Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Australian Tapestry Workshop

These images are a poor illustration of the 2250 hours spent by the Australian Tapestry Workshop in the creation of David Noonan's latest artwork, which was recently exhibited at  the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Posters for an exhibition by Henk Cornelissen called “Toeval” [chance]. Graphic design by Toko.

Towers Open Fire

A recent post by Toys & Techniques of Dream Machine photographs [instructions in how to make your own can be found here] made me remember this short film by Antony Balch entitled "Towers Open Fire" featuring writers, William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin.

Monday, August 23, 2010

German Matchboxes

From a rather lovely flickr collection.  Most of the labels in the collection are from the 1960s and 1970s.  My favourite designs are predominantly inspired by Swiss and German modernism.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Found Objects

Lovely new header designed by Julian House and Andrew Demetrius for Found Objects.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hallucinations Of Edie

"Hallucinations Of Edie" is one of my favourite audio collages.  It was created by Parisian based sound artist and record collector/dealer extraordinaire, Gwen Jamois.  Gwen studied musique concrete under the tutelage of Christine Groult, Bernard Parmegiani, Fracois Bayle and Luc Ferrari. As well as producing music, Mr. Jamois finds time to run the legendary rare records site Iueke.   Gwen has a habit of turning up records so rare that even the most knowledgeable dealers are unaware of their existence.  Gwen has kindly given permission to repost this rare and rather special mix.  I hope you enjoy. 

The mix was originally commissioned by Under The Influence for a Grey Gardens special issue. The following is Gwen's own notes and track listing:

1. Doctor says ‘huh’ 1978
The text is originally performed (before re-edits) by Gail Williams of The Cincinnati Artists Group Effort (C.A.G.E.) Background music is a Classic, melancholic track by soundtrack maestro Bruno Nicolai (Morricone’s mentor) from a rare music library only LP (CAM 1070). Nicolai sadly took to the shadows after been involved in a sex scandal.

2. Kenward Elmslie ‘the woolworth song’ 1978
NY Kenward’s poetry and prose is often combined with the graphical work of other artists. A collection of his writing, Motor Disturbance (1971), won the Frank O’Hara Award for Poetry in1971. Here we hear that the boy can sing.

3. Erik Thygesen – Passions-Surfaces – For Cecilia Stam 1968

Madam Stam made her Debut at the Eurovision song contest, here she is guided by Erik, a Swedish man of stories, essays and translations on a sentimental piece on the eternal triangle. Once again the added background music is from my vast collection of unknown music – details on request

4. Arne Mellnäs – Far Out (Portrait Of Laura Nyro) 1969
Swedish composer Arne Mellnäs delivers a wonderful tribute to song legend Laura Nyro – Todd Rundgren famously stated that, once he heard her, he “stopped writing songs like The Who and started writing songs like Laura”. Go Todd… Nyro is mixed with the poetry of Mona Da Vinci – excerpt from “the sacred wood art: the last super of Mona Da Vinci” NY 74. A true pioneer of feminist based art.

5. Anthony J. Gnazzo – Hisnia & Hernia – CA 1975
A beautiful piece from an avant-garde poet extraordinaire. Joined on re-edited drums and electronic-ness by Teutonic drummer Klaus Weiss from an LP called ‘27’ – Vegetable Poet Novelist On Cello.

6. Jackie Curtis – ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” NY 1976

Birdcalls '72

A sound artwork by Louise Lawler entitled "Birdcalls", where she literally 'tweets' male artist's names. [Via the wonderful resource that is]

Valkoinen Peura

"Valkoinen Peura", also known as "The White Reindeer" is a Finnish film which won a Golden Globe in 1952. It's an absolute gem of a film and rarely shown outside of Finland.  The film itself defies the stereotypical horror genre and seems immersed in both folktale and ritual, capturing the loneliness, myth and mysticism of the Finnish landscape.  Seek out and enjoy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Journey To Avebury 1971

A beautiful, early Super 8 film by Derek Jarman. Soundtrack provided by Coil in the early 1990s.

Journey to avebury
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Children Of The Stones

Children of the Stones was a complex and disturbing television drama produced for children by HTV in 1976. I remember being literally petrified by this programme, particularly the title sequence. As a youngster, I found its soundtrack both intensely otherworldly and deeply troubling. The music was composed by Sidney Sager who used a combination of a cappella vocalizations of a single, repeated Icelandic word ("Hadave") to create a terrifying and dissonant score. The vocals were provided by the Ambrosian Singers who during their long career have provided choral work for both Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota. The series was filmed at Avebury, Wiltshire during Summer 1976, with interior scenes filmed at HTV's Bristol studio.  The score for this series has never been commercially issued, which is a shame as both the "Start Title" and the "Ritual And End Title" are some of the scariest music I've heard on television.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Collage No.4

Tokyo Sonata

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Tokyo Sonata" is a filmic masterpiece of unsettling domestic tension. The premise of the plot revolves around a family's impending financial ruin after a middle-aged company man is abruptly fired from his well-heeled Tokyo job. Every morning he leaves the house dressed in his coat and tie, and spends his days roaming the urban environment [which typically in Tokyo indicates 4,000 inhabitants per square kilometre] in search of work, leaving his family unaware of their socio economic plight. The film’s tone is typified by the wonderfully eerie and pastoral score by Kazumasa Hashimoto.  The score contains a few tracks which typify what only can be described as ghostly electronic folk music.  Here is a "Unten Take 1" but I recommend you seek out the entire score as soon as possible.  Another wonderful Jonny Trunk tip!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mr. Trunk Presents Atomage

If you've been wondering why this blog has gone all kinky of late you can blame it on Jonny Trunk.  I've been nagging Jonny for ages to write something for the blog.  Jonny is a very busy chap and he's been busy with all kinds of projects, but being the top bloke he is, he came up trumps to write a short and informative piece on all things rubber and vinyl.  For those that don't know, Jonny runs Trunk Records, a curious record label that specializes in unearthing forgotten and often neglected cultural gems ranging from cult soundtracks, jazz and the odd graphic design book.   This post is about his new book project and here it is in all its slightly kinky and perplexing glory with a few images provided by Jonny.  Over to you Jonny.....

"Now before we continue, I'm not kinky or nuffing. But the first time I saw an Atomage magazine at my friends house I got very excited indeed. I first spotted the magazine in the workshop of artisan leather workers Whittaker Malem. They make clothes for the movies and for Allen Jones sculptures. The magazine caught my eye, the woman in the front was looking the wrong way. After a quick flick through I realised that all of the photos in the magazine were peculiar but in a way I'd find hard to describe. The art direction was paired back, inventive and different. I started investigating this strange little publication more; there were at total of 32 made. The man behind the magazine, John Sutcliffe, was an extraordinary self taught designer with a natural flair for strange fashion and quite a knack with a camera. He started out by making biker suits for lady pillion riders, and by the mid 60s was making bespoke leather wear for a large roster of discerning clients. The A5 sized magazine was published erratically from 1971 (until about 1979) with the idea of selling his designs to a wider audience, but quickly became portal through which strange, fledgling scenes started to congregate. Macintosh clubs, wading, mudlarking and mask wearing all appear in the magazine, mainly through readers writing in and explaining what they were up to. Their stories and associated photography all add to the publications unique madness. But when someone describes their experiences of getting dressed up from head to toe in leather and then covering this all up head to toe in waterproof rubber, then slowly wading out into a river and standing there up to their neck in water for a couple of hours, you can kind of see the odd pleasure this might give you. Now where are my wellies..."
Here is a link to an excerpt of Sutcliffe and friends from Dressing For Pleasure, a film made about Atomage in 1977. It's a brilliant film made by a great director called John Samson.  The film also features a young Malcolm McLaren pre Sex Pistols.

"Dressing For Pleasure" will be published at the end of September by Fuel Publishing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Markets Of Britain

More slightly rude oddness, this time a documentary examining the traditional outdoor markets of Britain.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tortura - Sounds Of Pleasure And Pain

Here's an odd record.  Basically it's a recording of people screaming, moaning, crying, groaning and laughing while being whipped.  It was released in 1965 which is odd in itself.  What is even odder is that some people will pay a lot of money to own a copy.  I wonder if that slightly kinky Jonny Trunk has a copy.  I bet he does.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Golding Institute - Sounds Of The San Francisco Adult Bookstores

This is a decidedly odd record.  I really have no idea why I purchased it.  It's a recording of San Francisco Adult Bookstores.  As a listening experience it's a bit rubbish but I still can't bear to throw it away. Maybe, one day, I'll donate it to my local charity shop.   I bet it will make someone very happy when when they find it.   There's a whole series of these discs including "Sounds Of The American Fast Food Restaurants" and "Sounds Of The International Airport Restrooms".  I bet they sound rubbish as well.  Oh, and I nearly forgot, this one came with a free tissue.  

Something Slightly Kinky

Jonny Trunk has been working on an odd little book project.  It's all very hush hush, that is until next week.  He mailed me a sneak preview about two months or so ago.  It's all very kinky and dare I say it, rather odd.  When I buy a copy I might have to ask for a plain brown paper bag to put it in.  Anyway, I'll be posting his article on Monday and you'll all just have to wait till then to find out.  In the meantime, here's a few 'kink cards' collected from another rather odd and kinky book called "The X Directory" published by Pi34 Publishing in 1993.  If memory serves me right, Pi34 Publishing was run by the rather fine Irdial Recordings who made quite a few 'wonky' and 'off kilter' techno records.

Exquisite Trove

A very kind person from the Verygoodplus forum recommended a visit to this exhibition in Newlyn and I'm very glad that they did. The exhibition was a wonderful trove of curious oddball artifacts from both the contemporary art world and from local museums, particularly the Helston Folk Museum. The placement of art next to artifact was a curatorial triumph as it imbued both with added symbolic value. The exhibition can be viewed at Newlyn Gallery in Cornwall from July to September 2010

Alfred Wallis

I'd only seen one reproduction of a painting by Alfred Wallis before we went on our trip to Cornwall and to tell the truth I was struck dumbfounded when I saw them in the flesh. His paintings are intensely honest, powerful and spirited in their execution. I fell in love with them immediately. Alfred Wallis spent most of his working life as a fisherman. He claimed to have gone to sea aged nine and was involved in deep-sea fishing, sometimes sailing as far as Newfoundland in Canada. In 1890 he moved to St Ives in Cornwall, where he became a marine scrap merchant. He began painting at the age of seventy “for company” after the death of his wife. Wallis sold few of his paintings during his lifetime and lived in poverty until he died in the Madron Workhouse in Penzance. He was buried in Barnoon cemetery, overlooking St. Ives' Porthmeor beach and the Tate St Ives gallery. An elaborate gravestone, depicting a tiny mariner at the foot of a huge lighthouse – a popular motif in Wallis' paintings – was made from tiles by the potter Bernard Leach and now covers Wallis' tomb.  Jonny Trunk emailed me this morning with an odd bit of Wallis trivia, apparently Richard Attenborough sold a pair of Alfred Wallis paintings a few months ago.  So there you go.  Here's a few examples of his work.  I hope you like them as much as I do.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Object: Gesture: Grid, St Ives And The International Avant-garde

I was thrilled to see this fantastic exhibition of Post-Second World War art which explored the development of Modernism. Highlights included; 
A small, untitled, painted wood sculpture by Ben Nicholson, circa 1936.
"Female Fig Leaf" by Marcel Duchamp which was made from Electroplated copper over plaster, circa 1950. 
"Linear Construction In Space No.1" by Naum Gabo which was made from perspex with nylon monofilament, conceived 1942, but probably executed in the 1960s.

...... and a fantastic, raw and spirited oil painting by Alfred Wallis [more of which later] entitled "Voyage to Labrador" , circa 1935-6.

Postcard To The Other Side

My son, who has just turned six, was asked to write a postcard to Barbara Hepworth by one of the museum staff.  He wrote, "Dear Barbara, I hope you have a good time in heaven" and sketched his favourite sculpture to the side. 

Trewyn Studio, St Ives