In early July 2015, Random Spectacular No. 2 contributors Ultramarine played live on Northey Island, a National Trust property in the Blackwater estuary, off Maldon, Essex.
Although the island is generally leased to private tenants, once a year the Trust takes back the island for Castaway, a wild camping experience.
Music has always been an important aspect of the Castway weekends and this year Ultramarine (Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond) performed a live set (accompanied by saxophonist Greg Heath) which included Decoy Point, a track from their 2013 album This Time Last Year, which was inspired by the Blackwater landscape.
You can listen to three of the tracks performed live below.
Thanks to Ultramarine's Ian Cooper and LTM's James Nice for the photographs included here.
Posted by Simon Lewin on August 2nd, 2015
Monday 27th April 2015 sees the opening of two exhibitions at Edinburgh's Open Eye Gallery from our friends Brita Granström and Mick Manning.
In Sea Salt and Sour Dough, Brita will present a series of paintings capturing intimate, everyday moments inspired by her home life and the landscapes of the Scottish Borders. Playful and charming paintings which reflect her creativity in all aspects of her life.
'Sweden and the British Isles feature strongly in my paintings; environments that are always changing, never still. Painting on location both indoors and outdoors in all weathers produces images that, for me, encompass and celebrate themes of hope, humanity, life and mortality.’
For his Beasts of Scotland exhibition, Mick Manning has created a series of unique pochoir prints, created using hand-cut stencils, stippling and block printing.
Born in Yorkshire, Mick studied at Bradford, Newcastle and then the Royal College of Art. Having spent a number of years teaching artists including Mark Hearld at Glasgow School of Art, Mick now devotes him time to his illustration projects and printmaking activities.
Both exhibitions run from 27th April to 11th May 2015 at Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE.
Rescuing The Washing Brita Granström
Vintage Plates Brita Granström
The Letter Brita Granström
Parrot Tulips Brita Granström
Setting The Table Brita Granström
Peregrine Over Edinburgh Mick Manning
Golden Eagle Mick Manning
Grey Seal Mick Manning
Lurcher Pup Mick Manning
Posted by Simon Lewin on April 14th, 2015
Writer, artist and musician Rob St. John (who contributed to our Random Spectacular No. 2 journal) has announced details of his latest project, Surface Tension.
In summer 2014, Ben Fenton, project manager of the ‘Fixing Broken Rivers’ campaign run by London freshwater conservation charity Thames 21, got in touch with Rob. Ben had an unusual commission in mind: could Rob design a project drawing from both art and science to creatively explore and document pollution along London’s River Lea?
Almost a year later, and the project – Surface Tension – is finished, resulting in an album of new music and field recordings taken along the Lea; a book of writing and photographs documenting the Lea Valley and the creative processes in Surface Tension; and an exhibition of film photographs from the project at Stour Space, Hackney Wick, London (E3 2PA) throughout April 2015.
In late summer, Rob walked most of the length of the Lea – one of Britain’s most polluted rivers – wearing holes into the soles of his shoes as he made field recordings with binaural microphones (which look like cheap headphones, but capture a 360 degree soundscape around your head), underwater hydrophones and contact mics. At the same time, he took film photographs on both a vintage 120 camera and a 35mm pinhole camera made from a Lesney toy matchbox (the Lesney factory was on the river at Hackney Wick).
Rob’s work has always had a foot in both art and science: working with sound, photography and natural processes in ways that are both experimental and accessible. In 2011 he released a critically acclaimed LP ‘Weald’; in 2013 the Water of Life collaboration with Tommy Perman; in 2014 the Bastard Mountain LP; and in 2015 Surface Tension and a sound installation Concrete Antenna at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.
Surface Tension is released in April on limited edition CD, housed in a beautiful book of Rob’s photographs and writing, designed by Tommy Perman.
Posted by Simon Lewin on March 4th, 2015
It was a bracing day in Edinburgh today. But still managed our (more or less) daily walk up to the top of Blackford Hill.
Posted by Simon Lewin on January 29th, 2015
We've been working up on Speyside for a while and have managed to find some time to enjoy the landscape.
Posted by Simon Lewin on January 22nd, 2015
Saturday 15th November 2014 sees the opening of 'Town and Country', Emily Sutton's major solo exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The exhibition will feature a wide range of one-off watercolours, limited edition prints and a flock of hand painted and embroidered birds.
Based in York, Emily has worked with many distinguished clients around the world, illustrating books for the Victoria & Albert Museum, Faber and Faber, Random House, Penguin and Walker Books and undertaking commissions for brands such as Hermes, Fortnum & Mason and Betty’s of Harrogate.
We're delighted to include Emily's designs within the St Jude's range of fabrics - her Curiosity Shop fabric won the 'Best British Pattern' category in the Elle Decoration British Design Awards in 2011.
'Town and Country' coincides with the publication of Transferware Treasures, a limited edition hand-bound foldout book of the artist’s watercolours of Victorian transferware, published by Fleece Press.
Find out more about the exhibition in the short film below and via the Yorkshire Sculpture Park website. The exhibition runs until 22nd February 2015.
Posted by Simon Lewin on November 5th, 2014
We had worked with the photographer Cristian Barnett before and he offered he making of a short film in return for a donation to the Movember fundraising programme (supporting the work of this global men’s health charity).
Posted by Simon Lewin on September 3rd, 2014
This August Hanna Tuulikki's heartfelt re-weaving of Gaelic song will be performed live on the Isle of Canna.
Away with the Birds will be performed by a female vocal ensemble in the beautiful harbour of the Isle of Canna, where the music reverberates with the bird-calls and the ebb of the tide.
Hanna Tuulikki is a Glasgow-based artist and composer. Away with the Birds is her most ambitious work to date. Selecting Gaelic song from historical archives, she has sought out extracts and fragments which imitate birdsong and rewoven them into an extraordinary soundscape. Each of the five movements represents a different habitat and bird community – wader, sea-bird, wildfowl, corvid, and cuckoo.
Posted by Simon Lewin on June 9th, 2014
Having spent a couple of weeks living in Spitalfields for the recent St Jude's In the City exhibition, now we're back north it's a shame we won't be able to visit some of these secret gardens of Spitalfields which will open to the public on Saturday 7th June 2014 as part of the National Gardens Scheme.
As Spitalfields Life founder The Gentle Author points out:
"If you did not know of the existence of these gardens, you might think Spitalfields was an entirely urban place with barely a leaf in sight, but in fact every terrace conceals a string of verdant little gardens and yards filled with plants and trees that defy the dusty streets beyond."
Posted by Angie Lewin on June 4th, 2014
Took a trip to Seacliff, just along from North Berwick, for the first time today.
Posted by Simon Lewin on March 30th, 2014