521 Helms Avenue, Culver City, CA 90232
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm, or  by appointment at other times.

Scion Installation L.A.:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition Preview: Keep Out the Light – Richard Colman

New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles
22nd May – 3rd July 2010

by Guy Sangster Adams


Through intricate, geometric, and day-glo landscapes, façades of surreal stage scenery or mazes, and artefacts, the subjects of Richard Colman’s paintings in Keep Out the Light, including headless bears, naked people, and disembodied heads, stand, as though frozen on stage, caught in the spotlight, in suspended anticipation of what will come next, but never offered the release of finding out. Whilst the geometry and colours around them coalesce and interplay to reveal occult symbols, silhouettes, piles of viscera, and a plethora of imagery and iconography. Violence and ecstasy, the  sinister and the comical, the beautiful and the claustrophobic, collide as Colman depicts “the struggles of the architect working ‘behind the scenes’ of the elaborate.”


Indian miniatures, Byzantine art, and Islamic tiles and mosaics, have all inspired Colman’s work for the exhibition, which features new paintings, sculptures, and site specific installations, including a space via which visitors are able to “step into the art and explore and experience the landscape of Keep Out the Light.”

Keep Out the Light – Richard Colman runs 22nd May to 3rd July 2010
at New Image Art Gallery, 7908 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA  90046
Open Tuesday – Saturday, 1pm to 6pm

Richard Colman:
New Image Art Gallery:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition Preview: Art From The New World – A Big Brash Exhibition of the New American Art Scene

Presented by Corey Helford Gallery in collaboration with Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery

Saturday 15th May –  Sunday 22 August 2010

By Guy Sangster Adams
The new American art scene covers a range of genres from lowbrow and pop surrealism, to neo-figurative, street art, and on through terms such as pervasive art, which Gary Baseman coined to describe his work which blurs the line between toy culture and fine art. Baseman is one of the 49 emerging and noted, living American urban and contemporary artists which Art From the New World brings together for the first time in an international exhibition, to provide an exciting, striking, and diverse survey of the scene.

The curator of the exhibition is Jan Corey Helford, who founded Los Angeles’ Corey Helford gallery in 2006 with her husband  the television writer and producer, Bruce Helford (Roseanne, The Drew Carey Show, The Oblongs). Many of the artists included in Art From the New World have had solo, or featured in group exhibitions at the Corey Helford Gallery, including Gary Baseman, Ron English, Josh Agle (SHAG), Buff Monster, COOP, Natalia Fabia, Korin Faught, Sylvia Ji, Eric Joyner and Chris Anthony.

Art From The New World: Ray Caeser

Art From The New World: Ray Caeser

In describing the significance of Art From the New World, Jan Corey Helford says: “America is gushing forth a new wave of taste and style born of Pop Iconic culture, expanding American diversity, resistance to the mainstream art world and a need to communicate to an art audience looking for relevance in America’s Age of Uncertainty. The selected artists are part of an exciting new art movement that encompasses all forms of media and art – painting, sculpture, printing, stencil, photography, digital art. Their work defies traditional paths and has been embraced by a new generation of collectors and enthusiasts who crowd the exhibitions of a growing circuit of alternative galleries spreading throughout the United States. This is an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of this movement to new audiences.”

The majority of the work included in Art From the New World has been created specifically for the exhibition and includes Mike Stilkey’s sculptural installation created on a ‘canvas’ formed from a ten foot wall of around 2000 books. Plus Buff Monster’s fifteen-foot tall “ice cream cone” balloon sculpture, topped with his characters. Whilst work that has been previously exhibited includes, in the main rotunda, Todd Schorr’s painting, An Ape Allegory, which featured in San Jose Museum’s Todd Schorr retrospective and is on loan from the Corey Helford private collection.

Art From The New World: Sas Christian

Art From The New World: Sas Christian

Buff Monster also features in Banksy’s new film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, and with Art From the New World, Bristol City Art Gallery and Museum will be looking to build on the runaway success of last summer’s Bansky vs. Bristol Museum, which attracted an average of 4,000 visitors a day, helping to earn it the top spot in the Art Newspaper’s annual worldwide survey of museum attendance for 2008/9.

Art From The New World runs from Saturday 15th May to  Sunday 22 August 2010
at Bristol  City Museum & Art Gallery
Queen’s Road, Bristol BS8 1RL
Open daily 10am-5pm
Free entry

Corey Helford Gallery:
Bristol’s City Museum & Art Gallery:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition: Teen Age – Cathy Ward

Usurp Art Gallery
17th April – 30th May 2010

From Teddy Boys to Emos, whichever generation you belong to, there will be teenage hairstyles through which you rebelled, after which you lusted, from which you  ran away, at which you laughed.  In actuality time may have diminished their power – the hair length for which the 17 year old David Bowie created the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men, now looks positively tame – but hairstyles are more often than not  intertwined with our most powerful memories of our teenage life.

In her highly evocative new exhibition, Teen Age, Cathy Ward who is renowned for phenomenally intricate and beautiful drawings and paintings of hair, has  returned to the youthcultures of her own teenage years and to the definition of contemporaries by their hairstyles and musical tastes. Below she describes her motivations and inspirations for the exhibition, and how it became a far more intimate journey and exhibition than she first imagined.



by Cathy Ward

A child in the 60’s, teenager in 70’s, unemployed 20 something in the 80’s. I grew up in a time of defiant youth culture. One could move into different groups of people that were mostly defined by their hairstyle and music taste. The 70’s were fantastically experimental, a fertile breeding ground for creating strong individuals. My defiant sensibilities were well established by the time punk arrived. A reaction initially teased out by the greaser-bikers I’d hung out with in my ween-teens. Motorbikes, Heavy Metal, ‘Snake bites’ (cider and lager), Hickies and those illicit parties in  straw-cut fields accompanied by exciting police raids. My hair was short by the age of 14, and for some inexplicable reason I started collecting and bagging the trimmings. Sunk and Age of Reason are painted with applied ground hair harvested from my teens and 20’s eras. Sunk, is an apocalyptic mire of teenage angst, my very own Passchendaele; Age of Reason seems calm, measured, an idealistic pasture forever draining away with a looming tornado. Glass paintings Forever and Passing reflect later passages of my life and romance, incorporating beautiful, yet tarnished objects of sentimental value.

The next group I moved into was the long-haired dangerous lot, whose long hair made them stand out as rebels though certainly no hippies. They were older, into drugs and music in a really big way. It was more dangerous, so more alluring, they knew how and where to party all the time. Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa were major players in the look and their sound followed us everywhere, in every smoke filled car, skinning joints, dropping acid and speeding up motorways at night, playing on space invader machines at motorway cafes …..

My drawings have developed over 15 years and depicting hair is a natural course in my work. As some of the big players in my life from that time died tragically young, it was their hair that began to subconsciously come through in my work and the places we had been appeared within my lines as places I was yet to arrive at. The work transcended what was initially a remembrance and became a tapping in of an internal landscape, an uncovering of a very personnel and buried world. Joy Divisions Unknown Pleasures was an album that’s sound and artwork made a great impression on me.


Cathy Ward’s drawings have been commissioned by Steven Severin (founder of Siouxsie and the Banshees) and Stephen O Malley for SUNN 0)))’s 7th album Monoliths & Dimensions 2009. O’Malley’s Keep an Eye Out accompanies her animation Sonafeld, which features in Teen Age, screened on two monitors. As does Ward’s animated film, Passing, made with Eric Wright and featuring a soundtrack composed by Peter Wyer  and narration by L.M. Kit Carson (screen writer of Paris Texas).

Teen Age Cathy Ward runs from 17th April to 30th May 2010
at Usurp Art Gallery,  140 Vaughan Road,  London HA1 4EB
(By undergroud, Usurp is 2 minutes walk from West Harrow station which is 20 mins from Baker Street station on the Metropolitan Line)
Open Thursday – Sunday, 2pm – 8pm

Last Sunday of Teen Age Special Event
From 4pm – 8pm, on 30th May to mark the final day of  Teen Age, there will be a performance in the gallery featuring: Adam Bohman (amplified objects), Leila Dear (Theremin & FX), Mark Pilkington (synthesiser), Rodrigo Montoya (shamisen), Steve Beresford (electronics/objects), Tania Chen (electronics/objects),  Zali Krishna (guitar & FX) and (hopefully) Andrew Bailey (paraphanalia & toy instruments).

Cathy Ward:
Usurp Gallery:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition/Label Launch: Daisy de Villeneuve – In her Shoes/D de V London

March 29th until 25th April 2010

By Guy Sangster Adams

daisy-de-v-shoe1Like following in the footsteps of a fantastic shopping spree around a department store, perhaps Liberty itself, or being given free rein to plunder the much coveted wardrobe of another, Daisy de Villeneuve’s new solo exhibition allows one to step into the array of shoes, to say nothing of the clothes and accessories, and by extension the lives of three stylish women about town. Or perhaps the three women are the same woman, delighting in presenting different faces to the world. It is up to the viewer’s imagination as de Villeneuve intends no strict interpretation. The onus of In her Shoes is on fun, and across the forty, new pen and ink works presented, all in her signature multi-coloured, whimsical style, that is exactly what abounds, providing a very welcome, pure pop celebration of joie de vivre.


De Villeneuve is both an illustrator and a product designer and In her Shoes also marks the launch of her new label, D de V London. The first product from which is a line of luxury scented candles, Daisy Rose, which for the duration of the exhibition will be available exclusively from Liberty. Roses are de Villeneuve’s favourite flower, and the four candles in the Daisy Rose collection feature different scents from the Rose family. The deep red wax candles are hand poured in London  into similarly deep red glass, which in addition to the cylindrical packaging, carry different artwork for each scent, complementing the exhibition: Herbal Rose features a perfume bottle, Violet Rose and Vetivert, a necklace, Tuberose, a handbag motif, and Rose Incense and Cedar, a retro suitcase.

In her Shoes
Runs from 29th March until 25th April 2010
4th floor gallery, Liberty, Great Marlborough Street, London W1B 5AH

Daisy Rose candles
RRP. £28
From 29th March until 25th April 2010 available exclusively from Liberty.
Then from selected retailers throughout the UK.

Read Daisy de Villeneuve reflecting on the documentary Beyond Biba in issue 3 of the print edition of Plectrum – The Cultural Pick: for availability  CLICK HERE

Watch Daisy de Villeneuve interviewed by Guy Sangster Adams on the Plectrum Broadcast Player  CLICK HERE

Read the feature about Daisy de Villeneuve from Plectrum – The Cultural Pick issue 1  READ MORE

Daisy de Villeneuve:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Exhibition: Raskols and Sing-Sing – Stephen Dupont

Jack Bell Gallery

26th March – 25th April 2010

In February the Australian photographer, Stephen Dupont, was awarded the 2010 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography by Harvard University’s Peabody Museum, through which, under the project title, Guns and Arrows: The Detribalization of Papua New Guinea, he will continue his photographic documentation of the dramatic changes that Papua New Guinea is undergoing.

As his new exhibition at the Jack Bell Gallery, Raskols and Sing-Sing, demonstrates globalisation is impacting heavily on the fabric of the traditional  Melanesian society. The exhibition features photographs from the six years he has already spent documenting these changes, which include the recasting of tribal society into an urban proletariat and the effects of violence and lawlessness in Port Moresby, in addition to the westernization of traditional society in the Highlands. Raskols and Sing-Sing provides not only an in-depth study of cultural erosion but also a celebration of an ancient people. It is, as Dupont says, “a reflection and a meditation on a unique place, and it may also be seen as a warning for other, seemingly more ‘secure’ cultures.”


He continues,  “this body of work will counter stereotypical myths of Papua New Guinea with honest representations of the people, their culture and identity. It is an attempt to relate the experience of communities that would otherwise just disappear, people at the bottom of a half ruined country.”

Raskols and Sing-Sing – Stephen Dupont runs from 26th March – 25th April 2010
at the Jack Bell Gallery,  276 Vauxhall Bridge Road London SW1V 1BB
Open 11am – 6pm Thursday – Sunday

Jack Bell Gallery:

Follow Plectrum – The Cultural Pick on Facebook:

Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Book Review: Fashion Jewellery – Catwalk & Couture by Maia Adams


(Laurence King) £24.95

Reviewed by Guy Sangster Adams

Maia Adams’ supremely elegant new book provides the first overview of the extraordinarily innovative designs and diverse creative practice that has transformed fashion jewellery over recent years and instigated its current renaissance.

Fashion jewellery has antecedents in the costume jewellery of the twentieth century, from Coco Chanel in the 1920s who, as Adams writes, “challenged the status quo that jewels were only for the very wealthy,” to the 1960s and the use of plastic, wood, and paper by designers such as Paco Rabane, to its apogee in the diamante studded 1980s, and the prevalence of the “supersized imitation jewels” of Butler and Wilson, and the rubber bangles and crucifixes designed by Maripol which Madonna made ubiquitous. But as Vicki Beamon, of Erickson Beamon, explains in Fashion Jewellery, “Costume is an antiquated term for jewellery that, on the whole, was designed to look real,” and as Adams elaborates, to define the theme of her book, “this new breed of designer fashion jewellery makes no such claims – its purpose is not to imitate but to innovate.”

Erickson Beamon AW08 jewellery ©Greg Kadel

Erickson Beamon AW08 jewellery ©Greg Kadel

Erickson Beamon are one of the 33 designers profiled in the book, and provide a key link from the 1980s to the present day, three decades during which their “jewels of fantasy,” as Hamish Bowles has written, have reflected the times “from the rollicking, coruscating, dangerous 80s, the sleek, spare, barely there 90s, and our eclectic new century.” Judy Blame equally provides a link to the 1980s and in both his pioneering use of found objects in his jewellery and multi-faceted career that has also included accessories design, styling, and photography,  he has equally become an iconic mentor and inspiration not only to a new generation of fashion designers such as Gareth Pugh, but also to the new fashion jewellery designers.

Judy Blame coin purse ©Judy Blame

Judy Blame coin purse ©Judy Blame

Many of whom, as Adams writes, “work simultaneously as stylists, photographers and fashion, costume, or product designers [which] means that they bring an eclectic arsenal of techniques and influences to bear on a body of work that runs the gamut from craft-based to technology-led; cerebral to silly; witty to whimsical.”

Amongst its line up of luminaries, Fashion Jewellery also features Scott Wilson, long time Hussein Chalayan collaborator, whose  sculptural headwear/jewellery hybrids have become renowned “spectacular catwalk statements” and whose earrings adorn the model on the book’s striking cover. In addition, Laurent Rivaud, to whom Vivienne Westwood went when she choose to launch her jewellery line in 1994, including the iconic orbs, and who now, under his own label R, creates minutely detailed jewellery, antique in appearance, drawing inspiration from a host of influences including Arthur Rackham, Fortunato Pio Castellani, Lord Leighton, and PJ Harvey. Whilst Natalia Brilli wraps an eclectic array of objects such as whistles, sea urchins, scarabs, and watches in leather to create her one-off jewellery pieces.

Natalia Brilli's gemstone bangles

Natalia Brilli's gemstone bangles ©Julien Classens & Thomas Deschamps

Fashion Jewellery is crammed with great photographs, including still lives, catwalk shots, and fashion editorial spreads, working drawings, and features exclusive interviews with many of the featured designers, and provides a fascinating, inspiring, and exciting exploration of an equally fascinating, inspiring, and exciting time in jewellery design.


Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Promote Your Page Too

Laurence King