Set to be inaugurated by the Mayor of Bournemouth on Saturday 28th April during this year’s BEAF Festival (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe), the BCAC (not to be confused with the British Carp Angling Championship) is the UK’s smallest contemporary arts centre. It also happens to live within one of the country’s only purpose-built tardis-style police boxes.
Artist Stuart Semple says: “BCAC at BEAF is more than just a string of acronyms, this is a chance for a whole community to get up close and personal with contemporary art in an iconic and intimate space.”
As part of the initiative, Semple has been commissioned to create a new piece of public sculpture. His piece ‘You Are Love’ is designed to be a simple statement of togetherness and unity on an otherwise grey high street. This illuminated sculptural work will adorn the top of the police box. The work aims to celebrate the commonality in the diverse population of Boscombe and contribute a simple symbol of connection to the town.
“The idea I had for the ‘You Are Love’ sculpture was to play with the concept that we all have more in common than we have different, and no matter who you are or what you’ve been through you are loved. What public space needs is more love. We are all made of the same stuff. I was hoping to add a positive and empowering statement to the high street.” SS
Stuart’s first project inside BCAC, ‘It’s OK to ask me if I’m not OK’, aims to start a dialogue in public space about emotions, to reduce stigmas around mental health issues.
‘It’s OK to ask me if I am not OK’ is a participatory public art work. The piece encourages the public to paint on special ‘magic’ paper (developed by Semple) that will line the inside of the box. The public are invited to answer a simple question: “What are you not ok about?” As they watch their writing disappear before their eyes it is hoped that the work will investigate conversations about how people feel.
“Although Boscombe Central is the most deprived area in the whole of the South West of England, it has one of the most vibrant and diverse cultures.
It’s the perfect place for a contemporary art centre. It’s incredibly forward-thinking of Dorset Police to see the power of art to transcend barriers and hand over their iconic box for a programme like this.” SS
The wider concept for the space is to present a free, challenging, engaging and empowering programme of internationally recognised contemporary art in the heart of Boscombe. The full programme for the space is yet to be announced, but Stuart will curate a series of free contemporary art exhibitions, performances, lectures and happenings by leading international artists within the space over the coming months.
For details on upcoming exhibitions, talks, installations and projects at BCAC please visit]
Acknowledged as one of Britain’s most evocative and exciting figurative artists, Vincent Kamp has been working on a new series of paintings featuring acclaimed jazz musician Reuben James and his band which will be exhibited at Clarendon Fine Art Mayfair from 12 to 18 April.
Fascinated by the underground world of urban subculture, Kamp’s paintings delve beneath the surface of social class, creating intense portraits of people in a fused background of cinematic lighting, brooding tension and impending drama. Heavily influenced by films, particularly the crime and gangster genres, Kamp says that he learnt as much about composition from cinematographers as he did from the old master painters.
For his next big solo show, which will be in November 2018, Kamp is planning an interactive and ambitious performance-art homage to his love of cinema. As he explains, “thirty paintings will tell the story of a high stakes poker game that ends badly. Called ‘The Long Game’, the series will be recreated live featuring actors, a poker table and over a million dollars in cash. As well as viewing the art work, the audience will be able to watch the drama unfold in front of them”.
Now represented by Clarendon Fine Art, Vincent Kamp has been creating subversive thematic works such as his ‘Fear and Loathing in East London’ series which featured a cast of tattooed barbers from around the capital, first shown in 2017 at the Talented Art Fair, who named him Talented Artist of the Year.
Vincent Kamp: Inspired Lives. Paintings of Reuben James and his band
Clarendon Fine Art Mayfair
46 Dover Street, London W1S 4FF
12-18 April 2018
BY SARA DARLING
THE NEWEST HOTEL IN PARIS IS BOUND TO MAKE YOU SMILE
The Lola James Harper lifestyle brand, is all about embracing what makes you happy. Whether this be songs, scents or photographs. Typically French it has a sense of je ne sais quoi but not so typical, thanks perhaps to worldwide travel- a sunshine view of life!
It has just been announced that the brand is adding to their portfolio of art, philosophy, poetry, culture, music and travel, as founder Rami Mekdachi has unveiled his plans for a hotel in central Paris.
With a teaser of the upcoming hotel, taking over the first floor of the Bon Marché store in Paris, clients are welcomed into a laid back getaway which captures the essence of LA; With a juice bar, personal travel photographs, perfume making stations and vinyl; it brings all the things that the Mekdachi family love, together.
The first Hotel Lola James Harper will be dedicated to self- indulgence and taking time out. Mekdachi continues “(I want) guests to employ all of their senses and close off their minds for a moment; smelling fragrances of inspiring places, playing music, listening to vinyl, tasting amazing juices, tea and coffee, looking at photographs of the world.”
Set to open in collaboration with AccorHotels in Paris in late 2018, this hotel will be offer a sense of adventure, and promises the perfect place for inquisitive travellers who have a joy for life. Expect intriguing design, beautiful trinkets, international gastronomy, art and culture from around the world. I can’t wait!
Hotel Lola James Harper is set to open in Paris in late 2018 with London and Lisbon to follow.
For more information check out Lola James Harper
Article: Christopher George
Athens is one of the most enchanting cities on the planet as well as a centre for the art, learning and philosophy. From theatre to design, architecture and literature. Athens really does have the arts running through its veins.
So it’s with little surprise that Athens fashion industry houses some of the most exciting designers during its fashion week under the name of ATHENS XCLUSIVE DESIGNERS WEEK, held in the heart of Athens at the spectacular Zappeion Hall.
55factory attended the 4 day event and obviously had front row during all the shows, to hunt down designers we believe are creating a fashion storm for the modern woman and man.
We also found some incredible couturiers designing incredible collections for 2018 as well as some beautiful models walking the shows.
Heavy wrapped fabrics seemingly simply designed, but with crafted cuts and layering. Oversized cuffs, dropped shoulders and synched waistlines create a dramatic and statues silhouette, theatrical yet easy to wear and extremely modern with a classical narrative flowing through.
One of our favourite designers this season with the Simple and easy to wear creations of new minimalism. Fine detailing in the cuts, strong lines, detailed and tailored shoulders creating geometric shapes that are casual but sophisticated. A timeless collection that can easily be brought to trend with simple styling.
This talented designer could have been showing this collection in London with its unique and creative approach. The art direction was superb, quirky, strong designs, beautifully cut fabrics and spectacular print design from this once interior architect graduate. Having studied at Glasgow School of Art, she became inspired with alternative techniques in making her own fabrics.
This collection took reference from the entertainment of freak shows during the Victorian era across Europe and America, this became the central source of research with her print design for this 2018 show. Klelia creates her own happy and colourful freak show, and what a spectacular show it was from this talented young designer. Definitely one to watch!
Strong fabrics and silhouette with oversized and boxed shoulders, synched waistline and strong colour combinations. The collection is unsophisticated and more utilitarian, yet retaining a sharp atmosphere and mood. Sure to be a huge success for Autumn.
One of the highlights during the Athens Fashion Week from the duo partners MI-RO.
The catwalk show was dramatic, simple, beautifully and feminine. MI-RO woman’s wear have brought a new aesthetic to the fashion world since the appearance of the brand in 2003. Not being afraid to take control with their fresh and timeless style, graphic designs, detailed designs and dynamic silhouettes. Know for dressing special occasion, but not dominating them.
The MI-RO woman is in control without a doubt - VAMP !!
Using black as a base with the accents of vivid electric blues and purples. Oversized items with the popular and wearable trend of synched waistlines, that seems to be a firm favourite on the catwalk and hi-trends. Inspirations come from the New Romantics Vamp theme, and geometric shapes of Japanese fashion, to the elegant romantic military uniform from the 1940. This was a stunning and strong collection from a designer not afraid to take some risks.
Asymmetric cuts, oversized fabrics, beautiful tailoring and layering. Ready to wear and extremely sophisticated, greys and blacks holding the collection together with some shocking reds and blue bringing one of the best collection of the Athens Xclusive Designe Week. The international fashion brand, one of the leading Greek fashion houses has a strong following and has shown collections in Paris, Barcelona and Milan.
Know for their continuity and eco friends fabrics, its no surprise the fashion house has been featured in VOGUE , Dazed and Confused as well as ELLE to mention a few.
The show was an indulgence in women’s luxury and femininity. With striking associations to the glamour of Hollywood during the golden era and of the hi society from the 1960s French Rivera.
Incredible outfits feeling comfortable at the most grand of occasions and events, for the sophisticated and exclusive woman.
Vassilis Zoulias offers a pret-a-porter collection and Haute Couture bridal service at his atelier.
I will be definitely be heading there for my next big day outfit, wedding number 2!!!!
Review: Christopher George
The world is a wonderfully beautiful, bazar and some times creepy place. Not more so than through the eyes and mind of an artist’s imagination.
From film to music and literature, to painting that depict the inner most haunting thought of an artist, to the photographic works beyond the realms of what we actual see in the world that we pass through.
Mothmeister: ‘Weird And Wonderful Post-Mortem Fairy Tails’ a new book by the artist duo open’s up a channel of vision and thought into their world, and into the natural landscapes and environment that are both beautiful and haunting in it’s isolation.
‘Weird And Wonderful Post-Mortem Fairy Tails’ compiles a host of creative talents, from costume designers to make-up artist who have collaborated with the duo team Mothmeister to bring a bazar and perfectly produced body of work into a coffee table book.
Using locations from around the world to photograph these surreal creatures roaming through them, it’s a challenge to figure out how such a publication was art directed with such continuity.
Just like in the Victorian era, when deceased loved ones were photographed as a memento for grieving relatives, MOTHMEISTER immortalizes animals in an unusual and wonderful fairy-tale world.
This new book, MOTHMEISTER: Weird and Wonderful Post-Mortem Fairy Tales (Lannoo Publishers) also uncovers what is behind the mask; the artist duo's intriguing adventures in the world's most abandoned places to their untamed passion for taxidermy, masks, as well as intriguing on-the-road images.
The portraits in the book were mostly inspired by childhood dreams and nightmares with their passion for taxidermy, and the fascination with masks.
Weird And Wonderful Post-Mortem Fairy Tails’ is a tribute to theses deceased, stuffed animals.
An enchanting book that will leave an impressions on you for years!
Weird and Wonderful Post-Mortem Fairy Tales
Publisher: Lannoo Publishers
Illustrations: 240 color, 30 b&w Hardcover
BY SARA DARLING
Ginger Pride: A Red Headed History of the World
Everyone loves a redhead. The fiery predicament, the outrageous antics and unpredictable temper. How popular is Prince Harry now he’s been snapped up by an American Beauty? And if they don’t hurry up and have a bambino, the redhead gene might die out by 2060.(Note- they are not completely responsible for keeping the red race alive- Ed Sheeran, Julianne Moore, Damian Lewis, and Lily Cole are all flying the flame hair flag.)
So to celebrate all persons auburn, author Tobias Anthony (a ginge obviously), has collated a variety of truths, and dispels myths that surround the world of carrot tops,- such as why their scent and pheromone output is different from other hairy follicles, and why they are so freckly, and why they have a natural aptitude to produce Vitamin D.
If you are a proud ginger, or are on friendly terms with a redhead this book will definitely raise an eyebrow. Split into three chapters, it celebrates history’s most famous gingers and the science of spotting the difference between homegrown and bottle-aided aub.
Along with the things you should never say to a ginger, this book is a pocket sized rocket of fun!
Published by Smith Street Books
Buy yours here
Interview: Jaswant Bhachu
The 55team 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.
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.
The latest track from the forthcoming album Fire Behind the Curtain, named from a self-help relaxation CD that instructs the listener to seek “comfortable surroundings with zero disruption.”
Adam Stafford elaborates:
“It is my attempt at putting the influence of Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint to bed. It was devised as an exercise in playing between the notes and layering jerky guitar figures in a staccato style. The voices are meant to sound like alarms going off, and the track as a whole is based on panic and auditory hallucinations.
In Adam Stafford’s world nothing is smoothed over, but thrown together in the spirit of industry; like real art that builds ecstasy out of torrential anxiety. Real art, which only sets four corners or a metronome to then immediately begin fussing at its edges, testing its mise en scène for weak spots, permeations, hard borders that might belie soft openings.
Guitar riffs stacked on top of each other, layers of strings, layers of wordless vocals, each new overdub testing how high this tower will reach before it all comes toppling down, and perhaps that’s the point. Perhaps we should start building things from scratch again.
BY SARA DARLING
This weekend, the clocks tell us summer is on its way. Yippee! So that means it's time to ditch the leather (or at least add a bit of colour to your leather trouser collection), and spring into spring with a shiny new wardrobe!
Imagine the strolling down the sidewalk in Miami in the nineties- grungy hair and sassy attitude. Well, that is what inspired Superdry for this summer’s collection.
Sunbleached pastels, distressed details and a festival vibe equals the perfect wardrobe for summer in the city. Laid back, and ready for anything.
Whether you’re a girly girl, rebel, sport billy or prefer to mash it all up, the acid wash denim and retro vibe is bound to give you tingles. Fashion staples, and fashion statements!
Superdry guys are laid back skater dudes and can mix up denim staples with a chilled out punky Americana attitude. Layering is essential.
Reminiscent of Kurt Cobain and River Phoenix, there is no such thing as too cool!
Shop the collection here
Review: Christopher George
Radiant - magical - sensual - tactile and evocative.
These new works from artist Zhuang Hong Yi bring together a modern view of the impressionist, with the skills of a Chinese craftsman and the emotions of the Western masters.
The opening event was the begining of this 2 part gallery show that starts at the St James’s gallery SW1, then will move to the new home of HOFA gallery on Maddox St.
A personal relationship in the presence of the works is essential to appreciate the three-dimensional nature and colours. The ability of the works to seemingly breath, watch and listen to the viewer, while the change in colour and appearance is remarkable as you move across it’s structure.
Originally from China but now based in Holland, Zhuang Hong Yi spoke with 55factory:
“I had a feeling when I was making these works that I wanted people to touch them. I usually use a brush to produce my works, but now I use my hands to make them. There is a dialogue from nature and from my emotions.
I spend different parts of the day on these; morning, afternoon, evening, and the light dose change. This was a very important point for me to relay in the finished pieces.
For me I chose the idea of the flowerer, which is a traditional Chinese symbol that has been used for over 2000 years. The rose lotus being that symbolic flowerer in China, but I am using the tulip, which is a Western symbol”
The exhibition is showing on 2 locations.
19th to 25th March in their St James’s gallery,
26th March until the 8th April 58 Maddox Street