Monday, 31 October 2016

New show at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield - "Uncertain Spaces & Obscure Views"

This will be the last post on this blog as there is a new show "Uncertain Spaces & Obscure Views" taking place at Bank Street Arts , Sheffield, where I am continuing my explorations of Sheffield’s in-between places and non-spaces.

Preview Wednesday 23rd November 6.00 - 8.00pm

Open 24th November - 3rd December 2016
Wednesday - Saturday 11.00am - 4.00pm
Closed Sunday - Tuesday

This blog and website will continue at the following - http://obscure-views.blogspot.co.uk/


https://uncertainspaces.blogspot.co.uk/

Monday, 22 August 2016

'Flaneuse: Women Walk the City' by Lauren Elkin


A recent book has come to light - 'Flaneuse: Women Walk the City' by Lauren Elkin - due to being a Radio 4's "book of the week" this Augus. All episodes can be listened to on iplayer via this following link -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07p5vhy/episodes/guide


This following description is for an interview of Laura Elking talking about her book with Brian Dillon in the London Review Bookshop

"The flâneur – an almost invariably male idler dawdling through city streets with no apparent purpose in mind – is familiar to us from the works of Baudelaire, Benjamin and Edmund White. In a glorious blend of memoir, cultural history and psychogeography, Lauren Elkin investigates the little-considered female equivalent, from George Sand to Agnes Varda and Sophie Calle, leading us through the streets of London, Tokyo, Venice, New York and, of course, Paris. Lauren Elkin, a contributing editor at the White Review, was at the shop to discuss the phenomenon of the flâneuse, and her own walking life with Brian Dillon."

The interview can be listened to here - (direct link to mp3 file)



The book "Flaneuse: Women Walk the City" by Lauren Elkin (isbn 978-0701189020) is currently available in hardback. (Waterstones, Abebooks)


Sunday, 3 July 2016

Happy 100th Issue Now Then :)




It's Now Then magazine's 100th issue!!! Launched in April 2008 it has become a 'go to' quality read which reflects the interests and concerns of many Sheffield folk.

To celebrate the launch of the 100th issue Now Then is showing the work of many of the artists that have been chosen as 'artist of the month' within it's covers. Sheffield street artist Phlegm is rightfully on the cover of this issue, and I'm one of several artists that have been chosen for the inside pages. 


There's "Bus Stop"!! :) Just want to say there are signed prints of "Bus Stop" and other prints available to buy here > http://goo.gl/l9YV66 . On the left hand page are works from Jo Peel (top) and Rob Lee (bottom)


Also to celebrate, video artist Steve Pool has created a projection on Weston Park Museum of the first 99 front covers of Now Then.



I was selected for "artist of the month" and interviewed by the editor Sam Walby for the November 2015 edition of Now Then magazine (issue 92) which provided a great boost for my reach, career and of course self esteem :)  - http://nowthenmagazine.com/sheffield/issue-92/

Now Then
Website - http://nowthenmagazine.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/NowThenMagazine/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/nowthenmag

New Group Show - Curate Sheffield's "Private:PUBLIC"


Curate Sheffield's "private:PUBLIC" at 35 Chapel Walk
2nd-29th July 2016 (Preview 1st July 6-8pm).


Alan Baker / Luke Beech / Clare Holdstock / Andy Cropper / Deborah Gardner

Urban space is complex. It is space that is notoriously alive with a web of dichotomies, which city dwellers must negotiate on a daily basis. One such dichotomy is that of public and private space; a quintessential notion of the modern city. With a vast amount of places “off limits” to varying strata of society and carefully mapped out public areas for transiting or leisure, we each act out a set of unwritten social rules and modes of behaviour.

What private:PUBLIC attempts to explore however, is those areas on the boundary between private and public. Those grey areas of the city whose purpose is not so clearly defined; those spaces in which urban explorers and psychogeographers are compelled to explore (abandoned buildings, back alleys, industrial estates etc), or where the homeless find temporary respite (a doorway for sleeping, for example). By highlighting these ideologies, the exhibition will make the viewer question their own behaviour through their ever-changing shared and personal environments.

Luke Beech displays works that highlight the fine line between the interior and the exterior. Clare Holdstock, also working in concrete, uses early modernist aesthetic to create sculptures that question how the architecture from this time distorts twenty-first century urban space. Alan Baker’s ‘Home’ is a makeshift shelter constructed using found objects. Re-thinking ‘vermin culture’, the work explores society’s views of the homeless, confronting underlying issues. Andy Cropper's realist paintings depict "uncertain spaces" and considers the way public space is being bought, given, or transferred to private concerns which subverts what is understood about public space. Deborah Gardener’s photographic work depicts the home as a location for dwelling and a social space that marks the private and reflects the public.



Curate Sheffield are Liz Dickinson and Becky Gee
Website - https://curatesheffield.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/curatesheffield/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/curatesheffield

Participating artists
Clare Holdstock - http://clareholdstock.co.uk/
Alan Baker - http://alanbaker.tumblr.com/
Deborah Gardner - http://www.axisweb.org/p/deborahgardner/
Luke Beech. - http://lqbeech.wix.com/artist
and me :)

35 Chapel Walk gallery,  Sheffield
Website - http://www.35chapelwalk.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/35chapelwalk/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/35chapelwalk

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Books - 'Nightwalking", "Street Haunting", "Concretopia", "A New Kind of Bleak", "Scarp", "Estates", & "London Orbital"

A continuation of my previous book recommendations blogpost - "Books - 'Edgelands', 'Geography Of Nowhere', 'Non-Places', 'Night Walks', & 'The Sublime'" - however this time these are books that I have not read but do keep appearing in mentions in a variety of places.



click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace
'Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London', 2015
By Matthew Beaumont
ISBN-13: 978-1784783785 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1781687956 (hardback)

Matthew Beaumont brings the description of a contemporary nocturnal London and its history to the page. Following in the footsteps of Dickens, Woolf, and others he outlines views around walking at night in past times and the descriptions and perceptions of those that did so.

'Nightwalking in London' - in the following audioboom.com podcast Matthew Beaumont talks to presenter N Quentin Woolf about his book

'Nightwalking & the city: In Discussion with Matthew Beaumont' an interview by Novara Media .


An indepth article, "Nightwalking: a subversive stroll through the city streets",  written by Matthew Beaumont for the Guardian as an introduction to his subject of Nightwalking can be read here - here

A new article (2016) by Matthew Beaumont has appeared in the Guardian picking up on all themes already mentioned above. "The heart of darkness that still beats within our 24-hour cities" - link
A review of the book on the Guardian website can be read here






click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'Street Haunting', 2005 (Penguin version out of print. Original version printed 1927)
By Virginia Woolf
ISBN-13: 978-0141022468 (paperback )

In Virginia Woolf’s 1927 essay ‘Street Haunting’, the narrator explores this imaginative act of dipping in and out of people’s minds as they move through the city’s wintry, twilight streets. From prime ministers to the homeless, the narrator examines the city’s inhabitants and the spaces they occupy. ‘What greater delight and wonder can there be than to leave the straight lines of personality’, the narrator asks, to feel ‘that one is not tethered to a single mind, but can put on briefly for a few minutes the bodies and minds of others’. (Description from the British Library website )

A version of Virginia Woolf's "Street Haunting - A London Adventure" which
can be read online here and here

An article in the Independent by Emma Woolf, great neice to Virginia Woolf,  "Literary haunts: Virginia's London walks", 2011. 
  





click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain', 2013
By John Grindrod
ISBN-13: 978-1908699893 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1906964900 (hardback)

"Was Britain's postwar rebuilding the height of midcentury chic or the concrete embodiment of Crap Towns? John Grindrod decided to find out how blitzed, slum-ridden and crumbling 'austerity Britain' became, in a few short years, a space-age world of concrete, steel and glass.
On his journey he visits the sleepy Norfolk birthplace of Brutalism, the once-Blitzed city centre of Plymouth, the futuristic New Town of Cumbernauld, Sheffield's innovative streets in the sky, the foundations of the BT tower, and the brave 1950s experiments in the Gorbals. Along the way he meets New Town pioneers, tower block builders, Barbican architects, old retainers of Coventry Cathedral, proud prefab dwellers and sixties town planners: people who lived through a time of phenomenal change and excitement.
What he finds is a story of dazzling optimism, ingenuity and helipads -- so many helipads -- tempered by protests, deadly collapses and scandals that shook the government.
Acclaimed by critics from all sides of the political spectrum, Concretopia is an witty and revealing history of an aspect of Britain often ignored, insulted and misunderstood. It will change the way you look at Arndale Centres, tower blocks and concrete forever.
Catherine Croft, Director, Twentieth Century Society

John Grindrod explains his aims for the book in this following BBC interview.


John Grindrod in this lecture for the 2014 BORING conference explores 60's utopian city planning through Ladybird visions of modern Britain.





click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys Through Urban Britain', 2012
By Owen Hatherley
ISBN-13: 978-1781680759 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1844678570 (hardback)

Speaking in 2012 Owen Hatherley presents ideas of his then new book to the Architecture Foundation.


This following talk explores the 'mismatched ideologies' of Brutalism and Heritage, through examples of condemned post-war buildings that have either been saved or attempted to be saved by architectural enthusiasts, including Park Hill, Birmingham Central Library and Preston Bus Station. The talk was delivered as part of 'Revisiting Utopia: Modernist Architecture in the Post Regenerate City'
 "I’d often idly wonder when the riots would come: when the situation of organic delis next to pound shops, of crumbling maisonettes next to furiously speculated-on Victoriana, of artists shipped into architect-designed Brutalist towers to make them safe for Regeneration, of endless boosterist self-congratulation, would finally collapse in on itself… What I don’t understand is how absolutely anyone in any large British city could possible be shocked by all this. This is urban Britain, and though the cuts have made it worse, the damage was done long before."
- Owen Hatherley, A New Kind of Bleak






click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'Scarp', 2012
By Nick Papadimitriou
ISBN-13: 978-1444723397(paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1444723380 (hardback)




'The London Perambulator' a 45 minute documentary following Nick Papadimitriou and his psychogeographical explorations of London.






click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'Estates: : An Intimate History', 2012
By Lynsey Hanley
ISBN-13: 978-1847087027(paperback)

Lynsey Hanley was born and raised just outside of Birmingham on what was then the largest council estate in Europe, and she has lived for years on an estate in London's East End. Writing with passion, humour and a sense of history, she recounts the rise of social housing a century ago, its adoption as a fundamental right by leaders of the social welfare state in the mid-century and its decline - as both idea and reality - in the 1960s and '70s. Throughout, Hanley focuses on how shifting trends in urban planning and changing government policies - from Homes Fit for Heroes to Le Corbusier's concrete tower blocks, to the Right to Buy - affected those so often left out of the argument over council estates: the millions of people who live on them. What emerges is a vivid mix of memoir and social history, an engaging and illuminating book about a corner of society that the rest of Britain has left in the dark.

Lynsey is interviewed by Little Atoms in this following audio








click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'London Orbital', 2002
By Iain Sinclair
ISBN-13: 978-0141014746(paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1862075474(hardback)

"Encircling London like a noose, the M25 is a road to nowhere, but when Iain Sinclair sets out to walk this asphalt loop - keeping within the 'acoustic footprints' - he is determined to find out where the journey will lead him. Stumbling upon converted asylums, industrial and retail parks, ring-fenced government institutions and lost villages, Sinclair discovers a Britain of the fringes, a landscape consumed by developers. London Orbital charts this extraordinary trek and round trip of the soul, revealing the country as you've never seen it before."

A fascinating documentary is at this following link. Created to go alongside the release of "London Orbital" the film is created using footage collected over several decades by Iain Sinclair with writing by Christopher Petit
https://0xdb.org/0333817/
"A filmmaker sets out to make a voyage of discovery on London's orbital motorway, the M25. He enlists the help of several others to film the motorway from several points, drive endlessly around it and dig up stories and potential beauty behind the motorway."




Sunday, 22 May 2016

"An Occult Psychogeography of Hawksmoor’s London Churches" - the Bohemian Blog

I've been following the writings and explorations of the 'Bohemiun Blog' for a while and this following post is a great example of just how engaging one person's walk can be when given a curious frame to hang on. The writer has used the work of Alan Moore's "From Hell" as a starting point. "From Hell" is a wide ranging and sometimes fantastical investigation into the 19th century murderer Jack the Ripper and who he could be. Masonic symbolism overlaps religious iconography in most of the questionings surrounding the Ripper in the book which in turn links heavily with Nicholas Hawksmoor's architecture and his idiosynchratic churches built within London in the 17th and 18th centuries. And that's the point where the wanderings of the following blog starts. By mapping out the churches mentioned in the story and then spending a quite considerable amount of time journeying to each one, with moments of note that are experienced all coming together to form a hugely enjoyable record of one person's journey.

I highly recommend clicking the following link and reading the article on the Bohemian Blog's site itself where you can also read other wanderings and imagery that have been experienced - direct link to the full article - "An Occult Psychogeography of Hawksmoor’s London Churches"



Alan Moore's "From Hell" can be bought from Waterstone's here

Thursday, 7 April 2016

David Milsom

This is a bit of an 'outside my area' blog post as I want to share with everyone the work of violinist David Milsom. I was introduced to him by James Bacon of Go To Design (who is himself a stunning pianist) and cutting to the quick I want to share David's work with the world.

David by day is a mild mannered Head of Performance in the music department of the University of Huddersfield :) .  In the words from his "About page" on his website
  "David Milsom (B.Mus, Hons., M.Mus., PhD, FHEA) is a violinist, violist, musicologist, lecturer, reviewer and instrumental teacher, based in Sheffield and Huddersfield. He holds the post of Head of Performance in the music department of the University of Huddersfield, where he is also the Director of HuCPeR (Huddersfield Centre for Performance Research). David’s activities centre around performance, on modern and period instruments, and he is dedicated to promoting a passionate and charismatic aesthetic of performance, questioning current conventions and seeking to communicate historical music to a growing audience.
I am totally out of my depth and lack the language in describing what he does so do please watch and listen to his phenomenal work here.






You can follow David's projects via