GIN AND ART IS THE PERFECT COMBINATION TO STIR CREATIVITY
BY SARA DARLING
What’s more refreshing on a long hot summer evening, than a refreshing G&T?
And if you mix gin with art, you can come up with some extremely creative results. Premium gin brand, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is leading a global mission to ‘Stir Creativity’ which is set to inspire everyone to engage with their creativity and unlock their creative potential with events taking place around the globe this summer.
For a limited time, a unique living gallery has been created in a unique destination in Shoreditch, London. Not only can you sip delicious gin based cocktails, you will be taking part in real-life art installations, and trying out your own creative personal twists on BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin cocktails from the bar. You are also actively encouraged to funk up your own creations with edible paint and glitter!
The London ‘CANVAS’ is showcasing the work of 12 emerging and established, international artists, including signwriter and glass gilder Alex May Hughes, illustrator and designer Josh McKenna, and graphic artist Supermundane, who is joined by fellow creatives and artists from Spain, Germany and The Netherlands.
With movers and shakers from the art, film and fashion world attending the launch night party, they mingled with the artists, who were transforming the spacious venue, into a living work of art using the floors, walls and furniture as their canvas.
With a large gin on entry, the ‘Tonic Wall’ set the scene; Four flavoured tonics laid out in a maze of piping for you to choose your preference. Ranging from spicy to fruity to sour and refreshing, you were invited to finish them off with garnish from the pick-your-own garnish garden, before mingling with the guests and artists at the event. With nightly DJs and comfortable seating, this is a new kind of pop-up bar, which if you like gin or art, you will want to join in and stir your creativity, and be part of the movement.
Tickets are priced at £10 and can be purchased by visiting www.bombaysapphirecanvas.com.
Where: N&C Showrooms, Shoreditch High Street
When: 18th – 21st July 2018
As part of the global mission to Stir Creativity, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE will donate all ticket sales proceeds from the CANVAS London event to charity Developing Artists.
BY SARA DARLING
Every girl deserves some diamonds, and 64Facets is the name to know for diamonds that are the perfect gift to you from you!
Launched in the USA in 2016, the creators behind 64Facets know how to transform beautiful diamonds into delicate, ready to wear jewellery with an honest price.
Creating jewels under five main categories: Ethereal, Scallop, Bridal, Pave and One of a Kind, means that there is something for every taste.
Whether you are looking for something romantic (the rose-cut Scallop collection will be up your street) or the Pave collection consists of brilliantly cut micro pave diamonds set into versatile pieces which make a super shiny statement piece; And the Bridal range offers all manner of engagement rings.
However if you have something special in mind for yourself or someone you love, the 64Facets team will be happy to work with you to design the jewellery of your dreams!
With the diamonds being sourced from responsible trade partners who follow the Kimberly process, the magic happens at a family owned atelier in Surat, India.
So if you are looking for a perfectly cut, beautiful polished diamond, you don't need to invest thousands of pounds, check out the 64Facets site for inspiration.
Prices start from £3,000
Shop the collection here
BY SARA DARLING
A ONE STOP SHOP FOR LUXURY BRITISH TWEED WITH A TWIST
Capes are not just for superheroes- a statement which is confirmed by bespoke fashion designer Helen Howe.
Working from her airy studio in Leicester’s Creative Quarter means that she can soak up the fresh country air as she designs. Consequently, her inspiration comes from rural England, and places she visited in Scotland as a child, which are evident in the tweed influences used across her collections.
Taking advantage of the slower pace of life in the Midlands, Helen is also a mother to two children, which she manages to juggle by employing a close knit fashion team; The resulting designs are beautifully constructed classics, including coats, capes, riding jackets, suiting and dresses.
For the SS18 show at London Fashion Week, Helen also added a beautiful boned corset, which was snapped up by fashionistas for editorials, and an edgy addition to her quintessential customer’s wardrobe.
However, Helen is cautious not to be pigeon-holed as a country wear label. Creating traditionally inspired clothes for active women, she always makes sure the shapes have a modern twist. So much so, her trademark is the back pleat, which crops up on everything from hacking jackets to dresses which makes them uniformly flattering and roomy.
Preferring to design for comfort, the classic silhouettes are classic rather than a fast-fashion fad, Helen’s customers return season after season to snap up an investment piece, which can be made to order for clients who have a particular Liberty print lining or suede-patch colour in mind.
Having won the ‘Designer of the Year’ at the Midlands fashion awards in 2016, her market is constantly growing, with America and Japan on her agenda for this year. With her unique interpretation of traditional structures, her use of contrasting suede, Harris Tweed and Liberty print linings, means her collections are anything but boring, and although they don’t follow trends, there is a market for luxurious made in England investment pieces.
The Helen Howe customer comes in all kind of body shapes, and her designs never date. So if you are looking to gift yourself with something that will keep on giving, , check out the website or make an appointment to visit the Atelier for yourself.
Interview: Jaswant Bhachu
The 55 team are always on the look out for talent with a unique voice. So when we came across AMWA Designs we knew we needed to approach Chrissa Amuah, Creative Director & Founder to find out more. As the interview progressed it quickly came apparent that the term #girlboss has never been more relevant. From having a global brand presence to creating life-changing platforms for designers from sub-Saharan Africa; have a read to find out more.
The brand ethos is about bringing new meaning to our personal living space. What is your main inspiration behind your design aesthetic?
Yes AMWA Designs is an Adinkra inspired homeware and interiors textile brand. It is built on the principle that our homes and private spaces should be enveloped with beautiful furnishings that evoke powerful and positive thoughts within us. The Adinkra symbols and proverbs of Ghana form the inspiration. The symbols serve a decorative function, but also convey traditional wisdoms and adages. To combine beautiful design with meaningful design in our everyday lives I think is incredibly powerful.
We often see work in progress shots of your designs on social media. How important is the fact your work is handmade and you are so involved in all areas of production?
It’s so so important. I think excessive/fast consumerism has undermined the value of craft and handmade. For new or upcoming brands, sharing the process helps assert the product story, value and price point.
Your work has not been shy of gracing many publications and showcasing around the world. Is there a main highlight so far in your career that you are particularly proud of?
I’m proud of it all; each piece tells a story from a chapter of the journey so far. For it to have been so global also affirms that AMWA Designs’ brand vision transcends all cultures and resonates with so many.
AMWA Designs stems much further than the brand itself. AFRICA BY DESIGN has become a huge platform featuring the best of Africa's design talent. Tell us more about your role in this and your ultimate vision.
AFRICA BY DESIGN was born from seeing how AMWA Designs was benefitting from the opportunity to showcase via an exhibition platform such as Salone Satellite at Milan Design Week.
In my research for AMWA Designs, I was looking back to Ghana and more widely Africa for inspiration. As I did so, I came across other African designers who were producing beautiful design works, but there was no platform to celebrate them. In recent years there’s been increasing interest in African art – I saw that there was room to expand the dialogue to include the continent’s design offering.
So I established AFRICA BY DESIGN. We’ve just celebrated our one-year anniversary. We launched with an exhibition in Accra Ghana, on a date that coincided with Ghana’s anniversary of independence. Since then we’ve gone on to feature 26 designers in two additional exhibitions in London and then Dubai.
Review: Jaswant Bhachu
Benjamin Murphy is a renowned visual artist and writer based in London. Primarily, he creates monochromatic figurative artworks using the esoteric medium of electrical tape. When we caught wind of his upcoming exhibition next week at Delphian Gallery we knew we were going to be in for a treat. Then we were sent his foreword written by Andrew Salgado and we were completely transformed, knowing it needed to be shared with our readers.
So grab a cuppa, sit back and get lost in the world of Lavish Entropy in lead up to next week.
Benjamin Murphy is a Romantic – he strolls in wearing all black, of slight stature, looking appropriately broody with skeleton rings on each finger that he’s made himself and decked out in stylized tattoos – most of which he’s designed (and also probably executed upon) himself. He’s the embodiment of his own work; where art- meets-life-meets-art; probably a Kafka novel somewhere in his bag and a journal full of sketches and notes. He’s a bit like I imagine the old Romantic poets, literal manifestations of the very subjects of their poetry – the artist, in beautiful torment, unable to function properly as the very obsess to create somehow overwhelms them. A quick Google search reveals the tenets of Romanticism – the tenets I have long forgotten from my own time in art school – and they reveal themselves like a checklist of Murphy’s work: belief in the individual; reverence of nature; interest in the supernatural or gothic; interest in the past; nostalgic world-view. All of these, I would argue, form the foundations of Murphy’s work.
Over the course of the past few years, Murphy’s artistic practice (well, truthfully it has become something of an oeuvre, hasn’t it?) has grown to encompass his trademark ‘black-electrical-tape’ drawings; traditional pen-and-ink drawing; stitching (by hand, laborious and pain-staking); painting; prose; poetry; and even playwriting. I’m sure he also must play a musical instrument or two, and probably has a number of other tricks up his sleeve, like the ‘ five finger knife game’ (aka stabscotch) and must be brewing a bathtub full of gin somewhere. But the point is, this is a multifaceted talent who choses to focus his art on an aesthetic and ethos that is so well-rounded and thought-out that many artists working a lifetime would be jealous of. While his work has grown in terms of technique – which was already rather exceptional a few years back – what one sees now is an artist fully realizing his creative potential. There is never a summit for him, and I often talk to Murphy (well, Ben, to me when we aren’t being professional) and while I’m watching Come Dine with Me after a day in studio, he’s already done 8 hours of tape-drawings and has since been underlining prose in Baudelaire or Camus. What this obsession with work has created is now visually represented in these impeccably and profoundly executed tape-drawings: it is most evident in the triple-tier glass works, where ghostly shadows from layers of intricately detailed surfaces bounce and react upon each other. One work, Ghost (2018), depicts an undressing female before a slew of Modernist paintings – and lace curtains draping before a patterned floor, another pattern here, the fronds of a Monstera plant in the back. If you consider the actual work and intensity of mark-making, it’s astounding. When we remind ourselves that this work is executed in tape, not pen-and-ink, it is simply a gobsmacking display of talent. But again, I reiterate the idea that this sort of exhibition comes after years of practice – of obsessive focus on one thing, and the elaboration of a technique he has basically trademarked as his own.
Like many works in the exhibition, the aforementioned piece is characteristic of a Murphy work but also characteristic of the tenets of Romanticism: firstly, imagine Murphy at work, and thus we have the solitary pursuit of an artist, working to depict the solitary moment of a character, usually in a decadently overgrown Victorian setting, usually depicted as a memento-mori or vanitas, viewed upon in her private moments with a type of gentle reverie. There’s a subtle nod to Degas, with the undressing solitary beauties; but also Matisse, when he’s looking at interiors or plants or even patterns; and even a slight nod to punk-rock, Shakespeare, or even Tarantino: knifes, feathers, needles, that sort of thing. But what I love about Murphy’s work is its inherent sweetness; given its unflinching monochromatism and his love of Nihilist literature, I think the easy route would be to slip into cynicism. But there’s such an adoration of his own craft and the sensuous care of his own materiality that the work carries with it an inherent delicacy, a kind of grace wound into its very make-up, like a type of macabre but beautiful poetry in itself.
I look forward to the day we can sit in a theatre, watching Murphy’s debut play upon stage, with the set-design that he’s created, all scored to music he wrote. It will be an atmospheric, theatrically sombre event, dimly lit, set to candle light. A bit of a Cabinet of Doctor Caligari vibe, I’m sure. So while the lights are on, spend some time with these works, consider the patience and care it would take to execute even just a small one. With those thin carefully delineated lines marking each individual strand of hair, or the articulated stigma of a flower, or the undulations of lace. Just as the Romantic nds himself lost in his own rapturous creation, these are marks that describe countless hours of obsession, and as this young career continues to evolve, one can only imagine how its varying facets will continue to intermingle into a further fully-realised beast.
Andrew Salgado, 2018
Review: Christopher George
AK Patterson release the video for ‘It’s Not Over Till They Cry’, lifted from the band’s forthcoming debut EP ‘Shadows, produced by Charlie Andrew. The band are sharing a new track every month in the run up to the EP’s release, with ‘It’s Not Over Till They Cry’ following previous releases ‘Shadows’ and ‘Lady Greyling’
Speaking about the surreal video for the slow-spooling waltz, singer Alex Patterson says; “‘It’s Not Over Till They Cry’ is about being a performer, the pressures of having to deliver something emotional and moving every time, but also the desire to do so. It's also about why people or an audience are drawn to dark melancholic things. There are a lot of references to the theatre - I love the dark underbelly the theatre has, the drama behind the curtain, the desperation in performers eyes which is often covered up by glitz and glamour.”
15 July SOUTHWOLD Latitude Festival https://www.latitudefestival.com/tickets
20 July SALISBURY Larmer Tree Festival http://larmertreefestival.co.uk/buy-tickets/
4 August CAMBRIDGE Cambridge Folk Festival https://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/folk-festival/tickets
27 August KETTERING Green Belt Festival
BY SARA DARLING
A new Bollywood/ Hip Hop club night ’HUNGAMA’ meaning ‘Chaos’ has been founded by Fashion and Art Curator Ryan Lanji. Realising that there was nowhere for LGBTQ+ Asians to enjoy the cultural music of their youth, he created a night in a safe space, where everyone could dance the night away with no inhibitions.
Being both South Asian and gay meant his loyalties were spread far and wide, so this venture merges the fabulousness of Bollywood, with great tunes where all sexualities and forms of expression are welcome and embraced.
Lanji claims 'I feel like my entire life I have always had to chose to identify as South Asian or Queer, and during Hungama we married the two most beautiful things I love about myself in a party full of culture, fun, spectacle and wonder!’
Here roots and sexual orientation do not have to be in conflict, and the third event is set to be the biggest yet!
HUNGAMA which takes place on June 28th, 2018 @ Metropolis in Bethnal Green
Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hungama-bolly-bangaz-tickets-7035829355
Review: Jaswant Bhachu
The 55 team were fawning over our exclusive samples from JUSBOX, a new luxury fragrance house exploring the connection between scent and music. Each scent has been carefully crafted by the V-MONKEYS, a creative team of two siblings from Italy.
They believe olfaction has the magical ability to bring back the most hidden emotions and memories, and all in an elegant ergonomic bottle. After sampling them ourselves, we believe it too. Memories, emotions, sensations, the list of ingredients that inspire a perfumer is vast and the composition of an olfactive melody is hard to understand. There is a similar language, one that’s even more intuitive. Music.
Our favourites were the tantalising ‘No Rules’ and ‘Green Bubble’ that hit a range of notes with one spray. From masculine, musky and punk to ocean waves, greenery and reggae; it is amazing to feel a connection to the music genres they are inspired from. This is far from a gimmick, the maturity of these scents make it clear that V-MONKEYS have been surrounded by perfumes a long time.
Available at Selfridges London and online now.
Article: Christopher George
For the third edition of their yearly Art Safari, running from 18 June to 7 July, the Chelsea Cross have invited artist Ian Rayer-Smith to exhibit a series of 20 new abstract paintings, each one displayed within a different luxury showroom on the cross of Fulham Road and Old Church Street.
For this very sepecial show, Ian Rayer-Smith has created 20 large scale expressive abstract paintings exploring the ideas around landscape that are void of time and place. The artist's original intent was to create a range of artworks that projected a lively and energetic approach to painting, thus creating unfamiliar, new worlds.
Strongly influenced by the work of the abstract expressionists but also by the romantic light of the Old Masters, Ian Rayer-Smith’s paintings effortlessly fuse abstraction with the figurative and the surreal.
Using classical references, he manipulates and transforms them until they lose their initial context and produce new meaning, ultimately revealing the physicality and sensory nature of the materials.
“In a world preoccupied with technology, there is something remarkable about painting. It connects us back to man’s earliest and most elemental forms of self expression. I want my work to exude a raw human energy and I like the brutal act of mark making to be evident on the surface” Ian Rayer-Smith
The Chelsea Cross Art Safari takes place from 18 June to 7 July at various venues between 84 and 265 Fulham Road, Chelsea SW3 6HY
THERE'S SOMETHING A LITTLE ODD ABOUT THE NEWEST PROJECT FROM ARTIST AND FASHION DESIGNER JOHNY DAR
By Sara Darling
I can't quite put my finger on it, but it sounds a little weird.
The chameleon of the art world, has fingers in many pies and can now add record producer to his creative exploits.
Already a successful artist, designer and all round creative, Dar has turned his talents to songwriting, and has released a song with made up words, which he has dubbed ‘alien-rap’. Claiming 'It's not really a human language- I've been speaking it since I was a kid and no one on earth understood it..
For a minute I tried to fir in but failed, so I had to recreate my own world from scratch, and this language was part of that."
Living in a parallel universe, and self-invented time schedule (Dar-time -with 32 instead of 24 hours in a day), Dar has lot more hours to fill. So its no wonder his effervescent mind has designed a language that has many meanings.
Starting from scratch, the psychology of alien rap stems from the fact that everything is sound and a vibration and it only takes on a meaning when we interpret what it is saying; "Language plays an important part in shaping our experiences in life. I’m delivering a new world of experience in art, fashion, music and film, so I guess a new language had to be a part of it!"
With many bows to his creative arrow, he has collaborated with countless celebrities on fashion, art and design projects, so it's no wonder his imagination has translated itself to singing-songwriting and performance.
With the EP set to be released in September to coincide with London Fashion Week,
expect high-energy electronic dance music, which features the original language on every track.
Complementing this new venture, the 'Dardelica' live show, is hitting UK and European festivals this summer, which promises to be a multimedia extravaganza, with sounds and visuals for a total psychedelic trip. Buckle your seatbelts for a journey into outer space, if you manage to catch these shows, you are in going to be in for one hell of a ride!
The third single, Alien Animal, is set to be released on June 15th.
Get the vibe here